How is your church handling the latest cultural push to promote transgenderism and gender ideology?
Put differently, how is it facing the ongoing deleterious effects of the sexual revolution?
Does your church’s statement of faith reflect the new cultural dynamics?
Hardin-Simmons University in West Texas seems to be headed in a more conservative direction. They closed their money-losing “liberal” pastoral school, Logsdon Seminary. And now they’re adopting clearer language about marriage, sex, and gender. As this article reluctantly reports (because it is a liberal Baptist site):
Among the faith statement’s 10 articles, two are devoted to strict statements on gender and sexuality. The first says: “We believe that God created the human race with two genetic sexes as defined by karyotype, male and female.” The second says: “We believe that marriage has been established by God to be a life-long, covenant relationship between one genetic male and one genetic female. We also believe that sexual activity is intended by God to be expressed solely in the context of a loving marriage between one genetic male and one genetic female.”
Each of these three points is helpful.
First, God created “two genetic sexes as defined by karyotype, male and female.” The National Human Genome Research Institute defines karyotype as: “an individual’s complete set of chromosomes.” Good. This statement makes clear that being male or female is not a matter of subjective feelings or fashion sense, but about objective genetics.
Second, “We believe that marriage has been established by God to be a life-long, covenant relationship between one genetic male and one genetic female.” The sexual revolution redefined “marriage” to be a contractual emotional relationship between two (or more) persons, opening the door to “gay marriage.” When the emotions change, the contract is breached, and therefore the marriage can be ended. Hence, I like how Hardin-Simmons emphasizes the covenantal and genetic basis of marriage. And the life-long and covenantal aspects also emphasize how it is a moral relationship—a promise to be in it together to the end despite how you might feel.
Third, “We also believe that sexual activity is intended by God to be expressed solely in the context of a loving marriage between one genetic male and one genetic female.” We live in such a perverse and confused time that it’s sad to think this type of language— “one genetic male and one genetic female”—is necessary. But it is. And Hardin-Simmons is simply using more precise language for what Christians have always held. Natural marriage was always biologically based because it is a sexual (not a sodomitical) union. That is, it is the only human relationship that can result in children and allow those children to be raised by both parents. No other “relationship” does that. But Hardin-Simmons puts those ideas together, which is good.
If you’re a pastor, elder, deacon, or voting church member, I would recommend that you revisit your church’s statement of faith or by-laws and adopt this kind of clearer language about sex, gender, and marriage. (You should also do the same for making clear the promise of eternal life.) But don’t stop at changing your statement of faith. Make sure to also teach and explain these realities to your people. They may never hear them from anyone else.