What is gender dysphoria and the transgender movement all about? What is beneath it all? There are two big questions that form the basis of the debate. The first question is: Where do people come from? And the second is: How can someone be happy?
Gender dysphoria and the transgender movement is really a question about origin. Where do I come from? And it is a question of satisfaction. How can I be happy? We are going to see that scripture gives very different answers to those questions than the world is currently offering us.
WHERE DO OUR BODIES COME FROM?
Where do you come from? Where does your body come from? Scripture addresses this question in the very first chapter in the Bible. It describes humanity entering the world because God created us and placed us in the world He created.
Genesis 1:26-27 tells us, “Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
God created everything. He’s the creator. But humanity is different from the rest of His creation. He created the beautiful sunset, the birds, the fish, the animals, the waves, the trees. He created all of it, and it was good. But then He created humanity, male and female, and He said that it was very good. He created all those other things, but He placed His image on people.
Humanity is the crowning work of God’s creation. It is the pinnacle of His creative work. We originate in Him because He’s the one who created us. According to Genesis 1, He created us with biological distinctions between men and women.
Because transgender advocates say there’s no hormonal evidence for transgenderism or gender dysphoria and because there’s nothing in the body that we are aware of that causes it, transgender advocates rely on separating gender from biology. Transgenderism relies on separating sex and gender, therefore, relying on a division of personhood. Our current culture’s increasingly accepted view of personhood is that my body is not necessarily who I am—a division of the person God created.
That who you are is separate from your body is also Charles Darwin’s view. Darwin is the man who brought evolutionary thinking into our world, which also asserts you are not created in the image of God. You evolved, and therefore, your body is not really who you are. This is not new thinking.
Scripture tells a different story. Scripture’s view of who you are is that you are gloriously connected as a whole person. The Bible teaches that God created you in His image, male or female, and that your body is deeply connected to who you are. Scripture has a high view of your body. In fact, Psalm 63 is just one example of the soul and body, of gender and sex, being woven together as a whole person. David, as he was praying to God, said, “O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You.” David was saying that the totality of who he was longed for the Lord.
God created you as a connected person. Your body is deeply interwoven into who you are. This truth answers the question Where did my body come from? Your body came from God and He has a high view of the value of your body.
Let me summarize key points of the Bible’s view on the human body.
- You were born into this world because God formed you together while you were in the womb, and He gave you your body. He made it.
- Jesus, God the Son, came to this earth to pursue you and forgive you and love you. To do so, He took on a human body.
- When you believe in Jesus, scripture teaches that because the Spirit of God lives inside you, your body is now a temple of the Holy Spirit.
- Scripture also teaches that when Jesus returns for His people forever, we will be given a new body.
- Jesus Himself took on a new, glorified body after He was resurrected from the dead.
Scripture has a gloriously high view of your body. God gave you your body, and your body is deeply connected to who you really are. Your body also shows that you have been designed on purpose by God.
When I was a freshman in college, my dad helped me pay cash for a 1995 Nissan pickup truck. I drove it for 18 years. Friends made fun of me the last five years of my truck’s life because it was making all kinds of crazy noises. The air conditioner didn’t work. The radio didn’t work. It was basically falling apart. The last six months of my truck’s existence, the people at the Jiffy Lube said they wouldn’t touch the truck for an oil change because they didn’t want to be liable for it falling apart.
My ‘95 Nissan pickup truck had approximately 30,000 parts. 30,000. Because it had 30,000 parts that were designed to work together—even though it was falling apart, even though it wasn’t right—nobody thought that truck just magically appeared. Everyone understood that the truck was designed.
The human body has many, many more parts than a 1995 Nissan pickup truck. You have at least 37 trillion cells all working together in your body. Because God designed you exactly as you have been designed, those cells work together so you can hear, see, feel, smell, think, and all of the other functions your body performs. The blood that is flowing through your veins right now is made up of those cells, and it all works because you have a designer who put you together. Unlike my truck that depreciated in value, you have never gone down in value because God put His image on you. Your body is part of who you are and it is intentionally designed by God. He designed your soul and your body, your biological sex and your gender, to be connected.
HOW CAN WE BE HAPPY?
The second question the transgender movement surfaces is How can I be happy?
I want to be happy. So do you. But where does happiness come from? Lia Thomas made headlines as a male to female transgender athlete who raced as a swimmer for Penn State first as a male and then later as a female. In 2022 Lia was recommended to be the female athlete of the year for Penn State. As male to female transgender person, Lia Thomas became the subject of all sorts of headlines, including at ESPN. One article from ESPN said, “Lia Thomas says her decision to transition was rooted in happiness.” Lia Thomas wants to be happy. And that’s what God wants too; He wants Lia Thomas to be happy.
God loves transgender people and those wrestling with gender dysphoria, but His means for happiness is different from the world’s view of happiness. The world says that when you’re wrestling with your gender identity you should listen to your mind and alter your body. Scripture says the opposite. The Bible says someone struggling with gender dysphoria should embrace the body God gave them and allow Him to change the mind. The world says, listen to your mind and change your body. Scripture says, offer God your body and allow Him to renew your mind.
The Bible teaches us in Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
So again, the transgender movement says that you should resolve the tension between your biological sex and who you think you are by changing your body. Scripture says the opposite: God loves you in your dysphoria, but instead of changing your body to match a changing mind, allow God to renew your mind, and receive your body as a glorious gift from Him.