Human Sexuality, Gender and Transgenderism
Updated: Oct 12
Today, we live in an age seeking to redefine humanity where sexuality, gender roles, and marriage are fluid, divergent between a culture committed to radical individuality and the church committed to life under Holy Scripture directives. As a Pentecostal evangelical denomination, the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) states its unequivocal position on issues on human sexuality, gender and transgenderism predicated upon commitment to the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12; Romans 1:16) and its doctrinal Declaration of Faith articles, practical commitments and resolutions.
Secularly, the world sees human sexuality being defined as how individuals express themselves sexually and are influenced by societal and cultural factors, self-awareness of sexual identity, and personal capacity to experience pleasure. Biologically, human sexuality is limited to male and female. However, over time and changing cultural views, gender constructs have broadened by ungodly influence, to include gender assignments that people identify with rather than their gender at birth. This is the biological and secular view of human sexuality devoid of a Biblical perspective of God’s creation of man and woman.
Biblical View of Human Sexuality and Marriage According to Genesis 1:27, God created humankind, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” God’s divine creation made it possible for the first human pair to become husband and wife enabling them to have a personal relationship with God and with one another. God bound Adam and Eve in a marital relationship (Genesis 2:19-24). In Genesis 1:28, “God blessed them, and said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.’” It was God’s plan for marriage to be for a man and woman united in a relationship that would establish the human race. God created man and woman as complements to each other. As a result, same-gender sexual relationships, including same-sex marriage, do not agree with God’s intention for procreation sexuality and is a violation of God's undeniable command.
Jesus defined Biblical marriage by saying: “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?’ Wherefore they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”(Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9). The New Testament church clearly affirmed marriage as being a covenant relationship between a man and a woman, and of the family comprised of a father, a mother, and children (Ephesians 5:21-6:4; Colossians 3:18-21).
As a Pentecostal denomination, the Church of God affirms that marriage is more than a human agreement; it is a covenant relationship between a man and woman and rejects all attempts to redefine marriage in terms of same-sex unions and behavior. Dr. French Arrington states in Same-Sex Marriage: A Biblical Perspective, Part 1, “Marriage is the divinely appointed relationship for conjugal relations (1 Corinthians 7:2-5; 32-34). The union of husband and wife is compatible with the spiritual union of believers with the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:17), and their union reflects Christ’s relation to the church (Ephesians 5:31-32; 2 Corinthians 11:2)”.
By resolution, the Church of God strongly declares that a Biblical marriage is a threefold covenant relationship between one man, one woman, and one God who exists in three persons as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Church of God Resolution, Marriage and Family, 2012)
From its beginning, the Church of God has acknowledged the Biblical model of marriage to be a sacred union between one man and one woman, and affirms this belief through a practical commitment regarding moral purity, which condemns homosexuality as a fleshly behavior and sinful practice. (Church of God Resolution, Sanctity of Marriage Between Man and Woman, 1996) By the testimony of Romans 1:25-32, homosexual acts are against God’s plan and design for men and women, and are judged by Him to be unrighteous. (Church of God Resolution, Sanctity of Biblical Marriage, 2016)
Gender and Transgenderism Currently, a secular sexual revolution is in an evolutionary mode attempting to define gender by many nomers, definitions, and characterizations. Gender confusion is the norm and the sexual scene is constantly unfolding with a multiplicity of new identifications. For example, the past acrostic of LGBTQ is now the acronym LGBTQQIP2SAA that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit (2S), androgynous, and asexual.
Secularly, or from a fallen world’s point of view “sexual identity” is defined as the way in which one understands oneself, about one’s sexuality. Again, from a fallen world viewpoint, “Gender identity” refers to a person’s perception of their internal sense of being male, female or something else, communicating their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, voice, or body characteristics.
A Biblical perspective for gender refers to biological differences in male and female embodiment and the ways in which creational distinctions are manifested. Gender, male and female, is first made known in the creational accounts of Genesis 1:26-28. In the narrative of Genesis chapter 2, God creates "man”, breathes into him “the breath of life” and he becomes “a living soul”. In verses 21-24, God creates “woman”. Man and woman, while similar in humanity yet dissimilar in design, form a complementary sacred union (1 Peter 3:7). According to a Biblical portrait, male and female are fixed bodily realities.
“Transgender” is an umbrella term for those whose gender expression or identity is not congruent with the sex biologically assigned at birth. Those embracing a transgender lifestyle choose to express such in ways that differ from their birth or biological identity—male or female. In recent decades, there has been an assault on the previously undisputed reality that human beings are created either male or female. A more recent attack wave ideology is known as the “transgender” movement. What was once identified as “gender identity disorder” is now called “gender dysphoria” to avoid the stigma transgender implies. A person’s gender (male or female) is unambiguously identifiable at birth and there is no rational or compassionate reason to affirm a distorted self-concept that one’s gender identity differs from their creational biological gender.
Currently, we experience a culture of unbelief that rejects God’s existence or authority. This is witnessed clearly in the perpetual and licentious redefinition of sexual morality and an evolving gender confusion where sexuality and gender selection are centered on personal will and self-chosen preferences. Thus, according to this unbiblical and ungodly denial, any sexual arrangement, behavior or desire is satisfactory. God’s authority over sexuality, sexual relationships, and His gender creation of male and female are rejected.
The gospel message calls all people to repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ, our savior and deliverer from the power of sin. It was Christ’s directive, the Great Commission, to not ignore the challenges, including those related to sexuality, but “To go into all the world and preach the gospel to every living creature” (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19-20).
Responsibility The responsibility of the Church of God is to love God and others, to teach, disciple, and stand firmly for righteousness and truth through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). As a body of Pentecostal believers, we must hold to the power of the gospel to transform and change lives and lifestyles. The only hope of a world in sexual confusion is the need of salvation, transformation, healing and spiritual renewal. We must speak love to sinners; however, never compromise Scriptural directives.
Recently the Church of God Doctrine and Polity Committee published a statement on Human Sexuality, Gender and Transgenderism. In the document, the following was stated: The Bible speaks very specifically to human sexuality. It is our primary guide. In addition, the standards of the Church of God are found in it’s established doctrines, articles of the Declaration of Faith, listing of Doctrinal Commitments in the Church of God Book of Church Discipline and Church Order and Governance, Practical Commitments, and Resolution of the International General Assembly.
The complete Doctrine and Polity Statement may be accessed at churchofgod.org under Doctrine and Polity Statements.
God created humankind in His own image, male and female, and they are fixed bodily realities (Genesis 5:2; Matthew 19:4).
Biblical marriage is more than a human agreement; it is a threefold covenant relationship between one man, one woman, and one God who exists in three persons as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Further, the Church of God rejects all attempts to redefine marriage in terms of same-sex unions and behavior (Genesis 2:18; 21-24). (Church of God Resolution, Marriage and Family, 2012)
The Biblical model of marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman, and affirms this belief through a practical commitment regarding moral purity, which condemns homosexuality as a fleshly behavior and sinful practice. (Church of God Resolution, Sanctity of Marriage Between Man and Woman, 1996)
A Biblical perspective for gender refers to biological differences in male and female embodiment and the ways in which creational distinctions are manifested. Man and woman, while similar in humanity yet dissimilar in design,form a complementary sacred union (1 Peter 3:7; 1 Corinthians 11:14-15).
A person’s gender (male or female) is unambiguously identifiable at birth and there is no rational or compassionate reason to affirm a distorted transgender self-concept that one’s gender identity differs from their creational biological gender.
We subscribe to Christ’s Commandment reflecting the message of His love for all people (Matthew 22:37-39; Mark 12:30-31).
As a vibrant Pentecostal movement, we must engage Christ’s directive, the Great Commission, addressing these issues, share the saving grace of Christ, disciple those in their spiritual transformation, strengthen perception of a Biblical worldview, and propagate practical commitments through spiritual example, moral purity, personal integrity, family responsibility, behavioral temperance, modest appearance, and social obligation (Matthew 28:19). (Minutes, Church of God Book of Discipline, Church Order, and Governance, pp. 24-31).
Church of God clergy, laity and congregations recognize the reality of sexual and gender confusion as an issue that should be treated compassionately and professionally, and take care to offer or seek competent counsel for those who experience such confusion (Romans 8:35-39).
We must accept our responsibility to share redemptive grace through Christ transforming individuals from sexual bondage, brokenness, and deception bringing spiritual, mental, and emotional freedom (John 8:34-36; 2 Corinthians 3:16-17).
Church of God Doctrine and Polity statement
Church of God Resolution on Sanctity of Marriage Between Man and Woman
Archived Proclamations, Statements and Releases