After my two reaction pieces, last week, to the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s (LCMS) Commission on Theology and Church Relations’ (CTCR) report on gender dysphoria, I emailed them. Since I was publically taking exception to points in their report, I needed to inform them. Besides, it always was my intention to do just that.
I was pleased, yesterday, to receive the following email reply.
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The Lord be with you.
Thank you for your email and for sharing the link to your blog. It was helpful to read the two posts reacting to the CTCR report on gender dysphoria. Your humble spirit and your desire for the Synod “to do the best we can for our people as we strive to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ” is well-received.
The deep level of distress you feel resonates with the emotional tone of the contacts we have received from parents and other loved ones of transgender persons and individuals struggling with gender dysphoria. Whether people are fully supportive of transition decisions or believe that transition is a mistaken solution, all of these correspondents have expressed both deep love for those dealing with gender identity stresses and testimony to how severe the dysphoria is. Others have also remarked on the sense of self-hatred as well as the danger of suicide that is so high.
Your plea for humility in the church as it deals with this issue is one we do not and cannot ignore. We acknowledge that there is much uncertainty about various aspects of gender identity. At the same time, we do not wish to be unclear about things that are taught clearly in Scripture, such as our creation as male and female. Another point of absolute clarity, however, is that there is forgiveness and mercy for all people and that all who penitently rely on Christ for salvation have His forgiveness.
The pastoral care of individuals struggling with sexual identity is, in the most basic sense, no different than it is for any other person. All of us live in a broken world and bear the marks of human fallenness. All have sinned and fallen short of God’s intention. All suffer the misery of sin to one degree or another. Some of our sin we know clearly, other marks of sin in our lives we may not know or recognize for what they are, and still other aspects of human life in a broken world may appear to be sin to some but not to others. We need, as a church, to continue to address ourselves and our fallen world with God’s twin truths of His condemnation of sin and His mercy in Christ Jesus continues.
God keep you in His care, now and always.
Yours in Christ,
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Based on the CTCR’s role in the LCMS, I have no expectations of further action with them. I would only expect anything more if the LCMS were to take up the topic in convention or in some other way.
For now, I am pleased about several things. As I am a member of the LCMS, I have used several avenues to make it known that I am among those with gender dysphoria. As a Christian with this condition, I need to work through every issue and, having covered gender dysphoria from numerous angles over the past two months, I am glad to have worked through these things which are of the highest importance to me, written clearly about them, and shared them on the Internet to inform whomever might be interested