I write this post to explain briefly why Christians are resisting the totalitarian speech codes of transgender propagandists. It’s not because we hate transgender people. On the contrary, we love them, and love always rejoices in the truth (1 Cor. 13:6). Which is another way of saying that love always rejoices in the good and flourishing of our neighbors, and we do not seek their good and flourishing by lying to them about what God has revealed about male and female. What has God revealed?
The Bible teaches that all people are made in God’s very own image and therefore have inestimable value worth.
Genesis 1:27, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
The Bible also teaches that God designed his image-bearers in two distinct genres—male and female. Genesis 1 reveals that “male” and “female” do not refer to so-called “gender identities” but to the human body’s organization for reproduction. Some bodies are organized for reproduction as fathers (male bodies), and others are organized for reproduction as mothers (female bodies).
Genesis 1 reveals this to be the case in at least two ways:
First, we know that “male” and “female” refer to the body’s organization for reproduction because the Hebrew terms for male (zakar) and female (neqebah) allude to male and female reproductive structures. As one commentator has observed,
An overliteral, etymological translation might render every zakar as “one who possesses a penis” and every neqebah as “a pierced one,” but I doubt that in ancient Israel, when the average person used zakar and neqebah, they thought of the words’ etymological meaning — instead, they meant “a biological male” or “a biological female.” There is no case I can see in the Bible where either term is used in reference to gender rather than sex (source).
Second, we also know this truth because both male and female are required for the procreation mandate in Genesis 1:28:
And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Thus the Bible establishes the binaries of male/female and man/woman upon the human body’s organization for reproduction. A body oriented toward fathering is male/man. A body oriented toward mothering is female/woman. This is the explicit teaching of Scripture.
This is also the structure of reality that nearly everyone everywhere has recognized as self-evident until very recently. And by “recently,” I mean in the last decade or so in certain pockets of the post-Christian West. Transgender ideology is still very parochial in that sense.
Because this basic structure of reality is revealed in both nature and Scripture, faithful Christians are not able to accommodate the speech codes of transgender propagandists. We believe we must speak the truth about what a man and a woman are. To do otherwise is to disobey God, who commands each one of us to lay aside falsehood and to speak the truth to our neighbors – including neighbors who identify as transgender (Eph. 4:25).
If governing authorities, employers, Twitter, or anyone else tell us to submit to speech codes (transgender pronouns, etc.) that deny God’s special, distinct design of male and female, we must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). We can’t deny our consciences and lie simply to fit in.
Galatians 1:10, “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”
Christians don’t want this conflict. We didn’t seek it out. We haven’t changed. We are speaking and believing as we always have. But the sexual revolutionaries are forcing this conflict upon us. We would rather be at peace (Rom. 12:18; 1 Tim. 2:2).
But if authorities choose to join sexual revolutionaries in waging a vicious and totalitarian culture war against us, we must be praying for God to give us the strength to be faithful no matter what punitive measures are thrown at us.
One thing is for certain. The gates of hell will not prevail against us (Matt. 16:18). We are a part of a very long game, and we will prevail through Christ, who always leads us in triumph (2 Cor. 2:14).
WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female.
WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his image-bearers as male and female.
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