Andrew Wilson recently preached a message at King’s Church Eastbourne on “Transgender and Intersex.” His text is Matthew 19:1-12, and he does a faithful job with it. He is a really fantastic communicator, and he clearly sets forth the teaching of scripture and how it applies to our thinking about transgender and intersex.
This message is not mainly polemical but pastoral. I like his line about how we ought to communicate with those wrestling with gender identity issues: “God loves you. We love you. Tell us what it’s like to be you.” Of course there’s more to say than that, but we certainly shouldn’t be saying less than that, right?
On a related note, Andrew also participated in a podcast discussion with Megan Defranza about her book on intersex. You can listen below.
At one point during the discussion, Andrew asks Defranza a pointed question. He presses her to explain how her views on intersex challenge a more conservative reading of scripture. I’m not sure that she ever answers his question directly. If I were to characterize the challenge her book brings, I would do it this way.
Conservative evangelicals have argued that the “givenness” of the male/female binary is the basis for the givenness of the gender role distinctions. Defranza believes that intersex persons prove that the male/female binary is not a “given.” In other words, the male/female binary of Genesis 1 and Matthew 19 is no norm at all. One implication of this view is that evangelical Christians can and should embrace transgender identities as normal and good.
As I have said before, the revision that she proposes is a theological earthquake and completely at odds with what the Bible teaches.
I am grateful for Andrew’s willingness to address these issues with clarity and pastoral concern. More pastors need to be doing the same.