New York Families Proclaims God’s Design for Sex and Sexuality

“[Love] does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6, ESV)

There is great confusion and disagreement within American culture (and, sadly, within the American church) on issues of sexuality and gender identity. New York Families defends God’s truth about these important matters.

God ordained marriage as the union of husband and wife (Genesis 2:18-24), and He created sexual intercourse and called it good (Genesis 1:28, 31). However, sex is only good when it is placed within its proper context; outside that context, it is destructive (2 Samuel 11:1-12:14; Proverbs 5; Revelation 21:8). Sexual expression should only occur within the marital relationship between husband and wife (Genesis 2:24-25; I Corinthians 7:2; Hebrews 13:4). Married men and women are called upon by God to remain faithful to their respective spouses (Exodus 20:14), and persons who are not married are called to abstain from sexual behavior (I Corinthians 6:18-20).

Some people experience a phenomenon known as same-sex (homosexual) attraction. Such persons feel sexual or romantic attraction to members of the same sex. Tragically, in the 21st-century United States, homosexuality is celebrated as a positive good, and persons experiencing same-sex attraction are encouraged to adopt lesbian, gay, or bisexual identities. While most people do not experience sexual orientation as a matter of choice, sexual behavior is a matter of choice. God loves persons who experience same-sex attraction, and He clearly and unequivocally forbids His children from engaging in homosexual relationships and behaviors (Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Timothy 1:9-11).

A person’s sex is an innate and immutable characteristic; God made humankind male and female (Genesis 1:27). Maleness and femaleness are not biological accidents, personal choices, or social constructs; rather, they are integral, God-given parts of a person’s identity designed for that person’s good.

Some people experience a condition known as gender dysphoria in which they feel great discomfort with their biological sex and feel a desire to dress or identify as a member of the opposite sex, or as someone who is genderless or gender-fluid. In 21st-century secular culture, gender dysphoria is celebrated and transgenderism is promoted. Journalist Madeleine Kearns has defined transgenderism as the belief that “every person has a ‘gender identity’ (an inner sense of being male, female, something else, or in between) distinct from his or her sex and that, when the two conflict, gender identity should take precedence.” Persons with gender dysphoria who embrace transgenderism sometimes use hormones or surgeries to make their bodies more like the bodies of persons of the opposite sex. However, it is biologically impossible for a person to truly change his or her sex. Furthermore, the Bible expresses God’s disapproval of actions that blur the distinction between male and female (Deuteronomy 22:5).

Young people experiencing same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria need love and compassion. Parental rejection and unsafe home environments can be devastating to young people, including youths with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. Loving a child does not require a parent to affirm that child’s adoption of an LGBT identity or approve of his choices. Similarly, it does not require a parent to allow illegal, immoral, or disruptive behavior in the home. New York Families humbly encourages Christian parents not to react to a child’s struggles with sexuality or gender out of anger, but to love that child, speak the truth, and seek godly counsel.

Persons with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria are made in God’s image, are deeply loved by Him, and should be treated with dignity and respect. Christians have not consistently treated persons with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria the way that we would wish to be treated. Over the years, our failures in this regard have caused pain to our neighbors who have these experiences. In some instances, our reactions to persons with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria have unintentionally encouraged them to embrace LGBT identities.

Persons experiencing same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria should be encouraged to pursue holiness. Some churches have welcomed and affirmed persons identifying as LGBT without speaking Biblical truth to them (thus displaying grace without truth). Other churches have spoken the truth about sexuality and gender in a harsh or punitive manner (thus displaying truth without grace). God’s people are called upon to display both grace and truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-6) to persons experiencing same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria. Instead of being encouraged to act upon homosexual urges, persons with same-sex attraction should be lovingly helped to resolve those attractions so that they may live chaste lives as single individuals or develop their heterosexual potential within the God-ordained marriage relationship. Rather than embracing dangerous fallacies about their gender identities, persons with gender dysphoria should receive help in dismantling false beliefs about themselves so that they may be at peace with their true, God-given gender identities.

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