This blog I had intended to be all about what the Bible says about being transgender. As I attempted to write the blog, I actually found very little in the scriptures about it.
Into the circular file with the first draft.
Then I thought I could discuss examples of gender variance, like eunuchs, found in the Bible. As I searched the Web, I found a lot of people have already discussed this topic so why do I need to add to all that?
Out the window went the second draft.
So, here I am sitting at my desk, facing a blank screen and wondering how I can express in some form of how I feel and what I believe on this whole topic. I am no theologian or expert on the scriptures and as I write this, there is one thing I don’t want this blog to sound like, a sermon.
I finally came to the conclusion that I will just talk to you about what God has taught me over the years from my own personal devotions in the hopes that you may find them useful as well.
There was one verse that caused me great distress as I was growing up. It is the one verse that seems to be the most used by those opposed to the idea that someone can be transgender or those who believe that being transgender is a sin. Deuteronomy 22:5 which says
“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”
What many who use this verse against the trans community fail to do is to put this verse into the context of the era in which it was written. At the time this book was written, the Israelite people were occupying a land that did not share in their belief of one true God. The Canaanites believed in multiple gods and had many rituals surrounding them. One of these rituals required men to dress as one of the goddesses and serve as prostitutes in her temple. The prohibition in Deut. 22:5 addresses one of the most visible acts of pagan idol worship of the time. God gave the law to create a separation between the Israelites and the pagan culture of the day. By following the law, people of the day could plainly see that the Israelites were different and did not believe in their pagan gods. When you put this verse into context, this law and many others from Deuteronomy have no context in today’s world.
Only in the last few years have I really started to be aware of how, even as Christians, we judge each other. I don’t care who you are, some time in your life you have been judged and have judge others. After being the victim of many peoples judgments about my decision, I have leaned on one scripture passage, James 4:10-12
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
If we disapprove of, condemn, denounce, judge or anything but love our neighbor, we sin in the eyes of God. My parents have lived out this passage for me. Whether or not my parents had any problem with my decision to transition, not once did they ever openly question it. Of course they had questions about the process, but through out the last 3 years, they have shown what they have ALWAYS shown to me, their love.
As I was growing up, one question was repeated time and time again in my prayers “If we believe in Christ, does it matter who or what we are?” The answer is plainly NO. God sees us as sons and daughters, all equal in his eyes. Galatians 3:26-29, I Samuel 16:7
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. Galatians 3:26-29
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7
You can be the President of the Untied States or the homeless man begging at the bottom of the ramp coming off the Kennedy Expressway, the CEO of Google or a woman that fled the oppression in Afghanistan, if you are in Christ, you are all children of God. God does not see us for our looks, our position in life or all the things we do. God does not look at whether we were born with a male body or female body. He sees us as our true selves. He sees our hearts. Are we humble? Are we caring? Are we loving our neighbor? This is what our hearts should be.
I think that instead of what God says or doesn’t say about being transgender is less important than what he says about how we treat and see each other. Who am I to tell anyone else what is and is not a sin? God has already done that through his word.
We are all God handy work. He has given, each and everyone of us, a unique combination of gifts. We are all his children. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Should we not focus on that?