An important point to recognize is that this struggle is very real and difficult. It’s very hard for those who comfortably fit with their biological gender to understand the distress that some feel about this. Compassion is called for as a first response (not a quick worldview position that shows that someone has not taken the time to first listen and learn: see James 1: 19).
Becoming better informed about the transgender struggle
“Making Sense of Transgenderism,” by Faith Magazine Online, by Megan Fowler
Sam Andreades, author of Engendered: God’s Gift of Gender Difference in Relationship, asks the question that the media won’t ask: “The most important question remains unasked. It is an obvious question, when you think about it, but it’s one Diane Sawyer—or any media correspondent praising the courage of those undergoing sex-change operations—will never ask Bruce/Caitlin Jenner. It is the elephant in the room that everyone has tacitly agreed to ignore. It is this: “What is a man, Bruce? How do you know you aren’t one? Or, alternatively, what is a woman supposed to feel like? If you cannot answer that question, how can you know you have ‘felt like one all your life’?”
Sam then raises important observations about the nature of gender, the difficulty of exactly saying what it is, and the importance of not rushing to fix what God has given to each of us.
“Understanding the Transgender Phenomenon,” by Mark Yarhouse, from Christianity Today
What does Scripture say about gender? That’s the focus of this blog post, where Tim points out that Scripture talks about God creating gender generally in creation (male and female) but also that God particularly gives to us the gender we were born with. This truth is foundational to understanding transgenderism, along with a clear recognition that we live in a fallen, broken creation where things do not work as they were intended. But brokenness displays brokenness, a deviation from what was intended in the original creation; it does not establish a merely a different normal.
“Talking to my Boys after the Transgender Talk at Their Public School,” by Brad Hambrick.
Tim writes a brief overview of the cultural message today of extreme individualism: that truth about oneself is based on one’s feelings, inner perceptions and life experiences. That’s a critical piece of knowledge to know when thinking about the conflicting perspectives on transgenderism.
“Mascots and Manipulators,” from World Magazine
Marvin Olasky has written a thoughtful column on distinguishing those who are genuinely confused and struggling from those who are pushing a cultural agenda. He’s right that we need to give to both the love of Christ in presenting our position, but it’s very important to be aware that there is genuinely deep suffering going on for those who struggle here. Key quote: “When Christians enter into bathroom-use debates, we should distinguish between those building careers as transgender activists by deliberately rebelling against God’s order, and those who resent mascot treatment and merely want to find a way to minimize their soul-tearing misery. Strugglers should be shown the love of Christ. Agitators for whom “equality” is not an end-state but an industry—and, sadly, perhaps even a religion—also need compassion, in the form of truth delivered in love.”