YOU ASKED FOR IT: FINDING MY IDENTITY
Pastor Jonathan Falwell
Today, we’re going to discuss a topic that is a highly charged and controversial issue in our nation, and the world. There are many arguments, protests and disagreements that are taking place online, in the media, in schools and state houses, and in homes. While it is highly charged, it really shouldn’t be if we as Christians are acting as God intends. We know truth, but we also know Jesus’ command to love. And while we may disagree, we never have the right to attack, denigrate or dismiss those with which we disagree. With that in mind, let’s answer some questions on the LGBTQ issue.
Question 1: Why does the LGBTQ issue seem to be the topic of every conversation these days?
Answer 1: Same-Sex marriage, Men competing in women’s sports, Locker rooms & bathrooms, “drag queen” shows in schools & libraries, Educational changes.
- This is not a new issue; it has been going on for decades. My dad preached on this topic back in the 1970’s with the same passages and the same passion as I preach today.
- There does seem to be an all-out effort to normalize and rationalize behavior which goes against the Bible.
Answer 2: Ultimately, it’s a cultural attempt to dismiss the Biblical narrative of what is truth
- Even the National Institutes of Health, a government agency, dismisses the possibility of the Bible being true on their website as it relates to this issue.
Question 2: So, what does the Bible say?
Answer 1: God created “Man” in His own image. The image bearers of God are reflected in two sexes/genders: Male & Female
Genesis 1:27-28a (CSB) So God created man (‘āḏām – “mankind”) in his own image; he created him in the image of God; he created them male (zāḵār – “male”) and female. (nᵊqēḇâ – “female”) 28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.
- God created “mankind” in two complementary forms – “male & female” (XX or XY)
- Some groups would argue the idea that God created a “non-binary” first and then male and female. However, even though through all of creation God created opposite sets of creation (i.e. day & night, land & sea, male and female animals) that we can’t take this literally because there are subtle variations or “spectrums” of creation like “dusk”, etc.
- So, in other words, for us to discount the idea that God created a complementary set in creation would mean we would have to dismiss God’s Word.
- The Genesis 1 statement on the creation of man is the declaration of what happened, the Genesis 2 statement is the declaration of how it happened.
Answer 2: God’s perfect design is marriage between two people; one male and one female
Genesis 2:24-25 This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh. 25 Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.
- We must look back to the verses prior to vss 24-25 to see that God’s plan was for mankind to rule over all of creation. Only mankind was created in His own image. Only mankind received the “breath of life.” Only mankind was referenced in verse 18 that “it is not good for him to be alone.” So God created male and female for the purpose of being together as a complementary set. We are created perfectly to fit together: physically, biologically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Answer 3: Any other plan or design that dismisses the “Imago Dei” or God’s plan for marriage and gender is sin
- There are six references in the Bible to LGBTQ behavior (Gen 19; Lev 18; Lev 20; Rom 1; 1 Cor 6; 1 Tim 1)
- Some would argue that we can’t use the Old Testament as an image of what is permitted today because there is so much in the Mosaic Law that we do not recognize today. However, in both Leviticus 18 & 20, references to the same-sex lifestyle are placed within a list of sexual sins which are still considered unacceptable today.
- In fact, the statements in Leviticus 18:22 and Lev. 20:13 regarding these acts are actually referred to as “detestable” or an “abomination.” (tôʿēḇâ)
- So, if it was detestable in the Old Testament, it certainly would be detestable in the New Testament age.
- There are at least two references in the Bible about the Transgender issue (Deut. 22:5 and 1 Cor. 11)
- Ultimately, God created two sexes or genders; male and female. His intention is for them to be joined together as one. A complementary set.
Answer 4: Jesus affirms God’s design for sex, gender, and marriage in Matthew 19
Matthew 19:3-9 Some Pharisees approached him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?” 4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that he who created them in the beginning made them male and female,,5 and he also said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?,6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7 “Why then,” they asked him, “did Moses command us to give divorce papers and to send her away?” 8 He told them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts, but it was not like that from the beginning. 9 I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another commits adultery.”
- Jesus points back before the fall to affirm God’s perfect creation and design
- He doesn’t reference even Abraham, Moses, Jacob, David, Solomon. He goes back to the creation story. Why? Because this is what God intended.
Question 3: How does LGBTQ behavior go against God’s design
Answer 1: It attempts to disrupt and upend God’s desire and design
Galatians 5:16-21 I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
- It rejects God’s design of “He made them male and female” (XX or XY)
- Rejects God’s design of marriage (Romans 1:22ff)
- The American Psychiatric Association has changed its descriptions and definitions of Gender Dysphoria to be more affirming and accepting. In 2013, they changed their language from “gender identity disorder” to “gender dysphoria” to be more inclusive.
- It is being promoted by Social Contagion and Cultural Confusion
- CDC Report states the number of young people who identify as LGBTQ or are questioning has more than doubled in the past 7 years
- According to the Gallup Organization, in 2015 only 3.9% of Americans identified as LGBTQ while in 2022 that number has risen to 7.1%
- For high schoolers, that number has gone from 11% who identified as LGBTQ (or questioning) to 24.5% in 2021.
- In these same years, the explosion of social media has taken place thus creating a space where contradictory messages can be delivered directly into the hands of impressionable individuals who are struggling with self-worth and acceptance.
- In 2021, 4.33 billion people worldwide were using social media. And studies revealed that they were spending 22% of their online time on social media.
- Facebook has nearly 3 billion users monthly spending more than 35 minutes daily.4
- Twitter with over 200 million daily users sharing over 500 million tweets daily.4
- Instagram with over 1 billion active users with over 500 million stories shared daily4
- TikTok had over 850 million downloads in 2020 and over 600 million daily users
- Thus, it is not difficult to recognize that with the explosive growth of the online spaces, the growth of confusion had to follow.
- Further, for young people who all struggle with identity and acceptance, finding their heroes/actors/musicians all affirming this behavior creates a “safe space” for them to identify, regardless of truth.
Question 4: What is the Christian’s response?
Answer 1: Truth in love
- Ephesians 4:14-15 Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into him who is the head—Christ.
- 1 Timothy 1:15 This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them.
- No compromise yet no attack or dismissal
- We must be grounded in truth so we can speak the truth in love
- Jesus did this very thing in John 8 when He was confronted with the woman caught in adultery. His response “he who has no sin cast the first stone” (verse 7) and “go and sin no more” (verse 11.) = TRUTH IN LOVE
Question 5: What do I do if a loved one is walking this path?
Answer 1: Love, but don’t affirm
- Matthew 22 – The Great Commandment – LOVE
Question 6: What do I do if I am questioning my identity?
Answer 1: Recognize your worth
- Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, (poiēma – “creation”) created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
- Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
Answer 2: Find your identity in what God created you to be, not what the culture encourages you to change
Psalm 139:13-16 For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.,
Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from you
when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.
Bottom Line: You are created in the image of God, God doesn’t make mistakes, you are perfect in your created form, don’t let the world destroy truth.
 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), 2013.
 Social contagion occurs when a memory spreads from one individual to one or multiple others via social interaction (Roediger et al., 2001); https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/psychology/social-contagion