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Faith and Values: Christians must offer compassion, not acceptance, of transgenderism

UPDATED: Sat., Aug. 12, 2017, 9:28 p.m.

“How to know if your child is transgender.”

The headline caught my eye – not merely because of the subject matter, but because of who wrote it.

The Associated Press, in a report made available to national subscribers this week, offered parents advice on determining whether their kids are transgender.

The question posited – how to know if your child is transgender – is as destructive as it is provocative.

Why? Because a mainstream news purveyor is now peddling the premise that today’s transgender phenomenon is somehow normative and acceptable.

That’s a lie. Transgenderism is neither normative, nor acceptable. To insist otherwise is dangerous and lacks true compassion for those struggling with gender identity. (A staggering 41 percent of trans or gender non-conforming people surveyed have attempted suicide).

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If we let God’s Word be the last word on the matter it is simply this: “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.”

That’s reality.

Transgenderism is simply an attempt by people to create their own reality, perhaps to deal with deep emotional pain. That parents would assist their own precious, vulnerable kids in this is unconscionable.

A person’s gender is determined genetically, not by how that person feels. For a boy to say he feels like a girl does not make him so physiologically, no matter how deeply he might wish to change his God-given gender.

Christians approaching today’s transgender issue must balance this truth with compassion.

The truth is that all of us have desires that don’t match reality. Disordered desires of any kind are common to the human condition, and they damage us rather than help us. The Bible simply calls such disordered desires sin.

And the good news is that God has a better way than you and me creating our own reality.

God invites us to embrace who he has made us to be. And he invites us to step into the purpose for which he has made us.

Consider these words from Psalm 139: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.”

Notice the raw honesty of Scripture: God made you the way that you are – chromosomes and all.

We best help a person struggling with gender dysphoria not by helping them “reassign” gender outwardly, but by encouraging them to gladly accept the person God made them to be at their very core.

For us to deny that we are someone other than who God has made us to be is an offense to our Creator, and a destructive fantasy.

The good news about God’s love for us is that he has provided a means for us to have all our disordered desires – our sin – reordered from the inside out.

God sent Jesus into this terribly disordered world to live a completely ordered, holy life, and then he took that perfect life and allowed it to be sacrificed on Calvary’s cross to take the judgment from God that our disorder deserves.

That Jesus rose again – a reality proven by history – affirms that He truly is the way to right relationship to God and with self. Jesus has done everything necessary to enable us to live the best life possible; he is able to redeem our internal desires to conform with God’s design.

This good news – the gospel – does not condemn those who embrace transgenderism. Instead, it lovingly offers to them and all of us sinners the freedom to forsake the disordered desires that seek to rule us.

A sex change can’t do this.

We need the gospel to change our very hearts.

That’s reality.

Steve Massey is pastor of Hayden Bible Church (www.haydenbible.org). He can be reached at (208) 772-2511 or steve@haydenbible.org.