The Heartbeat
"Do not be deceived…" – 1 Corinthians 6:9b

Everyone wants to be accepted. The irony of this entire issue of transgenderism is that the kind of acceptance that our society has expressed towards the transgender is rooted in what has historically been seen as Christian love and an understanding of God's grace. In church life we are all quite quick to confess that "we are all sinners, saved by grace." That notion of grace is what is behind our western society's acceptance of all "sinners."

There is a problem with this, however, and Alexander Pope (1699-1744) summarized it well in a short poem:

Vice is a monster of so frightful mean
As to be hated; needs but to be seen
Yet seen too oft – familiar with her face
We first endure, then pity, then embrace

That is where we are today. Acceptance without repentance (the call of John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter and Paul) leads to decadence. And when the church accepts the sinner but no longer calls for the sinner to repent, the end result is generally decadence within the church. The church is not elevated by its offering of grace; it is rather pulled down by its failure to call the sinner to repentance.

In Romans 1 the apostle Paul teaches that the moral decadence of an entire society is a direct result of God "giving over" that unrepentant society to its own lusts. But the issue before us at this time is not our society but the church. And if God was/is willing to "give over" an unbelieving society then what God is willing to do to the church must be far more grave. For the church (and not the society) is what Jesus said he was building. The church is to be a beacon of light to the fallen world. A failure of the church to cleanse itself, to repent, can only mean that God will turn against it just as God turned against ancient Israel.

So the summary on the issue of transgenderism is that while the church may consider those individuals that pursue a sexual "realignment" (as well as those that bless this procedure) misguided and confused, what those in the world choose to do is really up to them. The catch comes when these same people then want to come into the church. And while the church is, by definition, made up only by those who come as sinners "poor and needy, weak and wounded, sick and sore" (words by Joseph Hart), those who come into the church come with a confession of Jesus as well as a repentance from their sins. We may struggle with our sins or our proclivity towards them until the day that we die, but we never adopt nor are we free to adopt the idea that it is okay to live in sin or live with our sins. For those whose life has been marked by sexual sin, there must be an abandonment of the sin and a cleaving to Christ, in repentance and faith that Jesus can save, change and transform.

In my opinion it is impossible to hold to the teaching of scripture and come to any other conclusion. We may, to quote Alexander Pope, "pity" those whose lives are characterized by any particular sin. We may even "endure" them within our society as a whole. But we can never "embrace" them with their sin. We will embrace them as they repent and struggle to be free from their sin, but we do not, we cannot, embrace them with their sin remaining intact. For God has called his body to holiness and that must remain our great pursuit: to hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6).

Upcoming Events

Young Adults Sunday School
01 Aug 2021 - 09:00AM
Older Adults Sunday School
01 Aug 2021 - 09:00AM
Worship Service
01 Aug 2021 - 10:30AM
01 Aug 2021 - 07:00PM
02 Aug 2021 - 07:00PM