18610694811_89a4f187b2_zFor many years, as a teacher, I remember asking students if they knew the story behind their name. Some were simple stories of a family name passed down to the first boy in every family. Some were fun stories of a long, drawn-out family debate over what the baby should be called if it was a boy and what it should be called if it was a girl. There were always some who said, “Um, I don’t know . . . I think it was just a name my parents liked.”

Occasionally the name was a tribute to a family member who had died at a young age, or to a grandparent who had shaped someone’s life.  Never did I hear, “It was picked so that I would not have any preconceived, stereotyped gender thrust upon me.” 

Recently, the global editor-in-chief of BabyCenter, Linda Murray, said,”Baby names are reflecting a larger cultural shift. Millennials are an open-minded and accepting group, and they don’t want their children to feel pressured to conform to stereotypes that might be restrictive. Just as companies have started making more neutral kids’ clothes, and taking ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ labels off toys, an increasing number of parents are choosing unisex names.”

This is just more proof that the train of culture has jumped the tracks. This is so far from the biblical reality under which we all live.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

So, what part of that sentence do you not understand?  We can discuss gender roles and equal pay for equal work all day long, until we’re blue in the face. While even these find some definition and clarification in Scripture, when it comes to discussing an individual’s right to choose a gender, there simply is no such conversation in Scripture. Why? Because the Creator of the universe already took care of that with a little thing he created called genetics. Babies are born with a clear set of genetic markers and genitalia that makes it an easy call—boy or girl.

I don’t question that people can be “gender confused.” This is yet another tool of the Evil One in our world to push us away from the love of a Creator and Savior and to push us into our own self-determined, self centered little world. We can not let culture eclipse the image of God in the public forum and in how we live our lives.

Part of my calling at GodPonders is to help people see who they are in Christ. We are not normal, simple, biological beings called to conform. We are hand-knit creations of a God whose love for us is unfathomable and who has created us with the end in mind—eternity with him.  God has also created us for the present with unique gifts and abilities, passions and purpose.  Part of that purpose for us all is to proclaim Him (Jesus) who “called us out of darkness into His marvelous light!” (1 Peter 2:9).

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect . . . 
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

When Peter encouraged us to be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have, he called us to share the hope which begins with seeing ourselves as created, loved, unique, and gifted children of the King. Let’s not skim over the last six words of this verse: “But do this with gentleness and respect.” It is easy for us to lash out at a culture, and its spokesmen, when they utter things so contrary to the plan and will of God. The one we should be lashing out at, in prayer, is the author of these lies—Satan.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

We must be fervent in prayer for our nation, and our culture. Next time you find yourselves upset and raging at something this culture has said or done, lash out at the Father of Lies and pray for those who have been so deceived.

“Father, we pray for our nation; we pray that you would help us to speak truth in a world full of lies. We pray that you would help us to be a stronghold against the darkness that seeks to steal the spotlight from you. Give us a voice to speak for you and to not back down from the opportunities to defend our faith and hope in you. May we become more and more like you, that your truth and love would shine through all we do and say. For all those who are blinded by the lies of Satan, we pray for sight, that the veil would be lifted and they would see the beauty and reality of you, who is Truth!”  Amen

<>< Craig