Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sweeping Away Gender and the Biblical Worldview

Alice C. Linsley

What is at the heart of attempts to sweep away the gender distinctions? As unpopular as it may be to say this, this comes from the fallen nature which resists God and God's purpose.  The arrogance of the human heart which pushes against the boundaries and distinctions that God has established. How foolish! We are humble clay imagining ourselves to be gods who can make the Sun rise in the west and can conform reality to our sinful desires. Here is a perfect example:  Gene Robinson on the Bible. The following news report is another.

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Norrie, a 48-year-old born in Scotland but now living in Sydney, was allowed to list "sex not specific" on his government-issued "details certificate" last month. However, news of this achievement flew round the globe and the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages of the state of New South Wales told him that the certificate would be cancelled.

The Attorney-General, John Hatzistergos, said: "Advice from the Crown solicitor is that the registrar may only issue a recognised details certificate or new birth certificate following a change of sex in either male or female gender."

Norrie, who was born male, but lives an androgynous existence after a sex-change operation, was outraged. "I felt killed. It's a hideously humiliating position to find myself in and makes a mockery of my human rights. I feel completely violated by the [NSW] Attorney-General's office," he told ABC News. He has lodged a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Perhaps unaware of the reversal of the decision, Oxford bioethicist Julian Savulescu applauded it as "a step forward for respect for personal autonomy and for human enhancement". He went on to explain, "The old binary categories are falling - tall and short, talented and untalented, smart and stupid, male and female. Human life is incredibly diverse. All states and talents affecting humans occur in shades of grey. We should make our choices in recognition of the shades of grey. And it makes sense to make decisions not based on crude categories but fine-grained realities." ABC, Mar 18;C-FAM, Apr 1

Note how Savulescu dismisses all the ancient wisdom with thee two words "Crude categories. It is apparent that Savulescu doesn't understand what binary distinctions are. Of his list - talented-untalented, smart-stupid, tall-short, male-female, etc.- only one is a binary distinction: male-female.

To what "fine-grained realities" is Julian Savulescu referring?  The binary distinctions are as fine-grained as one can get. They are observable as the pattern of nature and have been the basis for Law and Ethics for at least 12,000 years. The grey areas of which he speaks always represent anomalies in nature. In Law and Ethics they are a nightmare!

When we attempt to sweep away gender distinctions we are saying to the Creator that we know better. When we overthrow gender we overthrow the biblical worldview.

Related reading:  What's Lost When Women Serve as Priests?; The Importance of Binary Distinctions; Blood and Binary Distinctions; Genesis on Homosex: Beyond Sodom; The Biblical Worldview is Binary


Anonymous said...

I mean this as a complement--I say that so there is no misunderstanding; you can preach!

That unfortunate soul has been sold a delusion that is killing him more than he knows. A reminder that I should look and see what such drivel I might have purchased recently and burn it in the back yard before it poisons my house.

Alice C. Linsley said...


Pray for me, a sinner.

Ron said...

Alice, I would be interested in your take on Galatians 3:28 ("There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus") in light of your defense of binary distinctions and St. Paul's specific reference to male and female. Perhaps you have already spoken to this on your blog and could provide a link.

Alice C. Linsley said...

There is only one basis for unity - the pleromic Blood of Jesus, which for Paul is at the center of the Gospel concerning Jesus, the Son of God. His epistle to the Romans has a chiastic structure:
D-C-B-A-B-C-D. The heart of Romans (A) is Chapter 5:8,9:

"God has demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."

Binary distinctions are like the end points of a segment. There is still only one segment. Try this experiment: Take a string of about 3 to 4 feet. Have a man hold one end and a woman hold the other end. Tell them to move as the string directs them, but not to let go of their ends. Now take the center of the string and pull it upwards - The glorification of the Risen and Ascending Christ - and you will see that the points are drawn together. This is how those who are connected in Christ are drawn to the Father and made one with Him. Paul explains that Jesus is the first born from the dead who leads captives to the Father.

The Blogger Formerly Known As Lvka said...

Christ is risen!

Have a blessed Easter, Alice! :-)

Alice C. Linsley said...

Indeed He is risen!

May Bright Week fill you with joy. I have thought of you often and remembered you before the Lord.

Sandra McColl said...

Paschal greetings from the land of Oz!

The Blogger Formerly Known As Lvka said...

Oxford bioethicist Julian Savulescu

Oh, boy, another Romanian...

Anonymous said...

At the heart of the "Big Lie" is, nothing really matters. So, distinctions are not important...everything, all things are shades of gray. It's all about "Diversity" which is just another manifestation of the "The Big Lie" (TBL). Other forms of the TBL, "it really doesn't matter, 'cause we're all worshiping the same god, (or going to the same place, whatever that means). These are all variations of the misinterpretation of Matt. 7:1 or in other words, "it's all cool bro'." For a good article on this see

Have a Blessed Easter Alice,

Alice C. Linsley said...

A Blessed Easter to you also!

A good piece by Tom Carder. I liked this especially: "Practicing the Christian faith and what is expected of it is being very intolerant ... of sin ... even our own by His Word, not yours or mine, by embracing the sinner but not embracing the sin; by helping the sinner, even ourselves, out of bondage to the sin by loving him/her enough to tell the Truth."

I teach Critical Thinking at a local college. It is fascinating how the skills of critical thinking align with what Carder is saying. Lack of critical thinking enables people to accept all kinds of fallen behaviors. What I can't teach is how to change the heart so that we want to love God more than our sinful confused ways.