Southern Baptists pass resolution on transgender

Last week, I wrote about a resolution that I proposed to the Southern Baptist Convention (along with my co-sponsor Andrew Walker). This morning, the resolutions committee included a revised version in their slate of resolutions for 2014 annual meeting. I think they did a fine job with it and offered many helpful improvements to the text that we sent them. The final draft of resolution #9 titled “On Transgender Identity” is printed below. The messengers just voted overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution. In fact, I couldn’t see a single ballot raised against it.



WHEREAS, All persons are created in God’s image and are made to glorify Him (Genesis 1:27; Isaiah 43:7); and

WHEREAS, God’s design was the creation of two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female (Genesis 1:27; Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6) which designate the fundamental distinction that God has embedded in the very biology of the human race; and

WHEREAS, Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles as ordained by God are part of the created order and should find expression in every human heart (Genesis 2:18, 21-24; 1 Corinthians 11:7-9; Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Timothy 2:12-14); and

WHEREAS, The Fall of man into sin and God’s subsequent curse have introduced brokenness and futility into God’s good creation (Genesis 3:1-24; Romans 8:20); and

WHEREAS, According to a 2011 survey, about 700,000 Americans perceive their gender identity to be at variance with the physical reality of their biological birth sex; and

WHEREAS, Transgenderism differs from hermaphroditism or intersexualism in that the sex of the individual is not biologically ambiguous but psychologically ambiguous; and

WHEREAS, The American Psychiatric Association removed this condition (aka, “gender identity disorder”) from its list of disorders in 2013, substituting “gender identity disorder” with “gender dysphoria”; and

WHEREAS, The American Psychiatric Association includes among its treatment options for gender dysphoria cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery, and social and legal transition to the desired gender; and

WHEREAS, News reports indicate that parents are allowing their children to undergo these therapies; and

WHEREAS, Many LGBT activists have sought to normalize the transgender experience and to define gender according to one’s self-perception apart from biological anatomy; and

WHEREAS, The separation of one’s gender identity from the physical reality of biological birth sex poses the harmful effect of engendering an understanding of sexuality and personhood that is fluid; and

WHEREAS, Some public schools are encouraging parents and teachers to affirm the feelings of children whose self-perception of their own gender is at variance with their biological sex; and

WHEREAS, Some public schools are allowing access to restrooms and locker rooms according to children’s self-perception of gender and not according to their biological sex; and

WHEREAS, The state of New Jersey prohibits licensed counselors from any attempt to change a child’s “gender expression”; and

WHEREAS, These cultural currents run counter to the biblical teaching as summarized in The Baptist Faith and Message, Article III, that “Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation”; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, June 10-11, 2014, affirm God’s good design that gender identity is determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception—a perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God’s design (Ephesians 4:17-18); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we grieve the reality of human fallenness which can result in such biological manifestations as intersexuality or psychological manifestations as gender identity confusion and point all to the hope of the redemption of our bodies in Christ (Romans 8:23); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we extend love and compassion to those whose sexual self-understanding is shaped by a distressing conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we invite all transgender persons to trust in Christ and to experience renewal in the Gospel (1 Timothy 1:15-16); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we love our transgender neighbors, seek their good always, welcome them to our churches and, as they repent and believe in Christ, receive them into church membership (2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Galatians 5:14); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we regard our transgender neighbors as image-bearers of Almighty God and therefore condemn acts of abuse or bullying committed against them; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we oppose efforts to alter one’s bodily identity (e.g., cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery) to refashion it to conform with one’s perceived gender identity; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we continue to oppose steadfastly all efforts by any governing official or body to validate transgender identity as morally praiseworthy (Isaiah 5:20); and be it further

RESOLVED, That we oppose all cultural efforts to validate claims to transgender identity; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That our love for the Gospel and urgency for the Great Commission must include declaring the whole counsel of God, proclaiming what Scripture teaches about God’s design for us as male and female persons created in His image and for His glory (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 20:27; Romans 11:36).

87 Responses to Southern Baptists pass resolution on transgender

  1. Don Johnson June 10, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    I think this will be another resolution that the future members of SBC will repent from, just like they did from slavery.

    • Tammy Rainey June 10, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

      agreed, though like the slaves those of us affected won’t live to see it, and those who see it won’t be very much impressed

    • buddyglass June 11, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      Have to disagree. If it does come to pass that future SBC members repent of this resolution, it will be because the SBC has gone the way of the liberal mainline denominations.

      • Tammy Rainey June 11, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

        by all means, Mr. Glass, take out your Bible and any other reference material that you need and let’s discuss it. I invite you to provide conclusive proof from the Bible the transsexual transition is sinful. If you can’t do that then you have no basis to sling around words like “liberal”. I suggest that you are bowing the knee to human tradition and have mistakenly considered it the word of God. Can you support your view from Scripture? Or no?

        • buddyglass June 11, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

          “by all means, Mr. Glass, take out your Bible and any other reference material that you need and let’s discuss it.”

          How is the Bible relevant to the question of whether future members of the SBC will some day repent of this resolution? That’s the narrow statement I was addressing without stating (or implying) any position on rightness or wrongness of the resolution.

          • Tammy Rainey June 11, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

            With respect, Mr. Glass, my argument was that if they pass a resolution based on social traditions which has no scriptural support then it would parallel previous errors where the church took position that did not in fact have scriptural support which they eventually had to repent of, most notoriously of course the stand on slavery which created the denomination.

            f you did not mean to suggest that the resolution reflected some biblical teaching on the subject than I misunderstood your comment and I apologize.

            • buddyglass June 12, 2014 at 12:19 am #

              I mean exactly what I said: I don’t expect the SBC will ever repent of the resolution. But, if they do, it will be because they’ve gone the way of the liberal mainline denominations and the future SBC has become largely unrecognizable compared to the current SBC.

              • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 12:29 am #

                then please clarify your intentions so that we may discuss the subject openly: do you in fact consider transsexual transition to be on biblical and if so, based upon what citations?

                If not then why do you considered a “liberal” position to repent of the resolution which is not based on biblical directives?

                • buddyglass June 12, 2014 at 9:44 am #

                  “then please clarify your intentions so that we may discuss the subject openly”

                  That’s the thing, though. My view of the rightness or wrongness of transitioning has almost nothing to do with the question of what the SBC will or won’t do in the future.

                  “do you in fact consider transsexual transition to be on biblical and if so, based upon what citations?”

                  No, I don’t. Based on principle rather than explicit prohibition. Some principles that seem to apply:

                  1. God’s people are told not to “mutilate their bodies” in the Old Testament. This wasn’t in reference to gender reassignment surgeries, but the principle is that bodily integrity is something valued by God.

                  2. We’re told that their our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit and that, as such, they should be treated in a certain way. While this concept of “body as a temple” isn’t tied explicitly to physical dismemberment, it would seem to apply.

                  3. Believers are frequently asked to sacrifice their own rights and comfort for the sake of the gospel. I’m reminded of Onesimus being told to return to Philemon. Also, in my opinion (though not Denny’s), many of the commands given to women in the early church about how they should dress and behave were given with this principle in mind. This would apply to transgender if it were shown that transitioning is so shocking as to damage the credibility of the church among the wider culture.

                  4. God made them male and female. In some cases this isn’t physiologically clear. In most of the cases where an individual is transitioning, though, that individual is clearly male or clearly female. That person is definitionally male or female. He either has parts A or parts B. He may have a psychological pathology that causes him to feel alienated from his physiological sex, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still a man or woman.

                  5. Those seeking to transition have often bought into the lie that certain behaviors are inherently “male” or “female”, which (IMO) has no biblical basis. And, regrettably, this lie is often propagated and enforced by social conservatives. For instance, imagine a girl who likes trucks, sports, rough play, short hair, etc. She hates dolls, princesses, the color pink, wearing any sort of dress, and she doesn’t have many female friends because they’re not interested in the same things as her. So she feels alienated from other girls/women and identifies with boys and maleness. There’s the lie. The fact is that you can be female and like all those stereotypically male things while disliking all the stereotypically female things. Who says you can’t? If you’re such a person it doesn’t mean you’re a man trapped in a woman’s body; it just means you’re a woman with unusual preferences.

                  “If not then why do you considered a “liberal” position to repent of the resolution which is not based on biblical directives?”

                  Mainly because recognition of transgender is seen a “liberal” cause, politically, lumped in with GLBT rights. The SBC is a bastion of social conservatism. For the SBC to repent of this resolution would require it to have done a complete 180 and flipped from the “social conservative” side on this issue to the “social liberal” one. That’s not unprecedented (e.g. slavery) but it would probably require one of two things to happen:

                  1. For the SBC to change so fundamentally that it supports “liberal” causes in the general case. That’s what I meant by it going the way of liberal mainline denominations. It seems incredibly unlikely to me that the SBC would ever flip-flop on transgender while still holding all the other social conservative positions it holds.

                  2. Transgender support could gain such acceptance in society that it’s no longer deemed a “liberal cause”, which would allow the SBC to flip without compromising its conservativeness. This is the “slavery” model. 150 years ago nobody would have dreamed the SBC would some day have a black president and issue a statement condemning slavery. But, by the same token, nobody would have dreamed that slavery would be universally condemned as a moral evil by society as a whole.

                  Outside of those two scenarios I can’t envision a situation in which the SBC back-tracks on this.

                  • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

                    1. Circumcision
                    2. as you say, you are drawing an implication which while you’re entitled to apply to your own life is not a strong enough reference for you to impose on others. Also, if you’re to be consistent you would need to apply that to such things as nose jobs and breast augmentation as well.
                    3. the same argument may well of been used against, for instance interracial marriage. Moreover, it is convenient for someone who has made no sacrifice of a similar nature to ask others to be miserable in order to avoid shocking anybody sensibilities. This is not simply a matter of choosing to say not cut your hair. This is such severe mental anguish that it routinely drives the afflicted to attempt suicide. You need more than implication and offended sensibilities to ask people to suffer that.
                    4. I’ve already addressed this point, the brain is a sex specific organ and logic dictates that it is subject to the same potential intersex processes as any other sex specific organ. Just because you can’t see it with your eyes does not make it less valid.
                    5. so you are saying that if I show up at church on Sunday morning in a dress heels and makeup but have not physically altered my body that the church should welcome and affirm me and my choice of presentation even though as a “male” I prefer typically female items? Besides that you just referenced the idea that the Bible gives certain specific instructions concerning the male and female role. For example it is a classically Baptist doctrine that females are not admitted to the preaching ministry. So clearly the Bible affirms that there are things that are for men and things for women.
                    1. The same might have been said 50 years ago about interracial marriage.
                    2.. on this we agree

                    • buddyglass June 13, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

                      Re: Circumcision

                      Not sure this is applicable. Circumcision was a direct command from God. We don’t throw the general principle of “don’t mutilate your body” out the window because God commanded an exception. FWIW neither of my sons is circumcised.

                      “Also, if you’re to be consistent you would need to apply that to such things as nose jobs and breast augmentation as well.”

                      I’m consistent in that regard. I don’t think Christians should be getting nose jobs and breast augmentation unless it’s to repair injury. But not for the same reason that I oppose gender reassignment. I’m against cosmetic surgery because it flows out of vanity.

                      “the same argument may well of been used against, for instance interracial marriage.”

                      Not really. At least, not unless you think Paul’s instructions to Onesimus represent a general endorsement of slavery. I don’t. So, while what I said can’t be used as an argument against the general practice of interracial marriage, it could be used to argue that a specific individual should, in a specific situation, refrain from marrying someone of a different race for the sake of the gospel.

                      “Moreover, it is convenient for someone who has made no sacrifice of a similar nature to ask others to be miserable in order to avoid shocking anybody sensibilities.”

                      Take it up with Paul, not me.

                      “4. I’ve already addressed this point, the brain is a sex specific organ and logic dictates that it is subject to the same potential intersex processes as any other sex specific organ. Just because you can’t see it with your eyes does not make it less valid.”

                      You’ve asserted that, but we disagree. I’ll agree there are subtle physiological differences between men and women’s brains, but these arise from prolonged hormone exposure (esp. during early development). Consider the example of androgen insensitivity. But most men and women seeking reassignment have experienced a “normal” hormonal environment over the course of their lives.

                      “5. so you are saying that if I show up at church on Sunday morning in a dress heels and makeup but have not physically altered my body that the church should welcome and affirm me and my choice of presentation even though as a “male” I prefer typically female items?”

                      Potentially. Though, I think there are some other principles that also come into play here. First, what’s your motivation? Are you dressing that way because you want to be a woman? Or because you want to appear “female”? Is it because you just want to “be different” and shake people up? If so, then those probably aren’t healthy motivations. If you just happen to like the freedom of a dress, though, then that’s more likely to be okay. One of the elders at my church (not Indian) frequently wears an Indian “Kurta”. Another guy (not Scottish) used to wear a kilt.

                      Of course, there’s also the command to consider the weaker brother. Maybe you refrain from wearing a dress not because wearing a dress is per se wrong, but because doing so would cause unnecessary strife among the body of believers.

                      “So clearly the Bible affirms that there are things that are for men and things for women.”

                      Clearly. But I’d argue people, and especially social conservatives, have taken that and run with it, adding all sorts of stuff to the lists of “things that are only for males” and “things that are for females”. IMO this rigidity makes it tougher for those in the church who have gender-atypical likes and dislikes.

                • Ron Patrick June 12, 2014 at 10:39 am #

                  Mark 10:6, Jesus replied. 6“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’

                  Genesis 5:2, When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind”a when they were created.

                  Respectfully, it is intellectually disingenuous to suggest that because something is not explicitly discussed means it is somehow endorsed. And let’s be honest. If it was explicitly prohibited, the worldly community would find a way to spin it as normal just like they have with homosexuality and adultery and every other self serving form of sin.

                  • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

                    Ron Patrick, with respect the creation account has already been brought up and addressed, quite possibly more than once. You should be read the thread and find your answer.

                    To your other point, no one is suggesting the treatment is endorsed, the claim is that is not forbidden. That puts it in the same category with tens of thousands of other human activities which are morally neutral. You change the terms of the debate if you suggest that anybody is looking for endorsement. As for the “worldly community” they have no bearing on the position I’m taking. I spent my whole life wanting desperately to be persuaded from the Bible and I contend it’s not there. I’m still looking for an honest discussion that can show it to me.

                    • Ron Patrick June 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

                      Hello Tammy, You sure seem to enjoy this “intellectual” debate. I can relate. I use to enjoy them myself. But that was before.

                      NOTE: At the point I made this post, no one had bought up the creation account, though I can see now that 2 minutes prior to my posting, someone else mentioned it. But that is fine. I was really more interested in what Jesus had to say.

                      Tammy, this subject is no different than so many others. It is polarizing to the point where folks on both sides dig in and fight for their view with no regard for truth [much like our political system]. But it is just one more thing to argue about. Personally, I believe the author was spot on. But there are any number of subjects he could have written about and been just as correct that I have no doubt you would have been happy to debate.

                      Of greater concern to me is your statement of:

                      “I spent my whole life wanting desperately to be persuaded from the Bible and I contend it’s not there. I’m still looking for an honest discussion that can show it to me.”

                      The good news is you haven’t spent your whole life wanting that because you are still above ground. But the bad news, or should I say the challenge is, your ability to allow yourself to be persuaded by God’s holy word and consider the “possibility” that it IS there.

                      And IF it IS there, I would humbly suggest that the ONLY way you will ever be able to find it [THE TRUTH] is when you stop trying win the argument and start considering the possibility.

                      You need to recognize the tension between truth and grace and open your heart to the possibility that there is a God, and he does love you, and he does desire a relationship with you, and his son did die and bridge the gap for you. And it will only be when you start to consider that as a real possibility that anything in the Word will ever start to have an impact on your life.

                      If you ever reach that point, you will find that these intellectual debates are meaningless and designed by “The World” to create chaos.

                      My prayer for you is that you could open your mind to the possibility that there are some things that can only be experienced in your heart. Go read Romans chapter 10 and consider what Paul was saying in verse 2 about the Jews who believed in their head, but not their heart.

                      God bless you in your journey!

                    • Tammy Rainey June 13, 2014 at 4:58 am #

                      Ron Patrick, the format here seems to prevent me from replying to you directly so I hope that you see this reply to your last post even though it is above yours.

                      You don’t know me so let me give you as brief a review as is possible and do the story justice. I was born in Mississippi in 1963, raised as you might imagine immersed in the cultural Christian conservatism of the day. I was scared to church faithfully by parents or grandparents every Sunday, saved by grace at the age of nine, cofounder of my high school Bible club, and all the while crying out to God asking him why I was different.

                      After spending my early adulthood in near suicidal depression I attended a crusade at the age of 23 and there evangelist promised me that if I was plagued by any “besetting sin” that I should repent pray God’s healing set my wife’s focus on serving God and he would deliver me. I claimed that promise with every fiber of my being, and set out to serve in the firm conviction that I would be delivered.

                      Not long after I was licensed to the gospel ministry and some 10 years after that I enrolled in a Baptist college with every intention of furthering that ambition. At that point in my life I had been firmly convinced for some 20 years that what I have been taught about the need for repentance and about God’s displeasure with the things in my mind were absolutely biblically true, not because I had done a proper study but because I read the Bible in the light of the tradition that I had been surrounded by my entire life. Moreover as my doubts begin to arise concerning the teaching I absolutely did not want that tradition to be wrong.

                      I was fully aware of what it would cost me to admit to the reality that was within my heart. Indeed I had preached more than once about the high price that Christians would exact from each other if any of us knew each other’s heart. I knew that I had the potential to lose everything that was important to me in this life, and bring upon myself burden of being widely known as a “freak and pervert” as well as setting myself on a path toward hundreds of hours of pain and tens of thousands of dollars in cost in order to complete the process.

                      The ugly secret in the anti-trans theology is that nobody, NOBODY wants to be this way and everyone, EVERYONE raised in the Christian tradition who finds that they are trans bags God from the depths of their hearts to to know about and heal them so that they do not feel this way anymore. These people, Mr. Burk those who agree with him, have absolutely NO CLUE what goes on in the hearts and minds of those of us born with this condition. But I testify to you that the biggest mistake they make is to assume that anyone of us ever open the Bible hoping to find permission to be this way.

                      I was persuaded to this position against what I had hoped to find, in no small part because God by his Holy Spirit led me to this conclusion. No one could have been more dedicated to the proposition of repenting from an seeking deliverance from this condition than I was. I deny anyone here the right and to claim that that was insincere. Moreover I believe that most of us here are of the opinion that the Bible teaches that if one seeks him they will find him.

                      So explain me? From the age of six I knew that I had the mind of the female and should of had the body of one. Every day that I got up in the morning to serve him, in the full confidence that I would soon be delivered from this curse a nevertheless got up every morning and went to bed every night knowing that I had not been delivered TODAY. And then I got up to the same realization again the next morning, and lay down again with the same realization the next night.

                      Do you believe in a God that would let me do that for 20 years and not deliver me if indeed he intended to? Do you believe that it took just one more session of weeping and crying and begging and repenting? 10 more? 100 more? 1000? How many?

                      In the last decade of my life I reconciled the newly available science (admittedly science that was not available to me in my youth) with my own personal journey and my realization that church tradition had been wrong very many times in the past when confronted with new science (see for example Galileo) and I went back to the word to see what it said without the blinders of tradition.

                      Do you know what I found? It’s not in there. I was misled by false doctrine, as you have been. We were all taught to bow the knee to a human tradition and the convention collectively has bow the knee again. It was a sad day.

                      Sadly, I suspect that this post is so long that it will not make it through moderation. So you may never see it. I’m not sure if I can find a way around that, but I’m going to try. Thank you for your good wishes.

                    • Ron Patrick June 13, 2014 at 8:00 am #

                      Tammy, this is in reply to your last post about your 50 year journey, which for some reason did not have a reply button on it.

                      You and I did not grow up that much different. I too was born in 1963 and raised in small Baptist churches in Texas, Ohio and Georgia. And I have met many people with your same story.

                      It would be arrogant of me to say why I believe you have had those struggles, though I very definitely have an opinion. Instead I would like to recommend a book, not in an effort to get you to change who you think you are, but perhaps a book that could help shine some light on some of the things that you may have struggled with in your life knowingly or unknowingly.

                      The book is called Healing the Masculine Soul by Gordon Dalby, particularly chapter 6, which doesn’t specifically address your situation, but is very similar.

                      Another one is Fathered by John Eldredge.

                      I cannot recommend these books enough, particularly the first one.

                      Tammy I am sorry that your parents scared you into going to church. Their parents probably did the same thing. Too many parents think they can pour Jesus juice down a young person’s throat and change them. And it just isn’t true. It has to be modeled in all parts of the parents life, particularly the father.

                      I am sorry that you have had such a hard time in life. I will pray for you to find your place to exactly where God wants you and to reveal himself to you through the Holy Spirit like never before. And I will pray that you will not let the words of people who would judge you prevent you from growing in a relationship with Jesus that will continue to change your heart forever.

                      There are so many people who are all truth and no grace and they don’t understand that we are not saved by our obedience. Obedience is a result of our salvation, not a precursor.

                      I am not going to tell you that you will ever quit feeling the way that you do. But I am certain the healing that we all need in our hearts comes through that relationship with Jesus.

                      God Bless 🙂

  2. J L Parks June 10, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    As a Christian physician, I read this with great interest. Final conclusion? Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Totally adherent to and supporting of the Word of God. Scriptures are NOT shaped by cultural “norms”, or social “mores”. This is just another way that fallen man is trying to re-create themselves, in defiance of their true Creator. I applaud this statement whole- heartedly. Finally, some Biblical common-sense!

    • zoebrain June 11, 2014 at 1:00 am #

      As a physician, you should have detected one very fundamental error – the assertion that the issue is psychological, not biological.

      Sexual Hormones and the Brain: An Essential Alliance for Sexual Identity and Sexual Orientation Garcia-Falgueras A, Swaab DF Endocr Dev. 2010;17:22-35

      The fetal brain develops during the intrauterine period in the male direction through a direct action of testosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hormone surge. In this way, our gender identity (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and sexual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. However, since sexual differentiation of the genitals takes place in the first two months of pregnancy and sexual differentiation of the brain starts in the second half of pregnancy, these two processes can be influenced independently, which may result in extreme cases in trans-sexuality. This also means that in the event of ambiguous sex at birth, the degree of masculinization of the genitals may not reflect the degree of masculinization of the brain. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender identity or sexual orientation.

    • Diane Cline June 11, 2014 at 1:55 am #

      I totally agree. I love and accept all; however the Word of God must always stand first.

    • Tammy Rainey June 11, 2014 at 2:15 am #

      I’ll ask you the same question I asked Mr. Burk:what specific biblical injunction against transsexual transition can you point to? What strong implication that is sinful can you cite? for several years now I have been extending the invitation repeatedly to those who use such rhetoric to make the case and I have yet to see it even attempted. It is not acceptable to simply state the claim that you hold the biblical view without being able to demonstrate it from the Bible. I believe that I can offer a solid counterargument using both Scripture and science to support my position. Will you be the rare exception that’s willing to engage that conversation?

  3. Tammy Rainey June 11, 2014 at 2:18 am #

    since my extended reply to not, as expected, make it through moderation and since I’m uncertain whether or not the following link will show up in the TrackBack section even though I did link this page I’ll include it in a comment and see how that goes. And the sort of brief replies that are acceptable as comments on a post on a blog do not really provide enough to state a well reasoned and thoroughly argued position.

  4. Morgan Thorp June 11, 2014 at 2:54 am #

    Heya, transgender person here…if I do end up going to hell for changing my body to better match my soul, then I’ll go willingly. I’ll march off, with my head held high and my sacred honor intact, because that kind of God is not one that deserves respect from a free people.

    In any case, the Southern Baptists are the greatest example that exists today of the arrogance of man, that they would presume to know the mind of God.

    • Gus Nelson June 11, 2014 at 11:20 am #

      Morgan: What kind of God deserves the respect of a free people? If you believe there is a God who put everything into place, then that would be a spectacularly powerful being worthy of respect out of the simple understanding such a being has your life in his hands at all times, right? If you think God is something else, then I get where you are coming from. If you don’t believe in God at all, then how do you begin to define such ideas as arrogance? I won’t rehash JL Parks comment, but will say that claiming someone has presumed implies a lack of guidance or evidence about the subject upon which the presumption is made. Such is not the case with Christianity. You can say the Bible isn’t true, you can say God doesn’t exist, but if God does exist, and the Bible is true, then God has sufficiently revealed what people need to know of his mind and we can grasp as much as we need.

    • Larry Geiger June 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      ” I’ll march off, with my head held high” Not really. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth and every knee will bow and every tongue confess. There is just not going to be any “head held high”.

  5. J L Parks June 11, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    There is NO “fundamental error” in this doctrinal statement. They have based their conclusions on what the Creator, the God of the Bible, plainly states. Even Jesus quoted these words exactly, and they are THE basis of this statement.

    “So God created mankind in His image- in the image of God He created them; male and female, created He them.” (Gen. 1:27, 5:2, Matthew 19:4. Mark 10:6)

    Sin has sadly and badly affected the human race. But there is no hint in all of the Bible, that a man or woman has any right to go against the Creator, and make a choice that not even God has made.

    And Morgan Thorp- your words are simply chilling. There is no “sacred honor” in hell.
    There will be even less in the eternal lake of fire. You don’t wanna go there…

    • Tammy Rainey June 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

      JL Parks, I’m not sure if you are willfully ignoring the air which is Artie been pointed out or if you simply failed to understand it. In the possible case of the latter let me explain it to you. If you cite the original Garden of Eden creation as the basis for your perception of the human race as it exists today, then you are forced in the making one of two choices: either you expect Garden of Eden level perfection in all of the creation you see around you (which would basically require you to be in a coma) or you understand the thesis that because of the fall into sin and perfection entered into the world and all the imperfection we see whether it be murder or cancer or birth defects arise from the effects of sin in the world. For an unrelated example, since you mentions Christ’s invoking of that particular passage: if you take it in the sense in which you mentioned it you are bound to assume that every single marriage which ever existed since Eden has been one man and one woman faithful to each other for an entire lifetime. Obviously that was not true even in the Bible. Why? Because of the fall of course.

      Now to the situation at hand, the very resolution which we now debate specifically acknowledges the existence of intersex people. These are people with birth “defect” which create a biological ambiguity as to whether they are male or female. To repeat the resolution specifically acknowledges that such anomalous birth conditions DO exist. So right there within the resolution we have acknowledged that there are exceptions to the Garden of Eden creation of the ideal male and female. Therefore it is illogical, irrational, and an affront to reason to then turn around and invoke that perfect creation as your main argument after having acknowledged that we no longer exhibit the physical perfection of Eden. So having invoked an unsupportable premise as your main argument, what else do you have?

      • J L Parks June 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

        Tammy- an excllent comment. You are so correct- sin, from the fall of our first parents, has affected and spoiled everything. We all live with it, even today.

        But what I quoted from creation (“God made them male and female”), was re-iterated 4000 years later, word-for-word, by the Son of God, when He was here.

        2000 years have passed since Jesus verified God’s original order. He would NOT have re-iterated it, had transgenderism become an issue in the 4000 years between creation, and His time here. So what you’re suggesting has happnened, must have happened in the last 2000 years since He WAS here.

        But, there’s another point. By example, there are those who teach a human being can be truly saved, born-again, forgiven of their sins, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, have their names written in the Lamb’s book of eternal life…then lose their salvation, and end up in hell.

        God is a fair God. If this WERE possible, He would have to have given at least ONE Scriptural example, of a human to whom this occurred. And He has not. Not one, in either testament.

        Correspondingly, there is not a single example, in the 6000 years of human history described in the Bible, of one transgender person. Medically speaking, a person, to “change their gender”, has to manipulate their sex hormones exogenously, to try to bring the body in line with the mind. It is not natural. And to say now that it is a “normal” thing, and then attribute it to the fall, is even more illogical and irrational.

        • Juni Song June 12, 2014 at 2:51 am #

          God made them male and female? But intersex people exist and live fully functioning lives, people whose biological reality is neither male nor female. So God obviously messes up once in awhile and is therefor imperfect. That’s my take away from this. Have a good evening doctor.

        • Tammy Rainey June 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

          JL, first let me apologize for some astonishingly bad grammar and some of my posts. I had a serious injury a few months back and my hands still don’t handle many things well including a keyboard. I’m learning to to use Dragon Dictation but I still have not gotten used to the amount of proofreading I have to do to correct we misunderstand me.

          Now to your points I would argue that you present early on a correct interpretation which defeats another of your interpretations.Christ indeed referenced the original man/woman binary in his comments on divorce. And in so doing he did not mention at all polygamy which was practiced by all the major names of the patriarchal Era. Therefore one cannot logically suggest that any aberration from the created order would have been mentioned if it had occurred.

          moreover, while it is not a direct parallel to the modern understanding of transsexualism, Jesus did in fact mention the eunuchs and did so in an entirely uncritical fashion. Even going so far as to say that some eunuchs were made by men. These people clearly fell outside of the original created man/woman binary and were not in any way condemn by Christ, and indeed one of the prophets directly commended them. it is arguable, but not provable, that given that the biblical writers would have no understanding of the biology of transsexualism (just as they had no understanding of the biology of for example epilepsy) that the term eunuch would have been applied to transsexual individuals. But such an understanding is not necessary for my previous point to a valid.

          additionally, as you rightly point out the medical techniques to physically transform the body were not available in biblical times, therefore by definition you cannot then presume that you need an example of a person who did just that in the Bible in order to affirm that it is biblically acceptable. It’s a self-contradictory statement. It is equivalent to saying that getting a nose job is on biblical because no one in the Bible is positively affirmed to have had one.

      • buddyglass June 11, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

        It doesn’t follow necessarily from the fallen state of creation and the existence of intersex individuals that it’s morally permissible for folks who are unambiguously male or female (i.e. not intersex) to transition if they happen to identify with the opposite sex.

        • Tammy Rainey June 11, 2014 at 10:05 pm #

          indeed it does not logically follow based on that ALONE, however logic does dictate that the invocation of the verse “God made them male and female” is not a trump card because the existence of intersex people demonstrates that there are exceptions to that premise.

          Once it has thus been established that there are in fact exceptions, the verse is out of play as an argument against transition. We then move on to other relevant verses if any there be.

          That said, from a biological point of view, since it is scientifically demonstrated that the brain is a sex specific organ and it is scientifically demonstrated by the existence of intersex people that birth anomalies can produce conflicted sex specific organs it therefore logically follows that it is not impossible and is indeed probable that such anomalies can also affect the brain. Moreover, your internal sense of your own sex does not result from what you see in the mirror but from what you know internally in your brain to be true. This too has been scientifically demonstrated in some unfortunate but revealing cases.. Most notably that of David Reimer.

          So, having concluded that the aforementioned verse is not an effective counterargument … and having lately (last 20 years or so) observed that the biological sciences support the argument that being transsexual is a medical condition… And having observed from 60+ years experience that there is no known way to reconcile the mind to the physical construct present birth, it is therefore reasonable to suggest that the body can be reconciled to the mind which has been observed to have a very high degree of success in curing the psychological trauma trans people face.

          If this is to be objected to by traditional Christians then it is incumbent upon them to provide sound and biblical support for your position. I continue to await the presentation of any such support.

          • buddyglass June 12, 2014 at 12:23 am #

            “Once it has thus been established that there are in fact exceptions, the verse is out of play as an argument against transition.”

            Yeah. Again, that doesn’t follow. You’d need to demonstrate that the individuals wishing to transition are, in fact, not fully “male” or “female”, i.e. that they’re exceptions. And that’s difficult. Especially when a given individual is unambiguously male or female from a physiological point of view.

            • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 12:43 am #

              I’ll contend that your reasoning is flawed. If there are ANY EXCEPTIONS of whatever sort to the statement “God made them male and female” then that statement cannot by definition be stated as an absolute in reference to any person. By definition something with an exception cannot be an absolute.

              OF COURSE it remains to be demonstrated whether any given thing is in fact an exception, but the fact remains that if there are exceptions then the statement is not an absolute and cannot be introduced to this debate as if it were.

              Now with that said, I have made and continue to make the biological argument and will post it again here for your edification. It is not however necessary that you be convinced that the case is proven, rather it is only necessary to demonstrate that it is reasonably possible that the premises true. If it is reasonably possible that the transsexual condition falls under the intersex exception then it is unwise to denounce it collectively unless one can specifically, I repeat SPECIFICALLY, cite biblical injunction against it.

              The case again is as follows, in brief:

              One: people are born with intersex conditions

              Two people are born with anomalous birth conditions which affect the human brain (e.g. autism et al)

              Three: the human brain is a sex specific organ, functionally and physically different in each sex.

              Those three premises are entirely uncontroversial and well-established. It logically follows from those facts that it is at least possible and indeed probable that certain individuals will be born with intersex conditions affecting the brain in such a way that the brain reflects one sex while the gonad structure reflects the other.

              If you find this difficult to understand perhaps you should invest some time in the study of what we know of intersex conditions since it is proven that ANY sex specific organ or function of the body is subject to being affected by an intersex condition.

              • buddyglass June 12, 2014 at 11:43 am #

                “If there are ANY EXCEPTIONS of whatever sort to the statement “God made them male and female” then that statement cannot by definition be stated as an absolute in reference to any person.”

                I don’t know what to say except that this doesn’t logically follow. I’ll try to give an analogy in the hopes it’ll clear up what I’m saying.

                Consider the statement: “All cats are haired.”

                This statement is not absolutely true since there are obvious exceptions. Some cat breeds are hairless.

                Nevertheless we can still conclude that a particular cat has hair. We can see the hair. We can touch it with our hands. We can cut some it off and put it under a microscope and verify that it is, in fact, cat hair. We call such a cat is “haired” because we’ve defined “haired” to mean “has hair” and it matches that definition.

                Now consider the statement: “Every person is male or female.”

                This statement is not absolutely true since there are obvious exceptions (i.e. intersex people). However, most individuals can be determined to have unambiguous male or female genitalia. We call them “male” and “female” because we’ve defined “male” and “female” by the presence of unambiguous genitalia. That the statement “every person is male or female” is not absolutely true does not prevent us from concluding that a given individual is absolutely male or female.

                • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

                  Buddy, you are doing fine until you mentioned the word genitalia. Your mistaken assumption is that genitalia is the sole determining factor in biological sex. Obviously it’s not. Moreover known of the indicators that you can visually confirm all the source of one’s internal sense of sex. Again I refer you to the case of David Reimer. You haven’t explained that one. If, in point of fact, genitals are the point of reference that you suppose then how is it that David knew what is genitals did not tell him or anyone else?

                  Also just by the way, concerning the Analogy: while it is true that anyone can determine whether or not the particular cat in their hand has hair, it nevertheless remains true that you cannot truthfully say all cats HAVE hair. Just as in like manner you cannot invoke truthfully “God made them male and female” as an absolute principle as has been repeatedly attempted in this thread. So your analogy is flawed from the jump.

              • J L Parks June 12, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

                Tammy- with all due respect- if a male is born a male, with fully functioning male equipment, and a near-lifelong supply of predominantly male hormones, no amount of reasoning will prove that this individual was, as you say, “born with an intersex condition”. I’m sorry. That person can spend their whole life wishing and thinking they were something, gender-wise, other than they were born, but that changes nothing.

                I am not including true hermaphrodites, for which I have no biological or medical explanation. That is a different story entirely.

                And to say that at birth, the brain is a “sexual organ”, is without scientific basis or proof.

                • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

                  a few points here, first you are basically resorting to “because I say so” without addressing any of the points I’ve made. Secondly, you frankly admit that you have no explanation for a proven biological condition. Does not this indicate that you, physician or no, are out of your depth on the subject? I’m not a physician nor do I have extensive scientific training but there are multiple valid explanations for why intersex people exists. Nevertheless, if you do not understand and are not able to explain a well understood biological phenomenon then how can you possibly be equipped to assess whether or not that phenomenon does or does not include the transsexual condition? I submit that you are not arguing from what is known but from what you want to be true based on your religious tradition. Finally, I did not say that the brain was a sexual organ,, I said that is a sex specific organ for which there is considerable scientific support. I can provide you links to credible peer-reviewed studies if you’re having difficulty finding them (which again, as a physician you should have no trouble doing for yourself).

  6. J L Parks June 11, 2014 at 8:36 am #

    Morgan- one last thiought here. These folks know the mind of God, because He has revealed it in His Word, and they know His Word. I am not a Baptist…but the reason there are so many people who DO know the mind, will, and purposes of God, is because they know the Book in which He has revealed Himself. It is not “arrogance”. It is a privilege and an honor to know Him. It is even more of a privilege, to have been allowed the opportunity to accept and trust His Son, as our personal Lord and Savior.

    • Ken Abbott June 11, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man [or woman] without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment. ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:12-16)

      • Tammy Rainey June 11, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

        that’s a very lovely quote, but it’s a dodge because it assumes things about those who disagree but turn out not to be true. I, like thousands of other transsexual individuals, have been washed in the blood of Christ and saved by his mercy. I myself have been a Christian for over 40 years. I spent the vast majority of those years combating my condition, praying God with bitter tears to deliver me from it, and repenting in ernest once I was led to believe that it was some sinful perversion.

        Moreover I dedicated my life to his service in an effort to be worthy of that healing and spent almost 20 years in the gospel ministry. In fact, to my shame it was not uncommon to hear me preaching the very same ideas that are reflected in this resolution. The problem is that had I actually followed the spirit and not the traditions of men I could’ve saved myself and others much suffering.

        Do not presume that because you follow Christ that every choice you make collectively is God ordained. Or have you forgotten why the SOUTHERN Baptist Convention exists in the first place?

    • Ian Shaw June 11, 2014 at 11:01 am #

      Here, here and here, here.

    • Tammy Rainey June 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

      JL Parks, you argue that people know “the mind of God” because they have resorted to his word and by knowing his word they know his will, and yet the very existence of the Baptist Church demonstrates that that is not a conclusive proposition. The origins of the Baptist Church are found in a doctrinal disagreement with other people who had likewise resorted to the word of God to know his will. There are in fact dozens of major denominations with thousands if not millions of adherents led by men and sometimes women who are scholars and students of his word who nevertheless disagree on the very fundamentals of the faith up to and including the nature of salvation. Therefore it cannot be said that one who is a faithful student of God’s word is therefore a reliable authority on the mind of God.

      • J L Parks June 11, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

        Tammy- not only are you correct, you make a very good point. There are now over 40,000 sects, cults, and denominations of “Christianity”, all of which have diverged from, over the last 2000 years, what God gave as a singular pattern, in the NT, for the church and the churches.

        But I don’t feel that argument is germaine to this discussion. The Scriptures simply state, in multiple places, in both Testaments, “God made them male and female…”

        This is not a statement subject to denominational thought, human interpretation, or intellectual or even scientific reasoning. This is a statement even the youngest can understand. And it is a foundational basis for the entire human race. We have ONE Creator. And He has not given any of us the option to “re-create” ourselves.

        • James Bradshaw June 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

          JL: Scripture says many things, but it leaves a lot out. Does its silence on adult men taking child (or barely pubescent) brides thus imply that it’s moral or even a good idea for 30-year-old men to marry 12-year-old girls?

          Scripture is hardly a psychological or scientific manual … from history, it seems that its usefulness regarding all matters of morality is lacking as well.

          Folks are still arguing over whether buying and selling human beings for profit is technically a “sin”.

        • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 12:05 am #

          JL, I keep picking apart the same failed argument and it keeps coming back again. So here goes one more time:

          “God made them male and female” refers specifically to the prefall creation in Eden. It is well understood by even the most conservative Christian that human imperfection arises from the fall. Thus no human being is expected to exhibit the perfection found before the fall. We know as an Orthodox teaching that everything from murder to cancer to birth defects can be attributed to that fall from perfection. So on its face, the reference would not apply to any post fall person.

          Moreover, even the resolution itself admits to the existence of intersex people who are self evidently not consistent with the pattern that you suggest when you quote “God made them male and female”. Obviously these people are the exception to this, no matter how few they may be. It follows on from that the that not only can we see obviously that the quote refers to the perfection of Eden but we can see obviously that the imperfection which followed the fall includes imperfection in the biology of sex and gender.

          Thus, it is not logical to cite the verse that you reference is an argument against transsexual transition. It simply does not apply to the situation. It can be shown as a matter of logic and reason without any extraordinary knowledge of human biology that being transsexual is for all practical purposes an intersex condition. If you don’t understand that I’ll explain it to you in a future reply. In the meantime if you wish to argue that someone dealing with this condition is required by God to spend a life of mental suffering in order to follow some Old Testament rule, then I’d invite you to quote me the rule and defend it in context.

  7. Trevor Morgan June 11, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Not sure what I think here. You say:
    “We regard our transgender neighbors as image-bearers of Almighty God.”

    This is a great place to start; I wholeheartedly applaud this.

    You then say “We oppose all cultural efforts to validate claims to transgender identity”

    How exactly will you reconcile these two statements in practice? Are you saying that you love transgendered people but you don’t really think they exist? And most importantly, if those two resolutions come into conflict with each other, which one will you prioritize?

  8. Kathy Verbiest Baldock June 11, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING — you will one day feel godly shame for leading the discrimination against others of God’s children in the SBC.
    Go to college and take a class in human sexuality and stop using the Bible for ALL things. I would assume that if a member of you family became ill with a disease, you would seek out science.
    What you have led is completely repulsive, and Mr. Burk, I see most of the shenanigans that occur, THIS one is on the very top of the list.

    • Ian Shaw June 11, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      College classes really shouldn’t be used as authority on subjects. After all, my secular college psychology class informed me that attraction to children isn’t necessarily morally wrong, but just wrong in the eyes of the law. That’s not exactly a high point….

      • Kathy Verbiest Baldock June 11, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

        History, even history of the church, will show THIS as a low point that someone more informed Baptist will refute and apologize for.

        • Ian Shaw June 11, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

          So you have a prophetic gift to see the future?

          • Kathy Verbiest Baldock June 11, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

            Actually, I have been given to show gifts within the office, yes. I am not using them here — this is trajectory analysis.

          • Juni Song June 12, 2014 at 2:53 am #

            Maybe they do. The Baptists seem to think they get to admit their ‘love’ for us while denying we exist all in one swing. Stranger things have happened.

  9. J L Parks June 11, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Kathy- “All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness…” (2 Tim. 3:10). There is no greater, safer, or higher authority. “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” (Romans 3:4)

    • Kathy Verbiest Baldock June 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

      ALL scripture IS inspired by God, BUT not all interpretations are. This resolution I would stake my life’s integrity on — is NOT inspired by GOd.

  10. J L Parks June 11, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Kathy- you’re incorrect on this one as well. The Bible says this: “Know this, first of all; that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation…for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)

    The Bible is crystal-clear. God made mankind male and female. He has not given human beings the option of choosing their own gender, after the fact. It is contrary to nature.

    • Tim Payne June 11, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      No amount of intellect or discussion will explain the things of God to those who cannot comprehend it because they lack the Holy Spirit to guide them. Christians use the Bible as their authoritative guide because it is Gods instruction manual given for all mankind to know of His love and mercy for them. Read the scripture in the resolution and let God tell you what He has to say to you. As a member of Gods Church among the SBC I have to applaud the stance for lovingly following Gods commands and setting the standard for the SBC to follow. May God bless you. And please turn to Jesus for He is willing and able to save your souls.

      • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 12:47 am #

        how convenient it is to simply wave your hand and dismiss the authenticity of the salvation of those Christians with whom you disagree. It’s really a rather convenient little bit of circular reasoning you’ve arranged for yourself. One wonders if you apply this is a little bit of self congratulation to doctrinal disagreements with other Christians on other more important subjects such as salvation? Do you brush off the authenticity of the salvation of every member of the Church of Christ, or every Holiness church, or every Catholic, simply because they disagree with you on the subject?

    • Kathy Verbiest Baldock June 11, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

      Just as an aside, this is my personal experience. i always find those that use their findable, responsibility-taking name in posts such as this to be more cautious of the the way in which they treat others.
      When one’s name is directly associated with their words, interesting things happen with typing fingers.
      I will now restrict my responses to you. No accountability is unproductive for exchanges in the end. i don’t have that kind of time to invest. I spend time repairing the damage done by Law makers and keepers.

    • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 12:20 am #

      “The Bible is crystal-clear. God made mankind male and female. He has not given human beings the option of choosing their own gender, after the fact. It is contrary to nature”

      even if one accepts the premise that you state here, which I’ve already rebutted in my previous post, your logic is still highly flawed. The statement “God created them male and female” does not contain within it the direct implication that it is forbidden for transsexual to transition. You have extrapolated from the verse that meaning which you wish to find there not what proper exegesis would reveal. A case study in this might be found in the New Testament incident in which Jesus quotes that verse.

      Christ stated, in answer to a question about divorce, that God had intended – having created them male and female – to be united as one for life. Then he goes on to say, however, that God through Moses gave them conditions for divorce “because of the hardness of their heart”, in other words because they were not capable of the perfection of Eden. In like manner those born with the transsexual condition are also imperfect and we must resort to imperfect solutions to deal with that imperfection.

      Again, to be absolutely crystal-clear, the citation which you insist on using does not apply to the current state of any human being and more specifically even if it did it does not in any context forbid transition. You’re going to have to do better.

      (This is as good a place as any to apologize for the fact that there is some strange and sometimes incomprehensible grammar and some of my posts, I’m learning to use Dragon Dictation and occasionally I forget that it requires considerable proofreading)

      • J L Parks June 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

        Tammy- you are admitting that the divorce “allowance” of Moses, mentioned by Jesus, was because of the “hardness of the human heart”, ie, SIN. Not the sin of the fall, but the sin of willful choice. That’s where the hardness came from. So if your example is a parallel, then the “ability to transition” is a choice. A sinful choice. Is this really what you wanted to say?

        • Tammy Rainey June 12, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

          of course, sin. Paul instructs us that because sin entered into the world so did all the other bad things which men suffer. The hardness comes from the fall because the hardness comes from sin. That does not relieve you of responsibility of your individual choice to sin, nevertheless you still have to demonstrate that the given act you are objecting to is, in fact, sinful. It’s not sinful just because it makes you feel queasy. Still, are you arguing that God through Moses gave the Israelites permission to sin? That’s the direct implication of your rebuttal. If Jesus says that they were given allowance to divorce “because of the hardness of their hearts” and you suggest that that hardness is a willful choice to sin, then that implies that Moses gave the Israelites permission to sin.

          • J L Parks June 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

            Yes, Tammy- God gave the Israelites permission to sin. He allowed divorce, even though it is stated in the OT, that “He hates divorce”. He always allows mankind the opportunity to exert their free will. He did not harden Pharaoh’s heart until plague #6, and that only after Pharaoh had hardened his OWN heart for the first 5 plagues. And He gives a human female the choice to think she is a male, and vice versa, as errant and contrary to nature as that is.

            I reject totally your continued assertion that the brain is a “sex-specific” organ. I think that is pure nonsense- a man-made excuse to allow some false legitimacy for this condition. When a male is born, buried in his brain is his pituitary gland, which is programmed by the Lord to send various streaming hormones to his thyroid, his adrenals, his testicles, his prostate, and so on. The opposite is true, for the female; her pituitary sends its hormones to regulate her thyroid, breasts, adrenals, ovaries, uterus, etc. Two identical glands…but each designed as differently as an Apple Mac and an Acer. To think then, that a male could choose to have his brain alter his sexual orientation by simply his choice, and completely turn around these hormone axes, and make himself into a human female, makes as much sense as my waking up in the morning, convinced I’m a peacock.

            And am I “out of my depth” on hermaphroditism, as you suggest? You bet I am. Just like I have no clue why so many of my patients that I see day to day, have the diseases they have.Why a little 5 year old girl has the worst kind of leukemia anyone can have. Why a 46 year old man has multiple cavernomas in his brain, which have, and will, continue to rupture. Why a lady with terrible lupus, went into remission for 30 years, with no explanation. Why a 30 year old woman has already had 3 separate cancers. I have no clue…you tell me.

            But hermaphroditism is a mix, anatomically and physiologically, of both sets of organs, and both predominances of hormones. In this case, the parents often have an agonizing choice. But this is anatomic. It has NOTHING to do with free will, and the matter of choice.

            Transsexualism is “I am what I think I am, in spite of what my anatomy says I am.” Huge difference. Sorry. You will never convince me that this is normal, after seeing almost everything there is to see in 40 years of medicine.

            • Tammy Rainey June 13, 2014 at 4:28 am #

              and I have been told, and noted it myself to be true that you cannot win a rational argument against an irrational position in. You freely admit that there are medical conditions which you encounter what you don’t understand, and then contradict yourself by taking an adamant arrogant position that another condition cannot possibly be what it is claimed to be. You offer no rational explanation why this condition is different from the other conditions that you can understand nor any supporting argument for why you understand this one so well when there are so many others you don’t understand. It is a completely irrational circular bitter reasoning designed for no other purpose than to keep you from having to change the traditional belief that you feel good about.

              The most telling things are in your reply is this: “40 years of medicine”, that makes you at least in your late 60s and the reality is that just as my beloved grandfather who was a wonderful Christian man died with racist attitudes because he reflected the flawed ideas of his generation, so too do you. The bottom line is few people your age are willing to question what they believed all their life, no one or how convincing the arguments may be that are presented to them.

              Just remember that if you’re not willing to have your beliefs tested, challenged, and examined then ultimately they don’t amount to much more than a security blanket. Sadly, the convention is controlled by such men, and 50 years if not more from now other such men will have to apologize, AGAIN, for their predecessors.

              • J L Parks June 13, 2014 at 7:11 am #

                First of all, Tammy- I am not in my late 60’s…I had an early start. Secondly, I absolutely have had to keep up with the latest in medical and scientific discovery, technology, and treatments. I am not living in the past. I am NOT suffering with, as you say, “the flawed ideas of my generation.” And personally, I am the farthest thing from bitter, that you have ever met.

                You, on the other hand, have failed to give any of us a single shred of evidence as to how a person, basically using mind over matter, can overcome the specific set of male or female sex hormonal axes and physiology programmed into each gender by God. What I have described are actual physical conditions where the body’s functions go haywire, and that can be proven by specific lab and imaging studies. For a transsexual to “make any progress” at all, they have to undergo tremendous and exhaustive sex-hormone manipulations…needing to counteract their natural, and receive their opposite…just to try to “match” the way they think.

                You are trying to convince us that you believe the old adage “I think, therefore, I am.” Just because a person has a “gender identity crisis”, does NOT mean that transsexualism is anything more than sin. There is nothing physical or physiological here. It arises in the MIND, and not the brain. The brain cannot magically or mystically “reassign” what God has already done.

                Sadly, it is you who are defending an irrational position. My position makes natural, physical, physiological, Biblical, and common sense. Yours makes no sense at all.

                • Tammy Rainey June 13, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

                  let’s go back to the very basics. It seems to me that before you can fairly discuss what the Bible addresses you need to have a clear understanding of the nature of the condition. So… We can establish at least for we disagree on that point.

                  In your view, from what does any person’s self perception of their sex arise. That is, how do you know that you are a man? How does any person, however “normal” KNOW their sex? Again I refer you to the case of David Reimer which, as far as I can tell, you have not addressed. How did that child KNOW that he was male in the face of every last shred of physical and environmental evidence?

                  Let’s clarify that point first as a starting foundation for the rest of the discussion.

                  • J L Parks June 13, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

                    Tammy- with all honesty, I’d like to continue exploring this with you. But, not here. Any chance you want to privately email on this subject? If you’re comfortable providing me your email, do so…if not, and you want to continue, let me know here, and I’ll provide mine.

                    • Tammy Rainey June 14, 2014 at 10:43 pm #

                      I don’t want to make it a clickable link here so I will sort of spell it out and hope you understand. it’s my name at ymail .com

            • Don Johnson June 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

              God allowed divorce because of the hardness of heart (persistent sin) of people, divorce for a Biblically valid reason is not a sin. Divorce is a recognition of the end of a covenant because of violation of vows.

              • Don Johnson June 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

                P.S. We know that not all divorces are sin because God divorced Israel and told Abraham to obey Sarah when she told him to divorce Hagar.

  11. Brian Darby June 12, 2014 at 2:00 am #

    If I may request some information if possible. First I do not understand why the convention did not deal with child abuse and reporting child abuse issues? If there was time to deal with this “issue” and other areas it seems it would have been constructive to pass a simple resolution that says if you (pastor elder etc) are aware of child abuse or suspect it you should report it to the authorities. I mean that is rather basic in most organizations that have contact with children.

    I was also wondering, I am no bible scholar and I admit that, but if someone could help me out, I dont expect any real deep reflection just a link to an article, book, sermon etc. I dont expect people do my homework if that makes sense. Try to follow my “logic” this is off the cuff. I read through the bible about 30+ times and on audio do to visual issues I have listened “through the Bible” many dozen more. In the text I find several issues for illness and disease, first the fall, then a punishment, chastisement, testing, help people remain humble I E Paul’s illness, the glory of God as in the healing of the blind man, demonic possession or Satan. This is not an exhaustive list but I think these are some of the biggies. My question, and this is not meant to be sarcastic I really struggle with it, no where in the Biblical text are issues such as bacteria, viruses, germ theory, mental illness, chemical imbalances etc. The Bible, which speaks authoritatively concerning the causes of illness does offer only a few remedies, repentance, prayer, anointing, wine, washing / water, fasting, prayer and laying on of hands, etc. I most likely missed some.

    The Bible is the authoritative everlasting Word of God, but the remedies us fallen humans have come up with, such as vaccines, antibiotics, antivirals, psych medication, chemotherapy, medical tech, washing hands, sterilization procedures, etc (this list would go on for pages.) The Bible does not mention any of these remediations. First I think that we came up with these remedies is a gift from God, but can you see my point. If we stuck directly with what is written with the text we would not have moved on past the given remedies that are explicit in scripture there is nothing there in the text. It seems that Christians for the most part have refined their belief concerning disease / illness with newer understanding, maybe we need to just think on that. Anyway I am sure I have committed several logical fallacies, I think from what I see the categorical fallacy as one but I am really just trying to find answers. thanks I hope everyone has a nice day.

  12. Josiah Akintola Bolarinwa July 22, 2014 at 4:09 am #

    I empathise with Tammy for his condition. However, it is foolishness for the clay to question what the potter has made of it. a word is enough for the wise.


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