June 01, 2016

WHAT? I'M IDENTIFYING AS THE OPPOSITE SEX?


WHAT?  I, A MALE, AM IDENTIFYING AS A FEMALE?

What’s all this commotion about being a man biologically but “feeling” like a female? Or, by sight I’m a woman but I identify as a man? Let me ask this: In life is it wise to determine right and wrong on the basis of "feelings?" Don’t we usually gather facts and then draw conclusions?  

     Nowadays it seems fashionable to let mere emotion or "feelings" determine truth. But isn’t this contrary to all the world of science has been telling us for years?  Hasn't it made a god out of demanding that observable data is a non-negotiable necessity in establishing truth? There was a time when the Bible served as one such objective standard for truth. It was believed that God had spoken. What He said to the prophets and apostles of old was written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible was accepted as the very Word of God. And the curious wanted to know what God had to say about any given subject. The Bible was seriously searched. But, sad to say, man generally has rejected such an approach in deciding life’s questions. If there is no certain scientific evidence he now runs on "feelings" or whatever is pragmatically favorable. Strangely, nowadays this seems alright, especially if I need my purposes established.

      But, consider this: If I am bald do I let feelings dictate whether it is so, or not? No, if I’m bald, I’m bald. I see it in the mirror and the fact is established! May I ignore my totally shining head and demand a haircut, telling the hair stylist that in a dream I had a full head of hair and now I wanted him to trim it? No! Dreams don't count. If I’m bald, I’m bald. I don’t go to barbershops. It really doesn’t matter a hoot if I “feel” I have a head full of hair. Feelings don't count. I have an all too observable chrome dome. Common sense dictates such. Reason prevails.

     It’s fascinating how in this most scientific age, which usually demands observable data, that suddenly feelings are legitimatized as acceptable in determining fact. Science usually scoffs at such an approach. Yet, presently, much of intelligentsia is going the “feelings” route and is in the vanguard of influencing society about the current issue of sexual identity. So many are saying, “If I feel I’m a woman I must be!” Oh, really? How about if I feel I’m a giraffe, does it follow that I may very well be one? No, facts dictate otherwise. I could say: When I drive into a garage and I feel like a car. Does this make me one? No, I look myself over and determine I’m still a human being. I may have just driven the car for a long five hour trip and really am identifying with that automobile, but, I’m not really  the car nor even turning into one. Common sense and pinching my skin tell me so. 

     The Bible tells us God made humans “male” and “female.” Genesis 1:27 succinctly says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” That’s it! A human is one or the other, either a male or a female. All anyone needs to do is look down his or her pants, see what’s there, and conclude quickly I’m either a boy or a girl, a man or a woman. The genitalia accurately bespeak the undeniable facts. A comic strip pictures a new born baby, just out of the oven, and, of course, the mother inquisitively asks, "What is it?" The medical team replies, "We'll have to wait until it grows up and it will tell us." 

     Now, while stating this matter-of-factly, we must nevertheless factor in the ravages of sin. Sin made its entrance into the human race in Adam and Eve’s time. It messed everything up! Yes, our genes were affected! We are all born sinners and all kinds of physical “stuff” is now whacko. And this is true, not only physically but psychologically as well. The mind, soul and emotions are often terribly warped, not only because of transmitted sin but also our repeated and wrong behavior intensifies the problem as well. For instance, the libido of males may well range all the way from a rough, bearded, well ripped macho guy across the spectrum of maleness to a feminine, soft-voiced, girly type walking as if on eggs and speaking with a high-pitched voice. But, both types are males. Each has his or her own struggles coping with what they are. The macho guy has to contain himself from being too aggressive with the opposite sex while the delicate male often must almost force himself to take an interest. We could go much further talking about all the complications and implications of being too much male or too little. The same applies to the feminine gender.

       So much of today's thinking leads to the current issue of gender identification and other matters such as homosexuality. What I’m trying to say is, we are all out of kilter. Sin has done a rough job on us. Babies are born imperfect, both physically and disposition-wise. We see a poorly placed birthmark and may well flinch. We observe early crankiness, stubbornness and a host of other abhorrent behavioral traits.  And then, as the child grows we sadly learn of poor eyesight, hearing impairment and whatever else repugnantly surfaces. Doctors inform us we have this malady or that because our genes have so dictated. We are subject to this ailment or that. And so we inherit and are predisposed to many such aberrations. Science identifies bad genes and informs us about them.   

         Of all people the Christian should not shocked. Knowing His Bible he easily attributes these troubling things to the scientific findings, but, also to this matter of sin impregnating all human flesh. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12). Do not the Bible and experience clearly inform us we are all whacked in different ways and degrees from the get-go.

     What I’m trying to say is this: When a person feels like he or she is the opposite sex, feelings don’t determine this. Biology does. Every one of us is either a male or a female. However, being whacked, our libidos may be troublesome. As a male I may well have too much testosterone and be overly-aggressive. Or, too little of this determining hormone and be rather disinterested sexually with the opposite sex.

     We are all affected by sin in many, many ways. Therefore, we struggle with wayward and evil feelings. We cannot, however, let feelings be our guide. Truth and decency must prevail. Extreme tendencies, whether physically, mentally or emotionally, must be reigned in. The process may well prove seemingly and interminably difficult. Only the grace of God, much prayer and holy determination will do. But, Christians can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. During such a protracted process do I try to adjust the law to fit my whacked and off center feelings? Do I attempt to change the mores of an entire society to better accept me? Do I want everyone to redefine good and evil to better fit my perceived needs? Do I want an entire nation to change its bathroom codes just for me or for a very tiny segment of society? 

     Christians, committed as they are to the authority of Scripture, open God’s Word and let Him instruct us as to what He determined long ago. God says we are either male or female. If I’m affected by sin in such a way that I struggle constantly with my sexuality, I cannot change what biology dictates, what adverse effects sin has on me or what God originally determined. If I feel more prone to my sex than the opposite, I must engage in some painful reordering of my thoughts, attune them to what God says (Romans 1:26,27), and, by the grace draw upon His promises and the strength He gives in order to practice my sexuality according to what He has ordained.

     This can be very, very difficult, but God delights in and is most generous to those who want to live life according to His all-wise directives. He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). After all, it took horrible pain and agony on a cruel cross for His Son Jesus to procure salvation for us sinners. The Apostle Peter challenges us with these words, ​Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4:1-2). So, where I am disadvantaged and happen to struggle terribly with my sexuality, the best response is to start with God, determine His mind on any given subject, and proceed to please Him and make decisions according to His will. And, while additionally taking any advantage I can of the wise and proven medical advancements of our times, I may well learn that my negatively affected male or female libido may to some degree normalize. God wants me to be in tune with His order of human sexuality. For the Christian this procedure applies to many areas of life. But He, our great and understanding God, is a very present help in trouble. “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him” (Psalms 103:13). 
  
    So, I conclude, it isn’t a matter of gender identity, it’s rather gender fact that determines my place in society let alone my place in a bathroom.

-       Dr. Dick Christen