Are we the masters of our own ships, or are we God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works”? Jon Noyes explains how sex and gender fit into God’s perfect creation order and why that should impact how we live.
There’s been a separation of the body and the person, and this is why activists argue biology has nothing to do with gender identity and kindergarteners are now being taught that their bodies tell them nothing about their authentic self and who they really are. The naturalist believes that our bodies are part of nature, and since nature is the product of mindless, purposeless forces, the body is also a product of mindless, purposeless forces. Therefore, the body has no intrinsic purpose, and there’s no obligation to respect it. We can use the body for whatever we want, and since our biology has no ultimate meaning, we can make it whatever we want. We can invent things and say gender is not binary but on a continuum. We hear things like you can be cisgender, transgender, non-binary, gender queer, gender fluid, gender non-conforming, agender, gender void, and more.
Feminist Camille Paglia said that fate, not God, has given us this flesh. We have absolute claim to our bodies. We have absolute claim to our bodies and may do with them as we see fit. We’re the masters of our own ships, so to speak. And this is the predominant view today. But instead of condemning our LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors to Hell with verses from Scripture, we should follow Nancy Pearcey’s lead and ask them, why should I accept such an extreme devaluation of the human body? Why has it become acceptable for a person to mutilate his or her body or engage in extremely harmful sexual activities but not conform his or her mind to something better?
It’s the Christian who has the higher view of bodily worth. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” is what Paul says in Ephesians. You see, sex and gender are part of God’s perfect creation and are intrinsically good, when you boil it down, and this is contrary to what the popular narrative says—the LGBTQ+ movement—especially as seen in the transgender discussion. It’s driven by the idea that you ultimately have to hate your body. You’re at war with it. As we present a better alternative, I think that we see it’s more than this, and hear me out, guys, males and females are the biological and physiological counterparts of one another. This is how we’ve been designed. Denying this is to contradict that design that we see every single day in nature. Eyes are made for seeing. Arms are made for moving. Feet are made for walking. Tongues are made for tasting and speaking. You get the picture.
One trans activist that I read recently says this: “Why should my biological sex have any say in how I live my life morally?” This is a profoundly disrespectful way to view the body, and, I’d argue, it leads to self-alienation as the person gradually becomes more and more distant from the reality that the body is an integral part of who we are. This is evidenced by the regret expressed by trans men and women who surgically alter themselves only to find that the problems that they were hoping surgery would solve remain unsolved after the surgery.
But instead of condemning people to Hell and calling them sinners, there’s a better way to communicate. Our message should be, why do you accept such a demeaning view of your own body and biological identity? The Christian ethic is a better ethic. Here, we should be taking our moral cues from our bodies, and when we do, we experience self-integration, not self-alienation. What I’m saying is that when we live in harmony with the purpose for which we’ve been made, we will be more fulfilled. And I know, personally, many people who would attest to this. Becket Cook. Christopher Yuan. Rosaria Butterfield.
Our call is to honor our bodies and live in accordance with the Creator’s design based on the high view of the dignity of the human body. We’ll always be more fulfilled when we live in line with who we really are according to the true story of reality. Our lives aren’t about us alone. Camille Paglia is wrong. When she said that we have absolute claim to our bodies and may do with them as we see fit, she was wrong, because we bear the image of God, and the ownership of that image belongs to God.
Let’s not buy into the rampant individualism permeating the culture right now. Remember, you are not your own. You’ve been bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body. Since we bear the image of God, we’re not free to decide for ourselves what’s best for ourselves. We should live consistently with the character of the one we portray. Unlike the ethics of naturalism ruled by individualism, Scripture’s commands regarding sex and gender are never arbitrary. They’re endowed with incredible meaning and purpose as a telos. Our sexuality has a higher purpose than merely our own desires. Every part of us was created primarily to radiate and testify to the glory of God.