Monday, November 30, 2015

Are Transgenders Like Terrible Nuclear Weapons?

            Some Christians slam the door in the face of transgenders. Apparently, Pope Francis compared transgenders to nuclear weapons because they do not recognize God’s order of creation [1].

            “Transgender” is an umbrella term for a man who considers himself a woman or a woman who thinks of herself as a man. They consider themselves as trapped in a wrong body.

            Former Olympic champion and pop celebrity Bruce Jenner, a man by birth, recently underwent sex reassignment to become a woman. Some Christian leaders deemed this gender transition as a sin against God. Some ultra-conservatives even hustle transgenders to hell.

            Intriguingly, the Bible is silent about transgenders. There is not a single reference that deems transgenderism as sinful.

            Why do some Christians consider transgenderism as sinful?

            God assigns our gender during our creation (cf. Genesis 1:27). Since our genders are assigned by our creator, any sex change endeavor is a violation against God’s creational intent.

            God’s design of mankind as male and female is consistently attacked by Satan. People with gender confusions succumb towards sex reassignment. Satan causes this gender confusion and the popular western culture endorses it, “We see the profound tension between God’s design and Satan’s attacks on this design. The Lord created man and woman and gives them specific roles to play for His glory; Satan targets man and woman and induces them to upend God’s design. God orders and structures; Satan tears down. God brings life; Satan destroys it. These tragic patterns are as old as the earth. They are not new, but they do morph with the times. Western culture is making good on this rebellion. It denies the distinctness of divine creation; it tears down the uniqueness of the sexes; and it rebels against the lordship of Jesus Christ. The wisdom and design of God is rejected, and the Word of God, in sum, is reviled”[2].

            When we succumb to Satan’s schemes, we sin against God.

            God does not make mistakes. Transgenders often develop “gender dysphoria” - a form of depression, during which they accuse God in anger and frustration for having trapped them in a wrong body. Dissatisfied transgenders ask, “how can I be a man yet feel like a woman?”

            Some consider man’s feelings as a cause of this problem than his body, “Traditionally, if a man felt like a woman yet inhabited a male body, his feelings, not his body, were viewed as the problem. They were considered something to be resisted, modified if possible, and contrary to what was” [3].

            Consider a similar instance where a person may feel worthless. A feeling of being worthless is not a valid thought because all mankind are made in the image of God. Hence every man and woman is precious in God’s sight. If we are precious in God’s sight, we cannot consider ourselves worthless.

            In both instances, our feeling is deceptive. God, a perfect being, cannot and would not commit mistakes. It is man who makes mistakes. Therefore, man’s negative thought that he/she is trapped in a wrong body ought to be dealt with and changed.

            Sex change does not provide satisfaction to transgenders. Let us, for a moment, assume the legitimacy of transgenders’ negative emotion - that they are indeed trapped in a wrong body. If transgenders are legitimate in their anger and frustration of being trapped in a wrong body, then a sex reassignment should offer them peace and satisfaction, isn’t it? 

            On the contrary, in many instances, sex reassignment failed to provide transgenders with the peace and satisfaction that they so desired for before sex reassignment. A study of 324 sex-reassigned persons (191 male-to-females, 133 female-to-males) in 2003 concluded that “Persons with transsexualism, after sex reassignment, have considerably higher risks for mortality, suicidal behaviour, and psychiatric morbidity [diseased state] than the general population. Our findings suggest that sex reassignment, although alleviating gender dysphoria, may not suffice as treatment for transsexualism”[4].

            If sex reassignment does not alleviate the pain of transgenders, then their frustration, anger and negative emotion of being trapped in a wrong body is invalid.

            Can we endorse or justify transgenderism since Bible remains explicitly silent on this subject?

            Any act that violates God is a sin even if Bible is silent about that very act. Consider pornography as a case in point.

            Pornography cannot be justified because of a lack of direct reference to pornography as a sin in Bible. But various passages in the Bible implicitly deems pornography as sinful (e.g. Matthew 5:27-28; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Colossians 3:5).

            In the same manner, the consideration that transgenderism is a sinful act is indeed credible, for transgenderism violates God’s creational intent.  

            Would practicing transgenders go to hell?

            By virtue of our repentance and belief in Christ, we are washed clean of all our sins by the blood of our crucified and risen Savior. Hence, transgenders, who consider themselves as sinful humans but washed clean by the blood of the Savior through their faith in Christ, will not go to hell.

            But if a transgender considers the act of sex reassignment as not sinful, then there is a certain danger, for there is sufficient evidence that transgenderism violates God’s creational intent.

            However, I believe that it is not for us to determine who goes to hell especially when the Bible is silent on that very matter.

            How then should a repented transgender live?

            Consider a man, who underwent a sex reassignment surgery to become a woman. If this person genuinely repented, he would live as a man and not as a woman i.e. he would live in his birth-gender. 

            How should Christians respond to transgenders?

            Love them unconditionally. This is essential. Insults and ridicule should be avoided.

            If a transgender considers the act of sex reassignment as not sinful, then we ought to graciously point them towards reality. The reality is that transgenderism violates God’s creational intent, hence it is sinful. Any sinful act would be forgiven upon repentance.

            How should Christians respond to transgenders considering sex reassignment?

            Explain why transgenderism is a sin against God. Inform them that sex reassignment does not actually change a person’s gender, for their birth gender DNA remains absolutely intact, despite the sex change surgery.

            Sex reassignment may make one feel like a man or a woman but in reality they are not that gender into which they have surgically transitioned into, “The only thing the surgeon can change is the medical record, birth records and the perception that a change took place on the operating table. A DNA test would prove no sex change took place. Sex change regret may come years later when you understand the surgery did not make you a female or change your DNA gender/sex” [5].

            Significantly, depression in the individual before the sex change surgery could remain intact after the surgery. Moreover, their actual gender does not change with the surgery for their birth DNA remains absolute. Therefore, transgenders ought to look to Christ for their inner healing. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can set us free.


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