“Male and Female He Created Them” — Brief Thoughts on the Gender Debate

May 25th, 2012 Post by

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.

 


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  1. Nick
    May 25th, 2012 at 13:59 | #1

    I too am a avid npr listener but I listen cautiously. I have to say though I find your argument very closed minded. Many babies are born neither exactly male or exactly female. There are girls with testes where would expect ovaries and men who grow breasts. These are examples of God’s creation too. I know this world is fallen and imperfect but the loving God I know wouldn’t create people outside of the two genders to be doomed. These “defects” also aren’t limited to the body either as we know that male and female minds are different. Instructing others with these conditions is akin to an able bodied person telling a crippled person which cane or wheelchair they can use. What we should focus on is OUR OWN sinfulness and how we are no different than these people in the eyes of god.

  2. Katy
    May 25th, 2012 at 14:05 | #2

    Thanks for this. I, too, have been hearing all over the place about transgender 2 year olds and homosexual 6 year olds. It is frightening to me that some children may receive hormonal therapy–or even surgery–because their parents and psychologists think they are transgender. While I haven’t researched it too deeply, I hope some ethical regulation will form around the issue, simply at a secular level.

  3. Robert Paul
    May 25th, 2012 at 14:12 | #3

    If I wasn’t specific enough in talking about God’s creation and preservation of mankind, I’ll specify here. Obviously God is the creator, but that does not mean that he is the author of sin (cf. AC II, FC I). Sin causes all sorts of deficiencies in creation. In fact, St. Paul writes of creation groaning on account of the sufferings in this world (Rom. 8:22). Those babies who are born in some sort of a biological limbo too are effected by sin, both physically and spiritually. To say that “the loving God I know wouldn’t create people outside of the two genders to be doomed,” is to assume that God somehow is the author of what can only be considered results of sin in nature, mankind and otherwise. That doesn’t mean that we abandon those who are born with handicaps, regarding the reproductive organs or otherwise. Where there are appropriate medical treatments we aid them, in all things we pray for them. We are all sinners yes, but that does not mean that we try and pin the origin of “gender related sins” on God.

  4. Nick
    May 25th, 2012 at 14:21 | #4

    I agree Robert. This is what I felt the author was doing. Calling a discussion about transgendered 2 year olds debauchery most certainly says god is to blame if he indeed has created trandgendered people (which we know he has). I agree that we should respect gender roles but also should respect those that lay outside of them, as they too are Gods creation. I think the author is saying that it is debauchery to have a child that is intersexed whether it be physically or psychologically. Which we know is not biblical.

  5. Katy
    May 25th, 2012 at 14:28 | #5

    (Robert is the author)

    “Where there are appropriate medical treatments we aid them, in all things we pray for them. We are all sinners yes, but that does not mean that we try and pin the origin of ‘gender related sins’ on God.”

    And I also agree.

  6. Robert Paul
    May 25th, 2012 at 14:29 | #6

    I think it is taking words too far to say that “God creates transgendered people.” God creates all people, but to say that he creates them to be transgendered is to apply an attribute to God that he doesn’t have. We know that God has created people who become murderers, but we wouldn’t say “God creates murderers.” The same argument can be applied to anything a man becomes, outside of those vocations that God has sanctioned. The distinction still needs to be clear between sin and creation. Even though God creates he is not the author of sin.

  7. Nick
    May 25th, 2012 at 14:42 | #7

    Sorry Robert I am on my phone and didn’t put 2 and 2 together. I appreciate the insight of your last post I have to say I hadn’t thought about it like that.

  8. #4 Kitty
    May 25th, 2012 at 14:54 | #8

    Holy Scripture is clear on the “issue” of gender

    But the issue is anything but clear. God creates transgendered (whether physically or psychologically) babies all of the time. Throwing Romans one at them or at their situation is about as barbaric as prescribing Deuteronomy 22:28-29 to rape victims.

    And you’re seriously comparing people like Kathryn
    to murderers?

  9. May 25th, 2012 at 15:11 | #9

    @#4 Kitty #8

    I don’t think God is the efficient cause of a baby being born with genitals that aren’t clearly identifiable, no more than God is the efficient cause of a baby born with other health issues. Most certainly God is the formal cause of these babies, but we also live in a sin fallen world where the effects of sin are shown with babies who are born with all sorts of defects. The Scriptures are clear that God created male and female. There isn’t a “transgender” that He creates in the Garden. We don’t find Adam going “Oh, gosh! I think I should have been a female and not a male!” ;)

  10. Jason
    May 25th, 2012 at 15:16 | #10

    @#4 Kitty #8

    No, God did not create them transgendered. God created three perfect people: Adam, Eve and Jesus. Jesus is obviously special and unique, in that He is also not created. So we have Adam and Eve. But they fell into sin, and now arenot perfect. THEN they had children, ALL of them born sinful and BROKEN. All subsequent DNA is compromised and degraded. Like the analogy of a photocopier: a copy of a copy of a copy… Things can get pretty degraded. Decay, entropy and the like are the result of sin in the world. Children born with extra fingers or missiing limbs are not what is intended by God. Deformaties are the result of our sinful condition, which we have brought on ourselves.

    And while God did NOT create us in this wretched condition, He still loves us to sen dJesus. And Jesus through His death and resurrection make us whole before God’s eyes. And after the Judgment, we as children of God will enter into a perfect paradise, and our resurrested bodies will be complete and whole. And what that looks like we cannot exactly know because we are stuck here. We have a good idea through the Revealed Word, bu twe may be surprised on a few guesses we couldn’t figure out.

    So while we are here, we shall love the person and befriend them as someone who should be created in God’s image. If that didn’t work out (thanks, Satan), we shall help them with their crosses. But we do not encourage them to abandon to a deluded sinful SELF image (which is not the image of God) that rejects God’s perfect intended order. I’m not saying it will be easy. It probably will be quite hard. But it is worth the effort. It is a cheap, cowardly and eivl way to cop out and say “God made me this way…” Love them all the more. Tell them about Christ.

  11. May 25th, 2012 at 19:59 | #11

    I did not read the whole post here, nor all of the comments. But when I see NPR, my red flag goes up. National Public Radio…my minds eye sees National Propaganda Radio (as in state run radio)…so I think what we are fed from such media sources should be discerned, no distilled through our Lutheran filter. We are blasted on so many fronts in this ‘pop culture’; told how we should do ‘life’ in context of this culture. I would go so far as to say that we (and I’m a boomer) have been programmed from an early age to think certain ways. May we always be conscious of what is truly meet, right and salutary according to scripture and act accordingly.

  12. Nick
    May 25th, 2012 at 21:43 | #12

    Actually Joe, most of npr’s funding does not come from the govt but from donors. Npr also has some of the best journalistic standards in the industry. I would say they are guilty of some media bias but much less than most other American media. Publicly funded media sources in other countries have also been excellent sources of journalism despite being funded by the tax payer (the cbc and bbc for examples). I’m not sure what your current media source is but I think you may want to examine it more closely before you bash npr for being publicly funded. I would actually like to see npr fully funded by donations personally to keep it even more objective.

  13. May 25th, 2012 at 22:15 | #13

    @Nick #12
    Nick…just because it is publicly funded does not mean that it is not programmed. My humble opinion here…but I think the donors are duped into an ‘excellent/balanced’ source of media when in fact it is a biased and in fact performance art based presentation of a desired interpretation of reality to coerce a certain bias; hence diaprax. We should be in the world and not of it…our kingdom is not of this world…

  14. May 26th, 2012 at 01:09 | #14

    Good post, Rob Paul. I like you’re name. It reminds me of Ron Paul. Welcome aboard! Defects of sin do not excuse defiance of God’s law. If it does, there is no need for mercy.

  15. Weslie Odom
    May 26th, 2012 at 01:16 | #15

    I always thought Rob was from New Jersey. Oh well, they’re pretty much the same.

  16. Daniel Broaddus
    May 26th, 2012 at 02:36 | #16

    Great post! As to the nature business, I would like to add: “Also they teach that since the fall of Adam all men begotten in the natural way are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without trust in God, and with concupiscence; and that this disease, or vice of origin, is truly sin, even now condemning and bringing eternal death upon those not born again through Baptism and the Holy Ghost.” (Augsburg Confession, II) and “Of the Cause of Sin they teach that, although God does create and preserve nature, yet the cause of sin is the will of the wicked, that is, of the devil and ungodly men; which will, unaided of God, turns itself from God, as Christ says John 8:44: When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own.” (Augsburg Confession, XIX). The language of these excerpts indicate that man’s nature is not corrupt (since the fixed nature of God’s image is not changed) but rather, man willfully acts against his nature (God’s image) and this is sin. The fact that people are born with birth defects indicate that the devil is proactively trying to mar God’s image. This is important to remember because I think many forget about the fact that the devil “walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” doing everything he can do to make us think that we are more than we actually are, or making us think and act like we are less than we are (created in God’s image). Birth defects are used by the devil to distract us from the real defects, those of the heart. I think that it is a tragedy to see so many forget about the devil’s role in all of this.

  17. Carl Vehse
    May 26th, 2012 at 08:13 | #17

    NPR spews out leftist antiChristian propaganda. Just look at the examples indicated by Media Research Center and NewsBusters.

    Prolonged listening to NPR is like using crack cocaine, PCP, or sniffing glue or other inhalants; it will rot your brain.

  18. Rev Don Kirchner
    May 26th, 2012 at 09:08 | #18

    This is one of the most interesting threads on any board that I’ve read in quite a while. (At least the first 10 posts. :-) And thanks to 16 for bringing things back.) Thank you, Scholar Paul. An important discussion. You are and will be a great blessing to the Church.

  19. Rev. John F. Wurst
    May 26th, 2012 at 11:43 | #19

    Good post Robert!

  20. Joanne
    May 26th, 2012 at 20:35 | #20

    This man here, born blind, whose sin caused it? His parents or his own? Jesus said neither, this man was born blind to show forth the glory of God. And Jesus healed him by giving him sight.

    This infant born with its backbone outside of its body, whose sin caused it? His parents or his own. It was born dead, does that show the glory of God?

    That 6 year old little girl over there, the one that looks tough like a boy, was born a boy but at circumcism his/her penis was cut off in a tragic accident. At that time, doctors thought the brain was malleable as to gender, so a decision was made to raise the child as a girl (with subsequent hormons and surgery). But the human brain isn’t malleable as to gender and he always knew he was a boy no matter what everyone said or how he was treated. At his age of maturity, he will begin the way back. Lord, whose sin caused this? His parents or his?

    None of these are hypotheticals but things I saw while a child welfare worker. I can go on. My roommate’s fiance took us on a tour of his medical school. We met some of his former professors, interesting, and then he took us into the cadaver room and began to crank up some cadavers. He gave us a briefing on which were the best cadavers to learn on (thin men).

    Then we went into a kind of archive of deformities. It consisted of metal racks filling a midsized room, holding hundreds of 5 gallon clear glass jars of deformed babies/fetusus. Each was meant to be a teaching tool for a particular type of deformity/disease that could go wrong with a pregnancy and the resultant “thing” baby. It was at this point that I was horrified. I thought my roommate and I would lose it in the cadaver room but the plastic body bags proved hard to see through. These glass jars were crystal clear.

    As I looked round and round that room, my brain screamed at me, God cannot love us if he can treat us like just so much discarded meat. Later I thought, maybe the Greeks and Romans were right to expose our procreative mistakes? Get them eaten by nature and forget about it.

    In the fall, everything fell, every feeling, every idea, every ounce of flesh. Our ability to procreate fell, so monsters are born. Our affections fell, we fall out of love, we suddenly can’t stand the sight of someone we had loved. To think that the fall did not affect our fetusus, is something probably every medical school can easily clear up for you.

    Since the fall it’s all been Murphy’s law: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

    In this partiuclar thread we’re probably talking about our sense of self “going wrong.” Just like an amputee still feeling an arm that isn’t there anymore, a girl could feel a penis that isn’t there. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

    Will Jesus come, show us God’s glory, and heal us? If not before our earthly death, certainly in heaven. Yes He will, on his on time frame. I saw a roomful of bodies in bottles. I didn’t see any souls, but I know they exist, and I know Jesus has shown God’s glory to those who were his.

  21. austen wilson
    May 26th, 2012 at 22:15 | #21

    @Carl Vehse #17
    I fail to see how the classical and jazz music on any local NPR station is leftist and antiChristian. I will admit that listening to classical and jazz is addictive; however, they are far less harmful than any of the substances you mentioned.

  22. GaiusKurios
    May 27th, 2012 at 09:00 | #22

    I never listen to NPR, (i.e. tax payer supported propaganda for the Democrat party), as I find their riviting reports on such important news stories on the mating habits of ground squririels in Outer Slavobia to be a waste of time. What is telling about NPR is what they don’t report. NPR is a shill for the Democrat party and what upsets me is that my tax dollars are used to support such “news”.

  23. May 28th, 2012 at 00:06 | #23

    Good article and good insights. As a spouse caregiver of an intersex patient, I have a different perspective. Intersex condition is natural and is not in the patient’s control like many other genetic conditions. However, saying the truth is in their control. As per Acts 4:36-5:11 – it is clear that “Thou Shalt Say the Truth”. By subscribing to a “binary gender” definition of the society, it does not foster an environment of truth. In several places around the world, third gender is widely accepted and they have laws to protect them. It provides an environment to encourage truth, respect, tolerance. What does one do when the intersex patient hides and is secretive?

    The secrecy and stigma of intersex condition has multiple victims which makes it worse than the condition itself. For spouses of intersex patients who have to provide care while the patients undergoes sex reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy and all related psychosocial issues, the caregiver has to do so in silence and secrecy. As per Acts 2:42-2:46 and Acts 4:32-4:37, caring for others in the family is a covenant of God. The caregiver is silenced because of the “sensitivity” of the issue. What is the protection for these family caregivers – a minority within a minority.

    Truth above all is the right long-term solution. And if allowing a “third gender” option helps foster saying the truth then maybe that is the path to take.

  24. Lisa McDonald
    May 28th, 2012 at 01:08 | #24

    Mr. Paul,
    I am a person that was born Transsexual and I just hate the word Transgender. I think it helps blinds you to the truth and reinforces your false notions that some how we are the same thing as your biblical homosexuals I’m happy to inform you we’re not. I can also happily tell you god does not make mistakes but man does incase you forgot why you have your job.
    There are many, many research studies involving the brains of Transsexuals and at least one study that shows we have a faulty SRY gene in our chromosomes. There are also lots of studies showing that man made products like pesticides are having an effect on the brain structures of male babies and feminizing them. There is also DES a synthetic estrogen that was given to pregnant mothers for decades up until 1970 and was fed to American cattle up until 1979. Of a male group that was formed called Des son’s for men who were exposed to DES 25% reported being Transsexual.
    Now I’ve met many a Christian that is more than happy to say well I simply don’t believe that science it’s junk or garbage. But then turn right around and use that exact science for themselves when the have a medical issue. Sounds kinda hypocritical to me you know the science works for you but somehow when it comes to me an MRI is suddenly junk science or a dna test is suddenly junk science.
    This is where mans sin comes into it your happy to declare I’m going to burn in hell because of mans sin. Yep you got it man is making those chemicals that are helping to make transsexuals like myself and guess what your passing their sin onto me for being nothing more than an innocent victim. Ignorance is bliss but I can assure you as surely as you think there is a spot in hell for me I think they’ll be one waiting for you.

  25. May 28th, 2012 at 06:59 | #25

    @austen wilson #21

    No red herrings, please! Classical and jazz is one thing–the political slant of NPR news is quite another. If you don’t think NPR is biased, check out ther reporting of Pres. Obama’s recent “evolved” position on homosexual marriage. Completely one-sided. They also have a definite skew against Christianity.

    However, my main beef with NPR is their broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. The commentary is at best adolescent. Give me the days of Milton Cross and Texaco. Sorry about the rabbit trail, but I just couldn’t help myself.

    In all of this, classical, jazz, news, opera, whatever, the one characteristic that describes NPR is this:
    Smug.

  26. Albert Hughes
    May 28th, 2012 at 09:00 | #26

    I would really like to see clear cut evidence of a male baby born with a male co-creative attribute, i.e., a penis and has ovaries, clearly defined and operable as female ovaries with all that this implies physiologically and or females with clearly defined penis and testicles, a oxymoron in physical creation.

    The perversity of sin in the Transgender, both gender, sex change multi-morallity other ethics psychological industry is beyond words.

    Even the Romans in their darkest time would not have thought of trying to change sexes from one gender to another. If someone can find an instance of it please let us know.

    We are truly in the last times of the world and the church when we try to psychologically and physiologically try to change sexes even from the womb.

    We should beware that Freud perpetrated one of the biggest lies upon western civilization and the world in Psycho-Analysis. Psychiatry-Psychology are not sciences in the strict use of the word ‘science’. They are but Philosophies that look at life from a certain perspective but are not empirical sciences that purport fact as readily verifiable time and again with no variation in demonstrable observance, as when we see the sun rise in the east and set in the west with no deviation of this empirical observable ‘fact’.

    Psychiatry-Psychology can not give us this certainty but only probabilty(ies). It is not to be relied upon for any certainty than any other philosophy thought up by man to explain the hidden world of the human soul, spirit, psyche. “The heart of man is deceitfully wicked, who can understand it”. ” The thoughts of man are a deep abyss, who can discern them”.

    Lutherans rely on the revealed Word of God in all matters of this world and beyond not to do so is to throw yourself overboard into the the world that has satan as its ruler and tyrant.

  27. M.A.A.
    May 28th, 2012 at 10:12 | #27

    @Albert Hughes #26
    While a true hermaphrodite (an individual with functional organs for both male and female) has never been identified, intersexism in which the physical sexual characteristics of a child do not exactly match the DNA does happen. In most cases the physical structure of the child’s genitals is mal-formed or unable to be visual determined. In more extreme cases, however, it is possible for a DNA male to be born with female external sexual characteristics. This happens when the child’s body does not produce or else does not respond to the hormone androgen. The default external structure of the human body is female. It takes androgen to close the vaginal opening, form the penis, migrate the gonads outside the body and to form to gonads into testes. Without the ability to respond to androgen, the child’s body does none of that and the parents will raise the child as a girl believing the child to be a girl. That the child’s DNA is male will often not be discovered until puberty when the secondary sexual characteristics fail to form or even marriage when the individual discovers herself to be infertile and seeks an answer as to why. In some cases the child’s body will correctly produce androgen at puberty and the little girl will become a boy as the testes move into position and the penis develops. So, yeah, it is very possible for there to be birth defects which influence and confuse the issue of gender.

    What affects such hormonal anomalies can have on the brain when the body is fully formed male or female in both primary and secondary characteristics but the person feels like the other gender is still very uncertain. We do know that both biology and socialization play significant roles but exactly how they work together we do not know.

    As to the Romans, according to Cassius, the emperor Elagabalus (218-222) did, in fact, desire to be a woman and offered large sums of money to any physician who could give him a vagina.

    The fact is that we do live in a world in which God (not the devil, by the way) has subjected creation to decay and that includes the unformed body in the womb in the form of birth defects.

    Does this excuse such things as homosexuality or sexual re-assignment when the physical development of the body is clear and matches the DNA? No. But it is a call to examine ourselves and realize that we are as defective as anyone else.

    Jonathan Mills in his book, “Love, Covenant and Meaning,” for example, does an excellent job of demonstrating that the polyamory of heterosexuality as it is experienced by nearly every “straight” individual is every bit as perverted and sinful as homosexuality. If we are going to examine how to apply Law and Gospel to those who bear more evident forms of gender defects then we need to also demonstrate not merely in words but in attitude that we accept that every single straight person is also a pervert who can find hope for redemption physically, morally and eternally only by the grace of God.

    As we proclaim the Law that we are all defective perverts, it is also a call to proclaim the Gospel generously, not as something which excuses behavior, but as true grace and mercy

  28. May 28th, 2012 at 10:54 | #28

    @M.A.A. #27

    WOW!!! This is one of the most thoughtful contributions I have ever read on BJS, no matter what the topic. You have succinctly put this particular issue in brilliant perspective, clearly defined it both in light of Law and of Gospel, and have demonstrated for all of us a breathtaking Christian worldview.

    This post ought to be required reading, or at the very least, the lead for another thread.

    Thanks again–you’ve made my day!

    Win

  29. May 28th, 2012 at 12:15 | #29

    @M.A.A. #27

    Great points and learning a lot!

    To your point that the hormonal changes in intersex both in body and brain is uncertain (I paraphrase for brevity), I could not agree more. As a spouse caregiver of intersex person, I have experienced this first hand. A very rare opportunity. Typically, intersex patients go through the surgery and initial hormonal treatment at or around puberty and the caregivers are parents. Very rarely, it is a young, male, spouse. Most likely the spouse would leave. As you said in the end, use Gospel to show true grace and mercy.

    The issue is that intersex people exist in the world but the law does not recognize them in most places. There is a lot of institutional secrecy and stigma. That poses problems for spousal caregivers because we are working in good faith on the periphery of the laws. If our patients are not recognized by laws, how can we have equal protection from the law? Is the message that caregivers like us should not help? It goes counter to the Gospel to help thy neighbor.

    With my unique and rare experience and a rarer perspective since I survived (people may have committed suicide), truth is the only way forward. That means we need to encourage an environment that fosters truth, tolerance, and respect.

    Look forward to your thoughts.

    caissg

    PS: In case you are wondering, I am a heterosexual male who was frauded into an intersex marriage. I stayed as a young, male, spouse caregiver out of true grace and mercy as the Gospel says. Secrecy and stigma make it worse than the condition itself.

  30. Albert Hughes
    May 28th, 2012 at 12:50 | #30

    @M.A.A. #27
    Johnathan Mills may have his opinion as to marriage and it’s meaning in the ‘christian’ church but it does not correspond to the actuality of the faith as defined by the Holy Spirit and what He does in the heart as He creates faith and sustains the Grace of God in Christ in the sacraments.

    To presume to say a marriage such as Mary, the Mother of God, had with Joseph and before Joseph took her as his wife, being found with child of the Holy Spirit as such would never have taken place if Mary had harbored such thoughts and actions as Mill’s intimates.

    The Holy Spirit does not and cannot dwell in a heart so perverted as this author and apparently you presume to say.

    I think a projection of a sort of transference of Mill’s own pervertedness to what he calls a Christian has taken place and such a darkness needs more than can be spoken of here.

  31. M.A.A.
    May 28th, 2012 at 14:26 | #31

    @Albert Hughes #30
    um what?

    I’m sorry but your sentences aren’t making sense and I can’t tell what the heck you are talking about.

    Mill’s argument is simply that the normal male attraction to many different women (which I labeled the “polyamory of heterosexuality” because I assumed most people on this board would know what that meant) before and after marriage is not what God intended and is, therefore a perversion of the sexual drive as much as homosexuality or any other abnormal desire. His argument is that God intended a man to be sexually attracted to only one woman, his wife, and for a woman to be sexually attracted to only one man, her husband and that any other lustful attraction whether to male or female, before or after marriage is, therefore, equally sinful.

    I would respond further to what you said except I haven’t got the slightest idea what your point was. Unless you are arguing that Mary was sinless, which is not a Christian doctrine anyway and really reflects more of the Pagan philosophies which influenced the formation of the R.C.C. than anything from Scripture. And even if Mary had been sinless, Joseph certainly was not and undoubtedly entertained the occasional lustful thought for other women, thoughts for which I am sure he repented and was forgiven.

    My point was that as we proclaim Law and Gospel we should truly begin from the starting point that we are all equally sinful and perverted, the same starting point Paul used in Romans 5 (keeping in mind especially Paul who mourned being filled with all kinds of lusts [Rom 5]). I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out what your point is.

  32. Paul of Alexandria
    May 30th, 2012 at 09:43 | #32

    @Joanne #20
    One of the problems with being human is that we can barely comprehend our own degradation and the problems with this world. We think that if we just leave things alone all will be rosy and peaceful, but there is far more like that room of sadness and horror all around us than we can ever bring our minds to encompass.

    This is why Scripture keeps hammering the fallen state of man to us, so that we never become complacent and start believing that this is the best of all possible worlds. It’s not, it’s the worst. Innocents die, the most guilty thrive, the most horrible things happen regularly. Just the other day, there was a report from Florida of a cannibal who attacked a man and started to eat him alive.

    We ask how God could allow such things. He does not, of course. The miracle is that he puts up with it at all, instead of simply destroying the planet and starting over.

  33. Paul of Alexandria
    May 30th, 2012 at 09:48 | #33

    @M.A.A. #27
    Yes. Let’s just be very sure that in the process we do not become confused with our compassion, as so many do, and start allowing sin in addition to forgiving it. We are called to love sinners, and yes homosexuality is simply another sexual sin; but that doesn’t mean that we do not call it a sin and call them to repent. Too many churches these days seem to assume that loving a sinner, especially for certain politically-correct sins, means refusing to face them with the facts of their sin and calling for repentance (and, moreover, insisting on it before communing with them).

  34. Jim Strawn
    May 31st, 2012 at 11:49 | #34

    Like others, I have run into circumstances where individuals have, sadly, been born with extra parts, missing parts, some of the wrong parts, etc. It would not surprize me in the least to find that something like ingestion of birth control drugs or even soy (estrogen) may have had some affect on in utero development as touches on birth defects, homosexual, sinful heterosexual, and other tendencies.

    But this would not change the nature of what God prohibits any more than a genetic tendency toward kleptomania would invalidate the Seventh Commandment. The confessional word for sin (properly speaking) is often translated “inclination” or “desire.” This circumstance of being “inclined” to sin is present to some degree in every person though it differs in strength etc. from one sin to the next and one person to the next on particular sins.

  35. Dayton King
    June 1st, 2012 at 10:16 | #35

    @Katy #2

    While I am not a Christian and do support (at least in theory) the idea of a transgender person, I cannot imagine that even a sizable minority of the LGBT community would support hormone therapy or any other such radical intervention in children regardless of their confusion or unhappiness with their birth sex. The issues of sexuality and gender identification are complex and confusing to educated, thoughtful adults. One cannot begin to expect children to fully appreciate or understand the myriad implications involved. So don’t worry too much about irreversible therapies for gender-confused children. I don’t see that happening even if we had a totally gay Congress, bisexual judiciary, and a transgendered president, which is pretty unlikely in itself, lol.

  36. Katy
    June 1st, 2012 at 12:50 | #36

    “The issues of sexuality and gender identification are complex and confusing to educated, thoughtful adults. One cannot begin to expect children to fully appreciate or understand the myriad implications involved. So don’t worry too much about irreversible therapies for gender-confused children.”

    I hope you are right. America seems to peculiarly view medical procedures as beyond government intervention, until a problem arises–see all the recent press about sperm donors with dozens of children, or Octomom, or the rise in cosmetic surgery (including genital cosmetic surgery). We also kind of (Christian parents, too) fall into viewing our children as our creations, our little people to mold in our image, a type of product to satisfy our desires. I would be completely sympathetic if a gay or lesbian couple pursued transgender treatment for a son or daughter who began to express interest in such a lifestyle (although I would think them wrong, I would sympathize). The LGBT community is a culture and community of like-minded people seeking support from each other. Why wouldn’t a child exposed to this strong community not want to be part of it? Why wouldn’t his parents be pleased by this, especially if they remember their own childhood tortured by confusion? And why wouldn’t an opportunistic doctor, hiding behind progressive virtue, throw his hands up and say “The ethics are beyond my pay grade. I provide a service, and how people decide to use it is on them. Please make the check out to…” Perhaps I am very cynical, but children are not treated well in this society, so why would we all become suddenly careful when as a whole we decide children are self-aware of gender identity at 2 or homosexuality at 6? If this is a gay or transgender person’s PRIMARY identity, why wait 18 years to fix it?

    As far as supporting “the idea of a transgender person,” I agree with the writer and many of the thoughtful comments. Each individual case and situation is different, and the treatment required or desired should be humbly discussed with one’s pastor and doctor. But God created Male and Female, whatever physical or psychological anomalies surface in this broken world.

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