Sexual Identity: Another Assault on Biblical Authority

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Sexual Identity

Another Assault on Biblical Authority

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Sexual Identity: Another Assault on Biblical Authority

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Writing shortly before his execution, the apostle Paul provided us this solemn warning: “In the last days there will be very difficult times. For people . . . will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God . . . They will consider nothing sacred” (2 Timothy 3:1-2 2 Timothy 3:1-2 [1] This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. [2] For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
American King James Version×
, New Living Translation, emphasis added throughout).

We are not yet in those final “last days.” But we do emphatically see the groundwork being laid—even advanced—in the form of insidious attacks, both on the authority of the Bible and the sanctity of the God-ordained family! It is critical that we all realize the depth of this continued societal crumbling away from the Word of God.

The beginning of the year gave us this troubling news from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, when he announced in celebration: “It’s official: Our government’s legislation banning the despicable and degrading practice of [LGBTQ] conversion therapy . . . is now law.”

The now-official bill amending Canada’s criminal code activates unusually dangerous language. It falsely states by implication that what millions have long understood concerning the biblical family model and family roles is nothing but a “myth.” It further prohibits any attempts to formally “force” a person with same-sex attraction to “convert” to that of a biblical heterosexual orientation (through so-called “conversion therapy”), criminalizing such acts and adding potential jail sentencing up to five years.

Under the law enacted in January, “conversion therapy” means a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s homosexual sexual orientation to heterosexual or to change a person’s transgender identity to the male or female gender the person had at birth. The law also covers any efforts to repress or reduce same-sex attraction or sexual behavior or transgender identity or expression.

It doesn’t take a legal expert to recognize how that new statute might be applied to someone teaching biblical truth about same-sex acts from Leviticus 18 and 20, Romans 1, or 1 Corinthians 6.

Ignoring biological facts, the new Canadian law erroneously states: “Whereas conversion therapy causes harm to society because, among other things, it is based on and propagates myths . . . including the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender [or normal] gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred.”

This, of course, flies in the face of the biblical truth that God created human beings male or female (Genesis 1:27 Genesis 1:27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
American King James Version×
; 5:2; Matthew 19:4 Matthew 19:4And he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
American King James Version×
; Mark 10:6 Mark 10:6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
American King James Version×
). Further, for thousands of years of human history the division of the human race into two sexes has been understood.

Meanwhile, the United States Congress continues to advance its own version of this law in the so-called “Equality Act.” Now passed by the House, the Senate will consider it later this year. It currently contains no religious exemption. If passed, it would be a gross infringement on religious freedom rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.

Sowing confusion in the medical community

Consider how completely upside down this is! As I prepare this, the medical condition of gender dysphoria—the pathological feeling or state that one has been born in the wrong body, is presently formally listed as a disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Despite this formal listing, professors in medical schools are presently creating all kinds of confusion among medical students. In covering U.S. events, the British magazine The Economist reported in January that American medical schools now disconcertingly teach medical students that “gender dysphoria is not a mental illness” (“Trans Ideology Is Distorting the Training of America’s Doctors,” Jan. 8, 2022).

The magazine asks: “How has trans ideology made its way into medical schools?” In answer, it points out that while so-called “trans medicine” is not yet part of medical school core curricula, most medical students are led to “understand” that as future doctors they are to “uncritically and unquestioningly” support requests for “gender change” for “children as young as nine”! The Economist alarmingly notes that this “care” has “done irreversible harm to some young people’s bodies” (emphasis added).

We need to recognize this for what it is—a perverse undermining and corruption of biblical teaching!

Tragically, it’s getting worse. France is in the final stages of enacting similar “conversion therapy” and gender legislation, and the British Parliament began the process to enact similar bans in December 2021.

The Economist notes that this trend is not universally welcomed among medical professionals: “Much of what passes for gender medicine has been pursued recklessly, with little care for the long-term well-being of patients. Yet even within the field, doubts are spreading. Hospitals in Finland and Sweden have backed off from prescribing puberty blocking drugs to the under-18s . . . In America, where any deviation from gender affirmation risks provoking attacks on social media, prominent gender doctors are beginning to worry that puberty blocking drugs and surgery have been handed out too readily.”

The all-important biblical perspective

Let me speak plainly. The Bible is authoritatively clear:

A state of godly marriage is possible only between a biological man and a biological woman. Physical sexual activity is biblically permitted or encouraged only within the bounds of a biblically defined marriage. Sexual acts between men and men or women and women are condemned by the holy Word of God (Leviticus 18:22 Leviticus 18:22You shall not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
American King James Version×
; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27 Romans 1:26-27 [26] For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: [27] And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
American King James Version×
; 1 Corinthians 6:9 1 Corinthians 6:9Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
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). These are core, inviolable teachings.

Yet these biblical teachings about same-sex relations are under constant attack. Ironically, even as our in-depth Beyond Today coverage of the archaeological discovery of what may prove to be biblical Sodom—a city destroyed by God in part for sexual depravity—was distributed in early January, The Washington Times ran a front-page story about a new Bible version that translated a Greek word traditionally rendered as “sodomites” (arsenokoitai) in 1 Corinthians 6:9 1 Corinthians 6:9Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
American King James Version×
to read “men who engage in illicit sex.”

This change deliberately blurs the clearly intended meaning, which is “men who have sex with men” as it’s worded in the New International Version or “men who practice homosexuality” in the English Standard Version.

Referencing same-sex prohibitions in Leviticus 18 and 20, scholar Kevin DeYoung explains: “Paul is explicitly drawing this teaching [from Leviticus] into the New Testament . . . Given the context in Leviticus and how it’s used elsewhere after the New Testament, [it] means men having sex with other men. And there is no real other interpretation that makes the best sense of the evidence both in the early Christian literature and especially in the Old Testament.”

Living by God’s Word in dangerous times

Going forward, what do such moves mean for those who believe and teach biblical standards and commands? While we are instructed to “cry aloud, spare not” (Isaiah 58:1 Isaiah 58:1Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
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) in showing the sins of our society, we are also warned by Jesus, “I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16 Matthew 10:16Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
American King James Version×
, ESV).

People may falsely try to brand us at Beyond Today with the meaningless political labels “homophobic” or “transphobic,” but the truth is, we are neither. We recognize that all are sinners and that much of human life is a struggle. We are not to hate or condemn the sinner, but we are to hate the sin. We are to be empathetic with each other, striving to be a light to the world by our examples (Matthew 5:14 Matthew 5:14You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
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), but in no way ever endorsing biblically fraudulent concepts.

All diligent Christians must recognize the times we live in, and fully ground ourselves in the biblical truth of God. We should pray for protection, especially for our young people. As reported recently at the Religion News Service website, many members of Generation Z (people born in the years 1997-2012) openly call on religious groups to fully embrace LGBTQ lifestyles and values, putting intense pressure on our teens and young adults.

This has been a long time coming. Prominent scholars, government leaders, entertainers and more have long wielded a secular axe against biblical authority. Sadly, many others have adopted such views, which is why we see such destructive trends worsening.

God will deliver us from our fears (Psalms 34:4 Psalms 34:4I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
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), but we must wisely, earnestly and prayerfully consider the “perilous times” we are entering. All of us must “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Stand for what’s right. And as Peter proclaimed in Acts 2:40 Acts 2:40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
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(NIV), “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation”!