Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What should Christians think about gender identity issues?

An interesting article from http://www.ucg.org/ about Transgendered people. This follows this post about mothers in American society. This follows this post about pain and related addictions. For a free magazine subscription or to get the books recommended for free click HERE! or call 1-888-886- 8632.

“Transgender” is an umbrella term for the many ways people experience a mismatch between their biological sex and their feelings of sexual identity. This is a complex and wide-ranging subject—physically, mentally and spiritually—that can’t be explained thoroughly in a short response. But there are some biblical principles to keep in mind.

What does the Bible say?

“God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). Two distinct genders is a fundamental and beautiful aspect of God’s creation. One’s chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs positively identify gender in most cases. (However, there are rare cases of physiological disorders and syndromes that occur during fetal development that create confusion in gender identity.)  It’s impossible to change one’s true identity with surgery and hormone injections (although surgery can be beneficial in some cases, such as when a person is born with both male and female sexual organs).
God’s will is for each person to appreciate and embrace his or her gender and to glorify God as a male or as a female. From observing God’s creation, He obviously loves variety, and He created human males and females to have a great variety of personalities, interests, aptitudes, talents, appearances, voices, body shapes, etc.
In the Bible, God forbids all sexual relations except those that are between a husband and wife who are married to each other. That rules out all immoral heterosexual acts (adultery and fornication) and homosexual acts (Leviticus 20:10-21; Romans 1:22-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:8-11). This is not the same subject as gender identity, but it often is related.
The Bible also forbids cross-dressing, which implies that God is highly displeased with deliberate efforts to be “transgender.” Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” Although what is considered menswear and womenswear is determined by each culture, this scripture is forbidding deliberate attempts to appear as one of the opposite sex. And 1 Corinthians 11:4-15 tells us that it is a shame for a woman’s hair to be short like a man’s and for a man’s hair to be long like a woman’s.
The overall point is this: God wants His people to do their best to avoid any confusion over gender identity.
If a person is feeling confusion and inner conflicts over their gender identity, that person should seek wise, loving, encouraging counsel and guidance with the goal of mental, emotional and spiritual healing. If the conflict is serious enough to seek the help of a psychotherapist, one should choose one who respects and believes the Bible. Even more valuable is a close relationship with God.
The ultimate source of all evil and destructive influences is Satan the devil and the demons. Satan is “the ruler of this world” and the “god of this age” who “deceives the whole world” (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; Revelation 12:9). The world is in spiritual darkness because “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 5:19). Significantly, when Adam and Eve succumbed to Satan’s deception, one of the immediate effects was their shame over their sexuality.
Satan hates God and hates all things godly, including the healthy sexuality of human beings that fosters marital love and produces children who can eventually be in God’s eternal Family. The marriage relationship between a man and a woman ultimately pictures the relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. This is a powerful concept to consider.
The Bible clearly differentiates between temptations to sin and the committing of sins (James 1:12-16). To have “feelings” of confusion and to experience temptations to adopt a lifestyle of the opposite sex (either temporarily or permanently) is not sinful. But when one gives in to temptation and does anything contrary to God’s will, it is sinful.
God’s people must follow the example of God to “hate sin but love the sinners.” While He was here on earth, Jesus was the perfect role model who never condoned sin but showed mercy and compassion toward everyone. He was especially loving toward anyone who was humble and teachable—anyone who was willing to learn and live by His teachings.
We must be warm and welcoming to anyone whom God is calling to be His son or daughter, anyone who is sincerely seeking to learn and obey God’s truth (John 6:44; John 6:63; Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 14:1). All of us have been guilty of many sins and we must extend grace to others—no matter what type of sin—as God has extended grace to us. And we should absolutely avoid gossip.
For anyone who has been confused about his or her sexual identity, we will guide the person to embrace and nurture the gender with which he or she was born. If the person has already done things that are irreversible, such as going through a sex change operation, we must not condemn or shun him. We will try to help the person figure out how to best live a life pleasing to God. We will also teach how to set the best possible example for others.

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  • Jacob Hitsman
    Thank you my brothers and sisters for providing a clear cut way to handle this issue of transgender. They use this term to justify homosexual behavior often saying he or she cannot help themselves if they were born the wrong sex.
    The advice you gave about seeking counseling both from God and from humans if necessary is wise counsel. The discussion about the chromosomes determining sex when the person is born with both sexes was very informative.
    Thank you also for drawing my attention to the Word of God stated in Deuteronomy 22:5 about cross dressing. I praise God and thank Him for the work He is doing in the midst of my brothers and sisters and they took the time to share this knowledge with me.
    Thank you Holy God and may your Kingdom come.
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