If someone is born a hermaphrodite (with both sex organs) is it possible to still live a life pleasing to God regarding sexual orientation? For example whether they choose to be with a man or women technically they’d be hetero and homosexual. I have a hard time trying to word this but I hope what I ask make sense.


This is a complex question, but the main point is clear, biblically.  Yes, people who have real, physical sexual identity issues can be saved and can live a wonderfully fulfilled Christian life.

First of all, from the little research I have done, no one is truly hermaphroditic–which would be defined as being able to bear children both in the male and the female sense.  Although there are no true human hermaphrodites, there are people who are born who have at least vestigial organs of both male and female.  Nearly all of these people, as they grow up, become either physiologically more male or more female, to the point that a simple inspection would make for a fairly straightforward identification.  However, these people fairly typically lack sufficient proportion of the male or the female sex hormones to become fully male or fully male to the point of being able to bear children.  Clearly, this is unfortunate for most of these people, especially in cultures which strongly emphasize “male” and “female” traits such as large muscles, “masculinity,” large breasts and “femininity.” These people can feel lost–that they do not fit in.  They can live in fear that they will never have a fulfilling relationship with a marriage partnership.  The existence of this genetic situation can be troubling for us as Christians, but this is not the only kind of genetic defect which exists.  We live in a world in which there are genetic defects, diseases and in which death is inevitable.

You ask about homosexuality in this context.  Like I already said, from my research, all or nearly all who have this genetic condition are physically much more female or much more female, even if the organs are less well developed.  I know of no exceptions to this, but perhaps there are extremely rare exceptions.  I am not an expert on this, but I believe that despite a partial ambiguity, in nearly all cases, parents can make a relatively unambiguous choice for their children while they are still young.  Operations can be performed which can help to seal the identity.  As this child reaches adulthood, homosexuality would be to have sexual acts with one with the same apparent sex.

Yet, in Christ, even people who have a somewhat ambiguous sexuality, or more likely a less-that-fully-formed sexuality can lived a perfectly fulfilled life. Many will be able to find a sensitive person with whom to share a marriage relationship.  Probably many will not, but it is absolutely possible to have a wonderfully fulfilled life as a Christian without being married.  Paul was not married.  Neither was Jesus.  Both Jesus and Paul made supportive statements about those who choose not to be married.

John Oakes

Comments are closed.