One of the most obvious challenges to objective truth today is transgender compliance—agreeing that an individual can change his sex from male to female (or vice versa), and be referenced as such, on the mere basis of feelings and psychology. It’s no wonder conservatives are pushing back against this illogical and anti-scientific agenda—a dogma that projects man’s subjective truth over nature and reality. Unfortunately, however, too many conservatives are on the losing end of the argument because they have already sacrificed key premises regarding sexuality. Put simply, those who have said “yes” to homosexuality as a true and legitimate sexual identity have no consistent standing to say “no” to transgenderism.
It all comes down to truth as God defines it through revelation and in nature about his design regarding human nature and sexual identity. This is the red line. Not psychology. Not political agendas. Not laws that challenge institutions like marriage and even the church. The red line is truth about humanity and human sexuality. Each of these issues, from the L to the T or the Q, is about objective truth, much like the reality of gravity, which isn’t a belief, but a fact. If you deny fundamental truth, everything else false apart.
What is this truth regarding sexual identity? It's rather simple: God made human beings in his image—male and female. He made men and women to have sex for intimate unity and procreation only with each other in the context of marriage: the two will become one flesh—what God has joined together let no man separate. All else is sin. The purpose of erotic love and sex is to bring complementary parts—male and female—into loving oneness, body and soul. This unity is a great mystery and representative of the union of Christ with his church.
The nature, purpose, and design of our sexuality, however, is clear, not only from revelation, but in nature. Our bodies are undeniably made to engage in sexual relations with the opposite sex. Procreation cannot be accomplished any other way. Actual sex cannot be accomplished any other way. Covenantal unity cannot be accomplished any other way. God’s design for spiritual unity of the masculine and feminine cannot be accomplished any other way. God made them male and female, to love each other in that union.
When we deviate from this objective truth in any way, we are setting up feelings and our own human ideas as the standard for human nature, design, and meaning. We are exchanging a truth for a lie and undoing what even nature reveals to be fact. This is no more evident than in the area of human sexuality, just as the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. . . .
God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” 1:18; 26-27
“Homosexuality” (a very modern term) is lustful attractions and sexual acts within the context of same-sex relations. Homosexuality is not a separate sexual identity or orientation from the identity of heterosexuality. Homosexuality is not a truly "loving" relationship in the context of erotic love as God designed it. Homosexuality is a disorientation, a choice made from attractions born of a sinful nature that plagues every human being. It is a behavior, not a state of being, unless one so comprehensively embraces the behavior as to self-identity with it, much as a person who lies transforms into being unable to tell the truth because he lies so much, and, thereby, “becomes” a liar. It’s now an identity, but it is a sinful one, an unnatural one, a disordered one.
Homosexuals might self-identify with their sin, but they are not an identity class—not like being female is a natural identity or being black is a natural identity. There is—to put it technically—no such thing as a “gay person” or a “homosexual person.” There is only a person—a man or a woman—who has same-sex attractions, compulsions, psychological proclivities, and desires.
These attractions, compulsions, psychological proclivities, and desires do not define the nature of the person or their sexuality. These are—when they manifest as lust in the heart, imaginations in the mind, and actions of the body—sin. Sin is a perversion of God’s design, a twisting of his way into something it is not meant to be, and an intentional violation of his ordered reality. This is true, to one degree or another, of all sexual sins. In other words, sex outside of the marriage between a man and woman is disorder. The only difference between homosexuality and the other sins is that it goes a step further and is a disorder not only of purpose but of nature itself.
Why, then, do so many—within the church and without—think that homosexuality is a legitimate sexuality, and not only that, an identity all its own, either to be acted on or not? There is only one answer: subjective feelings have replaced objective truth. Man’s own “truth,” which is really a lie, has replaced God’s truth. The clay has said to the Potter, “I will design myself, reconstruct my nature, and determine my actions based on my desires and feelings, not on your design as the Artist or your law as the Lawgiver.”
Once we have made the decision to define human sexuality outside of the bounds of God’s design and his law, we have opened the door to “truth” being defined as anything one feels. If truth is defined by what anyone feels, then those with the most power over everyone else can impose their perception of truth on the rest of society and demand that they call it truth, for there is no longer any objective truth that binds everyone equally. There is no overarching authority over all human beings (God); there is only the authority of human beings and the most powerful among them. This is the tyrannical trajectory of subjectivism.
If one agrees that sexual love between a man and man is right and true because it’s what one feels, then how can that same person say that sexual identity transitioning from a man to a woman is not right and true since it too is based on what one feels? Truth has already been transformed from a fixed objective reality to a mutable subjective fantasy regarding the nature of sex, sexual identity, and sexual purpose. Why stop at transgenderism? In fact, can you logically do so?
You might answer, saying, “Well, it’s one thing for someone simply to have erotic love for another person of the same sex, but it’s quite a different thing to change your physical body into something else.” True. The two are not identical, but they are of the same kind when it comes to purpose and identity. For the same-sex lovers, are they not using their bodies in a way that they are not designed and for a purpose they are not directed? Are they not determining the nature of their sexuality on self-perception, self-expression, and feelings instead of nature as God designed? This is really no different, fundamentally, from transgender perceptions about sexuality. In fact, one could argue that it is even more insidious because it draws in another person to participate in the sin; while the person who thinks he's another sex is only doing it to himself.
Both the person with same-sex attractions and the person who thinks they're the opposite sex are changing the nature and purpose of their bodies as sexual creatures into something God never meant them to be. So, how can one say to the person with same-sex attractions that it is perfectly acceptable that he do this and not the person who thinks his sexual body must be something else, even as you recognize that the actions in which they engage are not identical. Are they not BOTH based on the same lie of self-determined truth?
You might still object and say that God has indeed designed the homosexual to have same-sex attractions because he was born that way, while the "transsexual" is clearly born a man or a woman and therefore cannot change. This is only different in type, not in essence regarding truth. God has designed all men to have sex with only females in marriage. They were born THAT way, not the other. Their body parts and how they're meant to be used are testimonies of this fact. Sin is the disruptor, and sin is not natural in the sense that it is not God's order. It's "natural" only in the sense that it is part of the fallen "natural" world.
That we are born with sinful inclinations does not change God's reality, his moral law and order, or our responsibility to conform to it. The homosexual, who is still bound to God’s purposes, and the transsexual, who is still bound to God’s design of his body, are BOTH in rebellion and basing their perception of their sexual purpose and identity on their feelings and psychology, not on God's objective design and purposes.
If conservatives—and especially Christians—are going to have a compelling voice in this tragic culture war of sexual identity, they must be consistent and understand what the root problem is: a rejection of God’s truth and design of human sexuality. Once you concede one point, you sacrifice the rest. The battle isn’t against homosexuality and transgenderism per se, it is a battle against subjectivism. It is a war for objective truth.
If we don’t realize this now, we won’t be ready for the battles to come that will challenge not only our sexual identity, but our very identity as human beings and all the rights that entails.
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