My Thoughts on the Transgender MovementJuly 27, 2015 Current Affairs
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There's been a lot in the news lately regarding the transgender movement. In fact, we're going to be hearing more about it in the days to come. Caitlyn Jenner received a standing ovation for being awarded the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at the recent Espy Awards (ESPN). Caitlyn will be starting a new tv show. Last week on the show Big Brother, Audrey, a houseguest, was voted out. Audrey was the first transgender on the show (CBS). There are commercials that are starting to promote transgenderism. I never heard of this term 2 years ago, and now it's flooding the airwaves.
I'd like to address 4 questions regarding transgenderism:
- What is Transgenderism?
- What Does the Bible Say About Transgenderism?
- What Are the Facts about Transgenderism?
- How Should Christians Respond to Transgenders?
What is Transgenderism?
Joe Carter defines transgenderism as an umbrella term for the state or condition of identifying or expressing a gender identity that does not match a person's physical/genetic sex. Transgender is independent of sexual orientation, and those who self-identify as transgender may consider themselves to be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, and asexual. Approximately 700,000 individuals in the US identify as transgender (9 Things You Should Know About Transgenderism).
What Does the Bible Say About Transgenderism?
In the Beginning, God made the creation good. He made humans male and female, and when He made Eve, He said creation was 'very good' (Genesis 1:27, 31; 2:20-24). Men and women were made in the image of God and were made distinct from each other.
In I Corinthians 6:9 Paul says,
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals (NAS)."
With regard to Paul's use of the word 'effeminate' (malakoi in Greek), Sam Ferguson says, "We cannot miss that one reason the Bible prohibited homosexuality (and the surrounding culture frowned on it) was because it was, in fact, gender-shifting. One of the parties in the homosexual act was acting female while being male (Understanding Gender Dysphoria)."
The Bible tells us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:2). Our bodies are considered a temple of the Holy Spirit, a gift from God, and we are to glorify God with our bodies (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
God has made us uniquely man and woman, and how God has made us is a gift. We should embrace our bodies and give Him praise for it.
What Are the Facts about Transgenderism?
- A 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden followed 324 people who had sex-reassignment surgery (191 male-to-females, 133 female-to-males) from 1973-2003. The overall rate of death was higher than expected, with suicide being the leading cause. Those who had the sex-change surgery were almost 20 times more likely to take their own lives than the non-transgender population. They were also more likely to seek in-house treatment for psychiatric conditions (Long-Term Follow Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden).
- In the 1960s Johns Hopkins University became the first American medical center to offer "sex-reassignment surgery." But they later stopped performing the procedure after a study on transgendered people in the 1970s. The study compared the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as 'satisfied' by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn't have the surgery. Dr. McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital, explains, "At Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a 'satisfied', but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs (9 Things You Should Know about Transgenderism)."
- Dr. McHugh recently wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal about studies from Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70%-80% “spontaneously lost those feelings (Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution).”
How Should Christians Respond to Transgenders?
Christians should welcome anyone to the Church and also help each other with our sins. We all are sinners and struggle with our own pride and/or insecurities. The Church and Mafia are the two places where you have to be bad enough to get in. If a transgender person walks in your church, love them like you would anyone else. To truly love someone means you serve them and tell them what they need to hear and not just what they want to hear.
Transgenders, like all of us, are sinners who need forgiveness for our wrongs. We all need Jesus, and He is the only One Who can provide healing and restoration for our brokenness.
Russell Moore said it best:
"We could bemoan this trend and always talk about how American culture is slouching toward Gomorrah. But we should hope, if there are transgendered persons in the neighborhoods around us, that we'll see them in our church pews. And we should pray, fervently, that they'll hear the gospel we're preaching as good news for them. A gospel church says whatever you're running from or running to, Jesus offers you life. As long as you're alive, it isn't too late for you to find new life in Christ. Jesus loves sinners, and we do too (Joan or John?)."
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