June 2016



Imagine this scenario with me for a minute. A married couple is about to have their first child and they have decided to keep the gender of the baby a secret because they want to be surprised. At the time of delivery the baby comes out and they ask the doctor if it is a boy or a girl. Then the doctor tells them, “We’ll have to wait a few years for the child to decide which gender he/she chooses to be.” Seems a bit ridiculous doesn’t it? The biology of the baby decides its gender, not anything else. Although, this is not what we hear in our society today. Gender is now a personal decision regardless of the physical biology of the person. These people call themselves ‘transgender.’ 

This issue has come to the forefront of the American dialogue most notably because of Target corporation’s decision to let their shoppers choose any bathroom they more ‘identify’ with. It has become a hot talking point and a big social issue, but in reality, transgender people are only .3% of the population. Now of course some people might be too embarrassed to admit they are transgender, but even so, does that take the percentage up to 1%? And this issue is not as simple as we may think. The reality of gender and gender identification has now become so obfuscated that there are 50 different gender choices on Facebook! How do we as Christians think about this issue Biblically? 

First things first, for a culture who demands scientific evidence and empirical research to prove anything, the issue of transgenderism is very bizarre, simply because there is no science behind it whatsoever. I used to think that a transgender person was someone not born with specified male/female genitalia. However, after investigating the issue, the definition of a transgender person is simply a person who was assigned a gender at birth that they do not feel is accurate. It screams of subjectivity. It defies biology. What other biology or empirical evidence can we reject or affirm in the future, simply because we don’t feel it is accurate. Can I claim to identify as an alien or a canine, regardless of my biology, simply because I feel like it?

Second, the Bible makes it very clear that there are not 50 different gender choices. There are only 2. Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Man is a created being by the Sovereign being. Man doesn’t get to create a third or fiftieth type of gender. Men and women are fashioned in the womb by God and they are designated either a male or a female by the Creator. Is the Bible in error in this teaching? Does God make mistakes when He assigns a person their gender as seen in their biology? Of course not.

What about people who simply want to dress or act like the opposite sex? Men who want to dress like women and women who want to dress like men? Well, God calls it an ‘abomination’ for men to dress like women and women to dress like men (Deut 22:5). In the famous passage about head coverings in I Corinthians 11:2-12, the real issue isn’t about a covering for the head. The real issue is about men who are refusing to look like men, and women who are trying to look like men. It is sinful for a person to try and alter or confuse the gender they were given by God. 

I’m running out of space and much more needs to be said so I am going to finish this article next month. This is Part I. Because I still want to answer the nagging question: why do Christians care? What’s the big deal? And, what is the underlying issue behind transgenderism? Is it really as simple as choosing a gender to identify with? You’ll have to check back next month to find out!

Pastor Mark Scialabba