Confronting The Transgender Storm: New Covenant Reflections On Deuteronomy 22:5 -- By: Jason S. Derouchie
JBMW 21:1 (Spring 2016) p. 58
Confronting The Transgender Storm:
New Covenant Reflections On Deuteronomy 22:5
Associate Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology
Bethlehem College and Seminary
1. The Rising Storm
Α gender identity crisis is sweeping across our land. This study seeks to help the church assess biblically and confront lovingly yet truthfully the rising storm of transgender issues confronting our culture.1 The American Psychological Association2 defines “sex” as “a person’s biological status” that “is typically categorized as male, female, or intersex” and that is identified by “sex chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive organs, and external genitalia.” In contrast, the APA states that “gender refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex.” While one’s biological sex is fixed by nature, this definition treats gender as a culturally bound category, so that what is gender normative in one culture may legitimately stand against what is or was gender normative in another culture or age. With this, the APA further stresses the need to distinguish persons’ biological sex from their “gender identity,” which may be “male, female, or transgender.” And then we must account for persons’ “gender expression” through things like
JBMW 21:1 (Spring 2016) p. 59
clothing, communication patterns, and interests, which may or may not reflect one’s gender identity or biological sex.
Before readying this study, I personally did not realize how serious the transgender issue is in our day. Yet now I see that it is massive, and I do not believe that the church can ignore it.3 In 2013 California became the first state in the Union to require that public schools allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and play on the sports teams that correspond with their personal gender identities.4 Since then there has been a growing wave of debate across the country, and at the last elections numerous states went to the polls to decide whether bath- and locker room access would be governed by biological sex or gender identity. A recent case in the Chicago area may actually make it to the federal courts.5
I remember as a youth standing in awe of Bruce Jenner’s athletic ability as I watched replays of his decathlon gold medal at the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics...
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