Building Foundations, Not Fences - Gender and Sexuality

Week 6 Resources - Gender and Sexuality

Books/Resources about Transgender Identity

  • Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say, by Preston Sprinkle (This book is a good starting place for approaching the topic of gender identity from a Christian perspective.)
  • Trust the Circle: Understanding God's Design for Sex, Gender, and Sexuality, by Ryan Smith
  • Emerging Gender Identities: Understanding the Diverse Experiences of Today's Youth, by Mark Yarhouse and Julia Sadusky
  • Understanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministry, by Mark Yarhouse
  • Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture, by Mark Yarhouse
  • God Made Boys and Girls: Helping Children Understand the Gift of Gender, by Marty Machowski
  • Gender: A Conversation Guide for Parents and Pastors, by Brian Seagraves and Hunter Leavine
  • Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, by Abigail Shrier
  • Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences, Second Edition, by Leonard Sax

Books/Resources about Sexuality, Culture, and Faith

  • Podcast from Trevin Wax - Episode 4 of the Reconstructing Faith Podcast: “I Kissed Chastity Hello” - 
  • Pure: Why the Bible's Plan for Sexuality Isn't Outdated, Irrelevant, or Oppressive, by Dean Inserra
  • The Case against the Sexual Revolution, by Louise Perry
  • Mama Bear Apologetics, Guide to Sexuality: Empowering Your Kids to Understand and Live Out God’s Design, by Hillary Morgan Ferrer

Letter to Family Struggling through Questions

Thanks for being willing to share with me on Sunday about some of what your family is facing. I'll put a few thoughts and resources below, but we know much of this process will be an on-going journey of faith and wisdom.

A couple of thoughts:

  • You are not alone! So many families -- including families in our church -- are working through these same questions of gender identity and sexuality with their teenagers.
  • Parenting is incredibly hard, and as our kids grow, our role in parenting shifts to coach and counselor. We can't force the right decisions, and we certainly can't force heart change. But, we can be actively involved in our kids' lives, seeking to have the hard conversations and point them to Jesus.
  • Pursue and maintain the relationship. The questions about sexuality are important; but at this point, we want to focus on your relationship with your child (and the child's relationship with God). Do everything you can to maintain and grow this relationship. 
  • Sexuality is often a surface-topic, under which there are many other things our kids are dealing with. Don't become so focused on the gender and sexuality question that you miss the more foundational or core issues/questions (especially related to technology, mental and emotional health, and personal discipline/goals). 
  • Play the long game. If your child is showing signs of harming self or others, then by all means take immediate action! If harm isn't involved, don't let the pressure of this situation cause you to lose sight of long-term goals. We don't want to ignore the child’s questions and struggles with sexuality; but your child's challenges and questions as a teenager don't have to determine the rest of their life. Be patient, attentive, loving, and truthful. 
  • Be holy and healthy personally (and in your marriage). One of the best gifts you can give your child as they're asking questions and navigating challenges is to be growing in your relationship with God and with your spouse. And, this growth will include letting your child know that you struggle with things as well, and you need to repent, be humble, and learn, even as you seek to honor the Lord completely.

Know that we care for your family. Continue to trust and follow Jesus each day,

Dr. Owen Nease

Week 6 Sermon Notes - Gender and Sexuality

Building Foundations, Not Fences

Week 6 // Gender // Mark 10:13-17

Tension around Children and Gender

  • Incredibly tense and emotional conversations
  • Momentum and acceptance of those who are transgender or in a same-sex relationship
  • Stereotypes versus Scripture 
  • **Definition of terms -- be sure to ask the person you are talking with to define what they mean by gender and sexuality. These definitions are not as clear as you might first think.

What do we learn from Jesus about children? (Mark 10:13-17)

  • Child-like Faith ≠ Childish Faith
  • Foundations, not just Fences
  • Sermon Series topics (esp. gender and sexuality) are causing chaos and confusion in culture and church.

How to Build a Foundation for Gender

  • Scriptural Foundation
  • Genesis 1-2 = God's Design for Gender and Sexuality
  • Genesis 3-12
  • Desires are distorted; taking what we want, without trusting God's design
  • Violence, power, pride
  • Broken families and sexuality
  • God works through faith-filled, imperfect families (Genesis 6 & 12)
  • **Pattern continues throughout the OT
  • Gender in the OT
  • Male and Female imagery for God
  • Male and Female prophets
  • Male and Female wisdom
  • Laws protecting against sexual immorality; idolatry = adultery
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Jesus
  • Male and Female Disciples
  • Broke gender stereotypes 
  • “Tempted in every way”
  • Taught against “porneia” (sexual immorality)
  • What about eunuchs?
  • Matthew 19:8-12
  • Primarily about marriage, not gender identity
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Paul
  • “no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” [Gal 3:28]
  • Men and Women both actively involved in church life
  • Gender distinction/roles maintained
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Eternity
  • “In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” -Mt. 22:30
  • In the New Creation, we will have real, renewed bodies. -1 Cor. 15 
  • Theological Principles
  • Gender designed by God
  • Both men and women created with dignity and purpose. 
  • Male and Female are distinct, but are unified and equal in Christ.

The Key to Living with Biblical Sexuality and Gender

  • Jesus came to be a Servant, not a Stud

Step #1 - Affirm Sexual Purity, Reject Hypocrisy

  • “True Love Waits” backlash; What now?
  • Sexuality and the Christian Life
  • Reject “Porneia”
  • Pursue Integrity
  • *Your Strongest Desires are not necessarily your Deepest Desires
  • See that The Way of Jesus is Good!!

Step #2 - Affirm God's Design for Gender, Reject Harmful Stereotypes

  • *Caution: Must Be Able to Maintain Tensions
  • Gender and the Christian Life
  • Listen - “If you’ve met one transgender person…you’ve met one transgender person.” - Preston Sprinkle
  • Love = Patient, Kind, Hopeful, Truthful (1 Corinthians 13)
  • Build Up One Another - church; friends; professionals

What is your life built on?

  • Personal Desires and Opinions?
  • Cultural Stereotypes?
  • God’s Word and the Good News of Jesus Christ!!
  • Grace, Salvation, Love