The transgender movement has currently taken America by storm. There seems to be no way of escaping it. Just about every TV show and movie has to have at least one "trans" character. Those who identify as such are platformed and celebrated. In the past two years, at least one of those deemed "woman of the year" actually was a man who identified and sought to appear as one. More and more companies are headlining transgender people in their commercials and promotions. Transgender women (that is men who are choosing to identify as women) are unfairly dominating women sports and girls are having to deal with men in their locker rooms and public bathrooms now. Doctors and medical clinics are performing so-called "sex change" surgeries on children who want to be identified and seen as the opposite gender than what they are. Drag Queen story hours are popping up all over the place. I even heard that the most recent Country Music Awards featured a Drag Queen performance.
Such a storm has come upon us fast as ten to fifteen years ago, the idea of a man identifying as and transitioning into a woman or vice versa was unheard of. Now, it is being presented to us as common place and natural. Who would have ever thought that the Olympic gold medalist on the Wheaties cereal box, Bruce Jenner, would later appear on the cover of Vanity Fair as a woman, calling himself Cailyn? And it doesn't appear that this storm will pass anytime soon nor that it will get any easier for us as believers as the culture more readily embraces this and seeks to force everyone else to get on board with it as well. More than ever, we need to understand what the Bible says about these issues and how we are to handle this movement and, even more importantly, the people who are caught up in it. This article is my attempt to help us do just that.
Let's start with what Scripture itself says about transgenderism. The Bible is clear that it is God Himself who has determined and defined the two (and only two) genders that exist in humanity. Genesis 1:27 tells us that "God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." These two genders have been designed to differ from each other in a way that serves to compliment the opposite one. The differences between the two of them are to be seen in the different roles and relationships God has given them to live out. For instance, it is God's intention for men to be the leaders of their family and His family the church (Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23). Women, on the other hand, are to be the helpers of men, serving under their leadership and having a predominant role in bearing and nurturing children in a way that men cannot (Genesis 2:18; Ephesians 5:22, 24; 1 Timothy 2:12-15). David acknowledges and praises God that the Lord "formed my inward parts; You wove me together in my mother's womb" and that he has been "fearfully and wonderfully made" by Him in Psalm 139:13. That would certainly include the physical make up of his body with the specific chromosomes and hormones that determine his gender with the role he was to live out as that gender. And that of course is not just true for David but also for every one of us. Deuteronomy 22:5 specifically prohibits a woman to identify as a man in her appearance and a man to do so as a woman. They are to present themselves as the gender God has made him or her to be. The law even goes so far as declaring that God sees those who do such as being an "abomination" to Him.
Transgenderism is a perversion of God's good order. To go against the gender you have been designed to be, whether that would be in identity or role, is nothing short of rebellion against your Creator. It is in essence saying to God, "I want to be who I want to be and not who You made me to be." The heart of every sin, whether that would be abortion, homosexuality, or transgenderism, is really the same. The desire to be in the place of God and determine things for yourself instead of submitting to what God has said about you and the way you are to live before Him. It all goes back to the Fall with the serpent's sly and sinister temptation that the man and woman would "be like God" if they ate from the tree that the Lord Himself had told them not to eat. They wouldn't need to depend on God to tell them what was good and evil. They would be like Him and know it for themselves. They could be their own God in that sense, determining what is right and wrong on their own. That same Satanic lie is exactly what those who identify as transgender are buying into when it comes to their gender.
With the number of those identifying as trans growing, the likelihood of you encountering someone who presents themselves as a different gender than the one they have been given at work, in school, in your family, and in the community is greater now than ever before. The question is, "How are we to interact with them?" In many ways, you do not need to treat them any differently than any other unbeliever. We need to keep in mind that their transgenderism is merely a symptom of their lostness and rebellion towards God. In that sense, they are no different than any homosexual you may come in contact with, atheist, Buddhist, adulterer, liar, or religious person who has not been born again and as a result not repented of their sins and trusted in Christ alone for their salvation. You should show them the love of Christ and be sure to tell them about Jesus, calling them to repentance and faith in Him. I heard Ray Comfort one time talk about how we are to go about sharing the gospel with a homosexual, a Jehovah's Witness, a Mormon, and a Buddhist. And you know what? The message was exactly the same for each of them! It didn't change based on how their sin manifested itself in their lives.
When it comes to a person's preferred pronouns, I don't think that we can use them for a couple of reasons. One is that it would put us in violation of the ninth commandment not to bear false witness (Exodus 20:16). To refer to a man as a "she" is participating in a lie because that is not what he is. Also, it doesn't help to affirm them in their sinful rebellion and will continually encourage them to wrongly identify themselves as something which they are not.
And concerning children who are confused over their gender, we need to point them to the goodness of God in designing for them to be the gender they are and not the other. It used to be that those with what was called "gender dysphoria," who thought that they were born into the wrong body, would be counseled to help their brain reconcile with the biological make up of their body. Now, our culture wants to do the opposite and seek to change the body to match the brain, causing more damage for them than either is realized or cared. One reason why so many teenagers are identifying as trans today appears to be more due to peer pressure than anything else. Their desire to be accepted and fit in leads them that direction. They see that those who identify as gay, lesbian, or transgender are applauded and promoted in the culture today and want that fanfare as well. They need to be directed to find true acceptance in God through Jesus Christ instead of the fleeting eyes of the world.
We may be in the midst of this storm right now but we have all that we need with Jesus and His Word to withstand it and help others who are caught up in it to find their true identity in Christ instead of a sinful identity the world encourages them to embrace. Let's seek to compassionately share the gospel with those who identify as transgender and boldly proclaim the truth of what Scripture teaches on this matter. Also, to display the goodness of the unique differences of male and female in how we talk, live, and interact with each other.
Love in Christ,