Transgender and the church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by freeatlast, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    I am posing a question that in today's world that is certainly possible and even more it is very probable to happen in light of the changes we are seeing. Let's say that a couple join the church that are married. They have a family although not from this union. They attend for several years and become a loved part of the church. Even to yourself. They both are very active and teach at the church as well as carry out other duties. The person who is the wife is transgender, she has had the sex change, but no one knows except her/his husband. She/he had the sex change several years before she made a profession in Christ. Now she/he is serving in the church the best way she/he knows how.
    However as many times happens the truth come to light to the church about her/his sex change. How should this be handled by the leadership (church)? Should this couple both be allowed to continue to carry on as if all is normal or should there be some changes made and what? Where should the church stand on this type of issue?
     
  2. matt wade

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    The marriage is not valid. If the person is truly repentant, they will leave the false marriage and continue in a life of celibacy. If they are repentant they are free to remain at the church as a member, but can hold no position of authority or leadership.
     
  3. Jerome

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  4. freeatlast

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    Hello Matt,
    that is a start but it does not complete what is needed. The person who had the sex change needs to stop trying to live in a gender that they were not born to. They need to live the rest of their life as the gender God gave them as well as leave the person who they were living with. God not only coindemns homosexuality but He also condemns and kind of cross dressing or attempt to be considered a gender we are not by birth.
     
  5. billwald

    billwald
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    Free

    She would be acceptable if she used the men's head in church?
     
  6. menageriekeeper

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    Lets split this up:

    1. Why isn't the marriage valid?

    For all intents and purposes, this person is female in every way except DNA and certain body parts that genetically female women have removed with regularity.

    Before you say, she is a he and two men can't be married in God's eyes, you have to prove that it was a sin to change genders in the first place (which sounds an awful lot like something we aren't supposed to discuss, so tread carefully here!)

    2. Why would leaving the marriage be a sign of repentance? Some sins have lifelong consequences. This is one of them. If she has been saved her sins are forgiven, even if she can't become a he again. Continuing as a female is one of those lifelong consequences of his sin (his sin because he was male when this decision was made).

    3. Why a life of celibacy? If this decision could be reversed, why would celibacy be required? Even if this decision can't be reversed (and I'm guessing it can't) was it not forgiven upon salvation? Are you trying to say that there is work involved in having our sins forgiven?? Or that this person must not already be saved cause she didn't think of leaving her family and being lonely for the rest of her life? You need to think about what you are espousing.

    4.
    Sez who? Which person in authority has not sinned? And remember, you can't tell me that she is continuing in sin, until you prove it was sin to change genders in the first place.

    You have no idea what motivated this "change" in the first place. You appear to be lumping all transgenders in with hom*sexuality and this truely isn't the case. There are many reason for a person raised in one gender to wish or need to change genders, even if it is an uncomfortable idea to Christians, who generally think that God creates us exactly how He wants us but fail to take into account that we live in a fallen corrupt world and sometimes babies are born with deformaties that parents are pushed into correcting before personality begins (to put things gently). And sometimes parents choose wrong.

    So, be careful where you tread lest you end up being judged by your own measuring stick.
     
  7. annsni

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    I would recommend that HE use the single bathrooms. Our church has 4 of them - one on the Sanctuary level for the handicapped and families with young children and three on the office level. Wait - there are actually 2 more - both backstage.
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    I'm glad that you brought these questions up. This issue isn't as cut-and-dry as first appears.

    I'm not in favor of people switching sexes at all and do not defend it. But, if a person has had their birth certificate legally changed, which sometimes these transgendered people do, then the marriage is legal. It may not be acceptable to God, but it is legal.

    The law does not recognize these people as homosexuals. I'm not so sure that I do either. Again, not because I defend it, but because of the motivations of the person, to me, it's not the same thing as homosexuality. Transgendered folks truly do not see themselves as the gender they were born with. In their minds, they are NOT attracted to the same sex. It's crazy to us, but it's not what they are trying to live out.

    I'm sorry for these people. And I can't see many churches reaching out to them in love.

    No, I would not knowingly place a transgendered person in a place of corporate leadership. But for a transgendered person who is saved and has repented, I do not see any problem with them doing a lot of different lay-person jobs in the church. A repentant transgendered person should be able to sing in the choir, serve on committees, or even visit the sick.
     
  9. freeatlast

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    There is no SHE here. There is only two HE'S. One has had his male organs cut off and is taking hormones to enlarge his breasts. If repentant He would stop the hormones and the breasts would shrink and yes HE would need to use the men's restroom! And HE would be called brother.
     
  10. freeatlast

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    Legal and valid are two different things. Abortion is legal but not valid before God. Just because someone can change a piece of paper does not justify what they do so a birth certificate change does not come into play here. This is a spiritual issue not a legal one. By the way loving them is first seen in the confrontation. If they repent and return to lives apart from one another and the one who was surgically changed return to his birth gender as best he could then the church could receive them as they should. If they reject then they would need to be put out. Keep in mind, repentance is not simply admitting a wrong or saying we are sorry. Repentance is changing to where we are suppose to be with God.
     
  11. freeatlast

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    Why separate bathrooms? If he repents he should be accepted as anyone else. I once knew a young man who was in the Vietnam war. He stepped on a land mine and it blew off part of a foot, hand and his genitals. Would you say he needs a separate bathroom? No, if the person repents and lives a man then he should be accepted by all as a man and a full brother.
     
  12. Scarlett O.

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    I agree with the single bathroom. And it has nothing to do with genitalia. Your unfortunate friend who lost his genitals in Vietnam is not transgendered.

    Have you seen these people? They can pass easily for the other gender. It's quite shocking. Here is an example. The person you are about to see was born a woman, but now lives as a man. I don't think it possible for her/him to every look fully female ever again. He can live as a female, but look like one again? I don't see how it's possible. People would think that he was a gay woman

    http://channel.nationalgeographic.c...29xx/296x/2963_sexual-identity-4_04700300.jpg

    If the original woman who is now a trangendered man has repented (and yes, I know what repent means), her body is NOT going to look like a woman's body again no matter if she never takes hormones again. It just isn't. Same way with a man who has transgendered to a woman. I found several pictures, but they just aren't appropriate to put here. Trust me, you would NEVER know that these "women" were born men.

    If a man looks like a woman and enters the men's room, it may freak some guys out. No matter how much he tries to reverse some of the bodily changes he's made, some men will always view him as a freak and a gay man. And they don't want him in the men's room, no matter how much he has changed for Christ.

    By the same token, he may look like a woman, yet if he enters the women's room, it may freak some women out.

    It would just be best if he were to use the single restroom.

    The answer is clear that repentance is required. But as for how they are to live - which gender they are to pass for? It just isn't that simple. If they can pass for their original gender, they they don't have to be celibate - they can marry. I don't know how that's going to work, but it's not my business.

    But if they cannot pass for their original gender - I don't have the answer.
     
    #12 Scarlett O., Jul 29, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  13. menageriekeeper

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    I have an answer:

    Forgiven means forgiven.

    If God can do so, why should we be all up in arms over which gender this person chooses to live as, since the permanant changes were done BEFORE salvation?

    Will not the Holy Spirit make the changes He thinks is necessary in this person's life? If so, we need to quit trying to do His job for him.

    Free at last, you can't know what motivated this person to trangender. (unless you are her husband or herself) No one but God knows the heart of another. As Christians, we are to love one another and bear one another's burdens. Forcing your views on this person does neither. And you have yet to prove scripturally that changing genders is a sin and is always a sin. You just can't lump this in with hom*sexuality. They are two completely different issues.
     
  14. Scarlett O.

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    I agree with you more than you know. And I do not believe that it is homosexuality.

    I do believe that it is a sin, but not because of any same-sex attraction, but because to me it is believing that God made a mistake when He assigned you your gender.

    I DO believe that people who cannot go back to their original gender to the point of passing for that should be able to live in their transgendered state. But I just don't know about them marrying. I'm struggling with this.

    I do understand that sometimes our sins and psychological motivations and emotional motivations and upbringings can make us do things that have life long consequences that must be born even if we are saved.

    If a lost person smokes for 30 years and gets lung cancer and decides to quite and he gets saved, we don't ask him to be cured of cancer before he can join the church, I understand that.

    And these transgendered people have done permanent and sometimes irrevocable alterations to their bodies. And as you say, forgiven is forgiven.

    I can fully agree that they may have to live in the body of the new gender, but I struggle with the relationships they may have.

     
  15. menageriekeeper

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    I think it is a very natural struggle to have in our society, where sexual sin is rampant even in our churches and has become, perhaps, the "biggest" sin out there. It is easy to lump transgendered people in with the rest. And its even easier to assume that all transgendered people suffer from the sin of hom*sexuality or to believe that "God" made a mistake in making them one sex but giving them the feelings of the other (and not just about sexual issues either). God doesn't make mistakes, but the corruption of this world often allows mistakes to be made (in the womb even) and God allows humans to suffer from this corruption just he allows babies to be born with all sorts of deformities. This is life. This is why He sent a perfect sacrifice to take our place. He doesn't make mistakes, but He most certainly did curse this earth we live on.

    As for the relationships they may have. Well, if God forgives all their sin, He has forgiven ALL their sin. What we can do best is let the Holy Sprirt work and keep them covered in prayer, even if we are uncomfortable with their choices.

    If we truly believe in liberty in Christ, then that liberty extends all the way to ends of the irrevocable choices that were made in this case.
     
  16. freeatlast

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    Yes I do know what motivated the sexual disfigurment. It is called sin. Jesus put it this way;
    John 3:23,24
    For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

    But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

    The person in the picture does not get a by just because she started lifting weights and possibly taking hormons. They are still responsible for their actions and to return to what they were born to.
     
    #16 freeatlast, Jul 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2010
  17. freeatlast

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    God will forgive but we have to repent. Remaining in our sin shows that repentance has not taken place.
     
  18. Jon-Marc

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    I saw a person on a talk show (not sure about its gender) who was a man who had a sex change into a woman, then got saved and was changed back. Whatever it ended up being, the person looked like a feminine man.
     
  19. annsni

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    However, there is a same sex attraction - and a visible change in physical characteristics that could make a brother or sister stumble. IF they began dressing and acting male again, stopped taking hormones and began to look male again, then the men's rest room is fine. But until then, I'd recommend that they use the single bathroom so that there is no issue.
     
  20. menageriekeeper

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    No you don't. You only have your own judgement that you made either from things you heard about this person, or by what you have seen on the outside of this person. God sees the heart.

    You are applying the principle incorrectly. She isn't remaining in her sin. She is living with the consequence of a sin that has been forgiven. Why can't YOU forgive her of something she did before she was saved? (not that she needs it, but issues like this are why Christians are considered to be the most unloving bunch of people when we are supposed to be dramatically different!)
     

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