This is a thoughtful, careful, and important talk from Andrew Wilson of Kings Church in Eastbourne in the UK:
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Andrew is asking the question here: “How should we respond to people whose experience of their gender doesn’t fit with their biological sex? Or who have taken measures to change it? Or whose biological sex is unclear? What does love look like?”
He looks at Matthew 19:1-12. As the Pharisees seek to trap Jesus, he makes two crucial points relevant to this discussion: (1) Verse 4: “Have you not read that from the beginning he made them male and female?” The male/female binary and marriage are part of God’s good creation. (2) Verse 12: ”For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.” The eunuchs were male, but Jesus seems to indicate that some people can lack appropriate genitals at birth)
So God made us male and female. But a few of us do not quite fit the categories—and were born that way. A culturally robust yet pastorally sensitive response to (1) Transgender (those whose experience of gender is different from their biological se), (2) Intersex (those whose biological sex is ambiguous) involves both of these insights, and (3) the activists, journalists, media, students, educators, progressives and Twitteratti who use Transgender people to try and destroy the male/female binary altogether.
When it comes to what love looks like, Andrew observes that our society seems to present only two options: (1) affirm that givenness of male and female, and insist everyone fits neatly into one; (2) deny the givenness of male and female, make a giant spectrum, and prioritize feelings over bodies. But Jesus presents a different way: (3) affirm emphatically that God made us male and female, that creation is good, that biological sex is good; and affirm emphatically that there are eunuchs—exceptions, whether from birth, disfigurement or self-inflicted changes—and that it is possible to be a eunuch “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.”
Andrew closes by reminding us that all of us live with a dissonance between what we are and what we feel ourselves to be. Something can be true of us objectively, but we may feel it isn’t—and we need to keep hearing God say to us, “this is who you are.” The beauty of the gospel is that the Word and Work of Christ define us, not our feelings or experiences. And we long for the day when the dissonance will disappear altogether.