Biblical Gender Identity

Site: Rock Gender Identity (mobile, full site)

Section: IntroCross DressingProstitutionLiving Together Not MarriedAdulteryDivorcePolygamyHomosexualityIncestAnimalsSelfAbortionConclusions

DISCLAIMER: This is a mature topic only intended for people who've at least begun puberty. If you are less than 13 years old then I pray you don't have any reason to concern yourself with this yet, and you should ask a trustworthy adult before reading this.

Cross Dressing, Transvestite, & Transgender

Our gender (characterized by social and cultural roles and behavior) is intended to be firmly grounded in our sex (characterized by our genes which dictate our reproductive functions and are solidified long before we're born). Deviation from this is deviation from God's will.

  • Deuteronomy 22:5  hub
Notice the tone of this lone direct reference. Whether we're reading from the original Hebrew (link) or any translation, the wording is clear. Sometimes God says "don't do that". Other times He says "don't do that, it's disgusting." Sometimes He says "I hate it when you do that." And rarely does He say "I hate you when you do that." There are degrees of "don't" and this activity falls on the bad end of the spectrum.1 One response might be "but there's only one reference in the whole Bible! It's never reinforced." A response to that could be "Yeah, that's right, the only reference is extremely negative and it's clear enough it didn't need to be revisited." Further, this is not a random quote from some obscure Bible character. Moses, Israel's greatest leader (Matthew 23:2, Luke 9:30, Luke 16:29), fit this into his greatest sermon (the book of Deuteronomy). The only response Jesus gave Satan in their only recorded head-on confrontation was to quote Deuteronomy 3 times (Matthew 4:1-11).

  • Leviticus 19:11  hub
  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20  hub
  • 1 Corinthians 11:4-5  hub
  • 1 Corinthians 11:14-15  hub
  • 1 Corinthians 14:40  hub
That first verse points out that God disapproves of deception. If God gave you an XY chromosome and you want the world to think you have XX, then that's lying at best, or worse, telling the world that God gave you the wrong sex (it's unwise to try to correct God, as Job found out). The later 4 are New Testament validation that gender distinction is important and, according to Paul, founded in nature (independent of individual or cultural opinion, preference, or tendency). Also, consider how cross dressing gets a foot in the door towards homosexuality. God doesn't want us to be confused with our identity, it's supposed to be easy (Deuteronomy 30:11-14), and cross dressing adds unnecessary complication.

Notice God doesn't micromanage our cultural norms, but he does dictate our biological sex, and He doesn't approve when we confuse the issue. God created them male and female (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 5:1-2). Gender identity is God's domain, gender roles are man's (though man should always respect his creator).

Related, having surgery to change your body features doesn't change your genes. If God disapproves of switching clothes then it's not a stretch to think He disapproves of surgery to switch organs, or otherwise adopting a gender that's misaligned to our genes. That said, there are the thoughts that pop into our brain, the thoughts we dwell on, and our actions. God doesn't condemn us just because we had an idea, it's what we do with that idea (Genesis 4:7). For those who struggle with sin (this or otherwise) then I sympathize, it's not fun. But we must rise to the challenge, make choices to architect our environment to be a healthy influence, find good role models who make it easier, and sometimes even break loose from our bad role models (1 Corinthians 15:33). Society owes everyone good role models, but when it fails don't let that be an excuse for resentment (nor sin), because the world is what we make of it. Seek good role models and avoid bad ones, even if you have to go out of your way (Romans 12:9).

As a side note, if we take this literally then we can't even allow actors to wear the costume of opposite gender characters. Acting is understood to be fiction, and isn't the point here. When we take this seriously (as opposed to literally) we can make the distinction that acting is a tolerable exception to this because it's fake. Same for children pretending to be grownups. This concept is intended for reality, not the world of fiction. Similarly, this isn't a question of whether the jeans that girl's wearing came from the men's or women's department. When we ask why God said what He did above in DT 22:5, in the context of God's character it's pretty clear He doesn't care about our fashion style, rather He cares when we appear to be the opposite gender than He created us with, with the intent to deceive.

What's permanent is fundamentally different than what's superficial. Getting a sex change is inadvisable from a Biblical perspective, coping with your God given sex is advisable. But if a person has bothered to make the switch, it's not productive for the rest of us to worry about how they were born. There's a huge difference between spending thousands of dollars and undergoing serious permanent surgery to change your biological sex, and simply saying you identify with the opposite gender than your genitals would indicate. (As a technicality, remember even surgery to change organs doesn't change the genes in the DNA in every cell in your body. DNA can be used to tell if you were designed by God to be male or female regardless of what's been done to your organs and hormones).

That said, when people want to use a bathroom the golden rule should apply. Jesus gave us this in Matthew 7:12/​Luke 6:31. A simple and elegant solution should be whatever sex we can easily prove should be the bathroom we may use. (Bathrooms are not a matter of gender but of sex. They are supposed to be segregated by sex, not by gender/​race/​marital status/​etc.) I'm not saying we should have to prove anything to anyone, but this concept would eliminate a lot of subjective debate, and doesn't rely on carrying a government document around.

  1. For example of this perceived (not explicit) spectrum, consider these sample verses:
    • Leviticus 20:20  hub (bad: dishonor, no children)
    • Leviticus 20:17  hub (worse: disgrace, excommunication)
    • Leviticus 20:14  hub (worst: devious, immediate execution)

Last Modified: Sunday, November 19, 2017