Joining a slew of other politicians — many of whom are at the state and local levels — Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the several Democrats running for president in 2020, announced this week she wants to introduce a “third gender” option for identification documents at the federal level.
On Tuesday, Harris was speaking at a town hall event at Keene State College in New Hampshire when she was asked about adding a “third gender” option nationally, according to Politico. She replied, “Sure.”
“It’s a simple point,” Harris explained. “There needs to be another category, and so I’m open to the idea of doing that and I think that it’s a good idea.”
The California senator is not the first one to endorse adding a “third gender” option for federal IDs. In mid-February, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), also running for president in 2020, said she would support adding an “X” marker for those who don’t identify as male or female.
What does the Bible say about this?
In the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible — Genesis — it is written God created human beings in his image with two distinct forms: male and female. Our sex is predetermined by our creator and is an unchangeable gift.
Moses wrote, “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, he created them; male and female, he created them.”
During a guest appearance last summer on the “Ask Pastor John” podcast, Sam Allberry, a pastor in the U.K. and a speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, pushed back against our culture’s assertion that our human identity is found strictly in our sexuality.
“Our culture says, ‘You are your sexuality,’ that the sexual feelings that you have are the most you — that is, the real you,” he explained. “For me, that’s just not the case. I want to use language that can describe an aspect of what is going on in my life, but which doesn’t imply that that is what defines me, or what is the center and heart of who I am.”
And in a column for The Gospel Coalition a few years ago, Kevin DeYoung, a pastor based in Charlotte, North Carolina, explained why the Bible is clear on issues of sexual identity and orientation, noting that, in Romans 1:26-27, the apostle Paul was able to address homosexuality as a deviation from God’s understanding of sex because of the “natural relations or natural function of male-female sexual intercourse,” referring to the fact that men and women are “uniquely” situated and designed to reproduce.
“The argument only works,” DeYoung wrote, “if there is an assumed equivalence between the biology of sexual difference and the corresponding identities of male and female.”
There’s no doubt these are tricky issues and topics inseparable from our brothers and sisters within the Christian community as well as our unbelieving neighbors outside the church. They aren’t arguments we have in a vacuum; the consequences of our beliefs and Scripture’s teaching has an immediate and eternal effect on each of us.
I really appreciate the way Allberry recently suggested Christians address these hot-button issues (video above):
How do we be people of both grace and truth? And the answer is by becoming as much like Jesus as we possibly can because Jesus was full of grace and truth. One is never played off against the other. Both come together in Jesus. If we think we have one without the other, we have neither.
All of us are sexual sinners. And so my approach on these issues where there is so much sensitivity is don’t say to someone what you cannot say to everyone. So don’t make someone’s transgenderism the main starting point of your dealing with them, but actually show that transgenderism is but one manifestation of what is true for all of us: that we all misidentify ourselves in any number of ways.
“For some of us, it will be through the issue of gender identity,” he explained further. “For some of us, it will be through our perceived self-righteousness. For some of us, it will be we identify with our career or our family or our marriage our our children or whatever it may be.”
The topic of human sexuality and identity is not new — Paul’s teachings all throughout the New Testament make that clear — and it’s not going away any time soon. But the discussion happening right now at the national level absolutely gives Christians the opportunity to gracefully speak truth to a world hungry for answers.