GodsDesign Sampler FULLSAMPLER-compressed - Page 141



M ale O R F emale ? ( or O ther ? )
Those who are blessed with a confident sense that their physical
bodies align with their inner sense of identity should treat with love
and respect our fellow human beings who experience a mismatch
between the two. That doesn’t mean supporting their every action
or decision, but it does mean we should love them and so should the
church.
The question “What’s your preferred gender designation?” presumes two things: (1) that one’s physical anatomy is a lower priority (if it’s a priority at all) in determining our gender identity; and
(2) that the categories of male and female aren’t real and distinct
­things—­or at least they’re not the only two categories. We believe,
however, that male and female are the only two categories that
reflect God’s purposes in creation, which ultimately makes them
the only valid categories for us. Why? Because it was God’s intent
that there be two sexes, male and female, not that there be an array
of sexes between those two.
SOME CHALLENGING REALITIES
We cannot argue this, however, without grappling with some challenging counterevidence to the Christian belief that male and female
are ultimately the two categories for sex that were intended by God
from Creation.
First, if there are only two sexes, male and female, how do we
understand the medical condition called intersex (what previously
was referred to as true hermaphroditism)? People with this rare condition are, for a variety of reasons, born with mixed or blended
testicular and ovarian tissues that produce both male and female
hormones. As a result, they have ambiguous genital anatomy: typically an underdeveloped, partial vagina and an overdeveloped clitoris
(or small penis) without a urinary opening at the end. Their other
sex characteristics are mixed too. Thus, they defy our hard categories
of male and female.
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