I don’t claim to have any authority on the subject of transgender and what the Bible says or doesn’t say. I am only writing to share my experience and the things I’ve learned in the process of trying to figure out what I believe to be true. I’m certain that God planned for me to love MJ and to help her navigate the world with what she’s been dealt. After all of my reading and listening, one of the only other things I am certain of is that all Christians will not be able to come to an agreement that the Bible is clear about what God planned for transgender people, at least not anytime soon. I’m sharing from a place of authentic love for both my child and for Jesus. I offer up my opinion here, knowing that a lot of people, including many of the people that I consider to be my sisters-in-Christ, disagree. But my goal is to help you process your thoughts on the issue. I hope and pray that God will give us wisdom and discernment and open our hearts to what he wants us to hear.
Early on in my research I listened to a fascinating and important podcast from The Liturgists on LGBTQ, where Donald Miller and J.J. Peterson; Matthew Vines; Melissa Greene, Stan Mitchell, and Tabitha from GracePointe; Preston Sprinkle; and Ed Gungor join Science Mike and Michael Gungor to share their stories and perspectives on LGBTQ persons and the Church. I thought it was a thorough, unbiased discussion and a good place to start if you have the time to listen.
I admit, when MJ first came out to me I did not take it well at all. I went through stages of grief, mourning the loss of the child I thought I knew. In order to find peace, I also had to reconcile what I believe about God and the Bible with what I believe and know about my child. The process took a long time but I finally feel like I have reached a level of understanding where I can verbalize my thoughts… at least in writing. I am sure that God used this situation to get my attention and push me to work through them.
Back when MJ first told me about her distress, I considered myself to be strong in my faith. But, I also tended to follow along with whatever my church told me was true. I wanted to believe whatever my ministers said, and believe the same as my Christian friends believe. As I’ve been researching, reading about different viewpoints, studying scriptures, praying… listening to and hearing from God, I have come to realize that it is really OK if I don’t agree with my church.
To get a full understanding of our situation I would also have to listen to psychologists, medical doctors, scientists, and the experiences of other people who have been where I am. I have to listen to my child and to God and the answers He’s giving to my prayers. To close my ears to them and listen only to what the church tells me would be unwise. And not that I would let the ways of the world cloud my judgment, but I would have to prayerfully consider everything. And let me be clear, that I have been diligent about that and cautious about the places I go for information. In fact, I pray for God to show me what he wants to because there is way too much information on the internet. I have to believe only what the Holy Spirit directs me to believe while I pray for God to grant me wisdom and discernment.
In the next few weeks I will attempt to share some of the things I’ve learned and experiences that have brought me to a place where I feel at peace with however things go with MJ. I know God is in control and has a plan. I hope and pray that my story will help you process your thoughts about what it means to be transgender. I also pray that you can see MJ through my eyes, as a real person and not a freak or a curiosity. She’s a child of God, worthy of all the love and riches God offers to each of us. I pray that God will use my story for good, to promote understanding and generate compassion. It’s taken me 5 years to get to this point. So, it may take a few posts to say what I need to say.