Constance, I have decided to give you here at Grace Notes a taste of the kind of thing that gets flung at me via commentors and other uninvited contributors to my experience of life.
I want to ask you to carefully read thru what has been written and said, and weigh it in your hearts.
I particularly want to appeal to my readers who would call themselves Christians. You all are important in a couple of different ways:
1. First of all, you will know the culture that this comes from, and the “type” of person who slings verses around to proof-text a prior assumption. I would ask from you all, given that I have never actually met any of you (phone calls with some), and given that how I report my marriage, fidelity, and my pursuit and daily relationship with God is true (and it is, btw), and given the overall whole of Grace Notes, from poetry to worship songs to devotionals to teachings to rants to naked sharing of hurt and sorrow to open insistence on following after God in the face of all, to spending long hours with people who actually know me and are here to see my life and thus have some standing upon which to desire an accounting of my decision to transition…
…given all those things I ask rhetorically:
A. Is it appropriate from a biblical perspective to communicate to someone you literally do not know in anyway or have any actual experience whatsoever with in such a way as these individuals have with me? Is that like Jesus’ actions, either to sinners, strangers, His friends or His enemies? Does that activity follow Philippians 2? In light of the givens, would it be appropriate to wrench Matt 18 out of context as a pretext?
B. Am I in sexual sin? Am I in immorality? I have had sex with one person in my life, and am married to that one person. This is TMI, but in the interest of full disclosure, neither of us has much interest in sexuality right now, and thus we are living a loving, close, tender celibate life together and have never been closer or more “married” than we are now.
C. Given the thing I just said, if someone then said that I was lying and speaking from deception, would that be a claim either appropriate from a christian conduct perspective or from a truth perspective? Would that comment reveal more about me, or about them?
D. After careful filtering for the rainbow of reasons someone may be on my path (including the one that one of my dementors listed as her own driving obsession and burden to be freed from), is a genuine medically verified transgender person sinful or immoral simply by being thus? If yes, on what biblical basis? If no, is a person who chooses to avail themselves of the medical technology which has a verifiable efficacy in addressing the horror of dysphoria sinning? If yes, on what biblical basis? If yes, is someone who pursues medical help for any of the myriad reasons extant in this world of woes also in sin? On what basis? How does one know which ones are permitted and which ones aren’t?
E. In light of the spectrum of plumbing and wiring varieties, and in light of the fact that each of these people has a sense of what gender they are, where does gender reside? In DNA, which can be both or almost even neither? In genitalia which can also be both or neither? In the brain and heart and soul which cannot be measured or weighed? Does the Bible say where gender resides? If in the cases of people who have a physical range and blend of both genders, or a DNA that mismatches their genitalia, we allow them to “choose their gender”, is it wrong to allow others who very strongly do not identify gender wise with their body to choose their gender as well? Why or why not, and again, from a biblical basis please support your answer. Be prepared to properly exegete the passages cited.
F. Is it a common thing, as the argument of extremes states in alarm, for people to discover in a liberty to identify gender wise as they know themselves to be, for bunches and bunches of people to just shift back and forth, hither and yon like people do in sports teams allegiances, or food preferences, or clothing fashions? Set aside the question for a moment of if this shifting back and forth would be a sin and unbiblical…I think there would be difficulty in making any case for or against strictly on the abstract question if it should or should not be…the more relevant question is this: do the majority of people in the world want to change gender (the answer is emphatically no)? If no, why not? Is it because gender identity is wired so deep that the thought of being forced into the opposite gender role is so repugnant as to be unacceptable? Is it because the majority of people in the world believe it is sinful to do so (which would assume that the majority of people in the world also read and studied the bible and held it authoritative and that the bible spoke authoritatively and clearly on the issue)? Or is it because gender is so hard-wired into our beings that they just will not do it…and thus granting freedom to identify one’s gender orientation represents not a threat to all but liberty to the ones it applies to?
G. When the bible says that God knew us in our mother’s womb, is it defining us by our physicality, or by our eternal status as a soul? In being intricately knit and wonderfully and fearfully made, what was God up to in the case of humans who suffer from innate deformities, syndromes, failures of DNA to form properly, etc. etc? And in the burgeoning number of such conditions that we have been gifted with the grace to medically address and literally fix, are we allowed to do so? If no, on what biblical basis?
H. When we read someone’s posts on the internet, someone somewhere in the world who has some life unseen and unknown, unseeable and unknowable, is there any biblical basis for us to claim knowledge of their faith and its veracity? From a biblical basis, would one who did this be exemplifying the actions of a wise person (a topic that the bible is quite vocal about), or a foolish person (also a topic heavily addressed in biblical literature)?
I. What do loving actions look like? From a biblical basis, what is loving correction? When is it appropriate, and to whom by whom? Would it be biblical for me to administer corporal discipline to a stranger’s child because my own interpretation of the bible said that the child’s actions were endangering them of going to hell if I did not “beat the foolishness from their heart?” (Yes…sigh, the Proverbs do indeed say that…see how tricky it is to take eternal words and truths which were spoken and given in specific cultural times and practices that are not eternal or true and distill them and then apply them in totally different cultural times and practices that are no more eternal or true just because they are ours and current)?
J. Is it appropriate to speak harshly, painting in broad brush to a person you have never met, do not know except by a few words online not even written to you, and then to say things that are flat out judgments that given the lack of even a scintilla of relationship are impossible to make with any integrity, and then conclude by saying that these actions are the most loving because they are “speaking the truth?”
K. Remember Constance…all I just wrote is for readers who think of themselves as professing christians who are serious about wanting to live a Christ-like life full of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (yes, I do remember that I call Holy Spirit Mama, and no, I do not receive accusation that it is sin to do so…at worst it is the action of an air headed child that causes the parent to give an eye-roll and shrug, and at best…well maybe I am right and She is quite pleased to have half of humanity step up into an equal access of the divine image and thus be that one step closer to the whole earth being filled with their glory?
Now…to all readers who do not identify as christian but still are drawn here to read, by my heart and love of people: do you act the way these people have acted…? Is this how civilized people dialogue and arrive at truth and consensus? Would you want our teachers to treat your children this way, your employers to treat you this way (well, not a good example for me…sheepish and hurting chuckle), our government officials to treat you this way?
Would you like to be in a congregation of people who wanted to pursue true religion and spiritual growth and have some person like these there to “help you” and “speak the truth in love” to you?
What does “speak the truth in love” look like?
Okay…the preface is here…go to the next post for what I experienced and why I wrote this post!
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk Humbly.