Transgenderism and Christianity

This post is also available as a podcast: https://anchor.fm/teague-mckamey/episodes/Transgenderism-and-Christianity-e1r2f1n

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Converging circumstances have me thinking about transgenderism.  I’ve processed this subject at one level or another over the years, but haven’t reached many conclusions.  Nevertheless, the Lord is bringing some things together, so I’ll share where I’m at as of today.  Hopefully, it’s helpful to someone else.

Theologically, there are several layers to transgenderism.  The first is with respect to God’s order in this creation.  Genesis 1:27 says, “God created man in His own image…He created them male and female.”  The reality of male and female underlies marriage and is critical to God’s first command: “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28).  Scripture only acknowledges two sexes or genders.  Assuming multiple sexes and genders is symptomatic of our fallen state, distorts God’s image as embodied in two sexes, and is incompatible with fulfilling God’s command to be fruitful and multiply.  All of this informs my basic view of sex and gender in this life.

That said, when I pray about transgender issues, the Lord consistently says, “This is a distraction.”  As I ask the Lord what He means by that, different verses come to mind.  In Matthew 22:30, Jesus says people won’t marry or be given in marriage at the resurrection but “are like the angels in heaven.”  In the resurrection, there is only one couple—Christ and the church, the fullness of what male and female mean.

Another verse is Galatians 3:28–“There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Matthew 22:30 and Galatians 3:28 point to reality beyond this creation; our deepest identity is spiritual and not based in first creation realities like sex or gender. These verses free me to relate to someone beyond their sex or gender.  Personhood supersedes male, female, or gender confusion.  

To all His disciples, Jesus says, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24).  As a male, part of denying myself means setting aside maleness.  I can’t stop being male; I’m not free to identify with something other than my biological sex.  But maleness is not Lord.  Jesus is.  To the extent I am able, I want to follow Jesus and not maleness.  

Still, Genesis 1:27 (which we just read) says God created us in His image, “male and female.”  In denying myself, why would I deny my sex, which is in God’s image?  Male and female do embody God’s image, but neither does it completely.  As a man, I need to bear God’s image while recognizing that women bear God’s image in a way I can’t.  This means subordinating masculinity to Jesus, who is the exact expression of God’s nature (Heb. 1:3; Col.1:15).

In sum, the Lord would have me relate to people based on new creation identity, which is not based in sex or gender.  This doesn’t negate first creation reality, in which sex and gender are limited to male and female.  But it does prioritize new creation realities.  In all areas (not just sex and gender) we are to live out from new creation realities by faith.  Though we live in the world, Jesus says we are not of the world, even as He is not of the world (John 17:14).  Paul agrees that “our commonwealth is in the heavens,” that is, in the spiritual realm (Php. 3:20).

My other focus is seeing myself crucified with Christ (Gal. 2:20).  As I mentioned, this means putting Jesus before my identity in all its aspects: sex, race, family history, education, tax bracket, political convictions, you name it.

Jesus said there is no greater love than laying down one’s life (John 15:13).  To follow our Master and lay down who we are is love: for God first of all, but also for our neighbor (Matt. 22:36-40).  Not surprisingly, Jesus’s only new covenant command is, “Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another” (John 13:34).  Amen, Lord.  Live in me, and love through me.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Carol Udd says:

    Your piece is thought provoking and will read it again. I never thought of surrendering all in this context. Thank you so much. Love to you and Carrie🌈

  2. eguyadeen3 says:

    You must also be aware that God is neither male or female he is Spirit, that is why we must worship him in Spirit and Truth. John 4:24. They are many people in our world that was born neither male or female because of different things that can happen in the womb. My oldest daughter is that because she was a conjoin twin in which I lost some of my other daughter and at the same time my daughter absorb her sister, she has two sets of DNA as well as other extra body parts. No one knows the reason why this happen I ate healthy and followed the doctors advise still it happen. Many people in this world were born this way, my daughter is in therapy where there are many people like this from around the world.. As Christians we are called to love all, God created us all in his imagine even my daughter, to me she is my daughter but since claims she is neither because she is missing chromosomes.

    1. mrteague says:

      Thanks for your comment and for sharing about your daughter. I appreciate the reference to John 4:24, and I agree, as Spirit, God isn’t male or female. The references to God in male terms (i.e. Father) are probably more familiar to us. But there are lesser known feminine references. “God Almighty” in the Old Testament could be translated “Glorious nursemaid.” Or when 1 Peter tells us to crave pure, spiritual milk, we might also think of a nursing mother. I think when scripture uses gendered references to God it’s meant to help us think about the ways in which God relates to us, not saying God is male or female. Blessings to you and your family 😊

      1. eguyadeen3 says:

        Totally agree that God has many names some thing I shared with the congregation when I preach I also referred to God as The Great I Am the words God told Moses that “I Am”

        1. mrteague says:

          Amen😊 God’s names reveal so much about who He is…

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