Why has the recently published Nashville Statement been wrought with so much controversy and outrage? Because Christianity has been divided into two sides. The conservative right, and the liberal left. The right is deemed to be harmful, hateful, oppressive and bigoted. The left has done away with the gospel of repentance, and instead clung to love and tolerance under the guise that it’s how Jesus would have operated.
There shouldn’t be more than one version of Christianity. There should be just one. The Biblical one. And it can’t be based on trendy interpretations, or what you feel it says, or what your religious church taught you. The Bible is very clear, if you read it through the eyes of your spirit, and not through your limited human brain, or with the influence of culture, or with the misguided idea that we should be more reformed and evolved.
God’s intended plan for humanity did not include racism, or slavery, or inequality. It did however include the guidelines for marriage, gender identity, and human sexuality.
Can conservative Christianity come across as harmful, particularly to those who identify as LGBT? Sure it can, if you view with it a liberal mindset.
Through the well-intentioned, but ultimately destructive “love” movement, people have been led to believe that whoever or whatever they feel they are, that’s how God created them. And since God is love, He will accept them for who they were created to be.
The reality of true Biblical teaching is that God created humankind in His image, but it became flawed due to the fall and the presence of evil. As a result, we’re born with a sin nature that must be taken captive by the spirit.
God loves everyone. He welcomes everyone. He wants relationship with everyone. But God did not intend for us to live as slaves to our sin nature.
The problem we’re now facing is a divide between how God actually created us, and how we feel He created us. (Disclaimer: I am aware that there are people born with disabilities, and physical anomalies that they can’t control. This is not referring to those individuals, although they are worthy of compassion and understanding as well).
If we teach people that they are created according to what they feel, we are leading them down a dangerous road. They won’t be able to understand God’s loving and beautiful plan for their lives. Instead, they will live with shame and self-hatred until they either forsake the idea of God’s creation all together, follow a false and fluid version of the truth or, worse yet, believe life is not longer worth living.
This is a massive problem, because no person should ever have to feel like they are unloved, or not valued, or less-than anyone else. And it is torture to feel as though you are living in the wrong body, and thus not able to express who you truly are. But again, we have gone down the road that our own individual feelings should be the determining factor of who we are, and how we live our lives. And if we believe those feelings have been ingrained by God Himself, we’re in trouble.
I was born a female. I identified as a girl. My mom bought me dresses to wear, and shoes with bows, and ribbons to put in my hair. But inside, that’s not what I felt I was. I liked sports. I didn’t want to play with dolls. Whenever I would play dress-up or make-believe with my friends, I would assume the role of the boy character.
When it came time for me to choose my own wardrobe, I went with baggy jeans, over-sized t-shirts, and ball caps. I played hockey in the winter, and basketball through the summer. I liked to watch wrestling. I was your typical “tomboy”.
But I’m one of the blessed ones. My parents, and in particular my father, never made me feel like there was something wrong with me. He took me to sporting events. He bought me hockey cards. He loved and affirmed me exactly as I was. I never felt like I was born in the wrong body despite my hobbies and interests. And I am forever thankful for my upbringing, because it saved me from potentially ruining my life.
There were times I wished I were a boy, and times I even pretended to be one. But my parents taught me that it’s okay for a girl to love sports. They celebrated my desire to play the drums, (at the time seen as a “boy” instrument), paid for my lessons and bought me a drum kit.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I were growing up now, and my parents didn’t show me (or weren’t allowed to teach me) what Biblical womanhood was all about it. What if they told me I could be whatever gender I felt like, and even change my physical appearance according to what I felt inside.
I would have messed up my life, because when I approached my late teens, I embraced being female. I liked being a girl. I had no desire to be male. What if I would have had surgery, or hormone treatment. Then what? I felt like a boy when I was a kid, but a girl when I was an adult. Feelings are hardly a good enough reason to make such significant changes. We don’t allow children to make any other kinds of life-altering decisions, yet their gender has now become something interchangeable.
Every story is different. Every person is unique. And that’s the key here. We aren’t dealing with a cultural movement. We’re dealing with souls who have been separated from their maker, souls who need to be reunited with their savior, and only then will they know who they truly are.
Our identity never lies in our sexual preferences and attractions, or our gender, because if those things can be altered or changed, how can we stake such importance in them?
I’ve heard people say that Christians should mind their own business, take care of their own house, and stop telling the world how to live their lives. But that’s the liberal way of looking at it. True Biblical Christianity knows that there is no life apart from God. And although many religious people have handled things very poorly in the past, and still do now, that doesn’t mean the basis for Biblical belief is harmful.
It’s just the opposite. Biblical Christianity offers hope not just for the life to come, but for your life now. We were not created to feel shame. That’s from the devil. The shame exists because of our awareness of sin. But Jesus came to take all of that away, including the desires and feelings that are not in line with God’s intention for your life.
The Spirit of God can, and will, change your heart and your desires if you allow him to.