Practical Theology: Sex Changes and the Post-Salvation Life

by Ethan Moore on December 16, 2013 · 115 comments

Mixed-up sexuality is a pretty big thing in the Deaf community here in Ecuador.  We have men dressing as girls, entering beauty pageants with glittering dresses and fabulous hair.  Lesbians abound as well, forming their own soccer teams and voting blocks in the Deaf clubs and associations.  We’ve even got a small pocket of folks who have gone so far as to have surgery and injections and counseling in order to acquire a new gender that they prefer more than the one they had at birth.

About six months ago, I became aware of a man who had become a woman through the surgical/hormonal route.  He saved his money for years, had the process done…and then found Christ; reportedly, at least.  I’ve not yet met him…or her, whichever it’s supposed to be.  I have, though, been privy to a debate on the subject.

Some Deaf Christians here believe that in order to fully turn from his sin, the newly-minted “woman” should do a surgical U-turn and return to the gender of his birth.  Others argue that economic issues make such a re-assignment impossible.  After all, he hoarded for years before being able to afford the original change; how much longer would he have to scrimp and save?  Would he continue being a disobedient child of the King in the meantime?

Well?  Anyone confident enough to solve our dilemma?

1 Tammy Rainey December 16, 2013 at 8:55 am

The question is built on a faulty premise, which is why there is no obvious( on the surface) answer. The flawed premise being the traditional notion that gender transition is sinful. This belief is nothing more than cultural tradition and there is no firm theological basis for it at all.

First, let’s divorce the issue from homosexuality, with which it is often erroneously confused. They are entirely separate phenomena. Second, looking at Scripture there are only two or three verse in all the Bible that address cross-gender behavior, and all but one of these have legitimate questions about what precisely is meant. The exception, the notorious verse in Leviticus, speaks nothing to the possibility of a legitimate biological condition which was unknown in Biblical times (indeed, unknown even 100 years ago) but has a specific context related to behavior. (as do the others, by the way)

One may legitimately debate what this context is, and may even go so far as to condemn the morality of “crossdressing” as a recreational activity – but to condemn transsexuals based on such scant Biblical evidence is unwise.

Of course, many traditional Christians will dispute the claim of biological origins for transsexualism, and space here does not allow a full exposition of the subject. But in the absence of that, let me offer a bit of logical reasoning that doesn’t require advanced scientific knowledge to follow. There are three things which are known scientific facts, which not even the most ardently traditionalist person disputes, and collectively they imply an obvious conclusion:

1. People are born with birth defects affecting their brain. (e.g. autism, et al)
2. people are born with birth defects affecting all the sex-specific regions of the body, from the genital organs all the way done to their very chromosomes. (i.e. intersex people, what were once described as “hermaphrodite”)
3. The human brain is a sex specific organ. That is the male brain is physically and functionally different than the female brain.

Collectively, these facts demonstrate that not only is it possible for one to be born with a birth defect affecting the brain in it’s sex-specific nature, but indeed it would be inevitable that this would happen. Do we, as Christians, say to such people that their birth defect must go untreated and their lives be miserable thereby, because of a few vague verses in all of Scripture? it seems to me that the Bible says far more about love and compassion for your fellow human being than it does about policing their gender-specific behavior.

So, in answer to your question: the person in question has not sinned by transitioning, and has nothing to repent of in that regard now. She (and it IS she, not “it” which is a very unchristian and unloving way to refer to her) should be at peace knowing God has not condemned her for addressing a legitimate medical issue. it is certainly possible to be an honorable Christian woman post-transition.

As for the argument that it is a “chosen lifestyle” – beyond all that I’ve already stated, surely a thoughtful person can consider that inviting upon ones self massive financial burdens, many hours of intense pain, and the scorn and derision of many of your fellow human beings is not something people are likely to do as a whim or a fetish. it is true that on very rare occasion (less so statistically than for other major surgeries) people transition gender as a response to other unrelated mental illness and come to regret it. But these exceptions do not undermine the legitimacy of the phenomena any more than the occasional child-molesting minister undermines the legitimacy of all ministers.

Please prayerfully consider whether what you believe on this subject is a reflection of God’s revealed will, or a reflection of the biases of flawed human beings embodied in cultural traditions.

2 Jeremy Parks December 16, 2013 at 8:03 pm

First – you’ve given a thoughtful answer. Thank you.

I’m curious about an initial assertion you’ve made: homosexuality is a separate issue from gender choices. From what I have seen locally, the decision to change genders comes only after an extended period of homosexual activity. There would seem to be some correlation. Do you have some kind of substantiation for the claim that they are separate issues? I mean, from a neutral source?

The reason I begin here is that if the two concepts are connected, then the prohibition of homosexuality would seem to extend to gender changes. We could potentially end the discussion at that point. If they are truly separate issues, then we’ll have to keep going.

Thanks for interacting.

3 Tammy Rainey December 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm

There are several different things at work here.

First, let’s consider the fact that – while hard stats about the trans community are incredibly difficult to come by, because so many are terrified to be open about their condition – something on the order of 40% of post-transition male-to-female transsexuals identify as lesbians. Clearly these are not men who were at any point oriented towards men. contrast this with the incidence of lesbianism in the general population.

Second, another relatively large segment, when contrasted to the general population, become asexual and have no inclination for intimacy with either gender.

Now as considering those which remain, it’s helpful to consider it from their point of view. We speak of a person whose internal sense of self is female. For her, attraction to men IS heterosexuality and the hindering factor is the matter of an unfortunate anomaly of birth. I suppose it could be argued that for those who remain oriented towards women that homosexuality is an issue, depending on whether or not your respect there female gender identity.

(also, all these are true of female-to-male transsexuals as well)

Beyond that, consider this: do you identify your maleness by virtue of who you want to have sex with? does attraction to women make you male? does the typical homosexual struggle with gender identity? (the answer to that is NO. Despite some displaying some effeminate traits – not exclusive to homosexuals by the way – not only would most homosexuals fiercely reject the idea of being female but many of them are more “disgusted” by trans people than Traditional Christians are). Transsexualism is very much about how you precieve your SELF, not at all about sexual desire.

As for explaining the phenomena you observe, it’s actually an instructive point: for many transsexuals, homosexuality serves as a “last stage of the closet.” Trans people are well aware that they are the LEAST respected variation of humanity on the planet. This is changing somewhat among those 25 and under, but for those who are older, you spend your whole life fighting tooth and nail against the idea that you are THAT sort of “freak” – even if that means attempting to find an outlet for your issues by being “just” a gay man.

Transition is an astonishingly expensive, painful, and as the world sees it, shaming experience. The one who resorts to homosexuality is basically “doing anything” to avoid the reality of being trans. A great many others just choose suicide.

I should be clear here: I find the traditional view that all homosexual relationships are by definition sinful to be an issue that also has room for differing theology (just as Christian denominations differ on in their interpretation of a huge number of points – it is illogical that the one thing god was MOST clear about was sex) however, it is my experience that for many Christians, once homosexuality gets tangled up in an issue they lose a lot of their reason and it’s difficult to discuss the issue at hand. I choose not to debate the issue of homosexuality in a theological context because I see reasonable points on both sides.

And bad behavior on both sides. Bottom line, while one can disapprove of the trans person using homosexual acts as a coping mechanism, that does not necessarily mean the issues are one and the same.

4 cb scott December 17, 2013 at 12:58 pm

“I should be clear here: I find the traditional view that all homosexual relationships are by definition sinful to be an issue that also has room for differing theology”

The Bible is very clear. All homosexual relationships involving sexual activity are sinful. Period. No exceptions.

The Bible is very clear. All heterosexual relationships involving sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman are sinful. Period. No exceptions.

5 Greg Harvey December 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm

I don’t usually find a reason to add to something CB says, but this time I’d like to point out that his comments include Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount that treated adulterous thoughts as the same as law-breaking sinful activity.

6 cb scott December 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Greg Harvey,

You are right as the rain.

7 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Again, and i am not here to debate homosexuality, consider the logic:

Christians disagree vigerously among themselves about the very nature and method of salvation itself. all studying the same revelation and sincerly seeking to serve the same God and exercising the same human reasoning.

and for the most part they respect each other’s right to disagree.

On the other hand, most of them argue that there can be no legitimate dissent from the idea that homosexuality is sinful.

The direct implication is that in your view God was willing to allow humans to be unclear on how they come to know him, but was very careful to be sure there was no doubt about how he wanted them to have sex.

Does that seem logical to you? It doesn’t to me.

8 Dale Pugh December 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm

In addition, to what SEC CB and Greg say here, we have a verse from Deuteronomy 22:5 that says, “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear woman’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.” Seems to me that if clothing is such a big issue to God then genitalia might be also. Just sayin’……..
(And, no, I’m not arguing that women shouldn’t wear pants.)
By the way, Tammy, just because you don’t think it’s logical doesn’t mean you get to change what the Bible says. As to salvation, there is only one clear path to follow: “If you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). The fact is that the lifestyle follows.
I suppose, though, that when we’re looking for excuses for our wrong and sinful behavior, any excuse will do. I know that I’ve done it, and it looks to me like that’s what you’re doing.

9 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Dale, lets keep in mind that God calls us to use the gift of reasons he’s given us, not to blindly follow. furthermore, he specifically condemned the temptation to supplant tradition for truth.

That said, bringing up the clothes is a very good point. Many sincere thoughtful Christians DO believe that it’s sinful for a woman to wear pants, and point to this scripture among others to support that. For the most part other Christians respectfully disagree but do not get strident over that disagreement. This illustrates that an “obvious” Scripture nevertheless leads to divergent doctrine.

Which is my point. I’m not trying to suggest homosexuality is not sinful, but rather to suggest the perfectly reasonable idea that sex was not the one thing in all of human existence that God choose to be unmistakeable clear about. By all means, follow the doctrine that seems reasonable to you in light of Scripture, but don’t be so arrogant as to assume no other view is possible without it being an act of “rationalizing sin”

Nor does it mean such a one is changing what the Bible says, they just understand it differently based on the same factors you use (I assume) to seek God’s will. If Christians can disagree about, well, pretty much EVERYTHING and we understand that this arises because we imperfect humans are flawed in our understanding, and any preacher will tell you that no one is right on every single point….then why is sex the exception to that principle? why is it that the one who understands that passage on this one point a person who’s trying to excuse their own sin? What of the person who’s not a homosexual but does not understand those verses as you do?

10 Dale Pugh December 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

Tammy, you’re right, of course, that we disagree on some things within the kingdom of God. However, I would point out to you that sexual sin of ALL types are, in fact, clearly addressed in scripture. Your attempts to make sexuality a matter of reason over against rightness are a little ridiculous.
By the way, are you a man masquerading as a woman?

11 cb scott December 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm

“Dale, lets keep in mind that God calls us to use the gift of reasons he’s given us, not to blindly follow.”

Actually, God has called us to die to ourselves, take up the cross, and follow Jesus. Jesus stated very plainly that He is the only way to salvation. Jesus did not come to show us a way of salvation. Jesus is salvation.

“The direct implication is that in your view God was willing to allow humans to be unclear on how they come to know him, but was very careful to be sure there was no doubt about how he wanted them to have sex.”

No. God is not “willing to allow humans to be unclear on how they come to know Him.” God was and still is very specific as to how humans come to know Him.

God’s Word is very plain about the way of salvation. Men, women, girls, and boys who recognize they are sinners before a just and righteous God who repent and believe the biblical gospel shall be saved. Those who do not do exactly that are lost and hopelessly so, and will continue to be so no matter what they may try to do to earn God’s grace. There is only one way to become a child of God. Any way other than according to the revealed gospel of Christ is false. Salvation is in Christ and Christ alone.

Being sincere means only one thing. it means you are sincere. It does not mean you are a child of God.

12 cb scott December 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

“The direct implication is that in your view God was willing to allow humans to be unclear on how they come to know him, but was very careful to be sure there was no doubt about how he wanted them to have sex.”

Actually, God was extremely careful in how He created human males and human females as to how He wanted them to have sex. There has never been any real doubt about that to a “rationally” minded person. The way is entirely “reasonable” and is actually the only way that is in any way rational. Any other way makes no sense at all. It is just simply not rational.

He was and still is very, very clear about whom He wanted males and females to have sex. He wanted males to marry females and then have sex. It really is pretty simple. It is not really complicated at all. Sinful humanity has really messed up God’s rational plan by being irrationally sinful.

13 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm

“Tammy, you’re right, of course, that we disagree on some things within the kingdom of God. However, I would point out to you that sexual sin of ALL types are, in fact, clearly addressed in scripture.”

You realize that you just re-stated the exact same principle i called into question don’t you? Can you account for the thesis that God’s first priority in his revelation to mankind was to be absolutely clear about the proper use of the genitals?

“Your attempts to make sexuality a matter of reason over against rightness are a little ridiculous.”

Not sexuality, but sound doctrine – and sound doctrine should ALWAYS be informed by both reason and righteousness. God did not call you to turn off your brain. How will you ever know God’s will if you do not employ sound reasoning? just go with what the preacher tells you?

“By the way, are you a man masquerading as a woman?”

By the way, your question is irrelevant to the discussion and does not in any way address the points I’ve raised. I certainly hope that you have more than that to offer to the conversation.

14 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 9:15 pm

“God was and still is very specific as to how humans come to know Him.”

And yet – whole Christian denominations made up of millions of people disagree with other whole Christian denominations made up of millions of people on what the fine details of that process are.

This doesn’t tell you anything?

15 cb scott December 17, 2013 at 10:18 pm

“This dosen’t tell you something?”

Tammy Rainey,

Yes it does tell me something.

It tells me that Jesus, as always, was absolutely right when He stated:

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Denominations have not determined and do not currently determine how a person comes to know God.

That was determined prior to the foundations of the earth and any and all existence. It is in Christ and Christ alone. sinners must repent and believe the biblical gospel to be saved. There is no other way.

16 Dale Pugh December 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Tammy, in looking at your blog, I’d say that the question I asked is not irrelevant to the discussion but is at the very heart of the discussion. You are a man. You’ve turned yourself into a woman. God didn’t do this to you. You did it to yourself. And that’s your problem. You think that because you “feel” something that it’s just okay for you to do it. You ignore the clear teachings of scripture. You come here with your “rationale” and “reason” parading it as a superior thought process. It isn’t. You’ve succumbed to the judgment of Romans 1, I’m sorry to say.
Whatever I may offer that isn’t good enough for you is of little consequence. What God has offered you is something you’ve obviously rejected. You’ve thwarted His plan and purpose for your life. You’re wrong. Biblically, spiritually, physically, scientifically, morally–any way you want to look at it, you’re wrong. I would hope that you’d bring something more than THAT to the conversation. But you don’t. You can’t. You’ve been blinded by your own passions and desires. And now you’re trying to justify it by pretending to have some theological, psychological and spiritual understanding that the rest of us don’t. Please, give it a rest.

17 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 11:27 pm

“That was determined prior to the foundations of the earth and any and all existence. It is in Christ and Christ alone. sinners must repent and believe the biblical gospel to be saved. There is no other way. ”

Which is a point not in dispute. the question on the table is this: do you acknowledge or deny the assertion that fallen and flawed human beings are incapable of achieving, in this life a certain knowledge of the absolute truth as revealed by God? In short, is it not true that everyone’s theology is flawed on some point or other?

Again, for crystal clarity – what the truth IS has not been in dispute, how well humans understand it is the point in question.

18 Tammy Rainey December 18, 2013 at 12:08 am

Dale, assertions made without even an attempt at supporting the assertions with evidence are not really worthy of much respect. You seem to be under the impression that simply asserting “you are wrong” is enough to conclusively win the debate.

It’s not.
—–
“Tammy, in looking at your blog, I’d say that the question I asked is not irrelevant to the discussion but is at the very heart of the discussion. ”

If there had been any intent to device, I would not have included the link.

“You are a man. You’ve turned yourself into a woman. God didn’t do this to you. You did it to yourself.”

I have made no contrary claim on that point.

“And that’s your problem.”

No, it’s my solution.

“You think that because you “feel” something that it’s just okay for you to do it.”

Not remotely. I think that having felt something, it makes sense to use all available resources to investigate it. Including first submission to God’s will, thousands of hours of prayer and supplication, diligent attention to every relevant Scripture including not only those tiny samples which directly address the subject but the much more extensive material that tells us about the nature of God of salvation, and of His relationship to us, and it also includes scientific research. I am 50 years old and I spent all my life praying and seeking his face over this matter, and a solid decade consulting first his revelation and then cross-referencing it with other fields of study.
All this is pretty much the exact opposite of “I feel it so I’m gonna do it”

“You ignore the clear teachings of scripture.”

Must I repeat? A claim made in the absence of demonstrating the evidence for the claim is an entirely empty assertion. If it is in fact the clear teaching of Scripture, how is it that not one person in this thread has taken the time to demonstrate the exegesis of the relevant texts to demonstrate that point in the face of my claim? Including you.

“You come here with your “rationale” and “reason” parading it as a superior thought process. It isn’t.”

God called you to turn off your brain then? Come now, let us reason together says the Lord.

“You’ve succumbed to the judgment of Romans 1, I’m sorry to say.”

One wonders why those who love Romans 1 so much have so little regard for Romans 2 and following.

“Whatever I may offer that isn’t good enough for you is of little consequence. What God has offered you is something you’ve obviously rejected. You’ve thwarted His plan and purpose for your life. You’re wrong. Biblically, spiritually, physically, scientifically, morally–any way you want to look at it, you’re wrong.”

Simply because you say so? You have no experience with this condition; you have no study in any relevant field; you have not devoted, I’ll wager, even an hour of your life to digging into the Scriptures to seek for yourself what God has to say there; you have not spent, I’ll wager, so much as even half an hour praying and seeking god’s face on this subject without bringing your own assumptions to the meeting; even less likely that you have availed yourself of the current scientific information on the subject. yet in the face of all that absence of knowledge, study, prayer, and data – you are still expert enough on the subject to declare with absolute conviction that I am wrong?

Based on what? I submit, sir, that you are arguing for a human cultural tradition which you have mistakenly precieved to be God’s revealed will. I don’t blame you, I spent most of my life in exactly the same position. It is, however, not a God-honoring act.
whatever you think on this subject, my prayer is that you come to learn that engaging your God-given reasoning ability is part of the discernment to which we have all been called. further, for future reference, I suggest to you that you will never win a single convert to your point of view with the tactic which boils down to “I’m right because I said I was right”

“I would hope that you’d bring something more than THAT to the conversation. But you don’t. You can’t.”

I brought a great deal here, most of all, I took the time and effort to explain WHY I hold the views i do and ask only for a like respect in return – a respect which you have yet to offer. it is not a reflection of the reality of this conversation that you believe it’s my end of the exchange that’s lacking.

“You’ve been blinded by your own passions and desires. And now you’re trying to justify it by pretending to have some theological, psychological and spiritual understanding that the rest of us don’t. Please, give it a rest”

Let me make this crystal clear – up until the very hour that I said to the people in my life “I am transsexual” the one deepest, most powerful, desire and longing of my heart beyond all other considerations combined – was to be a “normal” man (as you define normal). There was no passion or desire to go through this insanely difficult process only to enjoy as my reward the scorn of ill-informed folks such as yourself by the millions.

I committed decades of my life trying to believe hard enough, pray hard enough, work hard enough, preach hard enough, to convince god to grant me that one blessing – to be rid of this condition. The very point that you have convinced yourself that this is the result of some selfish desire illustrates just how massive is the gulf between what you think you know and what reality actually is.

As always, i stand willing to be convinced FROM SCRIPTURE that god requires me to live a miserable life abstaining from medical intervention in order to be obedient to his will. To this point, neither you nor anyone else has even made a passing attempt at demonstrating that to be true. if you really cared about the truth, rather than simply enjoying the opportunity to look down on someone unlike yourself, you might want to look into making that effort.

19 Dale Pugh December 18, 2013 at 5:57 am

Tammy, I know how to debate. I’m not debating you. I’m pointing out the obvious in your assertions. You are wrong. There is no debate. End of discussion. I know that isn’t sufficient for you, but I really don’t care about what you think is satisfactory in such a discussion. You’re simply attempting to justify your own lifestyle. It doesn’t work.
I’m done.

20 Bart Barber December 19, 2013 at 6:19 am

I can’t imagine contributing anything not yet contributed on the question of surgeries to alter one’s genitalia. I would, however, welcome the chance to address this idea that, since debate exists over the gospel, there must be much more uncertainty over other issues.

The biblical statement least disputed among Christians is the simple credo: “Jesus is Lord.” It is also, of course, the most ignored, but that’s a discussion for another day.

I might find it difficult to imagine that God would be so specific regarding what He reveals to us about sexual norms. I might find it incongruous with the general picture of God’s priorities or nature that I have constructed for myself. Let’s face it: I might consider it to be backwards or inconvenient or judgmental or intolerant or downright meanspirited.

But if I affirm that Jesus is Lord and do so sincerely, then I am confessing in agreement with Christians down through the ages that it really does not matter how I react to what God has said. I’ve had bosses whose opinions I did not share. I live under the authority of a government whose opinions I often do not share. I have served the Lord under accountability to congregations whose choices are not always the choices that I have advised. What do I do in those situations? I submit to the revealed will of those who are in authority over me, even when I do not see the wisdom of it.

My exercises in rhetoric do not trump the authority of someone who is Lord over me.

Either the God revealed to us in the Bible is or is not Lord over me. If He is, then my exercises in the logic of what I think that God (if He were to follow my good advice) would reveal with what priorities and levels of specificity, however intriguing they might be, are quite beside the point.

And so, to sum up, for you who are looking for something solid and indisputable that is the uniform agreement of all true Christians across all time and space—something that undergirds Christian teaching on both the gospel and sexual morality—the answer you seek, I submit to you, is that I submit.

Jesus is Lord.

21 Tammy Rainey December 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm

“I might find it difficult to imagine that God would be so specific regarding what He reveals to us about sexual norms. I might find it incongruous with the general picture of God’s priorities or nature that I have constructed for myself. Let’s face it: I might consider it to be backwards or inconvenient or judgmental or intolerant or downright meanspirited.”

Why does it logically follow that because something seems incongruous it therefore means it is your perception of that which is in error? Have any of yall actually taken 2 consecutive minutes out of your life and asked yourself “what if I’m wrong? what if I’ve been taught a false doctrine? what if I’m preaching tradition and not truth?”
If something attributed to “God said” seems to me to be irrational or meanspirited, what that says to me – given what i know of God from Scripture – then that’s a huge red flag to me that says “look again and be VERY sure”

“But if I affirm that Jesus is Lord and do so sincerely, then I am confessing in agreement with Christians down through the ages that it really does not matter how I react to what God has said.”

A doctrine or teaching doesn’t get a free pass because “Christians down through the ages” taught it. One can spend the rest of the night listing off things that millions of Christians over many generations taught and believed that turned out to not be true. the collective wisdom of church history is a valuable tool but it is not definitive. Affirming Jesus is lord (he is) is not at all the same thing as affirming that the church can’t be wrong.

” I’ve had bosses whose opinions I did not share. I live under the authority of a government whose opinions I often do not share. I have served the Lord under accountability to congregations whose choices are not always the choices that I have advised. What do I do in those situations? I submit to the revealed will of those who are in authority over me, even when I do not see the wisdom of it.

That’s not the question at hand though. when you submit to authority you still have to know what the actual command is. you may not share your bosses priorities and submit anyway – but if a co-worker comes around and says “the boss said you need to work over” you’d need to know that’s what the boss ACTUALLY said before you submit to it.

“My exercises in rhetoric do not trump the authority of someone who is Lord over me. Either the God revealed to us in the Bible is or is not Lord over me. If He is, then my exercises in the logic of what I think that God (if He were to follow my good advice) would reveal with what priorities and levels of specificity, however intriguing they might be, are quite beside the point.”

This doesn’t mean you turn off your brain and take other men’s word for what his will is. The question before us is not “do i submit to instructions i understand but do not agree with?” – the question is “Am I certain I properly understand the instructions? Can I explain WHY i believe the instruction to be what i say it is?”

“And so, to sum up, for you who are looking for something solid and indisputable that is the uniform agreement of all true Christians across all time and space—something that undergirds Christian teaching on both the gospel and sexual morality—the answer you seek, I submit to you, is that I submit. Jesus is Lord”

Indeed.

22 Tammy Rainey December 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm

having already been too wordy, let me add this. There are not, to my knowledge, studies which demonstrate that gender identity and sexual attraction are different things, i don’t even know how you’d demonstrate that medically.

There are, however, several solid studies which demonstrate that in pre-treatment transsexuals, the brain construct is much more similar to the identified sex than it is to the gonadal sex. There’s considerably more direct scientific evidence that there’s a biological correlation to transsexualism than has been demonstrated to exist for homosexuals.

A friend of mine has a blog on which she’s collected an impressive set of links to these studies if you have the time and the scientific mind to dig into them. It may be found here:

http://aebrain.blogspot.com/p/transsexual-and-intersex-gender-identity.html

23 Chris Roberts December 16, 2013 at 9:49 am

1 Cor 7:24 might do it.

24 Jeremy Parks December 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Good point, but don’t we have to view verse 24 in light of verse 17?

“But in any case each one of you should continue to live the way God has given you to live—the way you were when God called you. This is a rule I make in all the churches.”

Paul begins this paragraph by pointing out that however God made us to live is how we should continue. Paul goes on to list a few variations or examples, none of which is a sin or by-product of sin. Can we apply verse 24 in this context to the question at hand? I don’t think so.

Thanks for the verse, though. It’s a great starting point.

25 Andrew Green December 16, 2013 at 10:49 am

Dr Russell Moore discusses this topic on His blog. His website is Mooretothepoint.com

26 Christiane December 16, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I found this article. I assume this is the one you are speaking about:
http://www.faithstreet.com/onfaith/2013/08/15/conservative-christianity-and-the-transgender-question

27 Andrew Green December 16, 2013 at 6:40 pm

That is one of them but he has another article I will see if I can find it

28 Andrew Green December 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm

The article is a five part blog he does called Joan or John it was actually a question he used in my ethics class

29 Todd December 16, 2013 at 7:27 pm

We have a relative that is dealing with this very issue. The discussion that Dr. Moore has on his site was a good starting point for us to begin to think thru this issue and how the church should hanle it.
The Paper that Dr. Moore did can be found in the following link, and look for the Joan or John.pdf
http://www.russellmoore.com/papers/

30 Jim Pemberton December 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Matt 19:12 comes to mind.

All of us made alive by the Holy Spirit inherit bodies that bear the scars and lives that yet suffer the consequences of our sin until the resurrection. Most of us accrue more as believers still being sanctified.

31 Jeremy Parks December 16, 2013 at 2:34 pm

So – you’re drawing a line between (for example) a former alcoholic with cirrhosis and the individual in question here? As the alcoholic suffers the continued fallout from his sins (without remedy), so also the person we’re discussing should simply strive to honor God despite his altered condition?

Did I understand you correctly?

32 Jim Pemberton December 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm

I’m not arguing for a legalistic “have to” one way or another. Sin’s consequences make life complicated and we often have to suffer at our own hands. It’s often better to suffer through self-denial than pursue a comfortable end by compromising a principle somewhere. The context of the verse was a difficult teaching for many, but the rule Jesus wasn’t giving wasn’t whether or not to marry, but to seek to glorify him regardless of our present difficulty. Marriage just happens to be a big difficulty for many that is worth struggling through. Singleness is likewise a big difficulty that is worth struggling through.

The fellow (and he is a man despite outward appearances) that we are talking about is for all intents and purposes a eunuch. I wouldn’t consider it good for him to marry another man. Probably the best course is for him to remain unmarried. There may be a woman who would care to marry a man like him with whom she could not have normal relations unless the expenditures for some sort of surgical reconstruction are not unreasonably spent. I would say that such is probably going to be too great for him and his resources may be better utilized equipping him for kingdom work than equipping him for heterosexual marriage.

33 Greg Buchanan December 16, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Agreed. This is nothing more or less than a “scar” of a sinful life, not something by which to be judged.

If he can afford to change later and wants to do so, then by all means with prayer for speedy recovery. If it remains a financial hurdle, then no condemnation. Reversal is not needed to prove OR guarantee salvation.

34 Dave Miller December 16, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I am amazed at the situations you encounter in your mission work. We don’t pay you enough.

35 Jeremy Parks December 16, 2013 at 2:31 pm

To be perfectly, completely, absolutely blunt – I get paid enough.

The greatest “pay raise” I can imagine is the continual personal support of people in the US. I’m not talking about money; I mean, a personal connection with more and more folks in the SBC that leads to a greater understanding of what we do. For me, at times the effort to achieve understanding equals affirmation.

And affirmation is a powerful thing. I would gladly – thrillingly – welcome any group that wanted to come down just to see a tiny slice of what the missionary life is about. I’d give you the grand tour, introduce you to all the missionaries, if it meant deeper connections between Baptists here and Baptists there.

36 Bill Mac December 16, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Jeremy,

This is a different topic, and I think we’ve discussed it briefly before, but I’d love to have you discuss the controversy over cochlear implants in the deaf community, and whether you think there is a Christian dimension to the issue.

37 Jeremy Parks December 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm

I’ll add it to the list.

38 clark December 16, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Not knowing the DNA of the person in question how do we know what there gender really is. aside from Tammy’s heavily biased approach and Jim’s assumption this was a fellow because he had a sex change to become a woman. The latter would seem likely but “what if” he had male genitalia and the chromosomes of a female.
Since we don’t know, I think the eunuch approach is the wisest. Since he was known as a male before It would probably be best for him to return to a male persona. But if this is egregious to him, perhaps we should give time for the conviction of the Spirit and the application of the Word to do their work.
If in fact, he had a DNA test and it confirms his maleness, then by all means he should return to a male lifestyle. And those “obscure” passages that Tammy referred to should offer direction.

But I don’t wish I was in your shoes.

39 Tammy Rainey December 16, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Dismissing my comments as “heavily biased” without discussing the points raised is a bit too easy, don’t you think?

For example, you rightly acknowledge that it is possible (rare, but it happens, to appear male from birth and have female chromosomes (or the reverse)which is just one of dozens of intersex conditions. Please explain then how we can assume the brain is immune to this sort of phenomena?

I move the previous question: the entire discussion so far, apart from my own comment, proceeds from the assumption of a fact not in evidence – that the Bible expresses a clear word that gender transition for the transsexual is sinful. It seems to me that if we are going to advise a babe in Christ to make such a MASSIVE decision as to detransition, it behooves to NOT simply assume a traditional view is in fact the correct one.

Frankly, the churches of Christ need to take a frank look at this issue and consider whether they are preaching the will of God or the traditions of men on this point. It’s not like we haven’t been wrong before on points of controversy.

40 Tim Rogers (@Timothy_Rogers) December 17, 2013 at 10:06 am

Tammy,

Not really sure I follow from your perspective. It seems that you believe you are the only one in the comments that is speaking from an un-biased approach. You write; the entire discussion so far, apart from my own comment, proceeds from the assumption of a fact not in evidence.” You reference “vague scriptures” but never give the scripture references. Could you help me out in what you are saying are vague scriptural references?

As for your original argument in the first comment. If one were to follow the logic for that argument, then we would not need to ask a drunk to stop drinking. We should not disciple a dope addict to stop doing drugs. We should not disciple a prostitute from selling her body. The logic you seem to promote is a logic that they had a deficiency in a sex gene, or a brain functioning one way in a body that was designed to function differently. That is still sin. We all were marred as a result of the fall. The deficiency we all received from the fall effects all of creation. When the salvation of Christ comes in the life of a deficient person, Christ changes that person. I don’t think I have found in Scripture where Christ changes the sexuality of a person. Thus, one who has changed his/her sexuality surgically and hormonally seems to be an issue where it should be reversed surgically. The hormones are used to maintain the appearance needed to make others believe he/she is of that gender.

Your question about a nose job, seems to be apples to oranges. Yes there is a surgical procedure to change the appearance. The question that results doesn’t have anything to do with an outright false appearance of gender. I was involved in an accident when I was 25 and had an total facial reconstruction due to my face going through the windshield. While my nose still is a pretty big snooker it was at one time like a hawks bill. The changing of my nose did not change my personality, nor did it change my gender.

As I conclude this statement I guess I need you to express where these verses are that you see as vague references to this situation. Also, the question that you seem to be asking from us is how we believe changing gender is a sin? I think the answer would be found in Jesus’ response to the Pharisees as they tried to corner him in the divorce debate. Jesus told them in Matthew “in the beginning God made them male and female.”

41 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm

okay, taking points in order:
1. I’m not assuming my views are not biased (albeit they are informed by information from both opposing points of view) rather, I’m saying that my posts, alone (at least at that point) did NOT assume as a foregoing premise that transsexual transition is clearly a sin. This is not an assertion concerning bias, but an observation that the other posts do start with that assumption.
2. Scripture references commonly brought up regarding trans people (KJV):

Deut. 22:5 – The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
1 Cor. 6:9 – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. (later translations do not use the term “effeminate”)

IIRC there are a couple of other NT verses which somewhat parallel the latter above, but are dependent on the nature of the translation in order to find a reference to gender non-conformity.

The Former citation is relatively straightforward, but appears alongside other laws we do not seek to enforce in the Christian era (i.e. not wearing garments of mixed fabrics)
The Latter, it can be reasonably argued (and some translations actually say) refers to male prostitution (that is a homosexual act) or quite possibly pederasty.
Thus I say “vague” in that neither reference is clear cut and definitive, and certainly not about an actual medical condition.

3. I’m not sure I see any analogy between an identified and reasonable birth defect and a predisposition to some temperamental weakness. Even less so to a choice like prostitution.

4. Again, you say “it’s sin” as if it is a claim that needs no proof. it does. if you are going to ask a person to live in spiritual misery their entire life in order to follow God’s law, then the least you can do is demonstrate definitively that it IS in fact God’s law. First things first.

5. It’s true that the world and those in it were physically marred as a result of the fall, but that does not logically imply that any such defect is sinful. One does not claim the autistic or the epileptic is sinful in having that condition, nor does one reject the act of addressing that flaw. It is not theoretically impossible that God might have said “yes you were born with a birth defect that makes you miserable, and yes there is a treatment, but I forbid you to access it” – but such a claim requires a LOT more evidence than just an “everybody knows” assumption.

6. Yes, God has said he would provide strength to bear the “thorn in the flesh” but when have you ever counseled a person who had the option of medical relief for their pain to not take it and simply rely on god to give them strength to endure?

7. As regards Salvation in Christ solving this problem, and relieving the dysphoria – I’m sorry, this simply DOES. NOT. HAPPEN. Not as a given. god can do anything and I certainly acknowledge that he CAN do so, but i also know from first hand experience and the testimony of thousands of trans Christians that commonly, it simply doesn’t happen. Which implies to me that Traditionalist Christians are a lot more unhappy about it than he is.

8. As a point of order, a trans person cannot simply “stop taking hormones.” The human body must have hormones for good health. They could start taking the other hormones instead, but they can’t simply do without.

9. Suggesting that change in gender is fundamentally different than change in appearance seems, again, to simply be a matter of personal tastes. As I said before – start at the beginning and demonstrate that sex-transition is clearly sinful, THEN you can note the difference.

10. “God made them male and female” – indeed he did. in a perfect creation before the fall. Adam and Eve were not blind or deaf or lame, and yet many millions of humans have been born since who were. Adam and Eve represent a perfect begining in a perfect creation, not a standard all are required to adhere to – particularly in the face of the biological effects of the fall. Adam and Eve were not, for instance, fat either – but a great many christians today are.

more to the point, He made Adam male and Eve female and that settles it, right? then how do you explain the 4existance of the intersex person (“hermaphrodite”)? if your logic was sound, they would not exist.

I move the previous question: please demonstrate how it is possible that a known biological phenomena (intersex conditions) cannot, for some magical reason, affect the brain.

42 Tammy Rainey December 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm

By the way, the series by Dr. Moore that Andrew mentioned starts here:

http://www.russellmoore.com/2009/05/25/joan-or-john-my-answer-part-one/

There are a great many points he makes which I believe are questionable (one would not assume that a person who has, for instance, a nose job is “playing god” by not accepting the nose they were given, one would not counsel one born blind to avoid any medicine that might give them sight because they should be content with how they were born, and so forth – just for one example)

However, I try to avail myself of the arguments on both sides for the sake of intellectual honesty. I once believed as Moore does on this issue, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I was wrong.

43 Jeremy Parks December 17, 2013 at 12:05 am

Anyone have a biblical response for us? Something that addresses the substance Ms. Rainey’s comments regarding transexual inclinations and the Bible?

44 Christiane December 17, 2013 at 8:39 am

JEREMY, here are three scriptural references given by St. Ambrose that will apply to any Christian minister seeking to help ALL people who are in distress because of ANY ‘inclinations’ that have resulted from The Fall. These scriptures, of course, would include any specific pastoral concerns, I believe:

““For he who endeavours to amend the faults of human weakness ought to bear this very weakness on his own shoulders, let it weigh upon himself, not cast it off. For we read that the Shepherd in the Gospel (Luke 15:5) carried the weary sheep, and did not cast it off. And Solomon says: “Be not overmuch righteous;” (Ecclesiastes 7:17)
for restraint should temper righteousness. For how shall he offer himself to you for healing whom you despise, who thinks that he will be an object of contempt, not of compassion, to his physician?
Therefore had the Lord Jesus compassion upon us in order to call us to Himself, not frighten us away. He came in meekness, He came in humility, and so He said: “Come unto Me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” (Matthew 11:28) So, then, the Lord Jesus refreshes, and does not shut out nor cast off, and fitly chose such disciples as should be interpreters of the Lord’s will, as should gather together and not drive away the people of God. Whence it is clear that they are not to be counted among the disciples of Christ, who think that harsh and proud opinions should be followed rather than such as are gentle and meek; persons who, while they themselves seek God’s mercy, deny it to others, such as are the teachers who call themselves pure.”

St. Ambrose (c. 340 – 4 April 397)

45 Tammy Rainey December 18, 2013 at 12:11 am

that’s a powerful commentary. Thanks for sharing.

46 Tim Rogers (@Timothy_Rogers) December 17, 2013 at 11:00 am

Jeremy,

It seems that 19:4 is the NT verse I would establish as my basis. Not only does it cover the NT text, but it also relates to Genesis 1 and Genesis 5, which some would refer to as the Torah. No vague reference that I can see.

47 Doug Hibbard December 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Tim–

Can you clarify which book? I know we can figure it out, given there’s only 4 NT books with a 19:4, but it would be good.

Doug

48 Tim Rogers (@Timothy_Rogers) December 17, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Doug,

Sorry about that. Matthew.

49 Doug Hibbard December 17, 2013 at 10:30 pm

No worries. Just figured that would be best clarified by you rather than assumed by everyone else.

50 BaptistJim47 December 17, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Jeremy,
If I may, and since you asked, here is my “Biblical” response.
I will start by saying that, I believe, the dirty little secret of the Bible is that it is about sin – but, for me, not like we usually talk about it. As the discussion has unfolded, a number of verses have been advanced and discussed as evidence of sin, love, or mercy. I also read Dr. Moore’s article on “Joan/John” which I found helpful. Dr. Moore’s conclusions are correct but they are reflected in the precise theological manner I would expect of a Baptist pastor and academician.

I say this not to be dismissive but to illustrate something I see that we quite often miss in discussions of this nature and that is that sin is an awful condition and not something that is simply a matter of Biblical “do’s”: and “don’ts” or trying to squeeze out of a verse or thought some sense of what God might want or not want. Instead, if we simply consider the nature of sin, both its author and condition, we might find the answer to your question and a more robust (perhaps) expansion of Dr. Moore’s thoughts and conclusions.

To do so I am going to tell you about myself. I am 66 years of age; a father, husband, grandfather; a strongly conservative Southern Baptist with some visibility and leadership in my strongly conservative Southern Baptist Church; and a man who loves God and Jesus with all of his heart. I am also a man who has struggled, and continues to struggle, with same-sex attraction and the desire to be a woman. It has been a life-long struggle and one that I can lose at any moment if I just stop fighting. That I do not is a testament more to the love of God and the example of Jesus than anything else. I long for heaven and the New Jerusalem so that I may be at peace with my body in ways ordinary people do not understand. But my struggle has thrown me into a battle that has taught me about the inflexibility and immutability of pristine truth, the immenseness of grace, and the sheer wonder of salvation and love. It has also taught me about the Satan and the true awfulness of sin and depravity.

So here goes.

I was 2 years old when my parents divorced and my mother moved back with her parents. My grandfather had sexually used my mother all of her life and my grandmother lacked the essential human capacity to love as she was lost in her self-centeredness. True, I did not know this as a little boy but, as the years passed, truth was revealed. My mother desperately wanted a little girl and so, for a while, I became her little girl. She dressed me in dresses (I can still look down and see the light blue crinoline of my mother’s favorite little-girl dress for me and the white Mary Janes) and paraded me as her daughter. I have come to see that she did so in a perverse way to re-create herself and give herself the love she never had.

But my mother was lost to reality because she knew the secret of my grandfather and it did not take him long to come for me. My first sexual encounter with my grandfather was a drunken and brutal rape that brought me close to death. In it I saw what nothingness looks like; how much you can see in the darkness of a merciless, monstrous, and ferocious terror ….. and what comes for you in the darkness before Jesus arrives to take the innocent into heaven.
During the months we were in this home I was used by my grandfather in every way a little boy can be used by a man and all while my mother stayed in her fantasy world (alcohol helped) and I stayed a little girl.

A terror like this must be hid away because little boys do not know about God, righteousness, justice, Jesus, or hope. So I tucked it all away in some place where I would never have to remember what came for me in the dark and took for my friend the terrible anxiety and watchfulness that was left in its wake. As I grew older, it became wrapped around my sensuality and sexuality so that there existed a sort of real me and fantasy me and the fantasy was me, the little girl. As I moved into my 20’s, 30’s, and early 40’s, the fantasy began to push itself more into my life such that it seemed in all of its power to be who I was.

Here you have to see that it was not a matter of choice as we normally think of it; it was sensual and sexual compulsion that demanded obedience and which seemed to be the “truth of who I was” because there seemed to be just “it” inside. I did not ask for it; I did not seek it; and I did not cultivate it: it was just there in a singularly demanding and compelling way.

Plus, compulsion was aided by the increasing volume and power of my anxiety. My transition into woman-hood offered me a way to escape the anxiety because, like the little boy, if I was “her”, people were nice to me and I could hide from what was done to the little boy who was truly me.

So as the years passed, I started cross-dressing, shaving my body, learning about make-up, and all the while trying, within the context of my public persona, to be the man I knew I was before God. And here you have to see how many times I asked God to let me become a woman, to be pretty, and to find some nice man to marry and with whom I could live life (that’s how strong the compulsion was becoming). By the true grace of God I had been captured and saved by Him before the compulsion grew into control. So I knew of God and could talk with Him. I would approach the throne of grace and beg God to release me into the person I knew myself to be and the answer, given with a sort of warmth and benevolence (the better faces of love), was always the same: “No”.

And so the war went on until it finally happened. The power of the compulsion, the holy obstinacy of God, and my feeble efforts to hold myself together as a man finally broke through into the stronghold where I kept the memories. For a while my life was a cycle of terrifying anxiety coupled with the desperation of the compulsion for control and the trickle of truth mixed with what I can only describe as the courage of the Holy Spirit as I fought and fought and fought.
In time I saw what had been done and I saw what I once believed to be the truth of my gender (as a girl) was false. Over the years the battle has been unrelenting and, at times, disappointing as I just grew tired and wanted to give up. Still, I developed a sort of stubborn commitment to the goodness that I saw was in God and the awfulness of what was being offered to me.

In all of this I discovered the reality of sin as something that comes for you in the dark and hates God with all of its heart. It showed me how truly fragile we are regardless of our physical strength (and I am still strong) and how vulnerable we are to the Satan. I saw that while only God can create, Satan uses brutality to re-create, thereby mimicking the essence of God. I saw how close I had come to becoming what had been done to me because, in a perverse way, it bought me a sort of surrogate peace with myself (again, a perversion of a gift of God). I encountered truth as it is and not what I wanted it to be or what it felt like; a truth that is found in the Word and before the throne of God. I found a love that covers over all sin and does not just forget what has happened, it holds your hand as the worst comes for you and never, ever lets go. I found a place to plant my feet and know where I stood would not be moved. I saw the truth of myself in the eyes of God and I never wanted to let Him know I failed.

And in (hopefully) a helpful response to Tammy, I saw that the Satan seeks to destroy by what I have come to term either a creational disruption (the damage done to me) or a creational disorder (the perhaps innate conditions that might lead to transgenderism). In either event one is faced with an overwhelming and conclusive compulsion born of feeling and a sense of existential reality. The awfulness of Satan is shown in the simple fact that both exist and they both offer an existential choice: surrender to what seems to be “truth” or consider what is, and surrender to, the Truth of God. In my case, what was done to me did not become me but for the grace of God and power of love. In the case of someone who perhaps has an innate, organic compulsion to change gender, the struggle is the same and so is the answer although the outlines of the battlefield may be different.

And here, I will conclude, by pointing out something that Dr. Moore made clear: we, as a Christian community of believers, are to be a place of both love and truth. Sadly, I will write under a pseudonym because there are really not a whole lot of Southern Baptist communities who know how to love someone like me and not enough pastors who would both give, and demand from their flock, the love that is necessary. This is evident because, while I now have the courage to write under my name, my wife (with whom I share it all) is terrified of what might be done to me within our community of believers if this awful struggle within me is revealed. I honor her until God has made peace in her heart about my testimony.

So, with all of the above as a preface, here is my short answer to your query: once the Word has begun its work and truth is encountered and life surrendered, a person afflicted by transgenderism (and its ally, same-sex attraction, which is the topic of another comment) needs the room and space to let God lead them to the truth of themselves. It is okay, in Dr. Moore’s example, to start calling Joan by his rightful name of John; it is quite another to fail to see the true reality of sin and offer the kind of love necessary to stand before God and to learn to love Him with all of your heart, soul, and mind to the exclusion of all that screams within you.

Sorry for the length of the comment but there was no easy, quick way for me to say it.

I do pray this helps and one of these days, God-willing, I will sign with my true name in Christ.

51 Jeremy Parks December 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Ahh, what heartache, what pain, what glorious transparency!

Thank you. Thank you, a thousand times over, for bringing a voice of experience and holiness into what has been, up to this point, an academic discussion of possibilities and potentialities.

Your experiences resonate the truths of the Bible, and as such are as evidential as scientific studies. Thank you.

52 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Thank you “Jim” for your testimony, let me preface by saying that it is well to acknowledge that SOME transgenderism (and some homosexuality) absolutely does arise from childhood trauma of the sort you describe. It would be foolishness for those on either side of the debate to presume their understanding is a truth which applies universally (albeit, people on both sides do just that).

In light of your transparency, it behooves me to respond in kind.

I was born in North MS in 1963, in a culture and situation saturated with conservative Christian traditions. While my parents were nominal Christians, I was in a church every week through out my childhood at the hands of deeply Christian grandparents. At no time during my childhood was i exposed to any “perverting” influence of the sort commonly cited. i was never molested, exposed, saw the exposure of another, my first observation of porn was around age 15. There was no “absent father” or any of the other things that are usually cited.

And yet by the first year of school i was absolutely convinced i should have been born female – and just as convinced i was the only such “freak” in all of human history. I knew I dare not tell anyone, and worked hard to construct a suitable male persona while taking the opportunity to occasionally try on some clothes of my female cousins when I had the chance. I wasn’t aware of the term “transsexual” for several years thereafter. i dreaded puberty and responded to it with a decade of deep depression.

Meanwhile, I came to Christ at the age of nine, I helped co-found the Bible club at my high school, and was a virgin when I graduated high school. In the years following graduation I understood, or thought I did, three things: (a) I’d never be able to become a female; (b) I was a sinful abomination for wanting to; and (c) i could not go on living like that. I made up my mind that once my grandparents passed away, I’d kill myself (they were all in their 70′s at the time – they all lived into their 90′s)

In 1986 i attended a Freddie Gage crusade in a nearby town. He delivered a message that said, in summary, “If you are plagued by a besetting sin that you have no power to overcome, you need to give that to God and have complete faith he will heal you and deliver you and you go out and live your life for him.” Now I’d prayed ten thousand prayers on the subject before, but I rushed to the alter and claimed that promise. In a year and a half i was a licensed Baptist minster. I was preaching, teaching, tithing, singing – “good Christian man” on steroids, as they say. And every night I claimed again the promise that my deliverance was coming and i sincerely believed that to be true.

A decade later my prayers were flooded with bitter tears asking god what more I needed to do, how much harder I needed to believe, in order to get some divine relief. But still i waited. All this time I was the model of Conservative Christianity and would tell anyone who would stand still long enough that homosexuality, transgender, whatever was all a “chosen lifestyle” that those sinners could quit if they wanted to please God. I was as ardent as, for instance, Bryan Fischer on that point.

About 10 years ago, or almost, it was beginning to dawn on me that I had accepted some claims as “obviously true” that, in reality, the Scripture did not support. I began to re-examine the subject without (as much as is possible) the blinders of Church tradition on, i began to dig deeply into the science of the issue, I began to consider how i reconciled those traditions with the gospel of grace, to notice the over-emphasis the church seemed to place on these subjects, to consider the history of the church lagging behind on both necessary social change (such as civil rights) and also in their willingness to adjust when science demonstrates the traditions were flawed. most of all, i prayed god show me the actual truth he wanted for my life. All this while attending a very conservative Southern Baptist college and getting some of the finest Bible education I could have.

With all due respect to those with a different outcome, God did not show me it was forbidden. I have more peace with God since transition (5 years+ now) than I ever did before.
[not to Jim here, but to all]

I also have the insight that comes from having been on both sides of the issue. That doesn’t mean I have given myself permission to sin. I still war against the things i want in my flesh but know are not his will. Even when i indulge I do not lie to myself that it’s okay, I recognize I have violated. But on this issue, there is peace.

We believe, as Baptists, that the Holy spirit convicts the believer of sin and draws to repentance, do we not? I know that he continues to do so in my own life. but he has been silent on the matter of transition. i recognize that it is dangerous to build one’s theology on their anecdotal experience alone, but experience within the context of the knowledge of Scripture, of the nature of God, of the authenticity of one’s relationship with him, and yes – of scientific facts is a credible factor.

I did not seek to be transsexual, I do not want to be – it is in many ways a very difficult existence. No one willfully chooses this such a difficult life (as Jim testified) and to dismiss to as a “lifestyle” of willfully chosen sin is to demonstrate a massive lack of understanding of the subject and the demands it places on a person’s life.

I submit to you, my brothers and sisters, that in the light of the reality that the Biblical commentary on this verges on non-existent, that there is room for Christians to accept that it is POSSIBLE we have been taught, inadvertently, a false doctrine – a tradition disguised in the robes of “God said” and knowing that, be gracious enough to accept that – like whether or not women should wear pants – is a subject on which we can disagree in love, knowing that a person who sincerely seeks God’s will in their life and gets it wrong will still be forgiven under the blood.

53 Tim Rogers (@Timothy_Rogers) December 18, 2013 at 7:19 am

Tammy/Tommy,

In light of this confession it seems that I would take you back to my original comment to you. Your position is that everyone is approaching this differently than you. You responded that you were unbiased in your approach because you have read on both sides of the issue. Now you reveal that you are 5 years transitioned from male into female. Do you not see that you are biased in your approach? You made the decision to move from Tommy to Tammy. God did not make that decision for you. Of course if i were a strict Calvinist I would say that before the foundation of the world God knew you would make this decision and as such it is ordained by Him. But, I really do not know of many strict Calvinist that would go there. They would appeal to apostasy. However, it is clear regardless of the theological system one thinks within you have decided to do something that is not ordained of God.

In you desire to find inner peace you decided it was your option to transition your sexuality from male to female. That is the way you found peace. However, the Bible does not advocate our doing things ourselves to find peace but to rely on the strength of God. While I am a heterosexual I struggle with the same heterosexual desires that others do. I could find myself in an adulterous relationship in a heartbeat if I let my guards down. It is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. That is the reason I have my quiet times every day because I have to turn every thing over to Him on a daily basis.

It is through prayer and constant communing with God that brings about this strength. Do you think that is the reason Paul instructed us to: “pray without ceasing”?

One other thing and I will close. Do you not understand the utter feeling of trickery one feels after discovering this debate has been with a transgender person? Many in this comment stream entered this debate with the clear assumption we were debated, as best we could, on an unbiased position. Even when you were called out on your biased approach you assured us that your approach was the only one that was unbiased. It was only after baptistjim revealed his story that you told yours. Tammy/Tommy this is absolute trickery and intentionally adding confusion to an already confusing subject. In all honesty it does not help your points it only hurts them. Why? Had you been honest up front and told us you were transgender we would not have agreed still, but we would have known an honest attempt on your part to debate this confusing subject.

54 cb scott December 18, 2013 at 8:33 am

Duckman Dale and Tim Rogers,

There are those who frequent this blog on a regular basis who will either openly or silently declare that both of you have been close-minded, intemperate, judgmental, unkind, and harsh with Tammy Rainey in your comments to her.

However, that is not the case at all — far from it. The two of you have spoken the truth to her and in doing so, you have shown her true compassion and Christian grace.

For whatever it may mean to you, I thank you both for being men of integrity here and unashamedly writing that which in true.

55 Tammy Rainey December 18, 2013 at 8:53 am

Seriously, Tim? We’re going to default to the “let me make up a male name for you lest I sully my fingertips by typing your fake name” routine?

I had hoped this conversation was above such nonsense. I also find it impressive that when someone agree with you and the open their heart it’s “glorious transparency” and when someone who disagrees does so it’s not that at all. And you wonder why i see bias. Still, let me clear up some points for the record.

“You responded that you were unbiased in your approach…”

I’ve made no profession to be unbiased. Just that I engage the question at hand without a pre-assumed conclusion. NO ONE is unbiased on any subject, but one can endeavor to check their logic and try to avoid fallacies so that their reasoning is clearer.

” However, it is clear regardless of the theological system one thinks within you have decided to do something that is not ordained of God. ”

There it is again. A deceleration of “fact” absent any supporting argument. You say “it is clear” as if it is a self-evident fact that needs no supporting argument – and it’s not. Any compelling case one seeks to make, especially when addressing the experience of one dealing with an issue you have no experience, training, or study with STARTS with demonstrating the reasoning for your assumptions – not just assuming they are right simply because you believe them to be right.

” I could find myself in an adulterous relationship in a heartbeat if I let my guards down.”

A. do you argue god would give you peace in your soul in the midst of that affair, or would he prick your consistence?
B. The bible DIRECTLY states that adultery is wrong, in the Ten Commandments even. Please find a direct deceleration that gender transition is wrong in the eyes of God. Or make better analogies.
“That is the reason I have my quiet times every day because I have to turn every thing over to Him on a daily basis.”

So we’re just going to ignore the part of my testimony in which I constantly kept my condition before his throne for decades, right? It’s probably inconvenient to the whole “you are selfishly seeking to justify your sin” narrative.

” Do you not understand the utter feeling of trickery one feels after discovering this debate has been with a transgender person?”

I understand that at heart, you now view me as a lesser person – one unworthy of their views enjoying any respect. One who, at best, is an object of your condescending pity instead. I understand that you feel threatened by having to have a frank discussion with one who has actually walked the road that you have not only never traveled, but never given any serious consideration to what said road might be like. You don’t have well reasoned answers because you never HAD to apply any reason to them. it was comfortable and convenient to you to knee-jerk to the “daddy always taught me” traditions without THINKING about whether they actually reflected the heart of God or not.

Now comes one who says “I am a transsexual AND a child of god and it threatens you because your wooden tradition does not give you room to engage your brain – or your heart – to deal with the possibility that what you have been taught is wrong.
But rather than admit all that, you’d rather just panic and say “you tricked me!”

Here’s a thought – I was not required to do so by the site, but I linked my blog to my name when i posted – a blog that is very obviously written by a trans person – if i had intended some sneaky pretense, i would not have done so. I challenge you to step up your game and be willing to face the possibility that you have been wrong. I know it’s hard, it was hard for me when i had to do it. but you’ll be better for it. A better Christian and a better minister to hurting people.

“Many in this comment stream entered this debate with the clear assumption we were debated, as best we could, on an unbiased position.”

Never EVER assume your opponent in debate is “unbiased” – it is impossible for the human heart to be unbiased and I made no such profession. You were, however, dealing with a person who knows EXACTLY what you think and why you think it because I WAS that person a decade ago and for much of my life, AND I’m a person who turned on their brain, laid aside the traditions of men and actually looked at the subject with clear eyes, both as a scientific question and as a theological question – and THAT status makes me unique among the commenters on this board who, collectively, probably couldn’t add up a full afternoon’s worth of study (in either context) on this subject in their entire lives.

Why are you so unhappy about having someone bring more information to the discussion? Are you put at risk by knowing something about the science of the subject? Are you threatened by being asked to defend your doctrine from Scripture?

“Even when you were called out on your biased approach you assured us that your approach was the only one that was unbiased.”

Constant repetition of an untruth does not make it truthful. Quote me.

“It was only after baptistjim revealed his story that you told yours. Tammy/Tommy this is absolute trickery and intentionally adding confusion to an already confusing subject.”

Do my points become less correct because I did not share my private medical history with you? Here’s a thought: if you want to engage in honest and productive debate, debate the content of the argument not the background of your opponent. Do you have what it takes to address the points raised? or must you resort to claiming things about the other poster that are irrelevant to that content? It looks very much to me like you are looking for cover to flee the debate because you DON’T have answers.

“In all honesty it does not help your points it only hurts them. Why? Had you been honest up front and told us you were transgender we would not have agreed still, but we would have known an honest attempt on your part to debate this confusing subject.”

An honest attempt to debate a subject does not require that one knows their opponents medical history. more to the point, if i had started my first comment by saying “As a transsexual christian let me offer…” then the great majority of responses would have done exactly what you did when i pointed it out to you – resorted to word games about my name and condescending “you are wrong because i say so” dismissal.

How do i know this? Because this ain’t my first rodeo. I have engaged in this conversation on Christian internet outlets scores, probably hundreds of times – sometimes leading with “I’m trans” and sometimes leading with “consider this point” and in my experience each and EVERY time when I disclose my status first, so-called “Christians” (who really know on the internet, right?) abandon civility and dismiss your views as unworthy of consideration because you are “biased” (and probably a heathen liberal who eats babies for supper).

The only way that I get folks like you to take 30 seconds out of their lives an entertain the passing thought for 20 seconds that maybe they have been wrong is to not give them the opportunity to dismiss my views before hearing them. Your “Tommy” reaction is a perfect illustration of how that happens.

Still, for all this, when the thoughtful reader comes to this thread – one who actually wants to use their mind and be sure they are seeking truth, hopefully they will look and say “when asked to prove from Scripture that transsexual transition was sinful, not one person on the thread rose to the task and did so.” Hopefully someone will recognize that the one person here who didn’t just say”this is so” but said “this is so and here’s why” was me. It is for that reader that I respectfully engage the debate.

56 William Thornton December 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

Tim,

Had you taken a few seconds to click Tammy’s name you would have found the info. If you had, what would you have argued differently?

Frankly, I have moe of a problem with the anonymous posters here who deliberately conceal their names and identities and then who take potshots at others.

All in all, this has been a pretty decent discussion. I’m with Dave in not being fully aware of the deaf culture stuff.

57 Tarheel December 18, 2013 at 9:18 am

If I may interject a question…

Tammy Rainey contends that they have peace in thier soul about the decision they made to have a sex change…

My question to Tammy is….what does “peace in your soul” mean?

The reason I ask is that I’m not sure we’re operating on the same understanding regarding “peace of the soul”.

58 Tarheel December 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

Also, I haven’t read every word here so pardon m if I missed something…

but are you, Tammy, remaining celibate as a woman or do you seek out intimate relationships with another….and if so which sex?

59 Tammy Rainey December 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Tarheel-

“peace in the soul” is a term for that feeling of not being under conviction of sin – of having dealt with God on an issue and feeling that you are reconciled. Any Christian who’s been “backslidden” and returned to Him has an idea what that’s like.

Also, mixed into that, is the feeling of contented faith that God has not “neglected” you

On your second question, I feel that there’s a privacy issue at work here. If it were relevant to my argument about transsexualism, it would be necessary for me to discuss it – but it’s not, and so I do not wish to detail my private sex life except to say that since my transition I have not engaged in extramarital sex. That says only what it says and no one should expect a response based on what they infer from it.

That said, given my position that a transsexual’s authentic sex is that sex which originate in the brain, not in the pants, my position is that a male-to-female transsexual who prefers the company of men is a heterosexual, by definition.

60 Tarheel December 18, 2013 at 11:17 pm

It is completely relevant!

If one is born a man…surgery cannot change it.

A person born a man, will deca man.

If said person engages in sexual contact with a man…he’s committing homosexual activity which is unambiguously classified as sin in scripture.

So, clinging to some sort of extreme version of rationalization, even to the point of surgical alteration, is weak and transparent.

61 Tarheel December 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm

*die a man

Not

Deca

Ahhh….iPad autocorrect just astounds me sometimes. Lol

62 Tammy Rainey December 19, 2013 at 2:50 am

tarheel, i can only say that in my worldview, the reality of a persons soul and spirit is not identified by that which they keep in their underwear. if that’s your position, you are welcome to it.

63 Tarheel December 19, 2013 at 5:03 am

No, but “what’s in ones underwear” indicates the sex that God created them to be….having a surgery does not change it.

One born a male, having intimate relations with another born a male, is in fact homosexuality.

It seems to me that you are seeking and have been for some time, to recreate yourself in a better image than the one that God created you to be.

It’s a direct and intentional defiance of the Holy Creator God, and to use your phrase, if that’s the way you choose to live…then it’s up to you.

This is a manifestation of the fundamental sin that seperates man from God, it’s as Sproul calls it, cosmic treason….idolatry. As Paul put it, “worshiping the creature, rather than the creator.”

But again, if that’s what you choose…if that’s how you wish to relate to God….then it’s up to you.

But, I implore you….be reconciled to God.

64 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 9:40 am

“tarheel, i can only say that in my worldview, the reality of a persons soul and spirit is not identified by that which they keep in their underwear.”

Tammy,

You are right. According to your “worldview, the reality of a person’s soul and spirit was not identified by that which they keep in their underwear.”

The revealed truth here, according to your own words, is that your “worldview” has persuaded you that the reality of your soul and spirit was identified by that which you “did not want to keep” in your underwear. Therefore, you changed it to be in accord with “your” personal worldview. Your worldview is not that of a biblical worldview.

There is a reason that your worldview is not a biblical worldview. That reason is revealed very plainly in Romans 1:18-32.

65 Tammy Rainey December 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

“No, but “what’s in ones underwear” indicates the sex that God created them to be….having a surgery does not change it.”

O? then what sex did god intend the intersex person to be? If sex is determined by the genitalia alone, then what sex IS such a person? You can say “neither” or “both” but if you ASK that person – they KNOW an answer and it’s not going to be neither or both. If their genitals don’t tell them – HOW DO THEY KNOW?

You are aware, i assume, that when a baby is born with ambiguous genitalia it has been customary for the parents to make a choice and the surgeon operate in order to assign the child as either male or female. What you are probably aware of is that as that child grows up they VERY often testify that the wrong choice was made – but how can they know? they have a vagina, right (even though man made) so clearly they are female, end of story. right? No? HOW DO THEY KNOW?

And how do we as third part observers decide what sex god “meant” for them to be? That’s assuming that you subscribe to the undemonstrated claim that god specifically decided and assigned each child’s sex and other physical characteristics

“One born a male, having intimate relations with another born a male, is in fact homosexuality.”

So? what does this prove about the sinfulness of transsexualism? do you deny it is possible to go through transition and remain abstinent thereafter? do you deny that it is possible to do so and confine their intimacy to females? f these are possible, then whether or not you think the situation you describe is a homosexual act is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the bible says or implies transition is sinful.

“It seems to me that you are seeking and have been for some time, to recreate yourself in a better image than the one that God created you to be. It’s a direct and intentional defiance of the Holy Creator God, and to use your phrase, if that’s the way you choose to live…then it’s up to you.”

This assumes that God specifically selects every physical characteristic we are born with. if a child is born blind and the doctors say “we can give him sight” would your advice be “do not try to make yourself better than the way God designed you to be! You are intentionally defying his will!”

Somehow i doubt it. So long as you refuse to acknowledge that the thing we are discussing is a simple biological condition, a birth defect of no more or less morality than any other you will continue to make claims based on an assumption of facts not in evidence.

“This is a manifestation of the fundamental sin that seperates man from God, it’s as Sproul calls it, cosmic treason….idolatry. As Paul put it, “worshiping the creature, rather than the creator.”

But again, if that’s what you choose…if that’s how you wish to relate to God….then it’s up to you.

Indeed. If it is up to me, why have so many here invested so much time in trying to convince me otherwise? Why are we engaged in a discussion of trying to “fix” someone who’s already transitioned? I know why I’M in this discussion – why are you?

“But, I implore you….be reconciled to God.”

I am, more so than ever. Thanks for your concern.

66 Tammy Rainey December 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm

“You are right. According to your “worldview, the reality of a person’s soul and spirit was not identified by that which they keep in their underwear.”

The revealed truth here, according to your own words, is that your “worldview” has persuaded you that the reality of your soul and spirit was identified by that which you “did not want to keep” in your underwear. Therefore, you changed it to be in accord with “your” personal worldview. Your worldview is not that of a biblical worldview.”

Yet another repetition of the same fundamental error: you will never make a persuasive case by claiming facts not in evidence. SAYING it is not biblical does not PROVE it is not or even attempt a case for the claim. it’s a “because i said so” argument which is no argument at all. And please, don’t try to make an issue out of “worldview” – we all have a worldview, and various sorts of Christians have contrasting worldviews, all of them claiming TRIER’S is the true Biblical worldview and every one else has erred.

“There is a reason that your worldview is not a biblical worldview. That reason is revealed very plainly in Romans 1:18-32″

Which says nothing at all about transsexuals.

i’ll ask you what i ask above: have ANY of you ever DARED in the quiet place of your contemplation to honestly face up to the question “What if i’m wrong?”

Have any of you ever laid aside what your mama said and what your preacher said and what your Sunday School teacher said and opened your bible without any preconceived idea of what everyone else SAID that it says and set out to see for yourself, prepared to accept the possibility that what you THOUGHT was true…isn’t in there?

If what you claim to be true IS in fact true, then it can withstand examination. if you are afraid to even CONSIDER that it might not be, that’s a very good sign it isn’t.

67 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 9:12 pm

“Which says nothing at all about transsexuals.”

Once again, Tammy, you are right.

However, to be specific, I was in reference to the passage in its description of people who have fallen to having reprobate mind, of which, by all you have stated here in this thread, you have done so.

68 Tammy Rainey December 19, 2013 at 11:00 pm

let me walk through that logic:

You claim that I am in sin, yet have not demonstrated it >>>
Based on that claim, you call me to repentance without proving repentance is needed >>>
based upon my (apparent) failure to repent you conclude that i have a reprobate mind >>>
which is why i don’t recognize that your claim that i am in sin is valid and doesn’t need proof.

That’s called circular reasoning – it’s not valid.

first things first – prove to a reasonable degree that we may assume the condition in question is in fact sinful, THEN call for repentance. You can’t draw any fair conclusions about reprobate minds until you have done the first tings first.

69 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm

No, Tammy, this time you are once again wrong.

I have “claimed” nothing. I have dogmatically stated you are wrong.

However, for argument’s sake, let’s just imagine for a moment that I lost my mind and became a raving lunatic and stated that God is just fine with you doing whatever you want in life as long as you are sincere. Let’s say every person on this blog thread said you were OK and in good standing with God as long as you are sincere.

The truth is, you are still wrong. You are in an alien position to revealed, biblical truth and all the rationalization in the world will not change that one iota.

By your own admission, you are of those individuals described in Romans 1:18 ff.

70 SVMuschany December 19, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Hey CB, isn’t SBCVoices wonderful! In one thread we go at it strongly disagreeing, yet in another we join together in complete agreement! God bless SBCVoices!

71 cb scott December 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm

SVMuschany,

Yes, I think this is a good medium for dialogue. However, I have a suspicion that even if we were face-to-face, we could have the same relationship. You seem to have a stand-up guy type of personality. I have respect for guys like that. That is why I have come to admire guys like Dave Miller, Tim Rogers, Dwight McKissic, Peter Lumpkins, Bob Cleveland, Marty Duren, Art Rogers, Chris Roberts, Jared Moore, William Thornton,and many others.

You say what you think and you own it. I respect that.

72 Tammy Rainey December 20, 2013 at 2:33 am

cb, please allow me to correct myself:

You have dogmatically stated something you have not demonstrated to be true.

Thank you for noting the misstatement.

73 Dee Stover December 17, 2013 at 10:04 am

Ms Rainey has given us a wonderful example of what to consider for the sake of mercy, which I consider critical in understanding Torah. I agree we may have to consider gender ID separately. However, when the gentiles were coming to Christ James outlines 4 things in Acts to avoid…eating blood, polutions of idols, things strangled and sexual sin…these as minimal starting points as they grow the graft into Israel. I would say the main thing is to begin there celebately then to pray for wisdom having him learn the scriptures and pray for wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Others cannot make this decision for this person. Judge the fruit of their life not on whether you agree theologically with them, but whether you see honesty and other character growing. Obedience to God will follow and no one can make this decision for her. I say her not as my theological choice, but in honor of the choice she made. This eay she is free to follow God and not my imposition of my theology.

74 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm

well said.

75 Tarheel December 18, 2013 at 9:51 am

Another question here, to further discussion….

Dee,

You mentioned judging others based whether we see them “growing in honesty and character”.

Is having a surgery to change ones God given sex, and then living life that way – presumably not making announcements to people regarding the fact that one is a man living as a woman, living a life of honesty?

I’m not trying to be jerky…really I’m not…but I am having a hard time seeing how such things reflect a life of honesty….

76 Dee Stover December 20, 2013 at 1:49 am

Character is grown over time. I made a lot of mistakes in my 20s and 30s..ok and early 40s…from trying to know who im supposed to be…married a man who was not serious about God after giving up on my calling…and that from trying to fit my calling into denominationalism which stifled it. In my 50s making much better decisions…but it was a journey. I think this person needs time to hear God speak to them about who God created them to be and that transcends gender. But gender/eunichness will fall into place with time. Needs to hear from God not too many human judges. A few Godly people teaching how to hear God speak. Honor the person remember we all have to learn trial and error.

77 Dee Stover December 20, 2013 at 2:02 am

I think the point is that this person just came to salvation. Needs time to grow. Doubt you were sinless this fast…one abomination is not worse than another. Discipleship is a process not a contest as the pharisees would have it.

78 Dee Stover December 17, 2013 at 10:21 am

FYI…this from a person who believes scripture teaches pork and homosexual acts are as abominable as gossip!

79 cb scott December 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm

“this from a person who believes scripture teaches pork and homosexual acts are as abominable as gossip!”

What????

Are you stating that eating “pork” (Ham, Pork-chops Sausage, Beacon, and even B-B-Q) equates to a sin such as “homosexuality” or heterosexual sins and is an abomination such as is gossip?

Is that what you actually believe? If so, I have a question for you:

From what planet in an alternate galaxy do you originate?

80 Greg Harvey December 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm

Dee has commented before on similar subjects. If I were attempt to put a name on the system she proposes, it would be “messianic christian Judaizers”. Of which only the third word is capitalized because it’s what she really seems to believe…

81 Dee Stover December 20, 2013 at 1:31 am

People are redeemed …not abominations. These are all on the forbidden list and Peter interpreted his vision to mean gentiles were not forbidden and that Pharisaic tradition was wrong to treat believing Gentiles as dogs.

82 cb scott December 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I must be on visitation to another planet today also. For I have committed breakfast blasphemy by spelling “bacon” as “beacon.” However it is true that “bacon” can be a “beacon.” How so?

Well, I’ll tell you. On an early morning when it is so cold that every time you try to put your feet out from under the cover to get out of bed, they try to jump back under and icicles are hanging off your nose and you declare you shall just stay in bed all day (maybe all winter) and then, suddenly — you smell bacon cooking in the kitchen. . . .

Then you slap yourself in the face, jump from the bed into your pants and boots and follow that “bacon beacon” to the kitchen . . . and all is well with the world. . . . after about three helpins’ and a pot of coffee to wash it down.

83 Jim Pemberton December 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I thought it was a kludge between bacon and deacon, like that was what the deacons were calling their Sunday morning prayer breakfast.

84 cb scott December 17, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Jim Pemberton,

In most of the churches I have served, it was a requirement that the deacons eat pork at least twice a week for an evening meal and eat bacon for breakfast every day. Naturally, sausage is always mixed in with the gravy and eggs.

85 Doug Hibbard December 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm

My son, in his 7-year-old wisdom, recently opined that it was much easier to get up when he could smell bacon than when he heard the rattle of the Cheerios box.

All I could say was that it was easier to get up when I was planning to *cook* bacon than when I planned to rattle the Cheerios box.

86 cb scott December 17, 2013 at 8:32 pm

The Hibbard men are very intelligent men.

87 Doug Hibbard December 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm

We even had sense enough to come out of the deer woods early Saturday when it was 35 degrees with a wind chill of 15.

Which was good, because one of my church members had fallen, shattered the glass on his shower door, and his son needed backup help in taking care of the situation. His son being the man whose land I hunt on, whose truck I had, and whose house I was returning the truck to just as he was heading to help his father.

One might call that a coincidence, but I have my doubts.

88 volfan007 December 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm

I like bacon.

David

89 Jeremy Parks December 17, 2013 at 11:08 am

I think there are some great points here.

First, I think Ms. Rainey has pointed out that we must be merciful in our approach to the issue. These are real people who have real issues. They deserve our love. And yes, we’ve been wrong on other topics, so we should proceed with caution.

However – I think the crux of the initial question comes down to one of identity: who determines our inner, existential identity? Mankind? Or God? Ms. Rainey said, “Transsexualism is very much about how you precieve your SELF, not at all about sexual desire.” This was her concluding statement in a paragraph focusing on what defines someone as male. If we want to examine whether it is wrong to re-define our gender, let’s look no further than that concept.

God defined identity by divine fiat. He made them as male and female. That was design. In no other way does the Bible clearly delineate physical identity – only in terms of gender. It doesn’t say, “Large-nosed and wide-hipped, He made them.” No references to hair-color, or hearing status, or anything else. Male and female. This is all the Spirit of God Himself opted to say on the matter.

Choosing to alter that providentially-designed identity would be a mistake. After all, every time someone in the Bible opts to alter God’s plans it generally does not work out. In fact, I can think of a few examples where it is treated as sin.

And that’s simply the beginning of the discussion.

90 Greg Harvey December 17, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Let’s see:

1. From your telling of the story, it sounds like he now views both the gender identity “decision” and the reassignment surgery as sinful.

2. I also sense from the story that he was not born with physical hermaphroditism which could be due to a chromosomal abnormality like Klinefelter Syndrome (XXY) or Turner Syndrome (XO). So there isn’t a physical cause for sexual identity confusion or a need for a “gender identity selection” decision.

3. Given #1 and #2, I think he current situation most closely resembles eunuchs in the Bible. This suggests there are two issues to deal with physically:

a. The physical mutilation in the form of plastic surgery to provide the appearance of female sexual characteristics.

b. Hormonal therapy and other grooming activities to maintain the appearance.

Presumably, again assuming the story as told is true, he would have been given hormonal therapy prior to the reassignment surgery. Changing that therapy might still be an option whether or not the surgical re-reassignment were attempted. But the thought that there is ANY (physical) utility in attempting to re-plumb him as a male is scientifically pretty unrealistic.

So for all intents and purposes, he is physically a eunuch with traditional sexual chromosomal material for a man (XY). Short of turning him over to the secular psychologists for the rest of his life, he could accomplish most of the personal effort to regain a male “gender identity” by focusing on switching hormonal therapy and grooming. He would have to learn to live with the “fact” that he is essentially mutilated by the surgery and that isn’t reversible.

This one, like the other story, also has rather frustrating echoes of incredulity to it. It isn’t that I disbelieve the story as presented, but there is a sensation that the situation has spun out of control through essentially gossip and that is why there are so many differing opinions in the story itself.

If he chose to share his story that way and make it so public, it certainly does cause me to wonder if his profession of faith is authentic. If he didn’t, then the “community” needs to be counseled on how gossip generally hinders the Holy Spirit’s work of conviction, repentance, restitution, and sanctification. He’s arguably become more of a spectacle than a person through the gossip in my opinion.

91 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Great thoughts Jeremy. Forgive me for selective quotes but I will strive to be fair to your intent.

“I think the crux of the initial question comes down to one of identity: who determines our inner, existential identity? Mankind? Or God?”

That’s a heck of a philosophical question, or at least the kernel of one. Let’s be clear, I believe we agree (if you are Christian) that our sex is indeed and indisputably ordained by God. A transsexual is not at all presuming to alter their sex, in that context – rather they seek to conform their flesh to the sex they know in their spirit to be correct.

The imponderable philosophical question is – what is “me”? Wherein does the soul reside? Can we confidently state that one’s “brain sex” – their self perception of their sex – will always align with the sex of their “soul”? do we even believe the soul HAS a sex? There is much here we simply cannot know with confidence.

“God defined identity by divine fiat.”

Indeed. But does this mean that God ordains what you ARE in your innermost being, or that he ordains the specific arrangement of your flesh? And if we mean the latter…

“He made them as male and female. That was design. In no other way does the Bible clearly delineate physical identity”

…then whence commoth the intersex condition? if we take the theological position that god literally ordains a male child born with a penis and a female child born with a vagina and that’s always and only his will – then how do we account for the intersex people?

Are such people rare? Very much so – but so are self-professed transsexuals.

It seems to me that it’s unreasonable in light of the fact that we KNOW that human flesh is, on occasion, out of alignment with the binary design of which you speak (IMO, as one of the many results of the fall) to insist that when God ordains one’s male or female sex, he does this by way of the arrangement of the flesh. I submit, rather, that the inner sense of one’s sex is the point that is ordained of God, and that the flesh – as happens in so many various ways – is sometimes flawed.

Moreover, if God’s ordained sex for me – as witnessed by my mind and spirit – is female and my flesh is flawed (as one born blind has flesh that is flawed) then whereby am i contradicting his design by bringing the flesh into alignment? We know that the whole world is out of alignment with his intended design due to the fall and the effects of the cancer of sin in this creation. do we not believe that when we as humans discern his design, and seek to conform the flawed structure – whether it is the culture or the government or the church or one’s own flesh – into a closer alignment with his design that we, in fact, honor that design? If my thesis is correct, and my inner sex is God’s intent and the flesh is flawed (and frankly, doesn’t that seem more logical given that we know that flawed flesh is part and parcel of the human condition) then an action which seeks to remove the flaws and conform to the intent is god-honoring, not god-defying.

92 Dee Stover December 20, 2013 at 1:09 am

Who God says i am is more important than who i think i am. My perception is flawed.

93 Tammy Rainey December 20, 2013 at 2:27 am

Indeed. What does God say you are?

94 Jim Pemberton December 17, 2013 at 11:51 am

I won’t address all the points Tammy makes, but I will discuss the general principles that mitigate her understanding.

First, it is unwise to draw principles from the exceptions. One typical pattern for disputing a general principle is to cite exceptions, both hypothetical and real. Examples of apparently acceptable physical gender exceptions are typically trotted out to justify spiritually sinful perversion. It’s already been observed that the Bible doesn’t observe today’s transgender issues because it didn’t exist as we know it. On the one hand, this is true. On the other it isn’t. The transgender issue the Bible addresses is the eunuch. I believe Matthew 19:12 addresses both physical and spiritual eunuchs. But the spiritual eunuchs here would not be those with gender confusion. They are those who are comfortable with a life of celibacy for the purpose of devoting their lives to kingdom work.

While male and female brains are different, not only is natural non-genetic hermaphroditism rare (genetic hermaphroditism is far more common and neither produces reproductive systems that function well if at all), it’s not reasonable to think that it would change only the brain without changing the body. The evidence that people with transgender proclivities already have a brain of the opposite gender does not lend itself to concluding a cause. It’s at least as likely that the observable structure and function of the brain is shaped by the way it’s used as the way it’s used is affected by its observable structure and function. That said, all of this falls under the exceptional rather than the normal.

There is much perversion among people in all gender categories, modern and ancient. So there is an ethical principle that transcends any of them. Biblically, God gave us gender identities for the purpose of glorifying him. If we find our happiness in him, we will welcome our place as one gender or another, whether we follow healthy inclinations into a heterosexual marriage or resign ourselves to lives of singleness. Either one requires sacrifice if it is to glorify God.

That’s where this comes down to the question of identity being discussed. We either find our identity in Christ or choose to pursue an identity outside of Christ. Some people choose to pursue an identity outside of Christ and claim that it is of Christ.

One reason that the normal needs to be upheld as the ethical principle is so that we can have a standard by which to discern those who intend to deceive and those who are deceived. Because of our ethical shortcomings in Western culture of late, we have largely lost the ability to discern truth in these matters and we have been given over to minds that are debased. It’s this discernment that allows us to be merciful where mercy is right and yet proclaim our sin in need of a savior to atone for it justly. If we confuse wrong with right, we lose the message of the gospel. Mercy to those who are exceptional cannot fail to inform us of those who are deceptive for there is no mercy without justice and there is no justice without mercy. Add the sacrificial living I mentioned above and you get grace.

We all must sacrifice because when it comes down to it all sin wants to be exceptional for self-justification. The burden of the exceptional is to sacrifice exception in submission to Christ for his justification.

95 Tammy Rainey December 17, 2013 at 8:56 pm

“First, it is unwise to draw principles from the exceptions.”

Agreed. But this does not mitigate the reality that we should discern the details of a situation and not try to force every person into a narrow arbitrary standard.

“Examples of apparently acceptable physical gender exceptions are typically trotted out to justify spiritually sinful perversion”

Again, this assumes as a given that transsexualism is sin without demonstrating it.

” It’s already been observed that the Bible doesn’t observe today’s transgender issues because it didn’t exist as we know it. On the one hand, this is true. On the other it isn’t.”

The eunuch in the Bible did not live at a time when medical/surgical intervention to address the situation was available or even known. That said, there are some parallels. The Bible says some eunuchs were made that way by God. if we are to consider them a parallel to the modern transsexual, we can’t throw that out.

” it’s not reasonable to think that it would change only the brain without changing the body.”

Why not? other forms of intersex conditions affect only one part of the body (AIS, for instance, deals only with hormone receptors on the cells – and any other effect is merely a side effect of that one flaw) . Beyond that, let’s clarify.

Science illustrates that all human fetuses being their existence in a default female state. If the baby possess as Y chromosome, and processes occur without mishap, that will trigger in the mother two separate events during pregnancy, about 2 months apart. These events “dose” the baby with testosterone, the former event masculanizing the bodily development and the latter masculinizing the brain. If either of these do not occur correctly, then you have some form of intersex condition. if the former occurs and the latter does not, then you have a masculine body and a feminine mind. So technically speaking, it’s not so much that the brain is affected exclusively among all organs, but it has to do with the process having a function that specifically relates to the brain.

” It’s at least as likely that the observable structure and function of the brain is shaped by the way it’s used as the way it’s used is affected by its observable structure and function”

The difference in question have been demonstrated even in those who have done nothing to confirm their female identity. Unless the argument is that thinking about being female makes you think you are a female…which involves a ton more supposition than the accepted thesis.

“That said, all of this falls under the exceptional rather than the normal”

Of course it’s exceptional. likely no more than 1 in 1,000 persons and probably less.

“That’s where this comes down to the question of identity being discussed. We either find our identity in Christ or choose to pursue an identity outside of Christ. Some people choose to pursue an identity outside of Christ and claim that it is of Christ.”

Which is a thought process that begins with an unproven assumption – that sex transition is sinful – and then proceeds to sit in judgement on the authenticity of the spiritual life of those who’s experience is completely alien to your own. if we must put ourselves in the place of saying “Your profession is not authentic” it seems to me we need to reserve that to cases in which the Scriptural support is much more clear. moreover, I don’t recall any pastor advocating that we should, as a rule, question the salvation of Christians who divorce because of “irreconcilable differences” and claim that God is fine with it (to name just one example) – even though the Bible says much more about God’s view of divorce than it does about his (alleged) view of transsexuals.

“Mercy to those who are exceptional cannot fail to inform us of those who are deceptive for there is no mercy without justice and there is no justice without mercy.”

I don’t believe I’ve advocated or implied that the truth of the exceptional case implies one must lay aside their discernment in relationship to actual sin.All Christians should employee wisdom and discernment, and reflect the love of Christ. That’s not really an issue in dispute here.

“We all must sacrifice because when it comes down to it all sin wants to be exceptional for self-justification. The burden of the exceptional is to sacrifice exception in submission to Christ for his justification”

Well and good. but it doesn’t change the fact that it must first be demonstrated to BE sinful to transition before one can say to such a one “you are responsible before Christ to not do this even if it means you suffer”

96 Tim Rogers (@Timothy_Rogers) December 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Tammy/Tommy,

I cannot respond to your comment to me so I had to start a new comment thread.

First, I am not using a literary device in order to “keep from sullying” my hands as I type. I am merely trying to follow the wise advice that Dr. Moore has given. Something you agreed was wise advice. Thus, if you do not want me using the back-slash tell me what male name you would prefer.

Second, had you read Dr. Moore’s position paper you would find that I am not alone in my assessment.

Third, in reading your comments to me you are condenscending as if you are some absolute intellectual superior being over me. I will not debate from such a perspective.

Fourth, you are wrong and living in sin. That is not my decision that is God’s decision. The bible is clear that God created male and female. He did not mix up the genders. Your perspective is that you are a woman chromosomal but living in a male body. That is what sin does to one. It convinces them that God was wrong in His creative process and it must be changed the one in sin knows better than God himself.

While you desire to point to your “vague scriptures” you are absolutely wrong on those. Are there people born missing parts of their bodies, parts of their thinking processes, parts of their…..you name it? Yes that is the problem that results from sin entering the world. You are advocating sin in the creation. That is not the case with transgender, it is sin in the creature.

97 volfan007 December 18, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I agree completely with Tim Rogers, CB, and all those who agree with the Bible.

Tommy Rainey, we all struggle with sinful feelings and desires and thoughts…all of us….it’s called temptation. And, just because we may be tempted to commit adultery, or fornication, or homosexual sex, or to lie, or murder….we should not surrender to the temptation, but rather fight the temptation with the power of God. So, just because you may feel tempted to dress like a woman, and look like a woman, and act like a woman, doesn’t make it right for you to cave in to those sinful desires. The Bible clearly teaches that a man should look and act like a man, and a woman should look and act like a woman.

You really need to hear what Baptist Jim said above…..good, good stuff from a man, who has walked thru some very dark places. God bless you, Baptist Jim. And, Tommy, you need to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ….with all of your heart…truly….and put your faith in Jesus.

David

98 Tammy Rainey December 18, 2013 at 11:04 pm

vandyfan/Dana (see how that sort of thing isn’t really cute at all?) – you are free, if you like, to answer the question that Tim et al are either unwilling or, more likely, incapable of answering:

you must FIRST demonstrate a given act IS a sin before you can then give advice about how to fight the sinful temptation.

let’s lay aside for a second my condition and use a more neutral example. some Christians (including a lot of Baptists) argue that ANY consumption of alcohol is sin. many others, including many Christians, disagree. holding only that it is drunkenness, not consumption, that is sinful.

now, let us suppose that you hold the former view – any consumption is sinful – and you say to your neighbor whom you have never seen to be even approaching intoxication but whom you know to indulge in a beer or two on the weekend “let me tell you how you must resist the temptation to that sinful activity” – is the man not within his rights to say “Before you give me that advice you must first prove to me that the bible says it IS sin”?

And if you cannot do that, do you really have the right to counsel him about how to avoid that sin?

Even so it is in this conversation – repeatedly I have said “If you are going to tell me i need to overcome this sin then the burden is upon you to demonstrate FROM SCRIPTURE that it IS sin.” to this point not one single soul has even ATTEMPTED to make that case. More and more it gives the appearance that no one CAN make that case – because it is not, in fact, in there.

I understand that many people are uncomfortable having one of their core beliefs challenged, but if you have never had your beliefs challenged and had to examine them to see WHY you believe what you claim to believe, then your position is empty. it is only the examined thought that is worth sharing. So by all means, rise above your peers and make the case, from Scripture, that transsexual transition is sinful. Otherwise, just joining the “me too” choir doesn’t really contribute anything to the discussion.

99 Tammy Rainey December 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm

and by the way, I find it very convenient how people who cannot support their views with evidence so easily resort to assuming the opponent lacks a relationship with Christ.

Submitted for your consideration:
——————–
Romans14
1.Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall [e]give praise to God.”

12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. 20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. 21 It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. 22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
————————
In fact, now that I re-read it, that chapter might be a very good answer to the original question in this thread. Perhaps the post-op woman in question should be shown grace and let God tell her whether or not she has something that needs to be dealt with.

100 Tammy Rainey December 18, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Tim, the name I prefer is Tammy. if you wish to engage in a respectful conversation, you will use that name and quit trying to employ a passive/aggressive stunt.

Second, I’ve read more than one item from Dr. Moore on this subject. I’ve yet to see him do the thing I’ve asked you to do – prove your claim FROM SCRIPTURE. That must be the FIRST task in making your case or you have no case. Dr. Moore makes some good points IF you accept the initial unproven assertion. I don’t. I have a vested interest in what the Bible says on the subject. i spent most of my life desperately WANTING to see something in the bible that said it was not approved of God because I trusted Him to sanctify me and remove from my heart anything displeasing to him. I WANTED it removed. When I read the Bible and DON’T find that condemnation, i am finding a result directly opposite to the result i would have preferred.

you say “I am not alone in my assessment” as if that makes you right. That’s a fallacy called (in this case) “appeal to authority” or “appeal to popularity.”

there was a time when the vast majority of learned Christian scholars were absolutely convinced that god had assured us that the sun moved around the earth. did that authority or popularity make their position scientifically accurate? (by the way, you might want to peruse Church history about what happened all too often when a scientific discovery contradicted a traditional doctrine – the results are in many cases very ugly and embarrassing to the church)

Third, I have made no profession overt or implied of intellectual superiority. i do, however, claim to have exceeded you in this thread in my willingness to support my position with a better argument than “because i say so”

look, I’m not asking you to change your mind because *I* say so – i’m asking you to explain WHY you believe the things you believe. ANY person, me, you, or Billy Graham, who can’t do that ought keep their mouth hut about what they believe – because all they are doing is parroting what someone else told them.

Fourth, “you are wrong and living in sin” is – as in every other time it has been stated in this thread, an assertion based on facts not in evidence. Repeatedly I have challenged you, Dale, and others, to pull out your bible and PROVE IT. If the conclusion is so very obvious, you should be able to illustrate the proof with your eyes closed – which begs the question: Why have you NOT?

Here’s the bad news for the church – we all live in an age where fewer and fewer people are willing to simply take the preacher’s word for it. you want to tell them about God and what he says, they will most often say “prove it” and the absolute worst thing you can do is assume a “take my work for it” position. if you are going to tell someone it’s a sin to drink, or to smoke, or to have sex before marriage, or to be gay, or for a woman to wear pants, or whatever your theological view is – you are going to be asked to open up your bible and PROVE it. if not, you surrender your credibility on every other point of doctrine.

Frankly, I’m not trying to change your mind – I recognize the symptoms. If you want to believe I’m living in sin then by all means feel free, we both know the Book says we don’t answer to men but to God. what I DO want is for you to look in the mirror and ask yourself (and not just about this doctrine but about any doctrine) “Do I know WHY I believe what I believe? Can I answer that question when challenged?” when you can do that you will be a FAR better witness both for grace and for obedience.

I’m confident in your intelligence, I’m hoping to cultivate a bit of wisdom.

Fifth, ” Your perspective is that you are a woman chromosomal but living in a male body.”
Seriously? Have you not read my comments at all, or are you purposely misstating my argument? How can you debate against a position you can’t even accurately state? I don’t relish repeatedly having to restate my claim, but I feel this point must be addressed, even though I’ve made it a half-dozen time:

“God created male and female. He did not mix up the genders”

Do you or do you not deny the existence of intersex conditions? don’t weasel, don’t waffle, don’t equivocate – DO THEY EXIST, yes or no? If they do, then the comment quoted directly above is demonstrably false (in the sense in which you mean it)

In truth, it is an error to assume that every tiny detail of human existence is specifically God authored, to do so implies that God specifically designates a child to be born blind, or be afflicted with cancer, or killed in a fire. Is that what you believe? I believe a biblical view is that we live in a fallen world in which the corruption of sin has corrupted nature such that death, disease, and disaster happen at RANDOM. birth defects happen due to flaw in naturally occurring biological processes AT RANDOM. This is true when a child is born with Type 1 Diabetes, it’s true when a child is born with spina bifida, it’s true when a child is born with a penis and ovaries. Do you disagree?

” You are advocating sin in the creation. That is not the case with transgender, it is sin in the creature.”

Why? That’s the one question you either deliberately avoid or willingly blind yourself to – WHY is it different for the transsexual than for other sorts of birth defects? WHY is it possible to be born with a penis and ovaries, or with XXY chromosomes, but it’s not possible to be born with, to paraphrase the common expression, “a female brain and male gonads”

You have not demonstrated from Scripture that god condemns transsexual transition. You have not demonstrated from science that such a birth defect is not possible. and you have not demonstrated from reason what logic, exegesis, or set of facts demonstrate that your opinion is valid.

I’m sorry, no matter how you duck dodge and equivocate, “because I said so” isn’t good enough, and “Because god said so” only matters if you can SHOW WHERE he said so.

101 Tarheel December 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Re-post of questions…

Tarheel December 18, 2013 at 9:18 am

If I may interject a question…

Tammy Rainey contends that they have peace in thier soul about the decision they made to have a sex change…

My question to Tammy is….what does “peace in your soul” mean?

The reason I ask is that I’m not sure we’re operating on the same understanding regarding “peace of the soul”.

56 Tarheel December 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

Also, I haven’t read every word here so pardon m if I missed something…

but are you, Tammy, remaining celibate as a woman or do you seek out intimate relationships with another….and if so which sex?

Tarheel December 18, 2013 at 9:51 am

Another question here, to further discussion….

Dee,

You mentioned judging others based whether we see them “growing in honesty and character”.

Is having a surgery to change ones God given sex, and then living life that way – presumably not making announcements to people regarding the fact that one is a man living as a woman, living a life of honesty?

I’m not trying to be jerky…really I’m not…but I am having a hard time seeing how such things reflect a life of honesty….

102 Dee Stover December 20, 2013 at 1:02 am

I just mean it takes time to grow character. I want to watch for progression in discipleship. Did all your sin fall away ay once or did conviction and maturity take time?

103 Tammy Rainey December 18, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Tarheel, I addressed your first two questions in reply to your previous posts.

Your third is not directed at me but since it’s ABOUT me i will indulge myself to weigh in.

One of the failings of those who are prone to judge the decisions of others is not bothering to take into consideration the other persons point of view. Try to put yourself behind my eyes for a second.

From early childhood I understood myself to be female in mind soul and spirit.
From that early age I also understood that the people around me would not sympathize with, understand, or accept that claim. Therefor, like my peers (at least those of my generation – increasingly it’s different for young people today) I understood that in order to not be rejected as a “freak” and a “pervert” I must create the false front of being a “normal” male.

THAT facade was the dishonesty. now, I reveal to the world the reality of my heart, knowing full well I’ll get the sort of reaction I got here, or worse, but nevertheless at peace knowing that i am – for the first time in my life – being authentic. While I do believe it is wise to not be intimate with anyone without disclosing your history (for the sake of your own safety if nothing else) I see no reason at all that the checkout clerk or the hairdresser needs to be informed of one’s private medical history, and I would disagree with the assumption that to allow that man or woman to assume they are dealing with a woman is dishonest because, as i see it, i AM a woman so the face i show them IS authentic.

now, I understand that if you start with the premise that the claim to womanhood is false, then all that follows after is dishonest – that’s your right. But if you wish to understand the claim of honesty -where that claim comes from – you can only do so by putting yourself in my shoes.

104 SVMuschany December 19, 2013 at 3:09 am

I could believe myself, with all my mind and soul, to be a one eyed one horned flying purple people eater. I could believe it with all I am. Yet if I were to have surgery to remove one of my eyes, and center the other on my face, graft a “horn” on my forehead, and then believing I could fly, jumped off a bridge, people would rightly label me as nuts, and if I survived, I would be committed to a mental hospital. Why? Because in reality I am a human male, not a make-believe monster from an old song.

Scripture does not deal with “transgender” issues, thus to conclude that it must be ok is a fallacy. Scripture does not talk about drunk driving, but we can extrapolate from scripture that to do so is wrong, that it is a sin. Scripture is clear that homosexuality, a man sleeping with a man as he would a woman, and vice versa, is a sin. Scripture is also clear that things such as cross dressing is a sin. We can thus extrapolate that surgically modifying your body to change your gender, is sinful. Just because you “believe” yourself to be a different gender does not make that true.

Several people on this board have tried to communicate with you in love. But, you don’t see that, you see them calling your actions sin, and take it as an attack. In a way, that is true. It is an attack on your sin nature that is incompatible with life and service to Christ Jesus. Just as an alcoholics continued drinking is not, just as a homosexual’s continued sleeping with same sex people, just as a heterosexual continued sleeping outside of the bonds of marriage, just as people who continue to consume pornography even when they know it to be wrong. I would say that not confronting you would be LESS love towards you, as it would leave you in a state in which you cannot serve Christ Jesus, and may not truly know Him. Those who are saved, while they will still stumble, have a passion and drive to overcome their sins. A Christian is not perfect, but they try to be. And that means recognizing the sin in your life. Living as a woman, when God created you as a man is sin. You need to see that, you need to repent, and you need to go back to the way God made you.

Again, “i believe with my mind and soul” is all well and good, but if it conflicts with reality, you are still wrong.

105 Tarheel December 19, 2013 at 4:38 am

Well said, SVMuschany.

106 Tammy Rainey December 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

“people would rightly label me as nuts”

Excerpt from the big book of analogy fail? I’m sorry, i do not mean to be rude but if i’ve heard one attempt to engage in a creative analogy, I’ve hear a thousand and each and every time they fail on one simple point. which is this:

there are naturally occurring biological processes which operate on every human fetus ever conceived which determine the extent of their maleness or femaleness – over 99% of the time resulting in a clearly male or clearly female result. On the other hand, there is NO biological process which may result in a human mother giving birth to a cat, or an alien, or a table, or a mythological creature. Thus, there is no conceivable possibility that a delusion that one is any of those things might be credible, but by contrast their is a logical, rational, scientifically supported, process whereby one may have what they claim to have when they say they have a brain that does not align with their genitals.

“Scripture does not deal with “transgender” issues, thus to conclude that it must be ok is a fallacy. ”

Assuming that’s the only premise supporting your position, it is indeed. likewise, assuming it must be impressionable based only on that would be a fallacy.

” Scripture is clear that homosexuality, a man sleeping with a man as he would a woman, and vice versa, is a sin. ”

not every Christian agrees with that, but even if we assume this is true, it fails to support your view because it is not a given that one who transitions will engage in intimate relations with people of the same sex which they appeared to be at birth.

“Scripture is also clear that things such as cross dressing is a sin.”

Based on ONE verse, from the same book (the same chapter?) that says you should not wear clothing of mixed fabrics. why doe the crossdressing rule apply and not the fabric rule? Moreover, if a woman puts on her husband’s shirt to do yard work, is she an abomination before God?

” We can thus extrapolate that surgically modifying your body to change your gender, is sinful. Just because you “believe” yourself to be a different gender does not make that true. ”

Logically you cannot make that leap and the desire to do so is a manifestation of eisegesis – finding in Scripture that which you expect to see there – rather than exegesis.

Given that a transsexual can simply choose to abstain from sex, you cannot make the leap that to transition is to default into homosexual behavior, nor that the prohibition you believe exists on homosexuality likewise bans transition. Likewise, even if you believe that you want to build a case against crossdressing based on one selectively chosen and selectively applied verse, IF the person in question is, as they claim to be, a woman with the birth defect of a male gonadal arrangement (or vice versa) then that verse doesn’t apply to them anyway.

You have at least attempted to make a biblical case, which puts you several steps ahead of the other posters here for which I applaud you, but you have still based your argument on a pre-assumed conclusion – that the self understanding of one’s gender identity is simply a delusion which doesn’t reflect a real biological state.

Have you ever considered the possibility you might be wrong about that?Have you acquainted yourself with the science on the subject? or would you prefer not to know things that are inconvenient to your traditions (as many many Christians do)?

” Just because you “believe” yourself to be a different gender does not make that true. ”

Not alone, no – but would you care to explain by what method YOUR knowledge of my brain trumps my own? Would I be within my rights to seek to define you in a way contrary to what you know of yourself? Certainly a person can believe of themselves a thing that is not true – but even more so a person can believe of others things that they have no way to objectively know the thing for certain. Why is your view of me credible but my view of me is not?

Because Bible? You’ve already acknowledged the bible doesn’t address it (which is correct).

” But, you don’t see that, you see them calling your actions sin, and take it as an attack.”

Nonsense. I do not believe I have been attacked in any way, lest one counts the very mild trolling that arises from calling me “Tommy”. I believe that the thread is awash in very poor argumentation. it is flooded with assertions made based upon assumption of facts not proven. It is overflowing with the preaching of tradition disguising itself as Scripture. It is populated by men who, to all appearances, not only have never paused to consider the possibility that they have been taught a falsehood on this subject, but seem afraid to give room to that consideration.

I would suggest that, just as “Jim” fully realizes he would be wrongly accused and badly treated were he to admit to his (supposedly) loving church family what was really in his heart, each and every one of you is AFRAID to face their fellow traditionalists and say “I think we’ve been wrong on this”

I know what that feels like because I HAVE BEEN THERE. There was more than one message which i delivered while i was preaching which addressed this issue. People in the church – any church – KNOW their their fellow Christians, the ones who are called to show love for one another, would react VERY badly if they knew the things we were struggling with. Jim is right – he DARE NOT admit the content of his heart because it would be very ugly. when I was preaching about how we as Christians won’t take off our masks and be real with each other, it was because I KNEW what those people would think about what was behind my own mask (even at a time when i disapproved of that hidden truth just as much as they did).

do ANY of you have the intellectual courage to consider the possibility that the tradition you have been taught lacks biblical support? I’m not asking you to correct GOD, I’m asking you to take the traditions of men off the throne and put god on it. God is not. so long as you are afraid to challenge tradition – particularly when you are afraid of your fellow man – it is tradition which is your priority, not God.

“as it would leave you in a state in which you cannot serve Christ Jesus, and may not truly know Him.”

do you honestly believe that someone who had not been reconciled to God would invest this much effort into telling anyone who will reply “look and see what your bible says” and “worship god and not tradition”? of course we disagree, but apart from that disagreement do i strike you as a person not in a relationship with Christ? If i were not, would I not rather be running with the crowd that simply dismisses all traditional Christians as hateful bigots to be scorned, rather than thoughtful individuals to be reasoned with?

In my opinion, it is a sad sad reflection on god’s people that when they disagree on a point of doctrine they immediately resort to “well you are probably not saved anyway” – why are we so arrogant as to assume WE and we alone have the direct hotline to god and cannot in any wise be in error? of, we will SAY that we recognize we are not perfect – we’ll feign the “humble servant” mask and admit that we don’t know everything about god’s intent and design…and then turn right around and knee-jerk back to the arrogance which assumes we MUST be right in any dispute. and if you disagree it’s because you aren’t really one of us anyway.

“Living as a woman, when God created you as a man is sin”

You have not proven this claim, or even build a somewhat mediocre case for it (though you did try, props for that) – and stating it without demonstrating it achieves nothing. At the VERY least, if you admit (as you have) that one can only INFER your position, then the most you can say is “I believe that it is a sin” which I completely respect.

in the same way as when someone says to me “i believe that if a woman wears pants it is a sin” or “I believe that Christians must always abstain from alcohol” or “I believe that one must be baptized to achieve salvation” i respect those too. but it doesn’t mean i feel obliged to conform my life to their doctrine when i do NOT believe it is valid.

I’m not even trying to convince you to take my word for it – far from it. I’m trying to convince you – each of you – to step back, lay aside tradition, prepare yourself to honestly consider the possibility that what you thought was true MIGHT not be – and look at the issue through fresh eyes. look at the Scripture, look at the science, look at the collective testimony of thousands of transsexual Christians – each and every one of whom will tell you that the expended every last full measure of effort, faith, and tears trying to be rid of this thing and obey the traditional view -and CONSIDER whether or not your former views stand examination. If they do, fair enough – we simply disagree in no more or less significant fashion that the Baptist and the Pentecostal disagree on dozens of points of doctrine. if they don’t stand up to examination, then you are wiser – and honoring god more – now than you were before you made the examination.

The question here is – do any of you have the courage to make that examination?

107 SVMuschany December 19, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Once again your eisegesis is terrible. Just because scripture does not speak to an issue, does not mean we cannot determine from other scripture what is sin and what his not. Moderationists and abolitionists can disagree over whether it is right or wrong to drink alcohol in moderation. BOTH however can agree that driving after drinking IS wrong, IS sin. And yet the bible DOES NOT talk about driving, or driving drunk or anything close to that. So how can we determine that drinking and driving is wrong! By your logic we cannot because it is not addressed in scripture. That assumption is wrong. There are many morality items we deal with today in society that are not addressed in scripture. But we CAN use similar and related issues in Scripture to come to firm and biblical positions.

But it is clear you don’t care. You accuse us of being close minded, yet you are yourself. Otherwise you would listen to our arguments. You don’t want a debate, you want to puff yourself up and pat yourself on the back when your preformed assumptions based on faulty biblical eisegesis (note eisegesis not exegesis) are affirmed because we did not address the issues as YOU decide they should be addressed. And now you will go back to your page and your friends who support your views and look back and use this experience to promote your views on the “close-minded” SBC folk, all the while you never gave a view that contradicted your own a chance.

108 Tammy Rainey December 20, 2013 at 2:25 am

Can you say “drinking and driving is wrong”?

Absolutely!

What you CANNOT say is that “The bible clearly teaches that drinking and driving is wrong.”

If you want to say transsexual transition is wrong based on human reasoning, then state your case – but the word “sin” won’t be relevant to that case.

As for the rest – you seem to be growing more and more hostile. Are you disappointed that I didn’t live down to your predictions? you seem to be committed to assigning motivations and positions to me that are not true (and by the way, attacking the character of your opponent is a logical fallacy)

I’m not sure how you reach the conclusion that I never gave your views a chance when i HELD those views myself – and preached them! – for 20 years. I’m not sure how much more of a chance they need to have.

But hey, let’s lay that aside and look at this – you attempted a case from Scripture, I offered counterpoints…out of direct affirmation and respect for the fact that you did attempt to make your case.

did YOU respect MY rebuttal enough to take up the points i made and show why they were inaccurate? did you even acknowledge them?

Nope – you just shout “closed minded!” and attack my motives.

Bad form preacher. do you wish to have an exchange of ideas, or do you wish to belittle me until I fulfill your prediction and run away? If it’s the latter i should go ahead and give you a heads up, making me “run away” from any debate, particularly one I feel passionately about, is virtually impossible. I’m not entirely certain it’s ever been done. I’m like a dog with a bone, I’ll hold on to it LONG after everyone has given up trying to take it from me – and by “it” i do not mean my conviction that i am right, I mean my willingness to stay in the arena of ideas and find out who’s right. So if it is your motivation to browbeat me off this discussion, all i can say is gird up your loins and pack a lunch.

In response to your previous post i met hostility with grace – I shall endeavor to continue to do that, but I will also continue to point out weak argumentation when it appears..

109 Tammy Rainey December 19, 2013 at 9:06 am

” Scripture is clear that homosexuality…”

Not all Christians agree even on that, just as a point of order. It never gets old to watch people say “Scripture is clear that…” about something other Christians do not find there. To repeat a previous point, some Christians argue that “Scripture is clear that you must be baptized in order to be saved” but obviously if it were clear, there would be no dispute.

“but we can extrapolate from scripture…”

Then do so. Invoking homosexual acts, even if you are right on that, does not qualify because (a) the post-op woman can choose to be celibate; or (b) the post op woman can happen to interact with the sex you approve of them interacting with (whichever that would be). Citing crossdressing doesn’t do it because it derives from the assumption that it is a MAN who is dressing as a woman, or vice versa (and yet, our culture has NO problem if a woman puts on a pair of overalls to go to work, or a man’s shirt to go out and wash the car which provokes a question i don’t have time to get into) but if the starting point is that one’s brain defines one’s sex (which is the scientific and logical reality) then there’s no man there and the crossdressing point loses relevance, to the extent it ever had it.

also, by the way, the same book which says “a man shall not wear the clothes of a woman” also says “you shall not wear garments of mixed fabrics (the same chapter even, IIRC) – why do we cling to the former and ignore the latter? how is that “clear”?

“have tried to communicate with you in love. But, you don’t see that ”

On the contrary – I absolutely do. i wonder if you consider my comments also to be offered in love, just as much in effort to lead a brother or sister out of doctrinal error as theirs are? We disagree. for the most part (with a few exceptions, though the number is growing) we have discussed respectfully and in Christian love. is it required that i surrender my views, though unconviced, in order to prove that I see love and concern?

“your sin nature that is incompatible with life and service to Christ Jesus.”

Again. Y’all can’t seem to wrap your head around the fact that you don’t get to claim facts not in evidence. Nothing implied by that comment has been demonstrated from Scripture or from any other source except the collective opinion of Tradition.

” Living as a woman, when God created you as a man is sin.”

You keep claiming it. You have not offered evidence. no one here has. THAT is what i ask. and if y’all were REALLY motivated by love, rather than in some cases a desire to win the debate, you would have been swift to say “let’s look at what the bible says here and here” but days into the conversation – not ONE of you has.

I submit that there is a reason for that and it’s not lack of love.

110 SVMuschany December 19, 2013 at 9:57 am

You have in this very post made it clear that if I, or anyone here were to present the verses that CLEARLY speak against homosexuality, you would say, just as you did, that that is just “one interpretation” and ignore what we say. You don’t really care for scripture, you are using it as a prop because you know no one can show you anything that you already have not developed an opinion on. You have closed your mind and your heart.

But seeing as you will puff yourself up against us silly conservatives because we are “not providing scripture”, lets do this.

Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

I assume, sir, that you, now in your persona of a woman, wear dresses? When we make clear about cultural differences in dress (i.e. Scottish Kilts are NOT skirts or dresses), a man wearing, in his culture, garb that is clearly defined as for a woman, it is wrong, it is sin. There is no other interpretation of this verse.

Romans 1:24ff “Therefore God gave them over to the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”

And if you follow Paul for the rest of the chapter, you see that he clearly associates homosexuality with other sins. Seeing then as he puts them all together again in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 and in 1st Timothy 1:8-11.

Now in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10, that no matter what you think, is a slam dunk, after you read and look at the greek. Paul uses 4 DIFFERENT words here to refer to sexual perversion. (Forgive me as I don’t know how to format this to use Greek type so it will be transliteration).

pornos – one who practices sexual immorality, fornicator.
moichos – one who is unfaithful to a spouse, adulterer
malakos – one who is the passive in a same-sex relationship
arsenokoites – a male who engages in sexual activity with a person of their own sex

I encourage you to get and look these words up in a respectable Greek Lexicon such as the BDAG (Bauer’s). After you look at it’s notes for these words, especially malakos and arsenokoites, you see that there is no evidence to support that these words were limited to an understanding of “temple prostitutes”. Indeed the inclusion of BOTH words here would preclude that. I am not going to type out all the notes that the BDAG has for these words. I will leave that for you to actually study yourself if, to be frank, you have the guts to challenge your presuppositions. I have had these debates before in the public square. Many like you try to say that the condemnation in the bible is not “clear” and people don’t always agree. But when I bring out the greek, strangely, everyone goes silent.

So there, there is your scripture sir. But let me tell you how this is going to go. You are going to dismiss these texts, you are going to dismiss the greek, and you are going to ignore everything that was said. You won’t challenge yourself, because you are not here to honestly discuss and debate the issue. You are here to parade your perversion before us, convincing yourself you are morally superior to us, then when this forum does not bend to YOUR interpretations and understanding, you will leave with indignation saying “look at those bigots”. That is why I have found that debating people like you is pointless. Yet for some reason, I do it over and over again. Einstine said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I guess that says a lot about me.

111 Tammy Rainey December 19, 2013 at 10:21 pm

“You have in this very post made it clear that if I, or anyone here were to present the verses that CLEARLY speak against homosexuality, you would say, just as you did, that that is just “one interpretation” and ignore what we say.”

Not at all. Rather I would repeat to you what i said in my first post – being transsexual is a wholly different thing than being homosexual, and a transsexual transition does not correspond one to one with ANY sexual act at all. You have, in your first sentence, assumed a fact that is not only not in evidence, but is clearly demonstrable to be untrue. it’s a shaky foundation upon which to begin to build your case.

That said, it is objectively true that not all Christians agree with your doctrine on that point. But since homosexuality is not the issue on the table, that’s not relevant.

“You don’t really care for scripture, you are using it as a prop because you know no one can show you anything that you already have not developed an opinion on. You have closed your mind and your heart.”

my mind and my heart were indeed closed, once in my life, for decades on end. here’s the point you are overlooking – only ONE person in this thread has been able to testify that they opened their Bible and studied the issue with the acceptance of the possibility that what they had always believed to be God’s truth MAY have been in error.

Have you EVER done that? on ANY doctrine? the reason i am not on your side of this debate this very hour is precisely BECAUSE i opened my mind and put my traditional views on the chopping block and said “let me seek the actual truth, not the “truth” I want.

In plainer terms – i WANT to be a “normal” man, not a pariah; I WANT to be able to walk into a church and receive love and acceptance, not scorn ridicule and rejection; I WANT to avoid $40k or more in expenses to complete a physical transition when I do very darn well to pay my electric bill every month; I WANT to be able to use the degree which I owe $18K for to teach school or minister in the church, both of which are impossible to me now; I WANT to not face the rejection of people who supposedly should love me unconditionally because I’m a “freak” in their eyes; I WANT to avoid thousands of hours of very painful procedures necessary to complete physical transition; i WANT something as simple as being able to buy clothes that fit properly.

if you come to this conversation with the arrogant assumption that any part of me WANTS to be a transsexual then you, sir, may as well resign the conversation because you are hopelessly out of touch with reality on this point. i spent 40 years of my life fighting tooth, nail, hair and bone AGAINST the idea that this thing was actually true of me – i read the bible longing for it to tell me that god did not condone it because I knew the god of grace would not make me live with it if it was, indeed, sin. don’t even begin to presume that when I actually discovered the truth i was finding what i wanted to find – exactly the opposite.

“But seeing as you will puff yourself up against us silly conservatives because we are “not providing scripture”, lets do this.”

Deuteronomy 22:5 “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

I assume, sir, that you, now in your persona of a woman, wear dresses? When we make clear about cultural differences in dress (i.e. Scottish Kilts are NOT skirts or dresses), a man wearing, in his culture, garb that is clearly defined as for a woman, it is wrong, it is sin. There is no other interpretation of this verse.”

there are two responses to this.

1. Verse 11 “You shall not wear a material mixed of wool and linen together.” do you strictly obey this instruction? It appears in the same chapter, not six verse away from the one which you cite. If v. 5 is authoritative than v. 11 MUST be, there is no exegetical reason this would not be true. Moreover, if your wife puts on your shirt and goes out to do yard work, do you advise her that she must not wear it lest she make herself an nomination before the Lord? your verse literally says WEAR – it doesn’t say disguise or pretend or any such – she is WEARING a man’s shirt, does she sin? if not, why not? Because women wear shirts too? It specifically says pertains to a man, if it is cut and designed for a man it pertains to a man.

2. You err in that you make an assumption that may not be true. You must define your terms first. Question: if a child is born with ambiguous genitalia, neither obviously male or obviously female, what sex is that child? The only way you can know is to ASK THE CHILD.
So how does the child know? they cannot, as you apparently did, look in the mirror and say “oh well, I guess I’m a boy then” – the genital evidence is inconclusive – so HOW DO THEY KNOW?

Once you have the correct answer to that question, you have the glimmering of the correct starting place to answer your question here. The child knows it’s sex by what their BRAIN and MIND tells them, not what their gonads tell them. This is, in fact, true for EVERY human being.

if that child, who’s sex YOU can’t be sure of, puts on a skirt, has that child sinned? if they put on Jockey shorts instead, have they sinned? Why or why not?

Would it not be true that if that child’s brain says “I am a girl” then putting on the clothing of a woman would be consistent with this Scripture? By what logic might we admit that in her case, the brain is the source of her sex but in my case or yours, it’s not the brain but the gonads?

You see, you have erred in that you have blinded yourself to even considering the possibility that trannsexualism is a PHYSICAL rather than a MENTAL condition. But if you step back and examine the world around you without your preconceptions, and employ a little common sense reasoning, you can figure out for yourself how that position cannot stand to reason. The existence of intersex people is all the information you really need to suss it out.

“Romans 1:24ff “Therefore God gave them over to the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever, Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”

And if you follow Paul for the rest of the chapter, you see that he clearly associates homosexuality with other sins. Seeing then as he puts them all together again in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 and in 1st Timothy 1:8-11.”

None of these “other sins” being transsexual transition, and i’ve already addressed the false logic of conjoining the two.

“Now in 1st Corinthians 6:9-10, that no matter what you think, is a slam dunk, after you read and look at the greek. Paul uses 4 DIFFERENT words here to refer to sexual perversion. (Forgive me as I don’t know how to format this to use Greek type so it will be transliteration).

pornos – one who practices sexual immorality, fornicator.
moichos – one who is unfaithful to a spouse, adulterer
malakos – one who is the passive in a same-sex relationship
arsenokoites – a male who engages in sexual activity with a person of their own sex”

so far so good…

“I encourage you to get and look these words up in a respectable Greek Lexicon such as the BDAG (Bauer’s).”

Long ago past history already done. thanks for the advice.

“After you look at it’s notes for these words, especially malakos and arsenokoites, you see that there is no evidence to support that these words were limited to an understanding of “temple prostitutes”. Indeed the inclusion of BOTH words here would preclude that. I am not going to type out all the notes that the BDAG has for these words. I will leave that for you to actually study yourself if, to be frank, you have the guts to challenge your presuppositions.”

Oh the irony…

“I have had these debates before in the public square. Many like you try to say that the condemnation in the bible is not “clear” and people don’t always agree. But when I bring out the greek, strangely, everyone goes silent.”

There are others, just as competent as you, who make an opposing case and the ones who “go silent” in your presence are simply those who are not Greek scholars (I’m not either, but I recognize their are arguments from the Greek on both sides)

The problem with your position is that we are NOT talking about homosexuality. How can you hope to carry forth your “I know what I’m talking about” image when you can’t even stay on topic? I have not challenged your view of homosexuality – I will however ask if you even realize that the two are not the same thing?

“So there, there is your scripture sir.”

When I ask you what the bible says about homosexuals, i’m sure that will be relevant ma’am.

“But let me tell you how this is going to go.”

Says the one who accuses others of being “puffed up”?

“You are going to dismiss these texts, you are going to dismiss the greek, and you are going to ignore everything that was said.”

Woops! sorry to disappoint, ma’am.

“You won’t challenge yourself…”

More stunning irony…

” because you are not here to honestly discuss and debate the issue. You are here to parade your perversion before us, convincing yourself you are morally superior to us,”

Let me be perfectly crystal clear – i do not suppose myself to be “morally superior” to ANYONE, save those who would harm a child. I’m DEEPLY acquainted with my own shortcomings. I might, in my weaker moments, consider myself intellectually superior to some – but even then it is not in a matter of natural ability, or scholarship, but only in that it seems to me that very few Christians can articulate WHY the believe what they believe – and you will never ever hear me say “I believe thus” unless i can explain to you at length WHY i do.

“…then when this forum does not bend to YOUR interpretations and understanding, you will leave with indignation saying “look at those bigots”.

Don’t hold your breath on that one, my brother. At some point in time I will of course resign the conversation – it’s not like this discussion can go on for years or even months. but when I do so it will be with a nod of my head and love in my heart and a prayer that i have said a little something which provokes thought. It is a function of your apparent willingness to make assumptions about people that you have never met that you would assume me to be cut from the cloth you describe.

You know when the last time I engaged in an internet debate inwhich i resportedto anger, name-calling, insults, and a “rage quit”? It was back when I was arguing your side of the discussion. i’ve found and read some of my forum posts from those days and I weep for the “witness” I presented in those conversations.

I don’t need to be angry now, because i realize i do not stand to account to you or to any other man here, but to god – as you do. if he has a problem with either of us i have full confidence he will address it directly.

I do, however, have one agenda that I have not mentioned to this point – it is my deep prayer that somehow I might influence my christian brothers and sisters to better fit themselves to interact with the transsexual in their midst with love and grace rather than condemnation. Countless young people are on the street today, or dead, because they came to their Christian parents and said “I am trans” and those “godly” parents utterly rejected their own offspring, belittled and condemned them and tried to “fix” them.

Who knows how many people like me fell into deep depression and despair knowing, as Jim does, that their brothers and sisters in Christ would kick them to the curb if they only knew the struggles they faced, and went out and took their own life rather than live in pain, or admit to the world they were “perverts” (falsely so called)?

You see, false doctrine has life and death consequences whether it’s yours or mine that is false – therefore it behooves BOTH of us to honestly ask themselves “what if I’m wrong?” – I have faced that question head on in my life – have you?

“That is why I have found that debating people like you is pointless. Yet for some reason, I do it over and over again. Einstine said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. I guess that says a lot about me.”

I have had this debate a few hundred times myself, and i have made a few dear friends because i made a persuasive argument and helped them to open their minds. it is true that 99% of the time it’s like banging my head against the wall, but the occasional exception is well worth it. More to the point, we ought both be aware that many more people read these exchanges than reply to them. you may assume that you will never reach me, but remind yourself that others are reading – and therefore it is your responsibility to not only make your best case but do so in a winsome manner for them, if not for me. Which is something I myself need to remember, and why i do NOT descend to name-calling and childish behavior.

Allow me to defy your expectations once again, for the road: I hold no ill will towards anyone here, even those who engaged in a bit of passive/aggressive trolling. I do not come here to fight you, but to have a loving, respectful, discussion of important ideas with you. I don’t want to “beat” you or “win” – I want to motivate you you to intellectual honesty, to the courage to question your traditions with a mind open to the possibility you might be wrong. whether or not you come to agree with me is not my concern, so long as you have tested your views, tried them in the fire of research and reason and determined whether they were valid enough to withstand the challenge. the rest is between you and god.

I pray blessings for you and your life and ministry.

(hows that for name-calling?)

112 Tammy Rainey December 19, 2013 at 11:55 pm

let me throw a fresh train of thought out there for consideration:

Here are some objective facts about the subject at hand:

1. no one who hasn’t experienced can relate to it. I don’t just mean not UNDERSTAND it, I mean they have no frame of reference, no proper analogy even, to wrap their head around what it must be like. Not only in the gender identity itself. but what having that condition implies for us in the context of a culture which completely rejects you. Let’s admit it – it is very easy to dismiss the reality and validity of a thing you can’t comprehend on even the most basic level. A persons sense of self, including their sense of their sex, is pretty much the most intrinsic reality in their experience – if you don’t know from experience what it is to have conflict between your inner sense of self and your outward appearance, you don’t have anything in your experience that you can refer to and say “it must be something like this”

2. until the last half century, science hadn’t bothered to give us any sort of research on the condition and it wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that we’ve begun to get a handle on the biology of it. For all of human history previous to that, there was no evidence to support the conclusion that it was anything more than a mental dysfunction (I recognize many still believe it to be, but the overwhelming majority of trained professionals acquainted with the science find the evidence which supports a biological origin credible.

3. it is self evident, and has been conceded by those who disagree with me that the Bible contains no overt reference to transsexuality and any doctrinal statement (pro or con) on the subject must be based n inference from other principles. As with all such doctrinal debates, the discussion is informed by the collective wisdom of the church down through the centuries. the church is prone to stick with the traditional views unless strongly motivated to do otherwise. This sort of thinking leads to silly debates about the order of worship even, let alone real doctrinal shifts (as was necessary in reaction to the civil rights movement, for instance).

Logical inference: Given then, that the church is prone to allow their pre-assumptions to be informed by the traditional views (not unreasonable) and given that there’s no direct teaching which provides clarity, and given that even scientist, let alone theologians, had NO contrary evidence from biology to consider before the last few decades, and given that those who’s teaching and study build up that mass of church doctrine and tradition that are handed down from one generation to the next collectively have pretty much zero experience with the subject to inform their views….

It is therefore safe to suggest that a resort to traditional views in this case is a very under-informed position and intellectual honest compels a re-examination of the issue in light of new information, just as the church has been forced to re-examine traditional positions by the advent of new information many times in the past.

I don’t see what’s unreasonable about suggesting that re-examination is in order at this time.

113 cb scott December 20, 2013 at 12:05 am

“no one who hasn’t experienced can relate to it.”

That dog just won’t hunt, Tammy. That is like saying that no one who has not been set on fire can relate to it. The truth is, that any person who knows anything about fire in any form can relate to it without ever being set on fire.

The same is true with your situation. The truth is, that any person who knows anything about sin in any form can relate to your situation without ever being in the same situation.

You see, Tammy. Once a person has truly been convicted, by the Holy Spirit, of the realities of sin and its consequences, that person can relate to the terrible reality of sin no matter what form it takes.

Again, you may rationalize all your want, ’til the sky falls from the heavens and the mountains turn to jell-o, but you will still be in an alien position to revealed, biblical truth.

114 Tammy Rainey December 20, 2013 at 2:12 am

this is the last time I’m going to repeat this correction to those who are repeating the error over and over again. You do not advance your argument one millimeter by declaring it is sin without demonstrating it is sin. If you have a mustache and a preacher comes up to you and says “Mustaches are sinful! Shave it off!” will you say “”gosh, i had no idea!” and grab your razor? or will you want to see some evidence?

115 Tammy Rainey December 20, 2013 at 2:08 am

“That is like saying that no one who has not been set on fire can relate to it.”

I would agree with that. You can intellectualize the idea of it but if you haven’t felt the pain of it, you can’t imagine what it must be like. So say those who have been anyway. i certainly can’t imagine it.

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