- Pastor John Smith
Gender Starts With God
In recent events, much controversy has swirled regarding bathrooms, boycotts, and blurred lines concerning the issue of gender identity. At any given rate, an individual can move between genders or even associate with multiple genders at one time which doesn’t simplify the matters, but only convolutes the discussion. In fact, Facebook lists over 50 different “options” that an individual can assign themselves to be, and they can change when the mood strikes them. This non-binary approach does little to provide security, in fact it does just the opposite. At the risk of making a blanket statement, as people who are rational beings, we like to think with concrete ideas. Fluidity of thought and logic very rarely provide the consistency that our brains are wired for. That is, our brains like to have something solid to tether ideas, concepts and information to. Let’s just face it; we like to work in defined categories.
But the issue of gender identity that has been raised as of late, is really an issue of categories. At what point does someone jump from one gender category to the next, or were they ever in that category to start with? Well science has definitively proven that the gender that you are born with is the gender you are at a physiological level. Regardless of change of external appearance, surgeries or countless procedures, a person’s DNA cannot be altered. This shows that gender identity is not some social construct as some suggest today, rather it is woven in the very fabric that makes us a living being.
However, there is little debate regarding the scientific fact, the discussion surrounding this issue is more about expressing feelings that are subjective. Yet I believe that one of the underlying issues concerning all this is a misunderstanding of the value and preciousness of both the male and female gender. The rise of egalitarianism, which states that men and women are the same, has done little to repair the damages of misogyny and liberal feminism. For the record, the Bible says that men and women are equal in the sight of God. However, equality does not mean sameness. Genesis 1:27 says “…in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Both male and female equally image God, yet image God in different ways and capacities. What we mean in the Church by “image God” is that men and women have been given certain gifts, special qualities that can be used to communicate God’s attributes, like love, emotion and relationship. It is a wondrous reality to see how unique men and women are. That in every situation they bring a certain perspective that is not necessarily opposite to the other, rather it is incredibly complimentary. In fact it was designed that
way and blessed by God.
The qualities of each gender complement one another. There are certain things that men can do that women cannot and vise-versa. This isn’t to say that one is better than the other, because in their uniqueness, they both need each other. I have been blessed to be married to a woman who is the exact opposite of me. Where I lack due to my limitations as a man, she fills the need by using the womanly capacities that God has given to her. Now I am not only talking about cooking, cleaning and bearing children. What I am saying however, is her womanly perspective, her emotional sensitivity and a host of other abilities, which I do not possess as a man, is something that I value, cherish and celebrate. Likewise at Evergreen Baptist Church, it is so amazing to see how men and women come to the same situations, see it in a different perspective and then use their specific abilities to glorify God in said situations. In fact if you were to come in on a Sunday morning, you would see that the men and women at Evergreen Baptist are not at war with one another; instead they acknowledge the God-given differences and worship together, to bring glory to God.
God delights and exults in the differences between male and female and we should too. I realize that in this article that we have not begun to scratch the surface regarding this issue but I would call us to be reminded of the beauty and the distinctiveness of God creating “them male and female.” In the coming days, those who belong to the Church must continue to navigate through this controversy with our eyes on Christ and commitment to the Scriptures. It is with this focus that we can bring the Gospel to bear and offer the Good News to those seeking clarity.