Recently, the mother of a high school student told me that a few kids in the youth group said they were non-binary (also known as ENBY or NB) and were questioning the Bible about its two-gender emphasis. That disturbed me deep in my spirit which led to this message.
I started ministry decades earlier by speaking to the church about homosexuality and how to address the subject by dealing with it using the Bible from a transformative grace perspective. I was the only straight person at the initial meeting of what would become the first international outreach ministry organization to the LGBTQIAS+ community, known as “Exodus International.” Its primary mission was to offer the life-transforming message of God's love and forgiveness.
I know of thousands who the power of God’s love has transformed. Ever since then, I have been keenly aware of the LGBTQIAS+ societal needs. Sadly, decades later, sexual orientation is still a serious issue that is not directly addressed in today’s church.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. In the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:26-27 ESV)
The Bible declares that “God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created him (Heb: 'oto' = in the demonstrative sense of entity; properly self); male (Heb: 'zakar' = a biological male) and female (Heb: 'neqebah' = biological female) He created them” (v27). The verse is not a figure of speech that expresses two contrasting parts. When God created them as male and female, He did not add the words ‘for your God is neither male nor female’ or use non-binary gender pronouns.
God created human beings as only male or female with anatomical sexual differences and gave them very specific prescriptive roles for each gender (see Gen 1:1-28, 2:1-24; also Matt 19:4-6; Mark 10:6; 1 Cor 11:11; Eph 5:21–32; 1 Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; also Gen 2:1-24).
The facts are that gender is, and always has been, relevant in the Bible. Gender is essential to God. He is strong yet gentle, defends, and nurtures; He is independent and social because He is like a good father and a good mother. He created both male and female “in his image” (Gen 1:27). It reveals that humans are the only beings in the universe made in the image of the Creator of all things. The aspects of men and women equally reflect part of God’s nature.
God is not gender-neutral. He does not say anything about there being a non-binary gender. From the beginning of Creation, God made humans male and female. God chose to incorporate gender and sexuality as part of His “very good” Creation (Gen 1:31).
The cultural metaphysical term "'non-binary" is used to describe anyone whose gender is not included in the socially constructed roles of male or female. This could include dysphoria. Some may experience a more fluid sense of identity or always stay near to their way of presenting how they see themselves
Others may not identify with any gender at all. Because of this, there are so many different identities that it would be impossible to name them all. A person could be a woman who wears makeup and dresses but still identifies as non-binary. They might even use she/her pronouns. Her gender identity is more about how she sees herself and not from anyone else’s point of view.
The Bible tells us that God did not create people with a non-binary identity, or some have more than one gender, nor did He let them decide what they would be. There is no sex spectrum. Gender is an "or" proposition, not a "both/and" proposition (See Deut 22:5; Ps139:13). Throughout the Bible, the vast majority of men and women are shown living within the biology they were born with.
The human body is made up of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), a molecular chain like a computer code written in part by nucleotides with the living cells of the body. The sequence of the nucleotides, which are any of several compounds that are the basic structural units of nucleic acids, tells the cells exactly what elements they have to generate.
Mutations occur when the information contained in the DNA strand is altered, either due to external causes (elements of the environment that affect the DNA), damaging it or preventing its correct reading, or internal reasons such as biological errors during DNA duplication. The mutation is a source of diseases and disorders and is a necessary factor for living species to evolve. The Bible says this resulted from the Fall in the Garden of Eden when sin entered into the world (See Gen 3:1). It is a scientific certainty that mutations will occur.
The human body has many different kinds of cells, such as skin, liver, and blood cells. In the center of most cells is a structure called the nucleus. This is where chromosomes are located.
Chromosomes are the structures that hold genes. Genes are the individual instructions that tell our bodies how to develop and function; they govern physical characteristics, such as hair color, blood type, and disease susceptibility.
There can be chromosome abnormalities that are numerical or structural. A numerical abnormality means an individual either misses one of the chromosomes from a pair or has more than two chromosomes instead of a pair. A structural abnormality means the chromosome's structure has been altered in one of several ways.
The typical number of chromosomes in a human cell is 46 or 23 pairs, holding an estimated total of 20,000 to 25,000 genes. One set of 23 chromosomes is inherited from the biological mother, and the other set is inherited from the biological father.
Of the 23 pairs of chromosomes, the first 22 pairs are called "autosomes." The final pair is called the "sex chromosomes." Sex chromosomes determine an individual's sex: females have two X chromosomes (XX), and males have an X and a Y chromosome (XY). The mother and father each contribute one set of 22 autosomes and one sex chromosome.
An example of a condition caused by numerical abnormalities is Down syndrome, marked by mental retardation, learning difficulties, a characteristic facial appearance, and poor muscle tone (hypotonia) in infancy. An individual with Down syndrome has three copies of chromosome 21 rather than two; for that reason, the condition is also known as Trisomy 21. An example of monosomy, in which an individual lacks a chromosome, is Turner syndrome which results in a female that is born with only one sex (X) chromosome, and is usually physically shorter than average and unable to have children, among other difficulties.
*(Adapted from the National Human Genome Institute Fact Sheet 2021 [https://cutt.ly/LnwkKMp]).
Gender dysphoria is a term used to focus on a person’s discomfort or distress that occurs when their gender identity differs from their biological gender at birth or sex-related physical characteristics. It can be attributed to psychological maladjustment.
Gender dysphoria can impair many aspects of life. Preoccupation with being another gender than the one a person is born with often interferes with daily activities and relationships. Anxiety, depression, self-harm, eating disorders, substance abuse, and other problems can occur, such as discrimination, and can lead to suicide attempts.
The overwhelming majority of the world’s population has a pair of either XX chromosomes in females, or XY chromosomes in males, giving them the typical features of a female or male, respectively. Due to genetic mutations, determining actual gender can be a bit ambiguous. A mutated hormone receptor can result in a female with a fully functioning female reproductive system and actually be genetically male, or a female with a fully functioning male reproductive system who is actually genetically female.
Some people are born as monosomies or polysomies, which means that some women only have an X chromosome. Both men and women can have an XXY chromosomal code that will adversely affect their normal growth. It is essential to understand that the outer appearance of gender does not necessarily prove that a person is biologically that gender.
The Bible does not make a distinction between biological sex and mental gender. Abnormalities, mutations, and gender confusion is a result of the Fall in the Garden of Eden. A person's inclination to act like the opposite gender is ultimately due to sin entering the human race which caused the DNA to mutate and break down through entropy and into many variations. Gender anomalies and same sex attraction are either psychological and or genetic mutation issues.
Sin is what causes a person to do or desire those things contrary to God's desires, which are revealed in the Bible. When a person sins, they are essentially saying, "God, I know better than you do because I am god." This is precisely what occurs when a person says they are a different gender than their actual biology indicates (see Gen 3:1-14). When Adam and Eve sinned, they were punished in ways that were different from each other.
Contrary to the uninformed ramblings of some, the Bible does not recognize six different genders – and King David did not have a homosexual lover. However, Hebrew writings do reveal that there were considered six physical distinctions that could be characterized as deformities. When a Born-Again Christian uses someone’s preferred gender pronoun that corresponds with their expressed gender identity they are bearing false witness against them (Ex 20:16).
Many people who identify as non-binary see themselves as those in the Bible who are eunuchs. However, eunuchs were not non-binary people. The word ‘eunuch’ comes from the Hebrew word ‘saris,’ which means incapable of marriage; an emasculated human male (ISBE). Eunuchs were slaves who their Masters trusted to watch over their wives and daughters, be their courier or diplomatic emissary, military leaders, or fulfill other trusted roles. Interestingly, even though castration was forbidden in ancient Israel because God had commanded for humans to be fruitful and multiply, they still did it anyway (see Gen 1:28).
“Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Gal 3:23-29 ESV)
The Bible tells us that when a person is converted and becomes Born-Again they become equal with every other Born-Again Christian in the eyes of God. That does not mean He does away with binary thinking in favor of unitive thinking about people.
The Bible says that “if anyone is in Christ” they are “a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:11-21 NIV). That means a Born-Again Christian is SPIRITUALLY transformed completely, but it does not mean they are also PHYSICALLY or MENTALLY transformed from the effects of sin found in their DNA.
God made the two distinctly different genders a complete presentation of Himself together rather than each one separately. The Bible reveals that God did not take the woman from the head of a man to be over her, or from the foot to be a slave, nor from his front to lead him or his back to follow him, but from his side to complete him.
The spiritual transformation by the Holy Spirit makes gender irrelevant in the Kingdom of God because the Born-Again Christian is “no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:27-28 ESV).
The Greek word translated as “sons” is ‘huios’ and, in context, is not gender-specific as it means God appoints the Born-Again Christian to have and exercise delegated power because they take on His spiritual likeness by resembling His character (see 2 Sam 7:14; Deut 14:1). No gender is superior to another in Christ. Jesus said that in the next life people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in Heaven (Matt 22:30). What this implies is the gender differences don’t matter in Heaven.
God recognizes and thoroughly understands all people from the inside out, but that does not mean He validates non-binary or binary-identified transgender, or same sex attraction, and approves of their behavior. Jesus emphasized that the inner person, one’s heart and spirit, is seen by, and matters most, to God and that the flesh is insignificant by comparison (John 6:63). That also does not mean people should live their lives based on what they FEEL inside, but on who they are IN Christ, who created them as male and female.
The Bible is the final source of truth for the Born-Again Christian and not the traditions or esoteric ramblings of fallen human beings. It is filled with the wisdom and knowledge of God and remains as the only and the absolute authority for all things related to the mind of God and His handiwork. It is the only reliable source for human beings to learn about their Creator and hear His voice. God has given three conditions to know Him intimately;
1. “if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding”
2. “if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding”
3. “if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,"
"then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Prov 2:1-6 ESV).
Based upon the authority of the Old and New Testaments, it is evident that normal sexual behavior is that which functions according to its design. Scientific evidence, and the natural order of Creation, dictates procreation for the survival of every species.
Genesis states that God created humans as male and female to be joined together to reflect His love and relationship with His bride - every member of the Church universal. Because God’s character and nature is love, He would never create someone opposed to the design of His natural order and then say it is wrong to be like that.
The Bible tells us that the man Jesus is our Lord, provider, and protector, and those who are Born-Again are corporately designated as female (Eph 5:23–33). These truths demonstrate that God does not show favoritism regarding gender (see Acts 10:34; Rom 2:11; Eph 6:9).
Jesus set the example as a model for both male and female followers who are called to empty themselves and become humble, obedient servants, even to the point of death (1 Peter 2:21-23; see also Phil 2:5-8). Sadly, it is true that with the entrance of sin and its deathly consequences into the world in the Garden of Eden, there are gender disorders of various types. People affected by such disorders should most certainly receive compassion and support from the church.
There is no sex spectrum where people can choose to identify as male or female, regardless of their anatomy, which is irrational and has no basis in scientific reality. In humans, reproductive anatomy is unambiguously male or female at birth more than 99.98% of the time. (Excerpt from https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-dangerous-denial-of-sex-11581638089)
Gender is not a matter of opinion but a scientific fact that it is physical. Non-binary gender is a distorted conception of life resulting from abnormalities, personality disorders and possible unnormal biological mutations. There is no third type of sex cell that exists in humans. Sex is binary – period!
Biological men who say they identify as female and women who say they identify as males, or any gender identity combination, is psychologically dangerous and is an anti-scientific trend toward the outright denial of the authority of the Bible and the fact that the Creator of all things determined biological sex. God’s Word is absolute truth (John 17:17).
Human beings hypothesize, theorize, formulate, speculate and postulate because they do not have the infinite mental capacity of full knowledge about anything in this life. It is the Bible that must be the most important source of authority in a person's spiritual life.
The Bible is the authoritative source for the proclamation of the church and the norm by which that proclamation is tested. It cannot be changed by any additions, subtractions, or modifications offered by anyone no matter what position or authority they claim to hold. Once a person attempts to conflate various verses, supplement, supersede, distort or subtract from the Bible, they enter into heresy.
When a person totally falls in love with Jesus, the Creator and Lord of all things, they are empowered to "put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within." Then they will be able to:
"Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don't be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. God's terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. In its place, you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. In this new life, it doesn't matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, (male or female) circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us" (Col 3:5-11 NLT).
The Bible says that every human being is "without excuse" when they stand before God (Rom 1:20 ESV). Every person fails to honor and give thanks to God. Every person falls short of the glory of God. No one is conditionally righteous, not one. When a Born-Again Christian judges the behavior and beliefs of their fellow humans, they had better do so in a great deal of humility, because every person, whether straight, LGBTQIAS+, or celibate, has only one righteous plea to make before their Maker; "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner." It is only when God has heard that appeal through the death and resurrection of Jesus, is there any hope of abundant and eternal life for any of us.
In Christ, every human being can be justified in faith. God draws everyone to inherit His Kingdom. The choice to transition from sin by becoming Born-Again is theirs to make. Thanks be to God for His incredible mercy in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Christians are to treat one another as brothers and sisters - first and foremost. They are one family united by Jesus’ shed blood. The “natural” desire in the Bible makes sense in a procreative sense, but not in a ‘sexual’ sense (Rom 1:26-27). I firmly believe that there are far more ‘heterosexuals’ who need to have their sexuality transformed and sanctified then there are in the LGBTQIAS+ community.
The church must accept those who have sexual and gender challenges just as they would anyone with any type of emotional or physical health issue. They must not be turned away from such things as small groups, church functions, or mission trips. The church is to be a spring of healing and fulfill the commandments of God. It must openly offer and affirm to those who desire to be set free, the way that is found only in Jesus and show kindness and grace to them as they are learning what the Bible says about gender and sexual behavior. The ultimate challenge for every Christian is to allow the Holy Spirit to transform them “into His likeness with ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor 3:18 NIV).
I would say to the church, put away your bigotry and prejudice against those who are not like you, and walk in the merciful and kind goodness of God that "leads to repentance" and in the ministry of reconciliation and forgiveness so that you can fulfill God's Great Commandment by loving one another (Rom 2:4; 1 Cor 5:18-21; Matt 22:32-40).
Christians must allow Jesus to be the healer through them by looking at others as He sees them - lost sheep in need of a Shepherd. Without condoning their behavior, accept the sinner and not the sin, letting God “work out” their sins and failures. When we do, we will see the lives of everyone we touch healed as they transition into the image and likeness of Christ, thereby fulfilling the Great Commandment and Great Commission.