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Christian Gender Bible Study – March 2010

Since society’s prevailing understanding of gender and its


implications is drawn mainly from culture and religion ( though
I would da re to say that the two a re effectually
interchangeable), one that is a true Chris tian should seek a
clearer compre hension of what the bible truly teaches on this
subject as with any othe r concerning faith.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this study is to aid and encourage the true


Christian in studying and understanding many of the concepts
p ertaining to gender and human rela tionships, which, in my
very limited and unqualified opini on, have not been adequately
presented before . While I have had much eagerness to share
these studies with any intereste d party with readi ness, I
hesitated mainly t o recheck and retest the doctri ne I was
about to put forth, especially since it is apparently in dire ct
challenge to wha t has been historically taught by the church as
doctrine and continues to be viciously defended by most who
may regard themselves as the faithful. For most pe ople the
question of gender is purely acade mic and the traditional
explanations or lack there of suffice, but there is a great
number of those that are affected more profoundly by the
realities of society’s understa nding of gender and are,
therefore, acti vely seeking, for the mselves and society, a
better understandi ng of the issue. A good example of this
situation is the extremely inadequate explanation or gui dance,
if any, that one, inquiri ng about inter - sex in humans, woul d get
from h is or he r church. It is not that the bible does not provi de
valid answers for these important questions, the problem lies
in the approach that the churches and most Christians have
toward scripture wi th respect to understanding issues in the
physical realm . Since our native real m is the physical realm, we
naturally default to it, and sadly so we it comes to how we
understa nd scripture. Holy scripture is intended to convey
truths of the spiritual realm using figures and examples from
the physical realm, so i t is hugely in error that raw scripture is
applied directly to a physical realm issue or situation. Rathe r
by prayer and keen study, compari ng scripture wi th scri pture,
by the grace of God we are able to grasp the gist of many of
the concepts of the spirit ual realm that are re presented i n
such a parabolic manne r by Holy Scripture .

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THE BIBLE

How then, does this effort of understanding the spiritual


concepts conveyed by scripture hel p with our issue that is
squarely in the physical realm? Before developing the physical
application, it is imperative to note that the intenti on o f
scripture is the spiritual appli cation thereof. Christ Jesus and
his redeeming work are cente rpiece of all scripture . Finding
Christ and his gospel of salvation in scripture shoul d always be
our primary target of bible study, and if, by the grace of God,
we are able to see spiritual meaning of a verse, two or maybe
a chapter, this is like finding a precious gem to true child of
God. With this spiritual discernme nt in hand, we ca n now take a
more critical look at the physical realm concepts, ideas or
thing s and be better able to measure their true significance.
Again, because our native realm is the physical one, we te nd to
attribute actuality to the physical realm and virtuality to the
spiritual. Well, the opposite is true, God, in his mercy and
condescend ing love, designed created the world with built in
references to heavenly conce pts, a nd realities. Furtherm ore, he
gave us scripture that shows us how these references on earth
point to realities in the spi ritual rea lm. So, the substance is
found in the sp iritual realm while in the physical realm we find
merely a reference or pointer to the reality. Let us take the
concept of fatherhood, for example. In the physical realm the
role of human fathe rs, whe n executed well, does share
numerous similarities to tha t of a re generate Christian’s
heavenly Father. We can all readily name, love, protecti on,
providence, authori ty and many other features of fatherhood
that both realms, but realize that the earthly father, at best,
is a pathetic reflection of the heave nly. While, in the design of
the human experie nce, it pleased God to incorporate the
concept of fatherhood, this fatherhood serves only as a
pointe r to the true fatherhood of G od by adoption of those he
elected to salvati on before the foundation of the world. R ef:
Ephesians Chapter 1 , Romans Chapter 8 . Yes, God is and has
always been the father of those he intended to save, and has
been even before the c reation of this world. So what we learn
from this example is, that we cannot define fatherhood by
what we see and othe rwise percei ve in the physical realm,
rather, scripture, by the Holy Spirit of God, can illustrate to us
the true fatherhood of God.
Now o nce we realize the genuine ite m is not in our native
realm, we can expect G od to be a perfect father absolutely
meeting and exceeding all aspects of fatherhood perpetually. In
comparison the physical realm fathers serve the role
tempora rily, are a far cry from pe rfection and perform
varyingly.

Remember we were trying to explain the case of the inte r - sex


in humans. This is not an effort to a llude to the initial subject;
rather we have to apply what we just learned from the
fatherhood example to this case. We will first have to define
gender in the spiri tual realm, then come back and see what
conclusions we can make from that insight into the spiritual.
To be able to faithfully discuss these matters we will be relying
solely on Holy Scripture. All references a re in the King James
Version. Free Online Bible is available for free at
http://www.onli nebible.net/ .

Holy Scripture , just like its author, i s unchanging and ete rnal
and as students of it we must always seek a more perfect
understa nding of the intended teaching that will truly endure
the test of scrutiny and time. F or e xample, a literal
understa nding of Levi ticus 11:7 may lead one to the
conclusion that pork is in admissi ble as a food item, and
likewise Deuteronomy 23:3 may seem to imply that once you
are born an Ammonite or a Moabite there is simply no hope of
your acceptance into the Christian fold. These concl usions
would ob vio usly be erroneous as evidenced by the salvation of
Ruth the Moabitess in the Book of Ruth , and the assertion of
the neutrality of all food and meat i n 1 st Timothy 4: 1 - 5.
These few examples among many should serve as a warning to
us not to be too quick to decide w hat the intent of scripture is
without rigorous and comprehe nsive comparati ve study of the
text.

INTRODUCTION

A few years ago I found that it was becoming increasingly


difficult to justify the traditi onal Christian view of gender. By
this I mean what gender ideas are held by the entire spectrum
of “retail” Christianity from that of the so called conservati ve
right to much of the more liberal organizations. As I was
compelled to study on it beca me apparent that because we as
humans have a physical point of ref erence, i t is unnatural for
us to visualize the reality that the gendered relati onship
between Christ and the true believe rs (where Christ is male
and we are all female) is the actual and in tende d purpose of
gender, and not that relati onship be tween human spouses
which is a mere shadow or example of the reality. Again,
obviously, we tend to invert the rea lity to what is more
palatable to us by judging that Scri pture compa res our real
marriage s to that union betwee n Christ and his church in an
effort to covey the intimacy involve d. The truth is to the
contrary; G od, in his wisdom and mercy, created humans to
have intimate relati onships and marriages that vaguely and
imperfectly resemble the tru e and perfect marriage that is
between Christ and his Eternal Church. (It is important to note
that the re is no possibility of perfection in the physical realm
with the exception of Christ Jesus who is the Image of God,
Ref: 2Co 4:4).

The spiritual realm r elati onship between Christ and His bride
the Eternal Church tha t is made up of all the elect is the pure
Male - Female relationship and is the definition of gende r, whe re
Christ is Male and his bride Female. This spiritual relationship is
absolute, immutable and unva rying. Please kindly note this
relationship is not with the earthly congregati ons (your local
church or organization) but with the spiritual entity comprised
of those who have been redeemed b y Christ from the beginning
of creation. While it is pos sible that a member of a earthly
congregati on may also be a member of the Eternal Church,
membership in the physical church i s neither a requi rement nor
is it a facilitator with regard to me mbership in the spiritual .

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY OF INTERSEX or HERMAPHRODITE


CONDITIONS

The most notable obs ervation we ca n make from the


comparisons that we have ma d e b etween the a p plication of
concepts in e ach of the res p ective re alms is that in the spiritual
re alm there ar e no exceptions to the rule, we only se e
a b solutes, no wavering, either Holy or Unholy, Clean or
Unclean, Female or Male, no exce ption. It ap p e a rs that the
imperfect a p plication of heavenly concepts in the physical
re alm is yet another huge mercy of God to us, lest we attribute
qualities that only exist in the spiritual re alm to our b eggarly
and limited physical re alm. The point here is that the substance
is only pr esent in the spiritual re alm while in the physical one
there is a bsolutely none. To a p ply this observation to gend er in
the physical re a lm, we would have to say that God cr e ate d
humans gend er e d as a m ercy to his elect (b ec ause gend er in
the physical re alm serves as a pointer to heav enly realities),
but this gend er distinction in the physical re alm does not have
any innate spiritual significance.
significance. And since physical gender is
mer ely a r efer ence to the heav enly relationship, it cannot have
physical significance either. (Yes, human husbands do not have
any God given superiority over their wives, and vice vers a. It is
J esus that has superiority over his bride , the eternal Church).
H er e we observ e that gend er, while it is a gre at mercy to the
elect, it only serves as a huge snare to the natural human b eing
who makes d etermination by sight and all other physical realm
senses alone.

Having determine d that physical rea lm gender is ultimately a


non - issue to the true Christian, it must also follow that inter -
sex in humans, like any other physical variation in humans
(height, weight, ra ce, etc), can only be of zero conseque nce.
Inter - sex is simply normal human va riation and should be
treated as such. All human beings in the physical realm have
the same precarious standing regardless of our real or
perceive d physical realm difference s. Before Holy and
Righteous God we all are unworthy and hopeless sinners by
nature , this conditi on being only correctable in the spiritual
realm only by the interve ntion of God on his terms. Ref: ROM
3:9 - 31

What we learn is that there is no physical distinction among


humans that ca n possibly have any spiritual merit. Attributing
spiritual merit to physical qualities in humans is idolatrous at
best because in doing so we misplace the Creator’s jealously
guarded glory by ascribing it to the creature. With what have
gathered he re I suppose we probably should test more of these
traditi onal views, especially those that are based on the
transference of the aspects of the spiritual realm to the
physical realm especially with regard to relati onships to that
between humans. As a matte r of fact it was because of the
question of intersex that my interes t in studying gender was
stirred. So what to many would have viewed as an undesirable
condition, to me became a healthy challenge to my faith and
understa nding and upon lengthy study into the possible
implications of inte rsex, the yield was the most comforting and
God glorifying explanation that is summarized as follows;

God deliberately create d gender in humans as picture of


the spiritual rela tionship Christ has with his elect.
But to help us realize that the physical gender is simply a
shadow and not the fulfillment of this relationship, God
made it that in the physical realm gender will be manifest
as a spectrum of variation rather than the two absolute
distincti ons we find in the spi ri tual realm.
The existence conditi on of inte rsex is therefore a great
and powe rful testimony that the re is no biblically
justifiable reason to attribute any s piritual distinction to
either gende r in the physical realm.
Since the Word of God has to be applicable to all humans,
because He is the God of the entire world, the existence
of the conditi on of inte rsex, which is only in the physical
realm, makes it imperative that we seek only a spiritual
realm interpretati on of all scripture that pertains to
g ender. This means that the intenti on of all gender
doctrine is only applicable in the spi ritual realm,
conseque ntly it is unbiblical to in anyway discriminate
between or within the sexes in the physical realm.
Our concl usion he re is in line with the great commandme nts
because all glory and honor is attrib uted solely to God alone by
not allowi ng for rank betwee n sexes, and because we
determine that all humans are equal we can love our neighbor
as ourselves.

Matthew 22

35 The n one of them, whi ch was a lawye r, asked him a question,


tempting him, and saying, 36 Maste r, whi ch is the great
commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love
the Lord thy God with all thy hea rt, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy mind. 38 This is the first and gre at commandment. 39 And
the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the
prophets.

Isaiah 40

1 ¶ Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2 Speak ye


comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto he r, that her wa rfare is
accomplished, that her iniquity is pardone d: for she ha th re ceived
of the LORD’S ha nd double for all her sins. 3 ¶ The voice of him
that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD,
make straigh t in the desert a highw ay for our God. 4 E very valley
shall be exalted, and every mountai n and hill shall be made low:
and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places
plain: 5 And the glory of the LO RD shall be revealed, and all flesh
shall se e it together: for the mouth of the LORD ha th spoke n it.
All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of
the field: 6 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? 7
The grass withereth, the flowe r fadeth: because the spiri t of the
LORD bloweth upon it: surely the pe ople is grass. 8 The grass
withere th, the flower fadeth: but the word of our G od shall stand
for ever.

1 Corinthians 1

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men
after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 B ut
God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the
wise; and God hath chosen the wea k things of the world to confound
the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and
things which ar e despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which
are not, to bri ng to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should
glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of
God is made unto us wisdom, and ri ghteousness, and sanctificati on,
a nd redempti on: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth,
let him glory in the Lord.
James 2

8 ¶ If ye fulfil the royal law accordi ng to the scripture, Thou shalt


love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect
to per sons, ye commit sin, and a re convince d of the law as
transgressors. 10 For whosoe ver shall keep the whole law, and yet
offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Due to the profound implicati ons of our conclusions it is only


prope r tha t we show an abunda nce of sound scri ptural
justification of our position a nd we should also be able to
illustrate the inade quacy of any other conclusion. We will be
carefully examining the purported biblical basis of the
traditi onal view and of any other that is brought fort h to
search out any othe r viable explanation.

CHAPTER ONE

“For ye are all the childre n of God b y faith in Christ Jesus. 
 F or


as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on
Christ.
 T he re is neither Jew nor G reek, there is neithe r bond nor
free, there is neithe r male nor fema le: for ye are all one in
Christ Jesus.”
 K JV Gal 3:26 - 28

Before we get ahead of ourselve s, since we are discussing very


sensitive and strongly held views, i t is proper that we establish
some ground rules. We will only use the Bible as our source
book and in doing so whateve r we l earn faithfully we shall
apply going forward. I honestly realize that the Bible is
deliberately written in a ve ry hard to unde rstand manne r and
that no one pe rson ca n possibly have monopoly on the
understa nding of scripture . God gives wisdom very liberally and
we do well to learn from each othe r as we humbly share what
the Lord has bestowed upon us.

Contra ry to wha t may be considere d reasonable expectation by


many, we can depend on the reliability of correctly understood
spiritual pri nciples much m ore than any concrete and measure d
physical princi ple. God assures us on numerous occasions in
scripture tha t his word is as He is, eternal, uncha nging and
reliable beyond the confines of time. ( Mat 5:8) Obviously the
tough pa rt is to make sure tha t our understanding on the law
of God as revealed in scripture is correct and fa ithful. We are
not without help in this regard, though God encrypted his
message to his chosen in proverbial language, figures and
types, God in his infinite mercy incl uded is the Bible the keys
to unl ock , corre ctly understand and test as much of His law a s
He would have us grasp. While these keys to unlock this
immense wisdom that is held in the Bible text have been in
scripture and available to all right f rom the beginning to
present, these keys remain hidden to most because they lack
the most crucial ele ment, a Holy Spirit regenera ted and
indwelled heart. One cannot even hope to unde rstand, let alone
know for sure, the ora cles of God in scripture without the
humility that is brought about by salvation. Thus we can say
that for we humans, our ve ry nature, being that we are
naturally pri deful and hol d a very elevated view of ourselves, is
the greatest barrier and disablement we have when it comes to
understa nding scripture .

INTERPRETATION & APPLICATION

There is a marked difference betwe en the attitude a true


believer has towards God and that of a natural human being,
this attitude difference ensures even more dive rgent
interpretati on of the text. When by the grace and purpose of
God, are regene rated by the Holy Spirit, we can begin to
appreciate the grande ur of God and our rela tive lowliness, and
are subsequently better pre pared to tackle the theol ogical
snares , traps and tests commonly found i n scripture . The
typical result of imprope rly analyzing and interpreting scripture
is bad doctrine brought about by e rrone ous conclusi ons that
are based on elevating humans as opposed to attributing all
glory and honor to God alone. Preconceived noti ons that we
hold also play a great part in how we interpret scripture, these
mostly formed by what we have already been tau ght or
brought about by some life experience. We should be willing
and ready to test any doctrine we hold against a standard that
is proven and unchanging. This standard is holy scripture , yes,
we can only ve rify our understanding of scripture by ensuring
that our understanding will stand to the test of every ve rse
without contradiction. This means we cannot pick and choose
verses and doctrines, it is all or none.

Though Holy Scripture is enigmatic, it is written by a very


purposeful God to convey a certai n message. God is not
caprici ous has everythi ng laid out in precise order and for
specific purposes. Yes, the most important message to human
beings from the most importa nt source comes to us in code. It
is because of the importance and the immense difficul tly in
deciphe ring God’s inte ntion embodi ed in the Bible’s text, that
we have to work ve ry hard and hum bly with much prayer for
guidance to find the inte nded message.

Once we have ca refully extracted a teaching from scripture we


test and retest this conclu sion against everythi ng else in the
Bible. We never stop testing everything we have learned or
have been taught from the Bible. We should remain humble
students of the Word of God and ne ver let anythi ng else have
authority over it. The Bible is the only tr ustworthy revelati on
of God and His will to his elect. While bible teachers and other
believers may help us along, the relationship between a
Christian and God is a personal and direct one, and any held
doctrines must be personal and not by proxy. In essen ce all
true believers must also be lifetime bible students, eagerly
studying and researching the word to optimize the
understa nding of thei r master’s will.

Below are few basic test of doctrine and conclusions that you
could use to examine what you may hold to be true:

Unive rsal Application: This means that since scripture is


the word of Almighty God, the intended applicati on and
purpose cannot be limited to a specific region, nati on or
any other geogra phic constrain. The commandments
should apply to all, always.
We have to also ensure that our conclusions are not
limited by time. If what we claim is the truth as taught by
God, it should have always been so, is so and will
continue to be so in eternity .
Our concl usions should be consistent with all the others
held to be true, the re can be no contradi ction with any
othe r doctri ne that we hold. If we have indeed come to
truth, the results of applying our conclusions, or doctrine ,
if you may, should be reproducible i n all pertinent cases.
There are no spe cial cases and no e xceptions. The Bible is
the law and it always applies.
Once we have inte rpreted scripture, if we have done it
faithfully, we should be able to apply our understanding
flawlessly throughout the Bible where we find similarities
in text a nd context. O ur ca reful and faithful
interpretati on should serve as a key to unl ock more
scripture and hi dden meaning.
It is also very importa nt to remember that a born again
Christian is only born again in his or her spirit essence and
continues through l ife as a dual personality having a
regenerated soul in a sinful body and mind. This nature of
believers is well recorded in Romans Chapter 7 verse 14 – 25
and in as much as it should serve as a warnin g to us because
the fact that we have unsaved mind and body will lead to us
harbori ng unsound doctrines, we, on the other ha nd have hope,
because being born again our souls are created in the pe rfect
image of God and thus have an alternate point of referen ce
from which we can disce rn truth. A true child of God has the
perfect law of God writte n in his or her heart and, though he or
she may initially hold incorrect doctrines, will eventually be led
by the Spirit to truth. The unregenerate person can only r ely
on what is referred to here as the l aw of sin. We may
understa nd this as any system of thought or acti on not done
expressly to the glory of God.

The importance of setting the gender issue right cannot be


overstate d, not only because the negative manife stations
brought about by the tradi tional sexist application and
interpretati on of scri pture, but chie fly because such the ology
typically elevates the male above the female, especially in the
marriage relationship. Well this cannot be because in the
Christ ian relationship only Christ Jesus is elevated. For those
insisting on the natural order of thi ngs, yes, Christ is our
spiritual husband and we the elect make up his spiritual wife. In
the physical relationship the re is no lordship among believers,
but we are to submit to one anothe r in Christ.

To be continued… (Soon, G od willing…)