The Church And The Transgender Issue -- By: Michael Dellaperute

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 20:1 (Spring 2016)
Article: The Church And The Transgender Issue
Author: Michael Dellaperute


The Church And The Transgender Issue

Michael Dellaperute

Lead Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church
Tuckerton, New Jersey

Introduction

Medical advancements, political pressure, and widespread acceptance have fueled a debate over gender identity between the culture and the church. In February of 2015, California Congressman Mike Honda posted the following tweet heard around the culture: “As the proud grandpa of a transgender grandchild, I hope she can feel safe at school without fear of being bullied.”1 Above the statement that was destined for viral status, the Congressman included a picture of himself and his eight-year-old grandchild, Malisa “X.” Malisa, born Brody X, picked out a new name and alternate gender identity at the tender age of three. Now, with the help of supportive parents and a politically connected grandfather, Malisa’s family and community have embraced Malisa’s very public transition from male to female. Congressman Honda released this timely statement concerning his gender non-conforming grandchild less than one month after a historic State of the Union Address where, as Alexandra Jaffe of CNN reports, President Obama became the first president to

mention transgender individuals in any speech.”2 The proclamations of Honda and Obama underscore the fact that transgenderism is a growing issue in the culture. However, their assertions have also left the church with more questions than answers. For example: What would cause such a young child to make a life-altering, gender-altering decision? And, how should the church respond?

The purpose of this article is to examine the church’s relationship to transgender individuals. First, this article will provide a concise evaluation of the transgender issue in contemporary culture. Next, the author will present a summary of the gender transition process. Then, the author will proceed to examine the morality of transgenderism from a biblical perspective. Although gender transition is immoral, transgender individuals are redeemable. The church can prepare to minister to transgender individuals in both the culture and the community of faith.

Defining Transgender

Malisa X’s condition goes by several emerging and hotly contested titles, none of which are universally agreed upon either by the church, the medical community, or the culture in general. The inherently negative designation of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) has recently ceded to Gender Dysphoria (GD). GD, which is also commonly referred to as transsexualism, ultimately results in transgen...

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