The most important thing I could ever write
The problem of God: part three
The problem with God is me.
I know what His Word says. I believe every word of it. I know that, because of Adam’s sin, I was born with Original Sin and, therefore, I am by this nature sinful and unclean, which causes me to sin in thought, word, and deed. I know that Jesus Christ paid for my sins, that believing in Him I have eternal life (John 3:16) and being baptized into His Name I am clothed with Him (Galatians 3:27) so that God the Father sees me as holy as the Holy One, His Son.
I know that the Lord made us male and female, though I also know that some of us are born with intersex conditions so that we do not fit so neatly into one category. I believe what He says about marriage. I know that I am a man, married to a woman, the father of five children, an ordained minister in a church body which remains true to Scriptures’s teaching that only men shall occupy the office of the ministry of Christ. It is my desire to remain as and in each of these.
I know every verse about purity of mind and body. I know the ethic by which the Lord would have me live.
I believe that Satan is a real, personal being who is my enemy, who prowls around me seeking to devour me (1 Peter 5:8), that he has been observing me my entire life and so he knows my weaknesses, especially my gender dysphoria, and works to exploit them that I might fall. I am to be careful lest I fall (1 Corinthians 10:12), that I never get cocky thinking that I am standing firm.
I know that my salvation does not rest on my keeping the Ten Commandments. I believe that Jesus Christ did that in my place and that I have been saved by grace through faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8-9). I know this does not release me from the laws of God, that I am not a law unto myself, that if I choose to live as I see fit—as I like to say, “Hey, God, what I am doing doesn’t break MY commandments”—then I am not living under Christ’s grace and I place my eternal life on the line. I struggle with grasping where my gender dysphoria falls into this, to my constant frustration.
I know 1 Corinthians 6:12: “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.” As I consider myself and how Christians in general live, I could write a book, so difficult is this verse for me, which reminds me that I am to work out my salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). This does not mean that I have to work to be saved—Christ did the work (2 Corinthians 5:19)—but that I am to take, with the utmost seriousness, His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation, using my life to love Him with all my heart and love my neighbor as myself.
I know that I do not have to live in fear. I love to reflect on the Gospel promises, like this one, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). I believe this, rely on this, and rejoice in this the most when life is the worst.
I believe my Lord to be faithful to His promises, to be long-suffering and merciful. I know that He came for the sick, not the healthy, and I know that I am sick—sinful, hurting, dis-eased—and unable to cure myself. I know that my Lord Jesus has no desire to break the bruised read (Isaiah 42:3), who relies on Him for healing, that He will work all things in my life for good (Romans 8:28).
I know that He hears my prayers and answers them for my good. I have a lot to say about prayer, so I will not write about it now.
I know that God does not make mistakes. I know what normal is—or, is supposed to be—the standard by which the Lord created all things good. I know that I am riddled with mistakes and suffer abnormalities as the result of Adam’s fall into sin, and that nothing in the world works perfectly.
I know that my defects do not give me permission to do with them as I please, if my pleasure does not match the Lord’s good will for me, that I am not to have the attitude, “This is how God made me. God doesn’t make junk. I’m okay the way I am. God wants me to be happy,” or any of the other multitude of ways people justify their behavior, but I am to use God’s Word, the gift of His Spirit of wisdom, to make decisions which are pleasing to my Lord and a blessing to my fellow man.
In the end, I am thankful that I know, most of all, the Lord Jesus Christ and these words from His lips which I cherish, John 3:17: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the word, but to save the world through Him.” From the Strong One, whom I trust for my eternal life, I know that He has no interest in condemning me, the utterly weak one, as I continue to sin, continue to err, continue to make wrong decisions which at the time seem right or in my weakness I cannot seem to help myself.
I do not know the future of my earthly pilgrimage. I do not want to transition. I have, again and again, insisted that I will never again entertain the thought of it and with each successive attempt plunged worse than ever into dysphoria. I have learned not to be naive about this or any other important thing. (I published this five weeks before undertaking transitioning to determine if it would help me, to remove the constant battle for my brain.)
Ultimately, I know that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst (1 Timothy 1:15). I know that, with Him holding onto me, I have nothing to fear, that, in the end, He will resurrect me from my grave into a new, imperishable, glorified, powerful, spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:42-44), with which I will live with Him in Paradise—the new earth—and I will finally be the person in which there are no mistakes.
This, my confession and faith, is why I am a Christian. No one but Jesus Christ has beaten death; no one else offers eternal life. No one else can provide me with the victory that I need. No one else—no one but Jesus Christ—can give me hope for a blessed future. No one else has earned my faith and devotion.