My friend ask me a difficult question and I was silent if I clarify this I will be happy… The question is Scripture prohibited even man to wear female clothes but we see man as female and female as male… So is it God have favour in gender? How will I give an respond.
This is a topic that is culturally sensitive in this age. It will be best if your friend is a transgender themselves, to approach them by strengthening the relationship first, and focus on the real underlying issues of their heart, and see what they think of God and their own sense of intrinsic worth. The transgender issue actually is a smokescreen, and we can be easily misled if don’t see beyond it.
Having said that, let’s get down to your questions.
- God does not favor one gender above the other, as the bible say in Gen 1:27 that He created male and female in His image. So both male and female are of equal image-bearing human. They are however not of equal sameness, as God has appointed each gender a specific role. Just as in a household, a man’s role as a spiritual leader is non-negotiable (Eph 5:23 being one of the example), though the tasks could be interchangeable. The woman is created later out of the man, as his equal/comparable/suitable helper(ezer).
With that out of the way, let’s get to the core question:
2. Transgenderism. In my opinion, the term gender can endow two meanings here.
- One is what they are according to God, this can be easily acknowledged from their birth. This is a sacred fact that one cannot deny!!! Just like our race/ethnicity, we can color ourselves another color, it doesn’t replace that sacred fact.
- The other is what they are according to themselves, or as agreed among themselves or their society. Transgender is a man-made gender category and thus is a de-sacralized fact, and this is a whimsical term they are free to use to call themselves whatever they like. The absurdity or the logic, depending which view you lean on, of this view is like for example sake, I’m of Oriental ethnicity, and I painted my skin pale and hair blond, I then call myself a Caucasian all I want, and coerced my friends to call me so, otherwise I deemed them guilty of being racially discriminating. (I’m not sure if my parents can take it as well as my friend though LOL)
The secular people out there likes to blur within the two, confusing and accusing those who do not condone. Maybe they themselves are confused to begin with. The issue therefore is their sense of identity in God.
So How Should I Address Them Then?
To be technically correct then, if a man who is, for lack of better word, “transgendered”, were to challenge me to categorize their gender, I would say something like: “You are born and created by God a male and is still considered one by God and myself, and you are a female according to how you would prefer to be addressed.” So if I do refer to him as a male, hopefully by now he understood that I meant the first sacred gender term, and if I do refer to him as a female, I meant the second desacralized gender term.
So in summary, we are what God says we are when He designed us the way we are. Calling ourselves otherwise doesn’t replace this fact, but it’s our prerogative nonetheless, as a being endowed with free will.
Hope that helps.
Blessings in Christ,
@RoySujanto Thanks for the valuable suggestions
Thanks for that question. As @RoySujanto said, this is a super sensitive cultural issue at the present time. I will not add too much to what has already been said except for the following notes… the first of which I have found as the best initial response I’ve seen (I think I saw it on an RZIM panel night).
Firstly… in a very real sense to those who are struggling with this issue… what they are struggling with is a disconnect between what is and what they view should be. This idea is an absolutely Christian view. We know that the world is not as it should be and want it to be different or the way it should be. Of course the aim is to share with everyone, regardless of their struggle, that the only way to fix that disconnect is through Jesus. History has shown us that as people we will never come to a solution ourselves… we must turn to our creator.
Secondly, regardless of if we believe that, for example, “transgenderism is a psychological problem”, we must be careful that we are treating all people with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3). Not being afraid to speak the truth, but doing so acknowledging the other person and their position.
I would tend towards what Roy has said above. The focus should be on building the relationship, maybe not the argument. That being said I think when we’re asked direct questions and we’ve understood the questioner as well as the question, we must be truthful and honest in our responses. So in this way, I would be stating that I believe God created us male and female and he did this for our good. But my identity is not found in my gender, it is found in my saviour. Ultimately we all look to the endgame to find our purpose… so if this life is all there is, then we would have a focus on getting the most out of it. But I believe that this life is not all there is and there is everything to be gained by focussing and hearing what the creator has to say about me, his creation, rather than trying to do everything myself.
The western world has made it seem that having the freedom to forge our own identity gives us happiness within that freedom with the rights and privileges that seems to give. But in reality, it seems that all it does is lay the burden squarely on the individual and puts pressure on each of us to find our own way rather than having the actual freedom to sit under a creator that knows what is best for us.
Every time I start a post I think is going to be short, it gets away on me. I hope these thoughts are helpful. It is not an easy topic to discuss and I hope and pray that the Lord will guide you in wisdom in how to deal with these things.
As there are loads of opinions out there on this broad subject, I want to make sure that we are understanding where you are coming from and what your question is. Could you clarify what you mean by the following statement?
As it seems to set up you question, I want to be clear that we start on the same page.
As I understand it, in the first part you are referring to Deuteronomy 22:5…
A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.
But what do you mean when you say, we see man as female and female as male? Were you simply saying that we (i.e. people in general) see transgender people in our everyday lives? Or were you saying that we (Christians) see male/female a certain way? Or…?
@KMac yes exactly the first point I was referring to Deuteronomy… And the second is regarding the transgender… Thank you for concern.
Thanks for the reply, Chuimatai. Just to be clear, you are asking about how we as Christians can approach the transgender issue? Are you asking if God has anything to say about it in the Bible?
Before writing much else, I wanted to pass along to everyone the fruit of a research rabbit hole I just went down…
- Transgender refers to the broad spectrum of individuals who transiently or persistently identify with a gender different from their gender at birth. [APA]
- The term transgenderism is one GLAAD refers to as ‘problematic’. I will not argue for or against this term here, but I read a number of testimonies from those who identify as transgender, and they pretty much agreed that it is a dehumanizing way to refer to their experience.
- Gender dysphoria replaced Gender Identity Disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in 2013, essentially de-pathologizing transgender people. The shift changed the emphasis in treatment from ‘fixing’ a disorder to resolving distress over the mismatch.
As a general descriptive term, gender dysphoria refers to an individual’s discontent with the assigned gender. (It is more specifically defined when used as a diagnosis.)
Semantics, I know, but if we’re trying to build bridges, it helps to know what could potentially hinder the process!