Perhaps nothing has garnered more attention in our current cultural moment than identity, gender, and sex. But attention has not meant agreement for there is a host of opinions about the problems we face, and how to respond appropriately to them. In this series, we will explore how, ultimately, each of us is made for God and what difference that then makes regarding identity, gender, and sex.
Week 1: Identity, Human Dignity, and God’s Authority of Love
In this first week, we will look at the exclusive and authoritative role God possess when it comes to identity, human dignity, gender, sex, and love. If God’s Word is not authoritative in our lives, then there would be no reason to return in future weeks to hear what he has to say. But if his Word is authoritative, and at Hope we believe it is, then we are right to heed what he says in the weeks to come.
Week 2: Sex and Gender from a Biblical Perspective – God’s Biblical Creation as Good
There are two undeniable realities which emerge from the earliest pages of the Bible—God is creator of all things and his work of creation is good. This means that gender and sexuality are created by the Lord and, in an unblemished state, they are unquestionably good. So, we must first begin by acknowledging God’s initial design and intent for sex, gender, and human sexuality.
Week 3: Sex and Gender from a Gospel Perspective – What Does the Gospel Proclaim Amidst Our Individual and Collective Brokenness?
Sadly, God’s good work in creation has been sullied due to sin. The consequences of sin within sex and gender cannot be overstated. Confusion, hurt, harm, immorality, brokenness, assault, adultery, rape, and more have befallen all of us. But sin does not get the last word; God does. This week we will hear how the gospel speaks into our individual and collective brokenness, providing a word of hope and healing.
Week 4: Is the Goal, “First Comes Love, Then Marriage, Then the Baby in the Baby Carriage”? – On Singleness, Dating, & Marriage
God’s good work of creation within sex and gender can be easily misconstrued. For example, in the church, becoming a husband and dad or a wife and mother can be depicted as the highest good. In so doing, our primary calling to bear God’s divine image and glorify him gets replaced by a secondary calling. This week, we will hear of our primary identity in Christ which should then inform how we understand singleness, dating, and marriage.
Week 5: Respect, Honesty, Truth, and Love for Those Facing Lust, Pornography, Masturbation, and Fornication
The list of sexual sins is long. For every good and perfect gift that God has given, we have been quick to dishonor him and tarnish the gift of sex. This week will not shrink back from addressing the ugliness and idolatry of sexual sin. But it will not leave us hopeless. The gospel speaks a better word than the empty claims of sexual sin. We hope that many will turn from sin to God and trust him for health and holiness.
Week 6: Respect, Honesty, Truth, and Love for Those Facing Same-Sex Attraction
The American Church has expressed different opinions about the nature, response, and implications of same-sex attraction. How does the Bible square with these varied approaches? Is identity rightly tied to one’s attractions as some suggest or are such beliefs misguided? This study will look more deeply into the realities of same-sex attraction. What does the gospel proclaim amidst same-sex attractions?
Week 7: Respect, Honesty, Truth, and Love for Those Facing Gender Dysphoria and Transgenderism
Gender Dysphoria is a term which describes the unease of distress due to a perceived incongruence between one’s biological sex and an internal sense of gender identity. Does the Bible speak of such realities? What is a gospel approach to those who respond to dysphoria with hormone treatment or surgery? Is it possible for the church to enter into their distress with a message of hope and help rather than demonstrations of neglect or harassment?
Week 8: There is Hope. Identity, Human Dignity, and the Future of the Church and Our Church
A lot of ground has been covered up to this point. Looking ahead, what does it look like to take the requisite time to understand the problems we currently face and the ones still to come from a biblical perspective and response appropriately? Each of us, ultimately, is made for God and that truth makes all the difference when we consider the future of Hope as it relates to identity, gender, sex, and human dignity.