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The Gospel and Transsexuals

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Published: 27 July 2014 (GMT+10)

We regularly receive questions asking about how to understand sexual orientations that go against God’s design for the human body and sexual relationships, and how we should interact with people who claim that these orientations are part of who they are. One point that we emphasize is that Jesus died for all sorts of people, who are engaged in all sorts of behaviours contrary to what God commands. All sin separates from God, whether homosexual acts or greed or lust, and all sin is forgiven when we repent and turn to Christ.

O. F., Ireland, wrote in:

To whom it may concern,
I have a lot of transsexual friends. The majority of them have felt that way as a young young child and some of them tried to commit suicide because of it. The second they came to the realisation and they did something about it they were able to live a happy and normal life. I believe that maybe these transgender people have the brain of one sex in the body of another sex if that makes sense. We have intersexed people so are Trans people just intersexed because of a wrong mind in a wrong body? I do know that God loves Eunuchs so much and that in Isaiah he says that there will be a monument built for eunuchs that is better than any child.

Lita Sanders, CMI–US, responds:

As Christians, we believe that our feelings are not a fundamentally trustworthy measure of what is true, or of what is good for us.

Dear O.,

Thanks for writing in. Part of the reality of the Fall is that things have gone wrong with all parts of creation, including human sexuality and how we perceive our own identities. As Christians, we believe that our feelings are not a fundamentally trustworthy measure of what is true, or of what is good for us. As an analogy, there are people with anorexia who are convinced that they are fat. When they look in the mirror, they see themselves as grossly obese, when in reality their ribs may be poking out and they are dangerously underweight. We offer these individuals compassionate counseling with the goal of restoring a self-image that is in line with reality, for both their physical and mental health.

But when a boy looks in the mirror and sees a girl, and thinks he is a girl, and should dress and socialize as such, society is now entering into a charade where we reinforce this objectively false belief, to the extent that we will amputate perfectly healthy body parts and pump him full of female hormones to make his body fit this false perception. But this would be akin to offering gastric bypass surgery to anorexics. And it doesn’t change the fundamental, genetic, and biological fact that he is a boy.

For Christians, love cannot be divorced from truth, so we would regard it as fundamentally unloving to tell a transgender person that he really is a female.

A man who has body parts amputated and pumps his body full of chemicals to maintain the illusion that he is of the opposite sex may live a happy life, but it certainly is not ‘normal’ by any objective definition.

Today, increasingly, people define themselves by their sexual preferences. So 200 years ago, a man might have had a homosexual relationship (probably on the side, with a wife and kids at home), but today, such a man is ‘gay’, and his whole being is defined by the fact that he likes to do certain things with other men. This is a narrow and objectifying view of sexual identity, and is not good for people who have harmful sexual preferences, or the people with whom they engage.

It is true that God loves these people, as He loves others, and so should Christians. But for Christians, love cannot be divorced from truth, so we would regard it as fundamentally unloving to tell a transgender person that he really is a female, or that she really is a male. Rather, we would lovingly share the Gospel and work to help the individual conform his or her thinking to the biblical worldview. See Transgender arguments hinge on sex versus gender and Gender confusion.