A headline in the University of Tennessee’s daily newspaper, The Daily Beacon, caught my attention earlier this week. It read, “Slam poet, activist to host workshop on gender theory.” The article, written by Justin Joo, can be found here. As a Christian who currently works at this liberal arts institution I have ample opportunity to keep current with what the “other side” is into so to speak. Without going into detail, the article basically previewed a “gender theory workshop” event hosted by the university’s Lambda Student Union (an LGBT organization).
None of the comments in this blog are intended to be an attack on the author of the article or the paper itself. I think it is made clear in Scripture that we, as Christians, should love – to the degree we are capable – all of God’s children; however, in this day of post-modernism and political correctness, where it is (sometimes literally) a criminal offense to offend anyone or any group (except, ironically enough, for certain specific groups of people, including Christians), we are often afraid to stand up for Truth.
There were two excerpts from the article that caught my attention:
- “A major concept in gender theory is that gender is not divided into two simple subsets of male and female.”
- “The ultimate goal of the event is for students to have a better understanding of how gender norms play into people’s lives and how gender is not necessarily tied to a person’s sex.”
OK, so regarding #1, you can dress that statement up in all the modern, pseudo-enlightened language you want to, but it will not change the fact that it is completely ridiculous. As Christians, we absolutely cannot fall for things like this, no matter how much we will be criticized for being closed-minded or intolerant. Gender absolutely is related to your sex, and there are only two options…male or female. Genesis 5:2 settles this issue for us, “Male and female He created them…”
Regarding #2, I am by no means denying the existence of and the need for the differences in gender roles and traits, etc. There are legitimate reasons why so much time and so many resources are devoted to these topics. In fact, if we seek to be Christ-like, if we seek personal growth and maturity, then we should purposefully try to develop and balance masculine and feminine aspects of our personalities.
I feel like the Trinity models this for us. In the Old Testament you see God both patiently and lovingly delivering His nation Israel through one travail after another. But this same God balances His loving kindness with His righteous anger. When the nation of Israel builds the golden calf in Exodus 32, we read in verse 10, “Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them.” And in the New Testament we have Christ overturning the tables in the temple, but we also have that beautiful passage from Matthew 23, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…”
In my mind, this is quite often what we should be focusing on as Christians when we discuss gender – learning to be more Christlike so that we can maturely apply masculine and feminine traits to circumstances that we come across in our lives; however, we should reject notions such as “gender is not necessarily tied to a person’s sex.” It is so easy in these times to let seditious notions such as these to sneak into our thought patterns, but we must not be “conformed to this world.”
Copyright © 2012 Jonathan Ruth