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imagesThe challenge with the transgender debate is that Christians must say two very different things at the same time.

To those pushing an agenda that says your bathroom is my bathroom and your gender is whatever you want it to be, we want to say:

This is absurd. Patently absurd. There is no scientific reason, no justice reason, no internally consistent reason to think we can be boys or girls just by declaring it so. In our saner moments we know this to be true. No one would allow me to “become” Asian or African American even if I thought that’s who I was deep down. There are facts about my biology that cannot be denied. Why is gender open to self-definition while race and ethnicity are not?

As many others have pointed out, the logic of our transgender moment simply does not hold together. Are male and female distinct categories so that we should we be pushing “equal work for equal pay” and celebrating every “first woman to do X” achievement? Or are the categories completely malleable so that even the talk of binary gender norms is offensive? Two nights ago I watched a few minutes of the Oscars and then flipped to watch some of the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships on ESPN. It struck me that many of the people attending the Oscars and many of the universities represented on the track would fully applaud the transgender agenda. And yet, here they are with their antiquated categories of Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress and their old-fashioned ideas of men and women running the mile in totally separate races.

I live in East Lansing, Michigan. I love my city. It’s a great place to live. It’s also a university town that tries to be at the cutting edge of progressive cultural trends. Which is why the local school board has pushed for students to be able to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with. At the same time, when I go to the community center--operated by the city of East Lansing--there is a sign on the men’s locker room stating clearly that girls should not be brought into the locker room (but can accompany their parents in the family bathroom). So does biology matter or not? Is it a matter of safety to keep boys and girls separate, or is it matter of safe space to let boys use the girls facilities if they think they are girls? The idea that the whole world must accommodate my declared sense of self is soul-destroying, culture-poisoning folly and deserves to be treated as such.

That’s what’s must be said about the arguments and the agenda.

But that’s not all that must be said. There are people--men and women made in God’s image--who feel all sorts of confusion about who they are and what they want to be.

To those struggling with feelings they don’t understand and a sense of self that feels horribly unsettled, we want to say:

This happens. All the time. Not necessarily with gender, but human identity. We all struggle to figure out who we are, especially in our growing-up years. Sometimes that means we don’t know how to makes sense of our own bodies and our own sexuality. We don’t want anyone to feel unsafe in a bathroom. So let’s figure out how to have more unisex single stalls. Let’s provide well-trained, warmhearted counselors. Let’s make sure kids are not made fun of for being tomboys or for being sensitive or for being immigrants or for being Muslim or for being Christian or for being whatever.

And let’s make sure we aren’t constantly in full-on culture warrior mode. We should empathize with those who genuinely feel threatened, scared, or all alone. Standing up for the truth doesn’t mean we have to say everything we think in every situation. It’s okay to be tactful, respectful, and even keep our mouths shut at times. Charging ahead with zeal is not an excuse for trampling over people.

The Christian response to the transgender debate depends on whether we are talking about the debate or about a transgender person. I understand the two cannot be completely divorced, but they are not the same thing either. The ideas bandied about in the public square are often ridiculous. The people struggling with gender identity are not. This is what makes the controversy especially difficult for Christians. As a pastor, I need to shepherd a flock that faces pressures from a world that is trying every day to remake them in its image (Rom. 12:2). But I also need to shepherd a flock that likely has sheep in it who wonder how they can live a holy and acceptable life to God when they don’t feel like (or simply don’t like) the person they see in the mirror (Rom 12:1).

That means while we do not have patience for secular agendas, we must have patience for struggling people. We may be quick with rebuttals in the public square, but we must be quick with a listening ear in the neighbor’s kitchen. It means we must show private care in a way that is not confused with public indifference, and make known our public concern in a way that is not confused with private disdain. We have two different things to say depending on the context--not contradictory things, but complementary things the world is eager to confuse.

The agenda ought to be lampooned. The people ought to be loved.

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33 thoughts on “The Two Things We Must Say About the Transgender Debate”

  1. Phil says:

    What an excellent, well-thought-out article on this subject. Rightly defined and divided

  2. Nancy Green says:

    Thanks for this, Kevin. Compassion and unavoidable logic.

  3. Timothy Joseph says:

    This is always the necessary distinction between only speaking truth and speaking truth in love! You have articulated this distinction well. We must speak openly and truthfully against the forces of evil in this world and yet never forget that each person, regardless of their sinfulness, has been created in the image of God and therefore deserves our compassion and acknowledgement that they have full worth!
    Thanks for the clarity, conviction, truth and love!


  4. Matthew Garrett Clark says:

    This is the best article I have read on this issue.

  5. Keri S says:

    It disturbs me when this argument comes down to bathroom wars, for that is just a distraction from the cultural disease.

    In truth there is no justification for gender separate bathrooms when privacy stalls are available. The argument for child safety is implausible too. How many of you would permit your child to enter into a single sex bathroom unaccompanied? I certainly would not.

    Let’s bring the transgender discussion back on track, and quit beefing about the symptoms of bathroom access.

  6. Justin says:

    This distinction between agendas and struggling people is so important. Thank you for speaking boldly and lovingly. Striving to do a better job of this in my life.

    As an aside, I’ve noticed quite a few typos in TGC articles over the last few months. I would encourage closer proofreading and editing. Errors make it seem like these articles are put together too quickly without much though and review. I know that’s not the case, but it would help TGCs witness and reputation to get the simple things right (see “makes” in paragraph 9).

  7. greg rogers says:

    Typos in such a profoundly wise article sort of prove that the Holy Spirit was at work within the man typing principles quickly enough so as to not miss the flow of inspiration from His Spirit…And I bet an editor or two in the history of writing in process of straightening out some of the typos were also tempted to over correct the essence of the article the same for its loss of sincerity in the matter! I, a sheep, noticed the typos from a fellow sheep and was not bothered.

    Anyway, the essence of this article I believe to be spot on the Biblical worldview! God’s Truth includes lovingness, truth claims will tend to bounce off hearers without love, and love cannot be loving without truth. This Biblical balance is there.

    Who would have ever thought that we’d be in such times? I read an article the other day about a middle school or high school boy who claims to be a girl and won the girl’s wrestling state championship in TX recently. If this article is not fake news and is true, the implication of the times we are entering as depicted here can only be classified as utter mass confusion, strife and selfishness to the highest degree. If that was fake news, the time is coming for this just around the corner! And if the churches in the US flinch, the church in China may have to send missionaries to us! Great article.

  8. Gary says:

    Keri is misled when she thinks the issue is just bathroom access–the immediate privacy issue is intermingling the sexes in all privacy facilities–under the Title IX umbrella, this included locker rooms, showers, and hotel rooms on school trips. And when the sexes are intermingled, there are privacy violations: adolescent girls do not need to be changing clothes beside a teenage boy in a school locker room. But there is a broader issue, and that is the entire idea that one’s sex can change. It can’t, and the deployment of masculinizing/feminizing drugs in a vain effort to do that is based on shockingly thin science. There is not a single–not one–randomized, controlled study showing that cross-sex hormones are the best treatment for a child confused about their sex. And Dr. Randi Ettner, a leading expert on the pro-transgender side, admits that overall, the medical recommendations on “sex change” treatments is a C–the lowest grade in the Strength of Recommendations Taxonomy. So standing for privacy is essential–and more importantly, slowing this thing down and forcing some real scientific inquiry is essential before more kids are harmed by bad science and gender ideology.

  9. Colin says:

    Great stuff.

    Just to add – I think people hurting in this area are looking at our life in general, whether we are loving toward people. So it’s not just a matter of being understanding on this topic but leading an overall loving Christian life. And we don’t come out smelling of roses, do we?

  10. Serving Kids in Japan says:

    Let’s make sure kids are not made fun of for being tomboys or for being sensitive or…

    Well, this is ironic, coming from one of the premiere gender complementarian entities in the U.S. I thought the whole point of gender comp was to shame girls for being tomboys, and boys for being sensitive. After all, if you don’t crack down on that sort of thing, how can you be sure they’ll grow up to be “real” biblical(TM) men and women?

  11. Charles D. says:

    Why is it that we are always given much discussion on how “Christians” should respond to “such and such” when those to whom Christians respond, could care less about their pushing their agenda down our throats and calling us hatmonging bigots if we don’t fall in line?

  12. Phil says:

    What a well articulated and cogent article on this issue. Rightly divided on how we view the matter and our responsibility as Christians to those struggling (or not struggling) with TG.

  13. Curt Day says:

    I am afraid that the word ‘agenda’ has now become a pejorative. What is the agenda of those who don’t identify with the gender they are born with? We should note that such a group is not a monolith for we have an array of people ranging from those who have actually transitioned, to those in the process of transitioning, to those who have not taken any steps to transition, and to those whose status is not mentioned here because I am not aware of them.

    And what is their agenda? Is it to control us or is it to have their feelings recognized and respected? And by respected, it doesn’t mean that we need to agree with their identification, It simply means that we need to treat them as though they are the gender they identify with.

    I understand that their reasoning is difficult and it is one I disagree with. But the same could be said of those whose orientation leads them to practice same-sex relations though we should have an easier time recognizing and respecting such relations than we do with those who identify themselves as belonging to another gender. At least I do.

    If we cannot identify any reason or argument that would compel us to recognize and respect what they want us to recognize and respect, then we should do some listening. We should listen to them as they make their case. Not that such listening implies that we must change our minds. Rather, we listen in order to respect those who identify with the other gender as people. After all, many of them can’t see any rational argument or scientific reason why we believe in God and yet we want them to listen to us.

  14. John Cameron says:

    Articles like this always get the terms and the nature of the debate wrong because they never engage with the theorists who think critically about gender. For example, there is slippage regarding the relation between gender/biological sex at the very beginning of the piece–these are analytically distinct concepts. This is a basic point that would have been abundantly clear, had the author taken seriously even the most major themes of the decades of feminist or (more recently) queer scholarship. Instead, this signals either neglect or a profound misreading of a major theme that runs throughout the most foundational texts. How is someone who thinks seriously about gender supposed feel, except that you’ve been utterly inconsiderate to them? If you’re concerned about biblical illiteracy, you should also be concerned that this piece demonstrates a profound illiteracy in gender theory.

    Besides being utterly non-informative, the consequence is that opinion pieces like this lead others to believe that non-binary logics of gender are patently absurd, when they aren’t. If you want people to listen to you, you must listen to them.

  15. Eric says:

    I’ve had James Baldwin on my mind lately, ever since I watched “I am Not Your Negro” a week ago. He knew that race was a concept that oppressors applied to others by force, and for the sake of power. You don’t get to be anything other than White or not-White because we’re talking about metaphors of power here, and those metaphors are enforced at the end of a gun. People who crossed those boundaries in Baldwin’s time were killed because their actions were so disruptive of the status quo. I’m not so sure the same thing can’t be said of gender. I support trans rights because 1) trans people are murdered because they challenge social conditions that make us all suffer, and 2) because of their courage in pointing out the all-pervasive and shaping influence of power in society and our lives.

    It’s funny how the suffering of trans people (and a few years ago, gays and lesbians) meant nothing to the Church until they began to undermine its cultural supremacy.

  16. Sue Ashcraft says:

    One thing that never gets mentioned when discussing this is the fact that this is a mental disorder, not a physical disorder. The problem lies in the mind, not in your body and the fact that you have a penis or breasts or a vagina. This is in the same class of disorders as body dysmorphia, where a person truly believes that they are obese when they are actually skin-and-bones. In this condition, they believe that they are the opposite sex as what their organs, DNA and hormones are telling them. They think they see the opposite sex when they look in the mirror.

    You cannot change your sex or gender, no matter what you chop off or build to replace what you born with, or you ingest foreign substances. There is absolutely no way to change your DNA, and that’s where the source of a person’s sex and gender reside. It dictates the build of your body, your interests, likes, hobbies, skin color, height, eye color, and so on. So even if your change your penis into a vagina or vice versa, or you chop off your breasts, none of that will ever change your DNA and therefore, your sex and gender. When you were born, you matched. Your body, your mind, the size of your bones, your interests, the tone of your voice, your height and so forth. You don’t suddenly don’t match anymore. It is called a mental condition, and that is where the change and the healing needs to be. The only thing that will EVER change your condition is intensive therapy with a counselor who recognizes where the actual problem is. This takes time, a lot of time, but that’s what it takes to change a mind. I don’t know HOW this can be done (I’m not a psychologist), but I do know that only counseling and God can do this work.

    It is important to accept the person for who he or she truly is – a child of God, created in His image. BUT, and this is important, God did not goof up and give a person a boy brain with girl parts or vice versa. He doesn’t put butterfly wings on an eagle, or a pig’s legs on a horse. His designs are perfect. It’s only the result of sin and Satan’s lies that we are in the place we are. It is a lie of Satan that “well, this is how God created me. He really meant for me to be a boy or girl, and not what my body tells me who I am.”

    For those of us who have a family member or friend who is transitioning to a different sex, our job is to trust God even when we can’t see him working and to pray.

  17. Sue Ashcraft says:

    One thing that never gets discussed in regards to this issue is the fact that this is a psychological/psychiatric mental disorder that is very real and debilitating. This is part of the class of mental disorders such as body dysmorphia. That disease is when you look in a mirror and see an obese person when you might be skin-and-bones. People with gender dysmorphia look in the mirror and see someone of the other sex. Are they truly the other sex? No, just like the person who sees an obese person is not seeing him or herself as they truly are. You cannot truly change your sex or gender, just like you can’t change your skin color, eye color, height, etc. What sex or gender you are is hardwired into your DNA. It is unchangeable no matter what parts of your body you chop off or form into what’s not there, or what foreign substances you ingest into your body through pills or shots.

    What is the answer then?

  18. Alex says:

    (A friend shared this on facebook, and I replied there, but I thought I’d reply here too. It’s copied, but hopefully makes enough sense. The response comes from the right place, acting from love is great and important, but I think mistaken about some of the views of the ‘agenda’.)

    1) sex and gender are not the same. Gender is all a social construct, or at least largely. It’s a sort-of personality. We know this because in different cultures, gender is different. We can notice that somebody is born with a certain anatomy (biology) and has certain traits (hormones etc), perhaps other things I don’t know full details, but that doesn’t mean much about a personality. So people should be free to identify as whatever gender they want – which essentially means ‘fitting their personality into a certain societal box’. Gender is kinda nonsense, we have all these ideas that men should be strong and muscular and not show emotions and be alpha, and that women should be pretty and wear dresses (men can’t wear dresses) and do more emotional roles, etc. So really, some people are just saying ‘hey I wanna wear a dress and have long hair and present myself differently’ but society says ‘no that’s a male/female thing’ so then they say ‘fine I guess I’ll call myself a girl/boy/whatever’.

    That last bit is a simplification, it isn’t my expertise, but that’s what’s going on as I understand it.
    Argument #2)

    “As many others have pointed out, the logic of our transgender moment simply does not hold together. Are male and female distinct categories so that we should we be pushing “equal work for equal pay” and celebrating every “first woman to do X” achievement? Or are the categories completely malleable so that even the talk of binary gender norms is offensive?”

    This has something correct to it, but misses out the thing that makes it fit. I view this as ‘static versus dynamic’, it could also be seen as ‘dealing pragmatically with the current reality versus the ideal world we want to live in. I’ll use the example of racism as I find it easier:

    I would love to live in a world where it is irrelevant what colour your skin is (colour blind), and that we would notice it only in the same way that we notice hair or eye colour. That is the ideal, or the dynamic (ie what we want to change to).

    Yet the current world is one in which there are different treatments based on it, so to recognise racism, despite the fact that we want it to not exist and to not do this, we have to notice skin colour so that we acknowledge racism. So we have to make sure that black, brown, etc people, with all the different cultural and national backgrounds and identities, are treated the same.

    So: the ideal future is one in which gender is something malleable. But the current reality is that society has designated some genders. In order to make the best in that current reality, we have to work for equal rights and equal treatment as the genders, while also wanting to break down the cultural barriers that create those situations.

    The author of that piece did not do their research properly, it’s a shame when people talk about things they aren’t expert in without properly educating themselves, but their heart is in the right place and the message behind it is good

  19. Elizabeth Kaplan says:

    I am new to CLI. I’m also not in charge of making architectural decisions like how to design bathrooms. But for me there is no question or confusion. If I were a parent of a transgender person, would I love that child any more or less than my other children? I might not understand their exact struggle and, if they expressed painful feelings to me, I would want to comfort them and give them hope. But I would not love them any differently. And we all have struggles. If another child were going through an affair or had lost a friend in a drunk driving accident or had some other situation that was causing them a lot of pain, I would hurt for them. But I would still love them. I would still want the best for them. And I would still withhold ultimate judgment over them because that is God’s place. If we turn to God, no matter who we are or what we’ve struggled with, He forgives us. That’s not conditional. It’s not in my place to judge. Now that I’ve decided to join CLI and because I love God, it is my human obligation to help steer people towards God, to share Scripture with them, to love them, to model as fully as I can Jesus’ example for them, to let them know they can come to me for help and guidance and love. Once they have that relationship with God and know the Word, they will be able to see for themselves who and where they are called to be. I was once a jail minister and one of the prisoners shared his story. He said he was lost for years and started a life of crime because he felt pointless. Once there, the only book available was the Bible. He read it over and over again and became a pastor to those around him. We cannot judge other people’s walks with God based on some superficial aspect about them. We’re all in our own different walks. We’re called to love all of God’s creation. So for me there is no question or confusion. We love everyone and our present for everyone and we do our best to teach God’s Word to everyone. It is for God to judge what is right and wrong. Nobody knows our hearts better than He does. Nobody can heal us or know our walk better than He does.

  20. Ken Temple says:

    Pastor DeYoung – very good article – one problem is that the cultural agenda is all around and pushing their views on us in the news, media, internet, etc.

    Katie Couric and the recent National Geographic series on the Transgender Revolution is shocking. I saw a few minutes of a man who changed himself into a woman after 20+ years (exact ?, I am just going by memory) of marriage to a woman and several children and he and his wife were interviewed and the wife is accepting him as a woman and apparently they are still married. I am not trying to be cruel or mean to him, but he looks ridiculous – a man with make-up on and wearing a dress and pearls. (like Bruce Jenner, he is just a man in a dress and hormone therapy, and calls himself “Caitlyn”, etc. – from the title of Michael Brown’s article) It is definitely a mental and emotional disorder and rebellion, but done with so much skill in the promotion and marketing of the ideas; and they are all peaceful and happy and smiley. (with the backing of a credible science and news media entity like “National Geographic”. )

    I know I should not be shocked at this stuff, but it is shocking and disturbing.
    Ken Temple

  21. Serving Kids In Japan says:

    Dear Eric,

    It’s funny how the suffering of trans people (and a few years ago, gays and lesbians) meant nothing to the Church until they began to undermine its cultural supremacy.

    Yeah, it’s amazing how a perceived threat to one’s hegemony will elicit such sudden and passionate alarm…

  22. greg rogers says:

    One additional comment on this matter. I find it no surprise that we find ourselves in such times as these will create a mirror for some churches to reflect themselves off of. If a church has at its focus what would be characterized as the 7 habits of discovering the best self who was evolved from a bacterial soup via nature and energy…and who then gives God a little shout out at the end of the sermon only which may include,”yeh, Jesus died for you with an attitude of “yada yada, blah blah”…then can we expect less than a generation who is confused and contorted in their souls seeking to discover practical psych 101 pathways for resolve to inner turmoil!

    After God created us and called His creation “Good”, Adam disobeyed…we all disobey and turn our backs on God and while we were dead in our trespasses and sins, God saved us by Jesus choosing to die on the cross in our place! By looking to the cross, our stony cold hearts that were so lost, confused and suffering become hearts of flesh that now have the ability and ongoing ability to understand God, His love and the precepts in His Word. Pastors around the world need to wrap their flocks around this greatest news ever that makes much of God and less of man! The 7 habits approach is the religion of humanism and does us no good. The religion of humanism with a tribute to God is worse…it is blasphemy. It is for freedom that we are set free! Why do some go back and turn others to go back to a yoke of slavery?

  23. Kevin Kibala says:

    not sure how you can divide the person and the issue. easier said than done.

  24. Rhiannon says:

    I agree with everything, but your Muslim comment. Islam teaches to kill anyone who doesn’t convert. I just don’t see how that is okay. I don’t believe in making fun of them, but I do believe in not condoning it.

  25. Curt Day says:

    What you say about Islam is completely wrong. Not only can what you say be proven false by reading the Quran, it also can be proven wrong by simple observation.

  26. James says:

    Curt Day,
    According to the Islamic watchdog group – a fantastic resource for the unfiltered facts on Islam – “The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule.” The aim of these verses is to dehumanize all non-Muslims, making it easier for Muslims of every stripe to slaughter them with impunity when the time is right. In addition to Surah 9:5, cited above, here are but a handful of Muhammad’s bloody calls to arms:
    * “Strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.” – Quran (9:73)
    * “O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.” – Quran (9:123)
    * “And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.” – Quran (17:16)
    * “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” – Quran (48:29)
    From the Hadith (sayings of Muhammad):
    * “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’” – Bukhari (52:177)
    * “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” – Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992
    * “Allah’s Apostle said … ‘I have been made victorious with terror.’” – Bukhari (52:220)

  27. Great balance in your statement. Our ministry is producing a documentary film on transgender disorders (TranZformed: Finding Peace with Your God-Given Gender”) that should be out in early June, and have been trying to strike that same balance. Transgender people suffer one of the greatest trials of them all – as great as people born without certain body parts, or similar conditions that require serious, lifelong coping mechanisms. We need to love them, give them grace and in love speak the truth as God has revealed it in Scripture. But then, we need to offer them resources so that they have help in navigating the treacherous waters of a very cruel, sex-based activism.

  28. neville briggs says:

    Deuteronomy ch 22 says ” A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord ”

    This passage unapologetically states the divine view of sex and “gender”. Plain and direct, no explanation or loopholes allowed.

  29. Curt Day says:

    Notes like yours are asking people to do a simple count without having read the context in which those statements are made and also not taking into account the other parts of the Quran that give an opposite message nor the behavior of Muslims toward unbelievers. BTW, how many Muslims have you known? In addition, such counts do not take into account the early history of Islam and concerns around which Islam revolved. It also doesn’t take into account history where Muslims and non-Muslims lived together nor does it ask Muslims what they believe those verses are saying. BTW, having taught comparative religions a few times at the college level, I can tell you that people who make this charge about Islam know hardly anything about Islam.

    Tell me, what should a non-Christian think about Christianity when they read through parts of the OT? I will tell you what some Christians thought. Early European settlers of America read the Bible and proclaimed themselves to be the new Israel and thus felt free to take land away from Native Americans. And they sometimes did that in very brutal ways. Or we could ask how some Christians thought the Bible taught that integration was wrong and that Blacks were inferior to Whites. And some used the Bible to justify terrorizing Blacks and others who were not in their White, Protestant group. So while some would be content to use ISIS as a group that models Muslim behavior toward unbelievers, groups like ISIS are extreme outliers in Islam. We should also note that like Christians, Muslims do not make up a monolith.

    The use of such bare bones evidence as what you presented does not show respect for the issue or for Muslims. Rather, such cherrypicking of the Quran and of the available evidence is often used to confirm and already held opinion.

  30. Janet says:

    Mark A. Yarhouse, a mental health practitioner, has written a book called: UNDERSTAND GENDER DYSHORIA: NAVIGATING TRANSGENDER ISSUES IN A CHANGING CULTURE (2015). The book review I read on it in the latest publication of Modern Reformation (editor Michael Horton) claims Yarhouse “…has given the church a resource of inestimable value as it seeks to proclaim and embody the good news of Christ to the gender dysphoric.” My copy is due to arrive in the post this week.

  31. Janet says:

    My apologies, the title of the book by Mark A. Yarhouse should read: UNDERSTANDING GENDER DYSPHORIA: NAVIGATING TRANSGENDER ISSUES IN A CHANGING CULTURE

  32. Erin says:

    The author seemed to really believe that it was simply untrue that a person who is a boy can wake up and think they are a girl- that their biology declares it to be true that they are one gender or another, and that for them to think otherwise is simply wrong- and sinful. He said that, “The idea that the whole world must accommodate my declared sense of self is soul-destroying, culture-poisoning folly and deserves to be treated as such.” He essentially made the statement that the “transgender agenda” ought to be lampooned, but the people ought to be loved.” This confuses me, because first of all, I don’t think the biology is always all that clear. What about hermaphrodites? And if it isn’t clear what God intended for hermaphrodites, may it also not be clear what God intended for transgender people who look into the mirror and feel like an alien in their own skin? I don’t think the bible is all that clear on this subject… written in a very different time period thousands of years ago, in a different language. While I believe the Bible to be the Living Word of God and wholly True, the statements involving cultural norms in the Bible must be interpreted very carefully, I think. I don’t claim to know the answer. But even if I did KNOW the answer, and the answer was that homosexuality and/or transgender (which isn’t the same thing) is a sin, what, exactly is the agenda of transgender people that we are supposed to be resisting here? Personally, I do not believe we can judge non-Christians by Christian standards. And I do not believe Christian morals should be made into US laws- I don’t think there is any biblical precedent for advocating that. God is about the heart, and the heart isn’t reached by making laws that tell you what to do and what not to do. Soo… I don’t know. This article seemed a bit political to me. If homosexuality is a sin, it is the same as any other sin, and all sin is soul destroying. Why not focus on the sins that affect far more people, like greed and selfishness? We can’t make a US law that no one is ever allowed to be selfish. It wouldn’t be able to be enforced, and at the end of the day, it wouldn’t actually help- you become less selfish by becoming more like Christ in your heart. Likewise, I don’t think it is the church’s job to make US laws about homosexuality. It won’t help. So… overall I felt the basis of this article was a little off.

  33. Bill says:

    To deny people’s right to be fulfilled in the way they are born is to deny life itself. As long as others are not hurt everyone has the inalienable right to seek a fulfilled life. Life or God has given each one of us the gift of life. If someone has a problem with the transgendered then the problem is with them not the trans person. Or the problem is the way you read God’s word. Or the problem is what you think the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. Do not judge let you be judged. Rather open you hearts and minds.

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

Kevin DeYoung's Books