Sexual Identity: What Does the Bible Say?

In a culture that has largely accepted the belief that the only thing that really matters, the only thing that is actually real, is the individual’s feelings, opinions and choices, it is very easy for Christians to think and act according to this, even unconsciously.

To regard human feelings, choices and opinions as ultimate reality, or the only thing that really matters can rightly be called “subjectivism;” the knowing the subject is the ultimate determiner of how things are to be interpreted. In this way of thinking and living it is not the object being interpreted that matters most for what passes for knowledge and truth. In a culture controlled by subjectivism people can use terms like “truth,” “knowledge,” “right,” “wrong,” “good” and “evil,” yet those terms often mean whatever the individual decides they mean. The Bible presents us with a different view of reality, humans and knowledge.

 

Unspoken assumptions make the argument. Debates become fruitful when unspoken assumptions get clarified. Many of us are accustomed to calling these assumptions presuppositions—controlling beliefs that determine how we think. In a culture that has largely accepted the belief that the only thing that really matters, the only thing that is actually real, is the individual’s feelings, opinions and choices, it is very easy for Christians to think and act according to this, even unconsciously.

To regard human feelings, choices and opinions as ultimate reality, or the only thing that really matters can rightly be called “subjectivism;” the knowing the subject is the ultimate determiner of how things are to be interpreted. In this way of thinking and living it is not the object being interpreted that matters most for what passes for knowledge and truth. In a culture controlled by subjectivism people can use terms like “truth,” “knowledge,” “right,” “wrong,” “good” and “evil,” yet those terms often mean whatever the individual decides they mean. The Bible presents us with a different view of reality, humans and knowledge.

Scripture reveals that the Triune God is the creator. The objects God has created are what they are regardless of what we think or feel about them or choose to do with them. According to Scripture, human knowledge is marked by a relationship between the knowing subject and the object known that was created by God. God knows everything because he created all things other than himself. We have true knowledge because God is truth, and he gives knowledge. Our understanding of this does not make it so. What we feel about it or choose to do in relation to it does not make it so. The opposite is also true—wishing that it were not so does not abolish it.

Humans can and do have true knowledge because God created them in his image. “True” does not mean “exhaustive”; we do not know everything. We know truly. Human knowledge is about the interplay between the knowing subject and the object known. In biblical Christianity God is presented as The Subject who creates and knows all his Objects. Humans are both subjects who know and objects God created. The Bible presents a view of humans and human knowledge that balances objectivity with subjectivity.

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