“Male and Female He Created Them” — Brief Thoughts on the Gender Debate
I admit it: I listen to NPR. Every day, any night I’m driving, my radio dial is turned to the local station for news, music, comedy, what have you. It has been twenty or so years of a love-hate relationship. In fact I’m a volunteer host on the local classical station here in Fort Wayne. I even “like” it on Facebook and so I get to see all sorts of articles posted on their blogs. This morning an article came across the feed, “Can Children Know, At Age 2, They Were Born the ‘Wrong Sex’?” The article in full can be found here. Thus we enter, on Friday morning, right into the heart of the gender debate.
Relativism reigns in this arena and feelings are the arbiter of truth. We are told of the “gripping” story of Kathryn or “Tyler”, a toddler who says that she is a boy. Author, Dr. Barbara J. King, details discussions with Anne Fausto-Sterling, professor of biology and gender-studies at Brown University. Gender becomes internalized, or as Fausto-Sterling describes it, “gender identity is a pattern in time. In any one individual, it is shaped by the preceding dynamics and becomes the basis of future identity transformations.”
If reading the article or the above short quote has gotten a rise out of you, thanks be to God! Holy Scripture is clear on the “issue” of gender: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen. 1:27, ESV).” God did not create man to be amorphous in gender nor did he create man to decide later that his feelings had more credibility and lasting value than God’s design. Of course, the Fall has ramifications on God’s design for man. The creation which God called very good, fell into unbelief and disobedience. The union of one flesh in marriage became corrupt. Sin entered into the world and what was once good is now relative.
St. Paul tells us in Romans that man in sin has been given up to God’s wrath: “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie… (Rom. 1:24,25).” The verses that follow speak to the issue at hand brilliantly,
“For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, … (Rom. 1:26,27).
At first glance this refers chiefly to the constantly embroiling discussion over homosexuality; but sadly this applies to two-year olds as well. Man was created in God’s image. In sin man is corrupt and thus does many things which are contrary to God’s will and conflict directly with his own image our nature: divorce, murder, adultery, homosexuality, covetousness, thievery, etc.
In unbelief man is given over to idolatry, since he has replaced the one true God with his own. For the likes of those involved in ‘gender studies’ their god has become nothing more than an a-moral love. The final sentence of Dr. King’s article sums it up for us: “One fixed thing about these children, of course, is that they need what we all need: to be loved for who they are, moment by moment.” What they need is love, yes; but the love that these children need and foremost the parents, is the love which comes from God alone, the God who created them first and foremost in his own image.
What these poor children and adults need is the Law and the Gospel. God has made mankind male and female; gender is not up for discussion. Sin has corrupted God’s good creation and caused all of us to think that we know better. God has always known about the depravity of sin, sin which would cause men and women to forsake created orders and tell others to join them in their debauchery. So God had love, love which sent his Son from heaven in the flesh through the blessed virgin to live and suffer and die for all sin, including sins of gender. The love of Christ is the love we are to share with everyone who is confused about gender, about feelings, about life and those questions we are unable to answer on our own. God has made us and continues to provide for us. His grace is sufficient in Christ and by faith we receive it and live in the forgiveness of sins to life everlasting.
Associate Editor’s Note: With this post we introduce another author to write for BJS, Mr. Robert Paul. He will be writing on a number of things, including some insights into Luther on Jonah. We are very grateful for all of our new authors and have been happy with all the new content that they are producing for our readers. Hopefully the readers enjoy this as well (which with our readership almost doubling we are happy to see). Here is a little more about Seminarian Robert Paul:
Robert Paul is currently studying for his Masters of Sacred Theology (STM) at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN, and will serve as the Systematics Department Graduate Assistant for the next year. He recently graduated from CTS with a Master of Divinity and completed his undergraduate work at Concordia College-New York in 2008. A native of Sayville, NY, Robert and his wife Amy live in Fort Wayne anxiously anticipating the birth of their first child in June.