Who Am I?

Male and Female He Created Them

Posted: June 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Faith | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I wasn’t particularly shaped by Christianity, culturally or otherwise, growing up. Since I’ve become Christian, I’ve struggled with the various Christian ideas about what it means to be a human being and to be male and female. None of them ever really seemed to fit to me. Some of them I found repugnant, but many were not. They just didn’t feel right.

This lecture by Fr. John Behr finally begins to fill that gap. If you’ve had those moments where you hear something, your perception shifts, and it just feels right, that was my reaction. He walks through the primary texts and ties them together in a way I’m certain I’ve never heard before (though I’ve heard many of the elements at one time or another).

He also ties together a number of things I’ve heard and read over the years, but somehow never quite connected the dots. God’s creation of the human being is not something completed in the distant past of Genesis. Rather, it’s a project God begins, but one that is only completed when Jesus utters the words, “It is finished.” What is finished? God’s project. The creation of the human being is accomplished. And when Christ rests in the tomb on Saturday, it’s not something like the seventh day sabbath of Genesis 1. It is that sabbath.

When you perceive reality through that lens, it changes everything. I’ll certainly take Fr. Behr’s perspective over much of what passes for discussion about “authentic” manhood or womanhood in modern American Christian circles. I wanted to offer it to others who might read here as well.

Male and Female He Created Them


2 Comments on “Male and Female He Created Them”

  1. 1 Alice C. Linsley said at 6:01 pm on July 7th, 2011:

    I listened to Fr. Behr’s talk and had to laugh (a dismayed laugh) because he sounds like the heretics of the Episcopal Church 25 years ago.

    Here are the key points of his argument:

    1.The early Fathers don’t say much about what it is to be Man and Woman. – False.

    St. John Chrysostom says volumes about man and woman and the importance of a right relationship in marriage. His sermons are very deeply grounded in Scripture, unlike the message of Fr. Behr. He doesn’t want to talk about praxis, only theoria. That means he wants to set aside the clarity of Scriptural teaching on being made Male and Female!

    2. Times have changed. Understandings of science on “sexuality” require that we adjust our view of Male and Female. – False

    People who lived in Abraham’s time knew about homosex and condemned it as a violation of God’s order in creation. As people of the Bible we don’t accomodate the biblical worldview to pseudo-science. There are only two genders – Male and Female and these were created by God at the beginning. There is no continuum of sexuality. That is a myth perpetuated mainly by gay/lesbian activists. Male and Female are an aspect of the fixed order of creation. Those born with gential confusion are less than 1% of the world’s population and most of these know which gender they are and can be helped through surgery. Homosex is regarded as a disease in many countries, like addiction to pornography. The Prime Minister of India made this comment just this week. He said that homosexuality is a disease introduced from the sex-obsessed West.

    3. The focus should be on what it means to be Human “after the stature of Christ.” – False.

    The Gospel is about the Son of God who came into the world to save sinners, to crush the serpent’s head, to make void the curse, to set Eve free, and to restore Paradise. He did this as the “Son” of God. His being male is of great significance. Only a son could receive a kingdom from his Father and Jesus’ kingdom is an eternal one, as we recite in the Creed.

    Personally, I’m not impressed with the way things are heading at St. Vlads. If such nonsense isn’t headed off now, we’ll be fighting “the Anglican wars” in Orthodoxy.

  2. 2 Scott said at 9:07 pm on July 7th, 2011:

    Those are not the main points I heard in his lecture. The ones I heard are largely mentioned in my post and the main one is Christ as not just the true human being, but the actual fulfillment of the project begun in Genesis 1. And that is an interesting illustration of the way people can listen to the same thing and take entirely different things away from it.