How God Views Our Genders
Have someone read 1 Samuel 16:7.
Ask: What does this verse say? What does it show us about how God views us? How does it apply to our sense of our own gender? Our expression of it?
Explain that this verse shows us why God is so quick to accept transgender people such as eunuchs. God knows that what makes us who we are is not our outward appearance but our heart, who we are on the inside. That suggests that Gods view of what your gender is of who you are is based on who you are on the inside.
Have someone read Galatians 3:26-28 and someone else read Romans 10:11-12.
Ask: What do these verses tell us about how our gender or its expression connects with our relationship with God?
Explain that these verses show us that God accepts anyone who calls on Jesus in faith, trusting Him as Savior and Lord. It shows us this is regardless of any external thing your class, your appearance, your gender, or your gender identity/expression. You dont need to worry about what people tell you when they say God does not accept transgender people. God accepts all people, regardless of their being transgender, male, or female.
What Does The Bible Say
Biblically, its also complicated and cannot be reduced to simply turning to a couple of proof texts. We are created, relational beings searching for connection, meaning, significance and our place in a broken and complex world. Genesis 1-2 teaches we are created male and female, made in Gods image. God created human beings as sexed beings to reflect his image.
Marc Cortez, who writes on theological anthropology, comments: Although recognising that God is not a sexually differentiated being as humans are, we can affirm that human sexuality mirrors something important about the divine nature. Genesis 2 tells us that Eve is human like Adam, but female. As Preston Sprinkle notes in his paper, A biblical conversation about transgender identities, the Hebrew word kenegdo highlights Eves equality and sex difference.
In Matthew 19, Jesus cites Genesis 1 in a discussion on marriage, affirming the ongoing relevance of Gods creation of humans as male and female. Elsewhere, when the Bible mentions any cross-gender behaviour it does so negatively.
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First Argument God Made Two Distinct Genders
Lets look at the first building block more closely, that God made two distinct genders, male and female.
Now of course the passages in the Bible which are usually talked about at this point are the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, and also other passages that refer back to these, for example when Jesus does it in Matthew and Mark .
But it seems strange to use Genesis 1 and 2 to say that God only made a male and a female and that therefore this must apply to everyone since. Sure, it applies to the vast majority. But according to studies, only about 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 50,000 of the population are transgender .
The creation accounts in Genesis arent focused on unusual situations they dont even apply straightforwardly to those who dont have children or remain single. The creation accounts say that God blesses both male and female, that both are made in his image, that God blesses, if you like, marriage and children.
But Genesis doesnt try to address transgenderism, or whether you must get married, or whether you must have children. Genesis doesnt address transgenderism at all.
But lets also consider the problem in claiming that there are two distinct biological sexes. Thats true for most people, but its not true for everyone.
But not always. Occasionally, women are born with XY chromosomes. How come? Because from being in the womb their bodies dont react to a male hormone. These females have what are usually considered male chromosomes.
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What The Cross Tells Us
That may be a hard, and painful, thing for you to hear. Please remember that Jesus understands that he knows what its like to live in a human body, and he knows what its like to really really desire doing something that isnt in line with Gods plan .
And please remember that Jesus loves you. He died on a cross because he loves you so much he wants to make it possible for you to be forgiven any wrong youve done , and to open up an eternal life with him one day hell give you a perfect mind, heart, and body, all in agreement with each other, with no experience of shame or sadness.
Transformation is coming to anyone who trusts Jesus. The Bible says that, until that day of transformation comes when Jesus returns, all Christians, one way or another, groan . But we know that the groaning wont last for ever, and will be worth it in the end.
The Biblical Truth About Gender
Sexual sins, including transgenderism, were among the most heinous practices of the peoples living in Canaan. The lessons of their judgment because of deviant sexual practices remain as ominous warning signs to us today. When we prefer unbelief to faith in God, in order to advance the lusts of our flesh, we inevitably, and often irretrievably, destine ourselves for judgment. In the cases before us, the people groups living in Canaan digressed from what is clearly shown in creation and in Gods Wordthat we are born as either male or female, and that our God-given human sexuality is divinely sanctioned, and most beautifully expressed as complimentary , and within the covenanted bonds of matrimony led to a veritable infestation of the land, which vomited the people from the land, and led to judicial hardening of their hearts, and their ultimate destruction.
1. Male and Female He Created Them
God has not left us without His Word and, thus, His will concerning sexuality. Firstly, humankind is binary. There is no third or fourth category of a human being. Nature attests to what Scripture reveals. Human beings are made in Gods image and created either male or female.
Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created .
Our Savior, Christ Jesus, by whom the world was created and through whom it is sustained, appealed to His own Word in Genesis to affirm the divinely created order, and the sanctity of marriage .
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Gender Variant And Queer
This video doesnt seek to address the issues around people who would describe themselves as gender-variant or queer . The aim was to show that, on their own terms, the arguments against transgenderism are poor.
There is a separate argument about what is sometimes called gender confusion, and how people who are intersex, transgender, gender-variant or queer undermine some of the assumptions that lie behind this phrase.
What The Fall Tells Us
Of course, we dont live in the perfect world those first humans did. We live in a world that is broken by sin and that brokenness extends to our bodies, and even to our hearts and their desires. Thats why Peter says to Christians:
Dear friends . . . abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.
Some of our desires, or feelings, tell us to do things, or that we are things, which are actually opposed to our soul to our good, both now and eternally. So we have to work out which of our desires to feed, because theyre good and which to fight, because theyre actually warring against us. And the way to do that is not to listen to our strongest desires but to Gods Word, which is always right.
And Gods Word says that our gender is given to us by God, that it matches the sex that he built our body to have, and that therefore our gender is not changeable.
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What Does God Say About Transgender People
I was recently invited to speak at a local city council meeting for a proclamation in favor of Transgender Day of Visibility. This was the second time this proclamation has been presented to the mayor of this city, who has the sole power to grant or deny such proclamations.
I was told before the meeting that the mayor comes from a conservative Christian point of view, which has led him to deny the proclamation. Because of this, I wanted to describe why the Christian faith has led me to affirm my transgender siblings. I also wanted to describe why the Constitution of the United States leads me to affirm them, too. After reading my remarks, I would love to know what you think! Please feel free to comment at the If you would like more on this topic, check out One Question with Pastor Adam: What Does God Say about Transgender People below!
Esteemed mayor and esteemed council members, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about this proclamation.
I come to you as a pastor, a leader in the Christian church. And I come to you as a citizen of the United States.
In my capacity as a pastor and as a citizen, I stand with my transgender siblings in requesting that you adopt this resolution.
Some Christians refer to the creation story in Genesis to say that God created male and female and thus God does not create transgender people.
And thank God for the beauty of male and female and of our transgender siblings.
Thank you for your time. May God bless you and your work.
There Is A Difference Between Identity And Behaviour
I dont mean to say that LGB identity is simply about behaviour but in the narrative of Christian anti-gay rhetoric thats what it comes down to. You could technically be LGB and not sinful so long as you didnt act, sexually, on your feelings . For trans folks its not about sexual behaviour but about intrinsic gender identity.
This line does get blurred a bit when Christian folks deny the gender identity of a trans person and then accuse them of same gender sexual behaviour.
Thats a basic overview of the condemning passages.
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God Made Me Transgender And God Does Not Make Mistakes
It is always a tragedy when anybody takes their own life, doubly so when they are so young. This week Leelah Alcorn took her own life. In her note, she mentioned various reasons for her course of actions, from not thinking she would be able to pass as female to the lack of acceptance from her family. In her suicide letter, she stated that she had come out to her mother, and her moms response was that God doesnt make mistakes.
God doesnt make mistakes.
Out of the whole situation, which leaves a lot to digest, this one statement has been rattling around my brain ever since the public outcry to end reparative therapy began. This statement is at the core of why so many right winged, conservative Christians are at odds with the transgender community.
There is a view amongst some Christians that being transgender is an affront to Gods design and an outward sign of rebellion. The purported argument goes if you were born male that is the way God intended you to be. Since God doesnt make mistakes, living as anything other than male is an abomination worthy of scorn, admonition, isolation, or worse.
God doesnt make mistakes.
It is thinking like this that makes transgender people an outcast class of citizens.
It is thinking like this that makes it okay to minimalize a transgender person and to make them the subject of ridicule and attack. The notion that transgender people are somehow defective leads to bigotry, discrimination and other forms of nastiness.
Deuteronomy 2: 1 2: 2
Questions to discuss:
When we talk about the right to make changes to our bodies for the sake of our health and wellbeing, how do we decide what is permitted and what is not? Who gets to make those choices?
How do we understand Deuteronomy 23:1/2 in the context of the rest of scripture, specifically the welcome given to eunuchs in Isaiah 56:1-8, and, for Christians, the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40?
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Treat Them With Compassion
The new kind of apologist who is aware of the transgender persons brokenness finds that this knowledge changes the way he responds. Hes touched by compassion for transgender people, and his kindness towards them tempers his apologetic approach.10 If not, what he says will not matter or, worse, will come off callous and harsh.
The truth and compassion approach is the one Jesus, the perfect apologist, took. He understood people better than anyone else. His knowledge was perfect and, consequently, His compassion flowed freely.
The truth weve learned about transgender people is a sober reminder that we live in a fallen world. These people have been hurt. The culture has lied to them and medical professionals have been complicit in their gender-identity confusion. We need to speak truth to them, but it must be motivated by compassion. Heres what we can do.
First, make your relationship with transgender people a top priority. It doesnt have to be the top priority, but put it high on the list. Relationships are the bridge we use to communicate with each other, especially about things that are difficult to say. Your ability to speak the truth in love will be a function of your relationship with them. By knowing them personally, youll discover their unique situation. This should evoke the compassion so you can speak with precision and care. Therefore, build your friendship first and make your arguments second.
Transgenderism Transsexuality And Gender Identity
According to Scripture, when God created human beings, He created them male and female and blessed their marital union . Later authors of Scripture interpreted this twofold act of creation and blessing to entail moral norms such as the mutual cultivation of intimacy between husband and wife and the prohibition of sexual immorality and divorce . The prophet Moses, Jesus the Messiah, and the apostle Paul are united in common witness to the goodness of humanitys biological complementarity and the moral norms that should govern male-female sexual behavior.
Recent decades have witnessed the steady erosion of biblical moral norms governing sexual behavior. As these norms regarding, among others, nonmarital sexual intercourse, homosexual activity, marital fidelity, procreation, and divorce have given way in the broader culture to more permissive understandings, new, more fundamental challenges have emerged to the very notion of biological complementarianism itself. This transgender moment, as it has been calledin which a person can select a gender identity at variance with their biological sexrequires a biblical and theological appraisal.
How, then, should the Assemblies of God respond to transgender persons?
A Social-Scientific Analysis of Transgenderism
A Christian Response
A Practical Application of the Theology of the Body
How should the Assemblies of God respond to transgender persons?
All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version of the Bible.
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The Bible And Transgender/intersex People
Ask: Can you think of any biblical principles that might apply to the transgender experience?
Allow discussion and then explain that you are going to looking at some verses which apply to what transgender people experience.
Explain that there arent any scriptures that deal directly with the issue of transsexualism. But there are a few scriptures which deal with principles connected with the transgender experience. Also, how the Bible deals with forms of transgender identity in biblical times can help us understand Gods perspective on transgender people.
Gender dysphoria, the primary cause of transgender identity, could be considered a birth defect . The Bible deals directly with the issue of birth defects.
Have someone read John 9:1-3.
Ask: What birth defect is discussed here?
Many people connect being transgender with sin. According to Jesus, are birth defects the result of anyones sins? Are they signs the person with the birth defect is sinful?
Based on why Jesus says this man is born blind, what reason could we conclude that people are born with birth defects like gender dysphoria and intersex conditions?
Explain that according to Jesus, birth defects like congenital blindness are not necessary the result of anyones sin. To connect someones blindness, paralysis, or gender dysphoria with sin is to miss the point. These are natural conditions common to our imperfect world.
Have someone read Deuteronomy 22:5.
First, what type of cross-dressing is being condemned?
What Does The Bible Teach About Transgender People
If the Bible is our guide, then Gods design for gender is a gigantic rainbow of variation, not a black-and-white conformity with sex.
On February 18, the Kansas Republican Party passed an unusual anti-transgender resolution that is more theology than politics. Proposed by Eric Teetsel, head of the Kansas chapter of the Family Policy Alliance it is part of a national strategy to delegitimize transgender people and the concept of transgender itself, all on religious grounds.
Those, then, are the terms on which I, as a rabbi, will engage it. Because as a theological document, it is profoundly flawed.
Gods design was the creation of two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female, the resolution states. Nevertheless, many have sought to normalize transgenderism and define gender according to ones self-perception apart from biological anatomy. After listing some of the ways in which society has done so, the resolution says these cultural currents run counter to Gods created order and violate the dignity of every human being.
For that reason, it concludes, we affirm Gods design for gender as determined by biological sex and not by self-perception and we oppose all efforts to validate transgender identity. And so on.
Lets focus on two important errors in that text.
Is this what Teetsel means by Gods design for gender?
If the Bible is our guide, then Gods design for gender is a gigantic rainbow of variation, not a black-and-white conformity with sex.
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