What happens when you have two groups intersect which, for many, are as opposite as can be? You wind up with one great, big clash.What happens when you have two groups intersect which, for many, are as opposite as can be? You wind up with one great, big clash.
That is what has occurred between the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the topic of gender dysphoria and transgender persons.
Since 2013, when I began telling pastors about my gender issues, and then in the past three years since I went public, and finally began my transition, many things have come to light:
- In 2013, almost no one in the LCMS knew anything about this.
- As of 2015, the misunderstanding about this became evident.
- At the same time, the idea of transgender persons as Christians in LCMS congregations has been soundly rejected by the majority, or at least the vocal ones, while a quieter number of pastors and lay folks have been willing to listen and learn.
- Based on statistics, and experienced through the contacts I have received, there are plenty of people—easily, thousands—in LCMS congregations who either struggle with issues of gender identity, have gender dysphoria, might be or are transgender, or are family or friends with these Christians.
- Many do not find it safe to speak or ask questions openly, but long to learn and be heard.
Recently, my friend, Colleen, asked me if I would be interested in administering a Facebook group, which would provide a safe place for LCMS lay folks and pastors, and for any other interested Christians, to ask their questions and discuss their issues. I latched onto the idea. LCMS Transgender Forum on Facebook was born.
The following section is from the About of the group explains the basics:
LCMS Transgender Forum seeks to be a safe place for Christians of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) and for Christians who experience any of these: Gender Dysphoria, or any type of gender questioning; who might transition, are in transition, are striving not to transition, or have transitioned. It is also for family members, and for any Christians, who strive to support and to come to God-pleasing conclusions about thorny issues. In this vein, pastors also are welcomed.
This is a Closed Group. This means that only Forum members are able to access posts and comments. It does NOT mean that member identities are secret. If you need to maintain privacy, it is suggested that you create an alias identity for this group.
If you share any helpful information you learn here, you will need to alter names and give away nothing which might reveal someone’s identity. Use the same care for others as you would have them do for you.
That LCMS is prominent in the group title means that the Word of God is preeminent, LCMS doctrine is followed, and the Golden Rule is practiced.
All posts will be reviewed by an administrator before they appear. The desire is not to restrict anyone, but to ensure that the rule of love is followed. Please, debate away, be open and honest, find this a safe place, ask every question and pose every concern you have, and always being concerned for the welfare of the other group members.
Here are the rules for posting and etiquette:
1. All posts should be your own comments and questions regarding the Christian faith and dealing with gender dysphoria and transgender issues. Acceptable links are articles and videos which serve to educate on these topics or which speak to what the poster seeks to convey.
2. Posts which will be removed include but are not limited to- those which are off topic for this group, that is, anything which is not related to the Christian faith and dealing with gender dysphoria and transgender issues;- selfies, memes, GIFS, “Thanks for adding me!”, and the like;- references to transgender persons which identifies them, unless they are publicly known as transgender;- profanity and the misuse of the Lord’s name;- requests for personal funding;- personal attacks, whether or not the person is in the group.
3. If you have issues with the group or one of the moderators, do not address them in the Forum. Send a private message to the moderator or group member who is directly involved with the issue.
4. When you treat everyone with the kindness and respect which you desire from them, and use the Forum for learning and exploring issues pertinent to the Christian faith and dealing with gender dysphoria and transgender issues, every group member will have a good experience.
5. The group administrators reserve the right to remove anyone from group membership when they find the person unable to conform with the group’s guidelines.
If you would like to be a member, in Facebook search “LCMS Transgender Forum,” click on the page, then click the “Join” button.
Remember, if you would like to be a member but need to keep your identity private, you can set up an alias Facebook account. If you do that, be sure to explain who you are in answering the questions which arise when you seek to join so that we know you are genuine and not spam or a bot.
We are just getting started, so the Forum currently has few posts. Soon, Colleen and I will post pertinent items and, we hope, members will begin populating it with their questions and topics for discussion.
As stated in the About section, we want this to be a safe place for Christians to come to God-pleasing conclusions about thorny issues. It is our prayer to be and do just that for the sake of many who are hurting, and for the LCMS.