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    Transgender in church

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    Rickster

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    Transgender in church

    Post  Rickster on September 6th 2014, 1:04 am

    My grandma told me that there was man at her church who had a sex change and is now a woman and wants to be a part of the church's woman's bible study group. And she asked me what i thought the church should do about it and i'm having a problem because i can see both the pros and the cons having the church letting him/her be a part of the group.
    And would like to know your thoughts

    Paeter
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    Re: Transgender in church

    Post  Paeter on September 8th 2014, 9:43 pm

    I think this is a tricky issue. Although I'm confident that many people have this kind of surgery because of some harmful and false ideas they have accepted as truth, I also believe there are some cases where, due to genuine genetic problems, this kind of surgery is justified.

    My leaning, despite some discomfort that would come with it, would be to try and not make assumptions about whether or not the surgery was legitimate and just assume that it was justifiable by default, allowing this person to be in the Bible study. In fact I think I might even lean in this direction even if I had reason to suspect the surgery was not for legitimate reasons. (Although I'm not even sure HOW someone could really KNOW one way or the other.)

    Especially given that they are not looking to LEAD the study but simply attend and participate, it seems to me the default should be to allow participation, no questions asked. If she wanted to lead, I might return to the issue and give it more thought, but that's all I've got for now.


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    Drew.Rub

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    Re: Transgender in church

    Post  Drew.Rub on September 9th 2014, 9:26 am

    I agree with Paeter in the assessment that this is a tricky issue. I can attest to the idea of being uncomfortable around someone who has gone through gender reassignment. A former college roomie of mine became a woman years after we graduated. I admit that I still can't get used to the idea.

    My personal thought on the idea of GRA is that it's basically a statement of "Hey God, you made a mistake here." And as we all believe, God doesn't make mistakes. Could it be some kind of plan God has in store for that person? Who knows? His ways are beyond our ways. I'm disinclined to believe that personally, but that's a conversation for another time.

    As for the woman being a part of the group study, I would lean to the side of allowing her (and that just seems weird to type) to be there. And I think she should be invited to contribute. Simple because we don't agree with what he/she has done doesn't mean she should be denied the opportunity to grow spiritually. If she is denied the ability to participate, wouldn't that just be giving a black stain to Christians as a whole and reinforcing the somewhat popular notion amongst secularists that Christians discriminate?

    Jesus didn't agree with everything people did during his days on Earth, but he always looked to still love them and bring them to his Father. He looked past the outside to see what was on our insides. We should strive to do the same.

    Just my two cents worth. I don't claim any authoritative answers, but I hope it helps.

    orvette1

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    Transgender

    Post  orvette1 on October 27th 2014, 9:35 am

    I believe what the Bible says, and I try to follow it. There are some cultural things that have changed since it was written, such as slavery and stoning, but it is still something to follow and believe in.
    I think as Christians many of us have become so P/C we don't want to offend anyone. We have made so many compromises in our faith and belief we are willing to accept almost anything.
    The Bible says homosexuality is a sin and a homosexual will not get into heaven. When a person has cosmetic surgery to make themselves look male or female they are carrying homosexuality to its ultimate point. Biologically they are still as they were born, they just look different on the outside.
    Many of them say they are a woman born in a man's body, or a man born in a woman's body. When they say that, they are saying God made a mistake. I don't know about you, but my God does not make mistakes. So their God is not my God, nor is he the God of the Bible. What God are they following?
    Either you follow the Bible and believe in it or you don't. You can't be a Christian and still living in sin. You either believe God is Sovereign or you don't.
    Jesus never shied away from calling sin wrong and that people should repent from it. Many Christians are willing to let non repentant sinners be part of the church in the hopes they will repent. But what does that do to us?

    Paeter
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    Re: Transgender in church

    Post  Paeter on October 27th 2014, 1:19 pm

    orvette1 wrote: When a person has cosmetic surgery to make themselves look male or female they are carrying homosexuality to its ultimate point.

    This isn't always the case. I assume it is the majority of the time, but we can't objectively know from the outset that this is always the case. Some people are born hermaphrodites, and have a gender role either chosen for them by their parents early on or make that choice themselves. Later on in life, some hermaphrodites conclude that they have been living as the non-dominant gender and should therefore switch to the gender that seems most dominant to them.

    Since we have no way of knowing the history of an individual person undergoing gender re-assignment surgery, we can't truly, definitively know if their choice to have surgery is the result of sin or not. In the absence of perfect understanding of the situation, I would personally be VERY cautious in my reactions to it.


    orvette1 wrote:
     Many of them say they are a woman born in a man's body, or a man born in a woman's body.  When they say that, they are saying God made a mistake. I don't know about you, but my God does not make mistakes.

    Very true. However, fallen creation does make mistakes. Disease and genetic defects serve as abundant evidence. Until creation is restored we will see these kinds of "mistakes" everywhere, and I think hermaphroditism and possibly other legitimate hormonal irregularities can be counted among them.

    Although we are meant to pray for those who are sick, I know of no biblical mandate to avoid the correction of physical defects when medical technology allows for it.


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    mikel.withers

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    Re: Transgender in church

    Post  mikel.withers on November 4th 2014, 9:44 am

    Let's start by looking at it from a particular perspective: what is the class designed to do? Why is it a "women's Bible study"?
    Is it because there are issues peculiar to a woman from a Biblical perspective, is it that there is a desire for conversation to be as open as possible without sexual tensions, is it that 'we just split men and women up' for these things?
    If it is segregated because women need to know particular things to live the best life they can as a woman, and if this guy is living like a woman, then, perhaps, it is best that he get the training to live as the best woman he can. The insanity of that statement shows what an absurd, fallen world we live in...but we do live in this world.
    If it is split because you want open conversations without sexual tensions, then I think that the group itself would have to decide whether or not this individual is going to stifle conversation. ...being transgender is not unique in this situation, I was in a group that turned into what does 'Joe' feel about any given subject? We voted, by not showing up, that such a group was not for us. In retrospect, someone should have told 'Joe' to stop monopolizing the time. In the transgender coming into the group scenario, you will have some idea what is going to happen, at the start. If everyone is okay with it, and doesn't think it will hurt the group's cohesion and dialog, then go for it. If there is a problem then, I think, a new group should be started where the transgendered individual is included ( 40-somethings Bible study, Tuesday night Bible study, etc.) The one thing you don't really want to do is convince the person to NOT seek Biblical counsel.
    If it is a matter of just splitting men an women up...then that is pretty arbitrary, and I don't think you should hold to that as a matter of principle rather than a matter of convenience.


    Battlemech37

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    Re: Transgender in church

    Post  Battlemech37 on November 13th 2014, 11:28 pm

    I'll admit that I've been wanting to focus on fun geek stuff. I understand we're probably all different denominations of Christians and come at some of these topics from different stances and interpretations.

    However, I came across a write-up from Pastor Douglas Wilson that I thought was pretty interesting (and possibly helpful) in light of this topic of confused identity. I share it because he expresses well the concern towards sinful man attempting to define what is right and wrong, and possibly seeking after human "wisdom" and a facade of human "truth" - instead of the Lord's Truth.

    He writes that, "Homosexual vice is a bad business, one that the apostle Paul describes as the end of the ethical road. But that is simply where the battle is right now, not what the battle is over. And so, since I have raised the point, what is the battle over? The battle is over the right to define the world. Man wants to be God, and he wants to be able to declare the way things shall be, and then have them be that way. He hates God and wants to replace Him, and wants to replace how the way things stand fast whenever God declares them. Man wants to speak the ultimate and authoritative word."

    Read more, if so inclined: http://dougwils.com/s7-engaging-the-culture/remanded-to-sensitivity-camps.html

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