Tag Archive | Genesis 1:27

Who is God?

The last couple of weeks I have been talking about following Jesus and that the Holy Spirit has been sent to help us do that. But one of the things that is often overlooked, is

‘just exactly who is God’.

As I was preparing for this homily, I was thinking that we hear about Jesus and have a pretty good understanding of who He was and what his life, suffering and resurrection mean for us. And although the Holy Spirit is a bit of a mystery, we can accept that the Holy Spirit was breathed upon us to help us follow the teachings of Jesus. But it suddenly dawned on me that we never talk about who God is – probably the most important person – the creator of us all and everything that lives and breathes.

Little children often ask that question, ‘who is God?’, but by the time we reach adulthood, everyone assumes we know who God is – therefore no one talks about that. I think it is time for us to look at who we believe God to be and what God means to each one of us.

We hear in the story of creation in Genesis that the world and everything in it was created by God in only six days. Now, we don’t know what a ‘day’ was in the time before creation, but science has just proven that the earth is a little over 4.4 billion years old. So God, the creator, has been around for a very long time – since before the universe.

God is known by many different names; sometimes God is called ‘Lord’ – not in a political sense, but as a sign of ultimate respect.

Wikipedia defines ‘God’ as ‘the Supreme Being’, the principal object of faith and worship,’ all knowing’ (omniscient); ‘being every present everywhere’ (omnipresent); ‘having unlimited power’ (omnipotent) – after all, you would have to be pretty powerful to take nothing and make the world out of it – and ‘all-loving’ (omnibenevolent).

But, God has no gender. I have a bag that says ‘God is not a boy’s name’, which often causes a stir at some religious functions. But I believe, and theologians agree, that God is not a man, nor is God a woman as we often hear in feminist theology. The Bible says God is a spirit (John 4:24)—without physical form (not in a human body as we are). And, contrary to all the pictures we see of God, He is not a white man! God has no color, He is a spirit, formless – we normally see pictures of God as a white man because people needed something they could see. The picture we often see of God is an old man with a long white beard sitting on a cloud in the sky; the most famous of these depictions is on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican – most everyone has seen this fresco and associated God with that depiction.

And in love (1 John 4:16), God created us in His image as we read in Genesis 1:27:

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

What we do hear repeatedly in Scripture, and need to remember, is that we are all children of God, the same God, no matter what God is called. And we are all beloved children of God (1 John 3:2).

But that still doesn’t answer “Who is God?”

Let’s look at what the Bible says:

When Moses asked God who he was, God answered:

“I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14)

And later in Revelation 22:13:

“I am the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end”

In most faith traditions, God is the ultimate, the Supreme Being, the creator and sustainer of all living things, one to be worshipped.

Some of the things that we hear in the Bible about God is that he is:

just (Acts 17:31),

loving (Ephesians 2:4-5),

truthful (John 14:6), and

holy (1 John 1:5).

God shows compassion (2 Corinthians 1:3), mercy (Romans 9:15), and grace (Romans 5:17) to all his people. And although God may judge our behavior (Psalm 5:5), He always offers forgiveness (Psalm 130:4) – again and again as we stray from the right path.

God is a loving God. He cares about us; and always loves us, no matter what. And He sent Jesus down to help us learn how to live right. And by grace, even when we make mistakes, we are always forgiven. We know from the scriptures, that Jesus brought us eternal life, through his crucifixion and resurrection.

God is the ultimate Being in existence, perfect in power, love, and character. Since God wanted to share His love with others, He created people – us – spiritual creatures who can relate to Him. Because God is love, He wants us to love Him and love other people (Matthew 22:37-40).

That is the God that we know, who knows us and loves us, and the one we worship.

Let us pray:

Dear God, creator of our world and all that is in it, please grant us forgiveness when we don’t follow Jesus’ teachings, help us to remember that you created all people and we are commanded to love them as Jesus loved us. Help us to preserve your creation and live in love with all our brothers and sisters. Amen.
 
 

     Delivered at In The Garden, Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square, Columbus, OH; 18 June 2017

ALL Religions Are Paths to God

In a taped interview in early April, Pope Francis II stated his belief that ALL religions are a path to God. This is a revolutionary concept from the standpoint of the Roman Catholic church, who previously espoused that Catholicism was the only way to God.

The Pope’s statement, at last, opens the door for all the world’s religions to become more interactive, interreligious and ecumenical. Given the many problems and conflicts facing the world today, all people of faith need to work, live and pray together to reduce injustice and forge cooperative relationships to address the world’s problems.

Of course, there was immediate resistance from some of the more conservative, evangelical denominations speaking doom and gloom that this was the beginning of the ‘one world religion’, which would bring about the downfall of the world. Their contention is that there is only one religion, Christianity, and that all others are heretical. They use the John 14:6 Scripture:

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Many of the other world religions see the use of this particular scripture (and others like it), to denigrate their beliefs and justify alienation and violence against them. We need to be reminded that

    So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them (Genesis 1:27)

This Genesis text (or a slight variation of it) exists in all religions. All faiths recognize that we are all created in the image of a supreme being, no matter what the creator is called (God, YHWH, Father, Almighty, Creator, Great Spirit, Supreme All-Powerful Gigantic One, perfect being, All Merciful One).

The world’s religions may think of the creator differently, feel differently about his position in their lives, and seek the creator in different ways. But it is universal that we are all related to each other and are brothers and sisters, loving and loved by the Creator.

It is our responsibility, as children of God, to work together to alleviate the suffering in the world, and to love each other. All of us, regardless of our professed religion (or non-faith tradition), are children of our Creator. If we acknowledge foundation of love for one another as creations of God, we can then begin to actively seek dialogue to create peace and restore justice for all people.

It is time for all of us to step beyond our safety zone and get to know people of other religious and faith backgrounds. We need to participate in interreligious activities what will introduce us to the beauty and inspiration of other faith traditions, just as we share our own with others.

It is time to get out of the pews and into the streets to spread the wonderful news that we are all God’s children, and that we are all loved by God, no matter what we call him, and that only together can we being harmony to our earthly home.

I challenge each and every one of you to meet and talk to someone who has different religious and cultural beliefs and seek the common ground we all share.

We are all children of the same Creator – brothers and sisters of the world!
 
 
Written for The Crossroads, Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Worthington and Parts Adjacent, Worthington, OH; 17 April 2016

Let’s Drop the ‘Us vs. Them”

Although we still have four months until the presidential politicking ‘officially’ gets started with the New Hampshire primary, we are already seeing a growing disparity of opinion and a predominance of the ‘us vs. them’ mentality. It often appears that those candidates and supporters who frequently proclaim themselves ‘Christians’, are also the loudest factions displaying argumentative and adversarial behavior. Civil discourse in the public arena is too often not ‘civil’; it has become a shouting match, each faction calling the other derogatory names and demeaning one other.

While we acknowledge that for those whose faith is important and a core of who they are, their actions are driven by their beliefs. Yet, it seems that those who proclaim their religion repeatedly are also the ones who are most suspicious of anyone who disagrees with them. They are intolerant and negative about any ethnicity, skin color, social or financial position or political leanings that do not mirror their own. They see the public as easily-labeled groups or factions each of whom represents ‘the others’ or ‘them’. If one studies the teachings of Jesus, this tendency to emphasize the differences in people is contrary to everything He taught us. One could say that turning others into ‘thems’ is the complete opposite of the core message of the Christian faith.

    ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39)

Somehow, in this time of political and social polarization, both sides seem to have forgotten this second Great Commandment from Jesus. They display a lack of caring about the stranger, the brother, the sister, the mother, the father, the children, the unborn that do not join lockstep in their political philosophy. Rather than rejoice in any commonalities, both physical and emotional, that all human beings share, they emphasize differences, no matter how small.

Have we forgotten that we are all created in the image of God?

    So God created humankind in his own image; in the image of God he created him: male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27),

and we are all beloved by God?

    “We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4)

We have to hope that all people want to do the right thing, and that most people strive to do the right thing. Yet, when people begin to believe that what is good for all of us (healthcare, public education, food security, job security, affordable housing) is in fact sinister, and only approve of things that are good for ‘them’ and their perceived group, we have come a long way from the teachings of Jesus. There becomes a gap between how we live our daily lives and how we talk about our common life.

After at least three decades of this ‘us vs. them’ mentality, there is extreme stress on our democracy. Legislatures at both the state and federal level are non-productive, seemingly going out of their way to make sure that either nothing is accomplished or that laws are passed that marginalize and limit the inclusion of everyone in our society. This has left the American people feeling that they are lost and ‘no one is minding the store’. Daily we are bombarded by alarming events in the global economy, endless wars that no one really wanted, famine and misery for millions, racial and legal injustices, and great income disparity. Levers of government and social action are paralyzed. There seems to be no one who is willing to stretch out their hand and try to work together for the common good of us all.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. . . we, as individuals, and collectively, as followers of Jesus can and need to change this.

There is no actual ‘us vs. them’. This is a fiction created by organizations with a narrow self-interest to put roadblocks in the functioning of our society. All political parties, liberals, conservatives, libertarians, progressives, and tea party-er share the blame. If we are to be the United States of America – people living and striving to maintain a nation where all people are created equal, where all have the same rights, and all can pursue life, liberty and happiness, ‘us vs. them’ mentality must be exchanged for ‘all for one and one for all’!

It is time for those of us who follow Jesus to stop this madness of ‘us vs. them’. We must work to overcome the prejudice and animosity rampant in our lives that is dividing our country. We must talk civilly with each other, listen to disparate opinions, use compromise and common sense to develop consensus in a loving and Christ-like way.

The next time we think about ‘them’, we must remember the many ways we are alike as human beings; we must realize we share the same hopes, dreams, fears and yearnings. Look for the similarities, not the differences. Have a conversation to build understanding and you’ll will probably find that you are not so different from us.

We must begin. . .

    we must start the conversation.

If WE don’t do it, who will?
 
 
Written for The Crossroads, Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Worthington, OH, 19 October 2015

Whose Are We?

    Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax[a] to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:15-21)

Most of us have flipped a coin at some time or other to make a decision or settle an argument.

(Flip a coin and have someone call it).

Heads, we do this. Tails, we do that. One side of a coin has an image of a head on it and the other side has an image of something else. This was true even back in the first century. The coin that Jesus used in today’s Gospel had an image of Caesar, the Roman Emperor, on it. Jesus used that image to teach an important lesson.

Jesus had been preaching, teaching and healing for about 3 years by this time. Large crowds have gathered to listen to Him and there was talk starting about making this Jesus the new king of Israel. After all,

    • He could inspire huge crowds with His words.
    • He could feed thousands with very little food.
    • He could heal the sick, the lame, the blind and the mentally ill.
    • And He had the power to even raise people from the dead.

If Jesus were their King, there would surely be no power on earth that could stand against Israel. Not even the hated Romans could hold them back. Israel would once again become a great nation.

But there was a problem: the job of King was already taken. Judea, (the official name for Israel then) already had a King and that king’s name was Herod (the King who’d executed John Baptist). Herod’s followers were called Herodians and they, of course, wanted Herod as their king… not Jesus.

So, these Herodians conspired with the Pharisees, the officials for the Temple and the religious leaders, to discredit Jesus in the eyes of the people. They approached Jesus and asked:

    “Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (Matthew 22:17)

Now, what’s odd about this question is that it was posed by a group of Pharisees and Herodians. The Pharisees hated Rome and claimed it was heresy to pay Roman taxes. And the Herodians wanted better relations with Rome and approved of Roman taxation.

The only reason they joined forces was because they both feared Jesus and wanted Him out of the way. So, if Jesus answered that the people Had To Pay their taxes the Pharisees could condemn Him to the crowds as a friend of the hated Romans. BUT if Jesus replied that people Should Not pay their taxes the Herodians would brand Him an enemy of Rome and had Him arrested.

It was the perfect trap. . . or so they thought.

They knew Jesus as a Rabbi, a Jewish teacher. And Rabbis ALWAYS answered questions people asked them, so it was a no-brainer that this man would answer them. But just to put a little extra honey on their trap, they put added flattery to their question to appeal to His vanity.

    “Teacher,” they said, “we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion?…” (Matthew 22:16-17)

And they smiled to themselves. They smiled as they thought they had Jesus in their trap.

But, Jesus knew what these men were thinking longggg before they even showed up. These men were masters at deception and manipulation. And they probably have a track record of publicly humiliating those they dislike. These are the kinds of men Jesus knew well were enemies of justice and mercy.

But I bet Jesus smiled a bit too. He’s going to enjoy this. First He slapped them around a little bit.

    “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?” (Matthew 22:18)

Basically He was saying:

    “Seriously??? You seriously think you can get me with silly question? really? Is that best you’ve got?

Then Jesus turns everything around and lays His own little trap.

He asks for a coin and then says to them:

    “Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?” (Matthew 22:20)

Now, it was a simple question. And the answer was equally simple:

    “Caesar’s,” they replied.

Then Jesus says:

    “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)

In that simple answer, Jesus destroyed their trap.

You do realize that the money you carry in your wallet doesn’t totally belong to you. It belongs to the US Government. The image on our money declares WHO those bills belong to. Look at any bill you have and you’ll see these words:

    “Federal Reserve Note. The United States of America”

Those words say WHO those bills belong to.

Just exactly what Jesus was saying. . . the image on the coin He was given declared who it belonged to. And that we must:

    “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matthew 22:21)

So how do I know what to give to the government? By the images on the bills and coins.

So, then, what do we give to God?

We give to God what has God’s image.

But where do we find God’s image?

Genesis 1:27 says,

    So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them

WE are created in God’s image and likeness.

You and I need to give what belongs to God – back to God.

We need to give US back to God.

Now how do we do that? How do we give ourselves to God?

First, we need to BELONG to Him. We are a part of Him, and need to follow the teachings and examples of Jesus, for He was as close to God as any living person could be. God tells us that when we do that He will guide us and care for us and bring us home to Him again. God marks us with His Spirit. He puts His IMAGE (His Holy Spirit) inside us to say we belong to Him.

But is that it? Is that ALL there is to it?

Yes, that is all there is to it!

This coin, this dollar – they represent the things of this world – not bad things, but certainly NOT the coins of God’s Kingdom. We use them, but they are not ours.

We belong to God – who made us. We ALWAYS will. We must love each other and do our best. In Micah 6:8, we hear:

    and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

That’s all there is –

And All we really ever need.

Amen.
 
 
Delivered at In The Garden, Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 19 October 2014

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