Imago Dei with Regard to Gender and Sexual Identity

In my previous post, I spoke about the Church’s need for a new framework in order to deal with the issue of Gender and Sexual Identity. In this post I want to cover what the consequences of the the Imago Dei are with respect to Gender and Sexual Identity.

The doctrine concerning Imago Dei is sourced in scripture, specifically in Genesis 1.27:

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

Genesis 1 holds that humanity is God’s capstone in creation and that nothing else is made in his likeness. Importantly, and something I want to explore in this post, is the fact that Genesis specifically says that God created humanity in both male and female forms. Given what we are seeing in the present day in terms of Gender and Sexual identities it might be fair to ask ourselves if God created more than just male and female?

I have heard some imply that the current “situation” involving Gender and Sexual identities is something planted by Satan against the natural order, and they point to the exclusiveness of “male and female” in Genesis 1.27 as a sort of proof. Surely, if God created more than just male and female then Genesis 1.27 would be worded differently, right?

I would deposit that, no, the author(s) of Genesis 1.27 never intended to give an exhaustive list of Gender and Sexual identities. Instead, the author(s) are establishing that persons of both Gender and Sexual identities they knew of in their time, male and female, were both made in the image of God. It is not the case that, for example, only men are created in God’s image with women being subjugated to being lesser creations.

Further, we must recall that, long before the current discussions with Gender and Sexual identities arose we had seen naturally occurring sexual variation in humanity.

Take, for example, Klinefelter syndrome, which was first identified in the 1940s. This is were someone, usually identifying as male, are born with an extra X-chromosome. Another is Jacobs syndrome, were a male has an extra Y-chromosome. These genetic conditions, known as Aneuploidy, occur natually.

Are people who suffer from Klinefelter or Jacobs syndrome not made in the Image of God? Of course they are.

Thus, we should also conclude that all persons, regardless of their Gender or Sexual identity, are made in the Image of God, something I think is actually affirmed by Genesis 1.27.

This means that every human being who is not heteronormative deserves to be treated with respect!

Someone who is Gay or Lesbian is made in the Image of God.

Someone who is Bisexual or Pansexual is made in the Image of God.

Someone who is Transgender or Gender-fluid is made in the Image of God.

We are all made in the Image of God.

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