There are so many articles, news pieces, and other media floating around concerning the transgender phenomenon. There are many leaders who have more wise words than myself on the matter, so mostly I set about writing this blog as a way to orient myself and to get all my thoughts down on “paper.” If you have any constructive feedback feel free to leave it in the comments!
- Locating Truth
We are all trying to find truth and how we relate to it, how it impacts our lives. We all try to find out how we fit into this world and what part we are to play in this grand narrative.
The fight of those who consider themselves transgender (or any other part of the LGBT community) is a fight that wants to legitimize their beliefs and feelings and therefore their identity and place in the world. I admit their struggle and I admit that there can be oppression, hardship, and pain associated with such beliefs. I would want to be clear that I do not lay aside any individual’s feelings or experiences. However, where I would like to engage them in how they process those feelings and experiences.
From my small observances, it seems like the truth that transgender people have accepted is the truth that they find within themselves. They fight against what they are told or what is on their birth certificate in order to become who they feel they are. This sounds really self-empowering does it not? But what they are fighting for is a shaky foundation.
Our gender identity is interpreted through biological, psychological, and sociological lenses. I understand that there are people who grow up with all three of these lenses in harmony with each other. However, I also understand that there are many for whom these lenses do not act in harmony. Either there are physical complications which do not fit into a neat category or someone for whatever reason feels as if they do not “belong” in the body in which they were born. In such cases the world seems warped until they alter the other lenses to come into focus with each other.
The question is, “what lens are we focusing or calibrating all the others to?”
Or in other words, what will be our measuring rod for our life? You see, we have a choice in what lens we will use to view the world. But with all this talk about lenses we forget a major point. Just because we may see the world through a specific lens has no bearing on how the world actually is.
Truth is completely independent from how we view it.
I may view a red light as a green light but that does not change the fact that the light is red. So how do we know what color the light actually is? Well, to me it only makes sense to base my identity on the evidence that I have been given from my Creator. If you are trying to build something, why would you not look at the instructions created by the manufacturer? Unfortunately, not everyone believes that there is such a Manufacturer or for that matter any Instructions at all.
- Legislating Truth
This has broad implications, though, for how the law of the land is created. No matter what you believe, laws are always affirming or denying some type of worldview or morality. Some non Christians and even some Christians say that we should not try to legislate morality and “force” our opinions/beliefs on people who don’t believe as we do. And while I think what they’re trying to get at (that we can’t expect non Christians to live like Christians or that there should be separation of Church and State) is correct, I don’t think sitting back and giving way is the loving thing to do.
If you genuinely believe that America and therefore the people who live here will end up in a worse condition due to some legislation, would it not be unloving to not be a prophet crying out in the wilderness? If beliefs are going to be forced on people by law (which all laws do) then it would be unloving of me to not fight for laws that I believe would result in the greatest good
And to be absolutely fair, I would not expect anything else from people who believe differently than I do. My hope here lies in the power of civil debate, the willingness of men to compromise, and the sovereignty of God.
I realize that not everyone agrees with this. But as soon as you become angry at me for fighting for what I believe in then you become a hypocrite, do you not? You can be frustrated at what I believe and we can debate the points but as soon as you deny someone the right to fight or get angry at them for what they believe then you are starting down a dark path.
This is why I am saddened by our pigeon-holing methods we use today. Liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, progressives and moderates, we are all much too quick to label someone and once labeled dismiss any arguments they may have even if they may be completely valid.
I believe in absolute truth. I believe that truth is worth fighting for.
But I also understand that there is nuance to every argument and that we should all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19) and that leads to my final thought.
- Living Truth
Ultimately, though, we want to move beyond locating and legislating Truth. These things things are necessary and good, but it has to go further than that.
Truth has to be lived out.
And the broader truth found in Christianity is that everyone in this world has fallen short of the glory of God and His standards. People who consider themselves transgender along with thieves, liars, adulterers, the prideful, the conceited, the greedy, me, and you are all sinners and deserve eternal punishment and separation from God.
The good news of Christianity, though, (otherwise called the Gospel) is that even in this pitiful state in which we all find ourselves, God sent his one and only Son who became flesh, lived among us, died on the cross, took our punishment upon himself, was buried in a grave, rose again three days later, and ascended to heaven after defeating death and conquering sin paving a way for all those who came to him to enter into a saving relationship with the Father. Yes, that’s the best run-on sentence I’ve ever written.
In short, though, what this means is that I do not make this argument or any other out of hatred towards any person. I strive to say what I say out of love towards someone who has been created by God and who He longs to have a relationship with.
God is a God of love and truth.
Love without truth is naive while truth without love is cruel. God is neither naive or cruel and my hope is to only become more of a mirror of who God is and shine His light into a searching world.