Gender Options in the Bathroom

A couple years ago I wrote a piece called “Facebook Gender Options.” The topic of that piece was the move by Facebook that gave more gender options to its users beyond male and female. Facebook provided fifty six gender options to be exact. Facebook intended this move to be inclusive of every variant gender identity or “questioning” person under the sun. A person who is “questioning” is confused as to whether they are gay or transgender and  as to who they are and where they should be headed. Gender differences have expanded in these two short years since that piece was written. Now in many places a man who identifies as a woman or vice-versa has the right to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity. In other words, if a man feels like he is a woman he has a right to use the bathroom or locker room consistent with what he feels he is on the inside, even if it doesn’t match up with what his body actually is. This has become the law in a number of cities and states. Those who speak out against it are branded as intolerant and will even be kicked out of public facilities. This has actually happened to woman in Ohio who complained about a man behaving himself inappropriately in the women’s restroom of a Planet Fitness gym.

Not only do such policies go against common sense, they also violate God-ordained notions of gender. “Male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27b). This passage means that a person’s biological sex is permanent. Many things about a person change in their lifetimes including height, weight, voice and hair color. Personalities develop over time as well. That being said, one’s gender remains consistent throughout all of these changes. Transgender advocates, on the other hand, teach that people are gender-fluid, that is, that a person can be male one day and female the next. Think of a jar of Play-Doh or the sand you find at the beach. These things can be changed to whatever you want them to be. You can use that lump of Play-Doh to form a dog one day and a castle the next.  The same thing is true of the sand at the beach. That’s the kind of thinking that supporters of transgenderism engage in.

Play-doh and sand are malleable, gender is not. There is no record of any human being actually switching sexes. It doesn’t happen and  it cannot happen. God is the only one who can mold things the way that He wants them. He takes the people that live in this world and He forms them as He seems fit. “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?”(Romans 9:21) Here God is referring to election and reprobation whereby He saves some and not others. The same thing is true in this world. He makes one male and another female and each individual fulfills the unique role that He as ordained for them.

Our calling as young people and young adults is to live as Christians in this world. Part of living as a Christian is living contentedly in the body God has given us, the body appropriate to the gender He has given us. We are not surgically to mutilate our bodies as many people do today. We are not to celebrate those who have had this done to themselves or are contemplating having it done. In both cases we are to exhort them to repent and to pray for their repentance.  God has made us different. Men and women are different physically, mentally and psychologically. We are to recognize, celebrate, and enjoy these differences without trying to pervert them into something that God never meant them to be.  When we do this properly God is glorified. He will judge those who defy His creation ordinances  and reward those who by His grace and Holy spirit seek to honor and obey Him in this and in all things. May God receive all the honor and glory due unto His name!

Kevin Rau

Samples from Seminary – The Power of Repetition

  • “What one week are we studying this summer?” “The Passion Week”
  • “What does the word ‘passion’ refer to?” “Suffering
  • “What then is the Passion Week?” “The week of Jesus Christ’s final suffering and death”
  • “On which day did it begin?” “Sunday”
  • “What was the main event of that day?” “Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey”
  • “What happened Monday morning?” “Jesus cursed a fig tree…”

While teaching Sunday School throughout this summer, I began every class by asking my 6th grade students review questions. In this way we reviewed the major points from all of the previous lessons in only a few minutes. Granted, this took time away from the actual lesson for the week, especially as the summer progressed. However, it was time well spent.

Why? Because of the power of repetition.

It is one thing to learn the events of the Passion Week one-by-one, but it is another to remember them. Repetition aids memory and retention. By reviewing material on a weekly basis, the information becomes more ingrained in our minds. One professor at seminary illustrates this with the gesture of running his finger along the podium: “repeated scratches produce a deep mark” – or something to that effect. Certainly the 6th graders I taught are a testimony to this: with prompting, they can recite the events of the Passion Week.

How does this apply to you, the reader? Just because we have moved beyond adolescence does not mean we are somehow above utilizing such an approach to studying God’s word.

Consider the benefit of repetition for memory, and try implementing something similar in your own Scripture intake.

What might this look like? Normally, I try to avoid specific suggestions, lest I open the door for any legalism. But here, I think it is worth having some concrete examples. Here are four of them:

  1. Memorize Scripture passages and then review them over and over again. Reviewing a passage even once a week over an extended period of time will likely enable you to remember the passage the rest of your life. For more on this, click this link.
  2. Review as you read through a book of the Bible. Each time you begin a new chapter, remind yourself of what took place in each of the previous chapters of the book.
  3. Commit Bible history to memory by means of lists. For example, while reading in Chronicles, recite the names of each of the prior kings of Judah every time you come to a new one. Do the same for the ten plagues, the Judges, and each of Paul’s missionary stops (to name a few more suggestions).
  4. Finally, find renewed appreciation for Heidelberg Catechism preaching. Does the idea of hearing sermons on the same 52 Lord’s Days for the rest of your life sound boring? View the repetition as a means of ingraining the central elements of our faith into your heart and mind.

There are plenty of other ways of applying this principle to the study of God’s Word. However, since I have well exceeded my normal length for a post, I leave it up to you to come up with others and then apply them.

Matt Kortus

Fast Food and Instant Coffee

Some things in life are better when they’re faster, like internet connections, horses and cars (okay, those last two depend on the person). For other things, though, there’s just no substitute for waiting for the real thing. For instance: fast food and instant coffee. Both will do in a pinch when you need a quick lunch or caffeine kick, but the quality just isn’t there.

In a culture that’s all about quick fixes and immediate gratification, it suddenly struck me that our Christianity sometimes reflects that. The results sometimes aren’t all that great when you take the easy route. There’s just no substitute for a home cooked meal or a freshly brewed cup of joe.  Here’s a couple ways we sometimes treat our spiritual lives like fast food and instant coffee.

It seems like a good idea at the time. When all we really want is to feel better, to be in a relationship, or have kids, it seems like the sooner, the better. What could possibly be wrong with NOW? It’s funny how we think that solving one little problem in our life will create total happiness and utter contentment for the rest of our lives. We don’t realize that the easy way out isn’t usually as satisfying as it looked beforehand.

It doesn’t last. The crazy spiritual highs we feel at certain times in life are amazing things. Singing with raised hands and crying out “Amen!” with a group of believers isn’t a bad thing, but it will leave you hungry again soon, just like a trip to a drive-through burger joint. A home cooked meal of doctrine and gospel, however, will fill you up and keep you going until the next meal. There’s no substitute for that. In relationships, churches and most of life, it often pays off in the long run to take the time and put in the effort for higher quality friendships or deepened doctrinal understanding.

We just don’t have the time. It takes ten minutes or so to brew a full pot of coffee. It takes several hours or more to fix a full Sunday dinner. It also takes time to cultivate a real relationship with God. Still, running through the drive through every once in a while won’t hurt you, and having instant coffee isn’t the end of the world. It’s so easy to listen to contemporary Christian music radio (NOT a bad thing in itself!!), but we can’t live solely off that. It won’t have the same effect on us that sitting under the preaching does. We need to be willing to put in the time every day to work for lasting, fulfilling results, not instant gratification Christianity.

Simply praying to God for the things we want doesn’t guarantee that we will receive them, and even if we do, it doesn’t guarantee that we will have lasting contentment from them. That job we’ve wanted for so long won’t necessarily solve our money problems. That relationship we’ve longed for might not fill the loneliness we feel. When I think about the things I want, I want them right now! I often find myself thinking “Lord I need this, and I need it yesterday!” I often need to realize that the best thing for me right now is to sit back and let God prepare a fuller meal. Wait a little longer for something so much better. Trust that if God hasn’t given you instant coffee this morning, He’s brewing up something so much better.

Suzie Kuiper