Our culture is rapidly changing the rules on gender. It is being redefined according to preference rather than biology. Traditionally, there were two genders that were assigned at birth. Now there are multiple definitions for gender and it is something you are allowed to decide for yourself.
These changing standards are affecting us as a society. On April 16, retail store Target announced that customers may use the restroom that corresponds with the gender of their choice. Shortly after, the federal government issued guidance to schools about accommodating transgender students.
Our culture is rapidly changing the rules on sexuality as well. Sex has been reduced from an expression of intimacy within marriage to an urge that may be fulfilled however you wish. It is even expected for someone to be sexually active, even if they aren’t married.
These shifting standards are also having an effect. On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that states can no longer ban same-sex marriage. MTV airs programs for teenagers like 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom 2, and It’s Your (Sex) Life. And the dating site Ashley Madison (which promotes having an affair) has nearly 50 million members.
To say our culture is confused about gender and sexuality would be an understatement! Our thoughts need to be based on what the Bible says. God created us, including our gender and sexuality. His Word alone guides us into the truth regarding these matters.
What the Bible Says about Gender
What the Bible says about gender is simple: “So God created man in his own image…male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). God made us according to two genders – male and female. Our gender is assigned at birth and cannot be changed.
What the Bible Says about Sexuality
What the Bible says about sexuality is also simple. Sex is a blessing to be enjoyed between husband and wife (Genesis 2:25; Proverbs 5:18-19; 1 Corinthians 7:3-4). Any sexual pleasure outside of heterosexual marriage is sinful and wrong.
A helpful Scripture is 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. It says, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Notice the balance in this passage. Paul says that all who give themselves over to sexual sin will not inherit the kingdom of God. This includes “homosexual offenders,” but it also includes “the sexually immoral,” “adulterers,” and “prostitutes.” We must be careful not to condemn others while overlooking sexual sin in our own lives.
Notice also the redemption in this passage. Paul says some of his readers were in sexual sin before Jesus saved them! Jesus does not show favoritism. He forgives all who receive Him in faith, including those who are confused about their gender or embrace an alternative lifestyle.
What makes it difficult for us to uphold what the Bible says about gender and sexuality? Leave your thoughts with a comment below!
(Next week I will publish a follow-up post entitled, “How Should We Respond to Gender & Sexuality Issues?” Be sure to follow my blog if you want to receive it!)