boys are inherently bigger, faster, and stronger than girls in a competitive setting—a notion that's been challenged by scientists for years.
"Mbappe is faster than Rapinoe," yep, I said it.
A recent article in the Atlantic argued that keeping men’s and women’s competition separate “reinforces the idea that boys are inherently bigger, faster, and stronger than girls in a competitive setting—a notion that’s been challenged by scientists for years.” The article stated that “decades of research have shown that sex is far more complex than we may think. And though sex differences in sports show advantages for men, researchers today still don’t know how much of this to attribute to biological difference versus the lack of support provided to women athletes to reach their highest potential…”
I was dumbfounded. Researchers do not know how much to “attribute to biological differences?” How about all of it—have you ever watched the NFL? The UFC? What about the NBA? Does anyone really believe that the difference between Lebron James and Diana Taurasi comes down to a “lack of support?” That Megan Rappinhoe could hold her own against Kylian Mbappe if only she had reached her full potential? No. Triple her potential, she still can’t touch Mbappe.
People have lost their minds.
Physically, emotionally, and psychologically, men and women are different, each having their limits, and to say they don’t is plain crazy. Where does this insanity come from? Undergirding this madness is a profound individualism born from the Enlightenment 300+ years ago. The Enlightenment was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. The central doctrines: individual liberty and religious tolerance. The greatest virtues: human happiness and the pursuit of knowledge. Those who ushered in the Enlightenment elevated reason and the senses above Divine revelation.
Perhaps you have not heard of Voltaire and Rousseau but make no mistake, their influence has largely shaped how we live, love, work, and play today.
Steve Jobs well understood the Enlightenment and Kantian philosophy. In the shadows of Jobs’ greatest invention, the iWorld, you can see Immanuel Kant whispering in Jobs’ ear, Sapere aude (Dare to know). Jobs created a world where everything revolves around you; everything is aimed at making you the center of the universe, especially the products you own (that end up owning you…).
We live in a world where self is king. A world where we resent any challenge to our individualism. A world where we are free to think what we want and live as we like. A world where “I am free to be me,” or, as John Stuart Mill wrote, “Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”
A world where the highest principle and most prized possession is “me.” A world where one must be true to oneself above all else. A world where we are encouraged to create and establish our own beliefs and morality. A world where the worst thing you can do is conform to some antiquated moral code, one imposed by an outside force—your parents, society, church, or whoever else. To be “authentic,” one must find oneself from within and dampen any light that might undermine one’s “true” identity.
Sociologist Johnathan Grant calls this cultural expression of individualism “the moral wallpaper of our modern world.” We live in a world where no one has the right to question how you choose to decorate; you can, no, you must, “define/design yourself.” A world where Rachel Dolezal, a white woman born to two Caucasian parents, can identify as a black woman.
A world where anatomy defies destiny, where Camille Paglia, a leading feminist writer, can confidently say, “I consider myself neither gay nor straight, neither male nor female, neither human being nor animal.”
A world where a Norweigan woman who claims to have the sensory powers of a cat can say she was born in “the wrong species.”
Scientific reasoning dominated the Enlightenment—the result? Less science and even less reason. That’s because reason is stifling, or as Glynn Harrison puts it, “For years our spirits have been suffocated by restrictive traditions and morality. But now we must have the courage to follow our own light. We must resist anyone or anything that stands in our way. We must discover the hero inside ourselves and enter into the freedom that comes when we become who we really are.”
And brothers, here is what we need to see: this modern view of self is not a different worldview but a different gospel. It is a different understanding of freedom, of self, and ultimately it is a false understanding of God.
The question becomes, “as Christians, how do we respond?”
With grace and understanding, we must help people see that the human body is not a lego kit; it is a masterpiece, a work of art commissioned by the Great Artist, God.
Handsigned, you and I were created in the image of God; “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).” Lego taught us that “the only limitation is our own imagination…” That there is no Great Artist, we are all creators, working with a collection of constituent parts that can be changed and adapted. Sex, gender, race, all these are fluid. Like machines, we can download new programs and upgrade our models; the structure of the body, mind, and soul is value-free. Thus we are free to become what we were meant to become— the only limitation is our imagination.
Yet, the truth is that there is a Chief-Creator, and He has imposed limits. We are not machines, not lego sets, but created physical beings; we are embodied creatures. We are what John Wyatt calls “masterpieces,” albeit flawed because of sin. As a masterpiece, it is wonderfully freeing to know that we live in a world made by a loving God where identity is not something we must create for ourselves. We are human beings made in the image of God; we are creatures, not machines.
To rightly understand who you are, you must begin by seeing your body as a gift from God. A gift that scripture tells us is “good;” you have a body you should be thankful for. I know that our bodies have been affected by the fall; sin struck, we are born with deformities, we get sick, and we die. I get it. Accepting our bodies as a gift from God does not mean that trying and correct what’s wrong is wrong. It is not a bad thing to try and heal our sick bodies. But as we do so, we should see ourselves as flawed masterpieces, not Lego sets; the aim is to restore the Creator’s original intention, to restore the original work, not try and change it by creating a new piece.
In the Christian worldview, we are not adaptable blocks but flawed masterpieces moving toward glorious restoration.
Until people begin to understand this, we cannot, as the world promises, reach our “full potential” and “live our truth.” Only when we see that we are not God can we reach our God-given potential. There is an Artist. There is a Creator. There is an Ultimate Designer, and we are not it. We are God’s canvas, and He has painted a masterpiece. Sin desecrated it. But praise be to God, through His love and mercy, tremendous restorative work has begun in His Son Jesus Christ.
You’re not free to paint your perfect masterpiece; you’re free to be the masterpiece God created you to be. And you are priceless just the way you are.