Words of encouragement
I am grateful to Travis Berry for his idea of applying the words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels to transsexual people, though I do not endorse his suggestion of which verse to apply. He quoted Matthew 23:27-28:
Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of the bones of the dead and of everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Um, no. I responded with John 3: 8 and Matthew 20:15:
The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.
Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?
You can use the Bible to argue for wildly differing perspectives. But I started looking for words of Jesus to apply to queers in general. On coming out or transition, surely the best is Luke 15:32:
But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.
Living a lie is a slow death. Telling the truth is new life. Jesus releases us. “Don’t be afraid,” he says. Luke 9:25:
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
If someone quotes at you John 8:11, “Go and sin no more”, remind her that that is addressed to all of us, and not just those she finds sinful. It is worth having a look at the whole verse:
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Jesus is not about condemning anyone but those who think their religion makes them good people, and outsiders bad people. It is to them, the Pharisees, that he says “Woe to you,” not to trans folk. Luke 4:18:
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.
That is why it is Gospel, Evangelion, Good news. Release the oppressed. This is the year of the Lord’s favour. Do not oppress us with demands that we suppress ourselves.
Evangelicals remember that Jesus said (Luke 6:37) “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” When they concern themselves with gay people, they judge. Other people’s sins are not their concern.
“I shall not be ashamed when I speak with my enemies in the gate”. Jesus’ words are on my side, to answer them.