EP037 – LGBTQ Part 3: Gender and Identity

EP037 – LGBTQ Part 3: Gender and Identity

In this final episode of our LGBTQ series, we continue the conversation with a question that was posed at the end of part 2: “What if genetics proves that genes make us gay or straight?  Why would God do that?”  This leads us into a discussion on gender and the different terms.  We’ll also take a look at eunuchs in the Bible, Joseph’s coat of many colors, and an Old Testament law that forbids men and women from cross-dressing.  We’ll wrap up our series discussion with what the Bible says about our identity as a human being.

During our episode we went into some technical discussion on Greek and Hebrew biblical languages.  Below are the notes from that discussion:

“eunuch”

  • OT Hebrew = “saris”; NT Greek = “eunouchos”)
  • A eunuch broadly references a general court official who, for natural or personal reasons, cannot reproduce.
  • Scripture References: Old Testament (42x) – Examples: Genesis 37:36, 39:1; Esther 2:3, 14-15 // New Testament (10x) – Examples: Matthew 19:12; Acts 8:27, 34, 36, 38-39

Joseph’s Coat

  • Genesis 37:3 – (Hebrew) “passim ketonet”
    “passim” has an uncertain meaning // “ketonet” has a range of meaning (robe, tunic, garment).  When both words are used together (Gen 37:3; 2 Sam 13:18-19) the phrase is translated in various ways due to the meaning of passim being somewhat lost.
  • Hebrew Nouns Fact and Implications:
    They are usually masculine or feminine, but that has nothing to do with whether or not the noun was for a man or a woman (Futato, 18-19).  It simply has to do with the form of the words.  For example: “passim” is masculine (because of the “im” ending) and “ketonet” is feminine (because of the “et” ending).  The point here is that Joseph’s coat being a feminine coat due to “ketonet” being a feminine word is not a legitimate argument.
  • Greek Nouns work much the same way (Black, page 22).

Additional Resources:

3 Replies to “EP037 – LGBTQ Part 3: Gender and Identity”

  1. I’m interested in knowing what you think of the other passage in Leviticus 20:13 about putting them to death. My concern is that some of these rules do not apply to our way of life today. And please explain the connection between the eunuch discussion and it’s connection to LGBTQ issues. Thank you for addressing this complicated issue of our time. I challenge you to to learn the alarming statistics regarding suicide and isolation many people in the LGBTQ community experience. It is important we practice the second greatest commandment and love them as we love ourselves. Judgement and naming non traditional relationships sin is not helpful in a hurting, violent society. Loving relationships are fine. Rampant sexual acting out is not acceptable.

    1. Hi Jane!

      Regarding Leviticus 20:13, we covered that in Part 1, which is episode 035. You bring up a good point in that the OT laws were written for the Israelite people in their time period (we’ve often discussed that throughout the episodes). These OT laws are not abolished (Mat. 5:17). However, many of the laws simply don’t fit our modern culture. Their purpose wasn’t to fit all cultures across all time – the purpose of the Law was to reveal sin (Romans 5:20). And ultimately, as you’ve noted, the Law boils down to loving God and loving others (Mat. 22:36-40). So, our purpose with these episodes was to trace the biblical themes that pertained to the LGBTQ topic. It was clear to us that having same sex attractions is not a sin – it only becomes sin when it is acted upon (see part 1).

      The eunuch discussion came up when we were talking about pro-arguments from the LGBTQ Christian community. We had read and often heard in podcasts that eunuchs were seen to be a different gender. Arguments would go something like this: If eunuchs were gender-less or transgender, then that would (somehow) be a further affirmation of the LGBTQ camp. Like you, I don’t really see the connection, but that’s because we know what a eunuch was. To put it simply, eunuchs were not of a different kind of gender and therefore the argument falls apart.

      The more popular argument we addressed that the LGBTQ camp uses is whether or not Paul would have considered same-sex committed relationships in his writings. This is a huge point from the pro-LGBTQ camp, especially in the United Methodist Church debate. We’ve heard and read that “Paul would have had no thought concept for same-sex committed relationships because there is no evidence in all of antiquity that these relationships existed back then” (see our resource list). The problem with this is that it’s a huge assumption. One would have to read every ancient document in existence to legitimate that claim. We decided to research this and quickly found it to be a false statement due to many ancient documents that did in fact attest to same-sex committed relationships (see sources in show notes). Therefore, we think it is very likely that Paul would have had in mind same-sex committed relationships when referring to homosexuality (and not just Sodomy).

      We agree that the judgement people are dishing out needs to stop. However, at the same time, brothers and sisters in Christ are called to keep each other accountable (1 Cor. 5:12). But accountable to what or whom? We fully believe in the reliability and authority of God’s Word, which means that God is the One who gets to define sin. We cannot pick and choose what sin is; only God has that right. More to the point, we are all sinners who live in a fallen world that are in desperate need of the grace that God offers through His Son Jesus.

      As for the suicide and isolation rates, the unfortunate reality is that there are many ugly reasons behind those stats. And we agree – we need to love our LGBTQ friends. Disagreement shouldn’t equal judgment and condemnation. If anything, it should sharpen our focus to what God has to say for the way we are to live our lives in relationship with Him.

      Thanks for your comment! Sorry it took so long to reply – we’ve all been away. Blessings to you,
      LSCP

      1. Thank you for your reply. Put simply, there are much bigger more important issues than the argument that has no winners. It feels judgmental and non understanding to me.

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