Why We Need to Start With a Biblical Understanding of Human Beings

By Published on July 8, 2023

Stop teaching your kids they can be anything they want. It’s not true. I have four daughters. The culture wants to tell them they can be anything, including boys. But no matter how hard they might try, they never could be. Not really.

The idea that you can be whatever you want when it comes to sexuality and gender is based on an ancient lie. I say the lie is ancient because it’s the same lie the serpent used to deceive Eve in the garden of Eden: “Did God really say … ?” This is the primal heresy, and humanity has been in rebellion against God ever since, thinking our ways are better than His. There’s more, though.

A Battle Over Truth

The ultimate battle is always over truth. Here, it’s the truth about the fundamental nature of what it means to be human. This is what’s known as anthropology. Following Darwinian materialism, our culture would have us believe we’re products of mutation and time, nothing more than matter in motion. If that’s true, there’s not transcendent meaning to life, apart from what we arbitrarily assign to it.

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The story authored by the LGBT movement goes further. They would have you believe you find meaning and identity in your sexual desires or gender identity. This a profoundly shallow view of what it means to be a human being. And it has its victims. This is evidenced by the rates of drug abuse, alcoholism, depression, and suicides in these sexuality-based “communities.” The thing they seek — mainly meaning, purpose, and identity — aren’t found where they’re looking.

What it Means to be Human — A Higher Anthropology

In response, I suggest we offer a better view of what it means to be human, a higher anthropology. When we lead with a biblical view of man, we accomplish four things.

First, we establish that human beings are much more than their sexual desires and gender identities. According to the true story of reality, humans are the pinnacle of God’s creation, (Gen. 1:26–31) His handiwork, made with a purpose. (Eph. 2:10) Sex and gender are part of God’s perfect creation, are intrinsically good, and play a part in His plan. Even so, you are more than your sexual preferences and gender identity because you bear the image of God. This is the main point. Every human being is made in God’s image. It’s this image that gives all people dignity, value, and worth, and this truth should lead the way in conversations.

Second, a biblical understanding of anthropology rebukes arrogant condemners. Often, the message the culture hears from the Christian is centered on what we’re against. When you lead with the image of God, though, you’re reminded that our battle is not against people. People are special, even when we vehemently disagree with them. Our battle is with ideas, not people. Remember, our goal is not to defeat sinners. Our goal is for sinners to become holy.  

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Third, proper anthropology helps us avoid common incorrect diagnoses. There are more than a few reasons people often give when trying to understand why someone might be gay or trans, etc., — mental illness, abuse as a child, absent father, and more. While these factors may contribute, they are not the root cause. The root cause is sin. All people are made in the image of God. All people are also broken. Sin is the problem. The answer is Jesus. He came as the only answer to sin.

Fourth, a biblical anthropology affirms repentance and rejects sinful acts and desires. The current culture wants to identify and judge you according to what group you belong to and by your latest mistake, and once you’re labeled, that label sticks. This is a false view. The correct view — the biblical view — leaves room for change through repentance. You don’t identify with your sin; you identify with being made in God’s image. Upon repentance, you become a child of God, and no one is out of God’s reach.

You’re More Than the Broken Creature Our Culture “Affirms”

You are not your sin. You are not lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, two-spirit, or any of the countless other ways in which people choose to self-identify. You are a new creation in Christ. This is why it makes no sense to say someone is a “gay” Christian. You are a Christian. Period. Your true identity is in Jesus Christ alone.

In John 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Once you are born again, you identify as a new man in Christ, not the dead man. You lay aside the old self and put on the new. (Col. 3:9–10) Once you become a child of God, you’re free to pursue Christ’s likeness while rejecting sin.

As we offer this better alternative, it’s important to remember that behind every question is a questioner. Behind every objection is a person struggling to escape the snares of the devil. Often, such people don’t know they’re even ensnared. This is why I want to approach this issue from another angle. We all struggle. Let’s not forget the value and worth of the human being we’re talking to. Jesus came to make us more human, not less.

 

Jonathan Noyes has worked as a speaker with Stand to Reason since 2019. He earned a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola University.

Originally published at Stand to Reason. Reprinted with permission.

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