Statement on Transgenderism
Having read this document, I would like the following concerns addressed.
Does this awareness also include the other groups that have socially identifiable characteristics that similarly experience “needs and challenges…struggles and challenges“ endemic to their behaviors? Do we now need to recognize the uniqueness of other groups, considering their situations and the limitations of our knowledge in specific instances? There are as many unique groups as there are sins to be committed. Do we now dare exclude any deviancy? What other “phenomenon” will be embraced? The Scriptures do provide principles and plain statements in regard to human behavior. "The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God." Will this article be construed as ridicule, abuse, and/or bullying?
The Transgender Phenomenon
When did we acquiesce to cultural definitions in lieu of biblical definitions? Does this “misalignment” at the “physical and/or mental-emotional level” and “ambiguity in genitalia” now equate to excuse?
Medical tests which are easily available can be performed to determine the sex. Medical professionals do this all the time for those who wish to know their child’s sex before birth. Gender is just the grammatical way of expressing the sex. My sex is female and my gender is woman. That is easy to figure out. My husband is a male and he is a man. Easy!
If a person chooses to identify (because behavior is always a choice) with the opposite gender then the God of the universe is now being portrayed as incompetent because He is not able to help people to know their own gender identity based on biology. Are all little girls who grow up as tomboys now gender dysphoric but just don’t know it yet? Are all the little boys dysphoric--who grow up not wanting to play sports and other “masculine” activities? What if a person has a strong desire to be treated as a king, prominent doctor, NBA superstar, or famous actor/actress does this make their desire reality/truth? Just because someone wants to characterize a feeling and reaction as typical of the other gender does not make them gender dysphoric for the Bible is replete with stories of women “behaving” as men and men “behaving” as women; a woman killing a man with a tent stake, another woman going out to war with a king who was fearful (a “feminine trait”), thousands of men who tuck tail and ran away from battle, women killing their own children to eat them (not that a man should be typified as doing this horrible sin). The point is this: feelings and reactions cannot be typified since all feelings and reactions can be seen in both gender groups--with varying levels of intensity and expression.
If one was to accept the premise that certain choices are “triggered by the transgender condition” then can one call it sin? Lucifer made “certain choices triggered” by his “jealous” condition and modern contemporary culture would regard it as normal and acceptable. Is he no longer accountable for his choices? Does he “suffer silently?” Once again God is made out to be incompetent in His job to comfort and give power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil.
The Bible states that Paul and many others led happy/content, fulfilling celibate lives but somehow that ability is not something transgenders are capable of, according to the following statement: “On the other hand, transgender people may suffer silently, living a celibate life or being married to a spouse of the opposite sex.”
The Bible does say that "with God all things are possible" and He can create in us a clean heart and renew in us a right spirit. No one is forcing anyone to marry, so the argument that they are suffering silently while being celibate or being married to one of the opposite sex is not valid, for it is of their own choosing that they could find joy and contentment in any situation. God, through Paul’s writings, encourages us to find that joy and contentment (Philippians 4:11).
Biblical Principles Relating to Sexuality and the Transgender Phenomenon
Why stop at the transgender phenomenon in evaluating people with sexuality and gender identity issues? My niece is a lesbian, and I know of several people who are convicted pedophiles of whom are currently being BANNED from church property along with their non-offending spouses. Can we, in good conscious, practice this hypocrisy of banning some groups but not others (which could make us vulnerable to potential for lawsuits)?
Years ago a friend of mine had a neighbor who was into bestiality, which would pose no apparent threat. What about these and the other 50 plus definitions of gender that are now being “recognized” by Facebook and the 31 that New York City recognizes? National geographic magazine has a whole edition addressing gender identity which would give it the appearance of acceptance and validity. But does God accept it and recognizes it as valid? I think not.
Recently, this was stated by one of our preachers "Caitlyn is coming.” He was referring to church attendance and membership. I guess Caitlyn is here. Do we now need to tolerate any form of sin including the Jezebels in our midst and the ones who have committed sins that Paul says we should not tolerate? Must we silently consent to the change in Biblical standards at the individual and membership level? Can sin be called by its right name anymore?
My niece and her legally married spouse are baptized members of a northern California SDA church. Paul stated, “and such were some of you” denoting a change in them. Do we want to be welcoming? Yes. Loving? Yes. Accepting of their lifestyle? No.
Just remember that as you behold, you become changed. I certainly do not want to be surprised--when I enter my church’s restroom facilities--with a man masquerading as a female or my husband entering the men’s restroom to find a female masquerading as a man. Nor would I wish this upon the families that have children that use the restrooms attended or unattended by a parent--to be confronted with this. How about a Pathfinder leader deciding to be the opposite gender? Confusion! The conference requires that a known pedophile have another church member in good standing accompany them throughout our church facility. Will this be the case for these other groups as well? This may appear to some that I support these deviant behaviors. I do not. I wish only to make a point.
Analyzing the Document
Item 1 This is the truth. Gender and sexuality are inextricably tied together.
Item 2 Why was the statement about immortality included in this document? What does it have to do with transgender and sexuality? This has the ring of a square peg being hammered into a round hole.
Item 3 Thank you for admitting that God can renew a person and that there is guidance in His word that reveals His will.
Item 4 If Christ said that even the adulterous thought was sin then how is it that gender dysphoria is not “intrinsically sinful”? Did not God create them male and female after His image? Is God now a transgender, homosexual, pedophile or even a woman (WO movement)? Thoughts can be sinful. The man who hates his brother is a murderer. Some transgenders may find the expression of “brokenness or distress” as being ridiculed, abused, and/or being bullied. Another indicator that there is a great controversy going on is the political correctness leadership feels compelled to bow down to; the use of worldly practices in worship styles, the deterioration of church standards, worldly music used in worship, spiritual formation being encouraged, centering prayer, invitations to catholic priests to enter our pulpits, the use of Jesuit materials and quotes from “scholars” not of our beliefs and referencing their books and articles in our adult Sabbath School quarterlies to name a few…
Item 5 Any person who orders their life according to the biblical teaching on sexuality and marriage is no longer a transgender, homosexual, pedophile, etc. Thank you for addressing alternate sexual lifestyles as being sinful! As a man thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). The outside of the cup may be “clean” but God judges by the inside of the cup (Matthew 23).
Item 7 Who is going to define “acts of ridicule, abuse, or bullying”? If a person is told Biblical truth as kindly as can be done; showing that God is a merciful and forgiving God who desires our good, can that person claim that they are being ridiculed, bullied or emotionally abused? Because that is in essence what happened to me when I tried to reach out to my niece years ago when she first decided to be a lesbian. What I said was with love and concern and Biblical truth. People who don’t want to hear the truth can now claim that those who speak the truth are bullies, abusers, and ridiculers. Was Jesus being a bully when He spoke the harsh sounding words of "vipers, and whited sepulcher" or was He guilty of being a loving God who just wanted to warn His erring people? True love warns. Just as we would want the truth told to us that we may correct our ways before God, we are to do the same. We are to be watchmen on the walls.
Item 8 The shaking that is to come will indeed leave in its wake a community of believers. In the meantime there will be tares among the wheat. To all appearances, many in the alternative lifestyle groups are not as described in Item 8, at least not anymore with it becoming more socially acceptable. My niece and her wife are members at Chico Adventist church where they have been told that they can be who and what they are; that God is okay with it. It is a sad day when a document of this import is drawn up without any reference to belief and doctrine being necessary for members to embrace. They only need to embrace the message, mission and values.
As far as the values of the church, well, anything goes in some Seventh Day Adventist Churches & families, for there are no more standards of dress, putting off of jewelry, modesty, decorum, prohibition of alcohol, guidelines for those who are qualified to preach or allowed to enter the pulpit, entertainment, rejection of the Spirit of Prophecy and E. G. White, homosexuals being baptized into church fellowship and/or given elder positions and teaching positions in our churches, etc. Creeping Compromise. The new message of the church is: God will change you when He comes in the clouds of glory (refer to the last sentence of #10 “With all believers, transgender people are encouraged to wait on God and are offered the fullness of divine compassion, peace, and grace in anticipation of Christ’s soon return when all true followers of Christ will be completely restored to God’s ideal.”)
You need not repent, confess, and forsake sin. And there is no pre-advent judgment because He will change everyone at “Christ’s soon return when all true followers of Christ will be completely restored to God’s ideal.”
Here's a question. What measures will be put in place to safeguard families in the Seventh-day Church? To participate fully in church life will include pathfinder positions, lower division leadership/teaching positions etc. Who will be going over to my niece’s house and checking on her and her spouse as to whether or not they are “active” in their bedroom behavior with each other because they are already members and the only thing else to know before they can fully participate in church life is whether or not they are embracing the message, mission, and values of the church…. One of the values of the church is heterosexual marriage, or at least it used to be.
Item 9 This is true of confessed sins prior to Christ’s Second Coming--but according to #10 in the article, if one is to believe that this is done when Christ comes then they will be lost, for He brings his reward with him. And a transgender person committing sexual sins can be accurately called a homosexual of either category: gay or lesbian.
Item 10 I am sure that some transgenders will be offended by the assumption expressed here that they are in “distress.” I wonder if they will consider it a form of ridicule, abuse or bullying? When Christ returns there will be no completion of restoration from our “distress” in whatever sin we are found still practicing: unconfessed, not repented of, nor forsaken, or still thinking of it. Any stain of sin must be addressed prior to the close of the investigative judgment which is followed by His bringing His reward with Him.
As a lower division Sabbath School teacher, I feel responsible for the children placed under my supervision, which includes the need for children to use the restroom. I know that with the older child, like kindergarten/primary which is a range of 5 to 12 years old, these students usually are allowed to use the restroom unattended by an adult, generally speaking, unless of course there are special needs involved. Will the teacher now have to accompany the child regardless of age to insure that there is no potential for the issue of being confronted by a man in the women's restroom or a woman in the men's restroom? How are the fewer teachers in the smaller churches to deal with this, when there is only one teacher per class? Does our non-profit status now compel us be "non-discriminatory" in this regard? Is this what it has come down to?