Christians, We Need to Get Out of People’s Bathrooms (and Bedrooms)

Unisex restroom sign

Surveying my news feed lately, I can’t help but think that most people doing the same thing would be hard pressed not to come away with the conclusion that all Christians are preoccupied with plumbing—both personal and public.

God help us, we just cannot stay out of people’s bathrooms and bedrooms.

Whenever a pastor, church, denomination, or Christian politician makes headlines these days, invariably it’s to champion or defend some horrible piece of discriminatory, anti-LGBT “bathroom bill” legislation, or to block someone from ministry based on their gender identity/sexual orientation, or to once again boil down all the ills of our society to what gay people do with their naughty parts.

Seriously Church, we haven’t just the lost the plot—we’ve literally flushed it down the toilet.

And the worst part is that we’ve done it on purpose.

Somewhere along the way, so much of Evangelical Christianity began to fixate on sex for the same reason the porn industry does: it gets people excited and it generates lots of money.

As church attendance has continued to decline, nervous pastors, worried high-profile evangelists, and terrified politicians have realized that they need to continually manufacture urgency to stoke the ever-dwindling fires of the faithful. And they learned fairly quickly that nothing, but nothing stimulates their shrinking bases like talk of sodomy and fornication.

The topic of gender identity/sexual orientation is a cheap, effective aphrodisiac for bored, self-righteous people needing a reason to feel religious. It’s spiritual Viagra for people who can’t sustain passion naturally.

The blueprint for these shenanigans was sketched out over the last few decades by the Evangelical Right, and has since been hewn to perfection: violently rip a few Bible verses completely out of context, offer some homegrown supportive propaganda disguised as objective Science, create and promote the most horribly distorted caricature of the LGBTQ community, and voila: full-blown panic in the pews.

And into this sweaty orgy of church sanctioned paranoia and religiously fueled fear, Christian leaders jump gleefully in to save God’s people from the writhing monster of runaway libido that they themselves have created. Brilliant really—if not at all Biblical.

Thank God Jesus rose from the dead or he’d be rolling in his grave watching what these folks have done to the Gospel; how they’ve appropriated his name and likeness to give cachet to the kind of hateful, myopic endeavors that he’d never ever have been a part of while he walked the planet.

Read the Gospel stories of Jesus and hold those up against what organized Christianity is passing off as faithfulness these days and you’ll see it clearly—there’s virtually no shared resemblance.

Jesus never would have wasted time with denominational splits or withheld wedding cakes or policing bathrooms (at least not on the side many Christians suspect). He was about the far greater, far more pressing, far more costly work of love and justice.

What you see in the sum total of Christ’s’ life and ministry was the lowering of the powerful and a lifting of the marginalized. You see a leveling of humanity that called people to give to those with less, to care for those in need, to bless others as they were able, so that earth might resemble Heaven. You see a call to personal repentance, to counterintuitive compassion, to radical forgiveness, to the making of peace, to the giving of mercy.

The only time Jesus ever mentioned sex in any capacity was to personally challenge people’s hearts, not to sanction them to impose their own preferences upon anyone else. It’s as simple as that.

In the Gospel accounts of his three-year ministry Jesus never utters a single word regarding gender identity or sexual orientation. Not one. These kind of public crusades about people’s body parts or private sexual conduct that are now so commonplace in modern Evangelical Christianity would have been foreign to him. (In fact, the only such times Jesus singles out a group of people, it’s the hypocritical religious leaders for misusing their position and power.)

Professed Christians can continue to do what they’re doing to the LGBTQ community, but they can’t rightly pass the buck to Jesus.

That the Church is still preoccupied with waging war on these folks and claiming that Christ compels them to do so, is one of the greatest and most sustained sins in our history—and it needs to stop.

Real followers of Jesus don’t need to be aroused by manufactured culture battles and non-existent boogeymen in public toilets.

They don’t need to be frightened into phony holy wars with imagined gay agenda armies or to be threatened with doomsday scenarios about Transgender restroom misdeeds.

They don’t require a distraction to stimulate their spirituality.

Followers of Jesus simply live, and they do so passionately burdened by the things that burdened him: poverty, injustice, inequality, excess, greed, abused power, perverted religion. The world sees plenty of those things every single day—and they’re wondering why so few Christians seem to care about any of it.

And this is the heart of these matters.

The more Christians fixate on trivial crusades about sex and sexuality, the more we cheapen the Gospel, the more we distort the life-giving message of Christ, and the more we alienate the watching world who sees this all too clearly.

Just once they’d like to see us claim “religious liberty” compelling us to feed children or curb gun violence or combat Cancer—or anything remotely life affirming. Instead we use it to withhold wedding cakes and police public toilets.

When the Church has its eyes squarely on Jesus it will find itself seeking the hurting and the needy and the forgotten, and abandoning its lazy battles and desperate witch hunts.

When the Church has its eyes squarely on Jesus it will follow him straight out into the streets to bring the good news to the world—leaving bathrooms and bedrooms far behind.

May that day come soon.

 

 

 

369 thoughts on “Christians, We Need to Get Out of People’s Bathrooms (and Bedrooms)

    • As Usual this guy is off base and rabidly pro gay. The problem is not bathrooms. It is deviance. And transgender people using any bathroom they want is deviant. And Jesus stood against the deviation from GOD’S design. We should too.

      • Please, deviance? And the point of the article was how we have left the call if the Gospel of grace, mercy, compassion, and unconditional love. Thanks for proving John’s point.

        • M.S. – The grace of God is ever present, especially to those who pray for it. The Loris the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. When misfortune betrays you, open up your heart to prayer. The Bible also says, Ask and you shall receive.

        • It’s obvious that neither you nor this articles author have even read the Gospels, nor know anything about Christ and what He taught.
          His ministry was not focused on what you have stated, so you and others like you lie about Him when you say these things about Him.
          Jesus came for 1 reason. He was God in the flesh, the Creator, dying for the sins of the creature. Sins like drunkenness, pride, homosexuality, cross dressing, murder, lying, stealing, jealousy, envy, and the others.
          All so the creature, mankind, men, women, boys, and girls, can trust Jesus, be redeemed, and made into a new and holy creation.
          Homosexuality and transgender are simply 2 of many sins that Jesus died to pay the debt for.
          I hope you find the truth before it’s too late for you.

          • Thank you. Well said. Those who would water down the truth to make it ok to sin and feel no confiscation about it…can’t hear you, but sinners who need the truth to be saved will.

            • Confiscation, huh? If you want to use big words, you should probably be sure of their meanings. Unless you were suggesting somehow that the sins were going to be seized or appropriated? Or that *you* were going to seize the sins? No. Neither one of those would have made sense in the context either, so I have no idea WHAT you were trying to say. Seriously, though, your point loses its impact when you try to sound smarter than you actually are.

              • I understood what deborah said! I also understand your attempt to be little her based on her grammatical errors! Why did her grammatical errors offend you so? Or did you really understand her comment (even with its grammatical errors) and it hit a nerve?

              • Corinthians 6:9-10:26King James Version (KJV)

                9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

                10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

                11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

                No if you are continuing in any of these is that “we’re” (past tense) as it states in the passage or is it “are” (present tense) ? The passage states “we’re” present tense. So if you continue in these sins then you are not saved and in fact still sinning and lost!

            • You assume people believe in your god and accept the bible as a valid source for anything. That’s not always the case, and you know what? We have as much of a right to live our lives as you.

              • Absolutely, we All have the God-given choice of free will to do as each believes right in our own eyes. If you choose to ignore all the signs God gives you of His existence (His creation, His written Word, etc.) the circumstances of your choice is on each individual. We will be allowed no finger pointing for ignoring what Jesus did for us on the Cross to put our sorry selves back in union with our Creator. If you don’t desire to live forever with your Creator He will not force the relationship. But, the God who allows grace through Christ today for you to go your own way, will send that same Jesus Christ to take those Home with Him forever. The rest will gnash their teeth together, separated for eternity from their Creator…because they preferred darkness to light.

            • How do you explain intersex babies born? If it can happen physically why is it so hard to recognize sin has changed EVERYTHING including brain chemistry that causes one to be one gender psychologically & the other physically. God’s Word was provided to help us understand what was made perfect before sin entered into His creation. The law was given to reveal how far we are from God’s original plan!! However!! He has a plan for redemption. As a heterosexual woman married for 31 years I do sexual activities that many of my Christian brothers & sisters would condemn me for doing…yet my King has decided to work on my lying tongue & outward behaviors such as gossip before my bedroom activities…Brothers & Sisters in Christ we have been set free from the law so we can transcend the law & love one another. By this all men will know we are His disciples. Love & hugs to you all as we wrestle with loving our neighbor as ourselves.

            • So ‘God Made’, what you’re saying is that God made a mistake? All-Knowing, All-Seeing God goofed? He made people with disabilities so he intended those, but he didn’t intend transgender people or homosexuals? Hmmm. I’m too logical. If He doesn’t make mistakes, then how do you explain it? Can you have it both ways? Is He all-powerful or not? I know you’ll have an answer for it so please enlighten me. Logically, please.

              • God doesn’t make us. He made Adam and Eve and told them to go forth and multiply. Its our sinful ways, thoughts, lifestyle and diet that causes mental and physical abnormalities, not God.

            • Really ? Just Bi -polar Male -Female ? Nothing in between =NO Intersex babies . NO physically deformed , every baby been “perfect” in Body & Mind & GENDER -Wow !

            • That argument is IMBECILIC!!! Gender Dysphoria is a psychological disorder (non-hetero orientation isn’t, but that’s a different topic.)
              Your “God doesn’t make any mistakes, therefore transgenderism is invalid” argument, would conclude that there is no such thing as mental illness, or for that matter, imperfection whatsoever.
              So, along your lines of logic, God made us all, and we’re all perfect. (I do believe that God made us all, but we are all far from perfect.)
              Read a book or something. Dear Lord, you’re ignorant!

          • So, in your mind, people that have been divorced should be treated as second-class citizens and denied basic rights, as well as pedophiles, unwed mothers and racists. You conveniently left those four things out of your rant. The very people that have been proven guilty of these “sins”, are the very people you defend, ie; Kim Davis, Dennis Hastert, Bristol Palin and Donald Trump. You just cherry-pick who you want to publicly hate. Amazing. Just amazing.

            • A big issue is that we all think we’re entitled to “rights.” We’re on Earth a short time. Our only right it to live as long as we can make it, then die.

              No one should be treated like second-class citizens. However there has to be a standard somewhere. When do we decide where to draw the moral line? What is that line based off of? Can we even have an adult discussion without name-calling and labeling? (not anymore)

              Personally, I’m sick of the mindset that if I disagree with someone it’s automatically “hate.” We’ve all but eliminated the N-word in the mainstream. The “hate” word needs to be next.

              • No one says that simply disagreeing with someone is hatred. I disagree that frosted flakes taste good, but that doesn’t mean i hate everyone who likes frosted flakes. The problem comes when I try to get LEGISLATION passed that bans everyone else from eating frosted flakes! That can rightfully be considered hatred.

              • I couldn’t agree more HoodlumofMercy. Today disagreement is equated with discrimination and hatred in such issues. What one CHHOSES to do in their private lives and who they CHOOSE to love and the lifestyle that they CHOOSE to lead are their prerogative. I DO NOT hate anyone for these choices but love them as a fellow human being. Those who make these choices though do not have right to inflict these views on me and label me as a “hater” because I do no agree with them or teach my children to agree with them.

              • HoodlumofMercy, Don’t take this as hate, but who is setting the moral standard? Many times religion doesn’t accept that those who believe as they do are not going to Heaven because of the differences. Why do you get to choose? My view is that I need to live to my own morality (which I’d match against yours) so as long as I don’t hurt you you can live to your standard. The problem seems to be on your side… live and believe what you do or I’m less than you and have no rights.

          • So, the fact that Jesus spent his time, not in the church of that time, but with the outcasts of society, was completely lost on you? As a believer that follows our Lord Jesus, and have doesn’t many years studying his Word, and as many years investigating the lives and times of the people’s in that tome, I say that, you, Allen with no last name, is the one who has been deceived.

          • Matthew 22:37-39
            34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

            Maybe you need to do some praying about that log in your eye.

        • Unconditional love is not unconditional acceptance of one’s lifestyle. Jesus loves everyone but he told people they need to change their ways if they were living inproperly

          • What’s inproper about being born a man but feeling like a woman? What’s inproper about being gay? What’s inproper is telling someone else they don’t have a right to live their life the way they want to even when they are not hurting anyone or anything. Being gay doesn’t create victims but being anti gay sure does.

            • J,

              I appreciate the support. I’m not sure whether you’re transgender or not, but in any case, I hope you’ll hear me out on this:

              As a trans woman, I reject and strongly discourage the use of phrases like “born a boy” or “born male.” I was not born either of those things. I was misidentified as them, but I was always female. The phrase I use (and see frequently elsewhere) is “designated male at birth,” which is factually accurate. I hope you’ll consider abandoning “born male” and such for “designated male at birth.”

              Thank you, be safe,

              Sera

        • Fear has been polluting God’s words for centuries. The truth is that evenYeshua would have embraced the LGBT community. So called sin is still sin. I hate when ppl pick and choose which verses in the bible to use to tear ppl apart. Gender biased bathrooms have always had a chance to be dangerous.

        • Grace and mercy is not the watering down of scripture and tolerance of sin. People have a tendency to miss the fact that Jesus never has not will he ever be okay with blatant sin of any kind. It is in direct opposition to his character. The notion that he will just be okay with any of it is so wrong. We like to give ourselves permission to sin because we are okay with it. GOD HATES IT….ALL IF IT.

        • You’re as dumb as he is you need to get your Bible out and read it our Lord does not like f***** neither do i they have no place in a bathroom with ladies or men and if you consider yourself a Christian you’re wrong him and you

      • No person could accuse this kind Pastor of being rabid. True, I have not met him, but having read many of his posts…never did a screaming, red-faced, foaming at the mouth image come into my mind. What does come to mind is truthfulness, honesty, kindness and compassion. You may not recognize these, but those of us raised in the marginalized camp within the church surely do… Thank you John

        • I am concerned about the people in NC that file the complaints under the law you passed. Why no concern for the peeping tom or peeping alice? What is more a crime, a transgender using the bathroom while minding their own business or someone else trying to inspect what is between someone else’s legs? You fascistic Republicans that demand smaller government to protect the privacy of the public are too obsessed with invading the private lives of a disliked minority. How often have you, Dan, been tempted to check out men with their pants down in public restrooms? Maybe men should be reporting you. I wonder how long your intrusive law will stand? When men begin to file counterclaims that some man is checking them out in the restroom to see what they’ve got. “But your Honor, sir, I was just trying to determine if he was a real man.” A likely story.

      • Anonymous — Wow! Off base!! An ad hominem attack on John! I guess you took this post personally, though he clearly was identifying attitudes and actions, rather than naming names. And speaking of which, I notice that you did not identify yourself?.?.

        Everything in my being wants to ask when God abdicated and left you in charge? But I know that reveals a side of me that is not going to promote thoughtful and productive discussion.
        Perhaps you might understand a slightly kinder and gentler version of a familiar and an oft repeated rejoinder: Unpack or deconstruct the argument, but engage, even embrace the litigator.

        Deviance is a culturally determined judgement. I hope you at least understand that there are many who unequivocally do not accept that trans folks are deviant. I am one of them. In fact I believe there is as much integrity in their gender expression as any others.

        I would not want to speak for whatever the reality of God actually is. But whatever occurs to create the reality of trans identities, it is a factual reality that they (those who are trans) are left to deal with it, working to maximize the gifts they have been given.

        I think John stands for the same things that I see Jesus standing up for: a table with room for all who will pull up a chair. Ask yourself if you would want a place at that table if Jesus had welcomed any and all trans brothers and sisters who asked for a seat?

        • I happen to agree. Biology is not simple matter. I do not claim to understand transgender but I do accept that it exists from birth. Who can say if I was born feeling male except me? Or if I’m same sex attracted or opposite gender? I happen to be gay but I dare anyone to know before I inform them. Individuals that identify as trans go through counseling long before surgery, hormones or even living as their gender. No one wants to compound any difficulties of the person in their life.

        • “whatever occurs to create the reality of trans identities, it is a factual reality that they (those who are trans) are left to deal with it, working to maximize the gifts they have been given.”

          Very well said. Probably the most empathetic and accurate description of the trans experience by (I’m assuming) a non-trans person.

      • So, God’s design is that I and my son cannot use the same restrooms in our house that my wife and my daughter use?

        And what is it that scares you so much about everyone in American society not holding to a given hard party line on every little thing? It could not be possible that Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have nearly lost all of the societal and cultural power they “thought they had—but did not really have” prior to 1925. And now you are scared shitless that you are going to wake up one morning in an American world so foreign to yourself and your personal values that existing in that culture will be pure misery for you and your family—because God forbid—you have to sit at a restaurant table next to sinners who talk about dancing as part of their church’s worship service. Why don’t you go somewhere and get a life?

        And it is not about deviance from God’s design. It is ALL about loving our neighbors as ourselves and how we treat people who are different from us. You seek to punish people for not having the same view of Christianity that you do, and that makes you no better than Mrs. Carmody in the Stephen King story entitled “The Mist.” Take a look at yourself and what passes for Christianity in your brain:

      • “And Jesus stood against the deviation from GOD’S design.” Yes, He did. He stood against the deviation from God’s design that we are beloved and, out of that, we are to love others. We Christians have done a masterful job of deviating from that, all right.

      • Excuse me Mr or Ms Annonymous, but these so-called ‘deviants’ are human. If you believe in the Bible and Jesus, you do realize that humans were created by God? Did God create you? Did He create your mother and brother? If so, please try to remember that he also created these people that you revile. We are all equal in God’s love. If you don’t believe that, it’s your problem. You may want to have a good talk with your God and try to listen instead of parrot your thoughts.

      • Transgender people are people too. Now since you want to bring up deviants, let’s talk about that shall we?
        Let’s talk some deviance, shall we?
        from http://www.evilbible.com

        1. Laws of Rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NAB)
        If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

        What kind of lunatic would make a rape victim marry her attacker? Answer: God.

        2. Exodus 35;2 – commit mass murder every sabbath: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death.

        3. Psalm 137:9 – Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.

        • Bobbie Jo…

          1. Deut 22:28-29 Did you read the part that says “if they be found”? If you study this out you will see that that phrase refers to them being found out by any means and in those days (they were sneaking around, not raping/being raped). If a young woman is defiled, then there most likely wouldn’t be a future suitor that would want her after the fact. If this were to be the case then she would surely not have anyone to care for her. In other words, she would be outcast and left to die at some point in her life. God on the other hand, holds the young man accountable for her care. Also, if you have read verse 25 of that same book/chapter you would have noticed that that verse speaks about a man forcing himself onto the woman (rape). In that case, the man only is committed to be put to death. In verses 28 and 29 it doesn’t say the man forced himself on her but rather that he lay hold on her. The two sets of verses are very different on the actions of all involved. So, God is very much against rape as you are and sees fit to punish the perpetrator in such instances. God also see fit that a man take responsibility for his actions and see to it that those actions do not cause others undue long term harm. I’m going to assume that you also have this interest at heart?

          2. I’ve never heard of anybody complaining about taking a day off. Most people work for the weekend anyways. God has the same viewpoint. I don’t see your case here. Really, does someone have to force you to take a break once per week?

          3. Psalm 137…have you read the whole thing? It’s talking about the Jews being taken into Babylonian captivity. Here is a commentary on Psalms 137. It does an excellent job on what is going on in the verses. https://bible.org/seriespage/psalm-137-difficult-words-true

          Looks to be that you share a lot of common viewpoints with God, you just misunderstood Him. Happens to all of us.

        • This only shows how a person picks and chooses what they want in the Bible to suit their argument, ignoring the rest.

      • Please google clergy sexual abuse and then transgender sexual abuse. Then let’s have a conversation as to who the real deviants are.

      • You people are pathetic. It must be awful to have to live your life ignorant and always in fear of someone different than yourself!

      • The problem is that the right-wing extremists who call themselves Christians are so focused on judging others that they can’t accept the teachings of Christ because those teachings would not allow them to be small minded, hypocritical, hating bigots who focus on anything to do with sex and genitalia rather than the much more demanding efforts of living according to Christ teachings, as your comment so clearly proves.

      • You know transgender people aren’t necessarily gay? You need to educate yourself. Go back to school, you closed minded fool.

        • Transgender behavior is a deviance of human nature, it not only is sinful but also an abomination to manind. The Bible clearly condemns from cover to cover.

      • How did Jesus stand against LGBT? I don’t see John as “rabidly pro gay”, but rather pro-human, pro-Jesus, pro-love.

      • Being in people’s feelings bedrooms and bathrooms is the most absurd deviant thing we’ve ever seen. You’re showing your hypocrisy. Just like the group who almost stoned the lady caught in adultery. They were watching porn but wanted to get her. Nuff said! Bam!

      • I completely agree. This guy twists the issue by saying that Christians are concerned with plumbing. This has nothing to do with plumbing, the sole suggestion makes his reasoning idiotic. This is about privacy, human decency and respect for women. LGBTs are nothing less than sexual perverts and we are not going to sit back and accept this unacceptable behavior while risking the safety of our women and daughters.

    • When you are not willing to protect your female relatives and acquaintances from men who desire to use the same bathroom you have become a fish on the hook of the progressive, debased mindset. The Word of God does NOT support your desire to be loved by all people. Jesus was crucified for speaking the Truth. Perhaps there is no “fear & trembling” involved your salvation being worked out in your life ?

      • Layton — The need to protect “female relatives and acquaintances” is specious at best, a straw man argument. At worst it is willfully ignorant. You are assuming all sexual predators are male and then confusing (or insinuating) them with M2F trans folks. That is erroneous, pure and simple.

        There have been many posts (yattwood, Ruth. star and anchor, and Gabrielle come to mind) who have offered real life story ways of comprehending this. I hope you can listen, and even at some point, hear.

        I wish you well.

      • Take a look at the person in this picture:
        http://cdn0.dailydot.com/cache/69/fb/69fb76248b9b9c486f3e683dfcc318f1.jpg

        Thanks to misguided “bathroom police” laws, this man is now REQUIRED to use the women’s restroom in certain states. Why? Because he was born female. (And not all states allow a trans person to change the sex on their birth certificate after transitioning.)

        So when the women in your life encounter this man in the ladies’ room, remember, this is what you supported.

      • Blah blah blah blah. Women are danger. Children are going to see things that will damage their poor minds forever. Oh please. Switch transgender with black and it’s the 1950’s all over again. I don’t think you have any idea what the truth is.

      • So Layton and all the other uneducated in this discussion, as a transgender man it would be ok if I am in the restroom with your daughter then? Because that is exactly what your statement just said. Oh let me educate you a little since you obviously have no education on this topic. I am a transgender man. Which means I transitioned fully from female to male. If you met me on the street you would not even know that I was mis-gendered at birth as female. But according to all of these assinign laws I would have to use the women’s restroom. Hmmmm put two and two together, that means that a man would be in that room with your daughter. How about instead of being ignorant and listening to the people that think they know what they are talking about you actually study and learn these things for yourself? Wow what a concept!!!!!
        Oh and on the topic of Jesus, I am a Disciple. I do not call myself a Christian anymore because I do not want to be grouped with people like you. I walk in the path of Jesus and continue his work on this planet. I work with bullied teens, homeless youth whose parents have abandoned them onto the streets. I feed and clothe the homeless in my community. I started and operate a non-profit that helps to keep families together in spite of people like you. THAT is a Christian and a Disciple!!!!!! Period!!!!! Jesus would be and should be ashamed of people like you.
        Sorry John, just couldn’t take it anymore.
        Wonderful article!!!

    • Jesus talked about sex a lot. And he prescribed the narrow boundaries he intended for it.

      Jesus mentioned sex & reproduction from Day 3…when he created vegetation, Day 5 when he created fish and birds, Day 6 when he created mammals and the Marriage of Adam & Eve. (Male & Female).

      It’s significant that Jesus began his Ministry at a Wedding.

      Jesus said …. ‘”haven’t you read that in the beginning the Creator made them Male & Female? For this reason a man (male) will leave his Mother (female) & Father (male) and be united to his Wife (female) and they will become one flesh. What God has joined together let no man break apart.’

      Re Divorce & remarriage, Jesus said that “if a man divorces his wife for any reason other than sexual infidelity, then if he remarries, he commits adultery. ”

      Jesus said, “there are eunuchs (asexual , celibate) who are born that way, some are made eunuchs, and some choose to live like a eunuch (celibate) for the Kingdom. Let those who can do this, do it. “-MT19.

      [Every instance of sexual license is discouraged by God in the bible.]

      re homosexual sex, he said, “…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie, they worshipped the creation, not the Creator. Because of this God gave them over to their shameful lusts. Men, (even women) exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received the due penalty of their sin.” Romans 1.

      • Hebrews 4:12-16 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
        Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

      • That quote from Romans was PAUL, NOT Jesus. If you insist on making arguments at least TRY not to muck up the details.

          • Paul was writing a letter. I write letters all the time. I wrote my coming out letter and I know that God was speaking through me. Does that mean some day people will be worshipping me?

            As far as “God spoke through Paul”. False. It was inspired by God. Not God’s word. Paul was speaking to specific people about specific things happening in specific places. (Romans 1 specifically to Rome and circumstances there. )

            Wanna know who God spoke through? Jesus. In fact , He was the Word in the flesh.

            Jesus>Paul.

          • Would that include whoever Adam and Eve’s offspring had sex with in order to procreate? or the endless procession of multiple, multiple wives of OT Biblical characters – the holy men – in the ancient patriarchal system where women were bought, sold, taken over, exchanged, as objects . . . puhlease — then of course there’s the stoning of children for disobedience, plucking out of eyes, all that cool Leviticus stuff — I imagine you’ve heard it all . . . “the whole Bible is the word from Jesus” isn’t quite the accurate understanding, dear, though you might look to the Taliban, who are coming fairly close to carrying most of that out, oddly. Really very sad, the fundamentalist/evangelical spell that many of us bought into for years . . . now watch it crack and crumble as our younger theologians and pastors have dared ask the hard questions and do the requisite scholarship . . . ask the realistic questions – confront the cultural blindspots and the self-serving patriarchy, racism, colonialism, homophobia, and the horrible arch-white supremacy, among other trends, that informed the “post-war” “gospel”. We stand in need of meeting the Jesus who baffled and shocked and spoke truth to power and power systems, who sought out the outcast, the poor, the lonely, and turned his fury on the hypocritical religious leaders . . . and stop chanting what right wing pastor people say about issues that weren’t “issues” to Jesus. Re-read the Gospels for yourself and list out what concerned Jesus . . . eye-opening.

            • Thank you Marilee. I’ve always had a problem with the differences between the Old Testament with its anger and punishment and then the New Testament with its Love. We have many who profess their Christianity but seem stuck to the anger of the Old Testament. Why did God send Jesus to preach love and justice if he didn’t intend us to live that way?

            • Marilee, you’re right. When it came to the situation of the woman caught in the act of adultery, she was brought to the temple to be judged by the Pharisees. Jesus said, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. No one did. Jesus’ rebuttal to the woman was, Go and sin no more. Simple as that.
              We in this world should not be casting any stones at the LGBT community either. All of us have sinned in one way or another. Amen !

      • LG — I do not wish to argue with you. Your beliefs are obviously strong, deeply held, and critical to your sense of faith.

        I would only ask you to think about one of the examples that you cited. In Jesus time eunuchs were a cultural fact. It was also a fact to all Jews that eunuchs could not be in the temple. As such they were outcasts.

        You seem to focus on metaphorical aspects of Jesus words. And on one level, you may be correct. But this was also a very concrete, even ubiquitous reality to his followers.So this also had some very flesh and blood implications.

        When Philip baptized the eunuch ( Acts 8), he was integrating an outcast. The eunuch was given the “initiation”ritual that the early church used as a rite of passage.

        If God gave the Law in what we call the “Olds Testament”, then God was now changing or clarifying that Law, including some who had previously been banned.

        Now you may believe that this story only illustrates some kind of “conversion” experience. And again, I will not try to convince you otherwise. But I see it differently. To me it is just another example of God’s desire to include everyone.

        And just to be clear, I am not interested in debating biblical meanings. My view is that the gift of so called Old Testament law was the concepts of personal responsibility and communal responsibility. But I do not personally feel I must be bound by whatever the rules that ancient Hebrews used to define their “tribe”. I find the dissolving of tribal divisions, or any “lines in the sand” boundaries for that matter, to be a crucial essence of “the good news”.

        I hope you will be able to find it in your heart to be open to the goodness in others, however they may be oriented or present themselves. I wish you well.

        • t.fisher — thanks for your thoughtful comments. There is nothing new under the sun. We have ‘eunuchs’ today. Jesus , in his infinite wisdom, described every type. (which now includes those castrated for sex re-assignment surgery).

          The good news, ALL are welcome to join Jesus’ flock, and Jesus in his mercy, described every possible variation of mankind. He never wanted anyone to think they weren’t offered the gift of Salvation.

          His message is the same for everyone. Repent & Believe. [he says plainly, those that reject Him, are excluded. ]

          ps– the Ethiopian eunuch was an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He held a prestigious position. He was educated and very literate. He was a proselyte. A Gentile God-fearer (adopted Jew). This was his first experience of hearing about Jesus, and he was all-in. He asked to be baptized, and then when on his way rejoicing in the Lord! Because he had been saved.

          –not sure why you think Im not open to goodness in others? I heart goodness in others. What a blessing.

          • The Ethiopian eunuch asked Philip if there was anything that prevented him from being baptized and Philip said no. Why do you suppose the eunuch asked Philip this question ? It’s a question I have been asking God since I was a teenager. Don’t you think if there was a requirement for the Ethiopian eunuch to align himself with Gods true design Philip would have told him ? Perhaps it is because that message is not part of the Gospel.

            “36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. ” from Acts .

            • kathy….–are you saying God doesn’t ask anything from the baptized? He certainly does. Baptism means repentance. Cleansing of sin. Turning around.

              …the eunuch was most likely castrated before he reached puberty, and was groomed for his position in the pagan court, as was the pagan custom for men in certain positions. (so as not to be a sexual threat to royalty, which they had intimate access to.). He had no say in the matter. He was a slave, and his owners could do what they wished with him. There is no physical requirement to belong to God. [Just a circumcised heart.] As a follower of Jesus, this eunuch remained in obedience, and abstained from any immoral sexual relations outside of marriage.

              • Let’s talk about it then; Why did you bring up the Ethiopian eunuch in the first place unless you were alluding to the fact that he or she represents people like me? And what does God require if not to walk humbly, act justly and love mercy ? Turning to God has been the best and the worst thing that has happened to me. The best because now I know I am loved; the worst because now I have to deal with my human nature, in authentically, trying to choose good everyday against the temptation to judge, boast, lash out, disparage, give up, I admit I can’t do this on my own and need spiritual help. Grace be to God. I hope everyone when they find themselves in trouble or darkness or despair knows that God loves them and wants them with an undying love.

        • tim fisher… I read Acts 8 as saying you weren’t paying attention, so here’s a specific example to help you understand. It wasn’t really a change from the Old Testament.

          Eunuchs have a special blessing given in Isaiah 56:4-5 (KJV)…
          For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

      • @ LGMarshall

        Hi LGMarshall. I have read many posts like yours regarding homosexuality and LGBTQ matters in general. As a gay Christian, I always feel completely reduced to nothing more than a sex object by your posts on this subject. Whenever you refer to homosexuality or the LGBTQ community in general, you appear to be somewhat obsessed with sex. Your posts put me in mind of Dolly Parton in the film Nine to Five, only, in this case, you appear to be the sexist boss.

        LGMarshall, you are free to write what you wish, but, is there any chance you would consider, at the very least, writing about other aspects of LGBTQ people’s lives, not just about their sexual desires? As a suggestion, why not comment on relationship aspects; love, commitment, specific difficulties the LGBTQ community may experience etc. – whatever you want really. That said, in the spirit of candour, unless you would like to talk about your own sex life here, with respect, I honestly don’t see what business you have putting mine and others from the LGBTQ community under the microscope.

        Thanking you in anticipation.

      • Except that Jesus didn’t say this, Paul did. Yeah, splitting hairs, get over yourself. The cops got better things to do than looks for men in women’s bathrooms. How about we increase money for mental health treatment?

      • Not sure what Bible you use but none I have ever heard of say that Jesus created the earth (day 3, day 5, etc). Will not even try to walk you through your other “quotes” since you need to do your own reading and for what Jesus said, try the NEW testament. Also, when did God send out the memo that you personally are the decision maker and the only person who can understand or explain Christian teachings? Lots of us didn’t get the memo so please forward to all Christians so we will know we are to follow your interpretation of the bible rather than our own denominations. Most of us find your views to be wrong, hard hearted, not at all Christian and not even remotely American. There are modern English translations of the bible if you have problems with the standard King James version or any of the Catholic versions. Good luck learning about what being a Christian really means. It will be hard for you to rethink the information you have misunderstood but it will be worth it. God bless.

    • Theodore –It would seem most logical to me that if you see LGBT folks as an invasion force, that you feel threatened by them. Or at the very least you feel they are pushing you away from some place or some thing that you feel is rightfully yours.

      I find it sad that you can not find it in your heart to reframe the picture in a way that allows you to see another expression of humanity as merely working to live as effectively as you. In my experience, all most people of good will want, regardless of their diverse identity or expression, is to live full and productive lives.

      Resenting the abilities and success of anyone is not an attitude I want to hold. Standing in the way of other human beings, or worse yet actively attempting to hinder their ability to be and do all in their capacity to achieve, is not the kind of energy I want to expend.

      I hope you will find it in your heart to, at a minimum, allow others to live their lives free from threats of discrimination and worse. You may be surprised to find that many of them contribute richly, and have great hearts themselves.

      • T. Fisher – I couldn’t agree with you more. As it turns out, I was best man to a verrry good friend of mine. He/she and his wife lasted many years together until cancer took her life away from her. All this time I knew that she was transgender. When he dressed up like a woman he looked gorgeous. To this day she still mourns the loss of her wife but is seriously looking into changing her sexuality. She is taking female hormone pills on the approval & advice his doctor. She has started to grow breasts and in all honesty looks absolutely beautiful. She as I refer to he now, also has very strong Christian faith. I am grateful for that. She has a big heart thanks to God’s graces. I just pray to God that the medical community in our province in Canada will someday approve her physical sex change that she so desires. Karlene as she is called, deserves this. She is a true testament as to what the transgender community can become. I have been her friend in the past and will continue to be her friend in the future no matter what happens to her.

        • Beautiful story, hun. That’s all trans folks are asking from the Christians in our communities – that we be allowed to live here in peace, as well.

    • I would say the coming out of LGBTQ people is not just an invasion but a joyous answer to the invitation and call given by God through Jeaus Christ our Lord who said behold I stand at the door to anyone who answers I will come in and sup with them.

    • Invaders? LGBTQIA people have always existed. The American Psychiatric Association and American Medical Associations happen to be on our side in this. You know, real, verifiable medical science? What have you got? A book about a 2000 year old magical zombie and your sincere belief in something utterly unverifiable?

    • Funny thing. God doesn’t stay out of peoples’ bedrooms and bathrooms. And what’s going on with the LGBT folks is exactly why this country is losing the battle against moral relativism. Just minimize God, ignore his call to righteous living, and we will all “get along.” Is that it? I weep for my children and grandchildren, who are engulfed in a society so full of evil that it makes Sodom look healthy. Life your life the way you like, but be prepared to pay an eternal price for it.

      • The only thing you said that makes sense was the very last statement: “Live your life the way you like, but be prepared to pay an eternal price for it.” The rest was rubbish and your opinion of what Christianity is all about is simply that, your opinion. If the so-called Christians who are busy passing judgement on others and are so totally hung up and focused on what bathroom someone uses and what genitalia they have and who they choose to love would put that focus on what Jesus would focus on, the world would be a much better place to live and Christianity would not be dying on the vine. The only people attacking Christianity are the Christians who want to make it all about bathroom, genitalia and judging others so they can spew hate and condemnation. Maybe the place to start looking at improving someone is with themselves and their fellow Christians. Christians should really stop the war on Christianity before they destroy it completely.

      • Richard, I ask you the same question I asked teddy.

        What is the difference between you and Saudi Arabia’s morals police?

        I’ll be blunter..what is the difference between you and Muslim Fundamentalists?

    • No, it can’t. Are “LGBT Activists” telling people who they can love, marry, or what bathroom they can use? No, they are not. You are wrong. Period. You clearly didn’t even bother to consider the point John made.

  1. Scripture speaks of ‘straining at gnats and swallowing camels’ (Matthew 23:24)….many in the Christian community swallow the ‘camels’ of poverty, exploitation, elder abuse, child abuse, inequality, environmental degradation, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc…but strain on the ‘gnats’ of who uses which bathroom.

    My first job out of college was working for a railroad; because I had little seniority, I worked in a lot of freight yards (you have not lived until you have waded ankle-deep in iron ore pellets and various forms of coal [anthracite, bituminous, pea coal, etc] – one of my jobs was to weigh coal and ore cars for trains) where traditionally only men had worked and there was one (1) bathroom, often with no doors.
    I did not expect Conrail to build a bathroom just for me, and common sense and courtesy prevailed – if I walked in, and one of the guys was using the facilities, I simply excused myself and left – and the same happened if I was in the bathroom and one of the guys walked in – people just wanted to empty their output buffers and get on with their work.
    And – most women who have attended public events (or are the mothers of little boys) have seen the inside of a men’s room – many times, managers of large venues open the men’s rooms to women because of the long lines outside the women’s bathrooms. There have even been times when Dad wasn’t available, and a boy old enough not to want to use the women’s bathroom with Mom, but still very young had to be helped by Mom…and Mom’s attitude was: “Ain’t none of y’all got anything I haven’t seen before; my child is in here and needs help – deal with it”

    There are bigger fish to fry, I think…I’ve seen the postings from a lot of fathers who are concerned about their daughters being in restrooms and males in the guise of being transgender want to use the same facilities – I get the concern, but I have to say I’m thinking that the main thing on a transgender person’s mind is the emptying of the output buffers and not much else – public restrooms are not the most wonderful places to hang out in….

    • I’ve visited many unisex bathrooms in Europe and must say there was never even a suggestion of untoward behavior. Not toward me; not toward anyone else using the facility.

      Seems to me those worried about their sons and daughters are best advised to teach them at home what inappropriate rest-room behaviour looks like and how to put a stop to it — a good loud scream comes to mind.

      Not only are these so-called christians obsessed with other people’s “naughty parts,” I’ve seen and experienced all too many instances of “christian” adults behaving inappropriately toward children, and toward other adults for that matter. (One of the primary reasons I no longer declare as a christian, trying instead to walk the talk without fanfare)

  2. Thank you. Thank you. I can attest to this… No suffering person, in my 23 years of service, ever said to me “Excuse me? Are you a lesbian… Because if you are, I can’t accept your ear, your time, your compassion, or service”. It didn’t freaking matter to the ones who desperately needed it. Why should it be a point of contention for anyone else.

    • Yes, Star and Anchor…if I’m bleeding, or in the midst of a myocardial infarction, or a limb is broken, or I’m trapped in a vehicle, or in danger…I’m going to be glad for WHOMEVER shows up to help, and I won’t be wondering if they’re straight, gay, transgender, black, white, hot-pink-and-chartreuse, up, down, charmed, strange, top, bottom ….

      (the last six refer to types of quarks, by the way 😉 )

  3. Too bad that some cannot read this post and understand what John is talking about. I refer to Anonymous, that is a pathetic and homophobic view of real world humans. The world is composed of every variation there is and being LGBT is far more preferable than such narrow mindedness as to think ones self as better than someone else who doesn’t think the same medieval thoughts.

    • Grace from Jesus Christ is available today and it is available to those who will humble themselves to accept it. However this same Jesus who’s Grace you take advantage of will eventually return in judgment of those who shake their fist at the Father in arrogant rebellion of the purposeful way He has created them:
      “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13:40-43)
      Your window of Grace will not last indefinitely.

      • LH… –Yours is the real love. real love is honest, and tells the truth. those that really care, keep pointing to the Truth. Those that turn back to God, will remember you with gratitude! (I sure appreciate the lone Christian that told me the truth. I worshiped created things, not God). I could never re pay them.

        • @LGMarshall

          LGMarshall are you able to appreciate the arrogance of your own words? When did you become the endorsement authority for love? As a suggestion, you may wish to intersperse in your comments, ‘in my opinion’ or perhaps an, ‘I think’ or ‘it is my understanding that…’Do you not realise how utterly pious you come across? Where’s your Christian humility?

      • LH are your saying Gods Grace through Jesus Christ our Lord who said on the cross “forgive them for they know not what they do” has limits ?

        • Not limits. Responsibilities.

          “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” -Ephesians 2:8-9

          “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” -Romans 6:1-2

          • So grace is conditional rather than extended freely?

            I think a much richer view would be to watch a human being’s reaction to appreciating the grace God extends. In that case the “sinner” who has been “saved” would likely be moved from some place of gratitude, joy, and love emanating organically within themselves to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, nurse the ill, and on and on……

            When Jesus asked Peter if he loved him (as told in John 21), He was asking him to carry on His ministry.

            I understand that you may want to share your interpretation of your spiritual experience. I only ask if it isn’t out of balance to make that your only focus? Also when does passion get out of hand? Is anger, or worse yet, contempt towards others who don’t share your exact experience, the kind of expression you want to convey?

            I would expect that expressions of gratitude would be dominated by extending welcome, kindness, and compassion, in concrete as well as emotional ways.

            • I’m not sure if you’re addressing me, Tim Fisher, but no, grace is not conditional. It’s freely given, but the response after receiving it is to pursue Christ and the good works He has called us to do (the verses I posted from Ephesians 2). Jesus died for all our sins, and that gift is free for us, but it was not free for Him. He paid a huge price in order to be able to extend grace to us, and every time we willfully sin knowing what those sins cost Him, it’s just hurtful. Why would we want to do that to Him?

              I’m not angry at all, and I’m all about feeding the hungry and helping the sick, but again I’m not sure whether or not that was directed at me. Part of being a Christian is following Christ’s commands to help the poor and seek justice for the oppressed. Another part of being a Christian is pursuing holiness.

          • Sarah,

            You are absolutely right. We have a responsibility. We should not neglect our calling nor should we be hindered from pursuing Christ.

            When we look at what Jesus taught about our ‘calling’ in the parables each time he warns us about how we treat others.

            Paul had other fish to fry during his day. We have our own fish to fry today. Which means we must understand LGBTQ people better, that we are human in the same way as everyone else and the differences we have don’t make us unclean or unable to know God.

            The important lessons Jesus taught about sexual immorality was to not look at each other with lust and to not break our marriage vows. Faithfulness and respect and honor.

            Gay people can be faithful, lebsians can be respectful and trangender people can be honorable. Being LGBTQ doesn’t prevent us from being responsible.

            • Kathy,

              I agree with most of what you said. How we treat others is incredibly important since we’re called to love our neighbor and even our “enemy.” No one is too unclean or beyond grace since grace by definition is undeserved. And of course gay people can be respectful…they’re people like anyone else.

              The point of my comment is that if we love Christ and have committed to following Him, we will obey His commands (John 14:15, 21). He has commanded His followers, Christians, to pursue holiness and resist the temptation to sin (1 Peter 1:14-16, Hebrews 12). That’s part of the good works mentioned in Ephesians 2 and what I meant by responsibility. This obviously doesn’t apply to anyone who is not a Christian because they haven’t made that commitment and shouldn’t be held to something to which they haven’t agreed. But if someone truly loves and follows Christ, they will try to obey what His Word says about everything, including sexuality.

              • Thanks Sarah. It’s not clear to me what you think is sinful about being LGBTQ? Often we are painted with a broad brush without being given the opportunity to participate in fellowship equally with other Christians. Why am I immediately disqualified when I have done nothing wrong? And why am I treated with suspicion as soon as I share this truth about myself.? Why am I handed a list of dos and dont’s as soon as I step over the threshold? Why can’t the bible answer my questions about who and why I exist ?

                • It’s not really up to me to decide what is a sin and what isn’t. The answer to that can only be found in the Bible.

                  There are things I’ve had to give up in order to follow Christ. A lot of things, actually. But He is worth it. The answer to your last question is probably best found in Matthew 13:44-46. Is He worth it?

                  • Okay Sarah that is the formula answer. I have not found a single verse that prohibits me from marrying a woman. And that parable means so much more than discarding people. Wish I. could respond more now but those are the first thought that come to mind.

                    • I never said anything about discarding people. Ever. Those verses are about the realization that God is worth more than anything else, including our own desires. I told you I’ve had to give up a lot to follow Christ, but He is worth it. I’m asking you if He’s worth it to you. There are several verses that reveal that homosexuality is considered a sin in God’s eyes (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6). You have to decide whether or not a relationship with God is worth more than following your desires. It’s your choice. I can’t make you choose one way or the other, nor am I even the one asking you to decide, so please don’t get upset with me. It’s your choice, and I’m not going to hate you, prevent you from getting married, or force you to follow my beliefs. But I can tell you from personal experience that if you do decide to pursue Christ and holiness, it’s worth it. I hope you have a great day, Kathy.

                • That’s a common misconception, but He actually did in Matthew 19:

                  “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

                  He never specifically named homosexuality as a sin because He didn’t really need to. His ministry was mostly to Jews who already believed that homosexuality was a sin based on Levitical Law. That would be like asking why a politician today doesn’t base their whole platform on ending legalized slavery in America. The answer is that slavery is already illegal, so there’s no need. Paul, however, ministered mostly to Greeks and Romans who did practice homosexuality which is why he addressed it several times. Also the whole Bible is inspired by Jesus, so what Paul writes actually does come from Jesus.

                  • Sarah, I don’t post on this blog to try and force people to change their views or perspectives. I read and engage here to learn from others and to present, for what it’s worth, my own perspectives, and, counter-perspectives on what others have written.

                    First of all, just to add some context, I try very hard not to enter into scriptural debates. Scripture is subject to interpretation; it has to be Sarah because neither you nor I are God. So it stands to reason that our mind, intellect, cultural idiosyncrasies, upbringing, socio-political persuasions, cognitive abilities, personality, temperament, genetics, mental health, race identity, schooling, and many more factors influence the process of interpretation. Add to that, that the Bible was written a considerable time after Jesus earthly life and memory capacity or lack thereof come into play.

                    So, I’m relatively comfortable with you throwing biblical narratives at me, just don’t expect me to interpret them in the same way you do.

                    If you would like my Christian perspective as a gay man, ask me and get to know me. That way we can have a real two-way street encounter which I’m sure will benefit the both of us.

                    Blessings to you Sarah

                    • You made a factually incorrect statement, and I couldn’t help but reply when I saw it. That’s the professor in me coming out 🙂 I’m not trying to make you interpret anything any certain way or force you to change your beliefs. I’m sorry if that’s how you interpreted my statement. I just dislike misinformation. I would love to get to know you and better understand your perspective. I wish we could sit down and talk face-to-face instead of online because I know intent and tone are often misinterpreted this way. Blessings to you as well, Sean.

                  • Thanks Sarah! What a really lovely message; I appreciate it. I would love to talk face to face and openly with you one day. God works in mysterious ways…who knows. Big hug.

        • You are correct since grace is by definition undeserved. However, the commitment that comes after does come with conditions. That’s true of any commitment (any job, any membership, etc.). Since you haven’t made that commitment, you aren’t held to the conditions. But if you ever do experience the irresistible grace, you’ll find it’s so amazing and so beautiful that the commitment that naturally follows is worth whatever conditions may come with it.

          Grace and peace to you, Sera.

          • Sarah,

            As I said, I’m not a Christian, so the idea that I need a book or holy figure to follow in order to know grace is foreign to me. I would argue that what I’ve felt already is something that the phrase “irresistible grace” fits quite neatly. Before consciously realizing I’d been misidentified as male at birth, I was selfish to a fault, and relentlessly miserable. I suffered a persistent depression that came on fully with puberty, and did not leave until it dawned on me that I was actually a woman. I instantly and overwhelmingly in that moment felt an indescribable peace and warmth suffuse me, and it has not left since then. My default state flipped; from depressed to the point that I could literally not experience joy, to joyful to the point that I literally cannot experience depression. I went from a mechanical shell of a hollow nothing person, to a fully-formed woman, overflowing with love.

            Perhaps the fact that I did this without a book or organization or holy figure to guide me is also foreign to Christians. I don’t know. But what I do know beyond any doubt is this:

            I am a woman, and I am love.

            There is no need for me to formally commit to be what I am. There is no need for rules or restrictions on whom or how I love, because I am not trying to be or become anything. The greatest peace I’ve ever known came from my discovery of self. After that, in that peace, it was perfectly natural for me to move to help lift others into the same kind of joy. Not the joy of being trans (which is barely even a thing), but the joy of knowing and loving and accepting oneself so thoroughly that I have an overflowing abundance of those things, to share with the rest of the world. Without condition. Without exception.

            Thus, while I find the idea that my grace is not real grace because it does not follow an arbitrary set of rules to be as absurd on its face as the idea that my gender is not real because it does not follow an arbitrary set of rules, I accept with gratitude your wish of grace and peace upon me. I wish the same upon you, and everyone else here, and across the universe. Because I know how freeing it is to have both. How ordinary and beautiful. Just like me. Just like you.

            Be safe,

            Sera

            • Please do not reduce my faith or the grace God has given me to an “arbitrary set of rules.” That is not only untrue but also dismissive, hurtful, and insulting, none of which I believe you intended to be given your wish to help others find joy. Just as I already stated that I do not expect you to follow my beliefs since you have not made a commitment to do so, please offer me the same courtesy and don’t be so quick to slander the grace that has changed my life.

              I am very glad that you no longer find yourself in a place of depression, and I will never belittle your experiences. However, the irresistible grace I mentioned specifically refers to grace from God. All of us are separated from God by things we have done in our lives, such as the times we have hurt others (you spoke of past selfishness). But God has shown us grace by overlooking the fact that we often ignore Him or hate Him, coming to earth, dying for our sins, and coming back to life in order to defeat death. It is grace because He did all of that for us without us earning it or deserving it. It is irresistible because once I realized the truth in that message, I could not deny or it resist it. It has caused me to give up myself in order to follow Christ, and at this point in my life it has also caused me to give up my home, my culture, and my rights in order to follow His commands to help the poor and oppressed in a developing, war-torn country. That, and not some arbitrary set of rules, is what I speak of when I speak of “conditions” and “good works.” I follow Him and His commands because He first loved me and gave Himself up for me, and I do it because He is worth it.

              • Sarah,

                I apologize.

                You’re right, I definitely did not mean to be insulting or dismissive. Upon further reflection, I would, if it helps you feel better, qualify anyone’s beliefs (including my own) as arbitrary sets of rules. That is, what I should have said is “YOUR arbitrary set of rules” (as distinct from my own), but I think that would have probably been taken even worse, haha.

                I meant the phrase as shorthand for everyone being who they are, essentially. That is, if I’d grown up in a Muslim country, and knew no other way to think about God or spirituality, I would have adapted those rule sets, along with all the rest (such as gender roles and expectations), from among those available to me. In that sense, to some extent, even my identity as a transgender woman is arbitrary, by which I mean that had I grown up in a Native American culture in the late 1600s, I would most likely have identified myself as Two-Spirit, the nearest analog to who I am within that context. While I feel my identity as a trans woman is closer to reality than Two-Spirit, I recognize that that is true in no small part because I had more concepts from which to choose.

                The rest is, I feel, that we are more or less using different names for the same things. That is, you feel called in some sense to serve others, and for you, the lens through which you understand that call is Christianity. (Forgive me if that’s too forward or completely wrong, but this is not something I have made up for you and your sake, but how I understand myself, and thus, everyone else.) I would describe what I feel as a call to serve others, as well, except that I don’t believe in anyone who might be doing that kind of calling, because, in general, I want objective proof. If I have a spiritual set of rules, it’s probably nearest to Buddhism in this sense: my discovery of self was also the end of my previously permanent attachment to the idea of a separate self. My spiritual or religious belief that self-discovery is the key to everything else is not to suggest that I believe everyone should seek only to serve themselves, but rather that they will know when they have found themselves, because they will be at complete and utter peace. And a large part of that is understanding that there is no self. That there is nothing that you or I or anyone else can do that is completely separate from the rest of reality. That if you are in pain, then I am also in pain. That if you suffer, I also suffer. That if you exult, I also exult. That if you feel love, then I feel love.

                If you understand that truth best through the Christian lens, that’s great. If you require a personification as source for that sense of feeling called to a duty to serve others, I think that’s wonderful. And I mean all of this sincerely. I am not judging how you came to believe that your purpose is to love and serve others. For me, I require the absolute proof of personification as source for that sense of feeling called to a duty to serve others before I can accept it as true. I understand that truth best through an agnostic, empirical lens. This is probably part of why it took me so long to realize I was a woman in the first place; everything around me, all of the information available to me, never even presented that idea as a possibility.

                If that is still insulting or dismissive to you, I will have to come up with another way to explain how I understand all this. Please let me know.

                Be safe,

                Sera

                • Loving this thread! Whilst I identify as Christian I resonate more with your perspective Seranine. However, I’d like to ask a question, not to initiate in any way a pro-Christian argument at you (I have far too much respect for you Seranine) but out of complete curiosity. In your opinion what would constitute absolute proof?

                  • Sean,

                    Haha, I was definitely hoping nobody would ask me that! I suppose I should say that I require an empirically-derived body of proof. I like science. I like reproducible results given a certain set of parameters. In my case, with regard to my being trans, that was reliance upon a great many studies and literature about trans identity as I sought out my own truth, and feeling more and more like the answers I needed were already out there. I compared my own experience to what I was finding, accepted what fit, rejected what did not, and found that everything more or less lined up with the commonly accepted science on trans people in its current state. Equally important, I found that discredited theories about trans women in particular (such as Blanchard’s Typology and the idea of the autogynephilic transsexual) felt utterly inaccurate when I tried to fit myself into them; very much as I felt about trying to pretend at being a man, which I, unfortunately, did not try to seriously examine or question for most of my life.

                    In that way, I can see how it might relate to someone changing or choosing their religion. In a sense, it’s finding stories that resonate with us, and adapting them to our own lives. For me, in many cases, it’s not important whether the story is verifiably objectively true, or apocryphal, or complete fiction, when it comes to transmitting ideas. For example, I just wrote a massive deconstruction of The Matrix Trilogy on my blog:

                    http://seranine.blogspot.com/2016/03/what-is-the-matrix.html

                    But the single greatest reason I don’t believe in any particular religion, that is, that I don’t accept as historical fact what I understand as fable or parable, is that I have no objective proof that it happened, and I have more reason to believe it is fable than fact. The reason Thich Nhat Hanh’s flavor of Buddhism has any appeal to me at all is that is has built into it the idea of taking what one can from text or conversation or meditation, without any requirement that one acknowledge or even consider whether there is any factual historical basis. It has built in protections against becoming too attached to the Letter, at the expense of the Spirit.

                    Without meaning to offend anyone here, I view religion as a form of culture. That is, without having been told the story of Jesus, without having been exposed to a long line of ever-evolving Christian history and lore, one would simply not know it. That feeling of being called to a higher duty, of being born for a purpose, or anything else like that, would have found some other expression. It could have been in Islam, or Hinduism, or music, or atheism, or gardening, or some journey through any combination of any number of things.

                    The reason I qualify that as different from gender is that some system of gender expression (including acceptable and unacceptable variants of those expressions) appears in every human culture. To be clear, I don’t know whether some form of what we would call religion appears in every human culture, or if that culture would necessarily agree that what they have that we call religion should be called religion.

                    But the nearest analogy I can think to make is this:

                    transgender : gender :: Christianity : religion

                    And yet, spontaneous occurrence of transness appears worldwide, irrespective of culture, while Christianity occurs only when one is brought into contact with it memetically. Simply, transness appears spontaneously; Christianity does not. For me, documentation of things like the appearance of some kind of transness or genderqueerness across and without regard to cultures constitutes proof and/or validation that what I am feeling is real, natural, human. It’s led me through a lot of logic trails in pursuit of gender, and I am satisfied with what I’ve found. Without it, I would still be trans. I would just be trans as I was before — lacking any way to express it; miserable, without knowing why.

                    Again, without meaning to be disrespectful, I view Christian lore (and the mythos of any religion) as a massive and really old fanfic, and I view modern discourse on it to be very much like people arguing over any other favorite story of theirs, for similar reasons. The very best stories resonate with a wide audience, and they do so in ever-so-slightly different ways for each member. Which is why we get some people really intent on insisting that their interpretation is the only right one, because when a story that big and that old has been passed on for that long, it’s bound to produce interpretations that are in nearly direct opposition to each other. And yet, those interpretations are based on the same source text, and that source text has a point of origin. It did not appear spontaneously, verbatim, universally. BUT, similar things did.

                    Spirituality and gender are both human constants, but they are expressed in culturally-specific ways.

                    I feel like I’m babbling and not making much sense, but that’s good, because it means we are struggling to describe things that defy description, and that’s always a good exercise.

                    Anyway, I know that saying “I don’t mean to offend, BUT” doesn’t mean that I will not have offended anyone. So if you are offended or feel belittled or anything, and require a direct apology and acknowledgment from me about that, I’m happy to give it. I’m not here to judge you or mock you. I’m here because Christianity and transgender people are the topics of the original post, and because the discussion has been surprisingly civil for such a thing. I’m here to help you understand me. To a lesser extent, I’m here to understand Christianity, because while I’m satisfied with my understanding of religion in general, and Christianity specifically, I’m always happy to get to know people where and as they are. I’m not here because I feel attacked, and I want to defend myself. I’m here because I know we’re all more the same than we are different, and I stay because I feel welcome, so far, for the most part.

                    Be safe,

                    Sera

                    • Thank you Seranine. I think I understand your perspective, and, yes, it does make perfect sense to me.

                      I found very interesting the concept of ‘spontaneity’ within the environment, as something which can be examined and researched as evidence, which, in turn, helps to define an objective truth. You’ve clearly done your research!

                      Am I correct in saying that your positionality is predominantly Positivist? Religion attempts to ‘prove’ through positivism – Christian scientists adopt this approach towards miracles and I think most of the bible messages for example. The Catholic Church also has a robust scientific approach to miracles. However, it is virtually impossible, at least in my opinion, to use a positivist approach to religious research, as most of the ‘evidence’, is already, from the outset, absolutely riddled with researcher bias. You cannot actually control and manipulate the source variables because there aren’t any for you to examine. Hence, from a purely scientific research perspective, the central tenet of an omnipresent and omnipotent God would be completely written off. There is no objective scientific way of proving this.

                      Enter faith…I guess I’m not so much positivist, more relativist/pragmatic. My ‘truths’ do not require a formula that I can use to predict the outcome of an experiment. My truths are created in the minds of people shared and embedded in social constructs. However, this can only define God, as you rightly suggest, in terms of myths and fables. To a degree I think God, or at least the concept of God, is a social construct, and can be described as folklore or fable. However, this doesn’t make the construct an un-truth. I’m sure critical thinking theory researchers would very much slap my wrist with that. Deconstruct and find the truth behind the fable, I hear them say!

                      Anyway now look who’s babbling! At the end of the day perhaps what we are all trying to define is, truth, and that is an age old debate which will go on forever. However, what I always say to fundamentalist Christians is that to claim ownership of absolute truth is not helpful to the debate at all.

                      Really interesting stuff Seranine! I have so much more to share but probably said enough for now. Very much enjoying this thread.

                  • Sean,

                    It looks like we’ve hit the Reply threading limit; I don’t have a button to Reply to your last comment.

                    I had to go look up Positivism on wikipedia, because I’d never heard of it before. Based on what’s on that page, I’d say the closest thing to my philosophy from among those choices is Logical Positivism. But more than that, I’d go off the page entirely and over to Empiricism. I know I most often qualify myself as an Agnostic Empiricist, but adding “Agnostic” is largely as a kindness to religious people, because to me, it’s implied in the “Empiricist” part. I think that Atheists are necessarily pre-emptive science denialists, because they say God does not exist until proven. Which is nonsense, of course. Truth is truth, whether we understand it (yet) or not. That is, gravity exists whether we agree that it exists or not. It’s not sentient. It cannot care whether we believe in it or not, or even whether we’re aware of it. It simply is.

                    In the end, for gender or religion, I think that to the extent we are all in conflict, it’s because we are getting lost in semantics as we try to define the ineffable. We are taking something deeply personal and organic, and trying to define it in a systemic way, and the fact is that they both defy that kind of categorization.

                    I definitely have felt like I’m stupidly fortunate with how my entire gender revelation and transition so far has gone. And yet, I resist the urge to say I feel “blessed,” because that necessarily implies an embodied personification who is doing the blessing. I resist that because I think it is deeply dangerous to feel I am chosen in any way, and conclude that I am therefore elevated above anyone else, that my experience is more true or right than theirs.

                    I also feel “called,” in some sense, to be as kind as I can to everyone, but that isn’t the right word, either, because it also implies an embodied personification who is doing the calling. Same thing, there. My path to this point, where I feel this way, and reach for kindness continuously as a goal, was very circuitous. It was tortured and miserable and I do not recommend it to anyone. I don’t want to buy into the idea that misery is a necessary component of, I don’t know, enlightenment, I guess? For lack of a better word? But I also don’t want to buy into the idea that what I now recognize as fundamentally true is necessarily “teachable” in the traditional sense. I do think that it requires some element of experiential learning. But to presume that what worked for me must work for anyone else is also dangerous, because then it implies that there is a “wrong path” for all, when really I’d be talking about a “wrong path” for me personally.

                    I cannot accept a personified God because that elevates me in a way I do not think is true. Especially when it is argued that this is the “one true God,” when so many others are essentially arguing the same thing about THEIR interpretation of “God.” I think that the belief that all of reality was constructed for us is incredibly dangerous, and leads to shortsighted things like denying the reality of climate change. What makes me more important than a tree? Or an amoeba? Why should I be concerned at all with whether I am or not? Why should I believe that I am Right (or Righteous) in a way that my “enemy” also believes about themselves? How can I? One of us must be wrong, and if one of us must be wrong, in this construct, I am hard pressed to conclude anything other than that all of us are wrong when we think such things.

                    It is, ironically, such thoughts about whose interpretation is more right that I would say lead us all further from God. God is the pool of things that I know but cannot understand. God is my name for all those ineffable shared feelings, no matter the creature. The desire to be joyful and find happiness, coupled with the desire to avoid pain and needless suffering. The same things that the tree wants, that the amoeba wants. The same things that the black trans lesbian woman and the white cis straight man want. As I see the fallacy of a belief in a truly separate self, I feel I must help all of them as much as I can, because they are me, and I am they. I cannot do that if I impose who and what I am upon them and say that they must interpret reality my way, or they are doomed. I must meet everyone where and as they are.

                    I have thus found that I don’t especially care HOW someone gets to the point where they are doing their best to be as kind as they can to others. I mostly care that they DO. When someone says “Merry Christmas!” to me, I don’t flip out and say “HAPPY HOLIDAYS, YOU PRESUMPTUOUS PRICK.” I say, “thank you!” It’s a contextual kindness, and I don’t need to challenge the context to accept it. Conversely, when someone says “accept Jesus or be damned,” I say “the damned need kindness, so I’ll just stay here with them, thanks.” It’s a contextual threat, and I don’t need to challenge the context to refuse it. It’s how that person understands reality, so I must meet them there, and interact with them as they are, or not at all. I accept them. I have no need to convert them to or convince them of anything. Whether they think exactly as I do, or exactly in opposition to that, we are still connected, and we cannot be otherwise.

                    The debate around whether or what God is will never end because what anyone would grasp at defining and call “God” will always defy definition. My approach is just to leave it that way, to refuse to absolutely define or codify it. I can’t know everything. I don’t need or even want to, really. How dull life would be if I did. And how frustrating.

                    Be safe,

                    Sera

                    • “The only time Jesus ever mentioned sex in any capacity was to personally challenge people’s hearts, not to sanction them to impose their own preferences upon anyone else. It’s as simple as that.”

                      We aren’t imposing our preferences on anyone else. They are not pushing for a transgender bathroom, nor to have completely enclosed separate, one person washrooms with walls from floor to ceiling, and a door with trim and no cracks. I would have no problem with that!

                      They are imposing their preferences on us: “we want to use the washroom you use!”

                      Stop imposing your preferences on us!

  4. Somehow I can’t shake myself of the impression that John states so eloquently: that those who scream the loudest about the abomination of being LGBTQ do so because curing the true ills of the world – injustice, inequality, compassionless living – are far too challenging to contemplate, and the better world that would result too uncomfortable for them to live in. Lazy witchhunts indeed. Craven dog-whistling indeed.

    • This is how Satan has bound people. He has mad dogs of them. All he has to do is dangle a treat in front of them and their eyes fixate on it so intently and so intensely that nothing else in the world matters to them but that little treat. And while their eyes are fixed on that treat Satan devours all of mankind and few Christians step in to help mankind against that devouring because their eyes are on the treat.

  5. Thank you for this important post, John. My daughter’s “gay agenda” is to rise at the crack of dawn, eat, shower, dress, bus to work, come home for quick bite and to pick up her car, drive to a coffee shop and meet with a troubled teen (she used to be a youth pastor, though now is in financial services), then come home and read the gospels, which is what her springtime focus has been, do her physical therapy exercises and a little editing of Bible studies that she does on contract for a Christian University, then collapse into bed. Yep, she’s a real threat for sure.

    • Anonymous: That article has nothing to do with a woman being assaulted in a restroom, so I really don’t see that it is relevant.

    • The article ended before it started talking about Transgender men and women. Is there a point you are trying to make. You’re not doing a really good job.

    • Anonymous, I am someone who wants to change society, AND a survivor of sexual abuse. And as others have pointed out, the article has nothing to do with where I toilet or shower. When people buy into an idea of what I must be that has nothing to do with who I actually am, I feel sad. Invisible. I would like to be able to exist as I am, and be seen for who I know myself to be.

      I am a person, not an idea. I am a person, not a loose collection of demographics. I encourage you to get to know some actual trans people, like me, before deciding to buy into ideas you’ve been sold about us, sight unseen.

    • I imagine that someone who is not a Christian would potentially not see Christians pushing for the greater good of mankind. But those of us who are Christians very clearly see the efforts to feed the hungry and clothe the poor and mend the sick.

      One thing to keep very close to mind is that Christians are primarily called on to care for one another. All those “one another” verses you see in the Bible? That’s Christians taking care of Christians, not everybody in the world. It is the very specific thing that is called for in the Bible. AND THEN, if there be an abundance, we take care of the reprobate and those of this world. So then we see thousands of Christian missionaries, all over the entire Earth, caring for the sick, the weary, the weak, the hungry, the homeless, and the poor. We see lay Christians caring for their pagan neighbor, chipping in to help their apostate co-worker, pitching in to help the unchurched widow and the lonely orphan. And you see them doing these things FAR more than their selfish liberal counterparts who trust the government to do such things and rally for that very thing.

      You obviously won’t see the media covering the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on these things by Christians. A liberal media would never give credit for that to the people they despise. Nor would liberals give their own time and money for those things. They believe their tax dollars are plenty enough for their “charity.”

      So, yes, the media spins what they want to spin, and focuses on what they will, such as the Christian who believes men should not go into women’s locker rooms. They’ll ignore the huge amount of good they do on top of it and worry more about the little things. It certainly makes for better news in a secular world.

      And Pastors such as John Pavlovitz will remain short-sighted as they effuse a liberal dogmatic mixed with a twinge of secular humanism and progressive liberal Christianity. His quote likely misses the point. His teaching most certainly does.

      • “for their pagan neighbor, chipping in to help their apostate co-worker, pitching in to help the unchurched widow and the lonely orphan”

        Judge much?

        The church isn’t a country club. The purpose of the church isn’t within the walls. It’s the loving of everyone…showing the love Jesus to everyone. You didn’t see Jesus hanging with the church of His time. No. He wanted nothing to do with them. You sir are the problem. Not the answer. But I bet you look really cute with your frowny face.

        • Matthew 7:1-5

          [ A Simple Guide for Behavior ] “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

      • Steve Epps: “You obviously won’t see the media covering the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on these things by Christians. A liberal media would never give credit for that to the people they despise.” Good Christians should NOT seek Credit. As Jesus taught you.

        The World Is Not a Stage
        Matthew 6 “Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.

        2-4 “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.

      • Steve,

        I am a transgender woman, and not a Christian. I would describe my religious alignment as agnostic empiricism. That is, I believe in observable evidence and provable fact.

        I help others because I can, and reason that I therefore should. I don’t seek praise or fame or recognition or recompense for it. I don’t do it for an extrinsic reward, because I am not motivated by that. I don’t need passage to some holy place that is filled with light, where no one ever suffers or dies. Why go to such a place, why worry so much about how to get there, when people need the light of compassion and kindness here, now? Why worry about my eternal damnation for being born as I am, when I could help others suffer less while I yet live?

        I don’t need to be given grace. I just need to be grace. So that’s what I try to be, all day, every day. And when I die, everyone whose life I touched, everyone to whom I brought joy, and kindness, and peace will carry that with them, and pass it on to everyone around them.

        I will be forgotten. I will live forever. Just like anyone else.

        Be safe,

        Sera

  6. There are many Christians who selflessly give of their time and money to care for others and yes our media by and large ignores this because it is owned by corporate America and they would not promote anything that would disturb the masses from making more money for them… It’s about greed not liberal religious agendas. I’m sure that true Christians worry little about where people pee. They are too busy serving. Having come from a conservative Christian upbringing… I chuckle at your use of the term reprobate. Smug religious people who sling words like this were the ones for whom Jesus had the most scathing remarks.

    • You completely missed the usage of the word, Keith.

      Reprobate: a. Unworthy, b. Unacceptable, c. Seen as evil, d. Ignored.

      We Christians go out and find these people and make the gospel known to them so they a. feel worthy to stand before the King, b. accepted by the Saviour, c. righteous before their Maker, and d. loved by their Master.

      • Steve Epps: Romans 14:6-9 What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

        10-12 So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:

        “As I live and breathe,” God says,
        “every knee will bow before me;
        Every tongue will tell the honest truth
        that I and only I am God.”
        So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

  7. Step, step, step, step.
    There’s an echo in here.
    I know you where here a moment ago,
    because you stopped to judge me.
    Knock, knock, knock.
    No… No one’s home. It’s locked.
    Woe, this heart sure is empty.

  8. No sir, I’m quite familiar with the point of this word, but understanding the meaning of a word and actions taken by the chosen are not always aligned. I will assume that you understand and use this word appropriately and that as you bear witness to your Master, you interact with the reprobate in all love and humility. Assisting the Great Shepherd is dirty work. I acknowledge that there are many who enter in to this work with love and humility, who champion the lowly, the down trodden and the marginalized. For these mostly invisible brothers and sisters I have great respect .

  9. Hey about a year ago I shed my faith completely and became an atheist. I didn’t exactly happen overnight. It was a long process and during that process I took a few looks back at Christianity and I disliked most of it and the things I didn’t dislike I thought were nonsense. Except this blog, I found it and as the militant angry atheist I am I read every post and I like it. You talk of a Christianity I wish Christianity was but most of isn’t and even fewer Christians seem to have ever asked themselves that question they should ask themselves “What would Jesus do?”

    I am the angry atheist here and I would never dare write publicly what you just wrote and I live in a very secular country in Northern Europe. That is comparing the Christian LGBT bashing with the porn industry =). You are a brave man.

  10. Here’s the problem as I see it: Way too many people are focused on the “bathroom protection” part of these bills. A lot of religious conservative people already equate homosexuality with pedophilia, so they assume that, without this legislation, child molesters will have free reign to use whatever bathroom they want in order to do harm to children. That’s not happening on any mass scale, but it’s the sensationalism that catches these people’s attention.

    Read some of the other portions of these bills and that’s where the damage is done. For starters, the bills override the non-discrimination clauses that other cities and municipalities have already passes. In Mississippi’s case, someone could use “religious freedom” to deny just about anyone a service just because they don’t like them. Tennessee is actually considering legislation that would allow counselors and therapists the right to refuse their services to someone under the guise of “religious freedom.” Of course, we all know who’s being targeted.

    It’s funny how the “sin” of homosexuality seems to be the only one the religious right focuses on.

  11. To be a Christian today all We have to do is go to church a couple times a year, drop a couple bucks in the offering, try to be good and tell everyone else how “not good” they are. After all, We must be Christians because We’re so much better than… those people. Besides, just look at all the Things We have… God surely has blessed Us, so We must be doing Gods work. Oh, and when We fornicate, well, that’s no big deal because We feel good about it. Besides, We’re forgiven.

    Hey God, what are you going to do for Me? What? You want Me to demonstrate grace, mercy, compassion, and love? Isn’t that your job?

  12. Your blog subtitle is ‘Stuff that needs to be said’. And this piece fits that bill perfectly. Well said John,

    The Church in this day is just as sex-obsessed as the ‘world’ they want to be different from and whose sex-obsession they rail against; this of course simply drips irony.

    It’s pathetic, to be honest.

  13. It is remarkble that otherwise intelligent self-professed christians deny science if it conflicts with their religious dogma. Galileo was nearly burned at the stake for saying the earth went around the sun instead of vice-versus. It took the church 400 years to officially forgive him. Now these modern-day Pharisees are up in arms about LGBT people but science KNOWS this is a NATURAL trait, like being left-handed. Not typical, but totally natural. In some species of sheep, for example, homosexuality occurs in 7% to 10% of the rams. This trait is found in virtually every species! In other words, God created these people and creatures that way, but the Pharisees are screaming, in essence, that God made a mistake and THEY need to correct it somehow.

    Truth is truth, whether they choose to believe it or not.

  14. John, you are what Christians should be. We need to stop judging others and fix our on faults. Wish the Christian Evangelicals would be as rabid against child abuse and violence against women. Unfortunately so many of them are guilty of those “sins” so they won’t go there.

  15. If I love in a manner not only worthy of the recipient but in the light of the One whose given me the capacity to love; what sin is in that? I rarely quote scripture but, “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer; but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.” and “The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.” I’ve got my heart right with God regarding my gayness; because I’m in right relationship with him. Where does judgment from man if it that?

    • Nicely said,SA, this is a matter of conscience and what does not harm is harmless. Unfortunately this issue is out of hand and is hurting the weak in faith; we can’t seem to find the leadership out there in the traditional camp who is willing to stop the condemnation and repair this wound between brothers and sisters. Instead they want to keep making a false distinction between us because they won’t believe what love is or what good fruit is. They would rather believe that LGBT christians are reprobate before they believe we are just like them redeemed and saved by his grace.

      • Can’t we begin with the definition of love and good fruit? Why all this rehash. I learned in kindergarten not to put someone down to build ones self up. I’m going to a recovery meeting and I can’t wait to see what else is posted.. Peace be to you and good luck… they’re out in force. I’m grateful you’re on the “right” side of love.

  16. Anonymous — I read the article. I can not help but feel sad that these women were abused. That is experience that has left them all with a form of PTSD. And that is not to be trivialized.

    But it is clear to me that the “bathroom bills” and trans folks have nothing in common with the experiences of these four women.. I googled “do any sexual abuse victims speak out for or against bathroom bills”. The article you linked showed up. So did this:

    mediamatters.org/blog/2016/03/28/a-sexual-assault…the…/209572

    In the article you linked there is this quote:

    “I am not saying that transgender people are predators. Not by a long shot. What I am saying is that there are countless deviant men in this world who will pretend to be transgender as a means of gaining access to the people they want to exploit, namely women and children. It already happens.”

    The problem is, “It already happens” has no attribution by the victim. And any journalist knows that assertions need to be verified and contextualized, And there is absolutely no data to support this assertion.

    Just because someone was traumatized by an experience, — say someone who dressed as a clown so they could abuse children — we don’t go passing laws and criminalizing everyone who dresses in a clown outfit. If the victim finds clowns trigger their PTSD, they need to avoid them.

    It is difficult for me to not feel suspicious of the motives of those who use these women, abused by men, none of whom is said to have been dressed in a feminine manner, to assert an equivalency with these bathroom bills.

  17. This is all B. S. so I am flushing it……what a load of baloney in the name of enlightened Christianity. Go to some other cause with your need to share your thoughts…ick.

    • Whoa!!!! Really!!!

      You begin with an ad hominem and check out projecting your “need” to share thoughts onto those of us (me among others) who actually tried to carry on a conversation with you . You might check the time and “reply” location of the post of yours that started this particular thread.

      I thought I was giving you the respect to actually see if you would engage in discourse thoughtfully.

      Obviously to me at least, you are not interested in a two way street. I find it strains my sense of why God gave me a brain to imagine “ditto heads” and echo chambers as the intended vision.

      It will be interesting to see if you really do “flush” this site. Or, if you expect the rest of us to leave the table. I think if the latter is the case you are visiting the wrong site. John has clearly been challenging us with his posts to be as inclusive Jesus was. It would have been far easier to not waste my time writing responses. But that attitude really DOES discount you.

      And the “ick” factor is revealing. I hope you at least comprehend how that tells me so much about you: at a minimum that you get angry and frustrated quite easily. I don’t know how else to interpret that other than that I disgust you and am somehow contemptible.

      There is a proverb (15:1) that may fit this situation:

      “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”

      I find most of the energy here to be positive and affirming. I intend to stick around and relish it.

    • Anonymous. Come on over to my blog and see some real enlightened Christianity. What are you going to do when you live in an American society where every nonfundie Christian is operating a blog just like mine. This is the blog that YOU and every other “so-called” Christian just like YOU built with your own hands. This is all of your own hatred of nonfundies reflected back to you in the mirror I have set up for you. Look closely at yourself:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

  18. If any of you would like to get to know an actual trans woman, I invite you to do so via my public figure Facebook page, currently accessible via seranine.com. I am not a Christian, if that matters to you, and I doubt I ever shall be, but I love all , without condition or exception, and do my best to be love. If your aim is to extinguish girls like me from the face of the Earth, whether literally or spiritually, I want you to understand just who it is you’re destroying. Get to know me, first, and then decide if I have really earned your hatred. Thank you.

    Be safe,

    Sera

    • Beautifully said Seranine! Those wishing your demise have a very warped understanding of love. What they don’t appear to appreciate is that they will be held to account for every single word spoken against your soul, the very soul they profess was fashioned by the God they pray to. When they say they love you in Christ and want your salvation, what they are really trying to say is that they cannot come to terms with their own uncomfortable feelings of prejudice and cognitive dissonance, so they stand on the pulpit of judgment, put themselves on a par with God, and deliver words from the Bible out of context and with much spin, in an attempt to convince you that they really do care and love you. What they should do is reflect on their own lives and deal with their toxic concept of love first, and stop behaving like hypocrites. Jesus will not thank them for judging you, but will probably lovingly explain that whatever judgment they ruled against any of His creation in His name, was made against Him.

      PS – if it’s any consolation, I think you probably follow Christ’s message of love with more integrity and honesty than those judging you.

    • Sera — Pull up a chair and take a seat. Glad you found your way here.

      Someone linked me to one of John’s blogs almost a year ago. I followed along for a long time before feeling the desire to join in and engage. Most of the energy here is affirming. And John sets a richly interesting table. I don’t know how he keeps up the pace. But there is a lot to take in and digest.

      I checked out your blogspot. It will take me a while to read through your posts. I know nothing about some of the subject matter. Guess I show my age. But I do know some “gamers” , at least enough to understand it takes a sharp intellect and rich imagination.

      Speaking for myself — welcome.

  19. This doesn’t happen in the church I attend. People need to know who Jesus is, be baptized, and understand responsibilities of following Christ. All your above subjects may be alluded to occasionally, but none bring honor to the Lord. There’s not enough time to preach the gospel, the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection and focus on titillating topics.

  20. Someone mentioned that Jesus was crucified because of his teaching and that is partly the reason. But the whole and complete reason was that the men in authority were threatened by his message. It called them out for missing the point of Gods’ commandments. What he said would have meant a loss of power and money to them.

    • Exactly. The Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical scribes and pharisees in this country have lost just about all of the power they once thought they had here in the United States. They are angry about it—and they have targeted the weak and suffering LGBTQ community to take out their anger and vengeance upon—because they know that if they try to take it out on any other large American entity—they are likely to get their butts kicked. I find it amazing that these self-appointed lions of God seek out the weakest kid on the playground to rip to shreds. Why don’t you go pick on one of the large Christian denominations here in the United States and see how far you get with your vengeance agenda?

      Tell you what. I want you to do something this Sunday morning. Pick a United Methodist Church in your town. Stand on the sidewalk in front of their building. Repeat these words carefully to yourself:

      “The people in this building think lowly of me. They are the second largest Protestant denomination in the United States. The Roman Catholic Church is far larger, and they already despise people like me because I have publicly pissed on them for the past 100 years. If these people ever decide to turn on me and people like me by the millions, we are liable to get our religious asses kicked and end up living under a moist rock for the rest of our lives.”

  21. I have a question here, and I demand an answer from all the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals here:

    “Can you show me the memo where Jesus gave you a license to act on his behalf to execute judgement and vengeance upon the people in this world you regard as sinners?”

    Show me the words of Jesus listed in red in the New Testament, and show me where they are addressed to you individually by name.

  22. One word: Persecution.

    Avoiding it at ALL COSTS…..and REDEFINING IT.

    Persecution is construed to mean:

    – The schools, universities and colleges are not teaching what I and other like-minded people think and believe
    – The television shows, radio programs, movies, plays and other media do not proclaim what I and other like-minded people think and believe
    – The politicians do not enact laws that enforce what I and other like-minded people think and believe
    – The average person in the street does not regurgitate what I and other like-minded people think and believe

    Persecution becomes having a society in which PEOPLE WHO DO NOT THINK AND BELIEVE THE SAME WAY actually have the UNMITIGATED GALL to EXIST.

    And so Scripture is used as a sledgehammer against all who do not think and believe the same way.

    Well, The Lord Jesus Christ came to a place (Earth) where the MAJORITY of the inhabitants did not think and believe the way He did….and He told those who came over to His viewpoint that they would NEVER be in the MAJORITY, and that their country would be SOMEWHERE ELSE…but that they were to live among those who DID NOT THINK AND BELIEVE THE SAME WAY as ambassadors and people of peace, always being eager to ENCOURAGE BUT NOT _______________FORCE____________________ others to believe.

    And the Christians who so often express their hatred and dislike for government seem to be the first ones in line to get the GOVERNMENT to make sure they aren’t persecuted by enacting laws and creating a society for THEM and NO ONE ELSE.

    Fundamentalist/Evangelicals…..your whole raison d’etre seems to be NOT to know what it feels like to be one of the “out crowd” and among the dispossessed of the Earth – you want to sit in the seats of power, comfort and influence; you want to walk over everyone else.

    Guess what? The people being walked on have something to say and do about that.

    • Yattwood… gosh I love you. And I don’t say that lightly. I want to keep you close, so close.

      And this entire entry with comments is perfect. If I could print it out and frame it, I would. I am so honored to be in the presence of true, articulate Christ-filled
      believers and doers… fighting back against oppressives. I can walk out my door being affirmed today in order to affirm others.

      “Greatly they have afflicted me from my youth,
      yet they have not prevailed against me.
      Psalm 129:2

    • I agree with everything yattwood said there, that was very well thought out. Are you on Facebook, I’d like to add you as a friend.

  23. Well said John.
    Also Why is Black Christian America silent on this issue as its only white Christian America coming up with the hate preaching of American Jesus discrimination
    Black Christians would never ever support a discrimination which once was law for black people right!
    Whatever the answer, I’m clear that other countries have the view that American Jesus Christians are fanatical and crazy. And offensive with there bullying and preaching. STOP making it up as you go along… Christians around the world don’t like American Jesus.

    • David, you have some pretty keen insight into these matters for being an Aussie. Glad you chimed in on this one – well done.

  24. Finally a piece I can relate to on the evangelical right! TY John, in my humble opinion you’re a genius with the way you use words to hit the nail right on target with the hammer. God Bless yond your family richly!

  25. Star and Anchor: Thank you…and I love you, also….keep you head up!

    David: There are those who say there is no equivalence between being black and being LGBTQ, but when I observe LGBTQ folks being afraid to go certain places for fear of discrimination, and when I see LGBTQ folks not seeing their stories and experiences reflected in the public marketplace of ideas……as a black woman, it feels all too familiar.

  26. I can’t believe that he really believes that Jesus would bake a special wedding cake to celebrate a gay marriage – have to wonder what bible he is reading. Yes, Jesus’ message was love, but he never hesitated to speak the truth. He loved and forgave and clearly spoke “go and sin no more”. Before a person can “sin no more” they have to know what God/Jesus considers sin. They certainly won’t know what it is from the movies and t.v. shows that are out there today so how will they know, if someone doesn’t tell them. Whenever a Christian speaks the truth, they are immediately labeled judgemental so that the guilt will be turned back on them. The bible also clearly states that “my people perish for lack of knowledge” and that knowledge is not coming from society anymore. Truth is not always hate – sometimes it’s actually life giving.

  27. It is so obvious that LGMarshall, Sarah, Layton Holcomb, Steve Epps and others here named Anonymous are not comprehensive readers and/or have not read the Bible and/or have no real knowledge of who or how the Bible was written. LGMarshall seems to believe that Jesus wrote the whole Bible, so she gives us quotes from the Old Testament and credits them to Jesus. I really have to wonder if she is aware the the Old Testament is basically about the Jewish people, not Christians, and that it’s books are basically the foundation for the Jewish faiths, the Muslim faiths and the beginnings of the Christian faith. And I really have to wonder that none of these people seem to be aware of how and when the New Testament was written. It was NOT written by Jesus – it was written by other people about Jesus – and some of it was written up to 200 years after Jesus walked the earth. We are talking about a certain amount of oral history here and since life spans were shorter then, we’re also talking about several generations passing down the stories that became parts of the New Testament. Taking all of that into account, each of the Books in the New Testament about Jesus are very close to each other with minor differences in details and certain additional and/or missing parts to each. Only if you read – and I mean actually read and study each of the books – some things are very obvious. Jesus never said anything about starting a new religion, He simply wanted everyone to be a better Jew – each and every sermon and parable and answer to questions and everything that He said repeats over and over the same message – love each other, take care of each other, give to those in need, whether pagan or sinner or leper or male or female. He reminded His followers not to judge others because many men sat at His Father’s table (or inhabitated rooms in His Father’s house) – and He reminded all that those that prayed and preached simply in order to be “seen” praying or preaching were not the people His Father listened to – rather it was the ones who went into a closet, shut the door and prayed one on one with His Father who would be the ones His Father listened to. I have no respect for the supposed Christians like the ones I named at the beginning of this comment but I do feel sorry for them for they are missing the true love of Christ and I sincerely hope they can see their way to finding the true Jesus and making peace with Him and His Father before they have the very rude awakening that will be theirs at the Gate of St. Peter.

    • PaulaMS….God (Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit) is mentioned in every book from Genesis 1 (‘God created the heavens & earth’) to Revelation 22 (The Grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people’). The Word of God (bible) is revealed to His followers by The Holy Spirit. (to non believers it is gibberish and confounding).

      There may be many religions. but there is only 1 Faith. Faith in the God of the bible.

      [There is no book in the bible that does not have Jesus’ finger prints on it. The Holy Spirit, makes it plain to all who walk in the light, and no longer have veils over their eyes. ]

      The Bible is the story of God’s People. (even pagans converted in the Old Testament to the God of the Israelites.) It’s a continuum. The bible is the story of how God works in the lives of His people. (Jew & Gentile).

      There is no difference between Old Testament & New Testament believers. God cares about one thing: Faith in Him. Salvation has ALWAYS been , and always will be, thru Faith, not works.

      Jesus’ message wasn’t, ‘Be a better Jew’. His message was, ‘Believe in Me, worship Me, Follow Me, give glory to Me.’

      All Believers can easily call themselves adopted Jews, and they would be correct. Because of God’s mercy we have been grafted into the Life Giving Vine of Israel, thru Faith by God’s Grace. Yeshua.

      I have a biblical world view, as opposed to a secular world view.

      • @LGMarshall

        LGMarshall, there were many, many more gospels written which did not see the inside of what Christians call the New Testament. If they were all written by witnesses, what do you think makes some God inspired and others not God inspired. Can you explain to me what human ‘measuring stick’ is able to demonstrate that one person’s hand is being inspired and, in effect, being led by God Inspiration and another is not!

  28. I think you’re completely missing the point. This is a safety issue. Open bathrooms open the door to predators masquerading as LGBT people. If using a bathroom based on anatomy is genuinely a problem for some, then let’s look for a solution that’s safer for all. If not, I plan to regularly accompanying my daughters to the bathroom to ensure their safety.

  29. If the problem is sexual predation, we should legislate for that. Except that we already have. Which means this has nothing to do with sexual predation, and everything to do with simple ignorance.

    The statistically validated “solution” to this manufactured problem is to continue extending and enforcing non-discrimination law for LGBT people. That is already in place and proven to have better outcomes for all in many places across the country and the world.

  30. “Just once they’d like to see us claim “religious liberty” compelling us to feed children or curb gun violence or combat Cancer—or anything remotely life affirming. Instead we use it to withhold wedding cakes and police public toilets.”

    Liberty cannot compel without becoming tyranny.

  31. Well I’m just confused. And perhaps someone can define my sexuality for me… since there seems to be so many knowledgeable folk here. I have not been in a dating or committed relationship for 16 years; previously I was in a 16 year same sex relationship. I have not engaged in ANY behavior for these 16 years.

    I thought I knew who I was… and have continued to declare my attraction to my same female sex intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. So… can I now claim being heteronormative? Is there a statute of limitation on my sin? If I were to engage in opposite sex behavior, would that make me normal? contrary to my intellect, emotions, spirit, and physical need? Do I have to do that to exit the highway of damnation? Who do I give my punch-card to?

    The last time I checked there is a night and day difference between same sex acts and being gay.

    According to some… it sounds as if I would be expected to spend 23.5 of 24 hours of the day in the bedroom.

    I’ll take a few stones for a poor combination of alcohol and hormones back in the day. But I’m afraid all those who are not gay, and suppose to tell me who I am… tell me contrary to the power of the Spirit within in me? Please, put down those rocks. I am forgiven; a new, and yes still, lesbian woman focused.and committed to the things that matter to HimWell I’m just confused. And perhaps someone can define my sexuality for me… since there seems to be so many knowledgeable folk here. I have not been in a dating or committed relationship for 16 years; previously I was in a 16 year same sex relationship. I have not engaged in ANY behavior for these 16 years.

    I thought I knew who I was… and have continued to declare my attraction to my same female sex intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. So… can I now claim being heteronormative? Is there a statute of limitation on my sin? If I were to engage in opposite sex behavior, would that make me normal? contrary to my intellect, emotions, spirit, and physical need? Do I have to do that to exit the highway of damnation? Who do I give my punch-card to?

    The last time I checked there is a night and day difference between same sex acts and being gay.

    According to some… it sounds as if I would be expected to spend 23.5 of 24 hours of the day in the bedroom.

    I’ll take a few stones for a poor combination of alcohol and hormones back in the day. But I’m afraid all those who are not gay, and suppose to tell me who I am… tell me contrary to the power of the Spirit within in me? Please, put down those rocks. I am forgiven; a new, and yes still, lesbian woman focused and committed to the things that matter to Him.

  32. I’m a Christian, or at least I admit to being one. I looked at the models that Pastor John shares, and the ones shared by LGMarshall, Sarah, Layton Holcomb, Steve Epps and others here named Anonymous.
    By Pastor John I’m constantly asked questions, and asked to interpret the words that hearing, and how they related my situation and today’s world. It’s a dynamic study, and I’m constantly trying to get a better understanding of the world. Ironically, my relationship is completely within myself.
    However, because of the teaching of Jesus, it manifests itself by me becoming completely selfless. It’s not about me, and my feelings. It’s about picking a friend up at the airport at 2am because they need a ride. It’s about helping a friend of a friend move, because he doesn’t know anybody else in town. It’s constantly asking myself what I can do to help those I care about feel loved, and to treat strangers like my dearest friend. It’s difficult, and quite frankly I’m not as good at as I should be.

    On the other hand, the other version seems to offer me absolute truths. The bible is absolutely the word of GOD. And there are things that are absolutely evil and wrong, and I must shun those things that are evil and only seek what is blessed. The more bible verses I memorize the better I’ll be in GOD’s grace. And because of that, it’s easy to twist the words the words- especially if there is no intention of understanding the big pictures.

    Ironically this becomes how much I can proof my worth to those around me. I need to prove that I’m worth of GOD’s grace, and I need show that I’m better at it than you. In my mind it’s a very selfish view of the world. In some cases, I think they feel a need to become a salesman for GOD.

    So I don’t believe the Bible is the literal word of GOD. I know that it was written by man, and man has flaws. The literal truths are not there, but there is a lot of truth in the bible.

    I know the world wasn’t made in 7 days, because science has shown that it’s older than that, and it took millions of years just for the atmosphere to stabilize. There was likely no Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden is not a literal place. None of that means that I’m ignoring the bible, because it wasn’t meant to be the literal truth.
    And I don’t believe that there is one true religion, and definitely not one true people. It’s not consistent with the way I was taught about GOD. GOD is inclusive, loves everybody, and is all-knowing. If he wanted to have one-group share his word- why would it be a group that was fearful of outsiders and lived in one small section of the world.

    What does this have to do with Gays, TG’s and bathrooms? Not much, and that’s kind of the point of the blog. Maybe Jesus would have cared, but he was thinking on a much deeper level. But I don’t think he did, and I think he first looked for the beauty in everybody. Paul’s letters were written to his leaders, not to the marginalize. When Jesus did speak out, it was against those in power- and people acting with selfish intent.

  33. “Why won’t you let men in the women’s restroom and vice versa, what are you, INTOLERANT?”

    I guess I am. Enough is enough.

    • Ok let’s try a little thought experiment. You were born intersex, in the sense that your biological gender is not obvious and as it happens the type of hermaphrodism you have tends towards physical maleness. As you approach maturity you become unhappy with male assigned gender and choose female. Should you still use the men’s room? I’m sure thinking of it this simplistic way isn’t that helpful except to try and prise open a closed mind with what is a rather blunt instrument. Sorry if anyone is offended. My view is that all bathrooms should be unisex.

  34. It amazes me how some (like this author) want to use the love of Jesus to cover up for our favorite sin. Of course Jesus was never preoccupied with transgenders using the bathroom because even though the effeminate were around in his day, this is an issue that is raising its ugly head more in our time; back in Jesus day they would have been stoned I’m sure. Before you say it, no I’m not condoning the stoning of anyone.

    Homosexuality is condemned in scripture, but we, by using the “Love of Jesus” technique, want to make excuses for it? You know it and we all do if we’ve read the Bible. Of course these days we twist scripture to make sure we can feel good about any sinful lifestyle regardless of what it is. Bottom line sin is still sin and our attempts to change it do not make it acceptable. Jesus did and does love us all offering forgiveness for sin when its asked from him in repentance, but not one time are we ever told as his follower to condone any sin.

    None of us are perfect and God does love the homosexual the same as the straight person, however we all are called to “repentance ” which means to turn toward God and away from our sin. Any person that cannot see the harm that can come from grown men, be it transgender or gay using the restrooms with our wives, daughters, or granddaughters etc has a been deceived into a perverted view of life or they have no understanding of the depraved nature of mankind.

    For many of us, when we see the first man that steps into the restroom with our girls will find himself or herself or whatever they claim to be, coming out of there headfirst just like Jesus ran the money changers out of the temple with a whip! Jesus never once asked us to allow our children to be victims of perversion and I never will. You will stand before him with this twisted view of Christianity and will not be able to explain your smooth talking perversion of scripture away. I pray you will see this and stop leading people astray. Yes I am a Christian.

    • John,

      I’m not a man, and I never was. If you think I’m perverse and depraved, you do not know me. I encourage you to turn away from judging people you do not even know. You can get to know me via Seranine.com.

      Be safe,

      Sera

    • John, seriously, what are you talking about? I honestly think you are the one who is being deceived into a perverted view of life. Do you know how many unisex restrooms there are in Europe and have been for a long time? I use one as a gay man almost every other day! The ‘perversion’ is fabricated in the minds of people. You go to a restroom to relieve yourself; gay, straight, transgender p, whatever – end of! Why add unnecessary weird thoughts into a completely natural biological function?

      • Agreed. I think the problem here is pretty much male repression. The male restroom has been made into a dangerous and scary place so they probably fetishise women’s loos as some kind of shangrila. But if a man dressed as a woman (let’s not call this person trans shall we) is going to do something bad in a woman’s loo then making a law that he can’t eliminate there certainly isn’t going to prevent it. But I have fallen into the trap of talking about bathrooms. As to what sanitary conditions were like in first century Palestine my suspicion is that despite roman occupation they were pretty rudimentary.

  35. I think it is worth noting that some psychologists think the underlying cause of most homophobia isn’t religion: it’s repressed bisexuality. They estimate that 80% of all people exist somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between straight and gay, which explains why most conservative Christians feel so strongly about gay marriage and transgender rights. They can’t face what’s between their own legs, let alone what’s between others’.

  36. Perhaps you should remember that Christ himself was controversial. He did not say the say easy teachings that everyone wanted to hear. It is not loving to let others persist in sinful error if it leads them away from God and puts their very soul in danger. CHRIST himself said not to take the road that is easy and wide, but rather take the road that is narrowm When you abandon the holy word of Christ, you abandon Christ himself.

  37. I will never attend church again. The hate spewed from organized religion has made me realize they are fakes. I will never give another dime to any Christian organization. If a business makes a point of advertising as Christian based, I’ll go elsewhere. The hate from Christian churches is too much. They are not Christ followers, instead they are hate based organizations.

  38. Like many today, you’ve taken Jesus’ words in Matthew 19 out of context. IF Jesus had been asked to define marriage, or define sexuality, you might have a point. But that isn’t what He had been asked, and that isn’t what He was doing. Jesus had been asked a VERY specific question in regard to divorce: Was it lawful for a man to divorce his wife. It bears mentioning that it was never suggested or implied that the hypothetical wife about to be was the man’s only wife. The most common form of marriage recorded in the Bible was polygamous marriage, which at the time Jesus was speaking was only forbidden to priests. (It was later also forbidden to bishops and deacons, but not to anyone else.) But it wasn’t relevant to the question at hand. Even if he had ten wives, what were the chances he would be seeking to divorce more than one at a time?
    Jesus made reference to the first “marriage,” quoting the circumstances from Genesis. This first marriage was monogamous and heterosexual, not because other types were forbidden, but by default: there were only two people on earth, one male, one female. And the the female had specifically been created so that the male would not be alone anymore. Jesus quoted Genesis not to limit marriage, but to indicate that it was of divine origin, and therefore meant to be a permanent state, not broken lightly or frivolously.
    For those today, again, many, who claim that Jesus was implying that marriage was always and only supposed to be one man/one woman, I submit that He would have been the last to make such a claim. First, without polygamy, He wouldn’t have been standing there. If Jacob had not had two wives and two concubines, the twelve tribes of Israel would never have existed. If King David had not married a second wife while still married to his first, the messianic line would have ended with him, because his first wife had no children. In fact, there were even times when the Law of
    Moses would have demanded polygamy: In the case of levirate marriage, if a married man died, having no children, his surviving brother was required by law to marry his widowed sister-in-law to raise up children for his late brother. It did not matter if the surviving brother were already married.
    Further, (and I know many will dispute this most vigorously, but the evidence is readily available in any Hebrew text of the Old Testament), one of Jesus’ direct ancestors was bisexual, and that man’s first marriage was to a man. Neither God nor any of the extant prophets ever uttered a word against that marriage. The Hebrew text later records another same-sex marriage, and specifies that God put the two into their relationship. Not only did no prophet protest, one partner in that marriage WAS a prophet.
    So in order to claim that marriage was only one man/one woman, Jesus would have had to disrespect His own ancestors… and that is something He never did.
    It is a misconception that the Greeks and Romans “practiced” homosexuality. In reality, both cultures considered homosexuality, as we understand the term, incorrect and improper. But likewise, the also considered what we understand as heterosexuality incorrect and improper. Their understanding of the creation story in their religion had led them into a custom, many centuries earlier, by which all persons were expected to be intimate with BOTH sexes, regardless of their actual orientation. (This was not a sexual free-for-all; there were very specific rules on how this worked.) So what the Greeks and Romans lived was bisexuality, not homosexuality. And it was nearly universal in both cultures, because both religion and society expected it. It bears mentioning here that Greek, the lingua franca of Greece and the Roman Empire, had no words for heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. (English and German were among the first languages to have such words, and that wasn’t until the 19th century when sexuality was first researched.) That’s not to say, however, that Greek had no way to express the concept of sexual activity between two persons of the same sex. On the contrary, there were a number of well-known expressions for just that. It is interesting to note, however, that Paul never once used any of those expressions in his writing.
    It was the Roman’s custom of bisexuality, inherited from the Greeks, that Paul addressed in Romans 1. It’s unfortunate that people reading that chapter today almost universally ignore, or are ignorant of, the historical context. Most have no idea what was going on in Rome, but like you, assume that the Romans “practiced” homosexuality. But Paul grew up as a Roman citizen, a citizen by birth, and knew the custom well. He characterized it, not as a sin or abomination, as some think, but as an error or self-deception. They had deceived themselves into thinking that it was normal for everyone to be intimate with both sexes. In reading the entire chapter, one can’t help but notice it has to do with the Roman’s religion, it’s substitution of things created for the Creator, and their dislike of knowing anything about the true God. And that’s why the verses about their bisexual activity are in the middle of that: that’s where it originated. Paul said it was “against nature.” That, sadly, is also misunderstood today. It is impossible to claim that homosexuality is unnatural, because it exists throughout nature, in more than 1000 species. That is the very definition of natural. But Paul wasn’t wrong. He’s just being misunderstood. The Greek word translated as nature here does NOT refer to the natural world or the creation. Rather, it has a much narrower meaning. It refers to a person’s OWN nature, their own innate disposition. Paul, speaking from the perspective of the heterosexual majority, stated that being intimate with members of the same sex was a mistake because it was against THEIR nature… because they were heterosexuals. In other words, 1900 years before the concept of sexual orientation was understood by science, Paul was writing about it. His point was not that homosexuality in itself was wrong… but that homosexual activity was wrong for heterosexuals, because it is against their nature. Each person has a nature, a sexual orientation, and it is not supposed to be ignored to satisfy either religion or culture as the Romans did. As Paul wrote in another place, Shall the thing that is formed say to the One who formed it “Why did you make me this way?”
    Paul actually never once mentioned what he know as homosexuality. In 1 Cor. 6 and 1 Tim. 1, there is a Greek word that Bible translations of the last few decades have begun to translate as homosexuals. But historically, it is only relatively recently that anyone thought the word meant that. Paul created the word. If he intended it to refer to male homosexuals as so many today claim, it begs the question of why? Why create a new word, that readers throughout the empire might not understand, when there already existed expressions he could have used that would have been readily understood? The word in question has ambiguous gender. That is, it could be masculine, or it could be feminine, and Paul gave no clues as to which he intended. Had he wanted to word to refer to males lying with males, he could have changed a single letter at the end of the word, and it would have no longer been possible for the word to be feminine. But he didn’t.
    No writer used that word again until the second century. Paul used it one twice, and no one ever used it before him. How was it used in the second century? It was used to refer to female prostitutes. That is how a second century writer understood the word. Now, of course, that raised the question of why Paul would invent a new word for that. Didn’t Greek already have such a word? It did… but Paul had already used it to mean something else. Centuries before Paul, when Greek was a young language, the porn- root referred only to prostitution/prostitutes. But over the centuries, it had expanded in meaning, and was generally understood to refer to any illicit sexual activity. Paul had already used the word pornoi to mean fornicators. That left him no way to specify prostitutes, and some could have claimed that pornoi did not include prostitutes for two reasons: Ordinary prostitutes did not have sex for reasons of lust, but as a means of earning money. Some could have claimed that meant it wasn’t a sin. In addition, prostitution was still an accepted form of worship of the fertility goddess, and some could have claimed that it was therefore exempted as sin. Creating a new word that literally translates as “those who lie with males,” and having an ending that could be feminine, would imply prostitutes and cover any loophole. (There was no exclusively feminine ending a word could have. That is, there is no feminine ending that could not also be masculine. But there is an ending, oi, which can never be feminine. But Paul didn’t use it.)
    Paul didn’t address homosexuality because it was not considered a sin. Despite what English language Bibles of the last 400 years claim, Leviticus does not forbid homosexuality, Sodom had nothing to do with homosexuality, there was no such thing as a sodomite in the Old Testament, and there were two same-sex marriages recorded in that text. It wasn’t until the Muslim Moors invaded Europe that European Christians were taught anti-homosexual sentiment, were told that God disapproved, and were taught the myth, found in the Quran, that God destroyed Sodom because of homosexuality.
    http://hoperemains.webs.com

    • Thanks for that Rev!

      I’m not a religious scholar, but have always interpreted Paul’s words in a similar way. In my opinion, Paul was not referring to sexual orientation, that is, as you point out, the nature of the person, but rather the act of homosexuality being carried out in an unatural setting, that is, amongst naturally heterosexual people. In other words Paul must have understood sexual orientation very well indeed and differentiated and separated this from the sexual act.

      My understanding is that the versus in Romans talk about lustfull desires, not relationships between people, per se. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but it suggests God turned people over to this ‘lust’ as a consequence of idol worshipping, so, I suspect that the reference to heterosexual men and woman exchanging their natural desires for an unnatural ones, (to them !), must be specifically in relation to idol worshipping rituals involving sex. Basically, the Almighty got pissed off because a bunch of people stopped loving him and instead turned to idol worshipping. As far my understanding allows me, the warning, in effect, is more about turning away from God and not about a natural homosexual orientation.

      From what I am able to ascertain, the interpretation that leads many Christians to believe that homosexual orientation is against God, (in respect to the versus in Romans), appears, to me at least, ‘cooked’, as we say in the science research world. The interpretation is loaded with research bias; in other words, the evidence used has been forced to fit into a preconceived idea about something. And, here’s the interesting bit, if that indeed is the case, hiding behind the interpretation that homosexual orientation or any LGBTQ orientation, is against God, lies a form of research bias, and, in everyday life we simply refer to that as prejudice!

      To conclude, Idol worshipping and sex rituals is far cry from two men or two women sharing a full loving commitment together. In addition, it stands to reason that, if you are naturally homosexual there can be no ‘exchange’, other than to turn to heterosexuality, which, de facto, would be, unnatural, to that person, and therefore possibly carry the same warning. Actually, this makes the story of Sodom and Gomorrah much more, dare I say, plausible. Here again, we see naturally heterosexual men having sex with other naturally heterosexual men. I haven’t read the passages for ages, but I bet somewhere embedded in there, idol worshipping will be exposed.

      Not sure why Rev, but my intuition leads me to believe that Paul was either bisexual or homosexual and could, personally, identify at a deeper level with the subject matter.

  39. I try to be an open-minded man, so I will ask; If God makes no mistakes, then why would it make any sense for someone to attempt to change their gender that God had decided for them. Not that I want to discriminate against them, but I really doubt Jesus was thinking about modern science being able to undo what He had decided. If you were born a man or woman, isn’t that because you were part of His plan to be that way?
    I feel like I’ve come a long way just being able to open myself to ask that question so please, respond in a manner that might be educated. Maybe it will help me see things from a different perspective.

    • Anonymous,

      First, let me reassure you, I understand how it feels to not understand this stuff. It took me about 40 years to figure out that I was and always had been female, and that’s with the benefit of being in my own head. I figure if it takes other people 40 years from the point where they meet me, I can’t exactly complain, can I? So, I welcome honest questions in good faith, and my goal is to always correct, but never punish.

      Please understand that my capacity to answer you in the context of scripture is severely limited, because I am not and never have been a Christian. I can only answer you in the theoretical terms I would answer anyone else of any other religion. Thus, I say:

      If God made all reality and everything in it, and if God does not make mistakes, then God put what you might, in simplest terms, think of as a woman’s brain into a man’s body, and God did that with a purpose.

      If God says I am abomination, then God created me so for a purpose.

      If God is love, and if God’s prime commandment is to love everyone as you love God, then I submit to you that that purpose is to challenge the faithful to love that which they struggle most to love. God says, “I have made everything, including abomination; I command you to love everyone as you love Me.”

      So, what do you do? Love me in my perfection as a woman created so, in a time when humankind, with God-given ingenuity, has developed technologies such as surgery and hormone therapies (along with the rest of modern medicine, from which you’ve almost certainly benefited) that can help her realize her truest self? Or reject her and ostracize her until she dies, or wishes she would? Which is the more loving?

      Be safe,

      Sera

    • Hi Anonymous! Do you make some room for the possibility that God did not make a mistake and that transgender people were absolutely part of the plan? In some respects Anonymous, we are all on a transgender type journey; a journey towards the most authentic version of ourselves. Seranine is absolutely right in saying that peace is found in self-acceptance of the truest form of yourself. Perhaps transgender folk have a really intricate and important role to play in God’s plan to highlight that to love God is go love yourself. Or, another way to view it is, it’s very difficult to love God and dislike or even hate who you are. By the way, I really love you honest approach to the topic.

    • Anoymous — I had moved on through two more of John’s posts. I am glad I checked back. I take you at your word. I am humbled by your attitude.

      Seranine wrote a clear response to which I will largely defer. But I would like to also offer how I have wrestled with this.

      Forms of trans has been around for as far back as scholars can establish. The direct answer is that I don’t know for sure. And in addition the answer(s) will likely be extremely complex. Indeed there may be multiple pathways. But in addition to Seranine I will mention one possibility that I know is being researched.

      The following is from Wikipedia, so you can check it out. I have just lifted two excerpts for you.

      “Diethylstilbestrol (DES) (INN, USAN, BAN), also known formerly and inappropriately as stilboestrol (BAN), is a synthetic, non-steroidal estrogen of the stilbestrol group……..From about 1940 to 1971, DES was given to pregnant women in the mistaken belief it would reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and losses.”

      “Research on DES sons has explored the long-standing question of whether prenatal exposure to DES in males may include sexual and gender-related behavioral effects and also intersex conditions. Dr. Scott Kerlin, a major DES researcher and founder of the DES Sons International Research Network in 1999, has documented for the past 16 years a high prevalence of individuals with confirmed prenatal DES exposure who self-identify as male-to-female transsexual, transgender, or have intersex conditions, and many individuals who report a history of experiencing difficulties with gender dysphoria.[46][47][48][49]”

      So called endocrine disruptors are chemicals ubiquitous in our daily lives. For example, I use Colgate Total toothpaste because it contains something generically called Triclosan. Triclosan inhibits gum disease. It also has been identified as an endocrine disruptor.

      The answer to your question (one I have asked myself too) is probably quite complex. There may be more than one answer because the development of identity is a mix of nature and nurture. But one thing may be clear here when you ask if it is a mistake by whatever the creative reality of God actually is. When something interrupts the intricate development of beings of any species in utero, this may be one of the default outcomes.

      To be clear, I found Sera’s response to be excellent. Thank you Sera.

      Thank you for asking. I respect your sincerity.

  40. If one believes in God, then you must believe that He/She created everything in this universe. I write He/She because God could not be reduced to a gender, or ethnicity, or age. If God created us in his image, or everything, really, God is far too complex for us to understand, but it also means that creatures, including humans, in ALL their diversity, are created in God’s image. If LGBTQ were not born than way (meaning it’s not a choice), and hence in God’s image as well, then there wouldn’t be LGBTQ people in Mississippi, Alabama, NC. Etc. That’s why you don’t find rich Whites in inner city Black neighborhoods, THAT is a choice… I agree with the author here. As long as evangelicals are worried about this issues, the powers that be can continue oppressing the poor, minorities, disenfranchised… All those Jesus stood up for. Why White evangelicals, in all their righteousness, have not stoop up for women, Blacks, etc. and relish in discriminatory practices is beyond me.

  41. Jesus challenged the woman at the well about how she was living because she was sleeping with a man not her husband in John 4. He told Mary in John 8 to stop having sex (affairs). Jesus most certainly challenged people on their lifestyle if it wasn’t living according to Gods instruction.

  42. Wow Sera, nice job. Thanks, not much else to say. I’d love to get some backup from scripture, maybe that would help us both. Me to see your point and you to see mine (being Christian). I must say that I am so over everyone claiming right or wrong and nobody being interested in understanding or seeing things from a different perspective.

  43. So many people call themselves Christians yet they lack a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The reality is Constantine created Christianity aka Catholicism to control the people and hold his throne. Catholicism was a mix of paganism and the Bible to pull Born Again Believers into paganism and Baal worship. The reality of Biblical Salvation is anyone who believes on what Jesus Christ did on the cross is a saved saint. He/She is born again and has eternal salvation. There are no good works required to be saved and that certainly includes repentance. Repentance does not even mean turning from sin, as so many religious heretics try and push. 99% of the churches in America preach a false gospel and have perverted it to the point of no return. The problem is, the people themselves are not reading the Bible because they are too busy worshiping at the throne of statism, atheism or some other ridiculous cult.

  44. Thanks Sean, I guess you’re making my point! No, honestly I hadn’t thought at all that this could be part of His plan. Another perspective, and thanks for not shoving it down my throat. I suppose if that is what it takes for someone to love themselves and then, be able to love Him and fulfill His divine plan, then who am I (or anyone) to stand in the way.

  45. For far too many so-called “christians”, the word ALL in the phrase LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL is a touch too difficult for them. Transgender people are people too.

    Now if you really want to talk about perversion, then you should be worried about catholic priests or republican politicians like Mark Foley, Dennis Hastert and many others.

    The long list of republican sex offenders is here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×1709387

  46. Pingback: Anonymous

  47. Sarah said, ” There are several verses that reveal that homosexuality is considered a sin in God’s eyes (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6). You have to decide whether or not a relationship with God is worth more than following your desires. It’s your choice”

    Hey Sarah, I appreciate your sincerity and compassion in your comments above; it shines through. I know you didn’t write anything about discarding people but this is so often how we and our partners are treated when confronted with the manipulative stances Christians take such ‘if you don’t give up this part of who you are then you are saying Christ is not worth it’— that we have to cut people out of our lives to show our repentance, turn away from our long term friendships, deny the love we have for our spouse.

    The verses you refer to don’t describe the way I express my sexuality. I know some people who struggle with sexual addictions and other issues but those things are separate from our sexual orientation. Inordinate lust and abusive acts which mistreat the vulnerable in society as well as detract from affirming our human connection is the difference to me. So, when I read Romans 1, Paul is describing something from his own culture and I don’t think his world view holds true for our world view today. I say this because in verse 21 and verse 26 Paul describes a cause and effect— that being unthankful to God causes these things. Yet children did not go through the process of this ‘exchange of truth for a lie’. As children we all knew there was something different about us already. Therefore we are not the people Paul was directing this message to.

    Then in verse 27 it reads, “…their women have exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural practices” that could mean anything. But I am sure his audience knew exactly what he was referring to. But for me it is not conclusive. He goes on in verse 28 to then describe men having sexual relations with men. I don’t see that Paul is stating anything about these practices as being uniquely homosexual, because straight/bisexual men have sex with other men as well, rather he describes them as cravings and passions which are degrading to the body and unnatural. Unnatural could mean inhumane or other acts which are pursued for perverted sexual use. This certainly would not be what we envision in same sex marriages, although we just don’t know what people actually do behind closed doors whether they are gay, straight, christian or not. Which is the theme of this post.

    The other thing is— no one can confidently say what Paul is exactly referring to because we know that words are highly subject to meaning and context. So what Paul says through Romans 1 does not speak to me in a condemning way because I do not see myself in his story. I understand Paul is describing behaviour coming from lust not love; it seems to be an obsession with sex rather than an all encompassing condemnation of a same sex orientation or attraction. Sexual addiction and obsessiveness is not exclusive to one orientation.

    So I wanted to share my thoughts with you on that. And to end by saying every moment of everyday when I choose Christ I am expressing that he is worthy. Look forward to conversing with you more.

  48. As a frequently very anxious transgender Christian (and wondering from some of the things I read if that term is not a paradox), thank you for this encouraging and thoughtful alternative view. xxx 🙂

    • Eleonor, just curious, not trying to judge but to understand, since you are a Christian, if God made you the way He wants you, why do you want to change?

      • If I had the answer to that, I might be in the fortunate position of being able to offer a cure for gender dysphoria, but no such cure exists (even transition only being a palliative, albeit an effective one). At any rate, the relief is real, many people have commented that I am more sociable and less of a grouchy loner, so I will have to run the risk. My “former self” was certainly not close to God – introverted, antisocial, self-pitying, etc. Perhaps I am no closer now. Perhaps I am beyond redemption, but not for me to know that. I just know “going back” will make me a worse person (even if it makes me a more natural one).

  49. So, someone with spina bifida, cleft palate, scoliosis, cystic fibrosis, a congenital heart defect – none of these or other conditions should ever be corrected?

    We know relatively little about the influences regarding the formation of sexuality in utero – there are people born intersex; there are people who are born with genitalia of one sex who are genetically a different sex.

    The Lakota people recognized ‘winkte’ – ‘two spirits’ – those born male who lived as female.

    I think that sexuality exists in a spectrum, with most, but not all, people fitting into the two ends of male and female ….and by the way, God is both – a reading of Scripture shows both male and female characteristics of God; humankind, ha’adam, is created male and female, in the ‘imago Dei’, the image of God.

  50. Thank you, John.

    Why so much hatred from Christians?

    I first responded to the Gospel as a little child. I didn’t understand much, but wanted to love Jesus and be a good little girl. Even though my parents considered me a boy.

    Eventually my mother and my endocrinologist realized I’d be better off as a girl. God had given me a feminine face, a gentle demeanor, and an intersex body. (Matthew 19:12)

    I’ve lived most of my life as a woman. I’ve been married to a man for almost sixteen years. We’re both long-standing members of a conservative Presbyterian church. One that is well aware of my condition and my history.

    Phillip led the Ethiopian eunuch to Christ. Without demanding anything beyond faith. And yet some Christians today despise anyone different sexually. I doubt they’d accept the eunuch into their church. Perhaps not even Daniel, one of the Godliest men (or in this case eunuchs) ever.

    Some tell me that the bathroom bills aren’t aimed at people like me. Yet I sometimes wonder how many Christians would hate me if they knew me face-to-face, and I told them my story.

    • Lianne,

      I’m not even Christian, and I wonder the same thing. Right now, many people are reacting to an idea of who I must be. They are not reacting to me at all. For the most part, they never have. And that’s very sad. For all of us.

      Be safe,

      Sera

      • In Matthew 19:12, Jesus also says that some men make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of God. That’s a change in legal sex category by modification of the genitals. One would think we Christians would cut at least transexuals some slack. I’m sorry they’ve hurt you.

  51. Sadly, I was not surprised at the number of Christian commenters using the Bible – specifically, stuff written by Paul, who neither met nor interacted with Jesus save for being temporarily blinded and having a short vision – to justify their obviously preexisting feelings about things like homosexuality and transgenderism.

    If those things are actual problems for Jesus, then why is it that only some of his worshipers, the ones who are most likely to lecture others and the least likely to actually go out and do the things Jesus did, ever speak up about it?

    Remember the lesson of the moneylenders in the Temple – explicitly permitted to be there by the priests and scribes, the ones who claimed to speak for YHWH due to the writings of the Torah, yet who were violently thrown out by Jesus himself.

  52. You’d make an excellent humanist. Unfortunately, the rabid, foaming anti-LGBT crowd are likely correct: the best you could expect from Jesus, who after all lived in the 1st century AD, would be “I accept you as a person but this is against God’s design.” More than likely they’d get one of his famous spittle-flecked rants (“Vipers!” anyone?)

    Stop trying to save your religion from the fate it deserves. You have better morals than your God; admit it and throw this Abrahamic death cult idiocy away.

  53. I’m new to this blog, and have only read a few. However, I must say, no one, neither the writer of the blog nor any of the responders seem to remember that Jesus ended his encounters with sinners by forgiving them and telling them to sin no more. He did NOT embrace habitual sinners, telling them their lifestyle is just fine. He did NOT tell them that God made a mistake when he put them in their body. He LOVED them, but told them that He forgave them. Forgave them because they were sinning, and had been convicted in their heart and had asked forgiveness. AND he again told them to “Go, and sin no more.” Please, please wake up and repent of your enabling and encouraging people to sin.

    • Ernie,

      I have to answer you in two parts, I think. It looks like my response is too long!

      You and I have very different beliefs. I’m not going to argue scripture with anyone, really, because I’m not a Christian. But I will challenge agents of any system of thought that says I have a choice in fundamental aspects of who I am, and who make that assertion purely in order to reject me. I do so by approaching the language.

      When I read a word like “sin” in a serious context (e.g. not a “sinfully delicious cake”), I think of it as the most egregious form of wrong. Therefore, when considering how to categorize things like rape and murder and assault, it’s easy to say “these are the most egregious forms of wrong,” and call those things “sins.” Those are things that destroy someone else’s boundaries, autonomy, sense of self, and even their very life.

      Thus it is equally difficult to even understand how my barest state of being could ever be considered a sin.

      Did you choose your gender? Did you choose your sexuality? If your answer is yes, then I’m very sorry, because trying to be something one is not is the closest thing to “hell” that I can actually understand. I know, because I lived in it for decades. If your answer is no, which I would suppose it to be, my next question is this: why would you assume anyone ELSE has chosen their gender or sexuality? And why on earth would anyone CHOOSE to make themselves targets for violence and societal penalties?

      My realization and acceptance and expression of my own gender brought my 25ish years of ceaseless depression to a sudden and complete halt. It vanished instantly, and has never even threatened to return. I was transformed, from a mockery of man who was naturally depressed, and could never truly feel joy, into an authentic and genuine woman, who is naturally joyful, and cannot truly feel depressed. Before, I could laugh sometimes, sure. I could watch a funny movie and have fun. But the depression was my base state. It was the thing I started to rise up out of, but could never completely escape. It was the thing to which I always, always returned. It was the thing that never left, and it destroyed my life.

      It also ruined lives of people near me, people I cared about. They would see my talents — my wit, my gift with music and performance, my charm, whatever else you might call any of it — and attach themselves to me. And then the depression would become more and more apparent, and they realized that to be me was to be misery. To be in the intimate presence of misery is to become miserable. I spent most of my life trying to die. It’s hard to build a life with someone whose last thought before sleeping and whose first thought upon waking is “I hope this all ends soon,” every day, without fail.

      My denial of self, encouraged by society at large, including by many who claim to speak on behalf of God, was my greatest sin. All other substantial harm I have done in the world, most of which predates my realization and coming out, stems from that.

    • Since realizing I was female, and immediately honoring that — legally changing my name and gender within the first month — I have become an inspiration and beacon of joy, just by being who I am, and living openly. I’m not saying that to talk myself up; that’s what people have been saying, unsolicited, to me. Here are some examples:

      “being friends with you makes me happy. i am so grateful to have met you. thank you so much. <3 you make me want to try to live again." ~Monica

      "I just wanted to say that you are a classy person. Thank you for taking the upper hand and instead of telling bigots and dumbasses that they are such, telling them to find the education in a kind way. Pure class." ~Angela

      "I just wanted to say that your response to hurtful comments…. it's perfect. You invite them to get to know you. .. it's beautiful and as it should be. God bless your amazing heart!" ~AK

      "I just wanted you to know that you made an impact on my life today. You shared a little piece of yourself in that video and it oozed with beauty and peace and you rocked it so THANK YOU. From single momma up here on Vancouver Island in Canada." ~Colleen

      "I'm trying to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. C— and I decided to take in A——, my student who ran out of job and housing at the same time. You have a ton of shit in your life, living on the edge from day to day, and dealing with the way the world looks at you. Yet you find the beauty in life, the joy, and the space and energy and love to help other people if you can. I find that inspirational, and I want to let you know." ~Alden

      "I love the things you post. You are very encouraging to others
      I loved your quote :)" ~Rita

      "You're very brave." ~KA

              • okay two other things I thought of is :
                1) if you are copy and pasting make sure the content you are pasting is ‘new’ a lot of times ‘things’ are recognized in the background so to speak an the com box will warn or refuse if itthinks it is a familiar source …so use a new document to copy and paste from and 2) you could always add the comment at the bottom of the main thread and refer us to ‘below’ try #1 first

                and good luck 😀

                    • Ugh, even if I actually just retype it instead of pasting (which is from a text file, anyway, and shouldn’t have any hidden encoding), it still won’t let me post the rest. I don’t know why. I’ll try once more in the morning, and, failing that, maybe I’ll just republish his original question, or a screenshot of it, and put my answer on a blog entry or something, and then share that URL here.

                    • I have a thought, do me a favor, please, Kathy? Just post another quick reply at the same thread level as the other things I posted. I wonder if it just won’t let me post multiple times in a row without someone else posting in between.

    • Ernie, Jesus didn’t end every single encounter with someone by forgiving them. For example: the man born blind. Jesus in fact said sin was not the cause for his blindness. He was born that way. You don’t know how Jesus ended every conversation he had with everyone . Therefore your point is very weak and doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.

    • “Your candor is priceless and I wish there was a way for you to support yourself doing this what I can only describe as ‘public service’ of sharing your experience. You are changing the world dear girl and in the best possible way, and I am grateful.” ~Kim

      “You have helped ME be stronger and to step out a little more and more each day. I can not thank you enough for that.” ~Shawn

      • I have already turned away from anything I would qualify as even remotely close to “sin.” And I achieved that by embracing my truest self, a self that is not a lifestyle any more than anyone else’s truest self.

        I don’t know Jesus, but I still feel like I’ve got a decent handle on who he was. I know I hurt people in the past. I’m sure that in some vastly smaller and far more ordinary ways, I still hurt people. But I’m not going to ask for forgiveness from God or the universe or whatever anyone might try to name the ineffable. I’d rather go earn forgiveness from the actual people I’ve actually hurt. I’d rather help everyone learn how to accept and forgive each other by doing my best to be a living example of both.

        Your comment hurts me, but I can forgive you easily. In fact I already have. I understand that when you say you want me to repent of my enabling and encouraging people to sin, or, more pointedly, presumably, that you want me to stop sinning, it’s because on some level, you love me. You believe that who I am is a choice that I can change, and that if I do not change it, I will suffer eternally. You want me to not suffer. Based on everything you know right now, that is the kindest thing you can wish upon me.

        So, I forgive you. I also invite you to come get to know me via seranine.com, my Facebook Page; to expand upon everything you know right now. Get to know me as a fellow human being, not an idea, for as much as I am the one, I am not the other. If what you believe is absolutely true, you have nothing to fear from my challenging that. Truth is truth. Let us find it together.

        Be safe,

        Sera

      • “I want you to know I’m really proud of you for making it this far, because I know it was far from easy. I can only imagine everything you went through. And you’re still pushing through, which is really f—— cool. I really do look up to you as a role model for the woman I want to be, and I’m glad I met you.” ~Liz

        Not only are the majority of people who say these things to me cisgender women (women who were designated female at birth), but the last one, Liz, just turned 16. All but one of those above are cis, including Liz. I met her and her mom at their house, when I gave her all of my old video games last summer. Liz sees the woman I am, and says to herself, “she is a role model for the woman I want to be.”

        And those are the people that legislators say must be protected from me. Not because of who I am, not even because of WHAT I am, but because of what they THINK I must be, without even knowing me at all. All of that is why I continually invite people, even those who reject me, to just come and get to know me.

  54. I am a post-op transgender female. “Christians” like to claim that GLBT people have a lifestyle. Here’s a newsflash for you, I don’t have a lifestyle. I have a LIFE.
    Now, if you want to worship a mass murdering, child killing sky daddy, then go ahead, but keep your death cult “Christian” religion out of MY life.
    Abraham – because a man who heard voices telling him to murder his only child is someone the whole world should follow. (rolls eyes). Why is it that when christian Andrea Yates murdered her children, everyone considered her insane, but when Abraham was ready to do it, well, he’s obviously someone that everyone should follow for all eternity?

  55. GLBT people do NOT sin. Now if you want to talk about some real sinners, then we can talk about “family values” republicans and their various sex scandals and of course pedophile catholic priests.

    • “For All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Until you humble yourself and admit your common, human, position before your Creator you will not be able to access the grace offered through Jesus Christ…and will remain separated from God by your own defiance. You can blame none but yourself for this Choice.

  56. Keep your religious beliefs to yourself. I do not believe in nor worship your imaginary sky daddy.

    If you want to worship a mass murdering, child killing genocidal sky daddy, fine, but do not expect me to do so.

    If I believe in Islam, 2.2 billion christians will perish in hell for all eternity for worshiping “the wrong sky daddy”. If I believe in christianity, 1.5 billion muslims will perish in hell for all eternity for worshiping “the wrong sky daddy”. However, if I believe in neither, then no one has to perish at all.

    ” I refuse to believe in a god who is the primary cause of conflict in the world, preaches racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ignorance, and then sends me to hell if I’m ‘bad’.”

  57. Remember, “Christians” claim homosexuality is unnatural.

    They claim that it says so in their book where snakes talk, people come back from the dead, a guy walks on water, and a virgin has a baby.

  58. I wish “christians” were as concerned about helping the homeless and feeding the hungry as they are about two adults in love or transgender people using the bathroom.

  59. Pingback: Sex, money and the GOP | starlight

  60. As a Christian everything I do, think, feel and say is directed by God so this is an impossibility but lets lay Christianity aside on this issue. I would ask the author and the LGBT community the following. You want to live as you choose and use the bathroom of your choice. I have a duty and a responsibility to protect my 8 year old daughter. How do you propose to protector from sexual predators if those calming to be transgender use the restroom of their choice? If is fanciful to think that sexual predators will not do so. This is a prime example of tyranny by the minority and an abuse of democracy in allowing the wants of a few to trump the rights of many.

    • They could have started by allowing anyone who is legally female to use the ladies’ room. Some states don’t allow birth certificates to be corrected. Most, however, do allow a change of legal status.

      “[It] is fanciful to think that sexual predators will not do so.” No. It’s fanciful to think that sexual predators will obey the law. Any law. So all you’re doing is harming those whose birth certificate sex doesn’t match their gender.

      • I think you are missing the point. I don’t care what legal technicality you want to use. I don’t care how the law is written. It will be argued that there is discrimination until we allow anyone who “identifies” themselves as a sex other then their present or born state to use the bathroom of their choosing. It is already being argued as such. Agreed that we will not s sexual predators from obeying ANY LAW if the are motivated enough but lets not open the door for them to do so. Again my question how will you protect my daughter? or do your wishes trump her safety and privacy?

        • My original birth certificate said male. I was NEVER a man. My body’s intersex. I’m not XX or XY. I had ovotestes. My puberty came out of a bottle. I had to have surgery to allow sexual intercourse.

          I’ve lived as a woman for more than forty years. Up until now using the ladies’ room has never been an issue. I’m not a sexual predator. Yet YOU consider me a threat to your daughter and would endanger me by insisting I either break the law or use the men’s room.

          For what little it seems worth to you, I’m a Christian housewife. My husband and I are long-standing members of a Reformed Presbyterian church that is well aware of my condition and my past.

          I’m sorry that your fears lead you to favoring bills that cause collateral damage to innocent people. And I’m sorry, but the harm people like you are doing is enough reason to be against it. It’s your responsibility to find a way to avoid hurting people.

          “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken.” — Oliver Cromwell to the Church of Scotland, trying to avoid war.

          • Again you are projecting and misundstanding my point. First, I am a healthcare provider and understand your situation. I am not afraid of you, I do not dislike you. I am responding to you because you responded to me. If you (as I would assume you do) entered a public woman’s restroom dressed as a woman be discriminated against or challenged? Likely not. If your were going about your life as you described above would anyone in the general public be any the wiser? Likely not. Would an individual dressed as a man who entered a womans’ restroom be challenged? More than likely. This is my point. I understand your situation because of the birth certificate issue but how legally can it be prevented otherwise. This is my point.
            I am not anti LGBT either. I am not afraid of them. Live your life as you choose but we must have an avenue to protect those that can not protect themselves. I DID NOT and AM NOT calling you a predator nor anyone in your situation. But they will exploit the situation

            • “If your were going about your life as you described above would anyone in the general public be any the wiser? Likely not. Would an individual dressed as a man who entered a womans’ restroom be challenged? More than likely. This is my point.”

              Yes. Those who look like women can break the law with impunity. Unless someone is after them in particular. Too bad for the women who aren’t feminine enough for you. They’re not breaking the law, but they’ll bear the brunt of it whether they’re trans or not.

          • Oh and as for this. “It’s your responsibility to find a way to avoid hurting people” also is my point. Again I am not talking about you but for the majority on the opposite side of the argument this is exactly my stance also

  61. Trans people pose no threat to anyone. (On the other hand, forced to use the wrong rest room, they themselves are in grave danger.) If a sexual predator is determined to get into a women’s restroom, the law isn’t going to make any difference. If arrested, he can’t simply “claim” to be transgender. People have to be professionally diagnosed as transgender.

  62. Sure. So if I understand your premise one must have a “clinical” diagnosis of transexuality to use the restroom of their choosing. Could we not envision a scenario where a man for nefarious reasons chooses to use the womans’ restroom in a shopping mall. He is well aware that he is truly not transgender but as a defense claims that he was just never formally diagnosed as such. He then reviews the DSM 5 criteria for this diagnosis (302.85) and is well aware of what he has to claim to be diagnosed as such. Would it not be likely that he could be given the diagnosis after the fact?

    • Ryan,

      There is no clinical diagnosis for transsexuality. The nearest thing is Gender Dysphoria, which was changed from Gender Identity Disorder in DSM-IV because it was finally acknowledged that it’s natural variation, and not pathological.

      We can envision all the scenarios we want, but the fact that those imaginary scenarios carry any weight over the actual scenarios in which trans women are made to suffer and die is shameful. One of these things is already actually happening, and it’s affecting real people who are really suffering and dying. The other is a specious argument based on outdated and prejudicial pseudoscience which has been rejected by the majority of the scientific and medical communities.

      Being diagnosed with gender dysphoria is not as simple as “claiming” anything. It’s about consistent and persistent presentation of a gender other than that assigned at birth. The claims someone makes that help indicate the veracity of the condition are only part of the diagnostician’s data upon which a diagnosis is made (or not). So, no, it’s not likely that this made-up person you’re talking about could just talk their way through getting and maintaining a diagnosis of gender dysphoria that would have to be so airtight that no doctor would be able to disprove it when it is subject to the level of scrutiny things get in criminal trial.

      Let’s assume that your imaginary scenario is true. You’re talking about a made-up person who thinks that the way to get away with sexual predation is to change their name, change their pronouns, pursue transition services such as hormone replacement therapy or gender-affirming surgeries, AND, on top of all that, face the constant discrimination and rejection and humiliation that trans women are subjected to regularly. You’re talking about a person that is likely to be imprisoned with cisgender men, where they will be raped repeatedly by those men. All so that they could have literally zero defense for what the “nefarious reasons” they were in the women’s room, because SEXUAL PREDATION IS ILLEGAL ALREADY.

      Be safe,

      Sera

      • Did you read what I was responding to? I am a healthcare provider. I have been trained to use the DSM 5.

        I should have never posted anything because there is no way of making you see anyone else’s point. You don’t want to hear our arguments or defenses but expect everyone else to believe what you believe. I was angry and posted at a time of high emotion. But we can’t get any counter point across

        • Ryan,

          Being a healthcare provider who has been trained to use DSM-V does not exempt someone from being wrong or making poor arguments. I did read what you were responding to. I’ve read most of the comments here, and have responded to many. I did hear your argument. I considered it carefully. And then I destroyed it. Because it is a specious argument based on a strawman, and it does not stand up to examination.

          There is no acceptable argument against my right to exist.

          Cisgender men perpetrate the vast majority of violence upon women, cis or trans. Arguing that “men might dress up like women to commit a crime, so we should make it illegal for trans women to go to the women’s bathroom” makes as much logical sense as saying “someone might dress up like a police officer to commit a crime, so we should make it illegal for police officers to go to the police station.” If you’re really concerned about bathroom safety, and you really think it’s important to craft legislation banning the most dangerous people from public bathrooms, then statistically, you ought to be lobbying to ban cisgender male Republicans from public bathrooms, because some of them have actually broken laws there.

          Be safe,

          Sera

  63. Again I quit. I feel that it is fundamentally wrong for my daughter who biologically is female to potentially have to use the restroom with those who are biologically male. So far in our state this hasn’t become an issue, however I am sure that it will be sooner or later. When that becomes the case she can proudly use the single stall or family restroom since no one else wants to use it.

  64. QUIT USING THIS CHOICE NONSENSE. This is for all of you idiots that think being transgender is a choice.

    Here is a powerful message, but I wonder if people will get the point. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is not about making a choice, it is who people are and always have been.

    I “choose” to be a transgender female.

    Because I want nothing more than to be shunned by my “Christian” family, have my children taken away from me, ostracized by my community, fired from my job, kicked out of my home, bullied into the closet, denied my civil rights, and watch my closest friends driven to suicide for making the same “choice”.

    • This is why the LGB community gets so much push back from us terrible, closed minded “normal” people. It is a CHOICE, I don’t care what you argue. You choose to be different. You CHOOSE and expect everyone to accept your choices and go a step further and EXPECT everyone to agree with you. Live your life, do what you want and don’t flaunt it and throw it in our face and we will have no issues. I don’t want your views forced on me anymore than you want mine forced on you. If you think you are a woman and look like a woman use the womans rest room and keep your mouth shut.
      I have a close family friend who is a gay man, married to his partner of more than 20 years. They got married in a state where gay marraige was legal long before the Supreme Court decision. We get along fine. I have no issues with it. He lives his life, minds his own business and has no issues with the community at large.
      And I am sorry if you feel discriminated against because of choosing something

      • Let’s see… an intersex karyotype. Ovatestes. Puberty from a bottle. Genitals that needed repair to allow intercourse. The smallest of my classmates. A feminine face.

        The same sort of people who mocked me when I was trying to look like a boy now think I chose to be this way so I could use the girls’ restroom.

  65. If this was REALLY about being worried about your precious little kiddies, then you would demand that pedophile catholic priests be kept out of public bathrooms, you would demand that perverted “family values” republicans be kept out of public bathrooms, and you would demand the end of sports to prevent another possible penn state like scandal.

    This is not about protecting your precious little kids. This is simply about the christians reich’s harassing, bullying, marginalizing and murdering of a group of people who aren’t white, Christian and heterosexual.

    • Please don’t stereotype. I’m not a republican. I am proud to be a Christian but I did not invoke any Christian arguments. Also, I agree we shouldn’t let Catholic Priest Child Molesters in the bathroom with my kids but is that discrimination because they are Catholic or because they are child molesters because we will have to take a stand and choose one side or the other won’t we.

  66. No, not at all likely. Nobody is going to fool professionals into believing they are trans if they are not. It’s too complicated, and nobody is that good an actor or that well-educated. Reading the DSM is not going to give a fraction of the insight needed to convince anyone of anything.
    Further, someone who has not been professionally diagnosed as transgender isn’t going to be transitioning. Such a person would not have the first idea about how to transition, wouldn’t have legal access to hormones, and just wouldn’t be in the least convincing.
    It’s no coincidence that every single negative comment on this blog has come from people who don’t know any transgender people. As a result, their comments are based on fear and lack of factual information. Why not take some time and get to know some trans people? What you learn could eliminate a lot of your fears.

  67. Just because YOU say it is a choice does not make it so. The fact is, it is NOT a choice. People cannot choose their gender identity, nor can they choose to which sex they are attracted. To claim otherwise demonstrates a profound lack of understanding of both gender and sexual orientation.

  68. Note to “Christians”, especially republican “Christians”.

    WWJD does NOT stand for who would jesus destroy.

  69. No one chooses to be transgender, so get your head out of your a** (for once in your existence).

    What is or isn’t between my legs has NOTHING to do with my gender. There is a reason they don’t have anatomically correct representations of penises and vaginas on bathroom doors. Mommy, mommy, do I use the bathroom with the pouty slug or the one with the angry goat skull ?

    I want “Christians” to keep their nonsense out of my life, out of my government, and more importantly to themselves. QUIT FLAUNTING your heterosexual Christian lifestyle. Being a Christian is a choice. You made a choice to worship a mass murdering child killing genocidal sky daddy.

    Transgender is not a choice.
    so get a clue.
    as John Oliver so elegantly stated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmoAX9f6MOc

    • Yes, any of the LGBT behaviors is a choice. At some point in life, because of a lack of/indication from parents or guardians, the child made a decision that he/she would behave like the opposite sex. It’s a choice, God does not create sexual perversity, this is a choice birthed from human nature.

  70. If there’s a war on women there is most certainly a war on Transgender as well, what’s worse is the same disgusting tactics of “legislating for our safety” that was used against the African American community during the Civil Rights Movement, are being used again in the year 2016!

    When will hate, intolerance, and discrimination be unacceptable? How much further do we have to sink as a society before we say enough is enough, we are ALL American’s, we are ALL in this together, and we ALL have something to bring to this great nation? That is the reality that I fight for, and the one that many of us do as well. Let THAT be our rallying cry to unite our misguided countrymen.

    Together we can and we will make a difference without it being at the expense of others!

    • Bobbie, some things just HAVE TO BE discriminated. LGBT behaviors is one of them. The reason is because these behavior fall under the category of sexual deviance and perversion. You cannot expect normal people to adapt to these perversion. We haven’t, we won’t and never will.

  71. I came back to post what I should have posted earlier today. I have not read what has been posted in reply to my previous posts and will no nor will I respond to this or ever visit this site again. I let my flesh and pride take over and tried to win an argument without relying on God so here goes

    I am a Christian and I do not care what any of you think of me. I don’t care if you don’t understand me. I don’t care what you say about me or may call me. You may say that I am a kook, a fanatic, that I am out of date or old fashioned, behind the times or foolish. That I believe in a dusty outdated book but you won’t say that I didn’t stand up for what I believe in. I am not a hypocrit. I am the same person on Monday morning and Saturday night that I am when I am in the pew on Sunday. I teach my children right and wrong as I see fit.

    I am a Methodist and just as out founder John Wesley I believe what the Bible says and do what it says. It was a radical idea in the 1720’s to do so and may be now too but it’s what I believe. Read Bible do Bible.

    Those who responded to me did not get my meaning and I am not tying to get them to like me but maybe I can touch someone’s life through Christ through this. I am not trying to win a theological debate but here is how I live my life and what I believe.

    1 Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to salvation. And “God sent his Son not to condem the world but to save it through him”

    2 I am a sinner in need of God’s grace. I sin daily and need a savior. There is no sin better or worse that’s another. Sin is sin. My sins are no better or worse than anyone else’s. I am in need of salvation daily. I seek salvation constantly. It is not a one time event but a lifelong journey.

    3. When Jesus was asked what is the most important commandment he said”you shall love the Lord God with all thy heart, and mind and soul and the second is like it to love thy neighbor as thyself”. To love God is to love your neighbor. Who is our neighbor? Everyone. None of you may want to hear this or believe this. You may hate me. You may no want Gods love but I love you as a fellow human created in the image of God and God loves you. Bobbie Jo Justice, I love you and God loves you. Seranine Elliot, I love you and God loves you. Rev William Carey I love you and God loves you.

    It does matter how you feel about me or how you feel about God, you are loved. You can’t change that. It doesn’t sound like you have met any/many true Christians. Bible believing, Bible living Christians but that’s the message that they would tell you.

    When Jesus was dying in the cross with a condemned man on either side one mocked him. The other asked how he could be in Heaven. That’s all it took. Jesus said “now I tell you that you will be with me in paradise this day.” He didn’t say well I’m going to have to take down off of that cross and wash you up in the river then put some clothes on you. After this you will have to do a,b and c and then I will come back and if you have been good enough to and done enough good things I will save you.

    He loves us for who we are. I don’t care who you are, what you believe, who you love, what you have come from, what you have achieved. I love you because you are a fellow human.

    4 I am no ones judge. That job and place is no mine. I don’t care what you do. I wasn’t judging anyone. You did not listen to what I had to say but gave the same stock response that you always give.

    5 I am not a doormat. You believe what you want to believe but I have the right to believe what I believe. Which you have seen above.

    This post may get removed by I pray that I touched just one person. Someone that may be hurting. God is there with open arms to love is no matter who we are as long as we believe in him and love him.
    “But for for me and my house , we will serve he Lord” Joshua 24:15

  72. I am a transgender woman who lives in North Carolina and I am a Christian. My message is my God is the same as you’re God and his son Jesus taught the world that judging is a sin. If the flock will leave the judging to him the world would be a better place for all us. You can ridicule me you can call me names and you can continue to judge me but in the end you are the one who committed the sin. So have at it hell is not full yet.

    • Sorry Janice but you are deceived. You are not a follower of Jesus if you willfully practice a behavior that is clearly condemned from Genesis to Revelation. LGBT is sin and all practitioners of these behavior will have their part in the Lake of Fire. Jesus calls you to repent and allow His Holy Spirit to transform your mind to see things according to His Word. You cannot serve two masters, you will love one and despise the other. Clearly you are not following Jesus’ teaching but your own lust. Please repent while you can and ask Jesus to change your life. I pray that God will show you so that you do not remain lost in your current situation.

  73. “The only time Jesus ever mentioned sex in any capacity was to personally challenge people’s hearts, not to sanction them to impose their own preferences upon anyone else. It’s as simple as that.”

    We aren’t imposing our preferences on anyone else. They are not pushing for a transgender bathroom, nor to have completely enclosed separate, one person washrooms with walls from floor to ceiling, and a door with trim and no cracks. I would have no problem with that!

    They are imposing their preferences on us: “NO! we want to use the washroom you use!”

    THe LGBT need to stop imposing their preferences on us!

    • No. I’ve been using the womens’ bathroom for more than forty years now. It’s you who want me to change restrooms.

      If you’re worried about the possibility of a predator entering the womens’ room and molesting your daughter, why aren’t you worried about the same person molesting your son in the mens’ room?

      Why don’t you care that registered sex offenders are allowed to use a public restroom?

      Why don’t you care that I’m most likely to be sexually assaulted by a man I already know ?

      And why is it that I’ve been treated worse by trolls on the Internet than by any trans* person I’ve shared a restroom with?

  74. The solution is for hate filled “christian” bigots to stop harassing people.
    Bigotry wrapped in prayer is still bigotry.
    First the white “christian” people bullied, harassed, marginalized and murdered native americans. Then the white “christian” people bullied, harassed, marginalized, enslaved, and murdered black people. Then the white “christian” people bullied, harassed, marginalized and murdered gay people. Now the white “christian” people are bullying, harassing, marginalizing and murdering transgender people.
    WHEN IS THIS GOING TO STOP?

    • Rejecting sexual depravity and perversion in the life of an individual is NOT bigotry. Things need to be called for what they are and LGBT behaviors are perverse to say the least.

  75. “If you’re truly worried about child sex abuse, then as a responsible parent, it’d behoove you to know that in three-quarters of sex abuse cases, children are not harmed by strangers, but by members of their own family or someone they know. Furthermore, while girls carry a one in four chance of being sexually abused before age 18, the risk for boys is one in six. If bathroom predators are truly an issue, why on earth would I be worried about my daughter but not my son?”
    “The idea that we’re somehow protecting our children by discriminating against transgender people is abhorrent and a complete load of sh**. Even worse, it’s teaching an entire generation of kids that discrimination is okay as long as you can come up with some really scary lie to justify your own prejudices”

  76. From your posts, I have to say you are one of the most profoundly ignorant people I have ever encountered. You demonstrate a profound ignorance of what LGBT people are about, as well as ignorance of scripture: “Transgender behavior is a deviance of human nature, it not only is sinful but also an abomination to manind. The Bible clearly condemns from cover to cover… a behavior that is clearly condemned from Genesis to Revelation. ”
    Being transgender is not a behavior, and not a moral issue, and the Bible is silent on it, because it was not understood in the slightest when the Bible was written.
    Your posts are filled with condemnation and judgment. I can’t think of too many things more sinful and more abominable to God than judgment based on hatred and ignorance. And when it comes to that, you took the cake. It is you who need to repent.

  77. Thank you for showing your ignorance about Jesus Christ and Scripture. Christ is the Living Word. Scripture, ALL SCRIPTURE, is the Written Word. That means Jesus Christ embodies both the OT and the NT and ALL is there for our guidance and instruction. Homosexuality is condemned in Scripture, both OT and NT. That means that Jesus, the Word, has given us exactly what we need to live our lives by. Quit pretending you understand Jesus Christ, Christianity or Christ’s Church and be honest about what you are: an anti-Christ.

  78. You are free to believe scripture condemns homosexuality. That is your right. Based on my decades of experience researching scripture in the original languages (as opposed to relying on vernacular translations), I wholeheartedly disagree. That is my right.
    But in my view, when someone stoops to the level of calling a Christian who disagrees about something an anti-Christ, that person gives up any semblance of being a Christian. Your post came across as a bit arrogant, and not very loving. Jesus didn’t say we would recognize His disciples by their self-righteous indignation or defense of their doctrines, but by the love they have for each other… and that would have to include love for other Christians whose beliefs are different in some way.

  79. I missed the part about God condemning my trans friends. Would you show me in scripture? Other than one obscure verse the Old Testament about warriors not dressing like women?

    God treats other sex minorities with dignity, and gives them wonderful promises. (Isaiah 54 & 56) He requires nothing of them beyond faith in Christ (Acts 8). So why do you load them down with burdens God doesn’t require?

  80. If I used an insulting and derogatory word for people like you just did, I wouldn’t have the nerve to call myself a Christian. Jesus wouldn’t call people insulting names. Neither will His true followers.

  81. EVERY TIME. Make no mistake, EVERY TIME.

    Every time you allow clergy to say homosexuality is a sin, you have blood on your hands. Every time you allow clergy to say that transgender people are sinners, you have blood on your hands. Every time you allow someone to quote the bible or the koran to “justify” their piss poor treatment of other human beings, you have blood on your hands. Every time you allow a coworker, manager, employee, authority figure, friend, acquaintance, neighbor, spouse, sibling, etc., to make a homophobic or transphobic remark, you have blood on your hands.

    EVERY TIME.

  82. A former pastor actually told this to another staff member as a reason why he brought it up so much. At least he admitted it.

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