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.

9 thoughts on “Words of encouragement

  1. Clare and Readers,

    If you read my blog post you will notice that the main point was not about transsexuals. I did not directly apply the words of Jesus in Matt. 23 to transsexual people, as Clare has written, because he was speaking to the religious hypocrites. However, if you read the words of Jesus you will notice that he speaks about the religious leaders looking righteous on the outside but being dead on the inside. I was simply making an analogy using a popular story in the news which was about a transsexual.

    A man who thinks he is a woman has a disconnect between his brain and what he sees in the mirror. So, instead of fixing the brain he fixes the body. The man dresses like a woman and has ‘transition’ surgery but he is still not a woman. If, in fact, he suffered from Gender Identity Disorder before he still suffers from it after those changes. That was my analogy. We, as humans, tend to fix the outside instead of focusing on the inside like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day.

    Clare and the readers of this blog may have a problem with my comments but know that they are spoken in love. Just take some time to read the comments between Clare and myself on my blog post and I believe the two sides are shown clearly. I do not want to go on much longer but allow me to point a couple things out about the passages Clare quotes in this post.

    What does John 3:8 and Matt. 20:15 have to do with this discussion? The wind blowing where it chooses in John 3 refers to the Holy Spirit and his regenerating power as shown in the prophet Ezekiel. You can check out my blog posts entitled “The Valley of the Dry Bones”. Matt. 20:15 is a parable told by Jesus showing that he has the power to give and take away. They both have nothing to do with what Clare assumes they mean.

    Also, Luke 4:18, Luke 9:25, and Luke 15:32 are about salvation. They are not about men thinking they are a woman. They are not about women thinking they are a man. They are about salvation. These passages are about being freed from the power of sin and being brought into the wonderful light of God’s glorious grace. To use these passages as foundations for transsexualism is to miss the truth behind them.

    I pray that if you have not come to realize the depth of your sin that God will open your eyes to that truth. I also pray that God will reach down and instill life within your soul as he shows us in Ezekiel 37: 1-14.

    Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

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    • Travis, your “Christianity” constrains and limits human beings into tight, easily understood categories, and Jesus came to set us free. You deny the Freedom of Christ because you think that your “Christianity” is the truth. You are entrapped.

      So, you cannot see the connection between John 3 and transsexual transition. Jesus can, Travis. Take an hour in silence and try to open yourself to the possibility that the beautiful Jenna Talackova is a woman, and Jesus approves. Have your Bible, and ask for God’s guidance. Just as Copernicus realised that the Earth goes round the Sun, you may come to see that she really is female.

      And have a look at the Greek word “Arsenokoitai“. You will see that this passage does not condemn gay unions.

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      • Clare,

        The fact that you can see a connection between John 3 and transsexualism shows just how far one has to stretch to see that. There is nothing about transsexuality in John 3. Also, the earth moving around the sun is a fact. Talackova being a man is not. You saying it doesn’t make it true.

        Also, where did homosexuality come into this conversation? If you want my take on the homosexual issue feel free to read my blog posts discussing the topic.

        “Homosexuality and Pederasty…Are They Connected?” -http://wp.me/p1Uaxo-dP

        “Can Homosexuals Change?” – http://wp.me/p1Uaxo-cd

        “Romans 1:26,27: Was Paul Speaking about Homosexuality?” – http://wp.me/p1Uaxo-c3

        Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

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        • Thank you for the links.

          “If you are living in any kind of sin God can change you. For those who define themselves as homosexual I pray that God reveals the depth of your sin. With that revelation can come many emotions but through it all I pray that God will wash you, sanctify you, and justify you in Jesus Christ.”

          Um. What you write is completely worthless, meretricious and lacking in any interest, Travis. You should read Michelle’s posts, which explain the Greek far better than you do. I am sorry if anyone reads your worthless rubbish, and is either hurt by it or encouraged in their own bigotry by it.

          You have read what I write, but it is pearls before swine as far as you are concerned.

          REPENT!

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  2. Travis says, “A man who thinks he is a woman has a disconnect between his brain and what he sees in the mirror. So, instead of fixing the brain he fixes the body. The man dresses like a woman and has ‘transition’ surgery but he is still not a woman. If, in fact, he suffered from Gender Identity Disorder before he still suffers from it after those changes.”

    It seems to me that after surgery, one would no longer suffer from GID because the gender has been corrected.

    And of all the bible versus Travis refutes, he leaves off Luke 6:37 which speaks volumes to me.

    I read that “God so loved the world” not just straights or Christians or however we choose to separate people in order to feel superior, but the whole world, which includes me and Clare and Travis.

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    • Thank you, both. Just as in the slave-holding states in 1830 people made Biblical arguments in support of slavery, but do not do so now, I believe in fifty years people will not make Biblical arguments condemning all homosexual behaviour. Now, we need straight Bible-respecting Christians to make the arguments for us.

      I am particularly glad to welcome you here, Michelle. Your posts on Homosexuality, particularly your careful analysis of Romans 1, put the arguments in our favour powerfully. I am grateful.

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    • Dawn,

      You wrote: “It seems to me that after surgery, one would no longer suffer from GID because the gender has been corrected.”

      Me: The problem is a person who gets ‘transition’ surgery doesn’t actually become the other gender. A man cannot become a functioning woman. Here is a scenario to highlight my point. Say a man gets in an accident that eliminates his sexual organs. Does this make him less than a man? If not why does transition surgery make the man a woman?

      Also, Luke 6 is used over and over and over by people in ways that are not supported by Scripture. Was Paul wrong for pointing out Peter’s sin? Of course not. I am not the Judge and I have not made any remarks regarding Clare’s eternal destination. I simply point everyone to the Gospel.

      Oh, and lastly on John 3:16 I would encourage you to read my blog post entitled “What Does John 3:16 Really Mean?” you can find that here:

      http://anotherchristianblog.org/2011/10/13/john-316/

      Travis (AnotherChristianBlog.org)

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      • Travis, have you ever contemplated a koan? They are really good. Try one some time.

        Does an accident stop a man being a man? No, because his gender identity is male. Let’s see. I have a Y chromosome, a fused pelvis which is rather narrower than my shoulders, and I used to have testicles. I am a woman, as attested to by the European Court of Human Rights, the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and any number of scientific papers, because my gender identity is female. I do not care if you do not believe me, but I do care that you simply reiterate your point that I am not, again and again. It is not courteous. It adds nothing to the conversation. You have said that already, and saying it twice does not make your point any stronger.

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