What Would Jesus Say to a Transgender Person?

by | May 11, 2016 | Blogs, Fire in My Bones

Ever since Bruce Jenner announced in April 2015 that he had become a she, the debate over transgender rights began heating up. That same month, a gender-neutral restroom opened in the White House. Now, a year later, the federal government has sued the state of North Carolina over its so-called “bathroom law,” which requires people to use the bathroom that corresponds to their original gender.

Many ordinary Americans are scratching their heads. The word transgender is foreign to them—along with all the other new terms that have been coined in recent months to describe a person who wants to change their gender or isn’t sure about it. These terms include “gender fluid,” “pansexual,” “bigender” and “genderqueer.” The transgender phenomenon makes no sense to people who assume we live in an orderly world in which men are men, women are women and everybody just accepts the rules of biology.

But we don’t live in an orderly world. We live in a fallen world that has been marred by accidents, wars, human error, abuse, racism, environmental disasters, poverty, disease, terrorism, social injustice, sexual deviation, addictions and personality disorders.

As the Temptations sang way back in 1970, the world is “a ball of confusion.”

Transgender people only make up 0.3 percent of the U.S. population, so chances are you have never met one. I have. Several years ago, when I was on assignment with Charisma in San Francisco, I carried on a long conversation with Stephanie, a man who was living as a woman in the Polk district of the city. Stephanie had already paid $2,300 for breast implants but he was saving money for a full sex-change operation.

His hair was bleached blond and he wore thick blue eye shadow and dark red lipstick. He had feminine mannerisms, but the hormone pills he had been taking couldn’t soften his square jaw or shrink his thick hands, which were decorated with long purple nails.

“I feel kind of lost sometimes,” he told me after I bought him a cup of coffee.

Stephanie told me his sad story. He had been raised in a trailer park near Pittsburgh, and while still living as a man he entered the Navy after high school. He even married a Filipino woman for a while, but he left that relationship and decided to identify as female. He worked as a transgender prostitute for years in San Francisco, but that income dried up as he got older. He was living on disability when I met him.

Stephanie told me he had attempted suicide more than once, and I could see the scars on his arm where he had slit his wrists. Then he said: “My stepmother told me, ‘If you ever commit suicide, don’t leave a note to us because we don’t want anyone to know you are related to us.”

Stephanie displayed a hollow sadness I’ve never seen on any other human face. It was as if some invisible California vampire had sucked all the life out of him. I was not revolted. I felt nothing but compassion.

How do we minister to the Stephanies of the world? I did not slam my fist on the table and scold him for being confused. I certainly did not lecture him about which bathroom he should use. I was more concerned for his eternal soul.

In that coffee shop, my two friends and I shared the gospel with him and we prayed for him. I remember struggling with whether to use “him” or “her” in my prayer, but I realized that God is not so concerned with pronouns when a life is teetering on the edge of eternity.

“Jesus, we know you love Stephanie,” we prayed. “Heal this body and show Stephanie how much you want to help.”

I don’t know if Stephanie ever got a sex change operation. I don’t know if he ever visited the church I recommended. If he did, I hope he was treated with kindness.

I’m not being soft on sin when I plead for compassion on this issue. I hold to the Christian idea that gender is a fixed component of our created identity. I also believe we need to use common sense when our state and local governments formulate bathroom policies.

But before we hit the streets to protest or pontificate, let’s remember that reacting in anger toward the transgender community is not the Jesus way. Jesus always upheld biblical morality, and He certainly affirmed traditional gender identity. Yet His religious critics called Him a “friend of sinners” (Matt. 11:19) because He accepted and loved tax collectors, prostitutes and adulterers before He confronted their sin.

If Jesus had talked to Stephanie, He would have looked past his purple nails and square shoulders. He would have invited him to discover that our true identity can only be found in a relationship with Him. {eoa}

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

Dr. Candice Smithyman, host of Manifest His Presence on the Charisma Podcast Network, recently interviewed apostle Stacey Campbell, founder of Shiloh Global about how prophecy can impact today’s culture. Apostle Campbell is passionate about teaching young people and...

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc14ip0XyOw Growing up as the daughter of Dave and Joyce Meyer, Sandra McCollom knew about God’s goodness and unconditional love. “At eight years old, I remember sitting on the floor as my mom shared her faith with me. That’s when I...

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

In the journey of hearing God's voice today effectively and accurately, you need the practical and personal work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly told his followers that those who hear His words and put them into practice are wise! "Whoever hears these sayings of...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

We are living in a time where it seems that dreams and visions are accelerating. The enemy fights against prophetic insight being poured out according to Joel 2:28-32. Numerous deliverance ministries have risen up to combat the ‘Pandora's box’ that was released in...

RECENT ARTICLES

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love...
How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]