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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Response to "Sexuality, Gender, and Family" - The Biblical Genders, Sex Drive, and Family Unit

I recently posted a response about these three topics in the title about current issues in the world. These three issues are some of the most poorly explained topics in Scripture in the 21st Century, when considering family and community. In today's culture, having a sexuality indenity has far surpassed a gospel identity in Christ (cf. Mark 8:34). The cause? A misunderstanding of these three issues below. To have a biblical identity in the cross means getting these three structural elements right. Enjoy the read and tell me what you think about the short response!

The Biblical Genders, Sex Drive, and Family Unit

This is very easy to disclose: "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)

Homosexuality is absolutely sin, it is condemned and judged as sin by God in the OT (Lev. 18:22; 20:13) and NT (Roman 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10), and is not a "biblical gender" blessed by God, as some liberal and unbiblical people of faith suggest. It is an abomination with equal sinfulness in the sight of God as all other sins, "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it" (James 2:10). Therefore, homosexuality is clearly sin equal to all other sins and needs the same remedy as other sin - The satisfactory work of Christ on the cross.

Note: I am not contextualizing that homosexuality is a gender. However, even though most homosexuals do not state that their orientation or gender is homosexual, they embrace their homosexuality as a sexual identity with the same gender. This is why I listed under gender that homosexuality is absolutely impossible for biblical and proper relational compatibility in the context of marriage and family.

From he beginning of creation in Genesis, we notice God created humanity to be "fruitful and multiply" on the earth, having dominion over all creation (Gen. 1:28). That clearly suggests that a sex drive was given to man and woman to have children to inhabit the earth. Therefore, by divine design, God has given every human a sex drive.

Now this sex drive was to be used between man and woman only (i.e. Adam and Eve, Gen. 1:27), and in a marriage covenant committed to one another, becoming one flesh (Gen. 2:24). In Genesis 2:20-25, God demonstrates to us his desire for man. His desire was to make him a mate that will comfort and compliment him on earth. Therefore, God created woman to ideally be linked together with the man to fulfill his will to populate the earth, and to bring ultimate fulfillment and purpose in the life of man/woman through their sex drives.

When speaking about our sexuality (i.e. sex drive), it is important to know first hand that it is good and holy in the right context. Secondly, it is important to know that it is wrong and unholy in the wrong context. The issue for Christians who live in a sexually saturated culture is how to control their sex drive. Sexuality is a touchy subject these days in church; however, it needs to be addressed because so many people are living sexually active lifestyles. Youth ministries across America have a hard time keeping their ministers off of pornography or having immoral relationships. The issues are not the sex itself, but rather the sexual activity because of no self-control (one of the fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22i). In the NT, the Greek word "porneia" is used by Paul to express any "illicit sexual activity outside of marriage - period!" (1 Cor. 6; Eph. 5; 1 Tim. 1; 1 Thess. 4). This is primarily the issue in the church - lack of self-control and "porneia" activity - not sex in general. The dismissal of discussion regarding sexuality in the church has caused so many problems to continue and linger, and sometimes get worse. The church must address such sexual topics with radical emphasis on error and unrighteousness of "sexual sin," and the biblical mandate for "holiness and sanctification" in 21st century Christianity.

The unit of father, mother, sons and daughters, have been foundational to the very fabric of human civilization. Genesis 4 shows us the first family (yet dysfunctional) with Father (Adam), Mother (Eve), Sons (Abel and Cain). Genesis 5 shows us descendants from those families to greater families. Deuteronomy 6:4-9, known as the "Shema" or "Great Commandment" was to be a generational tool of discipleship to grow the family unit as worshipers of YHWH, the One true God.

The Shema presents the fundamentals for Christian education and biblical multiplicity through the family. The family should be lead by godly parents who disciple, nurture, instruct, educate, discipline, comfort, and love their children so their children will become wonderful individuals when they become adults.
Most importantly, the greatest mission field in American Christianity is the home. Parents are not teaching their children truth. They are not teaching them the Gospel because they are not living the gospel message. You can raise children morally, but if you are not living morally, most morals always fade if they are not taught in truth. Christian parents are to train their children in the ways of the Lord (Deut. 4:10; Prov. 22:6) and grow them into disciples who will be the future Gospel-centered leaders of their generation whether at work, school, or church. Family is very important, and God's desire if ultimately for the home to be a reflection a believer's relationship with him - holy, grace-filled, and compassionate towards one another (Col. 3:12-14).


Lisa said...

We'll never agree on the stance you take on homosexuality, so it's not even worth arguing it - but for the sake of accuracy I did want to point out that nobody says homosexuality is a gender. I am a woman and I am a lesbian, and the fact that I am a lesbian does not in any way diminish the fact that I am very much a woman. That being said, people often conflate "gender" and "sex" as though they are one and the same. They are not. But neither are gender and sexual orientation the same thing.

As for the equality of sin in God's eyes, you keep your bacon cheeseburgers and flagrant violation of commandments #1-4, and I'll keep my wife, and we'll call it even. =)

All that being said, I'm glad you acknowledge that in the right context sexuality is a good and sacred thing, even while it can be dangerous in many contexts. That's an acknowledgment that is rare in a lot of Christian discourse about sexuality, even within marriage.

RJ McCauley said...

GREAT COMMENT! I like to hear it from all perspectives, so that was good to hear that someone who disagrees was reading this post. Thanks for speaking up and being honest.

Also, I put a note in the post to clarify the "gender" comment you made about homosexuality.

What is your favorite subject in Christian Studies?