During my lifetime, our society has quickly turned away from God’s view of many issues. When I was young, a gay person would be embarrassed to come out of the closet. In recent times, our society has been convinced that homosexuality is a good thing and should be celebrated. In 2015, same-sex marriages were legalized. Today, television programs, commercials, and the media celebrate homosexuality.
When I was young, pretending you were a girl was a joke. If you could get a long-haired wig, you could make most anyone laugh. A few years ago, I was in the Washington DC area and saw a bearded man waiting at the bus stop … wearing a white wedding dress. I didn’t laugh. Instead, I wondered what the man was doing. Today, society tells us that sex (male and female) are not the same as gender. You can choose to be transgender, nonbinary, genderfluid, genderqueer, agender, or any number of other descriptions. In other words, we are being told that you can be whatever you feel like regardless of your biological sex.
When it comes to conversations like these, it is good to stop and think. You might ask yourself several important questions:
1. What does God say about this?
2. Why are people doing this?
3. How should I respond to unbiblical ideas?
In this message, I will attempt to answer each of these questions.
- What does God say about this?
a. God created only two genders (Gen. 1-2; Matt. 19:4).
Despite the call for multiple genders, the Bible tells us what God created. During the six days of creation, God created man and woman. He created them distinct but similar. He first made Adam and then noted that he needed a helper, so He created Eve, the first woman. By design, there are only male and female. After creating them, God said that this was good just as He had planned.
This is verified in the New Testament by Jesus himself. While dealing with the Pharisees about the subject of divorce, Jesus asked them a question: “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female”? With this question, Jesus made a point. God created only two genders, male and female. This is God’s design.
What about intersex people?
According to a Wikipedia source, about 0.02% of people are born with both male and female parts or characteristics. While these are rare, they do exist in different varieties and severity. They range from extra parts to slight mutations. Where did these medical disorders come from? Although God did create everything good, there are some mutations that have happened probably due to the fall. Or it may be that some other unknown reason. In these cases, the individual is still God’s creation and should live according to the sex most closely aligned with their biological makeup.
b. God created sexual intimacy for a married man and woman (Gen. 2:24-25; Heb. 13:4; see also Eph. 5:22-33).
Although the world has different ideas and often celebrates sexual activity in any form, the Bible clearly does not. After creating Adam and Eve, God made it clear that a monogamous, heterosexual relationship was his plan for sexual intimacy (Gen. 2:24-25). This is repeated in the New Testament in Hebrews 13:4. Marriage is honored by God but sexual activity outside of marriage will be judged by God.
c. God is against sexual activity outside of marriage (Lev. 18:6-30; 1 Cor. 6:9).
While this should be clear from the passages mentioned earlier, the Lord included definite prohibitions about sexual activity in both the Old and New Testaments. In Leviticus 18, he lists incest, adultery, bigamy, homosexuality, bestiality as a perversion of God’s gift of sex. This idea is repeated in the New Testament where fornication, adultery, being effeminate, or sodomy are listed (along with others) as sins that will keep someone from inheriting the kingdom of God.
d. God is against sex change (Gen. 1:27, 31; Jer. 1:5) or cross-dressing (Deut. 22:5; 1 Cor. 6:9).
While sex-change is not mentioned in the Bible, there are definite principles listed that show God’s displeasure with it. “Genesis 1:31 tells us that His creation was excellent in every way. To say that gender does not matter is to disagree with God’s design for creation and His proclamation that it was very good” (“What does the Bible say…”). Also, when God first spoke to Jeremiah, He told him that He had formed Jeremiah in the womb. This reveals that God is in control of who He wanted us to be, whether male or female.
Someone who dresses as the opposite sex shows a dissatisfaction with God’s choice of his or her gender. God is not pleased with this as seen in Old Testament law. Men were not to wear women’s clothing and vice-versa. In the New Testament, God expressed His displeasure with men who acted effeminate (1 Cor. 6:9).
“In the New Testament, the Greek word translated ‘effeminate’ means ‘soft and delicate.’ In First Corinthians 6:9, this word is listed separately from homosexuality, indicating that they are not synonymous. An ‘effeminate’ man in this verse is one who has rejected his masculinity and identifies as a female. He may or may not be sexually active, but he has chosen to live intentionally as a ‘soft and delicate’ person, rather than embrace His God-given identity as a man. He takes on the characteristics of a female and relates to other males much like women do” (“Is it wrong…”).
This leads us to our next question.
- Why are people doing this?
a. Some sinful choices may be a response to abuse.
Did you know that sex trafficking is a reality in the US? Did you know that sexual abuse is a reality in the US? Those who are victims to these crimes are affected both physically and emotionally. The pain caused by these crimes often scar the individual for life. It may be that someone hurt by these actions may react by making choices that they otherwise would not have.
b. Some sinful choices may be a response to peer-pressure.
In some public schools, teachers are pushing gender change. Elementary children have been told that changing their gender and personal pronouns is a positive thing. “Nigel and Sally Rowe … raised concerns with their son’s Isle of Wight primary school after he came home ‘confused’ by the school’s transgender-affirming policies toward his male classmates who identified as girls” (“Christian parents…”).
This has also happened in the US. “NBA legend Dwyane Wade has filed a petition with a California court to legally change the name and gender of his 15-year-old daughter Zaya” (“Name and Gender…”). I mention this because people look up to athletes and often mimic their choices. If Wade’s biological son can transition from being a boy to a girl and be accepted by society, others may be convinced that this is something they could do as well and still be accepted.
c. Some choices may be made due to bullying or depression.
We have all probably met people who were different—especially when we were in school. There was the boy who seemed effeminate instead of manly. And what happened to him? He was ridiculed and called names. This might lead that individual to mask his inclinations. But it often causes him to become bitter or depressed. If he is not careful, he may meet someone who will take advantage of the situation and lead him down the wrong path.
d. Sinful choices are ultimately a response to God’s authority (Rom. 1:18-32).
Ultimately, sexual sins are a result of bucking against what God has decreed as right and good. Whether it be fornication, adultery, homosexuality, or any other sexual sin, the Bible speaks to where these sinful choices come from. In Romans 1:18-32, we are told that when people suppress God’s truth, God’s wrath is revealed against them. Their thinking is darkened, their lusts increase, and aberrant behavior often takes place.
Romans 1:26-27 – “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
The sad truth is that sinful people often ruin their lives by fighting against God’s perfect ways. Instead of seeing the benefit of obeying God, they search for fulfillment in things that will never satisfy and that will eventually lead to their destruction.
- How should we respond to unbiblical ideas?
a. We should know what the Bible says.
It is easy for us to “be conformed to this world” (Rom 12:2). When the world says something is acceptable, some Christians are convinced that it is without knowing what God has declared about the subject. In order to have a transformed mind that thinks like God does about these issues, we need to study what He has revealed in the Bible. If our opinions are not confirmed by Scripture, they are merely opinions. This is important to remember. We are not to base our beliefs on how we grew up or what experiences we have had. Instead, we need to know what God says. He is the ultimate authority on any subject, and He knows what is best because He designed how things work.
During this message, we have looked at what God thinks about this topic. Now what should we do?
b. We should speak the truth.
We Christians tend to be tight-lipped about sin for fear of offending sinners. While we don’t need to be unnecessarily offensive, we must remember that the truth needs to be revealed to people.
John the Baptist spoke the truth about sin (Luke 3:7-20).
John the Baptist called on people to repent of their sins … and named those sins. He addressed the sins of common people, tax collectors, soldiers, and even the king’s adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife. You might remember that John the Baptist was beheaded by the king, but he also made a big difference in many other people’s lives. The preaching of repentance prepared these people to receive Christ.
Jesus spoke the truth about sin (Luke 4:23-29; John 4:17-18, 22).
Jesus, the most loving Person who ever lived, was sometimes offensive to people. Although He loved them, He knew that their sinful hearts needed to be addressed before they could be helped. When addressing people in His home town, He addressed the common problem—unbelief. How was that received? Not very well. But He still spoke the truth they needed to hear. When speaking to the woman at the well, He addressed her immoral lifestyle and her false worship. How was that received? It appears that she became a believer in Jesus after this conversation.
Instead of being afraid to offend people, maybe we should change our perspective. If we remembered that Satan is deceiving the world and dragging as many people as possible with him to the lake of fire, maybe we would be less afraid of offending those who need to be rescued. Keeping the truth to ourselves is not only cowardly but eventually harms those who need to hear the truth.
c. We should be concerned.
There are times when Christians choose to ignore the sins around them. While they recognize them, it is easier to avoid the subject and not say anything. But maybe we should be more concerned than before.
Did you know that children are being invited to drag shows? Did you know that some public schools are keeping a student’s sex change decisions from their parents? Did you know that children are being given puberty blockers that mess up their system for the rest of their lives? Did you know that doubles mastectomies are being offered to underage girls who want to transition? Did you know that sex change surgeries are irreversible? Did you know that puberty blockers can have long term effects on growth, bone density, and infertility? Did you know that transgender people are more likely to commit suicide? (“Suicide…”) And did you realize that those who continue in this lifestyle are under God’s wrath?
These things should concern us.
d. We should lovingly lead sinners to Jesus (Eph. 4:14-15).
While there is a time for bold preaching, this should also come from a loving heart. In Ephesians 4:14-15, Paul addressed this by pointing out a problem as well as the proper solution. The problem is that people can be easily deceived. He gave the illustration of a child who easily believes all he is told. To counter this, the Lord has provided ministry leaders (Eph. 4:11) to equip, edify, and strengthen our discernment. When we become mature believers, we should be “speaking the truth in love.”
It is possible that our stand for the truth may be misunderstood. We may come off as uncaring and judgmental. However, in some ways, that may be unavoidable. God’s ways are often different than what the world wants to hear. For instance, most people like to hear that God loves them, but not why they will perish without Him (John 3:16). But let’s talk about the things that you can control. When you talk to people, can they tell that you are actually concerned about them? Do they see a loving individual who cares? Most people can see something about your demeanor by the way you talk and how you interact with them. Be sure that you remember to love those whom you talk to.
Since the beginning, sinful people have rebelled against God’s righteous standard. This has often led God to severely judge their behavior. By sending the Flood, God destroyed wicked minded people who refused to turn from their sin. By sending fire and brimstone from heaven, God destroyed the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their pride and homosexual behavior.
The Bible is filled with other stories about sexual temptation (Joseph, Samson, David, Amnon, etc.) and the results that followed. And from what Paul told the Corinthian church, it must have been a temptation to them as well. Has anything changed? No, the sins that tempted our ancestors are still prevalent and appealing to us today.
What hope is there?
In Paul’s description of sins that will keep people from inheriting the kingdom of God, there is not room for many to stand. We all fall short of God’s glory and standard of righteousness. But Paul gave hope to sinful humanity by concluding with a hopeful thought.
1 Corinthians 6:11 – “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
Although our sinfulness against God is great, God provided a way by which we can be washed from our sin, set apart for His use, and made right with God. That is possible to those who repent and believe on Jesus. (1) Repent – God calls us to recognize and turn from our sin. Note that the topic today is homosexuality and sex-change but these are not the only sins listed in the Bible. We all need to recognize our own sin and turn from it whether it is this or another type. (2) Believe – God calls us to trust in Jesus who died to pay the awful price for our sins. Those who put their trust in Jesus will be washed clean from their sin, made right with God, and set apart for His service.
Some of you may have experienced this already. You can rejoice that what once described you is no longer true. I am thankful to God that He made that change in my life. What I once was, I no longer am. If you, too, are a sinner who needs to be changed by God, help is available for you today. If God has brought you to a place of repentance (a change of mind about your sin), then you are in a good place. Now, He calls on you to put your trust in what Jesus did for you on the cross. He took your place and paid for your sins to make you right with God. Will you turn to Him today?
“Christian parents win in court after school labeled 6-year-old son potentially ‘transphobic'” as viewed at https://www.foxnews.com/world/christian-parents-win-court-school-labeled-6-year-old-son-transphobic on 9/28/2022.
“Intersex” as viewed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersex#cite_note-witchel-3 on 10/1/2022.
“Is it wrong for men to be effeminate or for women to be masculine?” as viewed at https://printer.gotquestions.net/GeneratePF?articleId=9360 on 10/1/2022.
“‘Name and Gender Legally Changed’: Dwyane Wade Helps 15-Year-Old Daughter Make Huge Life Decision” as viewed at https://www.essentiallysports.com/nba-basketball-news-name-and-gender-legally-changed-dwyane-wade-helps-15-year-old-daughter-make-huge-life-decision/ on 10/1/2022.
“Pubertal blockers for transgender and gender-diverse youth” as viewed at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gender-dysphoria/in-depth/pubertal-blockers/art-20459075 on 10/2/2022.
“Suicide and Suicidal Behavior among Transgender Persons” as viewed at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5178031/ on 10/1/2022.
“What does the Bible say about getting a sex change?” as viewed at https://printer.gotquestions.net/GeneratePF?articleId=553 on 9/28/2022.
Definition of μαλακός, as viewed at https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/malakos-0 on 10/1/2022.