The Southern Baptist Convention Throws Transgender People Under The Bus

Yesterday delegates to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest Protestant body in American, with around 16 million members) approved a resolution concerning transgender people. The points they affirmed about transgender people are below, each followed by the supporting text from the affirmed resolution. Following these points is the whole of the resolution from which this support is derived.

Transgender people are crazy. (“[Transgender people experience] a perceived conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity.”)

Transgender people are delusional. (“Gender identity should be determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception.”)

Transgender people are rejecting God’s will (“We affirm God’s original design to create two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female.” “We affirm distinctions in masculine and feminine roles as ordained by God.”)

Transgender people are rejecting God’s plan. (“We affirm that male and female designate the fundamental distinction that God has embedded in the very biology of the human race.”)

If transgender people would pray more they’d stop being transgender. (“We invite all transgender persons to trust in Christ and to experience renewal in the gospel.”)

Transgender people should not be protected by law. (“We call upon all judges and public officials to resist and oppose the efforts to treat gender identity as a protected class.” “We commit ourselves to pray for and support legislative and legal efforts to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other legislation like it that would give gender identity the same legal protections as sex and race.”)

No law should ever in any way validate transgender people. (“We continue to oppose steadfastly all efforts by any court or state legislature to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy.”)

It’s immoral for a transgender person to alter their body to reflect their gender identity. (“We condemn efforts to alter one’s bodily identity [e.g., cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery] to bring it into line with one’s perceived gender identity.”)

Children need to be protected from the idea of transgender people being normal. (“We oppose all efforts by media and entertainment outlets and public schools to mainstream transgender identity in the eyes of our children.”)

Hate speech from the pulpit against transgender people should be practiced and protected. (“We call on Southern Baptist churches to commit to guard our religious liberty to teach and preach the Bible’s message about sex and gender.”)

All Christians should actively teach and preach against transgender people. (“Our love for the gospel and urgency for the Great Commission must include declaring what God’s word teaches about God’s design for us as male and female persons created in His image and for His glory.”)

Transgender people are welcome in church as long as they repent. (“We welcome them [transgender people] into our congregations as they repent and believe in Christ.”)

The Southern Baptist Convention loves transgender people. (“We love our transgender neighbors, [and] seek their good always …”)

People belonging to the Southern Baptist Convention aren’t transgender. (“We will teach and model for our own children the Bible’s message about manhood and womanhood.”)

It’s wrong for transgender people to be bullied. (“We condemn acts of abuse or bullying committed against [transgender people].”)

Before moving on to the whole of the resolution concerning transgender people ratified today by the Southern Baptist Convention, I would like to propose a resolution concerning the Southern Baptist Convention:

    On the Southern Baptist Convention

    WHEREAS, the Southern Baptist Convention continues to speak and act in ways that are profoundly contrary to the spirit and Gospel of Jesus Christ; and

    WHEREAS, the Southern Baptist Convention continues to foster great pain and suffering in this world by codifying its condemnation of entire populations of human beings; now, therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, That the Southern Baptist Convention is sad beyond expression and a tragically perverted version of Christianity that the march of time cannot soon enough trample into the dust.

    Here is the whole childish mess of the SBC’s anti-transgender resolution:

    On Transgender Identity

    WHEREAS, about 700,000 Americans perceive their gender identity to be at variance with the physical reality of their biological birth sex; and

    WHEREAS, the American Psychiatric Association removed this condition (aka, “gender identity disorder”) from its list of disorders in 2013, substituting “gender identity disorder” with “gender dysphoria”; and

    WHEREAS, the American Psychiatric Association includes among its treatment options for gender dysphoria cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery, and social and legal transition to the desired gender; and

    WHEREAS, news reports indicate that parents are allowing their children to undergo these “therapies”; and

    WHEREAS, many LGBT activists have sought to normalize the transgender experience and to define gender according to one’s self-perception apart from biological anatomy; and

    WHEREAS, the separation of one’s gender identity from the physical reality of their biological birth sex poses the harmful effect of engendering an understanding of sexuality and personhood that is fluid; and

    WHEREAS, some public school systems are encouraging parents and teachers to affirm the feelings of children whose self-perception of their own gender is at variance with their biological sex; and

    WHEREAS, some public school systems are allowing access to bathrooms and locker rooms according to a child’s self-perception of gender and not according to their biological sex; and

    WHEREAS, the state of New Jersey prohibits licensed counselors from any attempt to change a child’s “gender expression”; and

    WHEREAS, the United States Senate passed last year legislation titled the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would radically alter the idea of protected classes in American law, granting sexual orientation and gender identity the same employment protections as sex and race; and

    WHEREAS, ENDA would make it illegal for certain businesses and organizations to fire or to refuse to hire or promote an employee because of his or her gender identity that is at variance with biological sex; and

    WHEREAS, Although recent formulations of ENDA contain a religious exemption, they do not contain an exemption for rights of conscience or religious freedom to protect businesses with a religious character (such as religious bookstores, publishers, and parachurch ministries) and other businesses with religious owners or managers; and

    WHEREAS, Such legislation jeopardizes our First Amendment freedoms by establishing in law the principle that disapproval of transgender behavior is a form of bigotry, equivalent to racism; and

    WHEREAS, these cultural currents run counter to the biblical teaching that “Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation” (BF&M 2000, “III. Man”); now, therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, June 10-12, 2014, recognize that all persons are created in God’s image and are made to glorify Him (Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 43:7); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we recognize that the Fall of man into sin and God’s subsequent curse have introduced brokenness and futility into God’s good creation (Genesis 3:1-24; Romans 8:20); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we extend love and compassion to those whose experience of this brokenness includes a perceived conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity (Romans 8:22-23); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we affirm God’s good design that gender identity should be determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception—a perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God’s design (Ephesians 4:17-18); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we affirm God’s original design to create two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female (Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we affirm that male and female designate the fundamental distinction that God has embedded in the very biology of the human race; and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we affirm distinctions in masculine and feminine roles as ordained by God as part of the created order, and that those distinctions should find an echo in every human heart (Genesis 2:18, 21-24; 1 Corinthians 11:7-9; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 2:12-14); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we invite all transgender persons to trust in Christ and to experience renewal in the gospel (1 Timothy 1:15-16); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we love our transgender neighbors, seek their good always, welcome them into our congregations as they repent and believe in Christ, and spur them on to love and good deeds in the name of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Galatians 5:14; Hebrews 10:24); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we regard our transgender neighbors as image-bearers of almighty God and therefore that we condemn acts of abuse or bullying committed against them; and be if further

    RESOLVED, That we condemn efforts to alter one’s bodily identity (e.g., cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery) to bring it into line with one’s perceived gender identity; and be if further

    RESOLVED, That we continue to oppose steadfastly all efforts by any court or state legislature to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy (Isaiah 5:20); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we commit ourselves to pray for and support legislative and legal efforts to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and other legislation like it that would give gender identity the same legal protections as sex and race; and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we call upon all judges and public officials to resist and oppose the efforts to treat gender identity as a protected class; and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we oppose all efforts by media and entertainment outlets and public schools to mainstream transgender identity in the eyes of our children; and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we call on Southern Baptist churches to commit to guard our religious liberty to teach and preach the Bible’s message about sex and gender; and be it further

    RESOLVED, That we will to teach and model for our own children the Bible’s message about manhood and womanhood; and be it finally

    RESOLVED, That our love for the gospel and urgency for the Great Commission must include declaring the whole counsel of God, including what God’s word teaches about God’s design for us as male and female persons created in His image and for His glory (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 20:27; Romans 11:36).

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2014/06/the-southern-baptist-convention-throws-transgender-people-under-the-bus/#ixzz34LKWYFcw

2 thoughts on “The Southern Baptist Convention Throws Transgender People Under The Bus

  1. What about Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    We need to pray for our Southern Baptist brothers and sisters who have just been openly rejected by their own denomination. Is it a wonder that over 41% of all transgenders have attempted suicide at least once in their lives?

    Is this the way that Jesus teaches us to live? Is this the way we want to treat our fellow children of God?!

  2. A Trans Christian’s Open Letter To The Southern Baptist Convention
    Jun10, 2014

    Dear Southern Baptist Convention,

    I know that you are considering passing a resolution against transgender identity this week at your meeting in Baltimore. In anticipation of this vote, I write to you as a fellow believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, the savior of the world, the person to whom I have given my heart and soul and whom I spend my life serving.

    I was raised Southern Baptist in Stanly County, North Carolina, in a devoted Christian family.

    My dad grew up in Nigeria, the son of Southern Baptist missionaries who taught there. The theology and worship of my Southern Baptist church was a core part of my identity as a child, and in many ways, it continues to form the person I am today.

    Growing up, I was desperate to be a good Christian and to earnestly give my life, my heart, and my soul to the Lord. I was also trans. I knew I was a girl from a very young age, even though the world saw me as a boy. It wasn’t easy. I fought against this. I fought with every tool I had. I prayed and I prayed and I begged.

    I went through the act of being saved over and over, thinking each time that if I was perfectly contrite and sorrowful, Christ would save me from being trans, from being a girl.

    When I was about 16, I was on a youth retreat up near Liberty University. My youth group was staying in cabins out in the woods. At one of the evening praise and worship times I fell down on the floor praying that God would fix me. My minister prayed over me. I hoped, I hoped incredibly hard that that would be the moment where I was fixed, but of course it wasn’t.

    I couldn’t “fix” being trans because it’s how God created me.

    There have always been transgender and gender non-conforming people. There will always be trans and gender non-conforming people. Trans and gender non-conforming people turn up in every culture and every population. In fact, the first gentile Christian in the Book of Acts was someone who could be viewed gender non-conforming—the Ethiopian Eunuch.

    The thing is, struggling against being trans wasn’t good for me. That struggle made me an unhealthy, unhappy person. I was hiding so much and hating so much about myself that it poisoned my ability to build meaningful, loving relationships.

    Coming out and transitioning was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, and I served with the US Military in Iraq.

    But it was worth it. People now have the chance to know me and love me. My friends and family have the opportunity to come past all the mean little walls I once set up around my heart. In the process, I’ve gotten to know my family in profound ways.

    And I’ve gotten to know, absolutely, that I am loved unconditionally.

    Unfortunately, the proposed resolution, which attempts to provide a reference point for Southern Baptists considering questions of gender identity, fails to extend that unconditional love to trans and gender non-conforming people.

    As more and more trans folks appear on television and the covers of magazines, there are conversations about trans identity happening all over the United States. A lot of people are trying to figure out how to feel about us transgender people, and it makes sense that the SBC wants to take a stand.

    I can even see why some Southern Baptists might be inclined to come out against folks being trans. The 2000 Baptist Faith & Message proclaims that the “gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation.” On the surface, transgender identity seems to complicate gender systems and disrupt the gender roles that are entrenched in Southern Baptist theology.

    It can be temptingly easy to label confusing things as bad or wrong, even when they are perfectly natural and good, just complicated.

    But growing up Southern Baptist, I was taught that every person had to make their own choices about their faith and their life. I was taught that all people had soul freedom. I was taught that no one gets to stand between you and God, and that you get to make the choice about who you are, about how you will live your life, about whether or not you will follow Jesus.

    If we can believe that it is up to each individual to make choices of that importance about their souls, can’t people also be trusted to make their own choices about their own bodies and identities?

    Unfortunately, transgender people experience harassment, violence, and discrimination at alarming rates.

    Isn’t it the role of Christians to minister with those who are excluded and marginalized?

    I ask you, as fellow believers, to join with us in the Episcopal Church and other traditions as family in standing with trans and gender non-nonconforming people rather than against us.

    Don’t make the world harder for trans folks. Instead, let’s explore together the ways that our gender, in all its beautiful diversity, is a blessed gift from God.

    Thank you for listening.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Vivian Taylor, Executive Director
    Integrity USA

    See more at: http://www.believeoutloud.com/latest/trans-christians-open-letter-southern-baptist-convention

    http://www.believeoutloud.com/latest/trans-christians-open-letter-southern-baptist-convention

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