These are strange days. Strange in many ways. Strange from the standpoint of the claims and concepts of personal identity being paraded before the public these days. People claim to not be who or what they were born to be. Men claim to be really women and women claim to really be men and both either cross dress and/or undergo radical surgery to assume the outward physical characteristics of their claimed identity. At the present the question of “gender identity” is a political football with the demand of rights to bathroom privileges opposite to what they are genetically.
One person, whose dissatisfaction with who/what he is (a male who prefers to be identified as “it”), is currently in the news not merely for surgically assuming a female identity, but because he has had his ears removed, nose altered, skin tattooed to look like scales, tongue split, teeth extracted and horns implanted in order to become a “human” dragon lady! “I am what I am. I am my own special creation,” is the boast made by this person.
Had this happened not too long in the past these people would have been regarded as mentally disturbed, or, as with the person described above, considered freaks. But now they are lauded and applauded for their “courage” and “integrity.” Even though people know this is pure nonsense they still “give approval to those who practice” such things.
For the Christian the question of identity is once and for all settled, not by how they feel or what they believe about their “true” identity. We are not left to an “I feel” or “I prefer” nor to societal approval for us “to be true to your inner self.” The focus in all this is the self. “I am” and “I want” is all that is heard. Sin has confused the thinking of human beings so that our true nature is obscured and we are blinded to our real identity and responsibility.
God made human beings in his own image. He created us as male and female. Both were made in His image. Both were made to equally bear His likeness and to reflect the glory of God into the whole creation. We were made to be representatives of God to this world. It is God who gives us our identity. The whole plan of salvation – Jesus coming and dying on the cross – the resurrection, the church – is about restoring man to his intended place and identity – so we can be who we were made to be. Numerous times in the New Testament Christians are told, “You are …”
Matt 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth …”
Matt 5:14 “You are the light of the world …”
Rom. 15:14 “… you … are full of goodness”
1Cor. 1:30 “… you are in Christ Jesus”
1Cor. 3:16 “… you are God’s temple”
1Cor. 12:27 “… you are the body of Christ”
2Cor. 3:3 “… you are a letter from Christ”
Gal. 3:26 “… you are all sons of God”
Gal. 3:28 “… you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Gal. 4:6 “… you are sons”
Gal. 4:28 “… you … are children of promise.”
Eph. 5:8 “… you are light in the Lord.”
1Pet. 2:9 “…you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession,”
1Pet. 2:10 “… you are God’s people”
1Jn. 4:4 “… you are from God”
Paul says that “all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom. 8:16). He further says in the next verse that “if [we are] children [of God], then [we are] heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (v. 17). We have family identity and family privileges. We are secure. Life has meaning.
No plastic surgeon and no humanistic psychologist can make me into something I am not. Only within the context of what God has said I am can I rightly and confidently make an “I am” statement. Only in Him am I clear on my identity. “I am a child of God.” “I am a Christian.” “I am an heir of God.” I may not presently be all he intends for me to be, but under his hand I am becoming that.