May 6, 2023
Subject: America’s Changing Sexuality: Christians better know their Bible
Genesis 1:27 “God created man in His own image; In the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
There are verses in the Bible that can and have been misinterpreted to fit someone’s personal agenda. Take for example Jesus’s statement in John 6:53: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” Sounds like the Bible promotes cannibalism, doesn’t it?
Even those who heard Jesus speak this verse struggled with what He meant: “Many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’” (John 6:60). And when Roman emperor Nero persecuted the early Christian church, he accused them of being “incestuous cannibals” to incite people against them. But with a little further study we can understand what the Bible is telling us.
In this case, Jesus Himself gives the answer: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:60). Translation: Jesus is not referring to the material, physical world, which is what a flesh-eating cannibal would be. Jesus is focusing on eternal life, which is non-material and spiritual. The point He is making is that if you trust in His physical death on the Cross (His broken flesh and shed blood) to pay for your sins – you have free access to eternal life. Which, of course, is consistent with everything else He teaches us throughout both the New and Old Testaments.
The misunderstanding and confusion over verses in the Bible requires people become familiar with the Bible if they wish to correctly understand it. And as Christians in America, with the onslaught of today’s culture wars, we are going to get ourselves in serious trouble if we do not follow the apostle Paul’s instruction and “rightly divide the word of truth” (2Timothy 2:15). One of the most recent examples of the reinterpretation of God’s word is happening now, with our verse for this week. Some folks are promoting Genesis 1:27 as God’s intention that transgender is His original design intent for humanity.
In responding to syndicated columnist Dennis Prager’s article entitled “The Torah and the transgendered”, Rabbi Heather Miller offers us a reinterpretation of Genesis 1:27: “Thank God the Torah reminds us that God, in God’s own image, created male and female. It is right there in the verse you quoted, just two words earlier: ‘In the image of God was he created, male and female.’ Perhaps those who would otherwise be harmed by your words will find comfort to know that according to Torah, God is not confined to binary genders. May they draw the conclusion that it should not be applicable to God’s human creations either.” Rabbi Miller is saying that Genesis 1:27 teaches that God created people with no unique sexual identity.
Dennis Prager’s response not only exposes the error in Rabbi Miller’s distortion of Genesis 1:27 but also validates how the bible aligns with how life actually works and how the bible aligns with science itself: “In an attempt to show that the Torah does not seek to preserve male-female identities and the male-female distinction, some responders have distorted the verse in the Torah that I cited: ‘And God created man in His image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.’ They claim that the Torah… didn’t really mean that God created male and female persons. No one contradicts the Torah text itself, which is crystal clear. The text, to repeat, says, ‘male and female He created them;’ ‘them’ (human beings) — not ‘him’ (Adam).”
Notice the slight-of-hand from Rabbi Miller, that she is called out on by Dennis Prager. Miller says “In the image of God was he created, male and female.” Prager corrects her, because Genesis 1:27 doesn’t say “he” was created male and female (implying a support for transgender). The verse says “they” were created male and female. A clear distinction between men and women.
Prager continues: “The notion that male and female has no objective reality, but is a subjective identity, is so contrary to scientific reality that these people have earned one of the epithets they throw at opponents: anti-science. It is not merely Torah and 3,000 years of Jewish affirmation of the male-female distinction that these people cavalierly reject; it is science itself. A human being who has two X chromosomes, mammary glands, a vagina, a uterus, produces eggs, and menstruates is a female. That is not opinion. That is science. No amount of midrash or left-wing dogma can rewrite science or the Torah.”
Christians need to know their Bible so the growing immorality of our culture stops overtaking us.
Ed Croteau is a lay pastor and resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the LS Tribune, on Facebook and his website www.fse.life.