Updated: Jul 5, 2022
Our modern times are bringing change to us faster than we ever thought possible. Nothing stays the same. Everything is changing. Change has become the new normal.
Just a matter of a month or so ago [as of this writing], the U.S. President said he would appoint a black-woman to the United States Supreme Court, and during the hearing of his first nominee, that very “woman” said she was unable to define the term, “woman.”
And in the midst of all, and perhaps driving, this change and confusion is the idea of transgenderism.
The American Psychological Association defines transgenderism as, “...an umbrella term for persons whose gender identity, gender expression or behavior does not conform to that typically associated with the sex to which they were assigned at birth.”
The National Center for Transgender Equality defines the term saying, “Transgender people are people whose gender identity is different from the gender they were thought to be at birth.”
Most all other definitions fall into these categories.
-It is important to pay attention to the language used in defining the term “transgenderism.” First, we note a separation is being made between someone’s “gender Identity” and their biological sex. The implication being, in some people, such a discrepancy exists.
Notice also the language of sin, or of wrong doing. There is a discrepancy between a person’s inner sense of gender and what society has assigned them to be; “the sex to which they were assigned at birth.” Implication being that doctors and nurses forced a cultural gender construct onto the infant.
The major takeaway for today’s consideration is how the idea of transgenderism puts humanity at odds with our own bodies.
The very definition of transgenderism puts the physical body profoundly in the service of the mind and emotions. It almost entirely devalues the physical body; leaving it, in a sense, as nothing more than a material resource to be used however best suits us.
“If your body doesn’t work for you, hate it or adjust it. Whatever works best for you.”
Transgenderism—without concern for objective reality, nor any attempt to rationally explain the body—just dismisses the body as an afterthought. The body has no determinative power over the self.
In an attempt to make the transgender point clear, and to “aid” young students in better understanding themselves, the Trans Student Educational Resources group has published, along with other graphics, the Gender Unicorn.
The purpose of the graphic is to instill within young children/youth the idea that gender, sexual identity, personal gender expression, and the objective body are all different, unrelated parts. One is not determinative over the other.
In her book, Love Thy Body, Nancy Pearcy writes, “The message [of the gender unicorn] is that a human being is composed of disparate parts. Our biological sex is a relatively minor factor, with no connection to the four other factors that feed into our psychological identity.”
Pearcy writes, “Our biological sex is unchanging, empirically knowable fact about ourselves, whereas our feelings can change—and often do [change]. Therefore, it makes sense to let our biological facts inform our gender identity.” In other words, if you are born with boy parts, you’re a boy, no matter how you might feel…
Transgender ideology dismisses such realities outright.
We need to remember that none of this appeared out of nowhere. Transgenderism didn't show up on the scene unannounced. For those who have been watching, transgenderism is just the next logical step. And who can say will be coming down the line next…
If you are interested in the progression and consequence of ideas and how they have shaped the modern understanding of the human self, I commend Carl Truman’s book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. — Be warned, it is a thick, academic read…but well worth it!
Transgenderism has arisen out of Postmodernism, which is a worldview that primarily affirms being skeptical of any claim to truth; it is built on subjectivism and relativism. To say it differently, postmodernism believes there is no objective truth or standard.
Hence, the modern cultural phrases such as, “My truth”, etc.
Postmodernism’s relative view of Truth has been radically applied to the human body, and out of that has come transgenderism: The idea that my gender can be at odds with my body…because, “who are you to say otherwise? There is no objective truth! I make my own truth.”
This understanding is flawed from the start. It's built on inconsistency (to claim that there is no truth is a truth-statement).
But, to this point, it is entirely unconcerned with its inconsistencies and foundational logical errors.
The Bible Greatly Values the Body
First, Christians ought to remember what God says about how He created the world, and specifically, how He created mankind…
Genesis 1:1 tells that there was an objective beginning to the world, and that God existed prior to that beginning, and that God created all things. As the Creator, He is the Owner of all things, and He alone gets to define what His things are.
Genesis 1 tells us that God created all things in the universe; and further, that He created things according to their kinds: Plants according to plants, cows according to cows, salmon according to salmon.
And then in Gen. 1:27-28, we read, “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.”
The words male and female in v. 27 speak not only to an objective difference between man and woman, the Hebrew words utilized actually highlight their sexual distinctiveness. Furthermore, in v. 28, we see that their sexual distinctiveness also possesses sexual complementarity. The man and the woman are different on proposal; they are sexually different in order to reproduce.
There is purpose in God creating mankind as male and female. The inner soul and the physical body are equal parts of our humanity. One is not valued over the other. One is not determinative for the other. They exist as equal parts of our humanity, each supporting the reality of the other.
Think also of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When Jesus was raised from the dead, He was not raised without His body, but with His body.
When greeting His disciples after the resurrection, Jesus has them look and touch His scars (John 20)…His physical body.
In Philippians 3:20, the Apostle Paul writes, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body.”
Two things. First, we note that not only was Jesus raised in His body, but He has taken that body into Heaven forever. Jesus’ body is part of His identity. It is part of Who He is. Second, we too, like Jesus, will be forever embodied.
Therefore, the physical human body, whether male or female, has great value. It is created by God precisely as He intends it to be.
Our physical anatomy is never at odds with our perceived sexual identity. Our physical anatomy tells us our sexual identity. But, transgender ideology denies this. It puts men and women at odds with reality.
Sin Breaks Things
Ever since sin entered the world, it has been breaking things, unraveling truth, and leading mankind astray. The very first consequence of sin experienced by Adam and Eve was related to their bodies. They realized they were naked…
Transgenderism is a profound misunderstanding of the body. It proceeds from sin and wrong worship, and it leads to the desecration of the body and of the soul.
Paul tells us in Romans 1:21-23 what happens when we put something other than God in the place of God. Our sin leads us to become futile in our thinking, and our foolish hearts grow dark. Claiming to be wise, we become fools, and exchange the glory of God for the worldly things.
This is exactly what is happening inside of transgenderism. The hearts and minds of men and women are growing dark, crooked, and foolish. The glory of God seen so clearly in the creation of mankind as male and female is being exchanged for a lie…and that lie is leading us to sin—not only against God, but against our very own bodies.
Transgenderism is taking significant hold among younger generations, with surveys showing a majority of my own generation believing that gender is fluid (Pearcy). It is only growing more and more influential in those generations coming after.
Young men and women, boys and girls, are being taught a lie about their bodies. They are being taught that the human body is subject to the mind and the emotions; that it is something optional, something that can be desecrated through medical alternation if it doesn’t fit our inner sense of self.
This is the type of dark, foolish thinking Paul was referring to in Romans 1.
The Need for the Gospel.
People will only continue to struggle with this issue. It is more and more becoming the dominant issue of our times. The Church must not only get ready to deal with it biblically, but we must be thinking well of how we will apply the gospel, not only to the issue itself, but to the men and women who are involved in it.
Because, inevitably, there will be numerous broken people left in its wake. There already are. And not only will these people be broken in their souls, having followed a false gospel of salvation…they will literally have broken bodies. Some will be at odds mentally with their bodies and will need the love and patience of Jesus through His Word and His people to help them recover a healthy understanding of the body. Others will have undergone irreversible surgical procedures that will mark their bodies permanently on this side of heaven. We’ve got to be thinking and preparing now.
We have got to prepare ourselves for applying the good news of Jesus Christ to those who have learned to be in profound conflict with their own physical bodies. And for a man or woman who finds themselves in conflict with his/her own body, they are almost certainly already in conflict with God. The goal for the Church is not merely saving someone "out of" transgenderism. Rather, the goal of the Church with any sinner is to share the gospel and see Jesus save sinners out of sin and unto Himself.
In the end, transgenderism is a profound rejection not only of the human body, of its Creator. And that is why the most fundamental solution is not bending the body to the human emotion, but in submitting the sinful soul to a faithful Creator Who saves sinners.
This is the issue of our day. Are we ready…?