Prelude to Transgender Issues
First, the reader should know something of who I am, and second, why I am presenting this “Transgender Issues” section within The Third Sex? Revisited.
I am an Evangelical Christian and longtime pastor of a small Baptist church in Mill Valley, California. Theologically I could be described as Reformed, meaning I hold to the doctrines of grace or election. I am Trinitarian and believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
It is necessary at this point in history to be careful with the designation evangelical. A biblically oriented evangelical is someone who promotes the message of Jesus Christ. The word evangelical means good message or news. “Gospel” is an old English word that means good news. What I mean is that evangelical does not have to be politicized. I am conservative in my outlook, but neither I nor the church I pastor take a stance for one political party or another. People at Miller Avenue do not know how I vote, and no party or candidate is endorsed. Jesus is our Leader and Lord, no one else.
My calling as a Christian is to present the person and work of Jesus Christ. By “person” I mean, who Jesus is, that He is God become flesh, the Word become flesh, and is the Messiah spoken of in the Hebrew Bible. By “work” I mean His sacrifice for sin on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, His ascent into heaven where He is “seated” at the right hand of the Father, and that He will return for His Chosen People at some point in the future. 108
This is much of who I am. Additionally, I am called, like all Christians are called, to bear witness to the saving work of Jesus Christ to all people. My sense of it is that those within the LGBTQ+ spectrum are wary of people like me, since we usually are not pro-gay. I want to be clear: I consider homosexual behavior to be sinful. Let me also tell you that I, too, am a sinner, a bigger one than you might imagine, especially when I contemplate the utter holiness of God.
More Important than Sexual Identity
There is something far more important than our sexuality and personal identity, important as these are. As a messenger of the love and grace of Jesus, I have spent a fair amount of time and effort examining the issues I raise in this book and in its predecessors. However, as I try to come to an understanding of homosexuality and transgenderism in particular, I am struck by what is commonly known as narcissism. Narcissism is usually seen as a sign of mental imbalance, but it also points to the condition of sin gripping closely, and I see this danger present in much of the LGBTQ+ community. The search for peace and contentment is not to be found in fulfilling our hormonal urges or being who we think we are supposed to be, and the attempts to control how others see us and refer to us in speech and actions mask what is actually self-contempt. This extreme self-focus is like a poison to the system, killing any joy or peace that might have existed there.
I am reaching out to those who are struggling to find peace with God, however clumsy my effort might appear.