Why does God create intersex individuals? What makes this subject difficult to discuss is that we are speaking about real human beings whose bodies failed to develop in the way they were biologically intended to develop. As such there are very real emotions attached to the idea that some people do not fit the normal classifications of male and female. By no means do I wish to convey the idea that such individuals are less valuable because they are intersex, but when speaking of biological intent—or what is a biologically normal function—we are compelled to question what God’s intent was when He created intersex individuals. Does God make mistakes when He creates some people? And if God does not create mistakes, then how can we say that something is not functioning according to its biological intent?
Examples abound within creation where something fails to function according to its biological intent, and human bodies are no exception. Children are born with deformed limbs, life-threatening diseases, mental retardation, and all kinds of additional defects. This is not because God created these defections. When God designed mankind, He created male and female in perfection. Genesis 1:27 and 31 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. … And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” However, mankind chose to sin, and with that sin came a corruption of God’s original design. As such, God continues to create in perfection, but God also permits sin to influence His creation (Rom. 8:19–21). Sometimes the influence of sin is evident, such as in the development of children who are born to alcoholics and drug addicts. Sometimes it is not as evident, such as the children of healthy parents who are born with physical abnormalities. Regardless, sin has a corrupting influence upon all of God’s creation. God does not make mistakes, but He has chosen to permit His creation to live with the consequences of mankind’s mistakes.
Every person has suffered the corrupting effects of sin. For some it is manifested in temptations. Maybe they are naturally inclined toward addictive substances, fits of rage, sexual immorality, or any number of additional temptations. For others it is manifested in a mental condition such as autism, schizophrenia, multiple personality disorder, or any number of additional mental challenges. For still others it is manifested in physical defections such as predisposition to diseases, physical handicaps, physical deformities or abnormalities, and any number of additional physical challenges. Regardless of how the corrupting influence of sin may manifest itself in our lives, we all suffer its effects to varying degrees. As Pastor Brad Neese teaches, we are all broken people in need of a Savior. This is the essence of Romans 3:23, “[A]ll have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …”
Our weaknesses—our defects—testify to our need of a Savior who can redeem our bodies. Without these evident defects, we may never realize the extent of our plight. Therefore, God permits sin to wreak havoc upon His creation in order that we might recognize where the rebellion of sin leads, and we might repent of our sinful behavior, submit to God’s commandments, and accept the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on our behalf (Rom. 8:19–23). For this reason, Romans chapter 3 goes on to say, “[A]ll have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by [God’s] grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” Likewise, Romans 10:9–11 says, “[I]f you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’”
From what will we be saved? We will be saved from the due punishment for our sins (Rom. 6:23), but we will also be saved from the corruption of sin upon our bodies. Romans 8:23–24 reminds us that all who have placed their faith and confidence in Jesus Christ will eventually experience a complete redemption of their body, “[W]e ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.”
Intersex conditions are not evidence of a third gender; intersex conditions are evidence of the effect of sin upon God’s creation. More importantly, intersex conditions are evidence of our need for a Savior who will redeem not only our souls, but also our bodies.
Related Paper: “Do Intersex Individuals Disprove the Gender Binary?“
This article is excerpted from the book Transitioning: A Biblical Understanding of Transgenderism.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.