The Transgender Issue...
The transgender issue. From people's identity to their clothing to their bathroom choices, to a state's rights, everyone is talking about this issue. It's quite a hot topic. So how do we approach this topic? There is much debate, much that has already been said that doesn't need to be rehashed.
Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
New fashion trends come back into style and kids who are young and don't remember iconic fashion will say, “oh this is so great, this is so now” as if it's something groundbreaking. Young adults watching new sitcoms will laugh at jokes that are considered so avant- garde but they are rip offs of comics from 30 years ago, washed off and changed up a bit for newer audiences. The same is true for new books, new movies, new ideas, they are rehashing of ideas that have been around, even if not fully realized or developed, for years.
Things have a starting place, for sure, but it started a lot farther back than people imagine. Take, for instance, the hot button issue of the past few years. Homosexuality. Now legalized as a marriage option on a federal level. This is not new. This goes way back to ancient times. If you want to look at it from a Christian perspective, gay couples were hooking up way back in the Old Testament. Or if you want to discuss the controversial idea of polygamy (see popular tv show “Sister Wives”) you can go way, way back and see the idea on a ridiculously hyperbolic scale in the lives of kings and rulers of ancient times in the Old Testament. Neither one are new.
So I get asked a lot, “what do you think about this?” or “what do we do about this? in regards to the transgender issue. The idea being a big one that covers a lot of “what if's” and unclaimed territory I'll offer just a few suggestions for thought and leave the application to you:
1) We approach the issue with intelligence---if you've never met anyone that is transgender or studied the issue for more than a few moments of browsing Facebook and looking up Wikipedia definitions (because you don't know what it is) then you are woefully ignorant on the subject. That's ok, there's no shame in being ignorant, but don't be ignorant on a subject and speak definitively. Learn about the issues being presented, inform yourself.
2) We approach the issue with open minds---there's nothing more infuriating than people who have already make their decisions about where they judge this issue to be, morally, ethically, and spiritually, without giving it any due diligence of proper examination. Be open to listening to all sides of the issue, including sides you don't agree with. Everyone comes to believe certain things about certain issues but be the person who has at least listened to all sides of the issue and done so with respect and honesty.
3) We approach the issue with grace---we have to remember we are dealing with people here. We are ourselves, people. I am, myself, a person. I am a person who is sinful, flawed, angry, lazy, irresponsible, forgetful, often uninspired and difficult. Jesus has been gracious to me and loves me. What about you?