Sugar and spice and puppy dog tails: part one of three

Last month I got to spend a few days with family. One evening at the dinner table, my grandniece (who is eight years old) began reciting the famous saying about what little girls are made of and what little boys are made of. I don’t know where she learned that old-fashioned rhyme—I’m sure it wasn’t in public school or at the public library. I bit my tongue to avoid saying, in the presence of children, that the poem must have a lot of additional verses now that we are living in the twenty-first century.

More than ten years ago, my very liberal friend said in an off-handed way that “we now know” there are more than two genders. At the time I made no response, figuring that this was just one of the very liberal things he liked to say, trying to shock the rest of us. But one of my daughters, who is in nursing school, has been required to learn and remember all the categories of gender that medical professionals now recognize. While I did not want to know this information and deliberately chose not to research such matters, it helps those of us who live in the twenty-first century to know what some of the confused people near and around us are saying about gender.

So, according to my daughter’s classes, gender can be divided into four categories: the biological category seen at birth in the body’s organs (and also present in the chromosomes that exist in every cell in the body), the category of identity, the category of presentation, and the category of preference.

The Bible indicates that God created people male and female, both in his likeness and image. It also suggests that God’s intention was a partnership of marriage consisting of one man and one woman. The only exception specifically endorsed by the Bible is that of the solitary life (Matthew 19:10-12). In fact, in several places the Bible addresses the attraction of men to men and that of women to women, always equating that attraction to sin and rebellion. The teaching is slightly muddled by reports of godly men (Jacob, David, and Solomon, among others) having more than one wife; but the overall pattern of one man plus one woman making a marriage persists through the Bible. This arrangement is chosen by God to depict his love for his people, making an attack upon marriage equivalent to an attack upon God’s love as well.

While Jesus insisted that God’s perfect plan is that a man and a woman are united as “one flesh” and that no one should divide them, he also acknowledged that (in a sinful world) divorce sometimes happens and must be permitted even under God’s Law. Different Christian communities have applied that teaching in different ways, but most teach that abuse or abandonment by one partner permits the other partner to seek a legal divorce without sin, asking worldly authorities to certify that the marriage has already been broken by the sin of the partner. In recent times, application of this teaching has been lax, allowing some partners to obtain a “no-fault divorce” and to marry new partners without any discussion of the reality of sin, the need for repentance, and the importance of forgiveness. So-called “serial monogamy” is as much against God’s will as any other violation of God’s definition of marriage. The standards of Jesus are remarkably high in this regard, as he identifies even fantasies about unfaithfulness as adultery (Matthew 5:28). We cannot blame the world around us for being confused about marriage—and about gender issues as a whole—when the Church cannot be consistent about when God permits sin and when God condemns sin, when God forgives sin and when God hardens the hearts of sinners, when God loves and accepts sinners and when God turns his back on sinners.

One famous episode in the Bible is recorded in John chapter eight. Jesus was in Jerusalem, and the local authorities brought to him a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They wanted to know if Jesus would condemn and punish her sin or if he would accept her and forgive her in spite of her sin. Jesus said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” One by one, her accusers left, until only Jesus and the sinful woman remained. Jesus asked if no one was left to condemn her. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus said to the woman. “Go, and sin no more.” The Bible says nothing about the woman’s partner in her sinful act of adultery. In my opinion, had that woman’s partner been another woman, Jesus would have said the same words. He would have shared his forgiveness; he would also have told her not to repeat her sin. J.

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12 thoughts on “Sugar and spice and puppy dog tails: part one of three

  1. I’ve always kept what is true simple. Men were born boy babies. Woman were born girl babies. And marriage is between one man and one woman for all of life, raising children with love and responsibility. Praying to God, our Father.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sexual confusion (don’t have any use for the word “gender”) seems to be related to secularization of our society. Our schools, the mass media, and the Democratic Party seem to be determined to force Christianity out of the public square. That includes refusing to teach children about the peaceful influence of Christianity upon Western Civilization. Instead, we just hear all this nonsense about how religion causes war. These people are making the passage starting at Romans 1:18 look prophetic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m glad you mentioned chromosomes. We use DNA tests as evidence in legal cases. It seems to me they should be used to determine whether a person can compete in women’s sports, enter a women’s locker room, etc. No matter how much surgery (mutilation) is done or hormones injected, the DNA won’t change and suddenly reflect another gender. It breaks my heart the way young people are taught that somehow when God created them in His image, He made a mistake. (:-(

    Liked by 2 people

    • That most definitely is one of the points I’m trying to make–that God does not make mistakes related to gender identity. Rather, some human counselors make mistakes telling their clients which feelings to believe and act upon, even when acting upon those feelings means fighting against creation, putting the human body through unnecessary stress, and spending a lot of money. J.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like what you wrote here, “We cannot blame the world around us for being confused about marriage—and about gender issues as a whole—when the Church cannot be consistent about when God permits sin and when God condemns sin, when God forgives sin and when God hardens the hearts of sinners, when God loves and accepts sinners and when God turns his back on sinners.”

    There is a lot of truth to this and it helps me understand why I have difficulty when discussing transgender issues with my non Christian friends. Scientifically I know there are only biological males and females but the church doesn’t help explain this.

    Liked by 4 people

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