|Transgenderism by Scripture, and Spirit|
Deu 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
The Singapore edition of Christian Post article "Rescued from Gender Dysphoria by Scripture, Spirit" posted on 13 July 12 talks about the life of S'pore famous Leslie Lung of Liberty League who has been part of the anti-gay league of reparative therapies together with the likes of Choices of the infamous Anglican Church of our Saviour.
The term cisgender is used to describe "individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity" which are most of us.
Trangenderism is very different from being gay, a point often deliberately confused by the ex-gay Christian movement. In Singapore, transexuals who had their sex change can have their IC changed to reflect that they are legally a female.
Even the S'pore Government accept transexuals. Why can't we?
The Christian Post presented the traditional Christian arguments against transgenderism based on a Jewish culture. It's important to give an alternative Christian conversation.
The cause of the transgenderism was quickly blamed on the lack of parental support as the cause. It said "Leslie did not have the benefit of parental guidance in male conduct ....".
The blame of not having adequate male parental guidance as the cause of gender Dysphoria is a creation of some christians without any scientific support or sound reasoning. The truth is that GLBT peoples have very normal parents.
In terms of scripture, being a "Christian", the verse Deut 22:5 of not wearing a woman's clothing being a man was used as a reason not to deviate from one's gender identity that we were born with.
Led by the Spirit?, the sex change surgery was considered the point of no return, because it goes against the opposite of what we have been born with.
However, the bible and in particularly the OT Jews should be understood in the strong religious and cultural leanings of Patriachy where the men had a higher status than women. Therefore, it was a sin to lower one's status to that of a woman.
The patriachal leanings was inherited in the NT by Paul who didn't think much of women preaching to men and was not comfortable with women departing from having separate worship areas from men dutifully covering themselves with a head scarf. Such inhibitions still remain in many middle east culture till today not from a Christian faith.
Yet, Deut 22:5 should be understood much more than just a patriachal inhibition, for the term "abomination" used here as a connotation of pagan religious worship by people of faith.
One of the religions that was dominant in ancient times was the worship of the goddess Cybel, the goddess of fertility. Her consort was a handsome young men who dies after castrating himself and is resurrected annually. The worship was a celebration with drums, flutes and cymbals celebrating the return. We are reminded that when Moses went up in the mountain of God, he heard a loud commotion at the Jewish base camp worshiping the idol. Indeed, the goddess Cybel had many names and appearances in different cultures since the ancient of times:-
The priests of Cybele were Eunuchs. The young men who wanted to avail themselves to the goddess would castrate themselves at the height of the celebration and dressed with women's clothing. The worshippers would have anal sex with the priests to join themselves spiritually to the goddess. They were men having anal sex with the Eunuch priests but they were defintely not gay nor motivated by same sex love. In Romans, when Paul talked about exchanging the natural for the unnatural, he was talking about the pagan priests who had unnaturally changed their sex to become a woman by castrating themselves.
Therefore when Jesus said in Mat 19:12 of those who make themselves "Eunuchs" for Kingdom sake, all would have known that these were priests of Cybele who has castrated themselves to worship the goddess. Jesus clearly distinguished these counterfeit straight eunuchs with eunuchs that are born as such from their mother's womb ie naturally without an attraction to women. Some have tried to spin it as celibacy but I don't see many catholic priests castrating themselves.
Hence, the arguments by the surface reading of scripture and the spirit alone fails to reflect a deeper cultural and religious meaning behind the blibical inhibition of people of faith not worshipping the God of Israel but other gods. The main lesson here is not about transgenderism but about not worshipping other spiritual deities.
As Christians, our identity is in Christ ie we are united in Jesus death and resurrection as God and Saviour as the the way, the truth and the life.
We are accepted not because of gender, sexual orientation, social/economic status but because of our faith in Jesus Christ.
We are included in the radical love of God demonstrated by His death for us so that we can have a choice to enter into covenant relationship with Jesus by God's grace not that we deserved it by any good works.
All are welcome into the communion table of Jesus Christ.
The word to our transgender christian friends today is that "Jesus loves you, this I know", just as you are.