By Dr. Al Hearne II
God created people in His own image! Genesis 1:26-27 reads, "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.' So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." This declaration is a part of God's truth, and as was argued while looking at Psalm 25:5, "truth is not like ice cream; a person cannot merely pick their favorite flavor."
When studying Genesis 1:1-2a, we look at two attributes of God: God is perfect (Matthew 5:48, Psalm 18:30, Deuteronomy 32:4), and God is holy (Isaiah 6:3, Leviticus 11:44, 1 Peter 1:16). It was not until day 6 of creation, after creating people as male and female, did God declare His creation was "very good" (Genesis 1:31). Donovan Graham says this means that “as people we are living in a divinely created structure that is good and that should be responded to in accordance with its nature" (Teaching Redemptively). Due to the first sin in Genesis 3, everyone who has ever lived has lived within God's divine structure and decided which direction to take God's structure, either toward God or away from God. Graham goes on to say, this "anything in creation can be directed either toward or away from God-that is directed either in obedience or disobedience to his law." Proclaiming God’s truth is an act of obedience and honoring God's divine structure.
We live in an age of rapid movement away from God's divine structure. One of the most controversial areas is regarding gender, claiming that it is merely a social construct; biological sex does not matter, and what matters is what a person thinks. The world is sprinting away from God's divine design and saying that a person can pick their gender. From entertainment to the news media, from popular culture to laws, from business to education, we are inundated with this false belief, denying God's divine structure, that a boy can become a girl or a girl can become a boy. God's truth could not be more precise: God created male and female (Genesis 1:27). Gender is not a social construct; God created gender, and God assigns gender at conception.
According to Jeff Johnson, God separated people into two sexes: male and female. Each sex is unique and holds inherent value, both individually and together, mirroring the image and likeness of God. Furthermore, Adam and Eve form the first marriage, and both Jesus and Paul point to the male and female creation as the foundation of truth (When Transgender Issues Enter). Moreover, Adam and Eve, as male and female, are joined together in the first marriage (Genesis 2:22-24), and both Jesus (Matthew 19:4-6) and Paul (Galatians 3:28 and 1 Corinthians 11:11-12) emphasize the creation of male and female as part of God's divine structure.
At Redwood Christian Schools, we teach God's truth without apology or compromise. Point number 8 in our Statement of Faith reads, "We believe that God wonderfully foreordained and immutably created each person as either male or female in conformity with his or her biological sex. These two distinct yet complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26–27)."
We strive to teach that everyone is created as a child, made in the image of God, bearing God's divine fingerprints, and point them to the truth of how God created them in a loving and gentle manner, upholding God’s divine structure.
How do you share this biblical truth about gender while working to foster a culture of respect, treating everyone as one of God's image bearers? Consider practical steps you can take to promote God's divine structure as male and female with those in your sphere of influence?
Graham, Donovan. (2009). Teaching Redemptively: Bringing Grace and Truth into Your Classroom (2nd ed.). Purposeful Design Publications.
Johnson, Jeff. (2017). When Transgender Issues Enter Your World: How Christians Can Respond With Compassion, Courage, and Truth. Focus on the Family.
[The oil painting, "God Created Male and Female," was created using DALL-E.]