Have you ever wondered why God only created two genders? When I asked my husband that question, he replied with a perplexed expression, "No, I can't even imagine coming up with that question!"
Why not three ... or even four genders? Why not male, female, "unisex," and "other?" Perhaps the question seems odd to you, but I have a reason for asking. Of course, God has purpose in how He ordered creation. Since He created only two genders we know it wasn't a random choice, but intentional on His part.
But why only two?
WARNING: Today's post will require some heavy duty thinking on your part, so I encourage you to pull out your Bible for this one!
The opening verses of Scripture are filled with references to opposites. God's universe operates on axioms of antithesis. Nature abounds with things set in opposition to one another. The creation account cites a few of these.
- Heavens and earth
- Light separated from darkness
- Day and night
- Waters and dry land
- Man and woman
The most significant relationship of opposites is that of God and mankind.
God is a spiritual being and is totally "other" in the sense that there is "none like Him."
Please keep in mind God's nature as Deity or His uniqueness as "totally other" as you read this article.
One of the more common and obvious pair of opposites is that of man and woman. Two genders created anatomically compatible—but unique! God's creation of one man for one woman is often cited as the model for traditional marriage. With the rise in acceptance of same sex relationships, the traditional model is no longer assumed. Often, Christians refer to Romans 1:26–28 as the proof text to settle the question of God's view on this issue.
Why a Heterosexual Union?
I want us to consider perhaps a broader and deeper significance for having male and female genders and why God limits the marital relationship to a monogamous heterosexual union by looking at the Romans passage.
In Romans 1 there are three amazing "exchanges" taking place.
- The Glory of Incorruptible God for . . . An Image in the Form of Corruptible Man (v. 22)
- The Truth of God for . . . A Lie (v. 25)
- The Natural Sexual Function for . . . Unnatural Sexual Function (v. 26)
What is happening here?
The exchange transaction described in this passage results in homosexuality ("homo" originally borrowed from the Greek "homos" meaning: same). But this progression is much more serious than homosexual activity—the sexual activity which results simply mirrors the spiritual dynamic which is occurring. The exchange attempts to degrade God by placing Him in the same category as man.
I mentioned that God is totally "other." He's not common but unique to man; immortal versus mortal.
- The first exchange removes God from His transcendent position of "other" and attempts to drag Him into our realm: God is of the same essence as corruptible man.
- This exchange denies God's "otherness" and degrades Deity by placing Him on man's plane of existence, bringing Him into a "homogeneous" (of the same kind or nature) relationship to man (as though God is of the same nature or essence as man).
Whew! Maybe this requires a little bit of thinking to wrap our minds around this concept. Chew on this passage and consider the exchanges taking place, and I'll pick up here in the next article.
In what ways do you see our society involved in this "exchange"? What are some characteristics of God that place Him in the exclusive position of "other"?