When a baby is born, the first thing usually said is, “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!”
The sex of a child is based on biology-anatomy and chromosomes. But, for some individuals, their sense of gender does not always match their sex.
That mismatch was brought to our attention in 2015 when Olympic superstar Bruce Jenner announced that he no longer wanted to be Bruce. Several months later he was introduced on the front cover of Vanity Fair as Caitlyn Jenner.
That same year, same sex marriage was legalized in all fifty states on June 26, 2015, by an act of the United States Supreme Court.
Who would have thought that momentous decision was possible but just a few short years earlier?
But the speed at which our culture’s view on gender and sexuality has changed with lightning speed.
I remember reading that the Facebook in the U.S. used to list over 50 gender alternatives, if the word ‘alternatives’ are the right terminology whereas in the United Kingdom. a person has over 70 gender alternatives!
However, I believe that now one is able to custom list one’s gender preference throughout social media. So, I do not know how many options there are today?
When I was praying and considering what topic my devotional time to today, I felt directed to this one on Sexual Orientation and what God has to say about it.
I believe this extraordinarily complex topic was important for us to examine in light of the current socio-cultural conditions.
Not only is there real divisive pressure in the contemporary culture to accept modern conceptions of sex and gender, but children are also being taught that at school too. “Drag Queens” are reading books to children in Public Libraries.
Where young children are involved, parents become, rightly so, very protective.
While I could write a multitude of sessions on this topic, I am going to cover it in only one session.
Therefore, this devotional will be necessarily cursory.
However, I believe, at least I pray I believe, it will be sufficient (by the grace of God) to give a biblical answer to the issue of sexual (and gender) orientation.
I have become aware of the book; The Gospel & Sexual Orientation by Michael Lefebvre (2012) and I am going to my Kindle to read it to better educate myself.
I have also become aware of the book; Gender as Calling: The Gospel & Gender Identity (2017) and I am going to my Kindle to read it to better educate myself.
I encourage my readers to read them to better educate and inform themselves.
I should also mention that I have no University Degrees, expertise in medicine, biological sciences, or any branch of social work or psychology or counseling.
My perspective on this is this – 40 years ago, the circumstances of my life required me to “fight this battle of intimacy and orientation” with my soul.
I fought it very privately for the first twenty years with no thought of God other than extreme anger and even stronger feelings of the absolute worst betrayal.
Then, circumstances changed drastically, and I accepted Christ as my Savior.
I spent the next eight years privately trying to sort things out with God and then in 2008 I met the woman who in 2010 became my wife of twelve + years now.
There are reasons and rationales galore why I remained a bachelor for 48 years.
God alone knows them all.
God alone collected and recorded in His Book, every single one of my tears.
Psalm 56: 8 Amplified.
You have taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not recorded in Your book?
It’s only but by the Grace of God, My Savior
– I fought the wars, I ‘bled,’ carried the scars, cried the tears and then
ULTIMATELY GOD WON!
I leave the details, for obvious reasons, strictly between my God and Me and those I have learned by time and tragedy and betrayal to implicitly trust.
I also will point out that I have no Seminary training nor Ordination license.
My training is “limited” to what I try to read and grasp in God’s Scriptures.
And so, I believe my approach to this topic is more theological and pastoral.
My concern in this devotional is what the Bible teaches about this topic, and also how we as Christians and as the Body of Christ – the church should help, counsel, those wrestling with issues related to sexual and gender orientation.
As the Body of Christ, God’s Church in the world, it is a very righteous effort to rigorously and vigorously examine the Word of God as it relates to such issues.
“One God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – One Faith – One Baptism.” Amen!
God is absolutely Sovereign over His own Creation.
God is the Author of all life – Psalm 139:13-18 Amplified.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace
Genesis 1:26-28Amplified Bible
26 Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power]; and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
Let me briefly define a few terms so that we are thinking about the same thing:
* Sex-refers to the biological classification of a person as male or female based on physical features.
* Gender-refers to the social and psychological classification of a person as male or female based on personal perception.
There are a few instances in which a person’s physical anatomy is different from his or her chromosome make-up. That is very rare, and very difficult emotionally, very difficult pastorally, and beyond the scope of this writing.
Historically, a person’s physical sex and social gender were regarded as unified.
So, a physical male was also a social male, and physical female was also social female.
Today, however, this historical view has been challenged.
A person’s sex and gender are no longer regarded as necessarily matching.
Today, a physical male may be gendered as a female, or vice versa.
That is where the term transgender comes in: a transgender is a person whose sex and gender do not match.
What is God’s answer for the issue of sexual orientation?
Let’s use the following outline:
1. Current Concerns about the Issue of Sexual Orientation
2. Culture’s Answers to the Issue of Sexual Orientation
3. God’s Answer to the Issue of Sexual Orientation
I. Current Concerns about the Issue of Sexual Orientation
First, let’s look at current concerns about the issue of sexual orientation. Why do we even need to examine this issue?
Sexual orientation and gender identity are at the forefront of today’s culture. A tremendous amount has been written about it. Laws have been changed. The media accepts that sex and gender do not need to match for people. And as I said, even social media, like Facebook, allows people to self-identify.
People who wrestle with sexual orientation and gender identity issues often struggle very deeply, and very privately although admittedly not all do.
A Transgender Remembrance Day poster stated,
“34% of trans people attempt suicide. 64% are bullied. 73% of trans people are harassed in public. 21% of trans people avoid going out in public due to fear.”
If these numbers are accurate, even if they are not close, that is sad testimony.
Our culture has been pressing very hard, especially in recent years, to accept whatever sexual orientation or gender identity a person chooses.
However, as we consider issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, we must be sure that any answers are in complete agreement with God’s Word.
We must not capitulate to “political correctness,” social media posts, medicine, science, or psychology unless its propositions are consistent with God’s Word.
Second, notice culture’s answers to the issue of sexual orientation.
One current view promoted is sexual orientation is determined by our biological make-up. They say sexual orientation is akin to eye color or left-handedness.
And with regard to gender, transgender activist and entertainer, Chaz Bono, said,
“There’s a gender in your brain and a gender in your body. For 99% of people, those things are in alignment. For transgender people, they’re mismatched. That’s all it is. It’s not complicated, it’s not a neurosis. It’s a mix-up. It’s a birth defect, like a cleft palate.”
The Question is being asked, researched and only relatively briefly studied:
Is Homosexuality in our Genetic make- up? I have no Idea whatsoever.
Is there a “Homosexual Gene?” Again, I have no Idea whatsoever.
It is far beyond my expertise ergo I can give no answers, nor I can offer one.
I suppose it is possible that future science will more thoroughly demonstrate that the biological factors associated with such conditions are truly causative.
I suppose that even the opposite may eventually be scientifically demonstrated.
Eventually it may even be discovered that there is indeed a “gay gene,” so that even homosexuality can be said to be congenital.
Again, this is beyond my expertise, and I leave it to the scientific community to do all of the necessary research and studies and the certainly inevitable debates.
The answers to these questions are extremely important; however, I believe they do not in and of themselves call for any reform of the church’s historic doctrine of man, of human sexuality, the undeniable impact of original sin.
Another current view promoted is that sexual orientation is determined by psychological and environmental factors.
Alfred Kinsey eventually stated,
“I have come to the conclusion that homosexuality is largely a matter of conditioning.”
Perhaps this is why sex authorities Masters and Johnson emphasized,
“It is of vital importance that all professionals in the mental health field keep in mind that the homosexual man or woman is basically a man or woman by genetic determination and homosexually oriented by learned preference.”
There are people who have “same-sex attraction” (SSA).
And there are also people who have what is known as “gender dysphoria,”
which is defined as an experience of clinically significant distress due to a “marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, of at least six months duration.”
Our culture’s answers to the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity are inadequate. The vast majority of people dealing with these issues still struggle.
So, then, the question: what is God’s answer to the Body of Christ – HIS Church?
Matthew 28:18-20 Amplified Bible
18 Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 10:16Amplified Bible
A Hard Road before Them
16 “Listen carefully: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves; so be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves [have no self-serving agenda].
So, what is God’s answer?
III. God’s Answer to the Issue of Sexual Orientation
Third, let’s examine God’s answer to the issue of sexual orientation.
Biblically, a person’s social gender is identified with his or her anatomical sex.
People are created by God with a male or female anatomical sex, and that sexual identity marks the person’s gender identity.
(There are, however, a very small number of people born with ambiguous anatomy, but that is echelons beyond the scope of this devotional message.)
The Bible’s foundational statement on sexual orientation and gender identity is Genesis 1:26-28:
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'”
Note this passage of text introduces God’s design for humanity as “male” and “female.”
These two categories are not merely descriptive of all humans; they are prescriptive.
These are not the two outer ranges, with a gradation between them.
No, there are only two categories: male and female.
This passage of text also conflates sex and gender.
The biological classification is exactly the same as the social classification.
The reproductive and social duties of the man is presented within the same gender, as it is for the woman.
“Nowhere in Scripture are men or women exhorted to question their gender identity based on tastes or mannerisms-let alone their sexual orientation.”
Modern proponents for the sexual revolution say the Bible does not condemn homosexuality when it is properly understood.
They say that homosexual promiscuity in the Bible related to cultic prostitution or to rape or to pederasty.
They argue that the Bible approves of homosexual relationships, if they are true committed, life-long, monogamous relationships.
The theological problem is Scripture simply does not teach what they assert.
There are a number of passages in Scripture dealing with the complex issue of homosexuality.
Genesis 19:1-29 (the account of Sodom and Gomorrah),
Judges 19:1-30 (the Levite’s concubine),
Leviticus 18:22; 20:13 (the Mosaic prohibitions),
Romans 1:26-27 (Paul on unnatural desire),
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (Paul’s list of defilements),
1 Timothy 1:8-11 (Paul’s application of the Ten Commandments),
Jude 5-7 (Sodom and Gomorrah remembered).
We don’t have time to examine each of these texts, but I do definitely invite readers to do their own process of discernment and independent studies.
God’s answer, however, must also, by necessity, be given pastorally.
First, the Bible clearly teaches that there are only two sexes: male and female.
There are two genders, and these genders correspond to our biological sex.
Second, if you are experiencing sexual orientation or gender identity issues, please find qualified professional help, talk with someone whom you trust.
Third, grace is available to all.
All of us deal with sin and suffering in our lives.
Paul struggled with an unnamed affliction that God never removed from him (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). But God did promise that his grace was sufficient for him.
Fourth, the gospel provides the only hope for us to fulfill the Great Commission.
Luke 18:9-14 Amplified Bible
The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous [posing outwardly as upright and in right standing with God], and who viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple [enclosure] to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood [ostentatiously] and began praying to himself [in a self-righteous way, saying]: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men—swindlers, unjust (dishonest), adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing at a distance, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but was striking his chest [in humility and repentance], saying, ‘God, be merciful and gracious to me, the [especially wicked] sinner [that I am]!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his home justified [forgiven of the guilt of sin and placed in right standing with God] rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself [forsaking self-righteous pride] will be exalted.”
God promises the total redemption of our whole man in Christ Jesus, our Savior.
In this life, we must continually make humble use of the means of grace, gifted to us by God, to Scripturally deal with our sin, grow, mature in Christlikeness.
John 8:1-11 Amplified Bible
The Adulterous Woman
8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning He came back into the temple [court], and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began teaching them. 3 Now the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in the center of the court, 4 and they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women [to death]. So, what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?” 6 They said this to test Him, hoping that they would have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and began writing on the ground with His finger. 7 However, when they persisted in questioning Him, He straightened up and said, “He who is without [any] sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Then He stooped down again and started writing on the ground. 9 They listened [to His reply], and they began to go out one by one, starting with the oldest ones, until He was left alone, with the woman [standing there before Him] in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She answered, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]
2 Corinthians 5:17-21Amplified Bible
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 18 But all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ [making us acceptable to Him] and gave us the ministry of reconciliation [so that by our example we might bring others to Him], 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God].
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us; we [as Christ’s representatives] plead with you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. 21 He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].
Finally, let us be a fellowship of God’s people who love all people, regardless of the issue with which they are struggling.
It grieves my heart greatly when I hear people make off-color comments about those struggling with sexual orientation gender identity issues.
May we celebrate and love others as God first celebrated and loved Us. Amen.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Heavenly Father, thank you that nothing is impossible for you. Hear my prayer for a miracle. Fill me with faith that you can answer. What seems impossible to me is within your power. When I can’t think of a solution, you are still able to act. Please help me believe that nothing I face in life can compare to you. You are the God of the impossible. Neither death or life, angels or rulers, things present or future, height or depth, or anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from your love. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Alleluia! Amen.