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calendar_today June 3, 2024

More Than Animals – Week 2 – Identity

person Mike Wilson
view_list More Than Animals

More Than Animals: Identity

Welcome to Week 2 of our teaching series, “More Than Animals.” Today, we dive into a topic that’s been at the forefront of cultural conversations: Identity. We’re exploring what separates us from animals in terms of identity, dreams, hopes, and spiritual purpose.

The Concept of Identity

Animals don’t have a sense of identity the way humans do. They don’t differentiate themselves, dream big dreams, or ponder eternity and purpose. In contrast, our kids are inundated with a new religion called Gender Identity. This topic is complex and sensitive, often better addressed in one-on-one conversations, but given its cultural dominance, we need to discuss it openly and with love.

I must give credit to those who have informed my understanding of this topic. I’ve read and listened to experts, compiling their insights here. My aim isn’t to take a political stand or fight a cultural battle but to offer Freedom and Clarity in Jesus. This is a spiritual issue, and while you may disagree with me, my motivation is love.

Many people today experience deep pain, believing they were born in the wrong body. This belief is widespread, but as a Christian community, we must address it with truth and compassion.

Ground Rules

  1. I don’t have time to address everything. This topic is extensive, and a 30-minute sermon won’t cover it all. I recommend Preston Sprinkle’s book “Embodied” for a comprehensive understanding.

    Embodied by Preston Sprinkle

  2. It’s okay to disagree. We must stop separating ourselves from those we disagree with. My goal is to present what Scripture says.
  3. Don’t clap. Let’s not alienate anyone. This is a journey we walk together.
  4. Speak the truth in love. Welcome Graciously is one of our core values. We don’t start fights over secondary issues and don’t expect everyone to agree.

Ephesians 4:15: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

You Are Welcome Here

If you struggle with gender identity, you are welcome in this church. If you disagree with me, you’re still welcome. Jesus can transform your life for the better. Today, we’ll discuss three things:

  1. What makes a biological male and female?
  2. What does the Bible say about being male and female?
  3. How should we respond to people who have transgender struggles?

1. What Makes a Biological Male and Female?

Biologists generally agree on three characteristics that define the difference between male and female: roles in reproduction, external anatomy, and the presence of a Y chromosome. But how does this help those struggling with gender identity?

Gender Dysphoria is a real, painful condition, affecting about 0.005% – 0.014% of the population. For many, the issue isn’t gender dysphoria but Gender Stereotypes.

Parents often worry when their children defy gender norms, but such behavior doesn’t necessarily indicate transgender identity. Gender stereotypes are culturally constructed, not biblically mandated.

Lady’s Home Journal (1918): “Pink, being a more decided and strong color, is more suitable for boys. While blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for a girl.”

In the Bible, we see men and women defying stereotypes. David, a man, cried and played the harp. Deborah, a woman, was a judge and warrior. Gender stereotypes are cultural, not biblical.

2. What Does the Bible Say About Being Male and Female?

Genesis 1:27: “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Men and women are created in God’s image, both necessary to fulfill God’s command to be fruitful and govern the earth.

Genesis 1:28: “Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it.'”

Jesus affirmed this in Matthew 19:4: “Haven’t you read the Scriptures? They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.'”

Acting on the desire to change sexual identity often leads to more pain, not less. Psalm 139:13-14 reminds us that we are wonderfully made by God. Trust that God made you on purpose for a purpose.

3. How Should We Respond to People Who Have Transgender Struggles?

The answer is clear: LOVE. Move closer to people, even when you disagree. Love unconditionally, but understand the difference between love and affirmation.

Romans 2:4: “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”

Young people who transition are at higher risk of suicide and psychological disorders. As adults, it’s our job to say “no” to harmful desires, lovingly guiding them towards God’s purpose.

We are labeled by our maker. On the back of your shirt is a label indicating its maker. Similarly, only our Creator can label us.

Your identity is “child of God.” This is who you are.

Romans 2:4 reminds us that God’s kindness leads to life change. Let’s not stand against transgender people but encourage them to become the people God created them to be.


Discussion Points for Life Groups:

  1. How can we support those struggling with gender identity in our community?
  2. What does it mean to speak the truth in love in this context?
  3. How can we better understand and dismantle gender stereotypes?

This week, let’s pray for each other, for wisdom, compassion, and understanding as we navigate these complex issues together.


If you have questions or need support, our pastoral team is here for you. Let’s walk this journey with grace, truth, and love.


Feel free to explore more on this topic and join our Life Groups for deeper discussions. Remember, in Christ, we find our true identity and purpose.

 


Did you like More Than Animals – Week 2 – Identity? If so, check out more of our Sunday teachings here.


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