[Ed: They say a fine wine gets better with age, and I think that is true of this week’s Inspiration. This week’s Inspiration from Vicki was pre-empted by the lovely Christian messages for Palm and Easter Sunday, and then for another week by my crossdressing busy-ness. So without further ado, I present this week’s Inspiration for Crossdressing Christians. Take it away Vicki!]
“In the beginning God created.” From the first words of the Bible, we find the essence of accepting ourselves as cross-dressers, or gay persons, or two sexed persons, or just plain heterosexual persons with insecurities and doubts of their own. What does that mean, one may ask. Doesn’t it say later that a man should not dress as a woman, or that men’s lying with men is an abomination, or don’t work on the Sabbath, etc. Yes the Bible does say that, it in fact says many things that may often contradict other things in the Bible. Let’s worry about that later and quite honestly let’s just say this, and I believe that it is just this simple, In Christ, those concerns and restrictions are laid bare to make every human being take note and examine themselves, and then whisked away as one would a layer of dust on a coffee table on cleaning day.
What we as human beings need to do is look at the statement that God created, and realize, that He created everything and everybody. And in Light of Christ’s sacrifice we need to get back to that essential point and stop worrying about the rest of the laws and restrictions and look at those from the sense of the cultural implications and limited knowledge of the men of the day, and in light of the totality of the Biblical record, not cherry picked passages that support our own narrow sense of what it is that God intends.
In this first meditation my goal is to lay out three basic ideas that are presented to us in the Bible record. The caution here is to understand both for myself as author of these thoughts and you as readers and digesters, that oversimplification can be a dangerous path, but my hope is that in oversimplifying here, I can demonstrate the true nature of proper Scriptural reading, study, and meditation, and in that find hope and promise for the cross dresser, the Transgendered person, and others who feel condemned by preachers and teachers today, who use the Bible to advance an agenda that is not of God’s devising or desire. Simply put, it is time for God’s people, and God’s creation to take back for them God’s fulfilled promise to us all.
Today then, I will focus on God’s creative power, the concept of sin, and Christ, and to do it in less than 1500 words. Good Luck. But to involve any of these without the other is, at ones’ own peril, to live outside of God’s plan and contrary to God’s will. Again the caution is to not oversimplify and in coming weeks and months as the Spirit moves, we will possibly explore these and other concepts in more depth, but one must begin somewhere and for now this is it.
God’s Good Creation
In the beginning God created and God saw this was good. I think that this alone offers hope to anyone who lives perhaps on the edges or outside of the societal norm. As we will see later in the life of Christ and in the way He engaged the outsider, there is further validation, but for now, it is enough to begin with the idea that we were created by God. Each and every one of us, and that God has an interest in who we are, but more than that, He has purpose for the very things about us that make us unique and yes even different. If we can come to an understanding that God made us with a desire to dress differently, (hard to imagine a God interested in the fashion norms of any day and age), but that our very essence drives some of us to see ourselves as more than a male or a female.
It is hard to get away from that other creation image of Eve being made from the rib of Adam. What else could cross-dressing be then, but an attempt to recover a vital part of ourselves? Now taken literally this is a non scientific take on the evolution of the species, but there is nevertheless a nod to the idea that man and woman spring from the same source and how hard can it be to go to the next step and assume that the natural state of things is to be cognizant of this dual nature and embrace it, rather than suppress it at our own risk and perhaps contrary to the will of God.
But ultimately whether one takes the Genesis story literally or as an allegory to explain the unexplainable, we can all agree that God’s hand is at work in creation and that nothing He makes is bad. God saw that it was good. But our sinful nature can take what is good and make it bad, or contrary to God’s good purpose. We do this by our sins and by sins of others.
All Sin and Fall Short
The second piece of this large puzzle is that of sin and sin came into the world very early on. We read the story of sin and quite appropriately equate sin with temptation. In other words sin is seen by us as giving in to an impulse to do something that is outside of what is acceptable in God’s eyes. Yet what we have already seen is that what God has created is good, all of what God has created is good. So how could living in tune with the way God created us be sinful?
Read the words, and see what is happening here. (Insert Genesis 3) The serpent tempts Eve with one thing and one thing only, that to eat of the fruit of the tree is to become like God, and to know good and evil. There is so much that can be taken from that one passage alone, for now we’ll settle on this view; that original sin is at core, the desire to not only be like God, but to be God.
That is not what happens of course, the consequence is that we are stripped naked and like God we see ourselves for who we are. There may be a part of us that is not so pretty and that cause us consternation. But it is better for us if we decide not to see our own nakedness, it is better if one is worse than I am. If I point out the problem with that person, perhaps God will not see my sin.
It happens immediately, Adam blames Eve, who it must be pointed out by Adam was given to him by God. See which way the finger is pointing? And Eve is quick to blame the serpent, or the appealing nature of the tree that bears the fruit. It was the serpent’s fault, or the beauty of the tree, but it wasn’t me. And God you made those things so it must be your fault.
God did make all those things and He said to us, all of Eden is yours if you can resist the temptation to be me. Even today, it is not hard to find those who point fingers at others, at those even whom God made, so that the finger pointer will not suffer the consequences of their own sinful nature. While today we are less hesitant to blame God unless it is to invoke His wrath as the cause for trouble in the world. In a backhanded way, it is God who sent Aid’s to punish sinful gay men. Or so the moral minority would have us believe.
Even worse, we claim to know what God wants based on some outdated and very suspect words in the Bible, cherry picked out of the whole to point fingers away from us. We’ll use anything in God’s creation to place the blame or the gaze elsewhere.
God Restores the Good
God has seen all of this. After the fall in Eden, He gave His people some time to try and figure this out. He helped set up rules made by men to restore order to His world. But after all of that, after the wanderings, the homecoming, the victories of Israel’s armies and then bitter defeat, after kings both wise and foolish, it remained that man alone would not be able to do this. God, who loves His creation so completely and desires nothing more than that we love ourselves as much as He does took the ultimate step to reconcile His creation to Himself.
For God so loved the world, that He gave his beloved son Jesus Christ, so that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have eternal life. God acted to save us from ourselves. Still some cannot give up the desire to be God and judge for God what is right and what is wrong. I find it amazing on some Sunday mornings, when absent from my own church I, out of morbid curiosity tune in to one of the televangelists only to find them reading some passage from the Old Testament, read with the intent to condemn and not to save. The lesson always is, turn from the sin I’m telling you about here and then you will be pure in God’s eyes; again, this is something you must do before God will let you in.
Jesus, when He is mentioned is usually portrayed as some distant figure sitting on His throne in heaven, tallying up with the television crew, who has sent in their latest love gift to build a satellite dish somewhere in the world and proclaiming them now fit to rise to heaven on the last day; and who doesn’t. Or even worse as a person sitting on His throne disengaged from His creation, content to listen to praise songs and forgetful of His own command to love and feed His sheep.
But this is not God and this is not Christ. If you read Scripture with the intent to read it for the entire message it is hard to just simplify things. But it is that simple. Jesus lived and died to save us all from the desire to be God. His teachings are simple as well, love God, with everything that is in your being, and love your neighbor as yourself. As yourself. It begins with loving God; He is your creator and he asks nothing more of us than we do that, that we put Him first in our lives. But reverse the passage that follows for just a minute. Start with loving yourself, for loving your neighbor should proceed from that naturally if we do love God and ourselves.
God doesn’t want us to feel apart from Him. It is not His intent that who we are and who we were made to be should be a thing that separates us from God. If anything it should make us love Him more for creating something so unique, wonderful, and different. Turn the finger inward, but not in blame, but to find that which God has made. Love yourself, you are a unique creation of His and you have an important part to play in the rest of His Creation.
Lord God, You have made me and all that I am. Thank you for letting me see the beauty that is my whole and for not letting others decide for me how I should be. Because of your gifts to me, the way I am and the sacrifice of your son, I give myself back to you so that what you have made me for can be started and seen to its end. I know that I am a sinful creature as well, but that you have chosen to set that aside forever, again so that I may joyfully do that which you made me for. Allow my life to be a light to others. As in the words from my baptism: “Let your light so shine before others, that they see your good works and glorify the Father who is in Heaven” Most importantly God, let others who come to these meditations find firstly Your unconditional love, that they see their themselves as uniquely created by You, and that they accept without reservation or doubt, your love for them. In Jesus Name