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Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The Rainbow’s Real Identity

The first appearance of the rainbow, found in Genesis 9, symbolized God's mercy and covenant promise He made with Noah. The Lord declared He would never again destroy all mankind due to their wicked imaginations and intentions. God’s mercy triumphs over judgment!

Tweet this: Much time has passed since the first rainbow appeared, and sadly its original symbolism is greatly distorted.

Much time has passed since the first rainbow appeared; and sadly its original symbolism is greatly distorted. When people think of the rainbow now, a majority will think of the gay pride flag designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978. 

This shift is now seen in pregnancy help organizations (PHOs), where nationally, we are seeing a growing trend of same-sex couples accessing services (pregnancy tests and parenting classes, for instance).

Our country and the world at large are being faced with difficult questions. Why is there such a vicious attack on our sexuality? What is at the root of this attack; spiritually and psychologically?

The Church must rise up with authority and compassion to bring the broken in heart to the only One who can heal the brokenhearted.  Satan has targeted everything that is sacred about our sexuality with the intent to obliterate and make obsolete all that God intended. But, Jesus….He came to destroy the works of the enemy (I John 3:8).

When God made man, He made us in His image (male and female). The Hebrew word image (tselem), is literally a shadow; an outline or representation of the original. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen. 1:27).” 

Biblically, there are two genders; male and female. The enemy of our soul understands that our gender identity is linked with our destiny, and even more importantly, reflects God to a hurting world. What better way to get at God, than to misrepresent His image to those He came to set free?

Many theories exist to explain the root cause of homosexuality, transgenderism, gender fluidity and beyond.  We know biblically these sexual issues are not what God planned for anyone. Yet many individuals suffer in confusion and in pain.  

The enemy’s goal is to separate us from God and interfere with our ability to worship Him with all our heart. A broken heart (through trauma), is a divided heart. When our hearts are divided, we inevitably worship other gods. Romans 1:25 says, “They worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator”

This is what sin does; it causes us to bend or move away from God and our true identity in Him. 

The LBGT community and others want us to celebrate and embrace those who have moved in the direction of their sexual orientation, whatever that might be. They expect and pressure others to “evolve” in their thinking to full acceptance, no questions asked. Hence, the push to normalize all sexual preferences. 

Homosexuality was originally defined as a mental disorder and a majority of people did not perceive the behavior to be normal.  In 1973 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II) changed the classification of homosexuality from a mental disorder and replaced it in the category of Sexual Orientation Disturbance. Then in 1986, the diagnosis was removed entirely from the DSM

Transgenderism was originally recognized as a gender identity disorder. In the latest version, of the DSM-5, it’s referred to as “gender dysphoria,” moving away from identity and toward the experience of distress (On page 14, here). “Gender dysphoria is manifested in a variety of ways, including strong desires to be treated as the other gender or to be rid of one’s sex characteristics, or a strong conviction that one has feelings and reac¬tions typical of the other gender.” Gender dysphoria and transgender issues are not about having sex, or attraction to the same sex. 

After having two sex changes, author and speaker Walt Heyer knows the pitfalls of being a transgender and says that it does not lead to happiness, but to despair and regret. He goes on to say, "Bruce Jenner and Diane Sawyer could benefit from a history lesson," mentioning the preponderance of medical research proving the detrimental psychological effects of sex changes. Heyer goes on to say, "I know, because I suffered through 'sex change' surgery and lived as a woman for eight years. The surgery fixed nothing — it only masked and exacerbated deeper psychological problems." 

Sadly, some Christians have distanced themselves from believing that sexual orientation change is possible and /or have chosen to accept sexual behavior that clearly opposes God’s best. Tony Campolo recently decided to do just that by saying, "I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.”

Several years ago, Exodus International, an evangelical ministry dedicated to helping people change their sexual orientation, distanced itself from that mission to focus on discipleship before shutting down entirely to reboot with a mission that did not provide “help for people to turn from gay to straight.” 

Not long after that, a few states attempted to ban reparative therapy (treatment that aims to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual), and in late 2012, California became the first state in the nation to ban conversion therapy for gay minors when Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1172 into law. 

Is there hope? Always! The love of God is too great to allow people to stay in their sin and pain; of course people must accept His love to begin the healing journey. 

Tweet this: If love never fails, then authentic biblical love is the answer to the issue of sexual sin.

If love never fails, then authentic biblical love is the answer to the issue of sexual sin. Jesus never had a harsh word for sinners, but He did for those that claimed to be the religious authority of the day. They added so many unnecessary burdens to the people. Jesus clearly said His yoke was easy and His burden was light (Matt. 11:30).

True love and compassion never allows for sinful behavior, but it speaks the truth and chooses to see each person with the heart of a merciful Father.  The love of God calls that person into their true identity in Christ.

In the PHO world, we often see clients bound by addictions and behaviors that we so desperately want to see changed. Our role is to serve those struggling with sexual identity through the scope and services outlined by each center, just as we would those involved in any other behavior outside of God’s original intention.

It is important to stay in those parameters and make referrals when necessary. Should relationships grow and opportunities arise to share a deeper understanding of the beautiful plan God has for each of us in these areas, we must grasp these opportunities with tender care and love.

Tweet this: The rainbow’s “real identity” is mercy and grace!

The rainbow’s “real identity” is mercy and grace!  And, just as we want to see the rainbow’s true symbolism restored, so God desires to see identities lost in the grip of sexual confusion restored.


Debra Neybert, MA, LAS, is a training specialist for Heartbeat International, the world’s largest affiliate network of Pregnancy Help Organizations.


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