One thing that really annoys me is when Christians speculate on how God would feel about situations that he is silent on in the Bible. Recently a friend of mine came out as trans. I find that brave, slightly uncomfortable due to trying to recovering from a religious upbringing, but brave nonetheless. What I didn’t expect is the arguments against it from my wife. She doesn’t believe what I do, and we both feel like the other is misled, but what really caught me off guard was her speculation on how God would respond to someone coming out as trans. Before I go any further, if I misrepresent transgendered people at all please tell me. The last thing I want is to hurt someone, and I am new to this so it may happen that I say the wrong thing. Just chalk it up as unintentional stupidity, and leave a light-hearting scathing in the comments.
The arguments I’ve heard so far have mainly followed the assumption that if they are transgendered, they have no real understanding of either their identity or what identity is in general. Secondly, I’ve heard that because they lack identity means that they don’t have a relationship with Christ, and therefore are sinning. Pretty cut and dry right? Other than the fact that Biblically there’s nothing said about this issue. So if there’s nothing Biblically wrong with it, why/how is it wrong? God had the foresight to see what 2017 would be like (and Tom Petty still died…), and yet he was silent on the issue. Now, arguments from silence (example: the Bible doesn’t say x is a sin, so x is totally acceptable) are a logical fallacy. So that is the first blow to this argument, as her argument is based on that silence and worse that she is making presumptions about how God would respond. Now the really tough thing about this argument is not just in showing how the initial argument is wrong, but how we respond to it.
If we respond with,”Well God is silent on this issue, therefore it is totally acceptable to be trans,” then we are guilty of the same fallacy. Basically, on this issue, we are left with transgendered people being right and wrong. To continue that thought, let’s also look at what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:23, “Everything is permissible,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible,” but not everything builds up.” This seems pretty cut and dry, but this freedom is a double-edged sword. 1 Corinthians chapter 10 deals a great deal with what freedom we have as Christians (which is considerably more than what fundamentalist Christians would have you believe). Verse 28 and 29 says, “But if someone says to you, “This is food offered to an idol,” do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who told you, and for conscience sake. I do not mean your own conscience, but the other person’s. For why is my freedom judged by another person’s conscience?” Many well-meaning pastors have taken this passage and said that it means that we have to be incredibly legalistic in order that we don’t cause our brother to stumble. The good news is, that’s only half of the meaning of this passage.
The other half is in verses 31-33, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory. Give no offense to the Jews or the Greeks or the church of God, just as I also try to please all people in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, so that they may be saved.” In other words, “don’t live your life for your pleasure, but to enhance the pleasure of others.” We have to be careful in how we “come out” so that people who are weak don’t have their faith destroyed for our freedom. The other side of the coin is that those who you feel are strong enough to take it, those people are safe to share with. These verses are saying that the enjoyment of our freedom in Christ is wonderful, and to do it to the glory of God. If you’re trans, be the best trans person. If you’re gay, be the best gay person in the kingdom of God. To those who you know are weak, and couldn’t see the truth if God bodily forced them to see it, don’t share your choices with them. In their weakness, they will sin by hating you or worse yet losing their faith entirely. Both would destroy the person, and you will be held accountable for those people. So in summary, by all means, come out and share what you’ve found to be true of yourself, but only do so to the people who are strong enough in their faith to take it.
To those who you know are weak in faith, and couldn’t see the truth if God bodily forced them to see it, don’t share your choices with them. In their weakness, they will sin by hating you or worse yet losing their faith entirely. Both would destroy the person, and you will be held accountable for those people. So in summary, by all means, come out and share what you’ve found to be true of yourself, but only do so to the people who are strong enough in their faith to take it. Control the sharing with those you can control it with, but going out in public and being you however you do is perfectly acceptable. Enjoy your freedom, guys. Be the best you that you can be for the glory of God.