How, in this modern day and age, does christianity view the phenomenon of homosexuality and transgender individuals? It does seem possible, even probable, depending on how you set the assumptions and presuppositions, to say that there are more than one gender, or at least that there are individuals who do not fit clearly into a binary conception of gender. How should christians conceptualize these individuals? As the unlucky ones who (for whatever reason, stress, improper development conditions, etc), were not made normally. What does this mean for our overall conceptions of how we construct gender? Should we start from the majority and found there our conception of what it means to be of a normal gender, and then look at the fringe cases in that light? Could that be construed as racist? If, just for arguments sake, the binary conception of gender is not correct, where does that leave the bible?

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    There is no single answer to this question, as it's a very controversial topic. Can you choose a particular Christian branch to ask their perspective, such as the Roman Catholic Church, or Evangelical Protestantism? If you're interested in hearing multiple answers to this question it would be best to ask multiple questions targeted at specific branches. – curiousdannii May 19 '14 at 3:24

Where does this leave the Bible?

The fact that the Bible is mostly silent concerning intersex does nothing to discredit the text nor its source.

It wasn't an issue in ancient times (which doesn't mean it never occurred) that warranted special attention. Modern statistics posit that 1 in 1,666 births have some form of hermaphrodism. In ancient times, infant mortality was perhaps as high as 30%. The quantity of people with this trait would likely have been fairly low, especially among all but large cities. Physical deformity was commonplace enough (disease, warfare, etc.), so it stands to reason that even people with intersex traits would have been seen no worse than someone with some other physical defect.

Nothing written in the Bible guarantees everyone the same chances in life, including the chance to marry. Sexual intercourse is ordained by God for all people (Ge 2:24), but only within the confines of marriage. Poor people, people with awful parents, people who contract crippling illnesses, and the like are essentially in the same category with respect to the question of why doesn't everyone have the same chances in life.

Sex and sexuality were never meant to be the defining characteristics of an individual. Modern societies have made it such an issue that people want to define themselves according to their sexual desires, but this is not an important classification in Christianity.

Christians believe that God loves all people, and has placed them in their particular circumstances for his own reasons, none of which include callousness or cruelty. Every human being (except one) has sinned, and are thus fallen, broken creatures in need of a savior. In this sense, we are all equally at a disadvantage, because nobody can save himself.

Consider James 2:5 (NASB): "…did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith…?" Those that we think of as being disadvantaged are not worse in every way. Similarly, those we consider to be extremely privileged do not always have it easy when it comes to important things, like putting their trust in God instead of wealth (e.g. Mt 19:23).

God has called all people, in every situation, to himself, and he commands that we love them all, just like he does. This is the hallmark of Christianity: that "you have love for one another." (Jn 13:35, NASB)

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  • Nice answer. I like your sensitive approach. Recently heard about gender issues in people born close to 'dirty' mines where the communities rejected them. – gideon marx May 19 '14 at 16:15
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    It might be worth copying this answer to the duplicate question, given that this one seems to be heading South... – Benjol May 20 '14 at 10:04

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