Different By Design


Different By Design: Exploring Transgenderism From a Biblical Perspective

Pastor Don Carpenter

Bible Reading Challenge 2021 / Genesis 1:27; Romans 1:24–28; Matthew 19:4–5; Psalm 139:13–14

A Biblical Overview of the Transgender question

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture Introduction: Transgenderism and Christian Ethics

On April 24, 2015, Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner revealed he self-identifies as transgender. In an interview with Diane Sawyer on the television program 20/20, Jenner claimed God gave him “the soul of a female” and boldly asserted, “I am a woman.” On June 1, 2015, Jenner announced via Twitter that he is now “Caitlyn” Jenner and said, “I’m so happy after such a long struggle to be living my true self. Welcome to the world, Caitlyn. Can’t wait for you to get to know her/me.”2 On the very same day as Jenner’s Twitter announcement, Vanity Fair released its July 2015 edition with Bruce Jenner provocatively dressed as “Caitlyn” on the cover. Just a few weeks later, on July 15, 2015, Jenner received the Arthur Ashe Award at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. Wearing a white Versace gown, Jenner said in his acceptance speech, “I trained hard, I competed hard, and for that people respected me. But this transition has been harder on me than anything I could imagine, and that’s the case for so many others, besides me. For that reason alone, trans people deserve something vital, they deserve your respect.” Jenner went on to advocate on behalf of transgendered children who are bullied and consider suicide. Jenner had facial feminization surgery, breast augmentation surgery, and had been taking female hormones for some time, and in 2017 underwent genital gender reassignment surgery.

Jenner’s announcement is all the more stunning since he is remembered as the masculine, athletic man who won the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, setting a world record by amassing 8,616 points in the competition. His photo was famously emblazoned on Wheaties cereal boxes as he represented the “breakfast of champions.” Jenner was the portrait for American virility and good looks, but his life began to take very strange turns. Divorced twice, in 1991 he married Kris Kardashian, the former wife of Robert Kardashian, one of O. J. Simpson’s defense attorneys. Jenner and Kardashian became famous as their family was showcased on the reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which debuted on October 14, 2007. The show seemed to have no other purpose than to promote the self-absorbed and narcissistic personalities of the Kardashians, with accompanying sexual immorality and lewd behavior. With this background in mind, it is hard not to see Jenner’s announcement as part and parcel of someone who has leveraged nothing more than celebrity status into a revenue stream.

The case of Bruce Jenner/Caitlyn Jenner illustrates several key themes common in current transgender discussions:

  1.   Embracing transgender identity should be celebrated.

  2.   God is actually behind one’s transgender identity.

  3.   People claim to have a female soul trapped in a male body, or a male soul trapped in a female body.

  4.   If you love children, you will agree with the avant-garde stance regarding transgenderism.

  5.   It is a noble and brave thing voluntarily to go through extensive surgery to transform one’s gender appearance.

  6.   Such an experience is liberating.

The following was published by the:

Am J Public Health. 2017 February; 107(2): e1–e8.Published online 2017 February. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2016.303578PMCID: PMC5227946PMID: 28075632

Transgender Population Size in the United States: a Meta-Regression of Population-Based Probability Samples

 We used data from national surveys to estimate the population size of transgender people in the United States. Estimates of the number of transgender adults significantly increased over the past decade, with a current best estimate of 390 per 100?000 adults. That is about 1 in every 250 adults, or almost 1 million Americans. These numbers may be more typical of younger adults than of the entire US population. We expect that future surveys will find higher numbers of transgender people and recommend that standardized questions be used, which will allow a more accurate population size estimate.

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For those of us raised with Biblical norms and values, the concept of transgenderism or gender dysphoria is completely foreign. The truth is that this philosophy is becoming very mainstream in our society and we as believers need to have a loving but Biblical response to both the philosophy and those who genuinely struggle with this very difficult issue.

As we begin tonight we need to understand some terms and presuppositions commonly taught in society today.

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture Sex and Gender

Still, for most people, the words “sex” and “gender” are synonyms, but in modern transgender discussions they mean very different things. “Sex” is used in reference to biological and anatomical traits such as obvious differences between genitalia, bone structure, DNA, hormones, and internal reproductive anatomy. In contrast, gender is used to describe the subjective psychological, social, and cultural aspects of being male or female. To be clear, from a secular perspective, gender is a feeling-based concept and is disconnected from biology. To keep the differences clear, authors

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture Transgender

 Transgender is an overarching term that describes and unites a broad category of people for whom their current gender identity is different from what is commonly expected of their birth sex. In other words, their body is one sex (male or female), while they identify as the opposite gender (masculine or feminine). There are many different subcategories under transgender, including transsexual, transvestite, gender-variant, gender fluid, genderqueer, and cross-dresser. 

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture Gender Dysphoria

 In gender dysphoria, one’s psychological and emotional gender identity does not match one’s biological sex, and this leads to mental health problems. It should be emphasized that one can only be diagnosed with gender dysphoria if he or she expresses significant distress or problems functioning related to the gender conflict. Thus, from a clinical perspective, not all transgender people are necessarily suffering from gender dysphoria. What this means is that if a person experiences the sense of being “a woman trapped in a man’s body” but is not disturbed by this and it does not impair his daily functioning, then he does not qualify for being diagnosed with gender dysphoria. In informal conversation, gender dysphoria is sometimes used in a nontechnical way as a synonym for transgenderism. The term “gender dysphoria” is of somewhat recent origin as a clinical diagnosis, and the story of its development underscores some changes in perspectives within psychiatry and psychology regarding transgenderism.

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So our society is rapidly embracing the concept that one’s gender and one’s sex can be different and that we should help people accept and embrace that difference. This concept is being pushed everywhere from the college campus to the elementary classroom. Time does not permit us to delve into all of the intricacies of this issue, but let us sort out some of this confusion by looking at God’s perfect Word. As we study the creation account, we will discover that God made mankind after His image with two distinct sexes. God also designed marriage as a contract between a man and a woman to enjoy each other physically for both procreation and pleasure. Sex within marriage is blessed. Sex outside of marriage is sin. That is the design.  

God Made Mankind in His Image

Genesis 1:26 KJV

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

God Made Male and Female

Genesis 1:27 KJV

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 5:1–2 KJV

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 

Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

God Designed Them to be able to Procreate

Genesis 1:28 KJV

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God’s Design Starts in the Womb

Psalm 139:13–14 KJV

For thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.

Psalms, Volume 3 Psalm 139

13. For thou hast possessed my reins. The word here rendered possessed means properly to set upright, to erect, and hence the derivative of the verb is applied to a cane or reed, as being erect. Then the word means to found, to create, Gen. 14:19, 22,—as the heavens and the earth; and then, to get, to gain, to purchase, etc. Here the word seems to be used in its original sense, to make, create, etc. The idea is, not as in our translation, that God possessed or owned them, but that he had made them, and that, therefore, he knew all about them. The word reins means literally the kidneys; and then, it comes to denote the inward part, the mind, the soul, the seat of the desires, affections, and passions. Jer. 11:20. See Notes on Ps. 7:9; Job 19:27. The meaning here is, that God had made him; that the innermost recesses of his being had been constituted as they are by God; and that, therefore, he must be able to see all that there is in the very depths of the soul, however it may be hidden from the eye of man.

Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. The word here rendered cover means properly to interweave; to weave; to knit together, and the literal translation would be, “Thou hast woven me in my mother’s womb, meaning that God had put his parts together, as one who weaves cloth, or who makes a basket. So it is rendered by De Wette and by Gesenius (Lex.). The original word has, however, also the idea of protecting, as in a booth or hut, woven or knit together,—to wit, of boughs and branches. The former signification best suits the connexion; and then the sense would be, that as God had made him,—as he had formed his members, and united them in a bodily frame and form before he was born,—he must be able to understand all his thoughts and feelings. As he was not concealed from God before he saw the light, so he could not be anywhere.

– BARNES NOTES

It Was Not Good For Man To Be Alone

All of creation was good.

Genesis 1:4 KJV

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Genesis 1:10 KJV

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:12 KJV

And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:18 KJV

And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:21 KJV

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:25 KJV

And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:31 KJV

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2:18 KJV

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

God Made A Point To Show Adam He Was Missing Something.

Genesis 2:19–20 KJV

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 

And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

God Instituted Marriage Between A Man and a Woman.

Genesis 2:24–25 KJV

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Matthew 19:4–5 KJV

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Hebrews 13:4 KJV

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Unbelief Causes Perversion of God’s Design.

Mankind has to actively suppress truth evident in creation.

Romans 1:18–20 KJV

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

This Suppression Results in Heterosexual Perversion.

Romans 1:24–25 KJV

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

This Suppression Results in Homosexual Perversion.

Romans 1:26–27 KJV

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

Leviticus 18:22 KJV

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

1 Corinthians 6:9 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

This Suppression Leads to Confusion

Leviticus 18:23 KJV

Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.

Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon ???????

†??????? S8397 TWOT248d GK9316 n.[m.] confusion, violation of nature, or the divine order

Gender Dysphoria is a Lust of the Flesh Fed By Unbiblical Thinking.

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture :

No One Knows What Causes Gender Dysphoria

At the same time, for many people the experience of gender dysphoria often emerges early in life, is indeed real, causes anxiety and distress, and is a struggle for which the person did not ask. In other cases, gender dysphoria and the accompanying transgenderism are fueled by impure thoughts and sexual practices related to cross-dressing fetishes. Cases in this second category are usually related to gender dysphoria emerging in adulthood.

Since the causes of gender dysphoria are clouded in mystery, a Christian response should always be expressed with a tone of mercy. While this book has focused on the biological and genetic influences suspected in transgenderism, other factors related to dysfunctional homes and childhood abuse are certainly at play in some cases. According to one source, a distinguishing mark of difference between the mental health of transgender people and the general population is the surprisingly high level of emotional neglect during childhood among transgender children. Furthermore, among all people, the age of sexual debut, the context in which it occurred, and the age and gender of the person with whom it occurred all have strong influences on later gender and sexual identity. Considering all these factors, we do not know the painful journeys that lead people to adopt a transgender identity. To add to their confusion, the world has lied to them about the malleability of gender and convinced them their subjective feeling of dysphoria is more important than God’s design for the body.

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture

Gender Reassignment Surgery Is More Akin to Bodily Mutilation

Gender reassignment surgery does not change someone’s sex. Instead, males and females surgically mutilate their genitals in order to look like those of the opposite sex, usually with the hope of playing the part of the opposite gender in sexual intercourse. In these surgeries, perfectly functioning urinary tracts are drastically rearranged. The surgery makes a male into a eunuch with mutilated genitalia and gives a woman a body with awkward appendages intended to imitate male genitals. In both cases, perfectly functioning organs are removed based on the subjective desires of the patient. Postoperative problems are common, and even though most patients seem initially satisfied with the basic appearance afterward, there is evidence that the mental health outcomes of postsurgical transgender people are not significantly better than those who do not have the surgery.

Affirming God’s Image: Addressing the Transgender Question with Science and Scripture

Transgenderism and the Local Church

As we attempt to develop effective ways in which to relate and minister to transgender people, we should not allow psychological categories to blur clear Christian thinking: We are basically dealing with a temptation to reject God’s design and embrace a gender identity separate from one’s birth sex. Seen in this light, transgenderism has much in common with all other temptations; mainly, what we feed will grow. Gender dysphoria can be daunting, but the more a person surrenders to cross-gender behavior, the more compelling the desire actually to be another gender can become.

Repentance and Faith is the Answer.

1 John 1:9 KJV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 Corinthians 6:9–11 KJV

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

God has made us by His perfect design. We need to teach our children to embrace the way God has made them… that they are perfect as designed and should endeavor to honor Him that way. When we run into that poor soul who has been duped by the world the flesh and the devil that God made some kind of mistake, we must lovingly understand their struggle and embrace them with the Gospel of truth. God has made us male and female and we are different by design.  

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 10:35 AM January 6, 2021.

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