Thursday, November 3, 2016

Christian and Liberal Perspectives on Gender and Life


There will always be conflict between Christianity and liberal ideology with regard to gender and life. There will be people who call themselves Christian and accept liberal ideologies, but there will always be Christians who hold out against it. This is not because they are afraid of change and have a conservative temperament; liberal beliefs on gender and life are built from the ground up on atheistic and other non-Christian foundations.
Feminism and the LGBTQ movement is rooted in the idea that gender is arbitrary. Gender can be arbitrary from the ideological foundations of our modern, atheistic, secular society. The fact that human beings come in male and female is by accident, not design. Since everything is physics to the atheist, the only difference between men and women is physics. Since physics is arbitrary, the difference between men and women is arbitrary. If gender is arbitrary, you can do whatever you feel like with it and call it whatever you want. From the atheistic worldview, there is the physical world and there are ideas created by humans, but there is no deeper reality off of which these two things are based. So they are limited to the following definitions: sex is a biological feature, while gender is a social construct.
Christian belief has very different implications. God designed sex (both the action and the physiology) with intention and purpose. Gender is not a social construct; God had gender in mind when He created human beings as male and female. Since this is by design rather than accident, gender is not arbitrary. You cannot do whatever you feel like in regards to it and call it whatever you want. Going against God's design will result in someone not functioning properly as a person and separating him or herself from God by working against His purpose. This is why all those pesky Biblical authors and Church fathers have gender stereotypes. Not to mention Jesus Christ Himself.
Intersex conditions, same-sex attraction, and gender dysphoria are disorders according to Christianity. Having a sickness is not disobedience, but indulging in that sickness and calling it health is. From a materialist perspective, there is nothing deeper than physical features. As such, since some people do not have purely male or female features, then people can be objectively more than two sexes. A hermaphrodite is neither male nor female, but its own sex which is just as legitimate. Since Christianity believes in realities deeper than physical features, having features of the opposite sex does not change the fact that someone is objectively a man or a woman.
Many times liberals will recognize a real difference between men and women, but men are portrayed as deficient human beings- Peter Griffins and Homer Simpsons. There is also the bizarre example of the blatantly anti-male movie Maleficent. Christians cannot accept a philosophy that portrays either males or females as deficient human beings since both were designed by God. The heretical Gospel of Thomas is an example of portraying the female as deficient.
From the atheistic perspective, conception is an arbitrary event. All that has happened is some biological material has gotten mixed up. As such, abortion is not really a big deal. And since human life comes from an arbitrary process, we can end our own life at any time.
Christians believe that conception is the creation of a human being involving God. Being in the image of God, Christians believe that human life is sacred. Saint Porphyrios was a man with the spiritual gift of clairvoyance. Here is what he said in regards to pregnancy:
“A child’s upbringing commences at the moment of its conception. The embryo hears and feels in its mother’s womb. Yes, it hears and it sees with its mother’s eyes. It is aware of her movements and her emotions, even though its mind has not developed. If the mother’s face darkens, it darkens too. If the mother is irritated, then it becomes irritated also. Whatever the mother experiences – sorrow, pain, fear, anxiety, etc. – is also experienced by the embryo.
If the mother does not want the child, if she doesn’t love it, then the embryo senses this and traumas are created in its little soul that accompany it all its life. The opposite occurs through the mother’s holy emotions. When she is filled with joy, peace and love for the embryo, she transmits these things to it mystically, just as happens to children that have been born.
For this reason a mother must pray a lot during her pregnancy and love the child growing within her, caressing her abdomen, reading psalms, singing hymns and living a holy life. This is also for her own benefit. But she makes sacrifices for the sake of the embryo so that the child will become more holy and will acquire from the very outset holy foundations.
Do you see how delicate a matter it is for a woman to go through a pregnancy? Such a responsibility and such an honour!”
This also goes back into gender roles- how God has given men and women different gifts and abilities. Back to the topic of conception, I heard a Christian say that he saw a woman and he knew she was pregnant because he could see her literally shining. I am not arguing about the legitimacy of his and St. Porphyrios’s spiritual insight, I am bringing them up because I think they provide great examples of the Christian perspective- that the creation of human life is a sacred event. Because God creates human life [in conjunction with a father and mother], life is a sacred gift. This is why Christianity takes issue with abortion and suicide.

2 comments:

  1. Great post. Such beautiful truth from St. Porphyrios!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And yeah, I found that quote really insightful as well.

      Delete