Home‎ > ‎Opening the Bible‎ > ‎

Jesus & gender (2)

The place to start in thinking about gender is of course, at the beginning. In Genesis 1:26-27, we read that, “God said, “Let us make mankind in our image . . . So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female He created them.” God created mankind as male and female (no gender spectrum here). Both man and woman are created in His image and therefore equal. It’s my understanding that being created in the image of God is more about what we’re made for than what we’re made of, so that Moses is telling us that our Father created mankind as male and female in order that they might image Him.  Gender then is rooted in God's creative purposes as one of the ways men and women bear witness of Him. I'd say that makes it pretty important.   
What exactly does gender have to do with bearing witness of God?  The answer might surprise you. 
If we read carefully, we’ll see that what is being said is that neither a male alone nor female alone can bear witness to Godit requires both male and female.  It’s like saying a day is represented only by the hours from midnight to noon—that won’t work because it is also represented by the time between noon and midnight. If you go back and look at the plural pronouns that are used relative to God“Let us make mankind in our image.”  It’s clear that whatever else is true, God exists as a singular plurality. This being the case, it takes the singular plurality of mankind (male and female), to bear witness to Him. As male and female then, we bear witness to the nature of God.    
 
Mankind as male and female also bear witness to Christ and the church. Adam is put to sleep and from him comes his bride. Christ was put to sleep (via His death), and His bride, the church, came into being as a result. This is exactly the point that Paul is making when after comparing the relationship between a husband and wife to that of Christ and the church, he says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church," (Ephesians 5:31-32). Christ left His Father to take His bride. And Paul is telling us that male and female (and specifically the way God created the female from the male and then made them one again in marriage), bears witness to Christ and the church (His body). 
 
Our view of gender must not begin (and end) with who does whatthat is the kind of superficial thinking that is ultimately helpful to no one. Rather it should begin in the garden with the profound truth that gender is rooted in creation so that we might bear witness to GodHis singular plurality as well as the relationship between Jesus and the church.
Let me close this piece by reminding you that the Supreme Court won’t acknowledge these truths when they are deciding their cases. Neither will the social sciences take them into account in creating their constructs to explain gender. And you can forget about the media or entertainment industry incorporating them into their world views. All of these work with significant self-imposed limitations because the truths we’ve discussed come only from revelation.  Secularists don’t begin at the beginning so it shouldn’t be surprising that they run amok in their theorizing and hypothesizing about gender. How are you going to end up with an accurate understanding of gender if you don’t accept the Creator’s explanation for why He created mankind as male and female?
I say all of this to make the point that understanding and appreciating gender is a matter of faith, not sight. The world is not going to accept this simply because they’re the world. Disciples know better.
Back to Home

 

Comments