Does Galatians 3:28 support gender diversity?

Question:

Hi Mr Hamilton,

I've found out that a large number (possibly a majority) of my friends are LGBTQQIAA+. Some are genderqueer, transgender, gay, lesbian, pansexual and asexual. A very large percentage of my year group is not straight or cisgender.

I know that having homosexual sex is wrong. Should I rethink my friendship with them? I really care for them and our bonds are quite strong. What do I do? I don't want to come off as homophobic or transphobic towards them.

Also, I've been introduced to the label of "asexual" and I think I'm one. Is this wrong? I also think I identify as "demiguy" and prefer the he/they pronouns. Is gender diversity wrong?

I found a verse which I think supports gender diversity. "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

Thanks for the guidance.


Answer:

Because a person disagrees with a belief, it is not reasonable to conclude that the disagreement is due to fear. Calling people homophobic or transphobic is merely a distraction from having a reasoned discussion.

"So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them" (Genesis 1:27).

"And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female'"" (Matthew 19:4).

The Bible is very clear: the human race only has two genders. It is also born out by science. We have XX and XY genes to make use female and male. Those are the only two choices. To say that a person who has XX genes feels like she is male is to accept a lie. Feelings doesn't determine truth. In fact, feelings can lie. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).

All these made up labels are not based on reality. A person is not defined by who they choose or not choose to have sex with. I am not a male because I have sex with my wife. I'm male because that is how God made me.

There is nothing wrong with choosing not to get married or to have sex. That is a personal choice, but it is not a gender.

The reason for the push for all these labels is to remove responsibility for choices. To claim "I was born that way" is to push off responsibility for your choices onto God. It is also an attempt to claim that those choices can't be changed, but everyone knows they can be changed and people do change during their life.

Christians object to all this pretense because all lying is sinful (Revelation 21:8). Be honest about yourself. You are a male. What choices you make are your responsibility in regards to the results that then occur from those choices. For the same reason, just because someone else wants to tell lies, it doesn't mean I have to participate in those lies, nor am I helping people by encouraging self-deception. They may not like my choice to be honest, but that is their decision.

Science actually supports this as well. People who pretend to be something they are not tend to have much higher suicide rates ["Suicide Attempts among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults"]. The blame typically is that it is so high because of a lack of acceptance, but the evidence doesn't support that finding. Other groups of people who face rejection for other reasons (such as religion) don't have nearly the level of suicide rates ["Johns Hopkins Psychiatrist: Transgender is 'Mental Disorder;' Sex Change 'Biologically Impossible'"].

Galatians 3:28 is not about gender diversity. It mentions only two genders. In fact in the list, a person is either a Jew or a Gentile (a non-Jew). He is either a slave or a free man. He or she is either male or female. There are no in-between in any of those categories. What Paul is saying is that what you are doesn't matter in the church because everyone is equal in regards to salvation. This doesn't mean that you can be a sinner and be saved -- the terms are contradictory.

Hi Mr. Hamilton,

Thanks for the well crafted response. However, I'd like to politely disagree and introduce a counter argument. Feel free to counter mine. I would like this to be a fruitful discussion.

I see that you are not aware that sex and gender are not the same thing. I don't blame you, Western culture often uses gender and sex interchangeably; however, the two are not to the same. I'm sorry if I was unclear. Someone's gender is also not directly linked to their sexuality. Sex is biological and is founded upon our external characteristics, such as our hormones, genitalia etc. We inherit our sex from our X and Y chromosomes. However, some people are born intersex with both male and female sex characteristics. This means that God creates people outside of the regular XX and XY. Male and female refer to sex, while man, woman, boy and girl refer to gender that has been constructed by our society.

Gender is a preference. There is nothing in our biology which codes for some gender stereotypes such as girls wear dresses or boys wear suits. However, most of the time, gender is influenced by sex, but sometimes it is not. What is inherently wrong with being gender diverse? It doesn't negatively impact society. Being neither a woman or a man, we aspire to live in peace and harmony live just like most other people. How is it "wicked" or a "lie"? Gender diverse people have been living a lie trying to conform to the societal binary imposed by binary beliefs, eurocentric, patriarchal systems. How can we lie to ourselves when we know our own truths about our own gender?

In the Bible, there are no gender diverse people as ancient Israelites probably did not simply care about the concept of being gender diverse. Hijra in India, two-spirited in Native American culture and Hen in recent Swedish culture are examples of non-binary and gender diverse people. Even the Church of Sweden has been very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. Other societies have accepted gender diverse people for millennium. Some gender diverse people are living a lie trying to conform to the societal binary, not the other way around, by not being true to themselves.

Why would I, or any gender diverse people, chose to be this way? Why would I subject myself to being ostracized and humiliated? Why would I give myself a label when I know I would be ridiculed? Life would be so much easier if we were cisgender. God doesn't make mistakes. I don't think there are verses in the Bible that say being gender diverse is a sin.

Little scientific literature has been published on gender diverse people; hence, the lack of scientific evidence that either disproves or approves our existence. However, we can turn to history and personal testimony for proof before more studies have been published. Transgender people have brains that more closely resemble their experienced gender, rather than their biological sex. Gender diverse people are his children, aren't they? Additionally, conversion therapy is cruel and abusive. Gay, trans and gender diverse people alike are traumatized and experience high instances of trauma and suicide from trying to change their gender or sexual orientation. Aren't us Christians supposed to spread love not hate? Imagine for a second that someone tried to change your attraction from females to males by instilling fear, abuse and torment into you? It won't work. Imagine if someone tried to change your gender, it won't work either. The same way we know that we are not cisgender is the same way you found out that you were. So many organizations, such as the APA and 12 other organizations have dismissed conversation therapy as ineffective and harmful.

A reason, which may explain the higher rates of suicide among us, is because gender diverse people are still largely not accepted by society, whereas other minorities are generally more accepted by wider society.

A little tangent: what is God's gender? Does God have a biological sex?

Yes, I agree that our biological sex can't be changed, but we can certainly change our gender. I'm not denying my biology. We can change how society views our gender by changing our appearance and injecting hormones, having operations to alleviate gender dysphoria. I am also not denying that God made male and female biological sexes. But God made a spectrum of gender, didn't he? Like God made many animals in the animal kingdom, but they all aren't explicitly mentioned. Does that mean all animals not mentioned in the Bible don't exist? No, of course they do exist. I don't think God says there are ONLY two genders, rather he mentions just two.

Sorry if I sound angry. I hope you take the time to debunk my arguments and provide counter arguments and expose my flaws. I hope that I didn't attack you personally. I'm a bad debater. I hope I was respectful. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts and rambles.

I'm wondering how much of this is really your own ideas and how much is collection of various people's arguments that you found on the Internet.

One classic debater's technique is to redefine terms so that they are favorable to a person's position. But without a standard, we can be talking at cross purposes and never come to an understanding. I pulled out some older dictionaries to show how the word "gender" has been altered to support a current fad.

  • "gender - n. grammatical classification of objects roughly corresponding to the two sexes and absences of sex, masculine, feminine, and neuter." [Webster's Student Dictionary, 1999].
  • "gender, n. Kind or sort; a sex, male or female; gram. one of those classes or categories into which words are divided according to sex, natural or metaphorical, of the beings or things they denote; a grammatical category in which words of similar termination are classed together; such as a distinction in words." [The New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, 1971].

The word "gender" is borrowed from French where it means a kind or sort. In English it is mostly a grammatical term referring to how words are sorted into categories of either male, female, or neuter, especially in other languages. Notice that as recently as less than 20 years ago, there were only two sexes and that grammatically words were sorted into only three categories. Still, the word was hijacked and recently altered from a word classification to classifying individual people.

Language makes an interesting argument and demonstrates that some of your arguments do not work. You basically wish to claim that more categories of people have existed than just male or female in various cultures. Yet, language does not support this. I don't know of a language that has more than three gender categories (male, female, and neuter). Even with neuter, it is used for situations where you don't know the proper gender, don't care, or it doesn't matter. But people still are referred to as either male or female. It is considered improper to refer to someone as "it." That is why, in every language that I know, you revert to the male gender when talking about a person whom you don't know the proper gender. Yes, I know there are radicals trying to change the languages, but my point is that the idea has long existed that people are categorized as only two genders. This is evidence that the ever growing list of genders (there is a claim of over 63 now) is not historical or cultural.

You also argue that two genders (binary) is a societal position that has been imposed on people. But that then also proves that historically this concept of 63+ genders has not existed until recently. While there has been problems with people cross dressing and having homosexual sex, this does not prove that they are genders, nor does it prove that the concept is acceptable morally.

In trying to formulate your arguments, perhaps because you were using multiple sources, you ended up with several internal contradictions. You claim that ancient Israel didn't care about gender diversity, but these are the people who followed God. They did no create the law and often failed to keep it. The law came from God, but you claim that God made people with this variety of genders. Since the Law came from God, then you are claiming that God did not communicate what He had done and no one noticed until just a few years ago. That is not a sensible position.

No one said that gender is about how someone dresses. It is a straw-man argument. By the way, how would someone tell by clothing choice whether someone considers himself asexual or the many other categories being made up? But the Bible said that there is to be a distinction between the dress of men and women. "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God" (Deuteronomy 22:5). There is to be a respect for the way we were made and no pretense that we are something different than who we are. Men are to dress similarly but different from women, and women are to dress similarly but different from men. What society decides are those distinguishing characteristics in dress is not specified. From a male to dress as society expects a female to dress is to lie about who he is.

Since cross-dressing is one of the 63 genders, Deuteronomy 22:5 means that there are verses against diverse genders. Homosexuality is also included in a number of the genders and they are spoken against in the verses cited in Homosexuality.

Genetically, there are only two sexes: male and female. Yes, there is a tiny fraction of people who have a third chromosome. It is considered a birth defect. But it doesn't create an new sex. Yes, there is a very rare birth defect, usually due to exposure to hormones during gestation that interferes with the body's growth of the genitals. Again, it is a birth defect, just as being born with an missing limb or an extra finger. The existence of birth defects doesn't prove that there are more than two genders for people. See: Does the existence of intersex justify a transgender claim of a mistake? Besides, you later argue that gender is not biological. Arguing both ways is not reasonable.

You claim it doesn't cause harm, but you also acknowledge those involved in gender diversity have a much higher rate of suicide than those who accept that there is just male and female. That statement alone indicates harm being done. What about the harm caused by people claiming to be a different gender entering locker rooms and restrooms?

I agree that there are some approaches to teaching that can cause a person who is already fragile to wish to harm themselves; however, what you are ignoring is that change is a part of Christianity. All Christians have changed themselves from sinners to righteous people with the help of God. Since the Bible labels the practices of homosexuality and cross-dressing as sinful, that means people can and do change. In fact, I find it amusing that one of the so-called genders is "fluid." It is common to hear people who are involve in gender identity to change their minds about exactly who they are. Thus, if one can change, then it is possible to change to being content with who you are. After a list of sins that includes homosexuality (one of the diverse genders), Paul said, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:11). It isn't difficult find stories that people leave the problems of accepting their gender.

"Gender dysphoria, the common diagnosis for one who feels at odds with his or her birth gender, develops from prolonged anxiety and depression. People are not born that way. The "proof" for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is having strongly held feelings—but feelings can and often do change over time." [Walt Heyer, "I Was Once Transgender. Why I Think Trump Made the Right Decision for the Military"].

I also find it amusing that the claim remains that suicide is high because transgenderism is not accepted. However, society's attitude has changed as you proved by stating that you know a large number of people who have gender dysphoria; yet, the rate of suicide among transgenders has not decreased. The evidence is that acceptance is not the problem. This is merely an attempt to misdirect attention from the true problem. As I pointed out that there are plenty of groups that are rejected by society, but it did not lead to high suicide rates. Christianity started out with severe rejections by both Judaism and the Roman Empire. They were hunted down and put to death; yet, suicide was not a problem. This also occurred during the middle ages as the Roman Catholic Church hunted down those who disagreed with its teachings and put hundreds of thousands of people to death as "heretics." In more modern times, Christians are persecuted in Muslim territories; yet, you don't find high rates of suicide among those persecuted.

You asked, why would I want to be rejected? This is an old argument presented by homosexuals. This is another distraction. At the core is a claim that you have no choice in your choice of gender. But the very statement is a contradiction of terms. You mention that God doesn't make mistakes, and I agree. You are the gender you were born -- male or female. It is those with gender dysphoria who believe that God made a mistake. You can't blame God for your discontent with who you are, nor is it due to some biological cause, as you noted earlier. This is totally about a person's feelings and discontent with who he is.

Speaking of God, it was God, not man, who decided to refer to Himself in masculine terms. One reason is because God is a spirit. "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:24). It would be improper to apply characteristics found in the physical realm, such as male and female, and apply them to beings of the spiritual realm. However, in Hebrew, Greek, and English the proper gender to use when gender doesn't apply is the male gender.

Hi Mr. Hamilton,

Wow! You wrote so much! I concede. You clearly have more knowledge of what is righteous.

Can we leave on one note, that no harm should be inflicted upon LGBTQIAA+ people and that we should treat them decently?

I felt as if we were debating two different things at times, but your arguments have more basis than mine. To be honest, most of these opinions aren't my own and are just what I've heard from others. It's just what I've been conditioned to believe.

Also, I might be mistaking gender itself for gender expression, now that I think about it. I don't have to be the traditional male. Being into non stereotypical "manly" things makes me no less if a man. Plus, I'm still developing, my attractions towards males should fade. If I don't get big attractions towards females? So what? I can still be in a loving relationship with a woman, just without sex. Who knows, maybe there is asexual woman out there in the same situation.

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:44-45).

I started out in my first note pointing out that many people like to cry "hatred" when someone disagrees with them. I have no hatred for people who are caught up in what the Bible defines as sins. I feel sorry for them because I know what God said about the destiny of sinners. "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (II Corinthians 5:10-11).

The "alphabet soup" movement believes that acceptance is the solution for their problems, and even though evidence shows that problems continue to exist or get worse, such as suicide rates, the push continues for further acceptance. Sadly, the one thing they cannot accept are people who disagree with them. As a Christian, I know that change is the way to solve these and other problems -- a change to becoming the people God intended us to be. You can't get people to truly change by harming them. They have to be persuaded that their current beliefs are wrong and that there is a better way. Either I'm able to make a convincing argument or the person remains unconvinced and I move on.