John Piper on 'Orange is the New Black' Transgender Star's Controversial TIME Cover

( [email protected] ) Jun 09, 2014 06:19 PM EDT
Transgender actor Laverne Cox was controversially featured on TIME's June 9th magazine cover, a move that has been called the "tipping point" for the LGBT community. Theologian John Piper has responded, saying that genitalia is specifically designed by God--and is not a human choice.
Laverne Cox, transgender star of the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black" (AP)

Popular theologian John Piper recently responded to Time Magazine's controversial cover story on Laverne Cox, transgender star of the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black," stating that genitalia is specifically designed by God-and is not a human choice.

"Is gender set by a preference of the individual, or a providence of God? Or to put it another way: Is my sex determined by my decision in my mind, or by God's design in my nature?" Piper asks in an article titled "Genitalia Are Not Destiny - But Are They Design?" posted on his Desiring God blog.

In the Time article, the Cox reveals a dark history, with an emotionally detached mother and a father who "was never part" of his family's lives.

"I was very feminine and I was really bullied, majorly bullied," he writes. "There was this side of me that was this over-achiever that loved learning. But then I was also taunted at school. I was called names. I was made fun of."

According to Piper, author of bestseller "Desiring God," Cox's view of gender blatantly contradicts Biblical teachings concerning human sexuality.

Piper references Romans 1:19-28, which reveals that nature reveals the reality of God in the same way it teaches about male and female sexuality.

"Nature is one of God's methods of revealing what we should prefer, even if we don't," writes Piper, "Just as physical nature reveals the truth about God, so physical nature reveals truth about sexual identity. Whom we should worship is not left to our preferences, and who we are sexually is not left to our preferences. Both are dictated by God's revelation in nature," he continues.

However, Cox says that believing "genitals and biology are like destiny" is "kind of ridiculous."

"People need to be willing to let go of what they think they know about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman," the actor told Time. "Because that doesn't necessarily mean anything inherently."

Piper reiterates that without God, such reasoning would be valid. Yet, according to the Bible, those who "exchange the glory of God for creature" are "without excuse."

"God, the wise, loving, purposeful creator and designer of human life is the one who connects biological nature and sexual identity," Piper states.

God's divine nature is revealed in the physical, material universe, he argues. So much so that Paul says in Romans, "So they are without excuse" when they "exchange the glory of God for the glory of the creature," or when they "exchange the truth about God for a lie and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator."

So if a human looks at the world and chooses to worship a creature rather than the Creator, he is without excuse, he says. "And if a man looks at his own body and chooses to play the part of a woman, or a woman looks at her own body and chooses to play the part of a man, they are without excuse ... Genitalia is a revelation of God's design."

Piper concludes his post by telling those struggling with sexual immorality, whether it is infidelity, homosexuality, or gender identity, that there is a way out-through Christ.

"God knows what is best for humanity. He also knows the painful disordering of our sexual desires that came with the fall," Piper writes. "We are all disordered in some measure in different ways. He promises to help us with our disordered loves so that we can enjoy measures of contentment in the midst of our necessary self-denial."

He encourages his readers to seek the forgiveness of Christ and embrace Him in "repentance as our supreme treasure."

"It will not be easy - certainly not for Laverne Cox - but it is possible. For all things are possible with God ."