Transgenderism Is it Acceptable to God?

 

Transgenderism

Is it Acceptable to God?

Not many decades ago, no one would have had any idea what is meant by Transgenderism, although a few might have heard of transvestism. However, in this age when traditional standards of morality have been torn down, the terms are being used increasingly in the media.

But just what is transgenderism? One authority defines the term as “appearing or attempting to be a member of the opposite sex, as a transsexual or habitual cross-dresser” (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary). Another dictionary defines it as “appearing as, wishing to be considered as, or having undergone surgery to become a member of the opposite sex” (The American Heritage College Dictionary). Transexualism is also a term referring to this sexual disorientation.

We have no way of knowing how widespread transgenderism is in our modern world.  Sodomy or homosexuality is estimated to include some two percent of American population or perhaps about six million people. (Those who have “experimented” with sodomy would be higher.) Transgenderism is considered a subcategory under the broad term of homosexuality since most transgender people fall into this perverse and unnatural sin.

Transgenderism may include dressing in clothes of the opposite sex.  It may include wearing jewelry and makeup common to the opposite sex. Some transgender persons may change their name to reflect a person of the opposite gender. And some go so far as to have surgical procedure to remove, as much as possible, indications of their birth gender. The media has gone along with this practice; if a man seeks to identify as a woman, we notice that the media now calls the man a woman and uses female pronouns (she, her) in reference to him. Such is the bizarre practice of the times!

A Discussion of Transgenderism

I’ve recently received a communication on the subject of Transgenderism with a very respectful man who claims to be a woman. I’ll keep our discussions private (anyone who contacts us through the website for various concerns need not fear disclosure), but I would like to discuss this sin from the Bible with the help of an imaginary discussion. If you happen to claim transgenderism yourself, you can place yourself in the discussion. We hope that some of the things we share will be of help to you.

Thankfully, the man I was in dialog with was respectful and thoughtful and not belligerent. He also read his Bible, thus there was some basis for our discussion. Probably this would not describe most men who portray themselves as women and most women who portray themselves as men. But in our discussion below, we’ll assume that the person does profess to believe what God has revealed as His will in Scripture.

        1.   Would the Word of God approve of this activity/relationship/sin?

The Bible was given as an expression of truth for our good. Jesus prayed to God the Father, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). If God’s word is truth and its message is truthful, we can go to it with the full assurance that what we see commanded and what we see condemned  expresses the will of God.

Steve (we’ll call this imaginary person by this name), I hope that you won’t mind my calling you by your masculine name. I know that you would like to be called “Jane,” but since we both know that you are not a woman, and since Scripture everywhere promotes truth and warns against lying (Ephesians 4:15, 25; Revelation 21:8), I think it would be best to plainly refer to you by your actual given name, okay?

I don’t really think you believe that the Bible accepts transgenderism as acceptable, do you? In multiple places Scripture warns against the sin of homosexuality and says that the unrepentant sodomite will not be accepted into God’s Kingdom (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:26-27). Since most transgender people must be guilty of sodomy, we can see that when the Bible condemns sodomy, it includes transgenderism as well. So the fundamental question we must ask you, Steve, is whether you fully accept the Bible as God’s authoritative Word for our life?

        2.   Was God responsible for this transgender perspective at the time of the creation of humans and the world?

Steve, from the beginning of creation, God made His will known about sexuality and gender. There is no room for doubting this. “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). This shows that the male-female distinction was God’s design and plan from the time of creation itself. And this distinction had the potential of producing children (v. 28). God didn’t create two men nor did He create two women. And He surely didn’t permit Adam to think of himself as a woman nor did He permit Eve to think of herself as a man. God wants that clear distinction to remain through time. What we find in creation continues through the remainder of Scripture.

The psalmist says it well:

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works;

And my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;

And in Your book were all written

The days that were ordained for me,

When as yet there was not one of them.”

(Psalm 139:14-16)

This shows that when God created each person in the mother’s womb, He was the one who knew and planned for that person’s gender and sexuality. We have no right to change this and choose a different gender than what God has planned. Steve, let’s be content with what God has made us.

        3.   Would Jesus be guilty of Transgenderism?

For the Christian, this is an indispensable question to ask in regard to anything we do. Can you imagine that our pure, holy, and sinless Savior (Hebrews 4:15; 7:26) would pursue a transgender view? Can you envision the Lord would be occupied with thinking of Himself or dressing like Mary, Martha, Elizabeth, Dorcas, or any other woman? Scripture says, “The one who says he abides in Him [Jesus] ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6).

If it is true that our sinless Savior, Jesus Christ, would not have sinned by dressing as or thinking of himself as anything other than a man, it is also true that we shouldn’t consider this as a possibility either. We are to “follow in His steps” and those steps would only be pure, godly, and sinless steps (1 Peter 2:21).

        4.   Is this something that you would want for your son or daughter?

Most of us want the best for our children. We want them to be kept from all sorts of sins—drunkenness, profanity, smoking, drug addiction, and much more. Now consider transgenderism. Would you really want your son to begin dressing like a girl? Would you want your precious daughter to begin dressing like a boy and claiming to be one? We know the answers to these thoughtful questions.

If having our children deserting their birth gender and seeking another one would be abhorrent to us, doesn’t this say that we shouldn’t entertain this option for ourselves? Do nothing that you wouldn’t want your children to do.

        5.   Is this something that you would want your parents to know?

It is true that we all come from different kinds of backgrounds and family arrangements. Sometimes families are in chaos and others are so liberal that they accept nearly everything that would be abhorrent to God. However, generally we want our parents to think well of us and we want them to be honored in what we say and do.  In almost all cases, parents would not want their children to live a transgender lifestyle.  Scripture says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother” (Ephesians 6:1-2a). If we commit such a sin as this, we cannot really “honor” our father and mother and generally we would not be obeying our parents either.

        6.   Does your involvement in transgenderism involve homosexuality?

Steve, in almost all cases, the sin of transgenderism also involves the sin of sodomy. Consider with me.  A transgender man (one who wants to be a woman and be thought of as a woman) will often have sex with another man (who is not transgender). The same is true for a woman. The woman who wants to be a man and be thought of as a man will often have sex with another woman (who continues as a woman). One sin leads to another. Transgenderism and homosexuality must surely be joined as a general rule.

All of the scriptures that condemn homosexuality apply to a transgender person who is committing sodomite acts and is involved in a sodomite relationship. The Old Testament clearly says that under the Law of God (the Mosaic Law), the sodomite was to be put to death because the homosexual couple “have committed a detestable act” (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13). We will remember that the city of Sodom that was guilty of the gross sin of homosexuality was destroyed by God for their sin (Genesis 18:20; 19:1-28).

The New Testament is even clearer about God’s revulsion toward homosexuality. Scripture calls the sin “degrading passions” and “indecent acts,” with those guilty of this sin receiving “in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Romans 1:26-28). Those who are homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Peter says that the people of Sodom who committed “lawless deeds” of homosexuality will suffer “punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:6-9). Jude also says that the sodomite people of Sodom “indulged in gross immorality” and would therefore be punished (Jude 7). All of this is a reminder that transvestites who indulge their flesh in the perversion of homosexuality are committing grave sin that will be punished by a holy God.

Remember too that all of the verses that condemn “sexual immorality” (porneia) likewise condemn this sin in the severest of terms. Those guilty of porneia won’t inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). They will be judged by God (Hebrews 13:4) and experience His holy wrath (Ephesians 5:3-7; Colossians 3:5-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8), and lastly will experience the lake of fire which is the second death (Revelation 21:8). We can see that this is nothing to take lightly.

        7.   Are you aware that God condemns transvestism?

A transvestite is “a person who dresses and acts in a style or manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex” (The American Heritage College Dictionary). We can see the close relationship between transvestism and transgenderism. The transgender person will dress and act like the opposite sex as a perversion of God’s good design for our life.

In the law given to Israel, God said: “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” (Deuteronomy 22:5). One writer points out: “In that society male and female dress were similar, making distinctive styles for the sexes especially important to help prevent transvestism and homosexuality” (Ryrie Study Bible). Another source says, “This statute prohibited a man from wearing any item of feminine clothing or ornamentation, or a woman from wearing any item of masculine clothing or ornamentation” (MacArthur Study Bible).

Just as Scripture specifies that the man should have cut hair and the woman should have long hair (1 Corinthians 11:14-15), so God wants the clothing itself to indicate a difference or distinction between the genders. Transgender men and women who are involved in transvestite activity blatantly disregard God’s will in the matter of gender distinctive in dress and appearance.

        8.   What does your conscience tell you?

Steve, we all know that the conscience may or may not be accurate and may or may not be reliable as a guide to our behavior. It all depends on whether the conscience has been seared (1 Timothy 4:1-2) so that it no longer is reliable in directing our life. For example, the radical Muslim may have so deadened his conscience that he can fly a plane into the World Trade Center and kill thousands of people. People have done unspeakably wicked things without much of a problem with their conscience. Why? Because they have either been taught wrongly (as in the case of Islam) or have chosen to deliberately sin (as in the case of the habitual criminal).

But the conscience may also be useful in determining the good. Paul explains, “When Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them” (Romans 2:14-15). Even when someone doesn’t have the Bible (or the Law), he may still have a conscience that reminds him that something is either sinful or right, depending on the action. If someone has been taught correctly, according to the Word of God, his conscience may be sensitive enough to help him make responsible decisions—to either reject the bad or accept the good.

The apostle Paul sought to keep a clear conscience before the Lord, but he discovered that even his conscience could be wrong. He said to the Jewish council: “I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day” (Acts 23:1). His “good” conscience could allow him to persecute followers of Christ (Acts 22:4-5). But when God informed him of the truth and Paul accepted it, he continued to heed his conscience and could say, “I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men” (24:16). He wanted to love and serve God and maintained a good conscience in this sincere desire.

Steve, as a transgender man, how sensitive is your conscience? How accurate and blameless is it? If you have not totally “seared” your conscience (your inner judge of right and wrong) (1 Timothy 4:2; cf. Ephesians 4:19), you inwardly are aware that your sexual sin and orientation is displeasing to God. Deep in your heart, mind, and conscience, you know that you are sinning and involved in a sexual perversion that both grieves and angers God (cf. Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 3:10; Romans 1:18). This is a serious consideration that leaves no room for escape from the sinfulness of this lifestyle.

        9.    Are Transgenderism and Homosexuality a sin against the Law of Love?

We know that Jesus said that love is the greatest of all principles.  Love for God and love for others constitute the greatest two commands (Matthew 22:36-40). But what is love? The term “love” is from the Greek agape, which means an outgoing concern for the welfare of another person, as well as an unselfish desire for the glory and honor of God.

The point about love is that the lover will want to please and obey God the Father and Jesus Christ the Lord. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15; cf. vv. 21-23). We also read, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3; cf. 2 John 6).

Steve, in the case of transgenderism, this principle of love has a direct bearing on our attitudes, perspectives and life. Anyone who reads the Scriptures is aware that God promotes sexual purity and strongly condemns any violation of this sexual purity. He says that the sexual perversion of sodomy and anything like it is sinful and will keep one out of His blessed Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). When one commits any of these sexual sins (fornication, homosexuality, adultery, lust, etc.), he demonstrates that he doesn’t really love God. And when one involves another human being in his sexual perversion, he shows that he doesn’t have genuine love for other people. Paul says, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor” (Romans 13:10).

Furthermore, true love for people will manifest itself in certain ways: Love is kind, love does not act unbecomingly, love does not seek its own (is not selfish), love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, love rejoices in the truth (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8). When one commits sodomite sex or transgender sex, he commits a whole range of sins against God’s principle of love. Steve, this is not to be taken lightly for if we do not love the Lord we will be “accursed” with eternal punishment (1 Corinthians 16:22).

        10.    Would the practice of transgenderism violate the “Golden Rule”?

We have all heard of the golden rule. Jesus declared, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31; cf. Matthew 7:12). Do we seek to practice this in our everyday life? It is a worthy goal and should be coupled with the command to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Now consider this: If you were a transgender person (e.g., a man who is impersonating a woman), would you use the men’s restroom or bathroom–or would you use the women’s rooms? Transgender people urge authorities to allow them to use the restroom of their gender opposite. In other words, men who want to be women want to use the women’s room! If you were a woman, would you want a man to be there with you in the women’s room? The opposite would also be the case. This would clearly be a violation of the Golden Rule as given by our Lord.

Seeking God’s Will with Our God-given Gender

The nine points we’ve discussed above make it clear what God’s will is in regard to transgenderism. We’ve also briefly discussed transvestism and homosexuality. It is plain that God, through His Word, has made His will known with absolutely clarity that these sexual expressions are a perversion of His right way. Those who would violate God’s principles are an abomination to a holy and righteous God.

If you have fallen into this sin, we urge you to look at all of this evidence and be willing to take your stand for God and against the world. Renounce fleshly indulgence and sexual perversion and fully embrace holy and pure sexuality. God created sex for our good and blessing.  He said that it was “very good”—and this included our sexual orientation (Genesis 1:27, 31). If we rebel against our God’s wise and holy design, we offend His creative plan and purpose.

I encourage you to repent and seek God’s blessing on your sexuality. Be willing to embrace His will and find contentment in it. His way is the best way—the only way to His life and blessing!

The good news is that God will freely forgive the repentant transgender person just as He will cleanse every other sinner. After mentioning a number of prominent sins—including homosexuality and fornication—Paul says these significant words: “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).

The apostle says that the transgender person and the sodomite can be “washed” of his sins, can be “sanctified” by setting him apart from sin and to God, and can be declared righteous by the grace of God. Steve, this includes you! Are you willing to repent today and come to God through Jesus Christ our Lord? He will not deny your sincere willingness to die to your sin and live to righteousness.

Richard Hollerman

 

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