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Transgenderism and Other Sexual Distortions: A Biblical Response

Transgenderism and Other Sexual Distortions: A Biblical Response

by Fallen Soldiers March Advisory Board Member Pastor Warren Lamb, SGT U.S. Marine Corps, Retired, IABC Certifed Biblical Counselor

There exists today a convergence of entities oppressing and invading the church that collude with one another to promote dangerous and damaging lifestyles and identities (homosexual, bisexual, transgendered, polyamorous, pederast, etc.) and present them as being natural and healthy alternatives to what they dismissively refer to as an antiquated "male-female binary"—the idea that there are only two genders and only one model for marriage.

More and more self-proclaimed Christians are surrendering to the postmodernist idolatry that sexual identity and gender are a matter of one’s thoughts, not a matter of what God has ordained and created. In doing so, they betray the gospel of the One they claim as their Savior and belie what He proclaims to be true. And they add to the brokenness and shame of those who most need the gospel.

While discussion of who those entities are and what they are up to is helpful, for our time together today, it is important for us to be clear on where we are in the sexual distortion landscape and what our response as Christians—and especially as Christian leaders—needs to be.

Understanding the Issues

Understanding a person does not require agreeing with them; it simply promotes clearer communication.

Understanding does not require compromising your belief; it simply helps navigate through matters that matter.

God divinely ordered human creation to have two genders: male and female. From the beginning—and all throughout the Scriptures—He intended that sexual expression take place within the confines of a marriage between husband and wife.

Today, however, we in the West are confronted by a spirit of homosexualist and transgender activism that not only denounces the biblical model but also makes the counter claims that gender no longer matters . . . the distinctive categories of male and female are merely social constructs . . . the genders are changeable . . . the sexes are interchangeable . . . and there are an infinite number and variety of genders.

Story out of Portland Provides Clear Snapshot

Daily News article, August 1, 2017:

Now that's a miracle. After losing one baby to a miscarriage, a transgender man and his husband are celebrating the arrival of their first biological child.

According to CNN, Trystan Reese gave birth on July 14. He and partner Biff Chaplow named their little bundle of joy Leo Murray Chaplow.

Although the baby boy is Reese and Chaplow's first biological child, the couple has been raising kids together for years. The outlet reported that the couple adopted Chaplow's niece and nephew in 2011.

"The moment he was born was just like a pure moment of bliss, like the happiest moment of my life," Chaplow told KOMO News. "To see the very beginning of Leo, of his life, was just like amazing."

 

The birth is not a manifestation of the reality of transgenderism but rather the disclosure that the whole concept of "transgenderism" is a cultural sham. Were she a real man, she could not have given birth by biological definition. [1]

The opening line in the article is "Now that's a miracle."

This is no miracle. It is simply a case of a woman-pretending-to-be-a-man showing that she is in fact a woman by giving birth to a baby through impregnation from a real man.

How did they know to name their baby boy with a boy's name since birth sex is able to be trumped by self-determined "gender identity"? I'm suspecting they arrived at their conclusion because of the baby's clear masculine features and equipment (a manifestation of XY chromosomes). But isn't such a masculine naming incredibly presumptuous on their part (using their standards of logic, such as they are)?

It is a sad commentary of the state of logic and reason in our society when an article such as this, with this headline, can be written as something other than satire. In some venues and jurisdictions, people are actually compelled to regard this as a miracle or else be fined or fired. Such is the political tyranny we now face and one reason every election counts.

Adding to the truly bizarre character of this unholy union is that a real man "married" a woman pretending to be a man. He (the real man) is apparently same-sex attracted and thinks of this relationship as a same-sex union when in reality it is a heterosexual union, which means that he is capable of being in an other-sex union even though he thinks of himself as homosexually oriented. She in the meantime is a woman attracted to men, which means that she has a heterosexual orientation but falsely thinks of herself as a man in a homosexual union, possessing an imitation same-sex attraction.

Got that?

Despite all that, we can and should love them without participating in the lie that dishonors them and revolts against the God who created them. We must do so because as self-deceivers and society-deceivers they are in desperate need of help. Even more in need of help is the child born into such a confused environment and made to suffer for society's ill-advised social experiment.

So, How Did We Get Here?

First, some definitions to help with this discussion. Ontological sex: a person’s identity as male or female; more than biological. Biological sex: determined by a person’s chromosomes along with internal and external physiology. Homosexual: the preference one has for romantic, erotic, and/or sexual partners. Bisexual: a person who self-identifies as welcoming sexual partners from both sexes. Pederasty: a homosexual relationship between an adult male and a pubescent or adolescent male. Polyamory: the practice of or desire for intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the knowledge of all partners. It has been described as "consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy." Gender: the psychological, cultural, and social manifestations of maleness and femaleness (think motherhood). Gender identity: how a person sees or perceives themselves as male or female (extremely subjective). Gender dysphoria (formerly gender identity disorder): the distress and anxiety one experiences due to the dissonance between one’s biological sex and gender identity. Transgender: a catch-all term for a person who experiences or expresses a different gender identity than their biological sex. Transvestite: a person who derives erotic pleasure from dressing as the opposite sex; in modern parlance, it includes those who do so whether it causes erotic pleasure or not. Cross-dresser (drag-queen/king): a person who lives as their biological sex but dresses as the opposite sex for the purpose of entertainment. Some, but not all, cross-dressers are also transvestites. Transexual: a person living as a member of the opposite sex from their biological sex. May be anywhere along the spectrum between initial expression to completed sex reassignment surgery.

Intersex Conditions Are Not Transgender Conditions

Today we define "intersex" persons as those whose sex characteristics, including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals, are abnormal. They constitute between .5 and 1.5 percent of the population.

The most common intersex condition is Klinefelter’s Syndrome, where the sex chromosomes display in variant ways such as XXY, instead of the normal XX or XY. This results in one or more abnormalities (such as infertility) during sexual development.

Despite claims by trans-activists to the contrary, most of the ancient references to behaviors that appear to cross normal sexual identity boundaries are for what we now call intersex individuals.

A Biblical Perspective

In a video presentation, Dr. James Anderson presented eight theses to help us think biblically about transgenderism: [2] The way you think about transgenderism will depend on your anthropology, which in turn depends on your broader worldview. The mainstream narrative on transgenderism has been shaped and supported by secular worldviews committed to human autonomy. A consistently Christian approach to transgenderism must start with a biblical worldview and a biblical anthropology. A biblical anthropology has to be grounded in the first three chapters of Genesis. Gender dysphoria is a genuine condition best understood as a psychological disorder or dysfunction (and perhaps also as a deeper spiritual disorder). The different aspects of transgenderism call for different kinds of Christian responses. Since the biblical view is that there are only two sexes, male and female, and biological sex is the primary indicator of ontological sex, any treatment for gender dysphoria should proceed on the assumption that a person’s biological sex (rather than their gender identity) defines whether they are truly male or female. The sexual revolution and the LGBT movement don’t merely invite God’s judgment—they are themselves a manifestation of God’s judgment (Romans 1).

To better understand the current situation, there are some important facts to consider: According to the last U.S. census, less than 1 percent of Americans self-identify as homosexual. Approximately 0.6 percent of America’s adult population identify with a gender other than their biological sex.[3] Fewer than 1/10,000 males and 1/40,000 females have been clinically diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Seventy to 80 percent of children who express transgender feelings will spontaneously lose those feelings as they pass through adolescence. (Most of the remaining group will go on to identify as either homosexual or bisexual.) Sex change is biologically impossible. People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa; rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Transgender feelings do not correspond with physical reality (similar to the way an anorexic looks in the mirror and thinks they are "overweight"). There is no science-based consensus as to the root cause(s) of transgenderism; this results in no scientific consensus on how to treat it.

Serious and Significant Problems among Transgenders

Transgenders face a number of significant health issues. First, they are at significantly higher risk for mental health problems.

They also have high HIV, drug abuse, and prostitution rates. Twenty-eight percent of male-to-female-TGs have HIV. Eighteen percent of men who have sex with men have HIV. Less than 5 percent of drug users and prostitutes have HIV. Less than 3 percent of female-to-male-TGs have HIV. Less than 1 percent of the general population has HIV. Thirty percent of TGs abuse drugs and alcohol, versus 9 percent of the general population. One recent study showed that 34 percent had injected drugs in the past six months. A 2011 study showed that 80 percent of the TGs in Los Angeles were prostitutes.

Surgery risks and regrets are another issue. Twenty-five percent have bladder and/or stool leakage. Other problems include infertility and loss of sexual function.

Transgenders have significantly higher depression rates and twenty times higher suicide rates, even after surgery. (The death rate increases dramatically approximately ten years after sex reassignment surgery [SRS]). They have a three times higher mortality rate and psychiatric inpatient care rate.

Dangers of hormone use include cardiovascular disease (e.g., hypertension), weight gain, stroke, blood clots such as deep-vein thrombosis (a side effect of testosterone use), liver failure, mood swings, heart disease, and increased blood sugar (insulin resistance).

They show higher lung and hematological cancer mortality rates.

There have been major problems with false diagnoses. From 2009–2014, there had been a 40–50 percent increase in children wanting to change their gender, but in 2015 that number jumped to a 100 percent increase. Eighty percent of youth with GID eventually accept their true gender. The profits are so high and the expertise of "professionals" so low that people are quickly pushed into SRS with little to no merit for the diagnosis (as illustrated by Walter Heyer’s testimony in TranZformed).

Overview of Modern Transgender History

In the early twentieth century a handful of doctors began performing crude sex reassignment surgeries, the most famous of which was on Danish painter Einar Wegener, who suffered through multiple surgeries in the 1930s in an attempt to become a woman and conceive a child. His story was retold in the 2015 film, The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne. Wegener died as a result of his fifth surgery.

In the 1940s, Dorothy Tipton lived as a male American jazz musician named Billy Tipton. Her own son did not know her secret until she died.

In the 1950s, after his discharge from the army, George Jorgensen underwent sex reassignment surgery and began calling himself Christine Jorgensen. A now classic headline declared, "Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Bombshell."

In June 2009, Chastity Bono, daughter of Sonny and Cher, publicly announced her decision to undergo female-to-male sex-reassignment surgery. When this announcement was made, many were shocked, yet even more simply shrugged: just one more messed-up Hollywood rich kid doing something foolish. Few gave it a second thought.

Bruce Jenner is the most talked about transgender person today. He first made headlines when he won a gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games; now Bruce Jenner is making headlines for his dramatic transformation into Caitlyn Jenner.

In 1965, psychologist John Money persuaded Johns Hopkins Hospital to begin performing sex reassignment surgeries, but after a 1979 study found that those who had such surgeries were not more adjusted to society than their peers, the psychiatrist-in-chief at Hopkins Hospital (Dr. Paul McHugh) shut the program down. In 2015, he stated that "transgenderism is a mental disorder that merits treatment, that sex change is biologically impossible, and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder." He explained that transgender surgery is not the solution for people who suffer a "disorder of ‘assumption’"—the notion that their maleness or femaleness is different from what nature assigned to them biologically.

Head researcher Jon Meyer declared, "Surgery is not proper treatment for a psychiatric disorder. These patients have severe psychological problems that don’t go away following surgery"—a finding reinforced in a major 2011 study out of Sweden.

A Brief Trans History

In the beginning, God made human beings in His image, and He created one male and one female.

He commanded them to multiply through sexual union in a lifelong, monogamous, and covenantal relationship with a member of the opposite sex—one that was to prefigure the relationship that Christ would eventually have with His Church (Ephesians 5:22–32).

When they sinned, however, the entire creation fell—all of it—both man and nature. Man’s heart was darkened, and he began to worship the creature rather than the Creator (Genesis 3; Romans 1:18–32).

Hatred, war, and sexual immorality ensued. The very DNA of man became corrupt. Sickness and disease spread across the earth. Lifespans shortened. Babies died in childbirth and others were born with defects.

The vast majority of mankind lost all knowledge of the Creator, so they invented mythical gods that reflected their own corruption and invented philosophies and theologies that denied the God of the Bible. The result? Our world today.

What Does the Bible Say about Trans-Gender Identity?[4]

In 2013, a professor and former dean of theology who changed gender identities argued that the Bible defends those who renounce their birth gender, while a leading biblical expert on homosexuality said it condemns them as an "abomination."

"I was dying last year because I couldn't live that way anymore. . . . I tried to be the best Christian woman I could be and today I get to be the best Christian I can be and the best person I can be," Heather Ann Clements, former head of the theology department at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in Los Angeles, California, said in a sermon proposing a biblical defense of transgender identity. During that sermon, she came out as a transgender man, Heath Adam Ackley. Embracing her identity as a man, she claimed it empowered her to love God and others more.

"Binary gender (division into male and female) isn't clearly defined with words such as man or woman until the twenty-second verse of the second chapter of Genesis. Before that division, Genesis 2 refers to the first human as ha'adam, the creature made of earth." For this reason, Ackley took on the name Adam to identify herself as a human before and beyond considerations of gender.

Ackley then turned to the Gospel of Matthew, where in chapter 19 Jesus refers to "natural-born eunuchs." This "is my own experience of gender as one who internally experiences male gender identity though I did not appear so at birth for visually obvious reasons."

"At this time, I sense God calling me to service to the Church in a teaching and preaching role and feel privileged to experience a life of prayer and study that is undistracted by the demands of married life," Ackley wrote. She did not say whether she would remain celibate for the rest of her life but expressed her calling to ministry as overriding any sexual desires.

Ackley also cited Galatians 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." In her sermon, she argued that men and women are incomplete after God separated the first man into two genders, and that in Christ both become complete by transcending gender itself.

The writers of Scripture, however, viewed any attempts at overriding one's birth sex as abhorrent, a sacrilege against the structures of maleness or femaleness created by God, and ultimately a rebellion against the Creator who made our bodies.

The Biblical Counseling Approach

As always, we bring the counselee to Jesus Christ, bearing in mind always that the counseling relationship is redemptive in nature.

We need to help the counselee understand the truth and learn to replace the lies with that truth. To do so, we need to fully understand God’s design and order for human sexuality—including gender and gender issues—and not surrender to the societal influences that are overtaking Christianity in the West.

 

A Way of Transformation for the TG Person

(This assumes you are working with someone who has repented of sin and believed in and surrendered their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.)

Addressing misinformation and confusing influences. First, address any childhood sexual abuse or other trauma that may have confused the child’s sense of identity, being, and/or sexuality. It is important to correct gender-based misinformation by parents, significant others, and/or the culture (as well as any other lies of the enemy that they may have believed). Parents or other family members may have wanted their child to be the opposite sex and either communicated that to him/her outright or more subtly in the ways they gave or withheld affirmation and acceptance when he/she acted like a boy/girl.

Prayer. This is the area that is so confusing because the counselee may feel as if they’ve done all of the prayer needed and God’s only consistent answer has been silence. "Please take these feelings away from me, Lord God," they pray. Silence. Feelings persist. Silence. Actions follow. Silence. Guilt and shame trail behind. Silence. The cycle is revisited again and again until the final conclusion seems quite apparent: silence equates to "God’s will is for me to be a member of the opposite gender."

Healing prayer has been around for a long, long time. Many prayer ministers have tried to teach God’s people that they can employ God’s restorative healing powers for physical and emotional ailments through prayer. Trans-gender thoughts, feelings, and experience seem to be among the most resistant to respond to prayer.

Many approaches have been taken, and while they can provide some helpful examples of surrendered prayer and praying by faith, there is often more emotionalism than sound theology and practice involved.

Pray for God to help the counselee heal of the woundedness they have been carrying and living out as a result of broken relationships with their father and/or mother. Teach them how to be intimate with God the Father as a replacement for a male-hating mother or a female-hating father.

Deal with any "sins of the father" that may have been passed down through observation and duplication.

Pray for any peer humiliation that they experienced (especially related to a rejection of gender) to be reversed by the acceptance of Christ and His body, the Church.

Pray for them to repent of the rejection of their biological sex and/or the self-hatred that it induced.

Pray with them to accept their biological gender.

Guide them to repent of any use of pornography and masturbation and the core sin behind such behaviors (idolatry).

Teach them to prayerfully saturate on the Word of God, renewing their mind and having their hearts and minds transformed by the Holy Spirit.

Put off any contributing cultural factors. If they grew up lonely and unaffirmed yet were accepted and celebrated by the trans community (not having understood that their acceptance had more to do with their youth and beauty than anything else), pray that they learn to receive that needed acceptance and affirmation from God instead of man.

Help them put on the truth of what God’s Word declares about the matters by choosing to surrender to the truth no matter what their former way of life has looked like or what their feelings demand. A key antidote we teach repeatedly is to make the declaration, "This is what I feel, but this is what is true."

Moving forward. Help them separate themselves from damaging relationships (friends, music, media,  entertainment, environments, etc.) and turn their attention to God’s Word and serving Him. Help them find a church, ministry, and other teaching resources that can guide them in the lifelong process of transformation.

Biblical Counseling Success Rate

Our friends at Help4Familes have evidenced a huge success rate, nearly 80 percent among those who want to change. Accomplishing this requires a number of things of the individual: A total devotion to facing the truths about how this condition came into being in the first place and a total departure from the post-modernists’ view of gender and sexuality. . . . Adopting the attitude that God, our Creator, knows of nothing beyond His redemptive circle to bring remedy. . . . Being entirely honest with yourself and others about your current struggles. . . . Making peace with your past; forgiving and being willing to be forgiven. . . . Becoming 100 percent involved in long-term, intensive Bible-based counseling and accountability. . . . Choosing to embrace your God-given gender, thanking God for who you are and who He created you to be.

Concluding Thoughts

If we believe that Scripture is comprehensively sufficient for understanding those aspects of human nature that it addresses (2 Peter 1:3–8) and that Scripture is fully authoritative in the life of any and all believers (2 Timothy 3:16–17),  then we must systematically and exegetically submit ourselves to the Word of God and robustly require our counseling approach to do the same. In so doing, we seek to encourage those we counsel to do likewise.

What We Know

We are created beings, created by God with a specific design and intent. This includes our sexuality. The created intent for the expression of human sexuality is fulfilled only within the covenant of a lifelong, monogamous, and heterosexual union.

We are a rebellious and fallen race, and the Fall has marred every aspect of our existence. All sexual distortions are both a manifestation of a fallen nature and a violation of God’s created intent.

Homosexuals, transgenders, and the rest are fully redeemable through Christ. God’s desire is that none would perish, but instead that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9)

"Unbind him, set him free, let him go" (John 11:44) is how we approach ministering to those in bondage to the relics of the death and decay of sexual distortions.

Pray, Plan, Act

Bold love serves graciously without compromising biblical truth.

Authentic relationships are open, vulnerable, honest, and transparent—shoulder time, side-by-side one-anothering.

Courageous listening is willing to be changed by what you hear and not changing what you hear.

Being consistent requires intent, purpose, and self-sacrifice. (Do you have a passionate desire for God’s best for this person, even at great cost to yourself—the biblical definition of love?)

Being patient may take years of steady faithfulness in the same direction; they may fail big and often.  You cannot give up on them, any more than Christ gives up on you.

 

by Fallen Soldiers March Advisory Board Member Pastor Warren Lamb, SGT U.S. Marine Corps, Retired, IABC Certifed Biblical Counselor specializing survivors of trauma and abuse, especially childhood sexual abuse, church abuse, narcissistic abuse, domestic oppression, sex-trafficking, kidnapping, and sole-survivor counseling.

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[1] Special thanks for the FB dialogue with Dr. Robert A.J. Gagnon, now of Houston Baptist Seminary, about this news story and the dynamics surrounding it.

[2]  Video presentation; Dr. James Anderson, RTS Charlotte, November 22, 2016

https://www.michaeljkruger.com/8-theses-that-helps-us-think-biblically-about-transgenderism/

 

[3] Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law; June 2016

[4]  Tyler O’Neil, September 26, 2013, The Christian Post

 

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