“What is a woman?” is the question Joseph Backman from the Colson Center for Christain World View has been asking people in recent times. He asked the question while at the liberal and progressive Women’s March in Washington D.C. earlier this year. “A woman is anything she wants to be defined as,” said one attendee. “A woman is someone who chooses to express themselves,” said another. “That is a trick question,” said still another. Well, what is a woman? (Breakpoint.org)
If you go to a dictionary, you will find a woman defined as “female of the human race, person, an adult as grown-up as distinguished from a girl.” Female is defined as “an animal of that sex which conceives and brings forth young-belonging to the sex which produces young.”
That has been the normal understanding of what a woman is, but not so with some people today. The development of the concept of transgender, something that most Americans had never heard of years ago, defines a woman as not dependent on biology but on feelings, and how a person identifies themselves.
GENDER IS SUPPOSEDLY FLUID
“If you think there are only two genders, you are not very smart, according to gender theorists. One of the most basic tenets of gender theory is that human genders are like the hues of a rainbow, a vast array of diversity, far beyond just male and female. The concept here is that gender is merely the dictates of our culture that determines how you should look and act according to our definition of male and female. However, “If your body tells you and the world you are a man, but you believe yourself to be a woman, then actually, truly and absolutely beyond questions a woman” (Citizen Magazine).
Can gender be a simple matter of choice based on our feelings and not based on any scientific criteria?
Perhaps we can best understand how this is not a sound scientific reality by taking it a step further. How about the person who feels they are really an African American even though they are born Caucasian. If I feel I am an African American, why not live like one; be one. Not long ago, an Oregon woman named Rachel Dolezal considered herself ‘black,’ even though she was born to white parents. As she told NBC’s Matt Laurer, ‘I identify as black’ (slate.com) She became a local leader of the NAACP. Eventually, her deception was revealed, and she was laughed off the national stage. Why? Because people know you can not be black just because you feel you are or you want to be. Biology and DNA determine your race, and you cannot change that just because you feel like it.
Or take another example. A Dutchman who is 69 seeks an age change. He asked the court to approve his request for a new birthday, saying, “With the freedom of choice, choice of name, freedom of gender, I want to have my own age. I want to control myself.”
It is likewise, illogical and against all reason to simply say that a man who feels he is a woman, should be allowed to change their official gender. And in turn, be allowed to use the woman’s restrooms or locker rooms. A biological male was born that way. He may dress like a woman and act like a woman, but he is still a man.
GENDER IS BIOLOGICALLY DETERMINED AT BIRTH
Gender is biological and can’t be changed no matter what you think. Thus a man can never really become a woman. He will never have a monthly period; he can never conceive a baby in his womb; he can never breastfeed a baby. For many people, this is simple and logical.
This, of course, is the Biblical position. In Genesis 1 it states, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them’ (Genesis 1:27). There are only two genders, male and female, which are are assigned at birth.
WHAT IS BEHIND THE TRANSGENDER MOVEMENT
The end game if this current movement is to destroy:
- the concept of male and female
- the concept of family
- the Biblical teaching on sex, gender, and marriage
It is all based on idealogy, and in many ways, it picked up steam when the Obama administration made certain mandates. “For example, that notorious “Dear Colleague” letter sent to school districts across the country, stating the word “sex” should be understood to include gender identity, which it defined as “an individual’s internal sense of gender.” The mandate required schools to “use a transgender student’s chosen pronouns” and to “open bathrooms, locker rooms, overnight accommodations, and even some sports teams to students based…(on) their chosen gender identity”(Breakpoint.org).
THE CASE OF SPORTS
“Allowing biological males to compete with girls ignores real physical differences. Men have, on average, 36% more muscle mass than women. Men tend to be taller, and their bones are thicker and denser. Conversely, women have lower lung volume and lower airflow capacity because they have smaller lungs and airway diameter. The fastest men are faster than the fastest women. Likewise, the strongest men are stronger than the strongest women, even if they are in the same weight class. These biological realities are the reason men’s and women’s sports have long been separated” (Breakpoint.org).
“A student at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire previously competed on the men’s track & field team, but now competes as a female. In 2018, as a man, he placed 8th in a field of 9 in the 400-meter hurdles during a regular season meet. The following year, competing as a woman, he won the national championship in the 400-meter hurdles by 1.5 seconds.
We all want to be understanding, but in this case, being understanding also requires us to understand what it means for women and girls who are forced to compete against biological males for political reasons” (Breakpoint.org).
A PASTORAL PERSPECTIVE
A couple of years ago, I was preaching in our church and happened to mention the issue of transgender people. Usually, when I include a reference like I did, I would make a pastoral comment. For example, if I was speaking on abortion, I would refer to the possibility of people in the congregation who have had an abortion. I would not condemn them, but assure them of God’s love and forgiveness. In this case, I didn’t do that.
After the service, I was confronted by a mother who was with her transgender son was visiting us that Sunday. We went into my office, and whilst I did not take back anything that I had said, I acknowledged I should have been more caring and pastoral. I asked for his forgiveness and was able to pray with them both.
The experience reminded me that when we are dealing with these kinds of issues, we need to be loving and caring. People need love, as well as the truth of God’s word.
Christians have an urgent task: be prepared to speak Biblical truth, and be prepared to offer Biblical help. Heath Lambert, executive director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, says this begins with recognizing the agony some people face. “This is real pain,” he says, “It’s a lot of tears on a lot of pillows on a lot of nights” (world.wng.org).
This is an issue that will affect us all in the future, including churches, schools, families, etc. Whilst we all need to have compassion for those who struggle with gender identity. We still have to stand for Biblical truth and even the soundness of science and biology on this subject. Sadly it will be the tip of the iceberg on larger issues relating to sexual matters.