"Male and female He created them" .. and sometimes intersex

I’m saying that I’m bad Christian, because I’m and I don’t want to pretend to be a saint and to have some authority as consequence. Heaven or hell, probably latter, God will decide and I trust His judgment. But this is topic for another discussion not this one.

As much as it is possible during pandemic on the rise here.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

This topic was automatically closed 6 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

I think this thread has run its course but I came across this video last night and thought hearing her story directly would build empathy.

https://youtu.be/28Ip-STEPKU

I especially appreciated her closing remark. Talking about what she has learned from her many unnecessary genital exams and near escapes from unneeded surgery, she notes that: “The only thing we really need to fix is how we treat people who are different from us.”

Here in a Christian context it seemed especially worth reflecting on just this.

7 Likes

Very moving. Thanks for posting.

1 Like

That right there just blew my mind. Thank you for sharing that.

As far as the rest of the thread speaking with regards to @Christy having angst (for lack of better term) against using terms like “broken” or “non-normal” when describing intersex or down syndrome.

Hear is some food for thought. When one born without a leg or down syndrome or intersex (ovotesties) goes to heaven…What will they be like? Will they have two legs? Will the down syndrome have a ‘normal’ brain? Will the ovotesties have 'traditionally ‘normal’ male or female parts?

I don’t know if we will have those answers here.

But I understand the desire to help them not feel inferior or in despair. But maybe instead of trying to convince the (spiritually) dead, scared, blind world to fix their ways and not be so mean. One could instead try and convince the "others’ that they are loved, valued and accepted by God regardless if they are actually “broken” or not. Maybe they are broken, and maybe they are not? God uses broken things all the time for His glory. Perhaps they are purposely broken. To exhaust all of your time trying to convince the world they aren’t broken (when they might actually be broken) seems like barking up the wrong tree to me. And maybe they aren’t broken. I guess we will find out in heaven.

I don’t think we are meant to fix the world and make it a better place for others as we see, even if we mean well. Rather to fix our own hearts, love others, and let that love of God that others see transform the world.
But I understand the tension between having faith in the power of God transforming vs. tending to the widows and loving and meeting the needs of our neighbors (as commanded). I believe it is great you are trying to show love and compassion to others when the world does not and defend them to the world. But I believe if they were able to see the love and acceptance of God, they wouldn’t want or care for a world that accepts them.

I volunteer in a prison ministry and it is amazing to give them the good news and hope that their Creator loves them and values them. I don’t waste my time trying to convince the world or give pearls to swine to trample on, that they should value prisoners. Once they internalize and realize God’s love for them, they then are transformed by His Spirit and can help others. Soon, if the rest of the world is still intent on berating them, they are not defeated by the world. They (like Jesus) ask for God to forgive the world, for they know not what they are doing. Like them once, they are just scared, distracted, blind.

Who needs acceptance from the (relatively) insignificant humans of the world, when the Creator of the universe loves and accepts you? This is the hope of the gospel, the opposite of despair of trying to be the ‘normal’ the world accepts. God accepts us in spite of (or because) we are broken.

4 Likes

I still remain baffled by the entire discussion. I completely concur with your thought that everyone should be loved as a person in God’s image regardless of what is or isn’t broken about us… but it seems exceedingly odd to me to acknowledge that there are indeed genetic “defects” of the cardiorespiratory, skeletal, digestive, or excretory system, wherein certain organs or systems or functions are “broken”, but that it is somehow utterly and inherently impossible to have a “defect” of either the reproductive or auditory systems.

3 Likes

I think it has to do with “higher temperatures” now associated with sexuality/gender topics. Nobody gets their dander up about things like digestive systems, quadripedalism or pentadactyly. Sorta like … three years ago everybody would have looked at you funny if you had raised a stink about whether or not to wear a medical mask in certain situations. But now that it’s been politicized, it’s become an all-important virtue signaler to help solidify your identity with your own in-group, and most importantly, to show how much you despise the other group.

2 Likes

Essentially, this is victim shaming. We don’t tell a rape victim, or at least we shouldn’t, that they are the reason for the harm that was done to them. Acknowledging the love of God as a means to heal is absolutely appropriate. Insinuating that an intersex person is a ‘broken’ body design and thus deserving of the hurt perpetrated on them by church teachings (aka boy OR girl, no ‘other’) is simply wrong. i.e. Don’t feel hurt because ‘God loves you’ is not helpful.

The shame, mental anguish, and morbid curiosity about their bodies that they endure is completely inappropriate. As long as we continue to point to Genesis in maintaining a belief in ‘male and female’ as the only legitimate body design in Creation, then intersex will never achieve equal status and rights to exist as intersex in our communities.

The love of the Lord towards all his children is not an excuse to stop trying to protect the marginalized.

3 Likes

Ironically, calling them a victim is admitting they are broken.

As you read my hypothetical heaven example above. I am unsure as to if a person with down syndrome or intersex is actually broken or not. But the truth remains broken genetics or not, God loves and values them more than they can comprehend.

I would say that is hard to teach the avg person. But if that person can be transformed by the re-newing of the HS, the knowledge of that fact IS the most important hope and truth they can believe that will help them and fill them with joy despite any situation or accusation. But that power does come from the HS, they will know the truth and it will set them free.

But without the HS, this knowledge is somewhat worthless and lacking in power.

You do make a good point though. I do admit there is a tension with regards to faith and action.

But as the saying goes an ounce of prevention…

I have always been a fan of the exponential model Jesus gave us. If you could convince 100000 people a day that what you say is right, you would be happy right? That seems like a lot of people? But it would take 208 year to convince everybody…but if you just transformed and had a consistent deep relationship with just 3 people. And those 3 had 3 people. It would only take 30 years.

I like to allow the power of God to transform from with, which will also have a foundation stronger than anything, vs a soap box that reaches many, but has no foundation to it.

No I wouldn’t tell a victim that…but I would give advice saying: if you leave a luxury car in the wrong part of town at night with the engine on and windows down and doors unlocked ect. It is very likely it is going to get stolen. It’s an unfortunate sad world we live in, but we do, so protecting one’s self and being aware of surroundings is very prudent.

I would never say that after the fact, or kick them while they are down. But I don’t believe you can legislate or dictate good morals. And preemptive defense is very wise in the world we live in. And the truth of God is the strongest defense possible.

Transformation happens from within. And that light can be shone to others and the light and love of God in us is the most powerful force in the universe.

No, calling someone a victim is naming the fact that they are oppressed or persecuted in some way and suffer injustice. Many victims are totally innocent.

This discussion was primarily directed at the church, not at intersex individuals or people with other conditions. Many people with those conditions do accept themselves as beloved by God and inherently worthy. It’s the church that has the problem extending that same acceptance, and the church that needs to be held accountable for doing better.

4 Likes

Your hypothetical characterization sounds so easy and idealistic.

What if the very counsel that you espouse is what is causing the ‘brokenness’? Many do become ‘broken’ because society is unwilling to affirm who they are as created by God. It is exhausting to live in a binary world for those who were not born to be binary.

Story after story exist of well-intentioned faith formation leaders who tell the gender diverse to conform (binary) and just pray. The message has become, as you state, ‘find wellness in the Lord not earthly things’. This contributes to psychological unrest. Non-binary has become demonized within a culture war that uses the Bible as the ammunition.

God creating the intersex condition is overlooked and denounced. Instead, we as a society, continue to insist that Genesis says ‘male’ and ‘female’, leaving people hurting in the wake of our false declarations (see OP) as representatives of the Holy Spirit.

What then happens to those who do not fit neatly into the ‘male’ or ‘female’ box that we have called ‘biblical’? Essentially, they are labeled by our religion as outcasts. WWJD? The prejudice that exists is quite severe. It is our calling as Christians to do better.

I say it again… pray the hurt away is so very unhelpful to these real people who have been dehumanized by such actions (but, but… God loves you!), deeply imbedded within our faith tradition.

2 Likes

It is not only religion that labels them and victimizes their situation,but secular society as well. To some extent even those who advocate for them push to have both intersex and gender ambiguous individuals to conform to their ideas rather than helping them feel love and acceptance where they are.
Admittedly, I have a lot to learn from you guys in this area.

2 Likes

Of course. Human bias spans across political persuasion, economic differences, education, religious beliefs, etc. That is exactly why Jesus was so transformational because such bias and discrimination was called out as being morally wrong.

However, secular institutions typically do not take a formal negative view or position towards gender diversity by sharing false information, as is seen in religion. Individual perceptions aside from faith might label gender diverse individuals as outcasts, but our secular institutions are either formally non-vocal (without an opinion) or they exist to protect this marginalized group.

Only religious institutions systematically teach that gender MUST be binary and anyone born as not binary should pray and conform (pretend) so as to have the ‘idealized’ and, dare I say, ‘idolized’ body design as either fully ‘male’ or fully ‘female’. Stray outside that alignment and your existence is offensive to God and morally evil according to church teachings… even as we view God as the Potter.

Instead of being the protective voice for this minority in the secular world as Jesus taught us to be, theology is one of the primary reasons that the bias persists. Secular spaces are by far more affirming to gender expansiveness. ‘God said’ is a huge motivator in keeping the status quo even when the status quo is not loving of our non-binary neighbors.

Secular institutions used to be terrible also (witness the treatment of Alan Turing), but they have made great strides in most parts of the world. Although lagging behind, a few religious denominations have come around these days, no longer treating certain marginalized groups as vile.

1 Like

That is true. Secular groups are now listening to the individuals and their stories, with empathy. The science is also being trusted outside the religious sphere (i.e. OP), thus minimizing the stigma in society for non-binary people.

1 Like

Secular people are subject to the same social conformity and lazy thinking as religious people. It is a good thing when anyone of any persuasion escapes the mob that would claim them.

3 Likes

Yes. Racism and anti-Semitism are common in some religions but at some point there emerged “scientific” theories of both racism and anti-Semitism. The Eugenics movement is an example.

3 Likes

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.