Genesis 1.27 says this: “God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Our gender is a gift of God in his good creation, which is part of what it means to reflect the image of God. Yet our culture is seeking to erode the difference between male and female, promoting gender fluidity and choice. Rather than receiving the gift of a gendered existence, we are seeking to define our own gender, or do away with the definition all together. God has bounded us in gender and we seek to erase his boundaries, as we do with all God’s boundaries.
But with what result? Does this lead to freedom, happiness and fulfilment as is claimed? Or does it lead to increased bondage, despair and the loss of any idea of who we are?
This is not the Christian vision for gender. The Christian vision includes at least the following:
Our gender is a gift to be treasured! Our maleness or femaleness contains a richness from God that we can spend our lives discovering. We affirm that men and women are different! Equally displaying the image and glory of God, but in different ways. (this is one of the reasons why the Christian vision is for heterosexual marriage – it is the combination of male and female that together reflects the image of God, not one on its own).
This difference is to be honoured and treasured. It must not be submitted to culture, whether that is our current one or traditional ones. We do not defend an antiquated Victorian image of a ‘women’s place’ or ‘man’s work’. But neither do we accept the modern claim that there are no differences of importance and no difference in the way male and female lives should normally look.
In our given gendered condition. God has given us an important aspect of our identity which is truly ours and can lead to freedom.
Complicated issues in this area, like those born with abnormal bodies, gender dysphoria, etc. will be addressed in our special evening on gender with Dr. Rick Thomas on 7th October.