What Would Jesus Do About Transgender
It’s that moment you always know will arrive. You’re in the midst of an online discussion in which you are going against the general zeitgeist on a social issue and then it happens: someone comes up with what they think is a devastating riposte – ‘WWJD?’. The implication being that your response is not ‘Christlike’. Now apart from being pleased that non-Christians and atheists are so concerned about what Jesus thinks, how does one respond to this?
The first thing is that we need to understand where the question is coming from. It’s a kind of passive-aggressive intimidation â which in the current hysteria about transgender is far too frequently used. The argument is quite simple. Transgender people are being bullied many are mentally ill and attempt suicide. We should want to prevent such bullying and help people be what they are. WWJD? Surely he would do the ‘nice’ thing and go with the flow?
So lets return to the question, ‘What would Jesus do about transgender?’
2. Jesus would treat all people fairly. There is a basic biblical principle of equality. Our society talks about equality but has no real basis for it. But as Christians we know that all human beings are made in the image of God.
As Genesis 1:27 says: ‘So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them male and female he created them.’
Therein lies the basis of all human equality. We are all equally made in the image of God.
Transgender: Truth And Compassion
Imagine a woman telling you, Im transgender. Please call me Michael. Its obvious shes female, but shes asking you to call her by a mans name. What do you do?
Many people today reject the notion that gender is a fixed trait based on biology. Rather, they believe gender is a flexible trait based on society. As feminist and social theorist Simone de Beauvoir wrote, One is not born, but rather becomes, woman.1 Anatomy, therefore, is not destiny. One can choose what gender one wants to be.
Though this sounds counterintuitive, the culture is buying it. They are sympathetic to the plight of transgender people. They believe Michael is a man trapped in a womans body and theyre willing to accommodate the transgender perception.
Recently, a woman complained to the management of a fitness gym after she was startled to see a man in the womens locker room. The public relations department responded by saying, Guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity.2 In other words, if youre a man but believe youre a woman, you can use the womens locker room. Concerned by the gyms policy, the woman warned other women at the gym about the transgender person. Management asked her to stop. When she refused, the gym cancelled her membership.
Christianity And Transgender People
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Within Christianity, there are a variety of views on the issues of gender identity and transgender people. Christian denominations vary in their official position, some denouncing transgender people, some welcoming transgender people, and others are divided. Furthermore, not all members of a denomination necessarily support their church’s views on transgender identities.
Abrahamic religions are based on scriptures which describe God creating people as “male and female”, which is often cited in debates on this subject. Some denominations, including the Church of England, Church of Sweden, Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Presbyterian Church have permitted ordained transgender clergy to serve in congregations and have welcomed transgender members.
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A Man Cannot Become A Woman And A Woman Cannot Become A Man
The biggest claim of the transgender movement is that a man who thinks hes a woman can really be a woman, and vice versa. You see this in many ways from preferred pronouns, sex reassignment surgeries, and demands to use the restroom of perceived rather than given gender.
The problem is that this is a philosophical claim that is not true, and can never be true, in any way or form. A mans chromosomes cannot be engineered into female chromosomes. Altering ones appearance cosmetically or surgically cannot change the underlying reality of a persons biological make-up. The psychology of the mind cannot override the facts of a persons biological markers. The transgender revolution demands that we believe falsehoods about human nature. And truth and falsehood have never been a matter of majority vote, because we know that there is a Creator who has the authority to decide and state what is right and wrong.
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.
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What Does The Bible Say About Transgender
This article features in the Engage NIV Youth Bible, which seeks to connect young people with God’s wordhelping them to unpack the Scriptures for themselves. The aim is not to tell young people what to think about the Bible, but to show them how to think about the Bible.
Lets start by defining what the various terms mean:
Gender dysphoria: the experience of feeling a mismatch between gender and sex .
Transgender: taking on an identity of a different gender to the sex you were born with.
Transitioning: to undergo treatment in order to try to make the way your body is built express that identity.
NIV Bible with articles, explanations and creative spaces to help teens read Gods word.
What Creation Tells Us
Read Genesis 1:26-28 and notice four things:
1. Were made in Gods image. All of us are, whatever we do and whatever is done to us.
2. We have bodies. And your body is not just something in which the real you lives its part of the real you.
3. Were under authority. You and I are not the Creator. We are created. We dont get to make the rules .
4. Were gendered. God made two genders: male, and female . So being female or a male isnt only about your anatomy but your anatomy will show you whether youre a female or a male.
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The Bible Supplies The Framework For Understanding The Transgender Revolution
A Christian worldview informed by the Bible can fully explain why people experience feelings of gender dysphoria. The Christian worldview is one that acknowledges that creation has been disrupted and is not the way it once was, nor how it will eventually be in the New Creation . No part of our existence in the universe has been left undisturbed by sins effects. This means that the brokenness of creation reaches into every corner of our lives even our minds and hearts. To the same degree, every human is made in Gods image. To differing degrees and in differing ways, every human struggles with the brokenness of our own bodies, desires, and thoughts. And to the same degree, every human can find their true identity by recognizing that the God who made them has also saved for them and will one day restore them.
So in this created-but-broken world, we understand that not all identities or feelings are to be accepted or fostered, because we are all guided by a mixture of good and broken desires. The great Bible story of Creation, Fall, and Redemption tells us that we should not be shocked that people experience desires that will not in fact bring about the wholeness they are seeking and equally that we can never be self-righteous about how others struggle or sin.
Helps Christians engage lovingly, thoughtfully, and biblically with discussions on gender identity. Originally released in 2017, this version has been updated and expanded.
Where In The Bible Does It Say You Cant Be Transgender Nowhere
Everywhere you look, Christians seem to be taking a stand against transgender people.
A funeral director in Michigan recently won a court fight by claiming his Christian beliefs would not allow him to employ a transgender person. When Target said it would allow its customers to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, protesters shouted and walked through some of the retailers stores holding up Bibles. When parents published a Washington Post essay about their happy transgender 5-year-old recently, a reader wrote, As a Christian this deeply disturbs me!
There is not a single verse in scripture that discusses transgender identities. Yet these Christians have decided that trans identities are sinful, mostly through their lack of understanding of what being trans means.
Lets look at that Michigan funeral home case as an example. According to the federal judges decision, the funeral director believed the Bible teaches that it is wrong for a biological male to deny his sex by dressing as a woman. The transgender womans gender identity created a substantial burden on the funeral director practicing his own religion.
When the funeral director says his beliefs come from the Bible, he seems to be referring to Deuteronomy 22:5, which says, A woman must not wear mens clothing, nor a man wear womens clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
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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.
But What If These Interpretations Are Wrong
The answer to this question will be different depending on the tradition of the person asking. For example, for some Christians, affirming or not affirming transgender and non-binary people is connected to salvation and eternity. For other Christians, the afterlife isnt their main concern, but instead their focus is determining what it means for Christians to contribute to human flourishing and to the moral integrity of the church. Whatever is at stake for the person asking, it is important to note the role of humility, grace and having a consistent standard to apply in discerning what is true of God. We read in Pauls letter to the Corinthians that until Christ returns we are bound to see truth in a way that is incomplete, a mere reflection, as in a mirror, dimly . The Bible calls its interpreters to the awareness that even if ultimate truth about any subject isnt always in our grasp, we can still remain committed to the task of trying to find it.
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Things Every Christian Must Know About The Transgender Debate
The transgender debate is becoming all-encompassing. Issues such as education, law, government, entertainment all fall in the crosshairs of the transgender debate, and our culture moves with such speed that working out how to respond seems overwhelming, if not impossible.
So here are five essential things for Christians to keep in mind as we think about and speak about transgenderism.
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.
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The Medical Truth About Gender Dysphoria
At one time it would have been unnecessary, but it, now, has to be said: The American College of Pediatricians should be awarded a courage award for stating the obvious:
Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: XY and XX are genetic markers of male and female, respectively not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident.
To those who suffer from gender dysphoria , feeling trapped in a person of the opposite sex, the prestigious association responds with merciful scientific clarity:
No one is born with an awareness of themselves as male or female this awareness develops over time and, like all developmental processes, may be derailed by a childs subjective perceptions, relationships, and adverse experiences from infancy forward. People who identify as feeling like the opposite sex or somewhere in between do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women.
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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