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Boy, Girl, or “Purple Penguin”?

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According to news reports (including on Fox News yesterday), a school district in Lincoln, Nebraska has recently given its teachers a handout to promote gender inclusiveness in their classrooms. This handout encourages teachers to stop referring to students as “girls and boys” but instead to describe students as a group, with phrases like “calling all readers” or “hey campers.” Instead of separating the children into groups of boys and girls, teachers are being urged to divide the students by things such as whether they prefer milk or juice or perhaps skateboards or bikes, to create classroom names, and then “ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet at the rug.”

The goal of this name changing is to help students “recognize and celebrate the gender diversity of all students” and to “challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender.” Really, what this handout is encouraging teachers to do is to destroy any distinction between male and female. This is a natural outcome of a culture that has rejected the Bible as its foundation for thinking in every area. As our culture continues to reject Jesus Christ and move further away from basing its thinking on the solid foundation of the Word of God, we continue to see more of everyone “doing what is right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). And our culture seems determined to make sure the next generation follows suit.

This type of thinking has serious consequences. If man is the ultimate authority, then why not just discard gender? And, for that matter, why not just make marriage whatever you want it to be?

Now gender distinction for humans is so important that in the very first chapter of the Bible, which is foundational to the whole Bible, God emphasizes this gender distinction:

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Jesus, the Son of God, our Creator, as the God-man, made this emphatic statement:

But from the beginning of the creation, God “made them male and female. (Mark 10:6)
And again in Matthew 19:4, Jesus, in explaining the meaning of marriage, emphasized the following:
Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female . . . ? (Matthew 19:4)

And I love how He stated, “have you not read…?” I believe we could paraphrase this verse as, “Haven’t you people read the book of Genesis, that when I created humans, that I made them male and female?” (Matthew 19:4)

God has clearly revealed to us in His Word that gender is not something we can choose to discard. When God created mankind, He made them male and female (Genesis 1:27). It’s only concerning our spiritual state in Christ where there is no male or female distinction, as both are equally made in God’s image and equally valuable in His sight (Galatians 3:28).

Males are neither inherently superior nor inferior to females, but males and females are different. And that distinction becomes particularly important when marriage is in view. Secularists are desperately trying to teach our children that gender is an arbitrary choice rather than a part of who they are designed to be. Yet according to our Creator, each person is designed to be either male or female. And that same Creator stipulated that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. By erasing in children’s minds their identity as male and female, then when they grow up, the ideas of gay marriage and homosexual behavior and any other aberration will seem to be valid and acceptable choices on their menu for life. But man is not the ultimate authority—God is!  The Son of God who came into this world to die for the sins of men and women and boys and girls affirmed that from the beginning that being “male” or “female” has been a part of each person’s created identity.

We, as followers of Christ, need to stand firmly on the Word of God and teach our children the truth about gender and marriage. Gender is not a social construct—it is part of who we are because it is a creation of God’s that has been present from the beginning. Neither is marriage whatever you want it to be. God created marriage at the beginning so only God has the right to define marriage. As Jesus said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’ so He also then said ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?” (Matthew 19:4–5). Marriage is between one man and one woman. Period.

We also need to teach our children that sin has affected the human race—not only our spiritual state but physically also. Certainly, there are those (an extremely small minority) for which sin may have affected their physical development in some way relating to their sexuality. (See “Feedback: Hermaphroditism.”) Such people need our understanding, love, and care. Also because of the sin that affects us all, some people might be tempted more easily than others in regard to blurring the gender distinction or suffer some confusion or dissatisfaction with the gender God clearly created them to have. But then we all to need to believe God’s Word that:

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.  (1 Corinthians 10:13)

As a teaching exercise for your family, if you have a Bible program on your computer and can do a search on when the words male and female occur in the same sentence, you will be able to see reference after reference in regard to all sorts of human matters where God clearly uses the male and female distinction in regard to humans.

Our children desperately need to be taught the true history of the universe. And every child needs to be taught that he or she has been specially and wonderfully designed, even before they were born (see Psalm 139:14–16), as male or female in the image of God. I encourage you to bring your children to the Creation Museum to help them develop a biblical foundation—remember kids are free in 2014 with a paying adult!

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

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