Luke 18: 9-14
From the time I became a participant in trangender community activities, I have heard many variations on this theme. It's natural to try and improve our own position by comparing ourselves favorably with others. This subject, however, seemed to be an especially sensitive one. Once I established a site on the Internet and began to receive E-mail from other transgendered Christians, I have observed the same bias repeatedly.
"I certainly do not have anything in common with homosexuals."
"I find the gay life totally repugnant and unacceptable to me."
"I do not consider the Biblical statements concerning crossdressing as having relevance under the New Covenant, in contrast to the clear condemnation of homosexuality."
Dear sisters and brothers, do we really understand the implications of these statements?
Understand: I never had a "gay" experience either. Before transitioning, I had no desire to be with a man. And by no means did I transition in order to experience sex with a man. Transition is about identity, not about sexual behavior except as a secondary effect of the identity.
So, I could also make the statement that I find male-with-male sex an idea that is, TO ME at least, "repugnant". But I have never been in that circumstance as have my friends who are gay. I hear these friends tell me, "I did not choose to be attracted to persons of my sex. I have prayed to be 'healed' and healing has not come. I believe in my heart that God has allowed this in my life." And that sounds very familiar; it's the same line of reasoning I used in describing my transsexualism.
How can I ask anyone to accept me as a transsexual and then deny the same acceptance to someone else? It strikes me as at best hypocrisy, and at worst the attitude of the unforgiving servant displayed in Matthew 18:
...a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
The servant fell on his knees before him. "Be patient with me," he begged, "and I will pay back everything." The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. "Pay back what you owe me!" he demanded.
...then the master called the servant in. "You wicked servant," he said, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?"
Now, do not think I am condoning promiscuity. I do not. I believe promiscuity demeans the love relationship and reduces human beings to the level of an object to be used for gratification. But one does not have to be homosexual to be promiscuous. Heterosexual promiscuity is just as much of a sin.
Now, what is "the gay life"? Do you mean promiscuity, the bar and bath house scene? No, I don't condone that. I could agree with you on the word "unacceptable" for that.
But just as there is no "transsexual lifestyle", there is no one "gay lifestyle" applicable to all. I know same sex couples who have been monogamous and faithful and loving for many years. Many are Christian. They have been driven out of their fundamentalist churches, and thankfully have found acceptance in some of the liberal mainstream churches such as my adopted Episcopal denomination. They have their personal salvation experiences, their experienced epiphanies with the Holy Spirit just as we do.
One of the revelations of my transition is the way God has opened my eyes to this reality. Yes, it goes against traditional church teachings. No, I can't explain the proscriptions against homosexuality in Leviticus any better than I can explain those against crossdressing in Deuteronomy. I know I don't live under that law; I live under the new covenant of love.
No, I can't explain Paul's views in Romans 1. Here is where I get into deep water, but I must trust the agape love of God, not the statement of one man who clearly loved the Lord Jesus but also clearly had a problem with women as well as with homosexuals; and I am trying to interpret his statements by the measuring stick of Christ's unchanging love. I am going to state that there are some things about our Bible that I do not understand, but with the faith of a little child I am going to recite from First John, "God is love."
If God is love, then God isn't anti-love. God isn't hate. God is acceptance. If we ask to be changed, perhaps God will change us. In this one area of my life, transsexualism, God didn't change me. In the same way God hasn't changed my homosexual friends. I accept that and I accept them in His love.
I believe with all my heart that God can use us transgendered persons to illustrate His love and acceptance of all persons who receive Him. But if we do not love one another, or love others in similar circumstances, how can we expect our witness to be believed?
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.