EVANGELICALS SHOULD LOVE AND PROTECT TRANSGENDER PERSONS

An article in the NEW YORK TIMES on Sept 28, 2019 reported that recently there has been a marked increase in the number of murders of transgender women, especially transgender women of color.

Why do I write about that?  Because evangelical Christians should be leading the movement to love transgender persons and combat hatred and attacks directed to them.

No, I have not changed my mind on the biblical teaching on sexuality.  In my lengthy chapter on homosexuality (in THE FUTURE OF OUR FAITH, written with Ben Lowe), I develop a long, careful argument showing that the Bible teaches that God’s will for sexual activity is in a life-long marriage between a man and a woman.  Nor do I think that our gender is something fluid so that individuals are free to choose whether they will be male or female.

But evangelicals should lead with love for everyone, even (especially!) for those we disagree with. 

 And we so often have failed miserably at that.  We have often tolerated or even engaged in gay-bashing. An evangelical group went around the country loudly proclaiming that “God hates fags.”  Genuinely biblical people will insist that God loves gays—even as we respectfully disagree with same-sex acts.  Jerry Falwell opposed government funding for research to find a cure for AIDS because he said AIDS was a gay disease given by God as divine punishment for homosexual action.  Evangelical parents too often have rejected their children who came out as gay instead of loving them unconditionally even as they gently disagreed with their behavior. We must repent of widespread failure to lead with love.

As evangelical Christians, let’s lead the way in rejecting, condemning, and combatting hatred and violence against transgender persons.  Let’s love, not hate.  Let’s defend, not attack.

Every person, no matter how marred by sinful choices, is still a person made in the image of God; still a person loved immeasurably by God; still a person for whom Christ died.

If we believe that fundamental biblical teaching, evangelicals will lead with love.  Let’s become the people known everywhere as the folk who are leaders in loving transgender persons.

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