Thinking Biblically About Transgenderism and Pastoral Care of LGBT Persons and Their Families

Greg Strand – December 13, 2016 Leave a comment

Recently Mark Yarhouse presented a National Association of Evangelicals Webinar on Pastoral Care of LGBT Persons and Their Families. Because of the strong response they received from those who participated, NAE is making this resource available. While there is a cost for this resource, NAE is offering free access to supporting denominations, which includes the EFCA. Yarhouse lectures about 45 minutes and concludes with about 10 minutes of questions and answers. As the title indicates, the focus is on pastoral care to those who struggle or suffer with gender dysphoria and their families. It is quite helpful.

Many of you attended (or subsequently downloaded the recordings and notes) last year’s Theology Conference, when Mark Yarhouse joined us for our Postconference on the topic The Ministry of the Gospel and Gender Dysphoria. Yarhouse focused on the following themes in our three sessions: Gender Dysphoria: Foundational Considerations Key Terms and Biblical Perspectives; Gender Dysphoria: Scientific, Biological, Psychological, and Sociocultural Considerations; and Gender Dysphoria: Toward a Pastoral Response.

I also include a link to another excellent resource, a message given by James Anderson, Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary: Thinking Biblically About Transgenderism. Anderson’s 30 minute lecture consists of (1) definition of terms, (2) basic facts which orient to the contextual and cultural situation, and (3) 8 theses from a Christian perspective on transgenderism. The message concludes with about 10 minutes of Q and A.

This is an extremely helpful lecture. In order to encourage you to listen to the whole lecture, I include Anderson’s insightful 8 theses, which you will have to listen to the lecture to hear how these theses are delineated.

  1. How you think about transgenderism will depend on your anthropology which depends, in turn, on your broader worldview.
  2. The mainstream narrative on transgenderism has been shaped and supported by secular worldviews that are committed to human autonomy.
  3. A consistently Christian approach to transgenderism must start with a biblical worldview and a biblical anthropology.
  4. A biblical anthropology has to be grounded in the first three chapters of Genesis.
  5. Gender dysphoria is a genuine condition which is best understood as a psychological disorder or dysfunction (and perhaps also as a deeper spiritual disorder).
  6. The different aspects of transgenderism call for different kinds of Christian responses.
  7. Since the biblical view is that there are only two sexes, male and female, and biological sex is the primary indicator of ontological sex, any treatment for gender dysphoria should proceed on the assumption that a person’s biological sex (rather than their gender identity) defines whether they are truly male or female.
  8. The sexual revolution and the LGBT movement don’t merely invite God’s judgment—they are themselves a manifestation of God’s judgment (Romans 1).

 

Greg Strand

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Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

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