CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
How should a Christian hermaphrodite live?
By Tim White
A true hermaphrodite is a person with both male and female genital tissue. The condition is extremely rare; it's caused either by a misfire in ovum development or a genetic mutation. Hermaphroditism is a physiological condition and is not related transgenderism. As such, there is a real need for discussion as to how a hermaphrodite can live a godly life, following biblical guidelines regarding gender that do not clearly apply.
There are two basic categories of hermaphroditism: 1) one with a predominant gender with conflicting parts, or 2) one of equal male/female characteristics without a distinguishable predominant gender. As I understand, most hermaphrodites have a predominant gender. For those under category 1, the answer is clearer, but let's address both situations separately.
The predominant-gender hermaphrodite has to, by definition, recognize the confusing physical attributes as anomalies. That is what separates this situation from normal, making this individual abnormal.
In this situation, a predominant male is to act like a male. A predominant female is to accept the role of a female.
Such abnormalities do not separate us from the requirements of righteousness. God is clear that we are to pursue holiness and righteousness with our normal and our abnormal parts. In Luke 10:27, in response to a question about the most important commandment (in other words, our greatest responsibility to God), it was clear to all who heard that loving God with "...all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind..." included all that we are; every bit of us.
We are all called to pursue God's purpose for our lives, of which we are uniquely designed and shaped. For the one facing what appears the greatest challenges, more grace is given (James 4:6-7), and that grace is His supernatural empowering (Philippians 4:13).
Therefore, no matter how we view our lives and bodies as shorthanded, to fail in God's purpose for our lives is not excusable (Romans 1:20).
To be clear, God did not make us broken. That was mankind's choice when Adam and Eve chose to live without God and outside of His commands (Genesis 3). Yet we cannot blame them alone. Each one of us makes that same choice early in life, when we develop our tendencies by how we are rewarded for them, and not by whether they are right or wrong (Romans 7:9).
Yet God, in His wise creativity and providential power, designed a plan in which our broken bodies and spoiled characters could fit and share in His victory. To make that plan, God had to become one of us and suffer the punishment we deserved. So the Father sent Jesus, His only Son, to purchase our redemption (John 3:16, John 1:10-14).
Some of our anomalies are easier to recognize than others, just as some people's strengths are easier to notice than others. When Brad Pitt walks into a room, one of his strengths is seen immediately, especially if he and I enter together. He is noticeably handsome, but I do not carry that advantage.
We raised a son who was physically disabled at birth. His disabilities are seen in the way he walks and stands, or when he requires a wheelchair. But he sees them as tools from God to accomplish God's purpose in his life. His "disabilities" have opened doors for him to be a world champion wheelchair basketball player and a national spokesperson for a charity that gives plane rides to sick and disabled children. And, he has learned to take his noticeable disabilities and relate them to the rest of us in our difficulties in obeying God. He has quite a testimony and ministry.
His rewarding life began with understanding that his body did not define him. If he was a believer and follower of Christ, his identity was "Christ in him, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). He realized that in Christ, he was one with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:16-20). He died to himself (Galatians 2:20), and Christ became his life (Romans 6:1-7), and he was a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
This purpose in life and ability to rise above physical limitations is available to anyone, but only in Christ Jesus. Hermaphrodites can have this same peace and purpose if they will believe in who Jesus is and call upon Him (Romans 10:9-10). Please see our article "Got Forgiveness?" for more guidance in this.
The second possibility is that a hermaphrodite is equal parts male and female. Even in this case, the call for morality and purity is demanded. I advise as the Apostle Paul advised. He said, "I wish that all were as I myself am." He was unmarried and committed to stay that way for the mission of Christ.
Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.Such a hermaphrodite may be one of those called by Jesus Christ to remain morally pure outside of marriage and sex. This is something they have to seek for themselves. Once they join Christ's purpose, the rest will become clear (Philippians 1:6).
Finally, always, we are to love one another with a holy, self-denying love, just as Christ loved us (John 15:12). That seems to be a problem when our differences seem too different. Christians can be hurtful and rejecting, and they will have to answer to that. When John clarified the love of Christianity, he said, "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 John 4:20-21).
If what John said is true (and it certainly agrees with what Jesus said), then the best measure of my love for God is how much I love the most difficult to love. If a Christian is not being loving and caring towards you with pure, holy, AGAPE love, he will have to look the one who loved him first in the eye and admit he did not love Jesus.
For those hermaphrodites who are being treated rudely and unloving by Christians, I hope you can love them. Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Hardships
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Published on 8-11-15