Hard Questions: Gender and Sexuality?
Statement #1: We believe the Bible is reliable and trustworthy.
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.1
Statement #2: The Bible is the filter through which we understand, interpret, view, and interact with the world.
“A Biblical Worldview is an overarching view of the world based on God’s revealed truth, the Bible, which directs our life in this world. A biblical worldview shapes our beliefs about God, Creation, Humanity, Moral Order, and Purpose.” Biblical Worldview Institute
Statement #3: A person’s view of gender and sexuality are directly connected to one’s worldview.
Statement #4: A Biblical worldview will uphold God’s view of gender and sexuality as revealed in the Bible.
A Biblical View of GENDER:
Six in 10 Americans don't think it's wrong for people to identify with a gender different from their birth sex, according to a LifeWay Research survey conducted September 14-28, 2015.
"This reflects a changing worldview, a growing percentage of Americans don't believe in right and wrong. They don't believe there's absolute truth -- and if there's no absolute truth, then they're reluctant to talk about morality." Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.
“Transgenderism is an umbrella term for the state or condition of identifying or expressing a gender identity that does not match a person's physical/genetic sex. Transgender is independent of sexual orientation, and those who self-identify as transgender may consider themselves to be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual. Approximately 700,000 individuals in the U.S.”
“'Gender dysphoria' refers to deep and abiding discomfort over the incongruence between one’s biological sex and one’s psychological and emotional experience of gender. The previous version of the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual included the diagnosis 'gender identity disorder.'”2
“Radical individualism casts off all moral restraints in order to achieve maximum personal happiness. In my book Risky Gospel, I call this mindset Narcissistic Optimistic Deism.1 'I can do whatever I want,' many people think, 'and God exists to make all my dreams come true.' This perspective has influenced how many people view their body. The body is not made by God for His glory. It is a blank slate upon which we may draw any identity, any self-expression, we choose. Use it, abuse it, do whatever you want with it. This is a neo-pagan idea.” Owen Strachan
“Gender is a part of God’s gift to humanity, that it is something He established in accordance with His own glory, that glory reflected in human beings made male and female.”
- God created two genders (Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6; Romans 1:19-28)
Gender identity is not a psychological one, but a biological one.
Is gender set by a preference of the individual, or a providence of God? Or to put it another way: Is my sex determined by my decision in my mind, or by God’s design in my nature?
- God’s creation reveals clear distinction (Genesis 2:23; 1 Peter 3:17; Colossians 3:19)
- God’s creation reveals clear design – purpose (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:18-24)
A Biblical view of Sexuality:
“If you think you can’t fall into sexual sin, then you’re godlier than David, stronger than Samson, and wiser than Solomon.” Bill Perkins
1. What is the purpose of sexuality?
God designed sex for a purpose. (One man with one woman, to be one flesh.)
“There is not one instance in all of God’s Word where God advocates or celebrates sex outside of marriage relationship between a husband and a wife. Not one!” David Platt
We learn that God has given us the gift of sexual intimacy for…
- Displaying covenant love
- Deepening intimacy
God has called you to progressively grow in Christ likeness and you cannot do so if you are in bondage to sexual sin.
2. The culture celebrates, promotes, and pursues sexual immorality. ( 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)
1 Thessalonians 4:1–8 (NASB95)
Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
- Fornication – (before marriage, outside of marriage) – any sexual activity outside of the bonds of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman.
- Adultery – (in marriage) – any sexual activity outside the bonds of a marriage relationship between a man and a woman. Adultery is a breach of the “one flesh” relationship of marriage.
- Immorality – “Porneia” as used in the Scriptures describes any illicit sexual activity outside of the divine bounds established by marriage.
3. The Christian is to be distinctively different than the culture. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)
- sexual purity pleases God (v. 1)
- sexual purity is the will of God (v. 3)
- sexual purity honors God (v. 4)
- sexual purity models Christian love (v.6)
- sexual impurity results in God’s vengeance (vs. 6,8)
The promises of God motivate us to walk in holiness. The power of God enables you to walk in holiness.
But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
4. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? (1 Corinthians 6:9-20 )
1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (NASB95)
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
a. A sexual ethic based on scripture condemns sexual sin, including homosexual behavior (verses 9-10)
Homosexuality is clearly condemned in:
- a biblical understanding of origins – (Genesis 2)
- the Mosaic law – (Leviticus 18:22; Leviticus 20:13)
- the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah – (Genesis 19; Jude 1:7)
- the teachings of Jesus – (Matthew 19:4-5; Mark 7:21; Mark 10:6-9)
- other New Testament books – (1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10; Romans 1:27)
The Bible nowhere affirms, sanctions, endorses, or approves the practice of homosexuality.
"The stakes in the current conflict over sex are more critical, more central, and more essential than in any controversy the church has ever known. This is a momentous statement, but I make it soberly, without exaggeration. Conflict over sex these days is not just challenging tradition, orthodoxy, and respect for authority in areas such as ordination, marriage, and gender roles. And it does not just affect critically important doctrines like the sanctity of human life, the authority and trustworthiness of scripture, the Trinity, and the incarnation of Christ. Rather, war over sex among Christians is now raging over absolutely essential matters of faith without which no one can truly be a Christian in the first place – matters such as sin, salvation, the gospel, and the identity of God Himself.” True Sexual Morality by Daniel Heimbach
B. Christians must speak about homosexuality from a gospel perspective, not from a position of moral superiority. (verse 11)
C. Churches must be a place of grace helping sinners find their identity in Christ. (verse 11)
Ronnie Floyd asked – “Is it possible that there are homosexuals and/or people struggling with same sex attraction who will not set foot in an evangelical church? Why? Because they 'feel that Christians despise them.'”
Russ Moore – “We should oppose same-sex marriage not just because we believe Romans 1, but also because we believe John 3:16. And the culture should see us as brokenhearted revivalists, not just outraged moralists. We shouldn’t see homosexuality simply as a threat to family values in the abstract. We should weep that it is also a Roman road to hell – for real people with faces and names.” (SBC Life 2004)
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield – “Biblical orthodoxy can offer real compassion, because in our struggle against sin, we cannot undermine God's power to change lives.” (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith )
D. Christians must flee immorality and pursue holiness empowered by the gospel of Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit. (verses 12-20)
5. A biblical response to a gender bending and sexually amoral culture (Ephesians 4:15; John 4)
Ephesians 4:15 (NASB95) "but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,"
The most loving thing you can do is to tell someone the truth.
A. Recognize the battle is spiritual.
Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
2 Corinthians 10:4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
B. Refresh your commitment to train and model before our children a biblical view of gender identity and roles.
Ephesians 6:4 (NASB95) — "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
C. Reject the expectations to conform to the culture.
Romans 12:2 (NASB95) — "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
D. Reach out to all people with truth and love.
Ephesians 4:15 (NASB95) — "but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,"