Love, Marriage and Today's Gender Benders


A gender bender is defined as someone who dresses and behaves like a member of the opposite sex

The state of things today

Recently, we have been bombarded with images, magazine covers, newspaper stories and newscasts devoted to the transformation of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn Jenner.

Note how biography.com summarizes Jenner’s life:

... gold medal-winning track star who set a world record in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics. He appeared on the Wheaties: Breakfast of Champions cereal box cover in 1977.

As Bruce, he became a reality TV star in 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians.' In 2015, Jenner revealed that she is transgender and has become a woman, now known as Caitlyn.

(Caitlyn Jenner, Biography: Reality Television Star, Track and Field Athlete

Scientifically, we know that people are born male or female (this reality is in line with what the Bible teaches in Genesis).

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Gen. 1:26-28 (NKJV)

Jesus affirmed the male female marital union, quoting from Genesis

But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Mark 10:6-8 NKJV

Male/Female Identity is Determined in One’s DNA

All animals have a set of DNA coding for genes present on chromosomes. In humans, most mammals, and some other species, two of the chromosomes, called the X chromosome and Y chromosome, code for sex. In these species, one or more genes present on their Y-chromosome that determine maleness. In this process, an X chromosome and a Y chromosome act to determine the sex of offspring, often due to genes located on the Y chromosome that code for maleness. Offspring have two sex chromosomes: an offspring with two X chromosomes will develop female characteristics, and an offspring with an X and a Y chromosome will develop male characteristics.
 



Male/Female Identity is Determined in One’s Skeleton

Explore Forensics: Determining Sex 
Author: Jack Claridge - Updated: 31 May 2015

Sometimes during the course of a criminal investigation and its subsequent autopsy the pathologist may find his or herself faced with the task of identifying the sex of a skeleton after decomposition.

Obviously before decomposition there are detailed differences between the form of a male or a female but once decomposition has taken a hold and carried out the unpleasant tasks that nature has intended, all that remains is the skeletal form with teeth and possibly some hair to work with.

Steps in Determination of Sex

Of course having teeth and hair does not always constitute enough material to make identification so the pathologist with perhaps the help of a forensic anthropologist will try to first of all work out what sex the skeleton was in life.

The determination of sex in skeletons is only possible once the male or female has reached adolescence or adulthood. Sexual dimorphism is slight in pre-adolescent children so this is a difficult task to perform if the skeleton is that of what might be a child.

A common way in which a pathologist and anthropologist might differentiate between male and female is quite simply bone size. This of course is not always accurate but for the most part male bones are larger in size to female bones and are so because of the addition muscle that may build up on the male body through adolescence and into adulthood.

The pelvis area is another good way of differentiating between the sexes. A female will have a larger sub-pubic angle to that of a man and this is obviously indicative of child bearing requirements in the female that are not required in the male of the species. This difference is noticeable across all species in nature where birth is from the womb. The male's sub-pubic area is less than ninety degrees whilst the female's is more.

The area around the pelvic inlet (in the middle of the pelvic bone) is larger in females than in men again with relevance to child bearing. The skeleton of a female who has given birth will be identifiable by the fact that this space will have widened upon the birth of a child and although it will contract it will not contract fully back to its original size.

Body Part Clues

The acetabulum - the socket in the pelvis, which is used to secure the head of the femur - is larger in males than in females.

Another area of the body in which the difference between males and females can be identified during the examination of a skeleton is the head and skull. There are several characteristics that are visible different in the male and female skull and they are: 

The chin is squarer in the skull of a man than that of a woman, who will tend to have a slightly more pointed chin 

The forehead of the male will slant backwards where again with a female it will be slightly more rounded 

Males seem to have a brow ridges whereas females do not.

All in all there are plenty of differences between the male and female skeleton and if the pathologist and anthropologist have a complete skeleton to work from they should be able to make a positive determination as to the sex of the deceased before they died.

So what has Bruce Jenner done to feminize himself?

According to CBS News, Jenner “had a 10-hour facial feminization surgery in March of this year. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jenner said the operation took twice as long as expected. After an initial panic attack following the surgery, she spoke with a counselor and put the second-guessing behind her. Jenner told the magazine she firmly stands by her decision”

(CAITLYN JENNER’S SURGERY, ASHLEY WELCH, CBS NEWS: June 3, 2015, 5:12 PM)

Now that panic attack after is a very important thing to think about. There is still something in Bruce Jenner that is rejecting or doubtful of this transition to a female.

An LA Times article states that “A whopping 41% of people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming have attempted suicide sometime in their lives, nearly nine times the national average, according to a sweeping survey released three years ago [emphasis mine] .”

Though the article’s statistics look at discrimination and even assaults as being behind some of those high numbers, it also said that Being "out" as transgender was also tied to steeper risk, the study showed: People who tell everyone that they are transgender or gender-nonconforming, or who said that other people could always or usually tell that they were transgender, were more likely to have attempted suicide.

Researchers said that the most stunning finding was just how high the risk was for all transgender and gender-nonconforming people, no matter how much money they made, how much education they had, or whether they were single or married.

Even transgender people at comparatively "low" risk were still much more likely to have attempted suicide than the general population, they wrote, with "lows" often ranging from 30% to 40%. Transgender and gender-nonconforming people who had gotten graduate degrees, for instance, had a lifetime risk of attempting suicide of 31% -- lower than less-educated transgender people, but still astoundingly high.

"It's alarming all across the board," said Jody L. Herman, manager of transgender research at the Williams Institute.
(Transgender study looks at 'exceptionally high' suicide-attempt rate, January 28, 2014|By Emily Alpert Reyes)


The CBS article states that Jenner has also taken hormones that resulted in breast growth and procedures for facial hair removal

However, scientifically, biologically, we know that Jenner can never ever be totally female (he cannot change his DNA and he cannot change his skeletal structure, among other things that make him male).

Most people in the USA live in a state that has same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage is legal in 37 states, the District of Columbia and the territory of Guam (Wikipedia, List of U.S. state laws on same-sex unions)

“Same-sex marriage is here. It went from unthinkable to legal in a dizzying pace. The question is, ‘Now what?’” – Sean McDowell, professor at Biola University, author and speaker (Same-Sex Marriage interview on FL Today 04/20/15)



How did we get here (McDowell/Stonestreet)?
Three things have been redefined culturally

We redefined love 


Scripture speaks of various types of love with the highest form being agape (self-sacrificial) love.

However, culturally, love has been reduced to mere sentiments, feelings and sexual or erotic expressions/actions

We have those who struggle with same-sex attraction but also those who don’t struggle with it, they see it as how God created them, they embrace and celebrate it and expect others to embrace and celebrate it too.


We redefined marriage

Marriage has been understood as a “public institution that produces children and best preserves and promotes the future of a civilization” – John Stonestreet, Executive Director of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview (Same-Sex Marriage interview on FL Today 04/20/15)

Marriage has been redefined as a relationship to make me happy.


We have redefined a person

A human being is now being understood purely, exclusively on sexual terms.

“Someone’s strongly held orientation and attraction, only when it comes to sexuality, is now equal to their deepest sense of identity.” This then justifies their behavior – John Stonestreet, Executive Director of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview (Same-Sex Marriage interview on FL Today 04/20/15)


The result of these redefinitions, culturally, is that some Christian leaders and thinkers have done what they did with the theory of evolution – if this is what scientists believe, then it must be right (and they imply that the Bible then is somehow wrong). However, we must not confuse scientists’ biases with science, they are not the same thing.


On June 8, Tony Campolo released a statement publicly changing his position on same-sex marriage (Tony Campolo: For the Record, June 8, 2015)

One reason I am changing my position on this issue is that, through Peggy, I have come to know so many gay Christian couples whose relationships work in much the same way as our own. Our friendships with these couples have helped me understand how important it is for the exclusion and disapproval of their unions by the Christian community to end. We in the Church should actively support such families. Furthermore, we should be doing all we can to reach, comfort and include all those precious children of God who have been wrongly led to believe that they are mistakes or just not good enough for God, simply because they are not straight.

As a social scientist, I have concluded that sexual orientation is almost never a choice and I have seen how damaging it can be to try to “cure” someone from being gay. As a Christian, my responsibility is not to condemn or reject gay people, but rather to love and embrace them, and to endeavor to draw them into the fellowship of the Church. When we sing the old invitation hymn, “Just As I Am”, I want us to mean it, and I want my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to know it is true for them too.

Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

Back in 1999 Campolo told students at Calvin College, “I believe the first chapter of Romans is where I rest my case, and that is that the Bible does not allow for same-sex marriages and same-sex eroticism.” Similarly, he told Sojourners magazine that same year: “I believe that the Bible does not allow for same-gender sexual intercourse or marriage.” Romans 1:26-27, he said, “makes it clear that any homosexual activity is contrary to what the Bible allows.”

(Albert Mohler: Which Way Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide)



What we, as Christians, need to do:
Sean McDowell reminds us:

1. God is still sovereign
“Jesus is still risen from the grave. God is still sovereign”

2. It is and will be hard

“Yes we might find ourselves in a different situation, culturally, that makes us uncomfortable; and it is starting to cost us something”

“If you say, ‘I think same-sex marriage is biblically wrong,’ there are some who would say: ‘if that’s your view … holding that view and being loving cannot exist in the same person.’” Bob Lepine, Family Life (Same-Sex Marriage interview on FL Today 04/20/15)



3. But God has given us an opportunity
“But this is an opportunity for us to seize. Same-sex marriage is here. How do we respond graciously, humbly, truthfully, and ultimately, with … the gospel?”

“We want to do a better job of knowing how to love people who are broken because we, too, are broken” – Dennis Rainey, Family Life

Dennis Rainey brings up the woman caught in adultery and what Jesus did:

1. He chastised those who were about to stone her

2. He protected her

3. He loved her enough to speak truth to her -- told her to go and sin no more

(Same-Sex Marriage interview on FL Today 04/20/15)

We need to figure out how to speak truth in love

Albert Mohler closed out his thoughts on his blog post with this:

This is a moment of decision, and every evangelical believer, congregation, denomination, and institution will have to answer. There will be no place to hide. The forces driving this revolution in morality will not allow evasion or equivocation. Every pastor, every church, and every Christian organization will soon be forced to declare an allegiance to the Scriptures and to the Bible’s teachings on marriage and sexual morality, or to affirm loyalty to the sexual revolution. That revolution did not start with same-sex marriage, and it will not end there. But marriage is the most urgent issue of the day, and the moment of decision has arrived.

In this season of testing, Christians committed to the gospel of Christ are called upon to muster the greatest display of compassion and conviction of our lives. But true compassion will never lead to an abandonment of biblical authority or a redefinition of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I was contacted yesterday by Sarah Pulliam Bailey of The Washington Post. She asked about these very developments. As I told her, this issue will eventually break relationships — personally, congregationally, and institutionally. This is the sad reality and there is simply no way around it. No one, especially in a position of leadership, will be able to fly under the radar on this issue.

The last two days have been very revealing. The present moment is very demanding. The issues before us are compelling and urgent. The Bible is clear. Are you ready to give an answer? 

(Albert Mohler, Which Way Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide)



But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
1 Peter 3:15-17 (NKJV)



Resources Consulted 

CAITLYN JENNER’S SURGERY, ASHLEY WELCH, CBS NEWS: June 3, 2015, 5:12 PM



Explore Forensics: Determining Sex, Author: Jack Claridge - Updated: 31 May 2015



Same-Sex Marriage by Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet 

Same-Sex Marriage, Family Life Today Broadcast: interview with Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet

Tony Campolo: For the Record, June 8, 2015; Tony releases a new statement urging the church to be more welcoming.




Transgender study looks at 'exceptionally high' suicide-attempt rate, January 28, 2014|By Emily Alpert Reyes, LA Times



Albert Mohler, Which Way Evangelicals? There is Nowhere to Hide, June 10, 2015 blog post

Popular posts from this blog

Will Russia Invade Ukraine? Moldova? What Should We Believe When Actions and Words Conflict?

My Thoughts on Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns

Sodom and Gomorrah Location Found?