Sex, Gender, & Fire Alarms

Aug 2, 2019 | Article | 8 comments

First, a story

In 1965, a male baby suffered from a horrifically botched circumcision, which was when John Money (from Johns Hopkins Medical School) came in to save the day. He told the child’s parents that through sex reassignment surgery, psychotherapy, and hormonal treatments, they could make their little boy in to a little girl. This case was touted as proof that gender is a social construct and is a byproduct of nurture, not nature. It wasn’t until some time later that it came out that the boy who had been forced to live as a girl was depressed. Once he was told the truth in his teen years about what happened to him as a small child, he immediately began living in accordance with his nature as a male. He went on to get married. Sadly, the damage had already been done. He battled his entire life with depression, and committed suicide in his 30s.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, these kinds of gender experiments have continued to harm countless others, and our culture demands that we believe in the myth that one’s biological sex and their “gender identity” are two separate things. Malleable. Up for discussion. After all, we think, and therefore we are. We are told that cultural gender norms get in the way of our most authentic selves. Our inner feelings, if they conflict with biological reality, must trump reality. 

I have always assumed that those with a Biblical worldview would see right through this way of thinking for the lie that it is. I have assumed wrong. 

Moving along, some definitions

Up until the 1980’s (as little as thirty-ish years ago, for the mathematically challenged), sex and gender meant the same thing. That is to say, they were terms that could be used interchangeably. I am a biological female. My gender is that of a female. Same thought, different words. But reader beware, because I just transgressed the doctrine of our age.

We have adopted an extreme view of biology as of late, and by extreme I mean extremely low. Postmodern philosophy and the transgender movement have a radically different view of gender and sex that almost all of humanity for all of recorded time has believed. Trans activist Chase Strangio said in Slate in 2016, “It is a choice to refer to some bodies as male and some bodies as female, not a fact. Our genital characteristics are one component of who we are and do not define, medically or biologically, our sex.” 

This completely reductionist view of our physical bodies as meaningless makes sense in a postmodern worldview. The postmodern mind does not see meaning or purpose in creation. The only meaning or purpose one can have is from within. Therefore, we cannot look to our physical bodies to tell us anything about ourselves because we are comprised of fractured bits and pieces. Your “sex” is merely a small component of who you are, and cannot inform you about you any more than another small component can.

This mind-body split is the crux of the transgender argument. Referring to one’s physical nature as his or her “sex” and one’s internal feelings as his or her “gender” is necessary for understanding transgender ideology on its own terms. 

Move along, there’s nothing to see here

I was extremely troubled to read this dualistic approach explained without refutation in an article on Desiring God’s website. The author, Rachel Gilson, also writes for The Gospel Coalition and Christianity today. In December of 2018, she argued for the validity of same-sex marriage at a Cru Conference on “The Gospel and LGBT+ topics”. At Desiring God, she argued for the sex/gender split by saying that: 

“The ways we live out our given sex in the world is commonly known as gender. Gender can be manifested in how we dress, the hobbies we have, the roles we play. We fall all along the spectrum of how closely we align to various (and changing) cultural gender expectations and expressions. This is normal.” 

Although the Gilson goes on to say that in Christ, one can and should bring his or her “gender” into alignment with his or her “sex”, hopefully you can see how that entire line of thinking rests upon the idea that gender is a feeling or a way living, while sex is merely a biological component, and thus this idea should be rejected. It is the same changing of definitions that transgenderism relies upon in the first place. It is trans ideology that argues for a “spectrum” of gender identities as opposed to a set of binary gender identities. It is trans ideology that says our internal feelings or desires inform us of our gender. This might be “normal” now, but it is not representative of a Biblical view of gender. 

Gilson goes on to say a few more concerning things that require a discerning eye. Her concerning things are wedged between very true, good, and helpful things. Despite saying that gender exists on a spectrum, she goes on to later affirm that there is a gender binary. She also affirms that God has authority over his creation, and we are made with a purpose. So…there’s that.

“Someday, our struggles against sin will be done. We will rest in the complete victory that Jesus won for us in the new heaven and new earth. We will rest in glorified, beautiful bodies. All of us who feel the frailty of aging, who weep with painful chronic injury, who can’t shake feeling we’re not supposed to be the sex we were born with — we will find rest if we trust in Jesus.” 

This flattening of categories is what we see happening with Revoice, and with the gay celibate movement (of which Gilson is a part). While it is true that in eternity we will not have to experience the frailty of aging, it is untrue that one cannot be free from sexual perversion in Christ before eternity—and make no mistake, transgenderism is sexual perversion, a category of sin we are told to flee from, not make our beds in. We are never told we must flee “the frailty of aging” or “painful chronic injury.” Becoming old is not a sin. Having chronic pain is not a sin. Believing the lie that your gender is different than your sex is exactly that—believing a lie. I am not attempting to remove the very real pain that comes along with gender dysphoria. I am not dismissing our need to truly love those who embrace this lie and to reach out to them with the healing of Christ. Yes, please. Let us do those things. But let us not become liars along with them. 

God indeed made you, and has full authority over you. He has said who you are. You are a man or a woman. You are an image-bearer. If there is a war between your self-construction and your God-construction, God will always win, and submission is not optional. There is no “spectrum”—God made us as a binary, and we will experience life in the binary, skirts or pants quibbling be damned. 

A warning 

I want to take a moment to make a case against the tea sippers in the burning building—the immobile no-thank-you-everything-is-fine types even though the SCHINK of the grenade pin being removed is cutting through the air and the rest of us plebians are fleeing. You have been conditioned to believe this posture betrays an air of reason and courage that the fleeing are too impetuous or unvirtuous to grasp. Clever girl, you’d never be so silly as to pull the fire alarm BEFORE your skin has melted off. Who needs skin, anyway? Don’t you know some people hate their skin? You are now more able to reach the skinless community because you are also now spineless—I mean—skinless. 

A war is being waged over these issues. Just read the comment section an hour from now. Listen to this episode of The Briefing. Read Nancy Pearcey’s Love They Body. Expressing a historic, biblical view of sexual ethics is a way to get everyone all sorts of fired up. Because empathy, or something. But this isn’t something we can afford to get wrong, because a time is nearly upon us when you will use gender-neutral pronouns or the empathic, loving, tolerant folks will report you to the gestapo. Don’t you miss the days when you thought being banned from Facebook was bad?

And if you’re the kind of person that can read this and remain unsure what the big deal is, take your headphones off. The fire alarm is ringing. 

 

 

First, a story

In 1965, a male baby suffered from a horrifically botched circumcision, which was when John Money (from Johns Hopkins Medical School) came in to save the day. He told the child’s parents that through sex reassignment surgery, psychotherapy, and hormonal treatments, they could make their little boy in to a little girl. This case was touted as proof that gender is a social construct and is a byproduct of nurture, not nature. It wasn’t until some time later that it came out that the boy who had been forced to live as a girl was depressed. Once he was told the truth in his teen years about what happened to him as a small child, he immediately began living in accordance with his nature as a male. He went on to get married. Sadly, the damage had already been done. He battled his entire life with depression, and committed suicide in his 30’s.

Despite all evidence to the contrary, these kinds of gender experiments have continued to harm countless others, and our culture demands that we believe in the myth that one’s biological sex and their “gender identity” are two separate things. Malleable. Up for discussion. After all, we think, and therefore we are. We are told that cultural gender norms get in the way of our most authentic selves. Our inner feelings, if they conflict with biological reality, must trump reality. 

I have always assumed that those with a Biblical worldview would see right through this way of thinking for the lie that it is. I have assumed wrong. 

Moving along, some definitions

Up until the 1980’s (as little as thirty-ish years ago, for the mathematically challenged), sex and gender meant the same thing. That is to say, they were terms that could be used interchangeably. I am a biological female. My gender is that of a female. Same thought, different words. But reader beware, because I just transgressed the doctrine of our age.

We have adopted an extreme view of biology as of late, and by extreme I mean extremely low. Postmodern philosophy and the transgender movement have a radically different view of gender and sex that almost all of humanity for all of recorded time has believed. Trans activist Chase Strangio said in Slate in 2016, “It is a choice to refer to some bodies as male and some bodies as female, not a fact. Our genital characteristics are one component of who we are and do not define, medically or biologically, our sex.” 

This completely reductionist view of our physical bodies as meaningless makes sense in a postmodern worldview. The postmodern mind does not see meaning or purpose in creation. The only meaning or purpose one can have is from within. Therefore, we cannot look to our physical bodies to tell us anything about ourselves because we are comprised of fractured bits and pieces. Your “sex” is merely a small component of who you are, and cannot inform you about you any more than another small component can.

This mind-body split is the crux of the transgender argument. Referring to one’s physical nature as their “sex” and one’s internal feelings as their “gender” is necessary for understanding transgender ideology on its own terms. 

Move along, there’s nothing to see here

I was extremely troubled to read this dualistic approach explained without refutation in an article on Desiring God’s website. The author, Rachel Gilson, also writes for The Gospel Coalition and Christianity today. In December of 2018, she argued for the validity of same-sex marriage at a Cru Conference on “The Gospel and LGBT+ topics”. At Desiring God, she argued for the sex/gender split by saying that: 

“The ways we live out our given sex in the world is commonly known as gender. Gender can be manifested in how we dress, the hobbies we have, the roles we play. We fall all along the spectrum of how closely we align to various (and changing) cultural gender expectations and expressions. This is normal.” 

Although the Gilson goes on to say that in Christ, one can and should bring their “gender” into alignment with their “sex”, hopefully you can see how that entire line of thinking rests upon the idea that gender is a feeling or a way living, while sex is merely a biological component, and thus this idea should be rejected. It is the same changing of definitions that transgenderism relies upon in the first place. It is trans ideology that argues for a “spectrum” of gender identities as opposed to a set of binary gender identities. It is trans ideology that says our internal feelings or desires inform us of our gender. This might be “normal” now, but it is not representative of a Biblical view of gender. 

Gilson goes on to say a few more concerning things that require a discerning eye. Her concerning things are wedged between very true, good, and helpful things. Despite saying that gender exists on a spectrum, she goes on to later affirm that there is a gender binary. She also affirms that God has authority over his creation, and we are made with a purpose. So…there’s that.

“Someday, our struggles against sin will be done. We will rest in the complete victory that Jesus won for us in the new heaven and new earth. We will rest in glorified, beautiful bodies. All of us who feel the frailty of aging, who weep with painful chronic injury, who can’t shake feeling we’re not supposed to be the sex we were born with — we will find rest if we trust in Jesus.” 

This flattening of categories is what we see happening with Revoice, and with the gay celibate movement (of which Gilson is a part of). While it is true that in eternity we will not have to experience the fragility of aging, it is untrue that one cannot be free from sexual perversion in Christ before eternity—and make no mistake, transgenderism is sexual perversion, a category of sin we are told to flee from, not make our beds in. We are never told we must flee “the fragility of aging” or “painful chronic injury.” Becoming old is not a sin. Having chronic pain is not a sin. Believing the lie that your gender is different than your sex is exactly that—believing a lie. I am not attempting to remove the very real pain that comes along with gender dysphoria. I am not dismissing our need to truly love those who embrace this lie and to reach out to them with the healing of Christ. Yes, please. Let us do those things. But let us not become liars along with them. 

God indeed made you, and has full authority over you. He has said who you are. You are a man or a woman. You are an image-bearer. If there is a war between your self-construction and your God-construction, God will always win, and submission is not optional. There is no “spectrum”—God made us as a binary, and we will experience life in the binary, skirts or pants quibbling be damned. 

A warning 

I want to take a moment to make a case against the tea sippers in the burning building—the immobile no-thank-you-everything-is-fine types even though the SCHINK of the grenade pin being removed is cutting through the air and the rest of us plebians are fleeing. You have been conditioned to believe this posture betrays an air of reason and courage that the fleeing are too impetuous or unvirtuous to grasp. Clever girl, you’d never be so silly as to pull the fire alarm BEFORE your skin has melted off. Who needs skin, anyway? Don’t you know some people hate their skin? You are now more able to reach the skinless community because you are also now spineless—I mean—skinless. 

A war is being waged over these issues. Just read the comment section an hour from now. Listen to this episode of The Briefing. Read Nancy Pearcey’s Love They Body. Expressing a historic, biblical view of sexual ethics is a way to get everyone all sorts of fired up. Because empathy, or something. But this isn’t something we can afford to get wrong, because a time is nearly upon us when you will use gender-neutral pronouns or the empathic, loving, tolerant folks will report you to the gestapo. Don’t you miss the days when you thought being banned from Facebook was bad?

And if you’re the kind of person that can read this and remain unsure what the big deal is, take your headphones off. The fire alarm is ringing. 

 

 

SUMMER JAEGER
Summer Jaeger is the wife to one excellent man and a homeschooling mother of four. When she is not blogging or podcasting, she is perfecting the art of the slow-cooked meal and wishing she was taking long-ish walks on the beach.
@SummrWrites Facebook sheologiansblog@gmail.com

8 Comments

  1. Daniel Ng

    So true. The mind-body split is a product of Greek culture. The Hebrew thinking is different; our mind and our body both make up of who we are. That’s why we will be resurrected into a new body, and not spending eternity as bodiless spirits.

    Reply
  2. Kerry

    Yes. All of this.

    Reply
  3. Bree

    Thank you for being bold. Thank you for speaking biblically. I am so thankful the Spirit has put that on your heart. I’m fighting and praying alongside both you and Joy. I appreciate the resources, more then you can know. This isn’t an easy conversation to have, but it’s a needed one. Those who are sitting by idly aren’t loving their neighbor, but standing by while they’re being damned and I don’t say that lightly. I pray we can become a people who fight for what is biblically correct.
    Thanks again for being your bold goofy selves.
    Much love!

    Reply
  4. Professor Jefferson

    I love this. Well said, Summer. Thank you for being courageous and sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

    Reply
  5. Dawn Staton

    Thank you for your insightful writing. The Transgender, Gay Christian epidemic is rampant.
    There is no turning back now, may God’s Word fill our hearts and mouths as we face these lies with His truth.

    Reply
  6. Maryann

    Well said. What I really appreciate is , as you are standing firm on the truth of God’s word, you do it articulately and with respect. How refreshing 🙂

    Reply
  7. Ladybogs

    Yes. Yes. And yes. 👏👏

    Reply
  8. Lauren

    Well said, thank you for discussing this topic and addressing the TGC article!

    Reply

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