At the recent SILS (Sexual Integrity Leadership Summit) in St. Louis, Nancy Pearcy, author of Love Thy Body, spoke to us about the origins of the LBGTQ movement. She traced her analysis back to the writings of Francis Schaeffer, founder of the L’Abri movement. In his speaking and writing, Schaeffer identified one of the key distortions in western thinking, one that originated a split in the understanding of human nature. Schaeffer argued that contrary to the biblical picture of human wholeness, western culture has split its understanding of the world and human nature into upper story and lower story, spiritual and physical or mind and body. This split, Schaeffer argued, has distorted our understanding of the universe and humanity for centuries. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the mind/body split and its influence on sexuality and morality.
Opening the Door to LBGTQ
Whereas the Judeo-Christian understanding of humanity posits a wholistic view, the mind/body split opens the way to make distinctions between ‘humanity’ and ‘personhood.’ For instance, many pro-abortion advocates assert that the child in utero is human ‘but not a person.’ This is the split understanding which justifies abortion. Applying this to LBGTQ language, the claim is that my personhood, feelings and identification are completely distinct from my body. Unhinged from my body, I can become whomever I choose to be. Identification, ever changing sometimes, is whatever I choose it to be. This why pronouns are constantly revised and updated.
Now it should be said, with compassion, that there are some people who have legitimate confusion in this area including those who are born with bodies that do not exactly fit the male-female model. Their numbers are extremely small. But this cannot not explain the meteoric rise in young people claiming to be transgender. A June 10, 2022 article by the New York Times reported, ‘ The number of young people who identify as transgender has nearly doubled in recent years, according to a new report that captures a stark generational shift and emerging societal embrace of a diversity of gender identities.’
Sexuality Unhinged from the Body
Why is this? It is because once sexuality is removed from connection to the body, anything is possible. And we live in an age when sexuality has literally become unhinged from its source. The Apostle Paul warned against ‘inventors of evil.’ in Romans 1;30. This is the same passage where, basing his understanding of sexuality in the body, not the feelings, Paul condemns homosexual behavior along with many other ‘ungodly’ deeds. Why? Because they are contrary to “natural relations,” the way our bodies were created. The way to understand humankind turns out to be not from the feelings outward but from the body inward. A leading surgeon recently ceased to conduct sex change surgery because he concluded it was easier and better for the patient to adjust their feelings to their body than their body to their feelings.
The Mind Body Split Eliminates Sexual Identity Distinctions
So we should not be surprised in a world unhinged from the body that ‘identifying as’ has no limits. Once the mind/body split is made, there are can be none. But over time, the body seems to reassert its claim over the individual. The fallout from this is already seen in medical reversals and therapy to deal with the confusion.. Dr. Paul McHugh, the university distinguished service professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine explains, ‘Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men. All (including Bruce Jenner) become feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they ‘identify.’ In that lies their problematic future.’
Implications for Lust Recovery
So what does this have to do with lust and lust recovery? Simply that lust itself is the mind warring against the body. It is using a natural drive for an unnatural end. Some have said, ‘Lust is not about sex and it is not physical.’ Split off, the mind can create any number of unreal or damaging scenarios which can war against all that our bodies were created for, holding us captive. Indeed, the mind/body split is not just confined to the LBGTQ debate. It has affected us all. Picture lust is its dominant form today. This why we must guard our hearts and renew our minds regularly according to Romans 12:1-2.
Sometimes, we use the word ‘integrity’ to speak about the goal of healthy sexuality. Integrity is related to the word ‘integrated.’ While we all are fallen, when our sexuality operates out of relative wholeness, it works in concert with our bodies and the rest of our lives. This is biblical sexuality. It is body connected. One day we will receive glorified bodies, perfected and designed for a new heaven and a new earth. We will be enjoying the kind of connection to which sexuality in this world was designed to point. Ephesians 5: 25-32. In the meantime, we are called to remember that sexuality rooted in the body is the way He designed it to be.