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Well, welcome to Gender, Sexuality, and the Gospel. We don't have a lot of time, so what I'm going to do is, your notes that you have, I don't know exactly ... I think I know what's in your notes. I don't know if everything's in there that I have or not, but that ... actually, I'll grab one over here. Thank you.
The material that you have is about three or four hours worth of stuff and we have an hour. So what that means is I'm going to skip a lot of stuff. I don't know if I'm going to skip the stuff in yours or just in mine. I'm not sure. This is already cut down quite a bit. But there's going to be some stuff where you're going to see this gigantic gap and you're going to go, "Well, he didn't explain this part," and I'm just saying as a disclaimer, you're totally right. There's a lot of stuff I'm not going to explain because there's just not a lot of time and I would also want there to be time for Q&A at the end, especially on a subject like this. And so I'm going to try, okay? I'm really going to try.
First thing I want to do is a ... hello. First thing I want to do is I want to talk about why this is an important topic, okay? Why is it? And so in your notes, you'll see Roman numeral number one, description of the now, okay? But before we get to that, do you have an asterisk at the top? Okay, important thing to do first. Disclaimer before we start. We are not only dealing with issues but also with people. Christian behavior regarding topics like these include love, sympathy, compassion and fairness. Amen?
This is one of those issues where winning the argument is not the goal. That's not the goal. The goal is to love people not to win, okay? Winning is losing in this discussion. And oftentimes, if you're like me, and I'm guessing you are, you love the Bible, you love the Word of God, you believe it's truth. It's very easy to say it in the wrong way or to say the wrong thing. So first, I just want to start with that. We're dealing not with just an issue, it's not theoretical, it's real. So we're dealing with people, okay?
The description of the now. I'm just trying here to tell you why this is even important. Why are we talking about transgenderism? Which is really what this is about. It's not really about homosexuality, it's really about gender, sexuality and the Gospel. So when you combine gender and sexuality, we're talking about the transgender movement today, okay?
So a couple quotes. Chaz Bono, that is Sonny and Cher's daughter, who's now their son, okay? She has transitioned to a male. Here's what he says. If you're wondering, "Why are you calling him a he?" Maybe Q&A, we can talk about that, but I'm going to call him a he, okay? "There's a gender in your brain and a gender in your body. For 99% of people, those things are in alignment. For transgender people, they're mismatched. That's all it is. It's not complicated, it's not a neurosis, it's a mix-up, it's a birth defect like a cleft palate."
E.J. Graff is an advocate for the LGBT movement and just recently, I think it was a year ago, two years ago in Newsweek magazine, she was asked, "Why don't you just celebrate the victory of winning the culture war with homosexuality?" Homosexual marriage, like, you've won the culture war. Why not celebrate? And this is her response. She says, "I don't want to celebrate because there's a much larger cultural question that deeply deserves our country's attention. It has to do with gender. The way our culture, our politics and our legal system treats femininity and masculinity and everything in between. Breaking the nation out of its gender straitjacket is a fight we can win."
This discussion and debate on the transgender issue is the next discussion. You guys have all heard and been a part of the discussion around, how should Christians feel about homosexuality? How should Christians feel about homosexual marriage? How should Christians feel about homosexuals being pastors and leaders and elders? You've heard this discussion. This transgenderism is the next thing that the church has to answer and we have to have an answer. We can't shrug our shoulders and say, "Well, I don't know. It's weird to me, I don't know much about it." We have to have an answer.
Now, I didn't really introduce myself. I probably should have done that. My name's Ryan and I'm a pastor, I'm the lead pastor at Redeemer Church in Seattle, the Seattle area. And so it's possible that where you're coming from, maybe you're from the Midwest, maybe you're from the Southeast, I don't know. It's possible that when you hear transgenderism, you're like, "I know what that is, but I'm not around it at all." And what I would say is, it's coming. It's coming. It's alive and well on the West Coast. It's alive and well on the East Coast and it's coming to the middle. It always starts on the coast and it's coming. There's a cultural shift and we'll get into that in a minute.
Celebrities. You know Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner. This was the most politicized and the most famous transgender story ever. Bruce Jenner, the Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, he decided in 2015 that he, Bruce, was actually a female. That he, Bruce, was in the wrong body. That he is actually a female and he was born with the wrong body. So after his transition, his sex reassignment surgery, he was on the cover of Vanity Fair. Many of you saw that probably? Right? As a female, in not a lot of clothing.
In 2015, Caitlyn Jenner, now Caitlyn Jenner was the runner-up for the TIME's Person of the Year. Yeah, that's a big deal. You know who won it that year? Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. And Caitlyn Jenner was the runner-up. And what did Caitlyn Jenner do to become runner-up? Transition from a male to a female. So this is a big deal in our culture. It's praised in our culture.
In 2015 also, Caitlyn Jenner won the Arthur Ashe Courage Award by ESPN, for the courage, for coming out in being who she is. Facebook now, if you sign up for Facebook, there are 71 gender options on Facebook. There's 71 options when you put your name in and where you live, whatever you want to fill out. Male/female used to be the two. There's now 71 options and I don't know them all off the top of my head, but there's 71.
Gender-neutral restrooms. Where Redeemer meets, we meet at a community college and so at our community college where we meet, there's gender-neutral bathrooms. And so this is a discussion we have to have as a church, because we have to explain to these people that are coming to a church, why, while they're in church, there might be a male walking into the female bathroom or a female walking to the male bathroom. Because there's college students walking around during church, which is great, but there's some confusion. This is a very real thing.
Athletics. Who can play for what team? This is becoming a big issue today. If there's a male, a biologically born male who wants to become female, can he play female athletics? Yes or no? Well, typically you would say, well, because biologically, he's a male, he's built differently. He's probably taller, he's probably stronger, he's probably faster and I'm saying probably, so I don't get in trouble here, but you know what I'm saying, right? Probably. Okay? Not all the time, of course. And so is that fair that he can run track against the girls and this is becoming an issue. Is it fair?
In Seattle, I'm sure you know a little bit about Seattle. It's a very liberal, progressive place. In Seattle this last year, in the Seattle Times, in one day, there was a back-to-back story. So there's one story and then another story right here and essentially, what it's doing is it's praising the idea of identifying kids that are transgender early on. So the first story is young transgender kids play and open up at California day camp, and then the subtitle is this, "The camp caters to transgender and gender fluid children ages 4 to 12, making it one of the only camps of its kind in the world, open to preschoolers." Okay? So it's telling you like how great this is, and it's broadening, there's a lot of them throughout the country now.
The second one is, if you were interested in the first one, like if you were a parent you said, "Wow, you can know your kid is transgender at four years old? How do you know that?" That the very next article is how to know if your child is transgender. Experts will tell you and literally says, what experts say. So for sake of time, I'm just going to read to you two things that the expert said. "How can you tell? They include certain actions at a very young age, such as toddlers pulling barrettes from their hair, grabbing for their sister's dress and dolls or throwing away their trucks." That's one way. Another way, there's a bunch of them, but just three to ... "The use of verbs regarding gender. Instead of I wish I was a girl, a transgender child will say, I am a girl." Okay, so the experts want you to know because this is becoming a big deal. How do you know if your child isn't really what their biological sex says.
In Washington, I don't know if this is the case in any of your states, but in Washington, this is public school curriculum now. In public school, your kids will be taught gender fluidity. So my kid, both my kids are in public school and so what that means is both my kids, I have a kindergartner and a third grader, starting in third grade is when they start teaching transgenderism in the schools. Once again, if you're in the Midwest, it's coming. I promise, it's coming. What should we think about these things? What should we think? Is it okay?
Now, with all that said why it's important, I have on your notes, I think it's there, it says prevalence. You see that? On prevalence, you would think it was more common because it's becoming such a big deal, but it's really not very common. So for men, one study says 1 in every 10,000 to 13,000 men would identify as transgender. Another study says that it's actually closer to 0.005 to 0.014%. You get the idea. It's not very large but it is very accepted. Women, there's the numbers there for women.
A whole bunch of definitions. I'm not going to go through them, they're in your notes, they're all there. Now, there are a lot more definitions but this is for you, if you have questions in the future about what does it mean to be non-binary or what does cisgender mean? What does inner gender mean? They're all here for you and I'm going to, because of time, just move on.
Go down in the definitions part to sex and gender. This is really the focal point of this. When you guys see the word sex and you see the word gender, what might you conclude about those two words? Are they the same, are they different, are they synonyms? This can be interactive, you can share if you want. Synonyms.
So you would, if I this was a math equation, you would do that. You can say those are the same thing. I agree, I agree. Up until the 1950s, that was a given. 100%, nobody would say sex and gender opposites, it's always the same, they're actual synonyms. You're filling out an application, so maybe you've done this. Sometimes it says sex, sometimes it actually says gender, and they mean the same thing. On my license, on my Washington driver's license it says sex. I don't know what yours says, maybe it says gender, but for a long time, they were synonyms. But today, that's not the case. Today, the equation looks like this. Because there's been a movement to un-equate these things, to make them not synonyms.
And really where this came from is, there's a man by the name of John Money. He's not alive anymore and John Money, in the 1950s he was a sexologist and what he did in the 1950s was, he heard of these two twin boys, and as the twin boys were being circumcised, one of the circumcisions was botched. And it was so bad that they actually had to cut off his male parts. So John Money, trying to prove and sway culture that gender is just a social construct and it's not really tied to biological sex, he asked David Reimer's parents ... David Reimer was the child who had a botched circumcision, if he could use David and his twin brother as a experiment. And somehow the parents said yes. I'm not sure why, but the parents said yes.
So what John Money did is he actually used his twin brother as a control, as a male who was born with male parts, and then David as a biologically born male with no male parts, and he convinced David's parents to raise David as a girl and raise David's brother as a boy, to see like, is gender really tied to your biology or not? Like can we actually bring up David as a girl, and he just thinks he's a girl?
So what happened was some time between the ages of 9 and 11, David realized something's not right. He was never told before that, but he's realized something's not right. And he told his parents, "I don't think I'm a girl, I think I'm a guy." And then from this point on, he tried to "transition back to being a male," which is what he was born as, and he actually committed suicide 13 years ago, because there was so much confusion and parenting stuff, I'm not sure.
But this is why today, there's a word called cisgender. Because today, if these things don't equal each other, then what it means is if you in this room, if you are let's say, you're a female and you say, "I know I'm a female," then you would be called cisgender, which means you think they agree. Now, back in the day, you would just say, "I'm a female," and everybody would know. That means you're biologically female and you know you're a female.
But today, because these don't equal, there's actually a term cisgender. So if you're a female, but you don't feel like a female, then your identity could be male or could be fluid or it could be whatever you want it to be. So from the '50s, on this has started to change. Anyone of you get Time magazine? No? In March of this year, this was the cover of Time magazine, and it is a picture of a transgender girl. Meaning, boy who transitioned to a girl. And as I looked at this, there were some headings that popped out to me. Like this, on the cover of the very beginning of the story. Infinite identities is what it says. So you can see right off the bat, this is actually an identity issue, right? It's an identity issue. Scripture says a lot about identity.
As you scroll through ... not scroll, just scrolling. As you turn through ... isn't that funny? Goodness, that's so funny. This is paper. On the third page of the story, there's a quote up here that says, "Gender doesn't have to be defined in rigid terms." Gender doesn't have to equal sex, guys. We don't need to be rigid on these things. Then you go two pages further and really big up here it says this, it says, "Every different type of identity that exists should be supported."
So once again, my goal in sharing this with you is I want you to understand that this isn't some niche thing, but this is becoming large. Cover of Time magazine. 71 gender classifications on Facebook. These don't equal each other today, so much so that we have a term called cisgender. So I have a quote in your notes, I think from the American Psychological Association and here's what they say. They say this, "Being transgender is its added," or rather gender, this is a gender definition, "Attitudes, feelings and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person's biological sex. Behavior that is compatible with cultural expectations is referred to as gender normative." That would be the same thing as being cisgendered. "Behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with these expectations constitute gender non-conforming."
So if you're a male who associates as a male, you're conforming your normative for culture, if you're not, you're going against the man, so to speak, against what culture says, the way you should act. So today, here's what it means. Today, this is biology and this is identity, makes sense? Biology. And everybody knows this, you can't change biology. Even transgender people, they know that no matter what surgery they get, they can't actually change biology. That's a fact, no one argues with that. They can try to look like the opposite sex, but they know they can't change that, but today, this is what's fluid. No one says this is fluid, but this is it. Because they're not equal, this is identity, this is the parts you were born with.
So, question. Is gender a social construct? This is the question. The reason why people today think these aren't equal is because what they say is the only reason this was ever equal is because the culture said they're equal. The culture said if you're born with male parts, you have to act this way. And if you're born with female parts, you have to act this way. So the question is, is that a true statement? Gender is a social construct, true or false?
I was in Chipotle about three weeks ago with our staff at Redeemer, and we're talking about this very thing, and as we're talking about it, a group of people walked in from the T-Mobile headquarters, is right there by our church, and there's always T-Mobile people walking in with their T-Mobile stuff, pink everywhere. And one of them walked in with a shirt that just really big letters, "Gender is a social construct," huge. As we're talking about it. And it kind of looked over and I said, "Exactly, like isn't that the question?" Is gender created by society or is it actually come from God? That's kind of the question. How should Christians feel about this? It matters what the Bible says, I think.
But at the same time, I think we need to be careful. Culture certainly has something to do with gender, does it not? Of course it does. Why is it that William Wallace in Braveheart can wear a skirt, a kilt is what they call it, but we call it a skirt and that's like totally okay? William Wallace, in as far as characters go in movies, he's one of them manliest men ever, is he not? He's wearing a dress, a skirt. And so in Scotland, that's okay, even today. Scotland, it's totally fine, it's masculine. If I wore today, for instance, to do this class or this breakout session and I wore a kilt, you would go, "What's going on?" What if it wasn't plaid? You would just call it a skirt, wouldn't you? But if it's plaid you're like, oh yeah, it's Scottish. So isn't that a social contract?
In some sense, gender is constructed with society, meaning what's masculine, what's feminine. For instance, you go to Europe and in Europe typically, men actually dress more feminine than here. Like my jeans today are not nearly skinny enough to be trendy in Europe. Now, some day it always comes this way, but this is just a social construct. What about tom boys? What about girls that grow up and they don't like football or they do like football, and they don't like shopping. Doesn't society say that football is a guy thing? Doesn't society say that HGTV, well, not anymore, society wouldn't say that. Doesn't society say that loving shopping is a girl thing? Society says that.
Now, the Bible has nothing to say about these things. Nothing at all. If you want to get technical Jesus and his disciples, we would have called those dresses. If you want to get technical. Society totally does culture, totally does dictate a lot of this, however, the difference is not what does it look like to be a man, the difference is what do you think you are? That's the difference. So William Wallace, a manly man, he could wear a kilt and it's fine because it's Scotland. I couldn't wear a skirt here and get away with it. I'd be called feminine. Totally culture driven. The difference is William Wallace is a man who knows he's a man. Make sense? Me in America, I don't wear skirts, I'm a man and I know I'm a man. The difference is, if I have the biology of a man and yet I think there was a mistake made. Actually, I'm a woman, I know I'm a woman, but I have the wrong parts. That's really what we're talking about here with transgenderism.
The next thing in your notes is actually probably the most important thing and it's what is called gender dysphoria. You guys heard of this term before? Gender dysphoria, I think is the most misunderstood definition in this whole topic. So let me read what the American Psychological Association ... once again, not a Christian organization, you guys know that. But here's what it means. "A marked incongruence between one's experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender for at least six months." So here's what it says, incongruence meaning not equal, of one's experienced, so they mean by gender here. One's experienced gender or expressed gender and their assigned gender.
So this like equation, whatever you call this thing, I'm not a math whiz. That is the definition of gender dysphoria. Now, I got to say a couple things about gender dysphoria. I think many times, Christians especially, we look at someone who might have been born male and he might think he's female, as "Man, he's sick, that's gross." But what we forget is that gender dysphoria is a real thing. Like it's a real thing. It's a real psychological thing. It would be like telling someone who's depressed, "Hey, cheer up." Is that what you do? You shouldn't because like depression is like a real thing.
In the past, before we had like modern medicine and modern psychology, in the past, someone would see someone, if you go way back, they would see someone who's depressed as just having like demons. Today, I think we're a little archaic, I think, today in the church at how we understand gender dysphoria, if we even have a definition for that. I think this is true. I think people actually struggle with this. I think for a lot of people, it's completely real and unchosen. There's an issue and I want to say this clearly, we got our definition from the American Psychological ... it's important, Association. It's a psychological problem, it's not a biological problem, it's a psychological problem, it's right there.
Not everyone who expresses gender dysphoria actually wants to be transgender. I want to make that clear too. There are people who, they're a male and they feel like a woman, but they don't actually try to transition, they know like, "I know I'm a male but I feel like a woman, but I'm not going to transition." It doesn't always become transgenderism, it's just gender dysphoria at times. Transgenderism is what takes place when someone decides to reorient their life to be incongruence with their mental dysphoria.
By the way, the word dysphoria, we don't use very often, it's the opposite of euphoria. Dysphoria, opposite of euphoria. It's a discomfort with your biological sex, and we all struggle with different types of dysphoria, all of us do as sinners in a fallen world. Maybe just not gender dysphoria. We all have discomfort with our situations, with our identity, with our bodies, with our whatever. We all experience dysphoria. This is gender dysphoria.
I should say this also, if you have youth, you have kids in school, I get asked this a lot. At my kids school, my kid is in high school let's say, my kids aren't in high school, but I get this at church a lot. My kid is in high school and they're teaching this and he's in the locker room or she's in the locker room and there's guys in the locker room that think they're girls or whatever. Like how should we feel about this? And so when I talk about gender dysphoria, I have to put this disclaimer on it. Some people have gender dysphoria and some people are trying to get attention. Let's be honest. If there's a middle schooler, that male who thinks he's a female, that person might legitimately have gender dysphoria or that person might be trying to get attention.
When I was growing up, it wasn't gender, it was cutting yourself. Remember that? I'm not saying it's not a thing anymore, it totally is. But like when I was growing up, it wasn't guys saying they're girls, if some people wanted to get attention, they would cut themselves. And they would want you to see their scars, so you would ask, today, I think to a large degree, that's transferred to gender confusion. Someone might want attention, so they say, "You know what? I'm not a girl, I'm a boy." Maybe not. Stats show that in adolescents, 85% of those who think they're transgender come out of it and don't think it anymore by the time they're adults. 85%. So it is kind of the cool thing amongst young people, but for adults, it very much is a real, psychological thing.
All right, because of time, yeah, I wish I could spend more time on this, Roman numeral number three, it's called the journey to where we are. And what I want to do here, but I don't know if I have time, is I wanted to look at how we got here. In our culture and this is very philosophical, how did we get to the place where the culture would be so progressive to where they would believe that these two things aren't equal? How did we go from 1950s where these were synonyms to where we are today, where if you say they're synonyms, it's seen as kind of hate speech? How did we get there?
Kevin DeYoung has a quote. Hopefully that's in your notes. He says, "The question is whether the is of our emotional and mental state equals the ought of God's design." So when you're talking about ethics and I know that's not a term we use very often, it's kind of a misleading term, but when you're talking about ethics, really what you're talking about is the word ought, right? Ought is the word, and then there's a word over here called is. And so what happens is, sociology, anthropology, they study the is and they say, "Here's what's true." You do a survey, here's the amount of people in the U.S. who are Christian, here's the amount of people who are Mormon, here's the amount of people who are Buddhist. It's an is. It's just a description of what is.
Our society today has largely said the is, is the ought. So you do a sociological empirical study and you say the is, is the ought, because this is true, that's just the way it is, you should be okay with it. So DeYoung's question here or his statement is this, or no, I guess it's a question. Is this equal to this? Is something okay just because it's the case? How should we feel about that?
So for sake of time, man, it's my favorite part too. If man is the source of ought, the is, is just you look at the world and say, "Here's what's true." But if man is the source of ought, so if man is who determines what ought is, what should be the case, there's three branches that come out of this, three branches. There's reason. How can man determine what ought to be? They can use their brains and they can say, "I'm going to reason, I'm going to intelligently deduce what should be the case."
Over here ... there really is no right or wrong. I'm going to will something to be. This is how I feel, I shouldn't say feel, that's a different category. You guys heard of existentialism before? You heard that term? That's what this is. There's no purpose in life, so you decide what you want to do and you roll with it. You give yourself purpose by willing something, and then down here, I think is ... experience.
So if you were to go back to pre ... well, 500th anniversary of the Reformation is coming up, like next week, so we'll just say Reformation. If you went pre-Reformation, pre-17th century, I should say pre-16th century. You would be in like the medieval times going into the Renaissance. Before that, pretty much every philosopher had a Bible in hand, every leader had a Bible in hand, and they pretty much agreed like, the Bible is God's Word.
The reason why the Reformation even needed to happen is because the church always follows modern secular philosophy, always, always. Unfortunately. So even the Catholic Church because of Thomas Aquinas and his contributions, actually started to think like philosophy. And what happened is, in the about 1650 to 1800, the church adopted this as their source of truth. Reason. This is Thomas Aquinas, maybe the smartest Christian to ever live, maybe.
But he said, "You know what? God gave us brains, let's use our brains and God by nature, will tell us what's good and what's bad." This is why Luther and Calvin stood up and said, "How about you use your Bible?" That's a better source, use your Bible. So reason. So what happened and these guys are always kind of the really depressed people, and by depressed, I don't mean that like a mean way, these are the people that say there's no meaning in life, I'm going to create my own meaning. I want to get married, I'm unhappy, there's no purpose, I'm going to get married because I think if I can just get married, that will make me happy. That's will.
But this down here, this is what happened as a result of this not working. So what happened is by, I think 1850, is what most historians would say. 1850 is when you went from the Enlightenment, because this is Enlightenment, post Renaissance Enlightenment, in about 1850, you went to what we would call now, what we just call now post modernity. You've heard of postmodern before. What's the postmodern philosophy? Is there truth? There's no truth. It's based on experience.
So what that means is, first, before all this happened, God was the source, not man, God. And God revealed himself. I'm short-handing everything because of the time. God revealed himself, so in his Word, he told us what the ought is. He even told us what the is, is. Here's who you are, here's what you ought to do and ought not to do, but in the 1650s, or I should say before Renaissance era, they started going to reason and then when reason didn't work, because after 150 years, culture said, "Man, we went to reason, thinking that reason would solve all of our disagreements. If we just use our brains we should all agree." And it didn't work, surprise, surprise, it didn't work.
And so when that didn't work, then everybody said, "The Bible, we don't like that, reason, it didn't work. So what we're going to do is we're just going to go based on how we feel." That's where we are today. Now from this comes subjectivism, it comes egoism, it comes relativism, it comes hedonism. You heard those words before? Did I say emotivism already? No? Emotivism, utilitarianism, it all comes, all those isms come from here, which is just a fancy way of saying follow your feelings. That's where we are today. There is no truth. This didn't work, we don't like what God says, do what you want and don't tell anybody else that they can't do what they want. That's where we are.
So how did we get here from the sex and gender being synonyms? We got here because now we're in an age where it's all based on how you feel, therefore, if you feel like a woman but you were born a man, do what you feel like. That's how we got here. Wow that was a quick way to do that. That was a quick way to do that. Now, this has been an issue today, even within the progressive movement to where ... do you guys know Gay Pride Month? Pride Month is always in June. This last June, there was a little bit of infighting because what used to be the case is ... like the slogan for years and years with the Pride movement is, "Born this way." Did you guys know that? That was the slogan. "Born this way."
And what that means essentially is ... trying to use reason. Like, "Hey, use reason. If I was born this way, then it's reasonable to let me act this way." But guess what? There's a lot of infighting today because today, you can't say that because today, it's this, they've transitioned even over the last 20 years or so, so today, there's some infighting in the Pride movement. This last June, there were still people holding banners in the parade saying, "Born this way," and other people saying, "Whoa, what if I wasn't born this way? I can still do whatever I want." So what you're saying is, if I wasn't born that way, I can't do this? And now there's some infighting.
So even amongst the progressive movement, now there's some disagreement. So it's fast moving, is my point, it's very fast moving, but if it's true that God is the source of the ought, then he's revealed himself to us. He's revealed his ought to us, he's revealed who we are and so we actually have something to say, God, I should say, has something to say. Now, I want to say this too. Some people, if we say man shouldn't be the source because Christians would say that, and if we say God should be the source, some people go, "But God's just arbitrary, God's an angry dictator that says don't do this, do that, I don't want you to be happy, I want you to worship me only. I get all the praise." It's like the non-christian view of God. So just do what I want, he's an angry dictator.
But the thing is we learn in Scripture that God is not arbitrary, but that God, it's called creation I think, where he commands things that are good for us and the things that he commands us are good, but famous Plato question, "Is it good because God commanded it or did God command it because it's good?" Yes or no, but not either one, it's either both or neither, but it can't be just one of the other. So God's commands are good for us.
Now, this led to radical individualism, this led to the sexual revolution. Do what you want. Hugh Hefner died recently, I'm sure you heard about that. Were you guys as bugged as I was that he was celebrated as much as he was? He was celebrated. If he died 20 years ago, he would not have been celebrated, you realize that? But because of where we're at now, he's celebrated. What is appropriate on TV today is far different than even 10 years ago. When my daughter, eight-year-old daughter Ella wants to watch Disney, I never thought I'd be this parent, geez. And I'm like, "No, it's not appropriate." Disney is not appropriate? I never thought I would say that. I never thought I'd be that parent.
But when she turns on these shows, these youth drama shows and it's all about boys and girls, it's all about the love, it's all about the ... and she's eight and I'm like ... when I was growing up, that stuff wasn't even on and my parents had the same thing about when I was growing up. They said, "Well, when we were growing up." Yeah, it changes fast. It changes really fast. Somehow we have to keep up.
Robert George from Princeton, here's a couple of quotes that I put in your notes, and this is what he calls neo-Gnosticism. Hope I'm not losing you guys on these big words. You guys know what Gnosticism is, kind of, maybe? I don't want to lose you in the big words, but I think they're important. That's why I put them in there. Gnosticism is the belief that the physical is bad and the spiritual is good. Paul fought against this, in first of John, where he says that we not only heard Jesus but we touched Jesus. He's fight against the Gnostics. The Gnostics believe if there is a God, he's totally spiritual and if he came in physical form, it would prove he's not God. Because physical is bad, God would never become physical, spiritual is good. Paul and John both talk against Gnosticism.
So Robert George, a professor at ... he's actually a law professor at Princeton, he says this, "The self is a spiritual or mental substance. The body, its merely material vehicle." That's a neo, new, Gnostic view. Gnosticism, most people think started in the second century. Like 100 and something, like we're talking 70 years after Christ died on the cross is when most people think that Gnosticism came to be. The idea that the physical biology is totally separated from the mental, spiritual ascension, that is something that's 2,000 old. It's not new, it's very old. It sounds biblical, doesn't it? There's nothing. It sounds it almost sounds like Ecclesiastes, doesn't it? It sounds like Solomon.
Gnosticism says the physical is bad, the spiritual is good. So the goal is this, the goal is to reject the physical and to obtain the spiritual, which is non-physical or to use the physical to serve the spiritual. So Robert George says this also, he says, "Yet for the neo-Gnostic, the body serves at the pleasure of the conscience self, to which it is subject and so mutilations and other procedures pose no inherent moral problem." And by procedures and mutilation, what it means is there's adolescents that are getting reassignment surgery, where their genitals are being cut off at the age of 16, 17, 18, or you don't have to be youth. They could be 30 years old and their bodies are being mutilated. How can that be okay? Because if you're a neo-Gnostic, it's totally worth it, because the spiritual is higher than the physical. The physical is bad. You're stuck in this cage for a while and the closer you can get to the spiritual, the better, so if you can be you, you're closer. You shouldn't be tied down to your physical body.
Last point under how we got here, what about anorexia? The reason I put that in there is because anorexia, as I see it, is the exact same thing as gender dysphoria, it's the same thing. However, our culture reacts differently to anorexia than it does gender dysphoria. I don't know why that is. I'm not quite sure why that is, but reacts differently. So what is anorexia? Anorexia is when someone looks in the mirror and I'll use if, it's not totally female, it's usually, generally females over males, so I'll use a female as an example. A female looks in the mirror, that weighs 85 pounds. You can see her ribcage popping out, she's incredibly unhealthy. But what she sees in the mirror is I'm 100 pounds overweight. That's what she sees, she actually sees that. Is she faking it? No, either is the gender dysphoric person. They actually don't see themselves physically as they are.
So what do we say to the anorexic person? Some of you might have anorexic friends, what do you say to them? "Well, you think you're fat, you should get liposuction." Is that what you say? Is that healthy for them? It's actually very unhealthy. You would never do that, but if the mind is higher than the body, if you're following that logic, you should certainly tell them to do that. So you got to be consistent. Are you neo-Gnostic or are you not? But we're not consistent in our culture today.
So the answer to the anorexic person should not be, "Hey, you think you're fat, you're not, but you know what? To each their own. Like I'm not going to be the bigot that tells you, you can't do that. Go ahead and get surgery." Try to find a doctor that'll do it, but go ahead and get that surgery. "I think you should go on a diet, that'll make you feel better." You would never do that, so the question here is, is it then okay to tell someone who has gender dysphoria they're male, but when they look in the mirror, when they look inside internally, they say, "I'm a female." Is it then okay to say, "I think you should just be a female then," or is that equally as harmful? It's kind of the question.
The title of the class is Gender, Sexuality and the Gospel. We've done gender, we've done sexuality, we have not done Gospel at all. This is going to sound bad, so bear with me. I'm going to briefly do Gospel, but here's why, because you know the Gospel, so I'm going to briefly do it and you know where I'm going, I don't have to explain the Gospel to you. So I'm going to briefly do that, and then the most important thing we can do is we have to get to the where the church has failed at the end. That's like where we're going, or else this is meaningless to just talk about this.
So the design. You guys know this. We were designed, we were not just ... we're not just parts that were put in a bag and shaken up and then like spilled out. We were designed in a very particular way. I got scriptures on there for you, once again, we're going quick so I'm not going to read them. Genesis 1:31, very good. Well, why is it very good, instead of just good, like the rest of creation? Man and woman are created and it was very good. Says in Genesis 1:26, 1:28, that they, meaning the Trinity, "Let us make Man in our image after our likeness." And then it goes further down, "So God created Man in his own image, in the image of God he created him male and female." See there's two, it's binary. There's two. There's never more than two, it's always two.
And by the way, you guys know who Greg Allison is? He's in the network. Greg Allison, this summer, he did a bunch of studying on the binary nature of creation. There's always two. Land, water. What else? Sun, moon. Day, night. Always two. And it's the same thing with humans, it's man, woman. It's always binary, all the way through, and that's why Greg Allison's Greg Allison, because he can see stuff like that, it's just binary, all the way through.
And so man and woman were not just created, but they were created in God's image and here's what it means. Contrary to popular opinion, no one gives men and women more value than God, no one. The culture today would have you believe that they give humans more value than Christians do, it's not even ... I shouldn't say Christians because we're sinners, than God does. Our God gives us more value than anybody could give us, because he created us in His image. It's very good, it's perfect.
Now, being in Seattle, Boeing is huge in Seattle. Boeing, Amazon, Starbucks, those are the big things in Seattle. Close to my house, there is a Boeing 737 plant, they actually build 737s. They can do like five at a time, it's 1.1 million square foot building, enormous, and on prime real estate, on the shore of Lake Washington. I can't even imagine what that property is worth, 1.1 million square feet. If I were to go in there, if we took a little field trip and went there and we saw how meticulous these plants were put together.
The fin goes here, the steering wheel, the yoke, I think they call it, the yoke goes here. The throttle goes here. The engine, important, goes here. It's not as if there's these parts and they're just throwing them together, it's very meticulous. And it seems like from creation, God was even more meticulous, and his creation of human beings is way more impressive than these engineers putting together a 737. Way more impressive. There was actually a purpose behind it and everything that he made was good, man and woman, very good. In God's image. I have a Wayne Grudem quote for you, always good, you can read that later, intentionally created.
So here's the question, are we more or less than our parts? That's the question, so if I use ... there's a Mac computer back there. It's an iMac. Question for you. What's worth more? That Mac as it sits designed, put together, or take all those parts apart, put them in a bag, what would you pay more for? The computer put together or all the parts. And put together is worth more. The question is, are we more than the sum of our parts? Are we more than just male and female? Of course we are, we are meticulously designed and put together. God doesn't make mistakes on this kind of thing. God does make mistakes period, don't quote me on this kind of thing. God doesn't make mistakes.
So if the screen of that computer said, "I want to be the hard drive," and if the hard drive said, "I like that, I want to be the screen," would it work? Because the screen literally doesn't do anything, it can't be the hard drive and the hard drive can't be a screen, it doesn't project anything. It actually doesn't work. Men can't become women and women can't become men, we're designed in a very particular way.
Now, if I go through, I got a bunch of more stuff there. What about Jesus? A lot of people will say, "Yeah, but Jesus doesn't talk about this." You heard that before? Yeah, I know Genesis is dated, Moses hated everything, women, everything, but what about Jesus? Well, Jesus here in Matthew 19:4 through 6, he quotes Genesis 1 and 2 as God's word. Jesus fully affirms the creation account, which means Jesus fully affirms that man and woman were created, the binary nature of men and women.
Skipping ahead, I have some tweets there. One is from Caitlyn Jenner, one is from Sam Allberry. Caitlyn Jenner said this right after her transition. I don't know how to say that. Caitlyn Jenner, after reassignment surgery, said this, "I'm so happy after such a long time or a long struggle to be living my true self." Very important, true self. "Welcome to the world Caitlyn, can't wait for you to get to know her/me." Sam Allberry, 10 days later, tweeted this, "Culture says your psychology is your sexual identity, let your body be conformed to it. Christianity says your body is your sexual ID, let your mind be conformed to it." See the difference?
What's more concrete? The physical or how you feel about the physical? The physical is the concrete, that's the created thing. So we go through the Fall, you know the Fall, but I want to point this out in the Fall. What is the first effect of the Fall? They eat from the tree that they're not supposed to eat from, the first effect is shame about what? Their body, first effect of the Fall. Shame of their body. They're naked, Genesis 2:25, they're not ashamed, we can't even imagine that, and then 3:7, their eyes are both were opened and they knew they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin cloths. Body, shame, first thing.
What's the impact of the Fall? Disordered bodies, disordered minds, disordered hearts, and by hearts, that means desires. Jeremiah 17:9 says this, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. Who can understand it?" Romans 1:21, "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened."
So the point here is, we shouldn't follow our hearts. That's very dangerous. Have you ever been told by somebody, just follow your heart? It sounds good, but it's really bad advice. What do you think prison is filled with? People that followed their hearts. Prison is filled with people that followed the desire and they're in prison for it. Following your heart is not always a good thing, especially if you believe Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things."
So if you're born biologically male and you feel like a woman, you shouldn't follow your heart, it's not the way you were designed. Either the mind has to change for the body or the body changes for the mind, but biblically, there's a right one and a wrong one, because God designed it this way.
Going further down, the Gospel. So we got creation, we got the Fall, we got Gospel. John Wyatt wrote a book called Matters of Life and Death. I recommend it for everyone, it is amazing, and he does this thing in the book and it's genius, I think, he essentially asked the question, "Are we LEGO sets or are we flawed masterpieces? What are we?" If we're LEGO sets and if the LEGO set doesn't like the way it is, then what do you do with a LEGO set? Take it apart and do whatever you want with it. My five-year-old son loves LEGOs and he makes the weirdest things and he shows me all the time, and it's not from like a directions. He just makes all kinds of things and then he tears him apart and redoes something else.
Are we LEGO sets? I don't like the way I am, I'm going to change it, or are we flawed masterpieces? What do you do to a flawed masterpiece? Meaning, it was perfect, something happened, it was exposed to the Sun too long, what does an art restorer do to a flawed masterpiece? They restore it back to the original intent. It would be a very bad art restorer. Is that what they're called? Art restorer? Art restorationer? I don't know what to call them exactly. They would be horrible at their job if they changed it to be something that never was. The way that the original artists made it, is the intent of the way it should look always. I think John Wyatt is right. Matters of life and Death.
We need to be restored and luckily the Gospel does that. The Gospel brings us redemption, but the Gospel also brings us transformation. Amen? Transformation. Second Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold the new has come." First Corinthians 6, 9 through 11, it's very important. This is a list of sins that most people don't like reading because it's a bunch of list of sins. But I want you to hear what Paul says in this, it's very important.
So let me get through the list, here we go. "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality." Here we go, here it comes, wait till the end. Good news, wait till end, there's much better news than ... that's bad news right there. "Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God." Really quick, do you notice that he doesn't just say homosexuals? You notice that?
We all fit into this category, everyone does, but look at verse 11, "And such were," some of you, it's past tense. What does that mean? It means Paul's writing to the Corinthians and some of them were these things, and they're not anymore. That means if you want to use the homosexuality one, because we're in a class right now called Gender and Sexuality, what it means is, some of the men who were homosexuals are not anymore. The Gospel restores, it transforms, it's not just for eternal salvation, it's for temporal results too.
Now, that sounded very prosperity, let me rephrase that. It's for temporal restoration too. Got to be careful the way I say things, because it's being recorded. If it wasn't recorded, we'd have a lot more fun. What's that? And transcribed. It's going to be some funny transcription on this one.
I loved Ezekiel 36. Ezekiel 36 is essentially the new covenant. Here's what God says, "I will give you a new heart and a new spirit, I will put within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh and I will put my spirit within you and," this is so great, "Cause you to walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules."
Holy Spirit does this in us, this is not behavioral modification. Do not go to someone who's transgender and say, "Stop it." That's not the Gospel. The Gospel is believe in Christ and the Holy Spirit will cause you to turn from your sin. Do you see the difference? One's a legalism and one's the gospel, one's hate, one's love. There is a big difference between those two things.
There is an article and I'm just going to tell you, you should all read it. Some of you might have read this article already. Christianity Today did an article about a month ago and the title is, "I never became straight, perhaps that was never God's goal." Oh man, that sounds ... whoa, it's amazing. I just want a disclaimer. There's about three statements in here that she says, her name's Rachel Gilson, that's her in the picture, is about her and she wrote it. Trifecta. And there's about three statements in here that I don't agree with, and I'm like, "Oh, I wouldn't have said it that way." But the point is amazing. Can I read a couple things to you? Because it's one minute after, you guys okay? Please feel free to get up and go, I just think this is really important.
She grew up in a really liberal home in San Francisco. No dad, around mom let her do whatever she wanted to, and middle school, she realized, "I like women, I'm attracted to women." She started dating people, started having sex with women, she went to Yale, she's very smart, went to Yale, started reading Descartes in one of her philosophy classes, and all of a sudden was approached with, "Man, is there a God?" Started studying, started reading the Bible and she's like, "I think there's a God and the God that I think exists does not agree with my lifestyle. What should I do about this?"
Starts going to a Christian group and the Christian group kind of helps her out and does Bible studies and she finally comes to realize like, "I'm not supposed to live this way anymore." But the problem is, her desires didn't change. She's still attracted to women and you know what a lot of Christians do, to people that have same-sex attraction? If you're a Christian that will go away or else you're not a Christian. Says who? Exactly.
So here's what she says. "Thus I had my first lesson of the Christian life, how to obey before I understood. In the end, it came down to trust. I knew Jesus was worthy of trust because he had made a greater sacrifice. He had left the bliss, the comfort, the joy of loving and being perfectly loved to live a sorrowful life on Earth. He took the pain and shame of a criminal's death and suffered the father's rejection, also, I could be welcomed. Who could be more deserving of trust? Would he remove my attraction to women? Those first years of Christian faith included relationships with women that were spiritual, freeing and intimate, yet not erotic. But in other cases, personal sexual chemistry lured me back to old patterns." She's a Christian and she's still struggling with this. Yeah, it's called sin.
"Why wouldn't God fix me?" She said, "Through study, conversations and prayer, I eventually arrived at a critical truth. That sex wasn't something God discovered, then fenced about with arbitrary restrictions, but something he made to teach and to bless us. When his teachings went against my instincts, denying my desires became a profound way of saying, I trust you." And it's easier said than done, we read this and were like, "Oh, that's good, it's amazing, but yeah." Hard.
"This trust got stretched near to the breaking, my high school girlfriend wanted a fresh start, but I couldn't oblige. Then I fell for a senior girl at Yale, but love for Jesus called me away. After I stupidly went back and had sex with my high school girlfriend, I labored to convince myself that even then I was forgiven. He brought a man into my life. We had met the summer before on a Christian mission." A lesbian on a Christian mission trip. Yeah, the Gospel, exactly.
"We were friendly but I was not attracted to him. He knew about my past. He asked to come visit me at Yale during my senior year. I had a sinking feeling he was romantically interested and sure enough, he arrived with flowers." Now, this is a funny statement here. "I reminded him that I had slept with more women than he ever would." I think that's hilarious. "But he wouldn't budge. If Jesus had forgiven me, he had no business holding anything against me. I wrestled, I wasn't sexually attracted to him, but I did admire his goodness, his warmth and our shared priorities, yet I saw that he loved me. That he would be a good husband and father and he would call me toward Jesus. I even felt we could experience genuine physical love, albeit more learned than natural. Step-by-step, Jesus opened my eyes to a kind of human love that I hadn't seen. One steeped in commitment and spiritual joy, rather than passion for passion's sake. Once again, I obeyed before I understood, I married that young man before I really fell in love with him, because I loved Jesus first."
"This is typically the juncture where people jump to conclusions. I've had gay and lesbian people question whether I was actually ever attracted to women. I've had straight Christians proudly declare that God healed my homosexuality. They've tried to use me as a mascot for something I didn't actually embody. The truth is, even 10 years into my marriage, when I experience attraction to someone other than my spouse, that person is female. Still, my marriage has been a place of joy and healing. When people ask me my orientation, my most honest answer is, married. With the same blessings and burdens of other married believers and with the same source of hope and power, the Holy Spirit."
Last thing in the article, "That's why this is not the story of my becoming straight, which has never truly happened and it's really beside the point. It's a story of me becoming whole, which is happening every day."
Why do I share that? We're talking about transgenderism. The reason I share that is because the actual reality of the thing is this, just because you share the Gospel with somebody, just because someone becomes a Christian, it doesn't mean that their gender dysphoria just goes away. That's not what it means. The Bible never ... Paul in Romans 7, "What I don't want to do, I do. What I do, I don't want to do? What's wrong with me? Wretched man that I am." I think that's Paul when he's a Christian, I know there's debate, but I think that's Paul when he's a Christian. Shriner disagrees, he's smarter than me, but I think he's wrong. And I shouldn't say that because he's not wrong often. What's that? It's recorded, yeah, I'll have them take that part out.
Andrew Walker quote, love this, "We live in a Genesis 3 world, with a Genesis 1 blueprint, on the trajectory to a Revelation 21 future." That's what you tell someone who's a Christian that struggles with gender dysphoria or same-sex attraction. We live in a Genesis 3 world, meaning the Fall, with a Genesis 1 blueprint, you're created a certain way, with a trajectory of Revelation 21, no sin.
If you have to leave, you can leave, here's the four things. Errors the church has made, I'll make it quick. Number one, we rank sins. Forgetting the effects of the Fall, forgetting we all have dysphoria, whether it's gender or not, we all have distorted minds and hearts, so we start to rank sins. And transgenderism is not the worst sin, it's a sin, that should be repented of, but it's a sin.
Number two, we perpetuate man-made stereotypes. In the church, we do this. Men should dress this way, men should act this way, men should have these types of jobs. Nick, you and I know all about this. We used to work in a place that just pushed this like crazy. Men do this, women do this men. Men watch football, they love cars, they hate shopping. Women love cooking, they watch HDTV and they love shopping. Those are man-made stereotypes, those aren't God made, Bible made stereotypes. This is the equivalent. If you have kids, this is the equivalent, if you care more about your kids' academic success or athletic success than you do about them becoming more like Christ, it's the same thing. You've bought into a man-made thing, not a Bible made thing. Be careful not to push men act this way and women act this way. Be careful.
What do we do when there's a young man in the congregation who's more feminine? He doesn't like football, he has a higher voice, his best friends are girls, and you say, "Men act this way," and he goes, "Maybe I'm not a man." We do that to people sometimes, be very careful.
Number three, we show no compassion. Every human is an image-bearer of God. What was wrong with Nazi Germany? A lot. When I said that, I've got to be careful, I say this. Just so everyone's clear, Nazi Germany, a lot of them had their Bibles open, just so we're clear, and yet they're killing Jews. Why is that? They didn't see Jews as made in the image of God.
What about American slavery? A lot of Bibles open, what was the problem? They didn't see blacks as image bearers of God. Abortion. Why there's so many unborn babies killed, because they don't see the unborn babies as made in the image of God. Why are we called bigots at times to the homosexuals and transgender people? Because we don't see them as image bearers of God and they are. Let's be careful, be very careful.
Last thing, we err when we speak no truth. I say this very firmly. Being open and affirming is not loving. It's actually the most hateful thing you can do. Tell someone to lie. We know God gave us his revelation, we can be honest with people, but not ranking sins, not perpetuating stereotypes. In showing compassion, we can be honest and love them. Amen? Anorexia, you don't tell someone to get liposuction. Someone that says, "I'm worthless," you don't say, "Go kill yourself." Someone that has sexual temptation you don't say, "Act on it," you say, "No, there's a better way. God created you a certain way."
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