By Jeff Keaton
In the first two articles of this series, we looked at the answers Genesis provides for who holds ultimate authority in this world, how we got here, and what it means to be human. In this article, we’ll look at the dangers of gender ideology and the importance of standing for God’s design of gender.
Why do we have only two genders?
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
In this one sentence, God laid the foundation for our understanding of gender. All of history and experience have affirmed that there are only two genders.
However, as we have abandoned God and His Word, gender identity has become a huge issue in our world today. The cultural elites have fully embraced the idea that a person can declare whether or not they are male or female, regardless of their biological sex at birth.
In Biblical Principles for Human Sexuality, David Closson writes: “The truth about sexual differences cannot and should not be erased. Genetically, men have XY chromosomes; women have XX chromosomes. Thus, when a male asserts that he is female, he asserts an objective falsehood in terms of biology and genetics. Increasingly, many who suffer from gender dysphoria opt for ‘gender reassignment surgery,’ which includes hormone treatment, breast surgery (removal or implants), other cosmetic surgery, and genital reconstruction. Unfortunately, these surgeries can be painful, can cause harm (including infertility and incontinence), and often are not successful in alleviating the mental anguish of those who undergo them. The rise in ‘detransitioners’—those who previously identified as transgender but who have reverted to identifying with their biological sex—underscores the risks and dissatisfaction that result from these surgeries.
“A person who identifies as transgender is experiencing acute alienation from their body; there is a profound disassociation between their mind and body. But gender transition surgery cannot change the fundamental reality of biological sex. It cannot alter a person’s genetic blueprint, and while genital surgery may sterilize an individual, it cannot bestow the reproductive capacity of the opposite sex. Therefore, a person remains in their biological sex regardless of the gender with which they choose to identify. Against the body-denying claims of transgender activists, the biblical worldview affirms the goodness of the material creation and the human body. The doctrines of creation, incarnation, and bodily resurrection provide strong theological affirmation[s] of our physical bodies. Against Gnosticism, the Bible affirms the goodness of creation in its first chapter. Genesis 1:31 says that everything God created, including the human body, was ‘very good.’ The Bible’s teaching about Jesus’ incarnation also teaches a high view of the physical body. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, assumed a human body. Significantly, His physical body was not a mere receptacle that His ‘real self’ temporarily filled or inhabited. Instead, Jesus’ resurrection and ascension affirm the permanent nature of His embodiment. In other words, Jesus’ body is an inseparable part of His person. This is true for us as well; our bodies are essential, integral components of who we are. Thus, we should see our created bodies as part of God’s creation (including our maleness or femaleness). In a world disordered by humanity’s fall into sin, the goodness of the body may be difficult for many to affirm, and the church should show grace to those who struggle with accepting their bodies. However, on these contested issues, Christians must speak the truth in love by refusing to compromise clear biblical teaching.”1
As is always the case, when we violate God’s good design, major problems arise. According to Barna’s latest research, a full 39 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds identify in some way as LGBTQ+.2 There has been this explosion of gender and sexual confusion as schools and the internet are telling adolescents the horrible lie that their gender is not tied to their biological sex and are encouraging them to explore to see who they really are.
There is no end to the insanity this kind of thinking produces. Currently, in many schools, children are running around barking or meowing because they identify as a dog or a cat.3 I have personally had students tell me they are witnessing this kind of behavior in their schools and that the school leadership will do nothing about it. If a boy can declare that since he feels like a girl, he is a girl, why can’t a boy who feels like a dog declare and act like he is a dog?4
The harm being done to children and young people by this movement is unspeakable. We are literally destroying their lives. I have read stories of those who bought the whole lie, hook, line, and sinker. They had the surgeries and took the hormones. Some can’t find anyone to date, and many have lost their normal sexual desires. They were repeatedly promised they would be happy if they kept going down this road. Many of them now find themselves utterly miserable.
We must stand against these lies so that all humans can experience the joy and happiness that comes from aligning our lives with God’s created order. When our children were little, they wanted to eat candy day and night. As parents, we refused to allow this because we knew that ultimately in order to become healthy, thriving adults, they would need to eat good and nutritious food. A thirteen-year-old girl who wants to become a boy needs the guidance of wise adults because the only way to give her a positive future is to help her understand the truth.
As Christians, this is a hill we must be willing to die on. If we stand by while our society endorses the destruction of our children, we will be held accountable. If you are a Christian working in public schools, stand up and speak the truth. This is not a small issue. This is life and death for our children and society.
If you know a child or young person who has been caught up in this identity crisis, we will be happy to recommend some resources or counselors that will be of help. Please contact us at email@example.com.
In the coming articles in this series, we will look at the answers Genesis provides for these ultimate questions:
What is our purpose for being here?
What is marriage, and what is its purpose?
What is wrong with this world? Why is there so much evil?
Is there any hope for this world? What is that hope?
To read the first two articles in this series and purchase upcoming issues that continue this series, visit renewanation.org/magazine.
Jeff Keaton has been a successful pastor, church and school planter, and ministry entrepreneur. As the founder and CEO of RenewaNation, Jeff works across the United States and Canada to help awaken the church to the great need to give every child a biblical worldview. Jeff is married to Michele, and they have two daughters, two sons-in-law, two grandsons, and a granddaughter. He is the author of The Life of Radical Faith.
1. David Closson, Biblical Principles for Human Sexuality (Family Research Council, 2020), 37-38.
2. George Barna, “New Insights into the Generation of Growing Influence: Millennials In America,” Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, 2021, https://arizonachristian.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/George-Barna-Millennial-Report-2021-FINAL-Web.pdf.
3. WLKY Digital Team, “Kentucky school district: Students are dressing and acting like cats,” WLWT, August 25, 2021, https://.wlwt.com/article/meade-school-district-students-are-dressing-and-acting-like-cats/37398744.
4. EJ Dickson, “Why Are So Many Gen Z Kids Becoming Furries?” Rolling Stone, December 12, 2019, https://rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/furry-fandom-tiktok-gen-z-midwest-furfest-924789.