Homosexuality and Transgenderism

1 Corinthians 6:9-11

9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Romans 1:26-27 (NASB)

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged natural relations for that which is contrary to nature, 27 and likewise the men, too, abandoned natural relations with women and burned in their desire toward one another, males with males committing shameful acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

As we already know, there is a difference between struggling with homosexuality and practicing it. All sin is sin, but a struggling believer cares about pleasing the Lord and resolves to overcome their weaknesses. A believer (as someone who presently believes in Jesus Christ) can struggle with homosexuality just as they can any other sin. Believers struggling with sin don’t go on sinning as a lifestyle for the rest of their lives (in no way suggesting believers can’t fall away). Anyone determined to stay true to the faith will see a turnaround sooner or later (1 John 3:9, 5:18). It is impossible to remain in Christ while serving sin simultaneously.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is clear that homosexuality is wrong. However, the Bible doesn’t have anything to say about transgender people directly. But neither does Scripture condone said behavior either. There are enough passages that speak of gender and God’s desire for marriage. Yes, transgenderism is sinful. God intended marriage to be between a man and a woman not only for reproductive reasons but also to symbolize the relationship believers (the bride) have with Christ as their spiritual husband. When people attempt to mix up the sexes, they take away this precious symbolism and turn it into something God never intended.

Genesis 1:27 (ESV)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

And although it is true we are no longer under the Old Covenant Law, the same commands to refrain from any form of homosexuality still apply today just as much as they did back then.

Leviticus 18:22 (NIV)

22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

Leviticus 20:13a (NIV)

13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.

1 Timothy 1:8-11 (NASB)

8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and worldly, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, homosexuals, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

It is true that, under the Mosaic Law, homosexual men within the community were to be killed to purge the sin and evil from the nation. But these procedures only applied to the nation of Israel under the old covenant system. Homosexuality was far from the only sin punishable by physical death. The Pentateuch lists many wrongdoings (the most severe offenses) that warranted the death penalty for the safety of the nation’s spiritual purity. That is why we find many passages containing the common command, “You must purge the evil from among you.” The Lord had to deal more harshly with His people during their infancy stage of establishment. These early days needed to be treated with utmost delicacy because the formation of a nation is one of its most critical and vulnerable times. Any transgression that was not dealt with swiftly (whether through the death penalty or some other form of punishment) could have easily spread like gangrene by infecting the entire nation if let out of control. Israel could not have formed and functioned as a nation and God’s chosen witness if the standards were looser than they were. Many people would have been hindered from coming to Christ if God’s chosen witness, Israel, had no organization or discipline. This helps to explain why offenses were handled much more aggressively during Old Covenant times. Everyone had to be on their best behavior because that crucial time in history was a sensitive period where no one could afford to fool around (even though all sin is still sin and has consequences). Unfortunately, Israel’s later disobedience and apostasy defeated this whole purpose, but not without completing their formation and receiving the inheritance of the land. But what a sad testimony many of them gave that resulted in their discipline.

A parallel example to the above is the formation of the early church in Acts during the apostle’s day. The best prime example from that period is the case of Ananias and Saphira (Acts 5:1-11). The church (like the nation of Israel in its early days under the Old Covenant) was in a crucial stage of development that required special precautions. But those days are long and gone, which is why we don’t see what we saw in the case of Ananias and his wife in our modern time. Instead, the church was established a long time ago, roughly around the time of the apostle John’s death.

To continue our main discussion, the fact that some people may suffer from some legitimate disorder (mental or hormonal) does not justify practicing homosexuality or becoming transgender. It should be clear at this point that both are sinful in God’s eyes. If the Lord created us as a particular gender, then no belief system about oneself or physical and chemical tampering will ever change that. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman. Once a person is born, they cannot alter or redefine the sex they are, no matter if they identify as the opposite gender.

Some medical issues (whatever they may be) may be real (although they would be unknown to me), but that does not excuse anyone from indulging in sinful behavior. I am no medical expert, so I cannot say with certainty whether said issues are real or not. But, (from the believer’s point of view), it would be a tremendous waste of time focusing on those issues without addressing the inner condition of the human heart, which determines how homosexual and transgender individuals react to whatever is going on inside. Undoubtedly, feelings and emotions play no small role in every case. By themselves, they are dangerous and can and will lead anyone astray.

However, we must sympathize with people (especially new believers who wish to break free from the sin in their lives) if said disorders are legitimate (the person was born with certain hormonal issues (if such things even exist)). The reason is that a genuine medical condition would present more of a challenge unique to them that most do not have to endure. No one has to sin, but there can be things that make overcoming it more difficult for some. Also, we would do well to consider that some people are more predisposed toward certain behaviors than others. But that doesn’t mean we condone sin because no one has to continue in it. There is never any excuse for it because God has given every human being the ability to discern and choose between right and wrong. Anyone who wishes to believe in Christ and be free from their sins may do so. No mental, chemical, or hormonal disorder would prevent a person from receiving God’s grace and experiencing victory over sin and death because God would never allow that. Since we know He is just, we know this would never be the case.

Revelation 22:17 (NASB)

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires, take the water of life without cost.

Matthew 11:29-30 (NASB)

29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light.”

And for those who wish to take the water of life mentioned above, the Holy Spirit will come to dwell within them to empower everything they think, say, and do. Victory will come to all who desire it.

Romans 8:13-18 (ESV)

13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

And for those who wish to overcome their struggles (we all have them), the Lord knows and understands how hard it is. For this reason, He sympathizes and bears with us.

Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV)

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

And all of this was made possible by the sacrificial death of God’s Son Jesus Christ on our behalf.

1 Corinthians 15:53-57 (ESV)

53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

With all the above said (and to continue moving through our discussion), nowhere does the New Testament permit violence and mistreatment toward gay and transgender people. How sad that many have chosen to do their own thing and persecute others without authorization. There is no justification for sin on either side. Sin is still sin, but transgender and homosexual people should receive as much love and respect as the rest of society. Yes, we are stating the obvious here, but it is necessary to deal with the basic facts right from the get-go. The old phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin” always stands true. Jesus told us that love for one’s neighbor (referring to anybody we encounter) is the second greatest commandment after loving God.

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The reality of same-sex marriage and transgenderism should, by themselves, disgust us. We should find those things abhorrent. But we should never treat those who believe in and practice them as if they were not fellow human beings worthy of all love, care and respect that is due them as those equally made in the image and likeness of God. Christ died for them as well (1 John 2:2). Sadly, so many Christians preoccupy themselves with focusing on how shocked and displeased they are with today’s modern trends (homosexuality being just one of those more prominent ones). And this the Church does without realizing it has a significant problem of its own, as Revelation 3:14-22 shows. Hypocrisy (prominent in so many churches) does not present a good testimony.

Revelation 3:14-22

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.”

Of course, Solomon was right when he said there is nothing new under the sun. Therefore, none of these things should shock or surprise believers because we expect them to occur. You cannot fix a problem by standing there and gawking at it as if constantly complaining is going to do anything. We must refrain from over focusing on the issue and start emphasizing and executing the only true and meaningful solution: being the salt of the world, a process accomplished through growing closer to Jesus Christ day by day. The more time we spend not doing anything, the weaker the testimony we will give to those around us. It is little wonder Christians get such a bad rep from outsiders. Much of this is because far too many Christians spend too much of their time complaining about it (and often through mean-spirited attitudes, not bespeaking love). This behavior is comparable to a plumber on the job who continues to stare at a leaky pipe and says, “Oh, I can’t stand this stupid pipe! I wish it would stop leaking!” Yet he ignores that just looking at it and jumping up and down complaining isn’t doing anything (nor does it give him a good reputation as a plumber). We could only hope that his customers are displeased with his conduct. This behavior is the exact opposite of how believers are to respond to all the negativity in the world.

Matthew 5:13-16 (NIV)

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

No, we are not here to change the world or make it a better place. That is not what we are espousing here. Quite the opposite comes from thinking, speaking, and living according to God’s holy Word. The passage above tells us what truly makes the biggest difference. Since Christ is the only solution, we (like the nation of Israel was called upon to do) are to emulate Him to the best degree to point people to the only real solution to sin, death, and suffering. Time is of the essence, and worldly, political solutions won’t save anyone from eternal death. Only the gospel message and the testimony of Scripture proclaimed in the believer’s life can mend the real inner problem of the human heart for those willing to accept the truth.

2 Timothy 4:5 (NIV)

5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

The only way to have any meaningful influence on other people is to pursue that which Christ has called us (and placed us on this earth) to carry out. If we truly love the Lord and others as we should, then we will expend as much of our time and energy as is possible, focusing on the spiritual work that only those who genuinely love God and others as they should occupy themselves with.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 (ESV)

2 We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 3 remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, the more time we spend distracting ourselves with the worries and concerns of this life, the more likely we are to get tangled up in them. And worse yet, there is always the risk that this could help kill our faith if we are not careful. And the worries mentioned in our passage below can refer to just about anything that could harm our faith and stunt our spiritual growth. Political involvement makes this all too easy.

Matthew 13:22 (NIV)

22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

Yes, homosexuality and transgenderism are sinful. But if we make living for Christ our top priority and focus on that, our chances of having a more profound and more-meaningful impact skyrocket. No, this doesn’t mean or guarantee that most people we interact with will convert to the truth. But it does mean they will have more good things to say about us. It is more likely (and is inevitable) that the more godly our conduct, the more people we will win for Christ. So instead of constantly complaining about what we know to be wrong, why not make more efforts to stretch out a helping hand (without compromise and if the opportunity presents itself)?

1 Peter 2:12 (ESV)

12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

As believers, we know our responsibilities. Assuming we are doing everything we should, there is nothing else we can or should do for those who fail to accept our help. There is nothing else left to do but to move on and continue marching forward in this spiritual battlefield we call the world. We cannot force the truth down people’s throats. All that Christ asks us is to obey Him and do what He leads us to do.

God does not hate homosexuals or anyone at all. If this were the case, He would never have sent His Son to die for them.

John 3:16 (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.