I’ve been mulling over how to think about the current meteoric rise in gender-fluid thinking and self-expression in today’s culture, and wondering whether LGBTQ+ people can represent the Imago Dei, the Image of God. A rather sizable fraction – some surveys say 30% or more – of Gen-Y youths no longer assume binary sexuality or gender pronouns. (In talking with many teens and twenty-somethings, I personally find this statistic to be very believable.) This is deeply distressing to many in the conservative Church today, who see such behavior as deeply deceived and a tangible threat to both the stability of our culture and also our entire nation.
Before I begin, since this will be a careful consideration that relies on some scriptural interpretation, I should explain my general hermeneutics, that is, my personal guiding principles of scripture reading and interpretation.
- I believe that the Bible is infallible, that is, that while aspects may require careful thought, and may have only limited cultural applicability, or may have scientific inaccuracies that today we understand better, the overall Bible is completely true in its presentation of God’s nature and His requirements on mankind.
- Thus, I do not believe that everything in the Bible is exactly literal, for example, that a 24-day is a necessary interpretation of Genesis, or that the earth has four literal corners, or that the sun literally traverses the heavens in a chariot.
- I believe that any English interpretation of the Bible is fundamentally imprecise, due to the difficulties of translation, especially when translating between languages from vastly different cultures with sharply different thought processes.
- Many Bible literalists say that only the original copies are truly trustworthy and inerrant. But in my understanding, no such copies exist – and likely never did. I believe that there is a lot of very trustworthy evidence – testified to by many Bible historians – that there are zero known original copies in the original languages. Nearly all of the Old Testament books were only oral histories for generations before being recorded long after the apparent date of the works. The oldest known copies are many hundreds of years younger than their supposed origins. And the oldest known New Testament book copies are still a few hundred years younger. Thus, they are many generations removed from their originals, and it is impossible to ever review the originals.
- So I also believe that even the best copies of the original documents are copies of copies of copies many generations from the original, and subject to both copyist and oral retelling errors.
- But I also believe that our omnipotent God is fully capable of accurately communicating His Word to each generation, despite any such imprecision or copy errors.
- So, I do believe that the Bible can be fully understood in its presentation of God’s character to any reader of any era, and in fact the Holy Spirit reveals the accurate truths to His people.
- However, I also believe that deeper understandings are intended and revealed over time by God in His grace to humanity, so that He does not require us to live as those first audiences lived.
- I believe that God’s primary requirements on mankind are surrendered obedience to Him and love for Him, and selfless love for fellow man.
- I believe He has great compassion on the poor, the disadvantaged, the weak, and the oppressed, and that He places great emphasis on His people’s treatment of such people, and that He considers His own people to be the primary vehicle by which those needy are served.
- I therefore believe that His nature should be understood by these imperatives, and the proper interpretation of His laws and commands must be made in light of those imperatives.
- Finally, I believe that God’s purpose in Creation was to reveal Himself to the principalities and powers particularly in His relationship with mankind in all its limitations, as it was intended to fully represent the Father as the corporate Christ is assembled out of every tribe, tongue, nation, and people.
Limiting the Scope of This Discussion
With that explanation of my hermeneutic, I want to emphasize that this post is explicitly NOT about either homosexuality or sexual behavior. I would hope gender identity could be assessed and critiqued independently from those issues. So this is explicitly and solely discussing the spiritual identity of humans in a nontraditional gender status. It seems rare to see this topic addressed separately from homosexuality – the two are almost always conflated. After all, “LGBTQIA+” encompasses pretty much every non-traditional identity AND behavior in one acronym.
So please don’t read into this post any analysis of BEHAVIOR – it’s about IDENTITY, and it’s specifically about transgender and queer identity, not homosexual identity.
I do realize that the sexuality and identity issues are often found in close proximity, and those who pursue recognition and affirmation for one also pursue it for the others. But I don’t believe they’re innately related; I believe that relationship exists more in the mind of those who seek to enforce traditional gender and sexual norms, than in the mind of those who inhabit one or more of those LGBTQIA letters.
So with that background, I’ve carefully listened to the arguments from traditional conservative evangelicals regarding gender issues – in fact I grew up with them and was deeply comfortable with them for 50 years. In recent discussions about the topic, triggered in fact by a relative bringing a transgender friend to a holiday gathering of my very conservative family – I heard fear for the stability of everything for which our religion stands. I heard warning of the risks of creeping radical changes to our society. I heard caution about accepting demonic lies about the very nature of mankind and man’s representation of the image of God. Plenty of scriptures were quoted to support traditional roles of men and women made in the image of God, designed to represent Him to the world.
But lately I find myself unsatisfied at these answers and arguments. For one thing, they all depend on a specific set of interpretations of those scriptures, which although widely shared within conservative evangelical circles, are hardly universal across denominations and around the world in different cultures. As such, they seem to desire to avoid wrestling with principles that are deeply difficult to confront; there is an element of “that was previously settled and we cannot consider any alternative beliefs.” For another thing, most of the arguments feel as if they are tinged with two unholy spirits: fear of change, and xenophobia (generally defined as the fear of the “unlike us”). That kind of fear is never holy. The arguments all seem to appeal to the desire to exclude “the other” or that which is alien to us, to hold onto the comfortable and familiar at all costs.
This is all very understandable. Clear gender roles and appearances are something with which we are already deeply familiar. It’s a comfortable place to exist, and it’s simpler by far to just exclude that which is “other.” We would rather not wrestle with the unfamiliar and what looks broken to us.
Are We Representing God?
These gender issues seem to strike at the heart of a foundational principle in evangelicalism – that of the idea that God created males and females and He gave them very specific boundaries for their roles and behaviors, all for the ultimate purpose of better showing His character to the universe.
But that begs the question: are God’s people actually showing God’s true nature and character to the universe, through strict adherence to physical norms?
Fundamentally, God is spirit, not flesh, and Jesus’ incarnation was temporary for the purpose of showing us that He fully identified with all our pain and failings.
So it seems strange to argue that our physical manifestations are instructive to the universe as regarding God’s nature.
Secondly, there is no female component to the specific revelation of God to man. It’s not God the Mother, the Daughter, and the Holy Spirit. In fact, any such suggestions by liberal Christians evoke howls of outrage from conservative evangelicals.
And finally, regarding the revelation of God’s character to our fellow man, it seems strange to suggest that the appearance of humans as male and female can show anything whatsoever new to other humans, in almost any and every given culture or nation, who are quite well aware of the differences in the first place. Certainly no such tutoring is needed.
Note that the creation account in Genesis describes the Godhead, who existed completely without physical manifestations, as saying “let Us make mankind in Our image.” There could be no physical image to represent. Clearly, the image is of a spirit; only a spirit can accurately represent a spirit. Thus the creation of Adam and Eve was the breathing into being of a pair of unique spirits clothed in flesh. It was the very spirit beings that were in God’s image. The human bodies were merely convenient carriers for their spirits, designed for perfect compatibility with the earth that God also created, and given with the ability to reproduce after their own physical manifestations and for God to imbue those offspring with more spiritual beings.
The idea that men and women each represent specific and necessary aspects of God’s character is called complementarianism. However, complementarianism inherently relies upon treating the physical body as the actual image of God. The rules and roles are inherently and explicitly tied to the physical form of the human flesh that is wrapped around the eternal souls and spirits. But Paul tells us there is no male or female, just like there is no Jew or Greek (Galatians 3:28). In so arguing, Paul in modern language is implicitly saying that genetic specifics are not relevant. What is inside the flesh is what matters. Complementarianism tries to limit how one can serve or act or worship based on the genitalia or chromosomes expressed in the temporal body. Basically it forces external limits on an indwelling soul and spirit. But if there is no male or female in the spirit realm, in God the Creator Himself, why can – why should – that genderless spirit which comes from Him be limited by man in how it can express its design, and its calling, in the process of serving and worshiping its Creator?
This thought process, not surprisingly, leads to wondering about the queer and gender fluid movement. If the spirit within the human body is the thing that actually represents God the Father, then what is the basis of the evangelical fuss about queer and nonbinary individuals?
The paradox of the Ship of Theseus seems very relevant here. If you begin to incrementally replace the boards of a wooden sailing ship, at what point is it no longer the original ship? If every board is eventually replaced over time, what happens? This question leads to other questions. Is the ship merely its specific physical manifestation, or the idea of it? Will changing part of it affect its identity? In like manner, if you replace a human being’s body parts (or merely remove them, or build new ones from flesh or with targeted application of specific hormones) are you changing the human identity within that individual?
I would argue no.
- Would anyone claim that a quadruple amputee is less a representation of God than a fully-abled human, because he cannot touch or carry or walk, even though God describes Himself by such actions?
- How about a deaf or blind human, when God describes Himself as hearing and seeing everything?
- How about the dumb who cannot speak – are they incapable of representing a God who defines Himself as the Living Word?
- How about the barren, when God charged mankind to reproduce?
Where would one draw the line, and say that a human is no longer capable of fully representing God? Would anyone argue that such humans are only ever able to be partial representatives?
If Not Physical, Then What Standard?
Surely the standard, then, is not physical. The standard is more appropriately how we represent God by the character we put on display to the universe. It is notable that we humans alone among all creatures have this amazing ability to represent God’s character, not because we have bodies, not because we have genders, not because we have genitalia, not because we reproduce, not even because we are somewhat self aware or can communicate (dolphins and primates share those characteristics with humans). No, the difference is the spirit within us, a specific imbuement from God Himself, unique to each person, yet all directly from Him. And it is our choice of how closely we represent God’s character by our own character that is the exact and sole witness to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms, as well as witnessing to the lost humans who walk among us.
Body Modification – Eunuchs
Interestingly, the idea of genital modification is hardly new. The Bible itself addresses eunuchs in the books of Esther, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, Matthew, and Acts, and Jesus Himself recognized in Matthew 19:12 that some eunuchs are man-made and others are self-made.
“For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”
And even more tellingly, Jesus starts by acknowledging that some eunuchs are God-made. In fact the Lord specifically honors such men with special assurances that they have a place in His kingdom if they otherwise honor Him with their lives (such as Isaiah 56). In other words, the condition of their bodies is irrelevant to God’s acceptance of them.
Isaiah 56:3-5 says “Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely separate me from His people.” Nor let the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” For thus says the LORD, “To the eunuchs who keep My sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, to them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial, and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.“
God here is explicitly tying his acceptance to their heart attitudes and their choice to follow after God. Yes, He is honoring their choice to follow the Law. But recognize that at that time, the Law was the only way to please God; the Spirit had not yet been given, and justification by faith was still in the future.
The argument is commonly made that Galatians 4:27-28 is only referring to the equality of salvation, not to all gender roles. But it’s educational that verse 26 specifically says “you are all sons,” and verse 29 says that both male and female are Abraham’s heirs to the promise, making it fairly clear that both physical genders have full rights and privileges that traditionally were only imputed to the male gender. In fact, the only distinctive that is necessary for this imputation is faith.
Body Modification – Circumcision
Furthermore, regarding modifying the human body’s sexual organs, later in Galatians (6:12) Paul addresses the circumcision, making it quite clear that a specific man-made bodily modification of the male genitalia cannot be used to establish or deny a position in the Body of Christ. It seems odd to first accept this verse, but then to place a limitation on the extent of the applicability of the modification before one is no longer welcome to participate in the Kingdom. If removing the foreskin does not affect one’s status, why would removing more – or all – of the penis matter? It’s not as if having or not having a penis, or having or not having breasts – or even having both! is somehow fatally damaging the mirror to a spirit-only God.
1 Timothy 6:16 says “who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”
John 4:24 says “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
And again, Jesus’ own words in Matthew 19 and John 4:24 as well as many prophetic statements in the Old Testament imply that gender – in other words the presence or absence of some genitalia – is irrelevant to the Lord’s acceptance of one’s worship.
Beyond the genitalia, then, what of the matter of how one presents themselves as male or female or even neither gender? If the condition of the genitals is not a factor in how we might judge one’s acceptability to God, does one’s behavior or dress do that? In other words, is cross dressing or other queer behavior a disqualification? Is this failing to represent the nature and character of God?
Body Modification – Mastectomy and Top Surgery
Another type of common body modification related to traditional gender roles is worth considering. For generations, mastectomy has been a common surgical procedure to address certain diseases. However mastectomy is also rather common for men who have gynecomastia, the overdevelopment of breast tissue in males. Many women choose voluntary breast reduction surgery for non-gender issues, in some cases to address physical problems, but many other times for body image reasons. And of course breast enlargement surgery is well-known for women – mostly voluntary for body image reasons.
It is interesting that most Christians readily accept every one of these surgery processes, whether voluntary or not, without addressing “image of God” implications. True, they do not attempt to cross traditional gender lines, but they are equally potent in changing the God-given body shape in many cases. Is there a practical line after which it is suddenly “sinful” to change one’s appearance?
Appearance as a Qualifier
One might well argue that our choice of appearance – clothing, makeup, grooming – is an even stronger qualifier than our bodily condition (or changes to it). After all, Isaiah 56:3-5 and Galatians 4 and plenty of other scriptures discuss our manner of representing the Father and of worshiping Him – essentially, our faith – as the primary determinant of our relationship with Him.
But it would be odd to argue that something that is deeply cultural – i.e. something for which acceptability is based on a particular time and place – is somehow important to God. For example, long hair was a positive sign for Sampson, and Absalom was praised for being the complete standard of beauty and 2 Samuel 14:26 describes him cutting his hair only once a year. Clearly there was something culturally different by the time that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 11, saying that long hair is a shame to a man. Is one of these passages errant? Or is it possible that the writers of each passage were simply speaking to what was acceptable to their respective culture, not defining sinful codes of grooming?
Clothing as a Qualifier
Clothing, too, is deeply cultural, yet it is used by many fundamentalist evangelicals as proof of holiness. But obviously the original standard from God was nakedness. Many theologians have observed that Adam and Eve were in fact perfectly clothed by God originally – that their very bodies were the clothing wrapped around their spirits. And once they fell, removing themselves from God’s covering, He graciously fashioned another layer to protect them and salve their shame. In fact, in what is possibly the earliest written book of the Bible, Job describes his own creation in Job 10:11 and recognizes that God clothed him with skin and flesh and bones and sinew. He understood his own self as being that self-ness that is resident within, or clothed by, his physical frame and form. Many verses describe man as clothed in various things other than garments – righteousness, faith, honor, power, garments of salvation (surely figurative rather than literal) and even dishonor and shame. The description of the Godly woman in Proverbs 31:25 says “Strength and dignity are her clothing.”
In fact, perhaps the best description of this concept is Paul again, writing in 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 and referring to the physical body, “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.” In another telling verse, often quoted by fundamentalists, Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:3-4 that beauty is a function of the character of a woman, not her external clothing or adornments. “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”
Furthermore, we cannot set aside the cultural expectations about gender-specific clothing styles, which drift from era to era and from society to society and from culture to culture. What would be normal to some African tribes where the men literally only wear pointed gourds on their penis would be quite shocking in any American situation – just as a woman wearing a modern American blouse would have been scandalous to Paul. And on the other extreme is burqas.
So with that context it is hard to assert that any specific choice of attire is a reasonable undeniable mark of righteousness or acceptability to God. These things are highly culturally relative and it is thus impossible to say that God approves of this or that style and disapproves of all others. Otherwise we would be forced to argue that the styles in vogue in any era and conditions but our own were sinful.
What Qualifiers Are The Right Ones?
In fact the only remaining acceptable gender qualifier seems to be that, to be acceptable to God and fellow man, a given individual within a specific society and culture and in possession of a specific human set of chromosomes must necessarily conform to that societal instance’s expectations for the behavior and dress and style.
Put more concisely, it says that if you don’t conform, you are damned.
This would be an unacceptable relativism, implying that some behavior or clothing is sinful here and now, but not in other situations, or that some is holy but not in other situations. That breaks the principle that God Himself is unchanging, and His precepts are equally unchanging. Thus we must either allow that our understanding of His precepts might be too strictly applied to clothing and behavior and even the form of the body, or we must decide that it is okay to create our own rules and precepts to layer atop His. And Jesus Himself castigated the Pharisees for doing exactly that, calling them “whitewashed sepulchers” for their focus on appearances and behavior over attention to the condition of their hearts.
The Problem of Expectations
I painfully and keenly recognize that this entire construct of thinking runs directly counter to generations of evangelical thinking. It is distressing to consider that one of our most cherished ways of instantly assessing the value and condition of another human being is, in fact, not necessarily scriptural. But I would stipulate that it should instead be deeply freeing. At a very real and practical level, it frees us from focusing on the external markers, and allows us to focus immediately on the spirit and soul of those with whom we are interacting. The Bible is full of language urging us to look deeper than the surface, and yet we find it very hard to overlook what is visible in front of us. That process is made quite harder when we are convinced that the person standing in front of us must be truly lost and damned because of how they modified their body or how they dress or their affect or their choice of pronouns. But if we can see that God cares little about such things, we can release ourselves from judging their souls based on appearances, and focus instead on the unseen and unspoken.
If I am convinced that a transgender person is necessarily damned because they violated God’s original design for the human body, or that a queer individual is necessarily damned because of their gender fluidity and insistence on pronouns that do not readily match their appearance, I will approach ministering to them quite differently than if I cannot so simply assume anything about their spirit. Rather, I will find myself needing to listen much more closely, both to their own self-revelation and also to the Holy Spirit in discernment. I will not start by judging them. And this is extremely consistent with quite a bit of scriptural imperative to “judge not.”
In fact, it is interesting to read Paul’s writing in Romans 1, concluding the chapter by listing a long set of sinful behaviors, notably including perverse sexual behaviors – immediately followed in Romans 2 by Paul’s harsh rebuke of the Roman church for judging others for the same kinds of sin they themselves participate in. He seems to be making a case that grace towards others is far more important to God than a sinful behavior. He even goes on to specifically address circumcision, how genitalia are not a factor in the individual’s welcome into the Kingdom. Commentators have observed that Paul is specifically taking this approach to frankly address the Roman church’s fear and hatred of the Gentile aliens among them. He makes his final point in Romans 2 saying “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.” The overall theme of the introduction to Romans is that genetics and culture are not what makes a person acceptable to God – it is the condition of their hearts.
Failing to Represent God by Fighting over the Imago Dei
More to the point, I am increasingly convinced that the evangelical church is failing to accurately represent God’s character specifically in how it treats this gender-questioning 30% of an entire generation, and those of other generations. I see a stunning lack of love demonstrated towards those who don’t fit traditional molds. In fact, it looks to me as if the attitude taken by most Christians is to harshly and blindly apply Paul’s principle of 1 Corinthians 5:5 – “I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” – but without accounting for the simple fact that those so shunned and demonized and damned by the church will likely never turn to the Lord for His salvation, because the god (I use the lower case intentionally here) that is represented by the evangelical church is so ugly and hateful that they would never have any desire to turn to that god. But the true God is gracious and loving and almost infinitely patient – but the church is failing in the very thing for which God explicitly created mankind – to fully and accurately represent Him to a lost and dying world. It seems far more interested in preserving a specific and comfortable and insular culture.
This entire line of reasoning cannot be used to imply that all the gender fluidity now is Godly. It most certainly is not. While there are absolutely those – no small number – whose brains are wired differently than their genitalia or chests or body hair would suggest, I do believe that quite a bit of the current gender fluidity is faddish and will eventually be regretted – perhaps deeply by some. It makes sense to me to urge self-restraint and extreme hesitancy in considering taking such steps as abandoning traditional gender nomenclature or having reassignment surgery.
However, that says nothing significant about the general principle at play: I am beginning to believe that “the image of God” is not gendered in any actionable way.
But at the same time, we know with certainty that the enemy of our souls is a liar and a thief and attempts to steal and corrupt everything he can to distract us and try take away our joy and attention from God and His Kingdom. So he is convincing many actually normal individuals that they are the wrong gender or sexuality, just as he is simultaneously convincing the evangelical church that this is a hill on which it must absolutely die to defend the honor of God Himself. I believe that both are lies, and the resulting battle is deeply harming the church and increasingly setting the stage for its persecution by a society that grows weary of its hateful reactions.
I am instructed by Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares. In Matthew 24:13-20, Jesus talked about how His people should handle intermingled sin.
Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
Perhaps, then, the correct answer to all this gender confusion is: simply let it go. Stop trying to pull out the tares, because a lot of wheat is being uprooted and killed, and the resulting damage to the crop is incalculable. The harder it is resisted, the worse it will get. Rather, show love and grace and acceptance of each human being, no matter the state or gender or lack thereof. Some will turn, some won’t, but at least we will not be destroying hearts and forever chasing them away from the true God by presenting a god which is not accurate.
1 Corinthians 13 starts with this: If I speak with the tongues of mankind and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my possessions to charity, and if I surrender my body so that I may glory, but do not have love, it does me no good. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
So the ultimate question becomes, how do we show love? Is it more loving to diligently stand against a flood of change, knowing that we alienate millions from a loving God? I would have believed so until recently. But perhaps it is more loving to accept those wrestling with very deep, very painful, life-long identity issues, trusting God to love them either way, and choosing to love them just as selflessly and proactively as Jesus did?
There is much to consider on this topic. I am not completely settled on these issues. One should not lightly dispute the results of thousands of years of diligent pursuit of righteousness by millions of believers. However, I’m also keenly aware that the same wing of the American church that is the most vocal about gender issues is also the exact same group that historically staunchly defended slavery – to the point of joining a civil war – and opposed abolition and opposed integration and fought against interracial marriages very explicitly on scriptural grounds for hundreds of years, and still doing so even within the lifetime of many older members of our society still alive today. As such, I tend to look askance at claims that the evangelical church truly has a claim on doctrinal absolute truths in this area too. They have been deeply wrong before, and came to the table with a wealth of very flawed scriptural interpretation to back it up. For the most part, they have finally admitted that they were wrong. But rather than admitting too that they might be wrong about other things, they deny any humility and double down on the claim that their interpretation on gender roles is absolute truth.
Ironically, quite a bit of the gender language is identical to that formerly used to defend slavery. Many Americans do not recognize the parallels, but for those who have studied America’s racism history, it is simply strikingly clear. This further weakens my confidence that my original, decades-long view of such doctrine was correct.
My study and thoughts on this topic will certainly continue. I am certain, too, that merely admitting these thoughts and musings and lack of confidence in the gender doctrines of the church of my youth will leave me rather unwelcome in most conservative Christian circles. But I find a definite responsibility in my heart to wrestle with these topics, as I am convinced that under the present circumstances the church is doing deep harm to many of God’s children, as well as itself and the Kingdom, and increasingly so as culture changes. We cannot lightly write off a third of a generation, and I suspect that the Lord has allowed this issue to explode in significance at this time for the specific purpose of addressing some church-wide doctrinal issues that truly need correction.
Incidentally, it would be a fascinating irony if the symbol of the LGBTQ+ movement – the rainbow – were not in fact stolen by an ungodly movement that seeks to destroy the church (as charged by so many evangelicals), but in the ultimate reversal was found by affirming Christians to be a symbol of true inclusiveness and a promise never to destroy humanity again, even in the face of an overwhelmingly sinful culture. Certainly, many LGB activists DO seek to destroy the church – but it’s arguably self-defense, a matter of personal survival, that they are simply kicking back against attempts by the church to destroy them first.
I know this journey I’m on has a lot of rabbit trails and side roads, and is covering some uncomfortable ground. I deeply appreciate the chance to share my process and thoughts with you. I welcome any comments and conversations, and due to the nature of the topic, will probably take them to a private discussion. Thanks for coming along, and I’ll talk to you again soon.