The SBC and Me
Comes word that my lifelong denomination (until I came out), the Southern Baptist Convention, is about to seize another opportunity to spread false doctrine and lies about people like me.
The position of the denomination, as voted on at the 2014 Convention in Resolution #9, is that being trans is an unhealthy and immoral manifestation of sexual sin which can be forgiven and healed through the work of Christ. Their promotional materials for the upcoming conference state that “The Gospel” can deliver one from this “sin.” There are two major errors involved in this:
1. “The Gospel” is simply “Christ died for your sins, place your faith in him and be saved” in whatever words. It does not address ANY specific issue besides that – the “Atoning work” as it is called and the gift of grace which flows from it. Everything else the Bible or the church wants to say may or may not be reliable – but it’s not “The Gospel” – certainly it doesn’t speak to God assigning a gender.
2. I “got saved” when I was nine, except for a couple of brief episodes of what Baptists call “backsliding” I spent the next 30+ years very dedicated, following all the rules, teaching and – for almost 20 years – licensed to the ministry (occasionally being sure to preach how LGB/T folks needed to repent of their perversion). All that time “repenting” of the cross-sex thinking I’d been taught was sinful and perverted, avoiding temptation (no secret crossdressing as an adult and so forth) and really, sincerely, believing God would “heal” me of this problem (and very much wanting him to).
I’ll go to the mat debating anyone in any setting who wishes to content that faith in Jesus is the magic pill that fixes being transsexual. It’s utter BS. My trans-sex feelings never wavered at all, no matter how compulsively Traditionalist I thought and behaved. As far as motivation, I really don’t think it’s a matter of hostile intent or power trips or whatever (I speak from having been in the belly of the beast) but something much simpler and older.
So old in fact that it’s one of the specific problems Christ confronted to it’s face in the Gospels. Human beings LOVE (for whatever reason) their traditions. So much so that when religion is involved, the human devised traditions (whether behavior or traditions of thought) get elevated to the status of “God said” and then when those traditions are rightly challenged, whether it’s sociological as in the role of women, or the equality of other ethnic groups, or whether it’s something as basic as whether the sun moves around the earth or vice-versa, the resistance becomes irrational.
All this stuff, as hurtful as it is to LGB/T people, is NOT really deep down intended to be animosity towards them, but a defense of traditions which they have elevated to the place of God. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees “by your traditions you have rendered the Word of God of no effect” – and it wasn’t a new problem even then.
Beyond all that, the simple reality is that the idea that the Bible condemns transsexuality is a false doctrine which reflects human tradition, not sound exegesis. I won’t go into exhaustive detail here, but you can find an essay on the subject here.
The toxic attitude of our culture towards trans people is largely fueled by just this sort of “innocent” misconception and the SBC wields more influence in that regard in the U.S. than perhaps anyone (save possibly the Catholic Church). These events are not things we can afford to ignore.
Photo by: Gerry Dincher