Gender and sex are hot topics as numerous people, such as actor Billy Dee Williams, have redefined and defended new interpretations for the words “gender” and “sex.” We are a society consumed and satiated by sex. Some claim that one can choose his/her gender while remaining one’s biological sex. Yet, the foundational pattern in holy scripture provides the Church’s classical teaching about God’s plan and how we have fallen from his original intentions. In the beginning of the Bible, we read in Genesis 1:27 that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (ESV). We were created in the image of God and thus, dependent on God. Indeed, God’s initial idea was a male and female creation, as we also read that Adam and Eve were formed from the dust of the earth (Gen. 2:7).
That was GOOD NEWS!
However, the BAD NEWS is that in Genesis 3, both Adam and Eve disobeyed the direct command of the Lord to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and thus, we have the fall of all humankind! Now, that’s BAD NEWS! The destructive order of this fall described in Genesis 3 outlines that woman shall “have pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband” and for the man, “cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face (Gen. 3:15-17). This action was not God’s purpose for humankind. The imago dei was shattered and we represent the actions of Adam and Eve every day when we sin against the Lord. Included in this fracture are our gender and sexuality. Through the centuries, we have recreated gender and sex, not in God’s image but ours. We have opted to redefine God’s original intent and established our skewed definitions for “male” and “female.” No longer are the two sexes defined by Genesis 1, but now they are set by our post-Enlightenment values. The Genesis definition of “male and female’ has been supplanted with “male and male,” “female and female,” and any number of gender fluid combinations. Why? Because gender is our choice, not God’s.
The GOOD NEWS is that God, since the fall of humankind has always had a blueprint for salvation. In Ephesians 1:4, Paul writes that the Lord “chose us in him before the foundation of the world.” God had a plan to recapture his masterpiece of creation, man and woman. And “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman” (Gal. 4:4) to crush Satan and redeem us by the seed of the woman (Gen.:15). God sought to reconcile us to himself and everyone else (2 Cor. 5:18) and through Christ’s death, he has absorbed the enmity between God and us humans (Col. 1:20-22). Like a sponge, he absorbed the sins of the world on the cross to redeem us for his original intent created in the Garden of Eden. That is GOOD NEWS for our gender and sexuality! God chose who we are (ontologically) and his calling for each one of us (Jer. 1:5). When we choose to live into the GOOD NEWS of God’s original intent for male and female, we discover real meaning and purpose for our lives. Consequently, both males and females can live in harmony, and spiritually we can recover our destiny, including gender and sex.
SO, the GOOD NEWS is that God created us, male and female. Humans without fault or blemish in Genesis 1. The BAD NEWS is that we males and females, as Genesis 3 details, chose to disobey God and rebel. When the Lord asked in Genesis 3:7, “What have you done?” we passed it off to genetics, the environment, and blaming others. However, the GOOD NEWS is that God in Christ, donned human flesh (John 1:14), and created a path back to the fundamental intention of God—that man and woman, created in the image of God, in gender and sex, can decide to worship the Lord and be saved from sin, death, and Satan. God sent his Son to break down the hardness of our rebellion. Certainly, this is the GOOD NEWS about gender and sex that the historic Christian faith has taught for centuries in the church.