All of this was previously written over the last couple of weeks and posted at http://www.ransomedheart.com/blogs/stasi/beauty-secrets-free-be-me
It is possible to click on hyperlinks and see things about the commenters.
I ask you to look for the following:
Identify the ways that love is shown
Identify the truth that is supposedly spoken in love
Analyse the claims made
Search for the specific, authoritative biblical teachings on gender orientation, gender location in a human being, God’s involvement in an intricately and wonderfully made person who suffers in this world where evil is permitted to occur, from evil deeds to variants defined as illegal or not legitimate.
Note the verses used, what they say, and pay particular attention to ones that have whole lists which include many other things that are given a different weight and place in the sanctification process than ones related to sexuality
And also note ways that they apply to me and those like me who dealing with gender issues in ways completely apart from issues of sexuality and immorality.
Pay attention to mentions of obedience, walking in obedience, and ask from the context of the writer what exactly is it that constitutes disobedience…and then find the biblical teaching on obedience, what it is, how one is obedient, and who it is who knows when one is obedient and disobedient…and then the silly but obvious glaring question of how based on the short post I wrote anyone could know anything about my level of obedience or even if I am obedient. If I am not, what ways specifically am I not obedient? (Yes, of course it is evident that in the writer’s mind I am disobedient because I did not do exactly as she has done, and that she believes her own life and experience the template for all issues of gender orientation and sexuality in relation to being a follower of Jesus).
Find the ways that the story one commentor presents of her life apply to my own situation and thus assume authority in my life as prescriptive commands or even wise exhortations/loving reproofs.
Look for ways that the commentors seek to police me, and ways that they other me. Know that this sort of thing goes on in christendom on such a tragically frequent basis as to explain why the apostle Paul said that christians were biting and devourning one another.
Identify anything that I said that was similarly cruel, illogical or unreasonable, or lashing out…if it is there, please let me know, as I endeavored to keep my comments free of such pollution and agenda.
Find ways that I attacked and vilified “the church” (as opposed to christendom, the collective aggregate of christian culture and cultural expression in history that is often wildly divergent from the actual biblical teaching regarding the spiritual organism known as “the church”).
Identify my agenda for posting here at this place…and then identify any way there would be to accurately discern that agenda to be anything other than what I said it was…and then consider the proclamation by these dementors of what they have decided my true agenda is.
Watch for things that would be illustrative that I dwell in a victim mentality…particularly in this thread, but then, if concerned, in my entire blog here at Grace Notes.
Thanks Constance, and by the way, the things written are hurtful…hurtful words and indicate a hurtful state of being in each one. Of course I wonder if one of the commenters protests too much and is still in dysphoria hell: the statistics concerning the efficacy of reparative therapy in conjunction to transgender issues are not good.
Umm…so. Well Stasi I just read your book “Becoming Myself: Embracing God’s Dream of You”. It took me about 5 months to read it, for I had much much to process through.
I am reluctant to just “barge in” on this post, as what I would really like to do is correspond a bit about me and my dilemma, which is shared by 10s of thousands of others, and we are all either hidden in stealth modes in churches or we are flat out excommunicated.
You see…I am a transgender woman, in transition.
Yes, I see the computer screens melting down, and I would humbly ask that comments about me being demonized, deceived, rebellious, perverted, or any other such thing please be refrained from? I assure you there is nothing any comment could say that I have not already heard, often accompanied by spittle.
I have walked with the Lord my entire life, 55 years. I have either been talking to Him about how great He is, talking to Him about how awful I am, or talking to others about Him. I have researched, read, prayed, sought deliverance, sought reparative therapy, sought regular therapy, scoured the bible, read every testimony I can get my hands on, and I am at peace that this is indeed a real actual condition that I am, this gender dysphoria…it is not a sexual perversion, for I am modest and devoted to only one person…ever. In fact today is our 33rd anniversary. It is not transvestism, or being a drag queen.
It’s real. And literally the only thing that has brought help is the HRT that I have been undergoing, which has been night and day.
So all of that, because as I read your book, and it was sooo helpful to me, I wept for that brilliantly blazing and simple message would never get to the vast majority of women like me. And I wanted to perhaps dialogue about the issue.
Caveat: I served in ministry years and years with my spouse, and I know the time demands and even worse the “one issue” contacts that some people are…what they are interested in the whole of Christendom MUST be. So if this strikes you that way, then know in advance that I am not offended or hurt by that. I get it, and realize this is a long shot regardless.
But there are women that need that message! I myself needed it badly, and how thrilled I was as I read an Eldredge book that FINALLY resonated!!! (Oh yes, I taught often out of John’s books to various men’s groups…and yet my heart was always left out, always so hungry, and as I bore witness in my spirit of the beauty and Holy Spirit power of John’s insights, they never grabbed me…they seemed to just…what, bounce off? Slip away?)
For years, we have been cast away, untouchable, or hiding and often falling prey to despair to the point of suicide. I myself was preserved from suicide only…ONLY…by the Lord’s great love. But we are a field white unto harvest…a whole realm of people who need to know God and sadly most of us are so wounded by the abandonment of the church that openness to that idea is anathema!
May our blessed Holy Spirit continue to speak to you, and may you also hear from Holy Spirit about women like me…may you be led to the harvest sacks empty and waiting to be filled, as you thrust in your sickle of the Spirit.
Blessings to you always,
Charissa Grace White**************
Charissa, saying prayers just now that God will comfort and bring His peace.***********************
Thanks Shannon…I assure you that the wonderful depths of comfort mentioned in 2 Corinthians have been made abundant to me, both before I came to terms with gender dysphoria and even more since. He has brought me peace, in those days to sustain me and preserve me from death, and now to fill me and establish me deep.
I do carry a burden however for the stigma attached to me and others like me, and for the vast chasm that most christian culture places between us and full access and participation in the body of Christ and the various activities referred to as church.
I would be most honored if your prayers faithfully said took the form of action and you sought out interaction with transgender people and became an agent of God’s comfort and peace to them as well.
Thank you so very deeply for the courage to comment…I fully expected nothing to be said at all.
Bless you, Charissa*******************
The great tragedy here is that the people you were in contact with were so impotent to give you the help you needed, and instead put someone as deceived and enslaved to sin as you are in a ministry position.
That’s like giving a practicing, unrepentant drunkard the job of preaching temperance.
I’m not going to stroke your victim mentality with fatuous assurances of God’s love; if you want Life, you’re not going to get it by continuing to hug the chains of your slavery to sin.******************************
I do not receive your hateful comment and destructive spirit, regardless of whether you agree with the decisions I am making. You should really look at your heart which is hard and horrible.
I pity you, and forgive you.
Well, you’ve definitely got the passive aggressive, spiteful female act down, Charlie.
1 Corinthians 6:9
Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,
1 Timothy 6:3
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing;
2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
Dear Charissa, thank you for sharing your heart. I am glad you have written, and I have some thoughts of my own to share – no spittle or malice, just respectful thoughts from someone who has walked in your shoes but has a very different perspective at the end of it all. I am heartbroken to hear of the despair you have been in and that you have struggled with this for so long; it sounds like you have been through numerous processes to try to end this/cope with this but apparently none have been the answer you have sought.
Your story makes me sad because it demonstrates the powerlessness of a life full of head knowledge about Jesus without actually knowing Him and being changed into His likeness. Biblical Christianity isn’t a practice of mental ascent and doing the right things week after week. It’s a supernatural transformation that has nothing to do with what you think about Him and everything to do with your surrender to Him. It’s a transformation that starts by believing – believing Him and His Word more than you believe yourself and your own feelings. Believing that He is true and cannot lie, even if it means your own untransformed heart is lying to you and you must deny it what it wants. Believing that IF He has made a way out of sin through the power of Jesus, and IF you are His, THEN you are also empowered to walk in that new, sin-free life. And as a self-check, recognizing that IF you are not empowered to walk away from sin, THEN it means that His new life is not yet growing inside of you; you must start there first.
I speak of what I know because I, myself, was in the early stages of the gender identity crisis you describe. I have been where you have walked; I am a female who grew up with the overwhelming belief that I should have been a man. I had a choice set before me: I could either own my heart experience and follow Shakespeare’s advice: “To thy own (un-renewed) heart be true.” Or, follow the nagging sense in the pit of my stomach and acknowledge the Scripture in front of my eyes which said “Let God be true and every man be a liar” and “The heart is deceitful above all things” and “God will make a way for you to escape your temptation.” (Romans 3:4, Jer. 17:9, 1 Cor. 10:13, respectively)
I was suicidal too. I had been sexually abused at a young age which caused me to veer toward being rather masculine as a means of protecting myself, and I had some other influences in my life that had conspired against me to pervert the woman that the LORD had created me to be. It’s safe to say I was a man-hater; even though I grew up in a “Christian” home all the men in my life were unsafe in one way or another, so I rejected men and sought the romantic company of females. The power of those experiences was like a raging, flooded river with commanding undercurrents seeking to suck me in until I lost all sight of who I had been made to be. In the depths of my anguish, as I sought to walk in Bible Truth as I knew it, I was convicted to fall at the feet of Jesus and cry out to Him with all my heart – to prayerfully, tearfully remind Him that what His word said about homosexuality, and to ask Him to show me if He had made a way of escape out of this path for me. I was torn: were my urges true and was God a liar? Or was my heart deceived and God true in all things?
With His help, I chose to believe Him over the lie; the lie began to lose its power over me as I walked, step by step, in obedience to His Word as I knew it. Each small step of obedience brings more empowerment as we surrender the bits and pieces of our soul to Him, for transformation and indwelling. I made that first consequential choice in my early 20’s and have made it in smaller ways numerous times in the 15 years since then. I am now a happily married woman in love with my sweet husband. That’s not to say that there are never any struggles with the old patterns I walked in, but I can honestly say I don’t want anything different than I have in my marriage right now. I don’t beat myself up over a thought here and there because the true measure of righteousness is in what we do with our thoughts. Do we own them as our own and act on them? Or do we deny ourselves (that untransformed old person who once made all our decisions) and take up our cross daily in the newness of a transformed way of living?
The Scripture says that His Word divides between soul and spirit, because it separates between our soulish feelings and desires and the empowering new life of the reborn spirit within us. (Hebrews 4:12) It actually helps us to discern between the two so that we can tell the difference. The soulish feelings we have both experienced pit themselves against the spiritual rebirth that takes place when we surrender our hearts to Christ. Once we’re transformed, we want to do righteousness and to leave behind our former ways. (Col. 3) I won’t mince words, dear Charissa; it’s apparent in what you write that you know nothing of this rebirth. You have lots of head knowledge, but your own description of yourself indicates you have never experienced the transformation I am talking about.
I am sad that your life has been consumed by a lie – the lie that God made a mistake when He made you a male. It’s not possible for you to believe you’re really meant to be a woman without first believing that your manhood is a grave cosmic mistake – that your Creator, in fact, made an error in your being when He hand-crafted you in the depths of your Mother’s womb. (Psalm 139) Your very DNA rings out with the Truth – that you are a man through and through. Is the Scripture true? Were you indeed crafted “in Elohim’s image,” as the Bible says He crafted each one male
OR female? (Gen. 1) Yet the lie that you are a female in the wrong body has taken hold of you and you have tragically owned it. You are becoming more and more transformed into the image of the lie with each choice you make to “transition.” How catastrophic, when Jesus offers you the power to be transformed into His perfect and righteous likeness by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2) That power is for you too, but you must love the Truth found in His Word more than you love the lie. (2 Thess. 2:10)
The deeper and longer you walk into that lie, the harder it will be to turn the ship around and return to the LORD. Despite what you write about “walking with the LORD” the Bible is clear that you are walking away from Him so long as you own and celebrate this lie; the Holy Spirit grieves for you. Any decision not made in faith is sin, just as owning the same lie and practicing its lifestyle was for me. (Romans 14:23) In Truth, it doesn’t matter how many classes you have taught, how many Eldredge books you have read, or how many years you spent in church ministry. None of them are proof that your heart has been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit living and growing inside of you. The lifestyle you are now living is, instead, proof that you have not.
I wish you peace – the peace that passes understanding because it only comes in righteousness, not the self-deceiving kind that comes from owning a sin and feeling comfortable in it. There is hope for you, but it won’t come from reading Staci’s books written for women and believing that she is talking to you! If you want to be transformed, then fall on your knees right now and acknowledge that your life choices are called sin in the Bible. (1 Cor. 6, Col. 3) Ask Jesus to show you the escape He has made for you to leave this lifestyle, as escape that comes from internal transformation, not from merely temporarily thinking your way out of old patterns until they overpower you once more. Make Jesus Lord of your life: surrender your heart to Him and ask Him to fill you and empower you to walk as a new creation. Then do it. Walk in obedience, baby-step by baby-step, guided by fellowship with fellow believers who refuse to live in the same lie that has ensnared you. The more you walk in obedience, the more you will experience victory over this lie that currently possesses you.****************************
Soo…one last attempt to hear from Stasi…again, your book ministered deeply to me, and I am so grateful for your faithfulness to write.
But you can see here…in these amazing comments made by I don’t even know whom, and yet somehow they know everything about me? They are the best flannel graph for the plight I alluded to in my original comment and cry to you, Stasi…and no, I do not have anything in my heart towards them but sorrow, as their pre-suppositional thinking regarding me forces them to their final conclusion.
But what is not forced is the choice to speak in the spirit they did, ways that are so presumptive, feel so entitled to make judgments of an entire life based on a very short comment intended as a gambit to open a dialogue with you, and Oh, The Holy Spirit willing, with the church at large.
Me? I will be okay, my roots go deep and The Lord is vitally involved in my life daily. It is others, people who do not even know Jesus at all, people who do not even know Father loves them, or the incredible comforting depths of the Holy Spirit…
Stasi, how are they going to hear, know, experience God, when the gateway they are allowed involves the kind of othering and policing and judgment that you see here, in the comments of people who are speaking for you in your name?
I am not demanding anything, but rather I am making a plea…a beggar’s cry for crumbs under the table of the children…I beg you to take a look at the issue of gender and formation. It is far more varied and complex just as a biological phenomenon…people are regularly born with both sets of plumbing, and people are regular born with DNA that is mixed and anomalous. In these cases which are numerous, the easy answers of the sort you see tossed around in these comments become rather inadequate, and the deeper questions of being and identity emerge.
The challenge is out there in the medical history…the challenge is out there in the lives of thousands, tens of thousands of christians who either deal with gender issues themselves, or suddenly find themselves the proud and loving parents of a child who for no discernible reason whatsoever is transgender…no rape, no reaction formation to being unloved, no rejection in the womb, no (fill in the blank with the suspected cause)…no, they are born that way, just as a person is born with a cleft palate, or a hole in their heart, or the loss of a limb…
…and God knew, God knows.
Stasi, I plead with you, just look? See? See the human beings and their need for God? Or maybe you have a trusted confidante who enjoys reading research and science and also loves God who would undertake the task and really help the collective “you” see that it is far more than the sorrowful and hurtful and ignorant picture that commenters here have painted.
This will be my last comment here. I came into this forum because I literally could not find another way to express my heart to you, in my being blessed by your writing and in my conviction that there is a segment of humanity that is ignored and worse by the people who claim Jesus Name but often eschew His heart.
I will again reiterate that my gender issues have nothing to do with sexuality, they are not a smoke screen for me to have some form of illicit sexual fulfillment, they are not a pass to date anyone I want (I am still with the same person I married 33 years ago, and more deeply in love and connected today than yesterday and the day before, and the day before, and still read and worship and praise with her, still excitedly exchange what we are hearing from God each day, still take walks holding hands in the evenings each day).
(and anyone reading who is not Stasi…please hold your fire? I am not going to be here to read your comments anyway. They are so incredibly ignorant to make about someone you have never met, who has written just a few lines as a snapshot and yet somehow you know enough to make claims of whole cloth regarding hearts, minds, spirits, histories, knowledge…a way of being towards someone that most likely you would never do if their questions involved some issue that is deemed “an acceptable struggle…” the actual process of your comment, your thought…that is the very club with which you beat someone with.
in spite of what you “know”, your comment previously did nothing to hurt me except in that I am hurting for how you will feel when Jesus does ask you, gently on That Day, why you spoke so cruel to another person, and even worse, why you thought HIM so small that He needed you to “defend Him”…and worst of all, why you had on a mask of ugliness and called it His face?)
Stasi, you will either hear my heart or not…likely I in my lack of eloquence have fumbled these pleas horribly…but the Great Holy Spirit is eloquent, able, and willing to speak…I beg you to at least give a nod to Holy Spirit, even a cursory “is this girl whack??”
And read of Debbie Jackson, for instance, the beautiful amazing christian woman who is the surprised mother of a transgender child and has told her story with such courage…and so many other stories that do not fit the narrative of judgment and preconceived condemnation.
Mother Teresa went to a group of humanity that was considered beyond the pale, and was universally decried for involving herself with such filth, such scum…such precious to Jesus who made them…and because of her, well you know the story..
If I might, I want to again thank you Shannon…your kindness in your short comment, your compassion came through…and even more so, the brevity of your comment spoke eloquently of a wisdom within you that maybe, just maybe there is something more here, something not conveniently dismissed as some freak wanting to make church a place to practice freakiness and christendom into freakdom…
Bless you for your restraint, for your pray first, ask second, and only have a third if Jesus gives it to you. In my heart I know that the Holy Spirit has told me there are far more like you, who are hidden and not known and full of merciful joyous love that are beloved of God and allies to the suffering, to the aliens and outcasts and strangers…thank you, Dear Shannon…thank you.
Last thing: Stasi, would you please go to Jesus, and ask Him this: Jesus, what if what Charissa says about gender and sexuality and sin not necessarily being one tangled ball of immorality is right? Jesus, is she right that one can be born with such a thing and still love You, live a life of Righteousness by the Holy Spirit our Advocate and Empowerer and Comforter? Jesus…DO You talk to Charissa??? Seriously??? YOU would exchange words with the likes of HER??
And whatever He says to you, I am content to rest in. Well actually I am content to rest now. I acted as I thought I was being led by Holy Spirit after I finished your book…the rest is up to others: Jesus, Holy Spirit, and whosoever will.
Written in great hope, much sorrow, and zero malice or passive-aggressivenes, and posted here with total resolve to not receive a spirit of condemnation or fear, but to instead continue to grow in the spirit of love, of power and of sound mind which the Father has so richly given through Jesus and the continued washing of the water of His word that transforms…
Love, Charissa Grace, Beloved of the Holy Spirit and doted on by the Father and known to Jesus (my confession of what They have said to me, not my boast, for to boast would be to write for days of my fears, failures, despairs, struggles, battles, dealings with unkindness and curses from complete strangers, ostracism and being outcast simply for breathing, for being)
Do justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly
“But what is not forced is the choice to speak in the spirit they did, ways that are so presumptive, feel so entitled to make judgments”
Sir, you just proved everything I thought when I read your original comment. Indie Anna Jones, below, was as kind and loving and gracious as anyone could possibly be to you. She took the time to tell you some of her story, which couldn’t have been easy to share, and shared the path which led her out of her pain and allowed her to live in the peace and freedom promised in the Gospel.
According to your own words, you didn’t even take the time to glance over it, and used the fact that you’d been responded to by a *mere commenter* as fuel for your victim mentality.
You don’t want help, you don’t want to change, you don’t want to accept the truth of who you truly are and be at peace with it, *you want affirmation of the choice you’ve made to deny God and assert that you know better than the One who made you*. You want to be commiserated with, stroked, reassured, and affirmed. You are not only unrepentant, you wallow in flagrant sin and expect to be congratulated for it. I have no patience with that. I wouldn’t with a drug addict who pulled the same schtick trying to get people to say that God MADE him to be a drug addict. It’s all deception and demonic slavery.
I already knew that you would be unable to accept anything but soft-voiced pity and implicit approval, based on your original comment, because no one can live in a state of perpetual self-deception and victim-hood for over 30 years without developing an inflexible armor to the truth.
So, you condemn yourself to perpetual degradation and subjection to the enemy, who is currently prompting you to attack and vilify the Church. I give willing tools of the enemy no quarter.*********************************
“This will be my last comment here. I came into this forum because I literally could not find another way to express my heart to you…”
Did you not think of clicking the ‘Contact Us’ link below, or of writing a personal note to Staci and mailing it? I have written John before and even received a hand-written note in reply. These are ways you might have had a private audience with Staci if that is what you were really after, but instead you broadcast your plight on a public message board read by countless people, then proceeded to invalidate any response which did not pat you on the back for your tragic choices. In the Kingdom of the Living God is only Staci herself worthy to reply to you? Or might you have another agenda in all this? No one here has claimed to be speaking for Staci or has used her name, by the way.
Tragically, you have mistaken love with being told what your flesh wants to hear. The consistent message of the Bible is “repent.” I loved you enough to tell you the hard Truth just as the LORD Himself loved me enough to tell me years ago. And I would have loved you enough to sit by you and hold a conversation with you had I attended the fundraiser you blogged about on your own site. I am sorry you were ostracized and left to sit there alone, but that’s not the same thing that happened here so let’s not confuse the two, okay?
You’re right when you say that there are a host of people out there who biologically don’t fit into easily defined gender norms because they were born with some, or both, or no sets of plumbing due to a genetic anomaly. I agree that there don’t seem to be many resources available for people like this, in society at large – not just the church. By your own confession, though, you’re not one of them, so you’re not their voice.
I release you from “hurting for how (I) will feel…on That Day.” I spoke the Truth to you in love and my conscience is crystal clear before the LORD of hosts, so there is no need to feel sorrow over an imagined scenario of judgement that only serves to uphold your own unBiblical point of view.
I wish you well Charissa, and I wish you peace found in a lifetime of overcoming the lies of your enemy and walking firmly in the righteousness of El Shaddai. It is the harder path to choose, and I pray that you may one day love the Truth enough to find this narrow road.
There you have it Constance…and now I will repost the picture that best illustrates how I felt/feel when there is a flow like this pouring all around me.
“God has shown you what to do, what They require of us: To do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly before Them.”
Charissa, Beloved of God