The current issue of “National Geographic” features a transgender child on the front cover. Indeed one of the most amazing phenomena of our day is the movement to destroy gender distinctions. This movement claims that one can be a girl in a boy’s body, a boy in a girl’s body, a homosexual man in a girl’s body but attracted to other men and a lesbian woman in a man’s body attracted to women. Is your head spinning yet? These orientations can apparently also change. A former lesbian had a falling-in-love experience with the present mayor of New York, and they are now married. Bruce Jenner is Kaitlin now, but would a woman ever have won the men’s decathlon at the Olympics as Jenner did? And of course, a woman in a man’s body cannot have a period, get pregnant or nurse. So gender application is more about how one feels than any factual realities. The sexual revolution is now heading towards anarchy.
The Challenge of Homosexuality in Israel
I am concerned for Israel because these same trends are very prominent in the non-religious sector here. Secular Israeli society seeks to be like other nations. Hence all the Western aberrations are here, and many Israelis brag about it. They call Tel Aviv the capital of the gay world.
Yet contrary to the United States, Israel has a state religion – Orthodox Judaism – which clearly differentiates between male and female. Since the Orthodox are consistently part of the government coalition, the State has to show deference to that part of the population. In addition, one fifth of our citizens are Arab and they also tend to support conservative sexual ethics. So one portion of the population tracks with the decadence of the Western World while the other resists.
Is it Genetics or Perverted Desires?
Homosexuals want to argue that their orientation is fixed by genetics, but there is no convincing genetic evidence yet. (Even some gay activists say this argument is only a ploy.) Many in the LGBT movement do not want to think of sexuality as so fixed. They want to support every possible orientation of consenting adults.
Cultures and Gender Distinctions
The issues of the gay revolution and all its permutations are contrary to the Biblical foundations of creation order and the intuitive grasp of reality in almost all cultures. This used to be called perversion. Rather than seeing gender distinctions as something to be made more amorphous, almost all historic societies grasped the importance of fostering and enhancing gender distinctions and their importance in maintaining stable family order. Most considered it important to raise women to be prepared to bear babies, nurse, nurture and focus on young children. Men were raised to go out and provide, to be responsible for their families.
It was generally understood that the attracting and bonding of male and female in marriage requires clear distinctions of gender leading to role distinctions. For example, distinctive clothing for men and women, and boys and girls; and the way women and men comport themselves were, and are still, fostered from the earliest ages in almost all cultures. To totally remove these distinctions would destroy a stable society and marriage itself.
Biblical Balance and Gender Distinctions
The Bible clearly fosters gender distinctions in many texts. Gender is a fundamental part of both the Hebrew and Greek languages and the biblical writers, from Moses, the prophets, the Psalmist, the gospel and letter writers all spoke and wrote in a fully gendered way. The Bible not only recognizes the difference between male and female but celebrates and protects both roles so that neither men nor women should be oppressed or coerced. Prohibitions of same-sex relationships are clearly specified throughout the Bible.
Unfortunately some cultures are oppressive to women in the way gender roles are defined and enforced. The Chinese bound the feet of girls so they would walk in a particular way. Muslim cultures tend to prevent women from fulfilling their gifts and talents, and some still practice female genital mutilation. Many Muslim women are forced to embrace a very restrictive existence. In contrast, the biblical requirements for gender distinction give boundaries yet still provide broad freedoms for both sexes to exercise their gifts and talents and to be all they can be in Kingdom life.