August 15, 2016 § Leave a comment
Our culture is clearly trending transgender. But it’s interesting how society seems itchy to remake itself by blurring gender distinctions in other ways, specifically science and religion, to conform to the demands of the transgender revolution.
IN NEUROSCIENCE: “Eminent brain expert Professor Gina Rippon said the pop-psychology theory that the sexes are as different as alien races – Men from Mars and Women from Venus – is a delusion driven by sexist prejudice.” (From this Daily Mail article)
Despite scientific consensus that indicates boys and girls’ brains are different from birth, Professor Rippon argues such studies “are ‘neurotrash’ which simply reflect the bias of researchers.” Rather, boys and girls change their thinking by how they are raised, she says.
It’s certainly fine to challenge scientific consensus, as long as you do so scientifically (this article doesn’t describe her research enough to know if she does), and it’s certainly true that bias plays a part in our conclusions. But she also must challenge our common experience as parents, where we can observe boys and girls interacting with other kids a certain way, or playing a certain way, long before parents have a chance to buy them G.I. Joes or Barbie dolls or otherwise nurture them into a particular gender role. She must also challenge the Word of God, which explains that men and women are distinct and complimentary creatures with equal value but differing roles. We can’t expect a secular movement to regard Scripture, but it’s Scripture that corresponds with what we experience and what we’ve discovered through science, that is, up until the transgender revolution.
IN RELIGION: Here comes the question from a Rabbi, who claims to have figured out what we’ve all mistakenly thought for millennia, happily coinciding with the transgender revolution: Is God transgender? (From The New York Times)
Rabbi Mark Sameth explains that “the Hebrew Bible, when read in its original language, offers a highly elastic view of gender.” The term YHWH, he says, “was Hebrew for ‘He/She.’ Counter to everything we grew up believing, the God of Israel — the God of the three monotheistic, Abrahamic religions to which fully half the people on the planet today belong — was understood by its earliest worshipers to be a dual-gendered deity.”
God refers to Himself as “Father” and refers to the second Person of the Trinity as His Son. However, God is spirit and therefore has no biological sex, and we can’t apply gender to Him the same way either. Scott Eric Alt provides a good response to Rabbi Sameth’s claim at Patheos:
“Not dual-gendered, Rabbi Sameth: non-gendered. God is not both male and female; he is neither male nor female. Pronouns, of course, do have gender—for gender, properly, is a grammatical construct—but it behooves us to not get excited and jiggly and read our agendas into the fact that some pronoun needs to be applied to God. That a pronoun has gender should not lead us to suspect that God has a gender, or multiple genders, or is transgendered, or is gender fluid, or whatever else your agenda compels you to want to say about God. God is transcendent.”
Alt also counters Sameth’s view of certain passages that to Sameth seem to support a transgender view. Alt’s post is a good apologetics resource, so read the whole thing.
IN THE END: Pandering to the transgender revolution means both scientists and religious leaders must abandon sound reasoning and long-held doctrine to do it, resulting in new definitions and a radical understanding of sex and gender (like this one from Slate, claiming that “there’s no such thing as a ‘male body’.”).
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (1 Timothy 4:3,4)
I think we’re there.
October 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
I don’t want to sound like a relativist, but what is “normal” anyway? I think opening a post with a dictionary definition is pretty cliché (/klēˈSHā/), but I’d like to try to reach some standard for the word normal. The spirit of the definitions I’ve found include: “Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected” and “the usual, average, or typical state or condition.”
Let’s take a look at what is considered normal in the culture we live in.
Author and Phychiatrist Daniel Amen was hard-pressed to find a “normal” brain. In one of his own studies, Amen found 49% of his participants to have at least one psychiatric illness. (1)
We live in an increasingly anxious world. “Valium was, significantly, one of the first psychoactive drugs to be used on a large scale on people who were basically fine. It has since been surpassed by other drugs, like the popular tranquilizer Xanax.” (NY Times) Apparently the new normal is to take something to help us feel more normal.
Great Britain is seeking to legalize gay marriage so that they can be known as a “modern country”. (Telegraph) So does normal mean modern? Or does normal mean legal?
It’s hard to see a more intentional effort to normalize homosexual relationships in the entertainment world than in NBC’s The New Normal, a show starring a gay couple. The promotion for the show goes: “These days, families come in all forms – single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors… It’s 2012 and anything goes.” (NBC.com)
It’s evident that normalization of one thing leads to the need to change something else. With the increased acceptance of homosexual behavior comes the apparent need to redefine parental roles and the basic family unit as it’s been known for all human history. This move is starting in France, where the government is set to ban the words ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from official documents. (Telegraph)
As of the last few days, Protestantism has apparently stopped being the norm in America as less than half (48%) in the U.S. now identify themselves as Protestant, with those claiming “no religion” quickly on the rise. (USA Today).
We could go on using recent headlines, but the above illustrates ‘normal’ that conforms to a standard of averages. Appealing to popularity as the standard for ‘normal’ is obviously relative and subjective, prone to continually evolve. It depends on the influence of an ever-changing culture. If we consider a fixed standard for normal, a Biblical standard originating from the very nature of God, we can connect normal to an objective standard that doesn’t change. God is the only place we will truly be able to find a true fixed standard. Then purpose and design also become relevant. God’s intent for gender roles, sexuality, family, marriage, mental and physical health, and worship is much different—or abnormal—relative to modern culture.
Since normal can be defined either by what is popular and changing or what is true and unchanging, a “normal” thing can be good or bad, right or wrong. Obviously then, normal does not always mean right—it’s often wrong.
In terms of popular consensus, normal and good were joined in the beginning in God’s “good” creation (Genesis 1). Will it ever be like that again? Christians are promised a future where what is normal is only what is right and true, when Jesus makes a new creation in line with His original design and purpose.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. (Rev. 21:1-7)
What many call a moral compass is actually just a windsock, revealing the momentary direction of the wind rather than true north. If we define normal by the objective standard of morality we can’t deny, the one described in the Bible, we avoid the confusion that a standard based on the winds of culture leave us with. And really there is nothing that can’t be made ‘normal.’