Friday, May 13, 2016

The Problem Is Mindless Sex, Not Gender Identity

But Jesus said to them, “Not everyone can accept this teaching, 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 others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.” —Matthew 19:11–12

The evangelical Christian world is going crazy over the transgender issue in our culture. Is that man a woman? Is that woman a man? How do we know? How can we tell? How pagan and evil this world has become!

Some of the loudest, vociferous and brutal condemnations seem to be coming from evangelical Christian men who regularly view illicit pornography, participate in self-masturbation, and find their marriages in trouble because they seek sexual thrills (albeit heterosexual) outside of marriage. These men have mistakenly believed gender identity is the major social sin of our day, when actually the major sin is mindless sex, and evangelicals are as guilty as anyone else. 

Jesus told His disciples - and the Apostle Paul later re-iterated - that the ideal state of a man or woman is sexual celibacy. Let me repeat: The biblical “ideal" for both a man or a woman is not marriage, but sexual celibacy while remaining single.  Paul said, “If you can’t remain celibate, it’s better to marry than to burn" (I Corinthians 7:9). Jesus commends eunuchs "who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:11). Both statements cannot be seen as ringing endorsements for marriage between a man and a woman. The notion that "marriage" has some privileged moral status in the New Testament is simply not true.

Every person's identity should come from his or her relationship with Jesus Christ, not his or her earthly marriage partner, nor his or her gender. The reason one's identity should come from the riches and blessings of one's relationship with Jesus Christ and not anything to do with marriage is because "Those who ... share in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead  will neither marry nor be given in marriage.…" (Luke 20:35).

To understand Jesus commending a eunuch who became a eunuch for "the kingdom of heaven," you have to understand what the actual problem is. In the Roman world “phallo-dominance" of Jesus' day, castration would have set anyone apart as abnormal. But Jesus seems to commend the "abnormal eunuch" who removed his sexual organs "for the sake of kingdom of heaven."  Jesus is not nearly as concerned with "gender identity" or "sanctified testosterone" as He is with mindless sexual behaviors.

Sex is sacred. It's the act through which God established the means of procreation on earth. Sex's sacredness is found in the gift of life that culminates in the act of sex. Mindless sex, however, is this culture's problem - and it's the evangelical church's problem as well. As long as we put the focus on "gender identity" as the cursed problem of our age, then we can conveniently ignore the real problem in our midst.

The Greek word eunuch means "being good with respect to the mind" (eu nou ekhein), the opposite of what the ancient Greeks called "mindless" (a nouta). A eunuch is one without the necessary physical parts to perform sexual intercourse. Some, according to Jesus, can be eunuchs from birth, or made eunuchs by others, or have made themselves eunuchs "for the sake of the kingdom of heaven."

Eunuchs throughout history were the entrusted servants of emperors and kings. They could be entrusted with state secrets, they could be counted on to not steal the king's wives (thus, they were "bed keepers for the queen"), and they were counted as the most loyal servants because they never participated in coups since they had no heirs to pass down the kingdom's riches. In other words, the eunuch's mind was a mind devoted to service, not self.

The best servants of the King of Kings are those whose minds are devoted to love for others in service to the King, and not wrapped up in mindless sex.

What happens to a eunuch? "A castrated adult male will lose muscle but gain fat. He can expect hot flushes like those that women have at menopause. He will lose body hair, and his penis will shrink. Erections will be rare and weak, if they occur at all. He will be sterile," according to Richard Wassersug of the Australian Research Center in Sex, Health, and Society, who is himself a eunuch

The Eunuch Archive is an online society for people who have been castrated or are considering having the procedure done. The desire to be castrated will often originate from a desire to escape sex  addictions and out-of-control lifestyles or lurid fantasies ."I was castrated because my sex drive was out of control. I was in debt from phone chat rooms and those fees. I bought a lot of porn. Paid for sex and met someone who abused me and took my money. My life was a mess. I needed riskier sex to feed my addictions. I put 100,000 miles on a car in two years out looking for a thrill. I needed to stop those actions," is the testimony of one such anonymous castrated male.

In a world full of people who reject the Good News of Jesus Christ, one should not be surprised with confusion about "gender." But in a church which accepts the Good News of Jesus Christ, we must be very careful that we don't confuse the real problem of mindless sex with gender identity.

I would be in great favor of the state castrating any person who sexually violates any man, woman or child. Just maybe, that criminal who loses his male parts and testosterone may actually find his true identity and worth in Jesus Christ.


Ramesh said...

Thank you Wade for highlighting the crux of the problem.

I have felt over the years if my own struggles would have changed as Augustine's did by going celibate. Even castration if necessary. Fortunately or unfortunately I did not have the courage or desperation to self castrate.


So I still struggle. Such is life.

Going back to this issue, is it possible for this to be a problem or concern when there is EQUALITY of genders. Or when there are privileges for possessing a penis.

Just wondering.

As I have said before Christ's words are and were WAY ahead of his time then and now.

Wade, I don't know if it is practical for Emmanuel Enid to podcast your marriage relationship sessions. I understand it may not be wise to broadcast these to the world where church members are discussing private issues. If Emmanuel does it I would be interested.


Ramesh said...

Sorry. NOT sessions but seminar or course. Thanks.

Wade Burleson said...


Let me see what can be done! Thanks for commenting!

Ramesh said...

On reflection I see some issues with the castration as an option.

One is GCHQ chief apologises for 'horrifying' treatment of Alan Turing of their chemical castration option for Alan Turing.

Second this would only be for men. I do not know how this would apply for women.

My impression is gender identity and bathroom usage is not a problem in the north. I don't know why it becomes a problem in the south.

Sexuality and struggles are now considered a part of being human and either therapy or counselling or growing up is the norm.

Rex Ray said...


I assure you this post will not be on our church bulletin board. :)

I wish you would check the NLT before quoting Scripture. I believe it will hit the nail on the head where others miss. Such is the case of Matthew 19:11-12.

“Not everyone can accept this statement,” Jesus said. “Only those whom God helps.” “Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some CHOOSE NOT TO MARRY for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can.”

Paul missed the boat in giving the reason to marry in (1 Corinthians 7:9 NLT) “But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.”

A marriage just for sex won’t last long.

Taking his advice, Christians would never have had children. Did Paul not know God’s plan for Adam and Eve was to have children?

Of course Paul was not alone if believing Jesus would return in Apostle John’s lifetime.

Wade Burleson said...


Marriage is good. Sex is a gift. Those are givens. The point of the post is one's identity should never come from one's marriage or genitalia. We are created for fellowship with God, and identity from God. Christ gives us both.

As always, appreciate your comments.

Wade Burleson said...


I happen to agree with you regarding Alan Turing. He abused nobody sexually.

Wade Burleson said...


I happen to agree with you regarding Alan Turing. He abused nobody sexually.

Anonymous said...

I understand the point you are making, and agree, at least, with the notion that there is great hypocrisy within the church when we concentrate on "certain" issues, while ignoring others.
One general question I have regarding sexual identity issues (or, more importantly, how Christains respond to them) is how to address the argument that those struggling with sexual identity are, in essence, proclaiming that God made a mistake in the way He created them? How should believers respond in a manner that is both kind, but also reinforcing of The Lord's sovereignty and purpose in His creation?

Wade Burleson said...


I once spoke with a mother in our church who gave birth to a severely deformed (open spine) baby who will never walk. As she cried and I stood their silently, I thought "now's not the time to say anything." And I didn't - until I was about to leave. Before I prayed, I said just one thing - and the mom later told me it changed her life. I said, "Listen, everyone one of us is born with deformities. Some are just more visible than others."

Whether a "mistake" or "deformity" can be "attributed" to God (or a storm, or a fire, or a twister, or a flood) is a theological question for which I have definitive answers that I will sometimes never give. To those in the storm, or in the fire, or experiencing the "mistake" or "deformity" firsthand, it's wise to keep one's mouth shut. Trouble and pain in life must carried, not relieved. Well meaning Christians try to relieve suffering through theological answers - which though true - are unwelcome by those in the middle of the fire. Some fires can't be put out (see Canada) because the fuel which keeps the fire going is limitless and the solvent is powerless.

Unless there is a change in the atmosphere, what thaws in the sun will once again freeze in the shade. Unless there is a change in the heart of the person (the fuel), relieving suffering will never solve a heart problem, only delay its exposure for the next trial.

My goal is to help people know we are all dysfunctional human beings - our deformities may be different (some more visible than others) - and the only solution for our spiritual and emotional dysfunction is a comprehension of the love and mercy of God in Jesus Christ, and coming to the place of "rest' in who we are by His grace.

So, if a person tries to "change" his identity - telling him or her "he's wrong" is missing the point. We're all wrong. There's only One who's right. Accept the struggle with gender and remind everyone that true satisfaction in life comes not from being desired sexually by another human being, but finding spiritual and emotional fulfillment in God's gift of His Son.

LoddieR said...

Well stated Wade. Far and away is the number of times the Holy Spirit had to check me to keep silent when I thought something "spiritual" needed to be said. Rarely, perhaps less than a handful, has the Holy Spirit prompted me to speak when I kept my silence because of not knowing what to say. A good word at the right time is surely a blessing but allow the Holy Spirit to determine when that is and what to say.

Bob Cleveland said...

Strong's defines the word "Eunuch" as:

1) A bed keeper, bed guard, superintendent of the bedchamber, chamberlain; in the palace of oriental monarchs who support numerous wives, the superintendent of the women's apartment or harem, an office held by eunuchs, an emasculated man, a eunuch.
2) Eunuchs in oriental courts held by other offices of greater, held by the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in Ac. 8:27-39.
3) One naturally incapacitated for marriage or begetting children
4) One who voluntarily abstains from marriage.

In fact, the Eunuch Philip baptized had been to Jerusalem to worship and it's unlikely he would have traveled 1,537 miles just to be in Jerusalem, so I'm guessing he went to the temple. And emasculated males were, at that time, forbidden to enter the temple.

Said all that to state that it must be possible to resist the urges and remain celibate, or monogamous, or those wouldn't have been given as alternatives.

The whole gender-neutral deal is just another manifestation of sinful flesh, mixed with liberal doses of political power and the euphoria which accompanies it.

Christiane said...

I agree that only 'in Christ' we are returned to what we might have been before the Fall. The strange thing is that some Christian people feel that God initiated 'submission' of the wife to her husband; but the truth is that 'either to other' was not meant to be a servitude of submission, but mutual love. The whole submission thing is a RESULT of our brokenness, not a way out of it . . . it just makes things worse, for women AND for men, when mutual love is replaced by a mindless 'submission'.

That relationship of ‘either to other’ has been confused since Eden, thanks to the ‘fall’ when we lost perspective, a perspective that can only be restored fully ‘in Christ’

“A human being, whether male or female, is a person, and therefore, “the only creature on earth which God willed for its own sake”; and at the same time this unique and unrepeatable creature “cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of self”. Here begins the relationship of “communion” in which the “unity of the two” and the personal dignity of both man and woman find expression. Therefore when we read in the biblical description the words addressed to the woman: “Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Gen 3:16), we discover a break and a constant threat precisely in regard to this “unity of the two” which corresponds to the dignity of the image and likeness of God in both of them. But this threat is more serious for the woman, since domination takes the place of “being a sincere gift” and therefore living “for” the other: “he shall rule over you”. This “domination” indicates the disturbance and loss of the stability of that fundamental equality which the man and the woman possess in the “unity of the two”: and this is especially to the disadvantage of the woman, whereas only the equality resulting from their dignity as persons can give to their mutual relationship the character of an authentic “communio personarum”.
(John Paul II, from the apostolic letter ‘Mulieris Dignitatem’)

Bob Cleveland said...

The Bible, it seems to me, is clear that the wife's love for her husband is to be submissive, and the husband's love for his wife is to be sacrificial. To me, that puts the bigger onus on me, to sacrifice my preferences to hers, despite her human female tendencies and weaknesses.

We somehow made it through the first 10 years, and the above principles have seen us through 47 more. It seems to be working.

Rex Ray said...


I’ll try to keep your words in context and ask if they apply to “transsexuals”.
“…we are all dysfunctional human beings – our deformities may be different (some more visible than others)…” “If a person tries to “change” his identity …”

Bob Cleveland,

I believe you nailed it:
“The whole gender-neutral deal is just another manifestation of sinful flesh, mixed with liberal doses of political power and the euphoria which accompanies it.”

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican, states Obama is ‘blackmailing’ schools to conform to his decree that allows any person, regardless of age, regardless of their clothes, or what sex they look like can enter any restroom of their choice depending on how they ‘feel’. If schools reject his demands, all federal money will be stopped.

Patrick said the population of transsexuals is three tenths of one percent. (Just another example of the tail wagging the dog.)

What will keep a pedophile from your granddaughter’s bathroom or girls and boys taking a shower together?

I believe Obama is doing his best to be impeached. I’d like to help him out.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your response. It is interesting how much of it reminds me of ideas in Thomas Boston's "A Crook in the Lot." In essence, who can make straight that which the Lord has made crooked? (Eccl 7:13)
Recently, Denver Christian has been in the news for changing the name of their mascot of 65 years from "Crusaders" to "Thunder." They reference Abraham Kuyper's philosophy of "sphere sovereignty" as part of their rationale. In short, that God ordained certain institutions to only operate within their given sphere; specifically those of home, church and state. I see this issue as integral to the issue at hand. If we love people where they are and focus our efforts on introducing them to Christ, who is the only answer to any problem... How does that coalesce with our government involvement and what we advocate for? Or, would you suggest a philosophy like that of Kuyper's, where we operate only within our given sphere?

Victorious said...

The notion that "marriage" has some privileged moral status in the New Testament is simply not true.

Just a short comment to say AMEN to that statement, Wade! I could be wrong in my understanding of Paul's words in 1 Cor. 7, but he seems to imply that marriage is almost a worldly distraction from the things of God. That's not to marginalize marriage necessarily, but certainly not to elevate it, as you said to a privileged moral status. And I don't believe Jesus had a lot to say about marriage other than to refute the misconceptions of the Pharisees.

Anyway, great post filled with wise words!

Anonymous said...

Eunuchs 'born this way' are called Asexual, and we are 1% of the population.

Just thought I'd throw that out there. :)

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous Asexual,

I would be very interested in your thoughts on this article.

Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

I am a male in his my late 60s and I can assure you that I personally have never checked the sexual ID of anyone who has either sit by me in the next stall or stood by me using a urinal nor have I ever witnessed such behavior by anyone else. What for goodness sakes is the problem? What are we about to have,urinal and stall sergeants checking our private parts before we do our thing? This is a problem that doesn't exist in my opinion. Don't we have other more pressing and important things to take care of?

Anonymous said...

Just looked up the percent of transgender folks in the US on Wikipedia and it is estimated that approx .5 percent or less of the population is transgender. Thats one half of one percent so what are the odds of one of us even having to deal with this so called problem in the first place? This is a non issue and if somebody needs to use the restroom they are going to use the restroom and who is checking sexual identity in the restroom anyway? Never thought we would be wasting out time on such nonsense.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous in 60s,

I believe you’ve missed the point. The only rule to enter any bathroom is based on ‘how a person feels’.

That means a person that looked like a man dressed in a business suit or a bathing suit could enter a woman’s restroom because he SAYS he 'feels’ like a woman…also true the other way around.

I believe it's just another way for Obama to 'hurt' America as some Muslims want to do.

Anonymous said...

Pure bravo Sierra by another Obama hater. Now just how often do you think the above described act actually happens? Obama is no more Muslim than I can assure you I am not and you cannot prove that he is. Get a life. Yea, we know Obama really wants to hurt America.Get real for goodness sakes.

Anwari said...

The whole misconceived "potty politics" hoopla is nothing but ballot bait dangled by desperate politicians preying on the fears, outrage & hateful intolerance of their supporters in order to get reelected in the next election. Exposing these disgusting & ignorant attitudes of so many church-goers to the general public does nothing positive to advance the cause of our LORD. Outside of their fundagelical echo-chamber, the name Christian is again being defamed & despised. Sooo tragic, and all for votes.

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