“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by precedent, by implication, by erosion, by default, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other—until the day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.” This prescient warning by novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand is exemplified in the world’s acceptance of transgenderism. Today numerous countries are aggressively endeavoring to incorporate transgenderism into their country’s official ideology, and America is no exception. As Americans we find ourselves on the cusp of being legally required to accept an individual’s personal feelings over objective truth and scientific data. Already, failure to embrace such personal feelings can lead to social ostracism, loss of employment, and discrimination lawsuits. Corporations and political leaders around the world seem determined to impose a celebration of transgenderism upon the people regardless of their preferences and beliefs. However, with this embrace of transgender ideology comes a host of unsettling questions. As an example, Adam Hobbes writes:
If the legal criteria for a thing’s identity is mere belief on the part of the subject, why shouldn’t a child be allowed to have a romantic relationship with an adult if he believes himself to be an adult as well? Children are too young to make that choice you say? Then why are there transgender children? Surely you can’t argue that a small child ought to be able to take hormones and change their gender (a decision that will have a massive impact on the rest of their lives), yet cannot consent to sex. If feelings are good enough in one case, then why not the other?
The logic under-girding transgender ideology is incompatible with the logic under-girding many societal laws and protections. A crisis of ideology is brewing. Many of our society’s most fundamental beliefs are being shaken, and this has given rise to widespread fear and anger. As Christians we must guard against these feelings. Instead, this could be a prime opportunity for us to share the gospel and to minister to others. Rather than fear this societal change, we should view this as an opportunity to showcase why what we believe about the creation and purpose of mankind is significant in our daily lives. Those who understand the issues can demonstrate how the Bible offers stability and certainty in times of cultural shifting and turmoil. Furthermore, as transgender individuals come out of the closet, we as Christians have opportunity to extend hope and love to an entire community of people who are confused, hurting, and ostracized.
Humility, combined with conviction that is based upon the teaching of the Bible, will be key in our ability to navigate these uncertain times. We do not have simple answers for all the questions that accompany this transgender ideology, and it is OK to admit this. Dr. Jack Drescher is a psychiatrist who was part of the American Psychiatric Association’s work group on gender identity. After an in-depth study of transgenderism, Dr. Drescher admits, “‘The truth is we actually don’t know what it is. Is it a mental disorder or does the cause of gender dysphoria lie somewhere else? We don’t know what causes it.’” At present, there simply is not enough reliable data to conclusively answer many of the questions associated with transgenderism. Moreover, the Bible does not specifically address transgenderism. As such there are not always simple answers to these questions. Nevertheless, the Bible does provide us with the principles necessary to evaluate this ideology. Equipped with the unchanging and infallible teaching of the Bible, we do have answers to the key questions under-girding transgenderism, and there can be little doubt what God thinks about such behavior.
As Christians we should equip ourselves with these Biblical principles so that we will not be shaken by pseudo-scientific arguments and emotional appeals, and so that we will be prepared to minister to others. Understand, however, that apart from these Biblical principles, there are no silver bullets that will destroy the transgender argument. Transgenderism is highly resistant to self-definition, choosing instead to rely upon subjective feelings and anecdotal evidence. As such an argument that is valid for one individual may not be perceived as being valid for another. Furthermore, the chief arguments in favor of transgenderism defy Aristotle’s principles of logic. Consequently, it is nearly impossible to create universal arguments against transgenderism. Instead, we as Christians must be so familiar with the teachings of the Bible that we can tailor arguments specific to each individual.
Be sure to Read Timothy Zebell’s book Transitioning: A Biblical Understanding of Transgenderism.
1. Rand, Ayn. Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, New Expanded Edition of The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution. New York: The Penguin Group, 1999.
2. Hobbes, Adam. “Why We Need to Fight Against Transgender Acceptance.” Reaxxion, July 3, 2015. Accessed June 18, 2016. http://www.reaxxion.com/10078/why-we-need-to-fight-against-transgender-acceptance.
3. Jayson, Sharon. “What ‘Transgender’ Means, and How Society Views It.” USA Today, September 5, 2013, 7:26 p.m., ET. Last updated September 5, 2013, 7:27 a.m. ET. Accessed June 18, 2016. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/22/transgender-primer-manning/2687869.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.