I remain in full unity with the doctrines of God as we believe, teach, and confess them in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). While I have been advocating some things with which many (not all) in the LCMS do not agree, and I believe the one study on gender dysphoria published by us is greatly lacking, there is no doctrine of the LCMS with which I am in disagreement.
That I have some disagreement with my church body is not unusual. If you can find two LCMS pastors who agree on the practice of every teaching, even as they confess the same doctrine, then I’ll let you buy me a pizza to tell me about it.
In going public with my condition and my arguments, concern was expressed that I might lead some into sin, and that I might announce that transitioning is a fine and dandy thing. I have strived to write carefully, working through issues with both Christian and secular/medical concerns in mind, seeking always to be true to my Lord Jesus Christ.
After three months of working through the issues, here is where I stand:
– I do not say that I have all answers regarding gender dysphoria or transitioning.
– I will not promote transitioning to anyone.
– I have not and will not counsel those, who suffer as I do, to transition, or advise the parents of minor children in that direction.
– I will leave as an open question regarding the specifics of whether actual sin is committed by one who transitions in order to ease suffering and live a productive life.
The question remains: is specific sin committed when a person transitions, who has been physically, mentally, and emotionally debilitated by his gender identity disorder? Here, an important discussion needs to occur.
All people possess a fallen nature. Generally, Christians refer to it as a sinful nature. For this discussion, I want to refrain from that word, “sinful,” because of the freight it carries. “Fallen” works better to demonstrate that all things in this world do not work correctly and are broken.
– Why do we have earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, droughts? The world is fallen, broken, and does not work right because of The Fall of Adam.
– Why can we never get rid of war, poverty, the greedy rich, wicked dictators, divorce? The world is fallen, broken, and does not work right because of The Fall of Adam.
– What is behind every cold virus, every form of cancer, every disease and malady and illness, every miscarriage and birth defect and malformed body? The world is fallen, broken, and does not work right because of The Fall of Adam.
– Why do all humans die, all animals die, all plants die? The world is fallen, broken, and does not work right because of The Fall of Adam.
I know that I have made numerous faith statements. Just because they are faith statements does not negate their truthfulness.
So, I have a fallen nature, you have one, we all do. In this fallen nature, we have, to use computer language, errors written into our code. These errors cause one to develop this or that disease, another to be a worrier, another to be prone to alcoholism, another never to make it alive out of the womb, another to be given to harmful schemes, and the like. We do not have control over some of the things, we have control over others, but we struggle to control the vast majority.
When we fail at something over which we have control—say, how we speak—it is sin. Sin can be falling short of the mark of perfection, or going over the acceptable line, or doing something wrong, or failing to do the right thing, or looking out for oneself at the expense of another.
Sin is a many blundered thing.
What of gender dysphoria? I have this condition because of my fallen nature. Regardless of whether I ever did or would commit an actual sin because of it, that I have male DNA, yet feel female, is an indicator in my body that the world is fallen, broken, and does not work right because of The Fall of Adam.
I know that I just made a faith statement. Just because it is a faith statement does not negate its truthfulness.
I do not want to transition. I find it to be a lousy option, one that is akin to the diabetic’s poor circulation leaving him to face the amputation of a foot. No one wants this, yet will elect for amputation to save the rest of his body. Sometimes, every option stinks; we seek to choose the lesser evil.
If I were to transition, I will never say I am proud to be trans or celebrate it. I have been completely and utterly driven to my knees by this condition. Thankfully, I have not fallen into despair and lost my faith in Christ. Indeed, the craziest thing happened on my way to the bottom of the pit: my trust in the Lord Jesus has deepened. I love and rely on Him more than ever.
For those who insist I bear my cross as a male, I need way more than more Scripture and admonition heaped on me. I am worn out by it. I have worked so hard, for decades, to be a male. I am at my wit’s end. I need answers, not more, “Just bear your cross and put up with it. Be strong in Christ.”
I am strong in Christ. I am so strong in Christ that His strength has kept me in the faith where many would just curse Him and walk away.
I am a humbled person in great need. I make decisions in humility toward the Lord, seeking His good and gracious will, working hard to abide by His Word.
In the end, I know this: I belong to Jesus Christ and He loves me completely. I do not deliberately sin in any of this. If I am sinning, it is out of utter weakness. In our fallen nature, we all mess up so many things that we will never satisfy to perfection the requirements of God.
This is my point, today. I am a fallen person. I am a sinner. I need a Savior, not a nitpicker. While my Savior does not give me permission to do as I please, He also does not hold every failing over my head that I have to fear the one thing that I mess up in this life, that He will condemn me eternally for it.
Jesus Christ is not a nitpicker, but THE Savior who satisfied to perfection the requirements of God for me. I trust my Lord to be merciful and faithful. Because He is, I love Him with all my heart and soul and strength.