Season: 5 Episode: 065
If there’s one thing we all struggle with in life, it’s our identity. When it comes to figuring out who we are and why we’re here, Christianity is the only religion that gives an answer to this universal question. The problem is that the world is loud. More people are confused with who they are now than ever, but does erasing gender, femininity, and masculinity help? Shanda digs deep to find out why there’s an identity crisis in our current culture.
“God has given us innate characteristics and foundational traits that society cannot change.”
“How we see ourselves stems from our worldview.”
“Being created in the image of God separates us from all other creation.”
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Hey guys! Welcome back to another episode of Her Faith Inspires podcast where we take cultural issues and align them to Biblical truth. This is the last call for Apologetics 101 starting the first week in March. Go to shandafulbright.com/links to register asap. You do not want to miss this. The next cycle of classes may not start again until the fall (at the earliest).
Today, we are talking about some controversial topics in culture.
You would think that the topic of identity wouldn’t be so controversial, but because of what we face in society today and what is being taught in education and all throughout MSM, it is controversial and it will continue to be controversial from now until Jesus comes.
Everyone struggles with their identity at some point in life. Our identity is wrapped up in our purpose and for that reason, it is imperative that we understand where our identity is found and why we will never “find ourselves” until we figure this out. And I also want to add that we will not help anyone else find themselves unless we have reconciled the source of our identity in our own lives.
I know it almost sounds cliche and tired to say our identity is found in Christ.
I agree with that. It’s the same old narrative and most people will sit back and say, “I’ve heard that before and it doesn’t help.”
I agree … it doesn’t help. You know why it doesn’t help? Because we don’t explain it right. We repeat really cool sayings until they become old sayings and the reason they become old and retired is because we don’t teach them correctly.
Gone are the days when finding yourself meant trying to figure out the answer to the age old question, “Why am I here?”
Gone are the days when the dilemma of identity was only found in what style of clothing you would fill your closet with or the group of friends you hung out with.
Now our identity is wrapped up in the color of our skin.
If you’re white, you’re told you’re inherently racist, even if you don’t know you’re racist, and you have white privilege. Get over it. Don’t question it. The end.
The educational system is implementing classes to kids as young as kindergarten when they are taught that they are oppressors based on their identity. Are you a male? Are you a white male? How about a white Christians male? Then you are the hegemony and you are the oppressor.
Are you a female? A dark skinned female? Then you are the oppressed.
No questions asked. No character analysis taken into consideration. It’s all about your physical characteristics that determine the intent of your own heart and mind. This is called Critical Race Theory and I’ve had many, many people ask for an episode on it. It’s coming.
Our politicians want to get rid of gender pronouns while we’re at it because there are lots of genders.
Don’t call yourself a wife, mom, sister, daughter, aunt, grandma because that’s offensive.
Let’s do away with female sports and allow men who identify with women into the arenas, fields, rinks, locker rooms with girls.
I’m not a feminist, but I am feminine. And where I do agree with feminists is on the issue of gender identity and that women should be able to have their own space free from men … such as locker rooms, bathrooms, fitting rooms, etc.
I have done several episodes on celebrating men and masculinity. I have a husband and three boys and will always be a cheerleader for good men. But today, I want to say that we as women need to be careful with this. I am all about celebrating women and who we are and the unique qualities God gave us that is part of our identity.
It’s very important to ensure that we look understand that women have certain traits and physical/biologically affirmed traits that will never be accomplished by men. We’ll get into that in a bit.
We’re going to get into this more today, and as I’m sure you can tell by now, this is going to be a heavy episode.
The things we’re going to tackle today are:
- How do we find our identity in Christ and how do we help others find theirs?
- What are the ideologies about identity that conflict with a Biblical worldview?
3. Why we should celebrate women and defend and protect our unique traits.
How do we find our identity in Christ and how do we help others find theirs?
Identity usually takes years to solidify. That’s one of the reasons the teenage years are so difficult. And the next stage of life where identity takes a hit is mid-life crisis. That probably explains my nose piercing, or at least the boldness to get one. BTW, I don’t regret one painful minute of it.
Identity is largely concerned with the question, “Who am I?” It’s the search of each individual to find out who they are. It’s foundational to every aspect of life because if we don’t know who we are, we don’t feel like we have purpose and we won’t find it.
Family, religion, careers, friends, accomplishments all contribute to our identity.
I’m known as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, and many other things that make up my identity. But this hasn’t always been the case.
We sort of find ourselves and our identity evolves, and sometimes it changes over time. This isn’t considered an identity crisis. It’s the natural process of finding our identity as we live life.
An identity crisis isn’t a diagnosable condition. People don’t usually call a therapist and say, “Hey. I’m in an identity crisis, can you help me figure out who I am?” Again, it’s perfectly normal to question who you are at times in life, but when it begins to affect your daily thinking and functioning, it’s a bit deeper than normal searching.
In the Christian environment, I hear a lot of talk about finding our identity in Christ.
I’m not a big fan of this because I don’t feel like anyone does it justice. Is the statement that our identity is in Christ true? Of course it is.
But here’s what I mean.
If you listen to other people tell you who you are in Christ, they’re going to tell you that you’re a new creation, you’re blessed, you’re a friend of God, etc, etc. These are not false, but they’re also not going to help anyone understand the fundamental and foundational components to their identity and who God created them to be.
Who we are in Christ is blessed, redeemed, restored, forgiven, and the list goes on. But not everyone is in Christ. And the real question is, does the fact that people are not “in Christ” change the foundational component of their identity even if they do not recognize God?
I say no.
There are certain foundational components to our identity that cannot be changed regardless of where our soul lies.
It doesn’t matter if we believe there’s a God or not. It doesn’t matter if we are searching for life’s answers or not. God has given us innate characteristics and foundational traits as women and men that society cannot take away even when society denies them.
And this is why we see so many in an identity crisis in our culture. Because you cannot change the foundational truths even if you do not acknowledge them.
When we go back to Genesis 1:26-27 God says, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”
I used to wonder why God wrote “male and female He created them.”
I would have thought that just saying He created mankind in His image would have been plain enough and undisputed. However, God went further than that and spelled it out by saying, “male and female He created them.”
As you know, God knows all things. And God knew that one day in society we were going to dispute the foundational, biologically affirmed truth that there is only male and female.
If we do not recognize foundational truths such as simple biology, we will not be successful at finding our identity beyond this. How can we?
Think about it: we are disputing gender identity.
We have wiped the slate of objective truth and denied not only the Bible and the fact that God said we are male and female but we have denied simple biology.
This is why science is not the enemy of God, but science can’t be done without God. If you want to know what I mean by that, read “Stealing From God” by Fank Turek.
When I was a sophomore in high school we learned how to identify males and females with X and Y chromosomes. It was undisputed.
But when we begin to deny something as simple and observable as gender, the quest to find our true identity is never going to be found because we’re denying basic truth. We’re denying basic foundational characteristics to our identity and without a foundation, you cannot build.
Finding our identity in Christ is more than just saying, “I’m forgiven, redeemed, loved, etc.”
Those are like affirmations. My hope is that if I say them enough I’ll start to believe them.
Finding our identity is recognizing who God is and how I fit into the world He created. When we go back to Genesis, we see that God named Adam. Adam is Hebrew for “man”. God allowed Adam to name all of the animals, but God gave Adam his name, signifying his identity in contrast to all other creation.
God laid the foundation of mankind’s identity with their gender, their duties to rule the earth, and their offspring (which plays a part in their gender).
And of the other foundational aspects of our identity is that we are created in the image of God. That is what separates us from the animals. God gave us the ability to reason, and the characteristics of morality, language, creativity.
This image applies to all of humanity regardless of color and to every male and female.
Again, that goes for every human being regardless of whether or not they confess that there is a God. I’ve talked about how God wrote the moral law on our hearts so that every one of us innately knows the difference between right and wrong. We see that in Romans 1.
The moral law is knowing the difference between right and wrong. That’s not knowing yourself. That’s not what that means. What it does mean is that with the moral law, God gave us the awareness to know that we are not inherently good. That is part of our identity that draws us bak to God.
What am I trying to say? Our identity in Christ is more than just the fluffy feel good stuff that everyone wants to make an affirmation. It goes deeper than that. Our very existence and the core of each and every one of our identities rests in the fact that we are the created and God is the creator. Genesis 1:26-28 confirms this.
So, how do we help others find their identity?
How we see ourselves stems from our worldview. One of the things we have to remember when helping others find their identity is that conflicting worldviews may pose a challenge when speaking about identity.
Christianity is dualistic, meaning we exist in body and soul, matter and spirit. When we speak from that worldview, we look at how God created us physically (male and female), and that He created us in His image.
Again, I’m going to repeat the fact that if we do not understand this and speak from this perspective, we will never truly lead anyone to understanding their own identity.
And this is the foundation of our identity, whether we’re in Christ or not.
One of the things the church as a whole would do well to do is learn about gender dysphoria, transgenderism and how to get into the conversations society is having about it.
Kids growing up in this culture are confused and will be confused as this continues to be normalized.
If we tell people who they are in Christ only, and we don’t get into the basic, fundamental truths about our identity, no one is going to be helped.
In reality, the conversation about our identity in Christ, and our basic identity as in who God made us – are two different discussions. You have to be in Christ to grasp an understanding about being redeemed, chosen, forgiven, etc.
We have to begin with basic fundamentals of our identity in our current culture.
The Young Americans Foundation posted that an Iowa School District is going to celebrate a week of Black Lives Matter where they teach transgender affirming. An FRC intern shared, and I quote “High school and college years are a season of life where identity formation is so critical. Gen Z is currently entering adulthood in a world where the media and culture encourages us to explore every aspect of our identity. And believe it or not, I am all for learning different sides and options of any topic. I believe that young people are smart and equipped to weigh alternatives and make decisions for themselves. We owe it to them, as a nation founded on freedom, to have the opportunity to explore what they want their life to look like.”
This came as a response to Biden’s promise to support legislative efforts to ban the practice of “conversion therapy” – counseling to help a person overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, and those struggling with their identity.
My boys are Gen Z. It is up to us as the adults and parents in their lives to help guide these kids along the path of their identity and it is not going to start with who they are in Christ, it’s going to start with who God created them to be both biologically and spiritually and then we build from there.
I’m not saying that knowing who we are in Christ is not important. Not at all, but I am saying that right now, we have to start with foundational truths that lead others back to God in the first place.
What are the ideologies about identity that conflict with a biblical worldview?
We have several that our currently leading the way in our culture today, and I’ve never seen anything like it.
The first one is gender identity.
If you read the book “Love Thy Body” by Nancy Pearcy, she talks a lot about how society views gender. She explains that it comes from a worldview that involves personhood theory. Personhood theory is where someone sees no value in the human body but places our worth on the mind or consciousness.
It means we get to tell our bodies who we are. Again, this conflicts with a biblical worldview because we believe humanity was made in the image of God and that itself makes us inherently valuable no matter what.
Personhood theory sets the body against the person as though they were two separate things. It’s what causes someone who identifies as the opposite sex to say that God made a mistake when He placed me in this body.
The second ideology at war with identity is Critical Race Theory.
I’ve promised you guys an episode on this, and it is coming I just have a big schedule right now, but I will probably have air it sometime next month or in April. CRT uses what they call Intersections, known as intersectionality, to determine whether or not you are the oppressed or the oppressor.
It is birthed out of Critical Theory and is Marxist.
CRT looks at your skin color, gender, and sexuality to determine how many intersections you have. For example, the white, Christian, male is the hegemony, meaning that he is the dominant oppressor. It doesn’t matter how much money he makes, the education he has or doesn’t have, or his character. His gender, race and sexuality determine that he is the oppressor.
According to CRT, all females have at least one intersection. If you’re a black female you have two. If you’re a black female homosexual, you have three intersections and you are highly oppressed.
This is being taught to our children as young as pre-K. They are being told that their identity determines their character and whether or not they are racist. Again, it is in conflict with a Biblical worldview.
God does not look at outward appearance to determine the condition of the heart.
He actually said it doesn’t even matter what goes into the body when it comes to what’s unclean because it is the heart that defiles the man, showing that the physical is not determined by the spiritual condition, but the spiritual condition determines where the body will go in eternity.
The last one that I want to bring up today is identity politics.
I’ve never seen so many character assassinations due to who people voted for. If you voted for Trump you’re a racist. If you love America, you’re a nationalist. This is identity politics.
I don’t really want to go round and round with this because I did record an episode regarding how Christians should vote and I stressed that it’s not about parties but policies. If I’m being honest, I think the majority of the politicians are crooked regardless of what party they represent.
How do I know? Because I listen to what they say and watch what they do. Character matters and we are getting away from it in our society today and judging people based on their political parties and standings. It’s ridiculous.
Why is this concerning? Because we aren’t seeing each other as humans anymore. We aren’t valuing one another because they’re made in the image of God. We are judging them based on shallow characteristics and it will cause so much damage to society.
Why should we celebrate women and defend our unique traits?
Look, I’m not going to sit here and tell you some crap about how women are just as strong as men. I’m not going to tell you that women can do anything men can do. Retire that old cliche line of garbage with the other sayings because we’ve heard them all.
Let’s face it: women can do some things men cannot do and never will be able to do. For one, God designed our bodies to carry children for 9 months. We literally grow them in our wombs and our bodies are amazing.
I remember thinking that my stomach couldn’t possibly stretch anymore when I was pregnant with my boys. The female body is pretty amazing. No male has ever been able to grow or give birth to children and they never will. Our bodies are miraculously designed for them.
In Genesis 3, God had just delivered judgment to Adam and the woman. She hadn’t been given a formal name yet. And after judgment, Adam heard that God was going to bless her with children.
And in the midst of despair and them getting ready to leave the only home they ever knew, Adam named her Eve … why?
Because she is the mother of all the living. That was the hope of the world … that through her offspring the world would be redeemed.
And guess what? We, too are her offspring. We are a reflection of Eve and we are the mother of the living. Whether we birth children, influence them, or use our traits to nurture others … we are created and designed by God to be different from men and to celebrate those differences.
Women are better at expressing emotions and showing compassion. We are more sentimental and that’s one of the reasons women choose jobs that appeal to that trait, such as teaching and nursing, etc.
But there are women who are bosses, doctors, lawyers, professors. More women are graduating from college than men and with an absence of fathers in the home, women are holding down the fort for their families.
Women may not be as physically strong as men, but they are definitely strong in other ways. Women can get things done efficiently, keep things organized and managed, and run homes, businesses, offices and finances.
I don’t have any daughters.
But I am a woman so I know what it’s like to struggle with my identity as a female in this crazy world.
We all struggle with self-worth, insecurity, comparison, and women struggle with this more than men and in different ways.
Our society is not only trying to erase men but it’s trying to erase women too. When we allow biological males into women’s sports and women’s locker rooms, what does that do for women?
When we say that men who identify as women are female, how is that celebrating the unique traits God gave women? It doesn’t. It says that we’re not unique and that there’s nothing fundamentally different between men and women.
It’s evil and it’s wrong. And if we do not defend our differences, we lose ourselves.
I want to close this out today by reminding you that we need to have conversations about identity. We need to know the fundamentals of our identity and what it means to be created in the image of God.
We also need to remember that to define who we are in Christ is one thing but we cannot start there when we discuss identity. Our culture is hostile towards Christianity and if we don’t lead others back to the basics of biological and fundamental truths … which leads back to God anyway … we’re going to lose this culture war and our children will suffer for it.
I know this episode was a bit heavy today, so if you have any questions email me at email@example.com. I have some great guests coming up in the future, so stick with me and I’ll catch you on the next one!