Deuteronomy 22:5 – Men Should Be Men and Women Should Be Women: Gender Confusion Acceptance & The Bible

Posted: March 16, 2017 in 05-Deuteronomy
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Deuteronomy 22:5

Sexual Identity

Recently, in a podcast interview with World Radio, an Asheville, NC evangelical Christian news website, former North Carolina Governor, Pat McCrory, said that the backlash against him personally for having signed the North Carolina legislature’s “bathroom bill” continues to this day. He is finding it difficult to find work as a result of him becoming the lightning rod, or poster boy, for bigotry again the LBGT community. The history of the situation is, of course, that Charlotte’s city council passed an ordinance that would allow a person to use whichever bathroom with which they personally sexually identified. Within just a few days, the legislature of the state of North Carolina passed a law stating that all persons in state owned or run facilities must use the bathroom that corresponds with the person’s natural biological gender. It became famously known as “the Bathroom Bill” and it was signed into law by then governor, Pat McCrory. As with any state, the states are the sovereign power and the cities within its borders operate under the auspices and pleasure of the sovereign powers of the state. Incorporation charters for cities are granted by the state and so on. Thus, when a city law (called ordinances) is in conflict with a state law, the sovereignty of the state supersedes that of the municipality. As a result, the state law against gender identity bathroom use superseded and invalidated the ordinance passed by the City of Charlotte.


The amazing thing was how swiftly North Carolina was condemned for bigotry by the generally urban dwelling liberal intelligencia of our country. The backlash was swift. Companies like Paypal and Google refused to go further with plans to either establish operations in the state or expand already existing facilities. Entertainers boycotted the state and still do. The NCAA, the governing body of college sports, withdrew championship sites for national tournaments that had been awarded to cities in North Carolina. Even the home-grown Atlantic Coast Conference (the ACC), headquartered in Greensboro, NC, withdrew the ACC’s conference football championship game from Charlotte, where it had been played for six years running (and was considered the long-term home of the football championship). Media outlets around the country summarily condemned North Carolina for its action. However, the irony of it all is that it was the city of Charlotte that caused the state to do with it did. Nothing would have been done at the state level had it not been done at the city level. What happened in North Carolina is indicative of what is happening around the country. In Charlotte, North Carolina has one the largest cities in America. There are other hot urban areas in the state as well. The Greensboro-Raleigh-Durham area is a progressive, fast growing area as well. Asheville has become a mecca for artists and all things liberal. However, North Carolina is a large state and most of it is rural. There is a great divide in the political leanings of rural/suburban North Carolina and these North Carolina urban centers.


The whole situation points out the great divide that has been developing in our country between urban centers and rural/suburban communities in America. The divide, though always there to a certain degree, was its most highly visible in the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton won virtually all the urban centers of the US (she won 88 of the 100 largest cities in America). In general, that means rural areas are becoming more conservative, and cities more liberal. Even the reddest states contain liberal cities: Half of the U.S. metro areas with the biggest recent population gains are in the South, and they are Democratic. Texas alone is home to four such cities; Clinton carried each of them. Increasingly, the most important political and cultural divisions are not between red and blue states but between red states and the blue cities within. Within urban areas, the transgender movement has gained great traction as it is seen as the enlightened cause de jour. And it is vociferously supported by major media in this country, which of course, are headquartered in liberal, urban centers. However, rural and suburban America have been gathering momentum and have become more vocal about their distrust of the liberal agenda of the urban centers of the United States. A recent poll last month by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 60% of Americans are opposed to this whole transgender bathroom issue. Rural America is opposed, it seems to the leftward leanings of urban America. Samantha Bee and her nightly liberal rants on TBS gives her great voice, but rural and suburban America have expressed at the ballot box that enough is enough. The drift of liberalism has gone too far, according to rural and suburban voters. They spoke with one voice for once in the 2016 elections and defeated the liberal agenda espoused by urban centers.


This great divide is all in the political arena and it was what I thought of immediately when I read today’s passage/verse, Deuteronomy 22:5 which reads as follows:


A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.


In this verse which is part of a greater collection of laws that God is giving on miscellaneous issues in Deuteronomy 22, this law forbids cross-dressing, which confuses the created categories of sexuality. The God-created differences between women and men are not to be disregarded. Transvestitism may have been derived from the Canaanite practice of cross-dressing in context of pagan religious idol worship. This law reflects the value of not crossing boundaries that God has ordained and established. Creational categories are to kept separate according to God’s Word. The symbolism is clear that we are not to blur the boundaries that God has established.


The following from says it better than I could ever think to write:


The closest the Bible comes to mentioning transgenderism is in its condemnations of homosexuality (Romans 1:18–32; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10) and transvestitism (Deuteronomy 22:5). The Greek word often translated “homosexual offenders” or “male prostitutes” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 literally means “effeminate men.” So, while the Bible does not directly mention transgenderism, when it mentions other instances of gender “confusion,” it clearly and explicitly identifies them as sin.


No matter if the gender distortion has a genetic, hormonal, physiological, psychological, or spiritual cause, it can be overcome and healed through faith in Christ and continued reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit. Healing can be received, sin can be overcome, and lives can be changed through the salvation that Jesus provides, even if there are biological/physiological factors. The Corinthian believers are an example of such a change: “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). There is hope for everyone, transsexuals, transgenders, those with gender identity disorder, and transvestites included, because of God’s forgiveness available in Jesus Christ.


What then do we do as Christians? We know from God’s Word that it is consistent in its views on homosexuality and by extension any gender confusing practices. In our society today, particularly in our cities, these practices are not only tolerated but glorified. Due to media centers being in these large urban centers, our culture is bombarded with glorifying portrayals of that which is considered sin by the Bible (unless you just plain out ignore what it says and try to develop some convoluted logic about how it is not really talking about gender confusing practices). Most reasonable academicians and biblical scholars and most reasonable men and women who read God’s Word regularly will tell you, it is clear that the Bible does not support gender confusing practices. Therefore, how to we respond to people who are flaunting and reveling in their gender confusing practices and refuse to see their practices as sins. In refusing to see these practices as sin, repentance will never come.

Do we give up? Do we write them off? Do we accept gender confusing practices as OK? The answer to all three questions is no. We do not give up on our transgenders and others who confuse gender roles. We do not write them off. Yet, at the same time, we cannot say that God’s Word is changeable and what was once sin is now not sin. Similarly, just because sexual freedom says that adultery is not a big deal anymore does not make God’s command against it any less valid today than it was 100 years ago, 1000 years, 6000 years ago. God’s truth is unchangeable and no matter how hard we try to spin it, His Word is eternal and will mean the same thing always in all centuries.


Thus, we still must engage the culture of transgender and gender confusion acceptance. We cannot walk away from this moment in time. We cannot withdraw. Jesus dined with sinners and died for them. We are called to carry the gospel to all peoples and all nations. Jesus never said it was going to be easy. We cannot write off those who are blatantly and willingly disobeying God. We cannot buy into the divide between rural and urban America. We must be the difference makers who bridge the divide between liberal and conservative America. We must one-on-one engage those who espouse gender confusion acceptance and develop relationships with them. We must engage them with the raw truth of the Scriptures. Scripture is clear, both in the Old Testament and the New, on God’s position on gender confusion acceptance. But we do so in love. We do not create battle lines and fight wars as we see happening in America now – rural/suburban values vs. urban values. We must be willing to meet people where they are at and tear down the walls of distrust and encounter them with the gospel.


That is our calling. Go and make disciples. Jesus did not qualify that to making disciples of people who have the same opinions as me. His calling is to do the hard work of opening the scaled eyes of those who do not know Jesus Christ. It’s not going to be easy but we must do it. Do you really want your worst enemy to suffer the fires of eternal damnation in hell just because you were afraid to share the gospel truth with them in love. Being a Christian should be like the Marines slogan, “the toughest job you will ever love!”


Amen and Amen.

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