Christianity today comes up short for the transgender community

Christianity Today attempts to address how Christian leadership should treat the transgendered, but fails both in their compassion for people who are transgendered, and their interpretation of God’s Word. They begin by describing the situation John Nemecek found himself in –  a former Baptist Pastor and long time dean at the Spring Arbor University had struggled for years with his gender identity. When he finally accepted his identity as a woman and found peace, he was fired from his job.

They demonstrate very clearly their lack of understanding by deriding what they term “liberal religious groups”, and say that “transgender impulses … don’t match up with the Christian sexual ethic.” I’ve been a Christian for most of my life and have no idea what the “Christian sexual ethic” is. Is it perhaps the ethic that rails against interracial marriage, or is the one that ensures woman are kept in their rightful place at home? It seems to me that the ‘Christian sexual ethic’ is conveniently defined to be whatever the conservative Christian community feels comfortable with this century.

Despite the paucity of their understanding of what God’s Word says about the transgendered, they do accurately recognize that a church community is likely to feel tension between welcoming us into their church, and keeping the peace with long standing church members. This is the unfortunate reality that we live in today.

I honestly think it is disgusting for conservative organizations to comment that we’re “wacky” and “radical”. I know very few transgendered folks who didn’t struggle for years to “be normal”.

“The transgender lobby is following the example of the homosexual lobby in that they are co-opting the language of the civil rights movement in order to push their own radical and wacky agenda,”

We are not a “violation of natural law” as some conservative Christian’s would have you believe. I do strongly believe that God can do anything, and should He choose to make us feel whole in the body we were born with, it is well within His power.

I am deeply angered by self righteous Christian who claim to know God’s word, yet they only choose to obey the commandments they conveniently self-selected.

Addendum:

After reading many of the comments on their website I’m heartened by the love, compassion and understanding so many of their readers have shown. I remain hopeful that if we would give it a chance, the love of Jesus Christ would shine through us all.

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14 Comments
  1. Peterson Toscano 12 years ago

    Okay, CT has this whole long article quoting both anti-LGBT and pro-LGBT people who assert the Bible has nothing to say about transgender people and they never once mention eunuchs? The whole story of Esther would fall apart if it were not for the surgically altered gender variant eunuchs. But beyond eunuchs, there are plenty of other individuals that good Biblical exegesis reveals as gender variant.

    Ah, there is work to be done to help Christians read this Bible they think they know so well. Not only are there trans folks in the Bible, but they serve as the most important people in some of the most important stories in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

    Thanks for your post!

    • jenni 10 years ago

      I’m a Christian woman who happens to have formerly been a male to female transsexual.

      Sadly there is much prejudice against persons like us. Often individuals will try to use the Bible and Christianity to support their prejudices and to discriminate against us based on those prejudices.

      They say it is a sin for a person to change gender, yet there is no scriptural basis for saying so. There is nothing in the Bible that opposes my being a woman, so it is not a sin for me to continue living my life as the woman I am.

      I am absolutely certain that I am free to marry a Christian man without sinning (at least in any area relating to the status of my present and former gender).

      Let us briefly assume, for the sake of argument, that it would be a sin for a transwoman and a man to be married, and that I marry my fiancé without him knowing about my past, God would judge him in relation to his heart, so there is absolutely no possibility that he could be sinning (with regard to my being transsexual) when we consummate our marriage, because his thoughts and intentions would be pure.

      Now, since we have proven at least one circumstance that God could allow a man to marry a transsexual woman without him committing sin, is it really that difficult to understand that it would not be a sin for us to be joined in marriage even if my fiancé did know about my past? It is not a sin for us in this case either, because God would judge us in relation to our hearts.

      And my two cents to Bill, if you become a woman, you would not be living a lie, nor would it be a lie to present yourself as a woman. Be yourself.

      God bless, my friends.

      • Vanessa Law 10 years ago

        Hi Jenni,
        Unfortunately what you say is so true. I think the remarkable insight in your comment is ‘They say it is a sin’. Them, not God. They say lots of things are sins, but that doesn’t make it so.

  2. Allyson 12 years ago

    Thanks for jumping on this so quickly, Vanessa. The one good thing that might come from CT’s sadly predictable article is the broader conversation it will generate in evangelical culture. Your voice is one of the first in that conversation!

  3. Bill 11 years ago

    From a Christian perspective are trans gendered people ever going to be accepted? I don’t think so. I have been struggling with this issue off and on for years and I have studied it extensively over the past two years. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The whole book of First John gives us a really good indication as to what a saved person looks like versus the unsaved. 1 cor 6:9-11 is brutally honest about how things are in Gods economy. “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. What the heck am I as a crossdresser supposed to do with this verse? Either in Greek or English it says the same thing. Any who fall into these categories are screwed and we all as human beings fall into these categories. We are born in sin period. We are fallen people born to fallen parents living in a fallen world. I was born to alcoholic parents and through nature or nurture was given an effeminate heart. I lied to myself about my condition and over compensated to the extreme to all the world I was a mans man, but in my heart i was half and half. I drank and fornicated treating women like dogs and became the very thing I hated. Now at forty five by the grace of God through faith in Christ I am no longer any of those, but now the struggle with my feminine side enters the fray. Can i present myself to the world as a woman and not be in sin? Once again if I do this I become a liar and will not inherit the kingdom. I repented of alcoholism and it left me I repented of blasphemy(using God’s name as a cussword} and I only occaisionally slip up. The honesty thing is getting tough because if I deny that these feelings exist then I lie to protect my name and if I go with them i lie to the world about my gender. God is sovereign and does not make mistakes. I was given a penis for a reason. I was given my psyche for a reason. He in his mercy has seen fit to save me through the death and resurection of His son Jesus. The point of this rambling tirade is this: If I as an individual am so conflicted about this then how can the church and it’s people not be conflicted about this. For my own salvation I have chosen to err on the side of caution. I will not crossdress publically or privately because I do not want to grieve God by my actions. This life is short. Christ specifically says if you love me keep my commandments. Obedience is God’s love language. It is my personal conviction that if I deny myself and take up my cross daily then better things lie ahead. We as Christians Should put what God wants ahead of our own desires. We should then place the needs of others ahead of ourselves. Lastly our own wants and needs come into play. What has bothered me about most of the posts in the Christian section of this blog is that it is all about me. How can I make God fit into what I want? You can’t He created you and He decides the rules. Practicing GLBT’s may find acceptance in churches where the word of God isn’t being preached, but they will never find acceptance where it is. It is not the people who are intolerant of these things it is simply that God’s word is extremely plain about it. Repentant GLBT’s will find acceptance and help with the struggle. Food for thought. I was born with a predisposition to be a drunk. Science has found a genetic link to alcoholism. Since I was born that way does it mean I should have the rights and privileges under the law to act however I want, even to the point of redefining tolerance in our society to mean everyone must validate my drunkeness or be guilty of a hate crime? No that is preposterous. Yet the GLBT’s want everyone to validate them. Reality says it’s not going to happen. We are tolerated that is for the most part allowed to chose how we live. Just because I was born with the desire to act like a girl does not give me the right to inflict it on those who are uncomfortable with it. For this life I have been given a role to play. That role is male. I may not like it but if I am going to honor the One who created me I must accept it and know in heaven I may be female, or Heaven will be so amazing that none of this matters. As a man who has struggled with this issue for forty years I am not unsypathetic. I love all of you and understand that all of us have struggled with this. God’s word says what it says and we obey or disregard it. Love in Christ Bill

    • Keki 10 years ago

      Dear Bill,
      Thank you for sharing your struggle. As a married man, I too struggle with wanting to be a girl and to dress as one. In secret, I have done so and acted as a girl. But then God seems to remind me that he made me a man for a reason. As a girl I would have the following: messy periods, men constantly wanting to use me as a sex toy, the fear of getting gang raped; th possibility of ucomforatbly getting pregnant for 9 months (but also joy), and the pain of childbirth. That helps me to give thanks that I am a man. Most women in Africa and Asia would think us crazy to want to be women and endure the problems they have. So I come out with the same conclusions as you but am still dismayed when in prayer I feel great peace and hear a voice saying,”You are my little girl.” Perhaps I and all of us are being deceived by evil spirits which the Bible and my experience in Africa and USA show as real and powerful. Let us pray to know the truth and the truth will set us free.
      Love you all and praying for us as God’s creation.
      Keki

  4. Olivia 10 years ago

    Transsexualism is not a sin. Here are my reasons:
    In OT law we do not follow most of the 613 laws laid out by moses and the early rabbi’s. If we did follow the transvestite rule women cannot wear pants. Not to mention clothing is subject to culture. Secondly I am Bi Polar, God did not make me have it, it is a result of sin in the world. There are hermaphrodites of the body, why not the mind? To assume God makes people with mistakes like downsyndrome is blasphemous. Sin is always an issue of the heart therefore if a transwoman marries a man it is not homosexuality because neither are marrying the same sex in spirit. God understands. Though genetically yes they are both male Sin is an issue of the heart. Look at what Jesus said about sin. I rest my case. And as a transwoman I hate how christians are judging me, some of my closest friends for beginning the process of hrt

  5. J.C. 9 years ago

    Regarding Christians and crossdressing, it seems that the area is very grey. Unfortunately, that grey area is where Satan likes to play the most; where he can easily make a mess of our lives through half truths and strong emotions. Like everyone else on here, I imagine, I have felt an encredibly strong desire to be female ever since I was a young child. I have bounced back and forth my whole life with crossdressing/transexual desires. Like many of you, I just couldn’t see how God could create me with the wrong body (male) for my mind (simingly female) and it be considered a sin. It just didn’t add up, and ultimately led to me becoming at atheist for several years. During those years I continued to live my life as male and struggled with my latent female idintety. I would urge and I would purge and then repeat the cycle over and over again, all the while desperately searching for answers. Finally, one day, I got the answer that I wanted. Up to this point I had seen enough unexpalinable coincidences that I had changed my world view to fundamental agnostic, being able to admit that something was out there beyond us. With this in mind, I found an article online by a transwoman explaining how according to deutaronomy 22:5, crossdressing was “an abomination in the sight of the Lord.” Pretty tough to swallow, but made much easier by the fact that Christ came and died for my sins. He abolished the mosaic law, therefore I was off the hook. It didn’t mater if I crossdressed or persued a sexchange. Because of Christ, I was not tied to old testament law! This was the woman’s logic and it was enough for me. This was all I needed to know. I decided right then that I was going to get a sex change. I was going to start living as a woman full time. The next day I was driving to the next town over to buy a new wardrobe and I remeber telling God that finally I understood. I saw why I was created transexual and I understood my purpose. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God was going to allow me to be female. Then someting odd happened. Instead of buying a new wardrobe of women’s clothes, I found myself being drawn into a christian bookstore. As I pulled up, a small white car pulled up beside me and a young man got out. As he walked, I noticed he had an efimanate gait about him. He walked up to the door of the store, and held it open for me as I walked in. I roamed around in that store for a while looking at the plaques and movies and books, untill finally I found myself stepping into the bible section. Then something really weird happened. I felt a power wash over me unlike anything I ever felt before. Pure joy. It was the holy spirit. It prompted me to open a bible. I did just that. I opened it randomly and found my self in Job at chapter 38 verse 1. ” 1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
    Then He showed me Job 39 with it’s allusions to feminine roles and lifestyles: 1 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn? 2 Do you count the months till they bear? Do you know the time they give birth? 3 They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended. 4 Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return.” It goes on even further than that if you would like to read it. It was at this point that I knew I was a man. It didn’t matter what my desires told me. God crated me as a man. That was the role He wanted me to live in. It was the life He designed for me. Since that time, I have crosdressed once. The urges have been there, as strong as ever, but I refuse to budge. God created me to be more that my urges. He gave me the gift of His Son’s death and love to act as a beacon for me to follow and hold onto. I don’t believe I’ll ever go back. I don’t want to go back. Furthermore, I think that if God loves us from the time we are small children and guides us from the very beginning, than it is completely within reason to think that Satan- in an effort to disrupt God’s divine plan- will start tempting us from a very early age. Before we’re even aware he exists he’s hitting that button in our developing minds giving us alternate ideas. Hit the button early enough and often enough and a person is going to assume it’s the truth. As I have fought my battles, I began to think harder and harder about my transgendered idintity: Was it that I wanted to be female, or is it that the desire wants me? Either way, I have come to recognize that desire as being corrupted feeling; a rusted and tainted version of the Holy Spirit. And I choose to give it to Christ every time it comes up. He hasn’t failed me yet. God’s in control no matter what. But this is just my story. I would urge any one of you to have a long conversation with God. I’m not going to tell you that what has happened to me is the right thing for you. All I am is a beacon. Only God knows for sure what His plans are for you. But Give Him enough time, and He will answer. God bless.

  6. Ejura 8 years ago

    I just need to be clear on something:

    Imagine a world were science has no solution to sex change.
    What would happen to a woman who wants to be a man or vice versa?
    I’ve read that some would take their own lives if they couldn’t live in the body they so desired.

    I don’t want to judge anyone but I just don’t understand it.

    The bible which is our manual as christians lets me know God is light, there is no darkness in Him. He is always right; Psalm 139 tells me how He formed me in my mother’s womb, knit me together.

    Now, becoming a man after God in His wisdom made you a woman or vice versa, isn’t that negating God’s words by telling Him, He didn’t know what He was up to when He made you? He mistakeny gave you a penis when you were supposed to have a vagina?

    How can you serve someone you do not trust? If you trusted Him on the gender He gave you, would you have it changed?

    In Africa, we don’t have these kind of issues…at least non that I know off; unfortunatley it probably would seep in soon since we are all so hung up on the western world.

    Still, I know God is merciful. I consider this a sin but “lying” is also a sin. And the bible looks upon all sin as sin regardless of its degree of “evil”.

    I’m sure you’ll all wonderful people; we know in part now but eventually the truth would be revealed.

    Peace.

  7. ejura 8 years ago

    “For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
    14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
    16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
    17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
    18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of s
    when I awake, I am still with you. ”

    Excerpt from Psalm 139.

    Really America, what’s going on with you guys? Maybe you need to visit Africa to get in tune again with what’s important and what’s not. That sex change you pay for would do wonders for some impoverished kids down here…

    God bless.

    • Vanessa Law 8 years ago

      Hi hon,
      I welcome discussion and differing opinions. I noticed you posted the above 4 times. I deleted 3 of them, and left this one up [glitch in commenting system?]

      God gave me my gender. I’m blessed (cursed?) to have two, and to experience life as both a man and a woman. Despite all the hardships, I believe this was the life journey I was meant to take. I have learnt much and grown tremendously as a person.

      Africa has many issues. It breaks my heart when I see gay people tortured and maimed. I weep when I hear about ‘corrective rape’ even in the most developed country in Africa, South Africa. Africa has it’s share of hate, poverty and desperation. There are also many in Africa suffering from gender dysphoria (I hear there cries for help often on this website).

      To your comment about money for sex change being used to help people in Africa, you should also tell the person who bought a $2m house, or the family that lives on junk food and requires $100K in surgeries because they didn’t care for their diabetes, or the smoker who burns $100s a month and requires expensive care for their lung cancer. We all have a choice how we invest our money, but aligning our inner and outer gender is the difference between life and death for many.

      I urge you to consider your own generosity before you judge others.

  8. JB 6 years ago

    I came across this website by accident and just wanted to put in my feelings.

    I’m a straight, male, Christian.The fact that people are dedicating themselves as Christians is surely the only point here?

    We are all welcome. We can get into long and destructive arguments on scripture or we can look at the words of Jesus himself:

    29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

    Show love to your fellow brothers and sisters. The one thing that can destroy us is hate and misunderstanding. If anyone male or female, gay, bi, trans or straight walks into your church show them love in the name of Jesus Christ.

    As for quoting Deutoronomy and leviticus, do you really wish to go back to the old covenant or do you wish to live in the new covenant of Christ?

    With love to you all brothers and sisters.

  9. Cee Francis 2 years ago

    I feel the strong frustration, anger and deep pain of non-acceptance to a faith based community where all you want to do is praise our Lord and love others as we are commanded to do. I just want to offer you all my love and Im sorry you must deal with this. I see how emotionally hard it is on your hearts. Love can conquer all if given a chance✨

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