Transgender Issues And The Bible

Examining The Question, "What Does The Bible Say About Gender?".

Tim Lundy
Feb 27, 2022    51m
As Christians, we can't shy away from difficult subjects. This message examines the question, "What does the Bible say about gender?". There is a lot of talk in our culture about transgender persons and gender dysphoria, so we need to know how to approach this issue with grace and love while we honor God's design of male and female. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:00] Well, good morning, Venture. Before we move into the message, I wanted to take a minute and just pray for Ukraine and just pray for what's going on in the world. So will you pray with me?

Tim Lundy: [00:00:10] Father, we come before you today, and even as we sang in that last song, we recognize that you are the God who's on the throne, you are the one in control, and we feel our sense of finiteness, and our sense of helplessness, in times like this, and so that's why we turn to you, and we look to you, and we proclaim boldly by faith that we trust you. Lord, we pray for Ukraine today, we pray for the people there, we pray for Christians who are huddled, and as we see the images of them singing together and looking to you in this time. We pray for those who are fighting, literally, for their homes. We pray for those who've been displaced. We pray for the tens of thousands of refugees that are trying to find someplace for protection and safety. Lord, we pray for these world events. I pray that you would guide the heart of Mr. Putin to stop this, to stop this war. Lord, I pray for Russian soldiers, many of which are conscripted and had no choice in it, and they don't want to be a part of this war. Lord, we just pray that you would intervene as only you can. Lord, we look to you this day, we trust you, and we lay these requests before you, knowing that you can move in the worst of circumstances. Lord, out of this, I pray, would you bring many people to yourself? Would you bring yourself much glory? Would you draw us closer to you as we recognize how quickly the world changes and how desperately we need you? And we pray these things in Christ's name, Amen.

Tim Lundy: [00:02:00] You know, in the coming days and weeks, we'll have more opportunities, especially to help those, this is such a fast-moving situation right now. Just know, as a church we're investigating how do we help refugees, how do we help people in crisis at this time? And we'll come back to you, maybe ask you to give to it, and we'll use resources as well so that we can be a part of helping in a time like this because that's what Christ has called his church to.

Tim Lundy: [00:02:25] Well, if you're visiting with us today, if this is your first week, welcome. You've come in during an interesting series, it's not typical of our normal series here, but we're talking about some issues that I think are so important to our time, that we as Christians need to talk about, especially as the rest of the culture is. And over the last few weeks, the first week I kind of laid out a biblical understanding of sex and sexuality, and then last week we looked at homosexuality in light of the Bible, and this week we want to move into the issues of transgender issues and especially in light of Scripture.

Tim Lundy: [00:03:04] Now, as I say that if you're coming in it, you just need to know a lot of these messages go back to Bible verses, and some have even questioned that. They say, does the Bible really speak to these issues today? You just need to know, as a people, as a church, we believe that the Bible speaks to all of life, that is still accurate and relevant for all of life, and to the best of our ability we want to guide our lives, every area of our life, but especially our sex lives and our understanding of ourselves, according to what God's revealed in his word. Now you may not accept that, I get that, I'm glad that you're here anyway. I think some of these issues need to be talked about just based on what's going on in the world today. But just know that that may be our fundamental point of disagreement, that as Christians, as people who take the Bible seriously, we're trying to align our lives to it to the best of our ability. And so that's why it needs to be explained, especially in a fast-moving culture today.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:08] As we dive into it, I want to put a couple of things at the beginning that I've usually put at the end, and I've not given enough time. One of them is just some of the resources, and so on this message today, in particular, the book, Embodied: Transgender Identities, The Church, and What the Bible Has to Say, by Preston Sprinkle, I think it's the best resource. So if you're someone who really wants to know about this topic, or maybe you're dealing with this topic, or have a loved one, I'd really recommend this one.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:34] Parents have asked a lot, and I'll recommend this one again, Mama Bear Apologetics The Guide to Sexuality, this book is a great resource not only on just this one topic, but it's probably one of the best ones to help you if you're a parent today and you're wondering what's being taught, and some of the national standards out of it, it's a resource with it.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:54] And then on this one, and this isn't particularly Christian book per se, but it is Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, Abigail Schreyer, and she's really stood out at much personal cost on this. But it's an excellent resource, especially, and we'll talk about it, this new craze when it comes to transgender issues, that is fairly recent in it and is having a pretty strong impact.

Tim Lundy: [00:05:23] As well, also, if you've got questions, this website, if you'll send them to me, next week, we're going to just answer questions based on the three weeks of messages. And so maybe there was something last week, maybe something you want to know about, I can promise you today we'll get to the end of today, and you're going to have questions. Particularly around, OK, how do I interact with this? What do I do in this circumstance? And purposely, we've got to cover so much ground to lay the foundation, I'll answer those questions to the best of my ability next week. Also, I would ask if you'd use this, I've heard from a number of you that go, hey, how do we follow up on this? And some of you said, hey, I'm a parent and I've gone through this, I've gone through having a child come to me and declare that they're gay, and we've walked through that as a family, I'd love to meet with other parents. Or I'm personally struggling. Or how could we create some resources? Any of those ideas around that that you go, I want to be a resource that we can follow up on it because the last thing we want to do is we have a three-week series, we kind of blitz and we go, oh, we're done with that, because the world's not done with it.

Tim Lundy: [00:06:37] And as we've said all along, we're people in process, and so having a few right answers doesn't make everything go away, that's where we need the body of Christ together. So if you're somebody and you go, man, I've got an idea, or I'd like to help with that, would you email as well so that over not just next week, but over the next weeks and months, we can be the kind of church that we don't shy away from these things, but we actually love people in the process. And the reality is, I can't do that, we can't do it from a stage, that's where it takes the body of Christ. And so if God's moving in your heart that you go, yeah, I want to be a part of that solution, would you let me know so that we can build those ministries and we can be that kind of church?

Tim Lundy: [00:07:22] Now as we jump into this, and I've said it every week, but I want to say it again with this, as Christians, our approach to sex and gender must be marked by grace and truth. That's how Jesus came, he was a man full of grace and truth, and he extended grace to all people, no matter where they're coming from. And so you and I need to hear this, if this is your first week with us in it, I want you to hear this explicitly from me, no matter where you're coming from, no matter what you've done, no matter even if you disagree with me, man, the grace of Jesus Christ is for all people, and I hope you feel that. But he's also a man of truth, that he recognized that lies kill people. In fact, remember how he talked about Satan, and he talked about himself. He says the evil one comes to lie and kill and destroy, he loves killing life. But I came to bring the truth, I came to bring abundant life because truth set you free.

Tim Lundy: [00:08:23] Now, particularly on this issue, when we approach transgender issues, we need to protect against the ideology while still caring about the individual. And here's why I say it this way because this is such a rapidly changing and moving movement right now, I would say in the last five years, we've seen more movement and change in the culture on this, and as a church in a lot of ways, we're reacting. And I would just caution us, in the same way that we looked at over the last 34 to 40 years, how we responded to the homosexual movement. And a lot of ways we didn't respond well, or we overreacted in places, or we spoke out, we used humor, we used different things that were really damaging. And so we're having to kind of rebuild where we shouldn't have, while at the same time still holding on to the truth. I would say when it comes to this transgender movement, it's easy for us at times to maybe over speak or react in certain ways, and we've got to hold this balance. and this is what I want you to hear, because this movement, there's an ideology that's sweeping through this country, and it's sweeping through our young people, and it's sweeping through the schools, and parents, by the way, are being pulled out of the equation. And so there's a part of us, as Christians, as believers, as a pastor, we've got to step forward and go, hey, where do we speak against a movement that frankly is lying and killing and destroying, while at the same time recognizing there are individuals and they're dealing with it at an individual basis. And young people are not just an ideology, they're people, and how do we deal with them as people?

Tim Lundy: [00:10:20] I love how Jesus did it, notice what he said, he said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it." Jesus said I am such a good shepherd, I protect my own, I protect my sheep. When any wolf comes in, anybody comes in, whether it's an ideology, whether it's a lie, whether it's anything that the evil one wants to do, Jesus stands full front and he says, I protect my own. But notice the balance, he puts though, he's also the good shepherd that, “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" This is what I love about Jesus, he is able to pull these things off in a way that, frankly, we struggle with. And so we would do so well to learn from him, that Jesus never shied away from speaking truth, especially truth that was impacting his culture, especially when he needed to confront lies. So he protected his own, but he was also the same savior that always went after the one, no matter where they'd gone, no matter what they're struggling with. And so as we talk about this today, there'll be places I need to speak truth strong, and you need to feel that. But in the same way, today, you might be the one here who's struggling, and you need to know that there's a Savior that we serve, the reason we're so crazy about him, the reason we align our lives to this Bible, is he goes after everyone, and he makes a difference for everyone.

Tim Lundy: [00:12:13] So as we say that, let me jump in with some terms. And again, I'm a little wary to do this because there are so many terms. And I'll just say right at the outset, I've simplified it in some ways now. I think that's part of the strategy of the evil one, he wants to confuse us, and so he's created a thousand categories of everything in confusion. There are a few simple terms that you need to grab as you jump into this.

Tim Lundy: [00:12:39] All right, the first one is sex, sex. And let me be clear for the rest of this message, when I use the term sex, I'm not talking about having sex, Ok? I'm not, I'm not talking about the act of sex, I'm talking biological sex. Ok? So it refers to a person's biological status and is typically categorized as male, female, or intersex. So every person is categorized, your body, and it used to be it was pretty simple. When he had a baby, would the doctor declare? It's a boy, it's a girl. Now, that's no longer the case, it's called you were assigned at birth. In other words, the doctor may say that about you, but that's not who you really are. Do you see the shift in thinking with that? And so, biological sex is your body.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:38] Now, intersex, there's a rare condition, and it's rare. Again, I keep seeing numbers, one of the strategies of this current movement is to try to spike numbers and things that are not as high as they're spiking it. But there is, there's a condition of those who have both male and female, sometimes body parts, sometimes chromosomes in that, it goes across a spectrum in that. It's very rare, it does not prove transgender, and almost all intersex people live a binary life. In other words, they live either as a male or female, it would actually support that.

Tim Lundy: [00:14:16] And so when you talk about sex, your body is either a man or a woman, now, you can change parts of your body, you can have surgery, you can alter parts. But it was interesting to me, you know, Dr. Alison McGregor, she's an emergency room doctor, she said when someone comes in, she did a lecture on this, when somebody comes in, you have to know as a doctor, no matter what they've done, are they a man or a woman? Because your biological sex is expressed down to the cellular level, not just the genital level, down to the cellular level. And so whether you've changed that or not, your buddy is still that, according to science, if you're just going to start there.

Tim Lundy: [00:15:05] Now, here's the second, here's where it gets confusing, gender is the psychological, social, and cultural aspects of being male or female. Gender is the psychological, so it's how my brain views myself psychologically. Do I view myself, even though I may have a male body, do I view myself at a brain level as male? Social and cultural, and this is where stereotypes come in and have actually been damaging both in the church and outside in culture, where we create a stereotype of what it means to be a man, and all men like certain things, and all women act a certain way out of that. And so if somebody has confusion around that, where they look at it and go, I don't match up to that, well, I don't really match there, I don't feel that way. And so when you do that and add that together, gender dysphoria is the distress some people feel when their internal sense of self doesn't match their biological self. So whether at a brain level or an internal level, I may be biologically male, but I don't feel male, and so I don't identify as male, or I don't identify as female.

Tim Lundy: [00:16:24] And this term, gender dysphoria, it's actually a pretty recent term. The term itself, it comes from the diagnostic manual. So the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a medical manual that used, the latest one DSM Five. Up until 2013, this was called gender identity disorder, and it was treated as a disorder. And so said, yeah, there are people that struggle with this, they don't have that, it doesn't match. And so medically, how do we treat the disorder? And then it's been changed since 2013 so that there's no stigma and dysmorphia, and so that's why if you've not heard the term, it's pretty recent out of that. It's not conclusive of how it happens, this is a hard part when you start studying it scientifically. Some have studied the SRY gene and where it attaches, which chromosome it attaches to can have some impact. Some have studied a wash of testosterone that happens later in the pregnancy, and so boys that did not get that wash of testosterone, or little girls that did get it, that can impact the brain, impact the wiring in different ways. It can be culturally created. Sometimes it's based on trauma.

Tim Lundy: [00:17:45] You know, Dr. Mark Yarhouse, when he talks about transgender, he's a Christian psychiatrist. He says, if you've ever met one transgender person, you've met one transgender person. And this would be his point because he works so much with people that he says, you can't just assume that, you know, I'm going to just do this broad category, you have to treat it like a person. And so when you look at that, the categories around that, there's kind of three times that it shows up with it.

Tim Lundy: [00:18:15] Early-onset, it's really two times, and then one subcategory. Early-onset, little children, prepubescent, I mean, as early as three to six years old can express some confusion around this. And so that's what you're hearing about in culture today, that early-onset, and so there's immediately putting hormone blockers and treating it with that. Now here's the problem with that, Deborah Soh, in her book The End of Gender, in the 11 studies that have been done of any early-onset gender dysmorphia, somewhere between 60 to 90 percent, depending on the study, if the child is left alone, if the gender that matches their body is actually affirmed, 60 to 90 percent of the time, it just goes away. Now, you're not hearing that today, you're hearing today, no, you've got to intervene immediately, you've got to do something. That's not true, and so as a parent, you don't need to reach a panic point. Little kids can be confused. Little kids can have questions in it. Now, for those that it continues with that, it is the ongoing gender dysmorphia. And so we've got to be careful, we don't just write it all off with that, but we don't have to overreact in the same way the culture does in the certain movement.

Tim Lundy: [00:19:41] For some, it's a later adolescent onset. Here's the newest this rapid-onset gender dysphoria, and this is what Shrier is writing about. In the last six or seven years, you're seeing this spike in gender dysmorphia, especially among teenage girls, at a rate that doesn't match anything else in the population. And so if somebody were to say, well, we're just accepting it more now, then you would see the same rate across the population, I'm talking like a spike of 4000 to 5000 percent. And part of it is this rapid-onset gender dysmorphia, the way the culture, the way it's being pushed in different ways, I'll talk about it a little bit more, but this is a pretty radical movement out of that. That frankly, one, is destroying so many lives. And two, it's actually hurting people that really do have gender dysmorphia, that need help in it, and it brings confusion out of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:20:46] So then when you talk about transgender, this is the umbrella term that describes people whose gender identity or expression does not match the sex they were assigned at birth. So trans means to cross over, cis means to be on the same side. So if you're called cisgender, that means that your biological sex and your gender, they both match. Transgender is someone, who they've chosen a gender identity, or a gender expression, that doesn't match their biological sex. And it can be a number of different ways, again, I told you there's a spectrum out of that. For some, it's just changing clothes and dressing differently. For some, it's taking on characteristics. Some move to medical treatment, whether it's hormones or other treatment. Some move to surgery, very few move to complete surgery, very few in the spectrum in that. And so, again, when you use the term transgender, it's a very umbrella term, and you have to be careful that you're speaking to the person and not just the movement out of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:21:53] Now I know that's a lot of terms coming at you fast, but I wanted to give you the lay of the land. Now I'm going to go even faster because we're going to look at what the Bible says about it. And every one of these verses, I could probably do a sermon, that's not the point today. I just want to give you a biblical overview, what does the Bible say? The problem with it is, there's no place in your biblical concordance that you can type in the word transgender, and you go, oh, there's all the verses with transgender in it. That doesn't mean the Bible doesn't speak to it, because the Bible has a lot to say about our bodies, and it has a lot to say about our sexuality, and a lot to say about our identity.

Tim Lundy: [00:22:33] So what does it have to say? Let's walk through this together. What does the Bible say? And I would say on this because I'm moving fast out of this, these categories, I took them straight out of one of the chapters in Preston Sprinkles book. I say that so that you know I'm not plagiarizing, I'm not trying to plagiarize, I just used his categories off of it. But I'll also say that if you look in his book, it's a great place if you want to go back and go, man, I want to really study that more, he's got extensive end notes that really allow you to do that as well.

Tim Lundy: [00:23:03] The first thing, the body is essential to our image-bearing status, we're image-bearers of God. Genesis 1:27, "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." And so bodies were a part of being, in fact, that word image is also the root word for idols. So when the false cults wanted to show representations of their gods, they made idols. When God wanted to show representation of himself on this planet, what did he choose to do? He chose humanity. And he didn't choose us to be a spirit or spirit forces, he gave us bodies, they're really important to the expression of the full image of God, both male and female were important to that. With that being said, the male and female in Genesis 1 are categories of sex, not gender. So when they use the terms male and female, he's not talking about genders, he's talking about their sex. And so there's not a delinking there, male doesn't become a gender term, and man becomes a biological term.

Tim Lundy: [00:24:17] Look at it, the very next verse, "God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it." One of the core things that they needed to do with their body is actually have sex so that they could fill the Earth, that's why it was important in that. And I say this because this is one of the passages that some of the transgender scholars tried to attack in that. I like the words of the scholar, Phyllis Byrd, she's an expert on Genesis 1 and 2. By the way, she's not very conservative, pretty progressive, very strong feminist. But she said, "When you come to interpret this passage, male and female are indispensable to their understanding of humankind by the explicit attention to the sexual differentiation between the species. Sex is the constitutive differentiation, observable at birth, and encoded on our genes, essential for the survival of the species and basic to all systems and socialization. It plays a fundamental role in the identity formation of every individual, it must consequently be regarded as essential datum in any reference to define the human being and the nature of humankind, and thus provides a primary test for false notions of generic humanity." She said it's essential datum that's stressed biblically in this.

Tim Lundy: [00:25:45] The third thing that we see out of this, Adam and Eve's bodies are viewed as sacred. When Eve was created and we often talk about, you know, he put Adam to sleep and he took one of his ribs, the word there literally means side. And it's interesting this word in Hebrew, Selah, it's usually presented, in fact, almost every other reference, you'll see it, it talks about the side of a sacred building, like a temple or the Tabernacle. And part of this is this reference that from the very beginning, we were created to be temples, our bodies are temples. In fact, you see it again in the New Testament, what does Paul emphasize to us? Don't you know your body's a temple of the Holy Spirit? This sacred function of the body from the very beginning.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:35] Jesus' views of Genesis 1 and 2 are normative, so when Jesus is asked about this, what does he do? He quotes this passage. Here we are, thousands of years later, this is what Jesus is referring to. And so if you want to go, yeah, OK, that was the Old Testament, but what did Jesus say? This is what Jesus said, and he went back to that because it was so important.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:57] Paul sees the body as significant for moral behavior and correlates the body to personhood. I've talked to you about in Corinth, there was every form of sexual expression. And one of the problems they had in the church is often people would go see prostitutes because they didn't consider prostitute sex, as sex, sex. Because there's no emotional engagement, I mean, it's just, you know, you're paying for it, it's about the lowest form. And Paul says, yeah, but "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." He says you can't ever reduce, you can't ever take your body out of the equation, you can't ever say, I've got my spiritual life and that's just my body. He adds to it as well, "Do not present your members..." And members here, he is talking about your physical body, " sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.". Your very body is to be presented to God. That's why he says in Romans 12, "Present your body, all of who you are, as a living sacrifice.", because your bodies matter.

Tim Lundy: [00:28:08] Scripture prohibits cross-sex behavior. And so if you look at it in Deuteronomy 22:5, “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God." Now again, we talked about that last week, some of the complexities of dipping back into the Old Testament law. But what if are those principles that are just ceremony to Israel? What are those principles that are teaching us moral standards that still apply?

Tim Lundy: [00:28:39] And First Corinthians 11, Paul, when he references the same thing about what women wear in that, it's referencing those same principles. It's not just the garment itself, in fact, in the Hebrew the word there is men's things or women's things, and so it's this prohibition of aligning your life to live, or to adorn, or to present yourself, as the opposite sex of what you are.

Tim Lundy: [00:29:08] You see as well in First Corinthians 6, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers..." And I used the NET translation because they spell it out, there are actually two different terms when he talks about homosexuality. One is the passive homosexual partners, the malakos, and one is the practicing homosexuals. And this one, in particular, this passive homosexual partner, it was a common thing, it was men that took on the role of women, especially in a gay relationship. And so, he talks about both the dominant and the passive in that. And so you look at this, if you look through Scripture, there's no place in Scripture that ever condones or endorses cross sex presentation or behavior. And the places that we do have in Scripture that speak about it, condemn.

Tim Lundy: [00:30:07] I continue on as well; the incarnation of Christ affirms the goodness of our sexed embodiment. The fact that Jesus came, and he didn't come as a sexless being, he came as a man, he lived as a man, experienced it. And as Colossians tells us, "For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Now here's the amazing part, Jesus is still a man, Jesus still has a body. When he was incarnate, he became a body for all time. And so as we look at that, you go in if our God and our Savior embraced that, the importance, and the importance for us.

Tim Lundy: [00:30:48] Sex differences probably remain after the resurrection. Now you've got the one verse and we looked at it last week, that you're not giving in marriage when we're resurrected. So from everything we can tell, it doesn't look like you have the act of sex post-resurrection, but it doesn't mean that we stop being male and female. In fact, if you look at it, Paul tells us the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he will give life to your mortal bodies, it's this body that comes, and it's going to get new life, and it's going to be redeemed in that. And so when we're God's children now, it's not yet appeared what we're going to be like, but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is. So in other words, in the same way that Jesus had resurrected body, we'll have a resurrected body. And notice in this, he makes a really strong declaration, we shall see Him as He is because He is male and that continues on in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:31:54] A few more passages with this, Jesus' acceptance of the eunuch is not a pattern for understanding gender identity. So Jesus talked about eunuchs in their time, he said, "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. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.” Eunuchs, in that time period, were either people that were asexual, they had no sex drive whatsoever, many times they were men that were castrated. And they would serve in the court, they would watch over the King's Harem, and so there was one way that he made sure that the guy watching over the harem wasn't messing with the harem. Or a lot of times they were generals because they wanted a guy who's focused on war and not women, it was all different in the culture.

Tim Lundy: [00:32:45] Here's the one part, though, that it's not speaking about at all, there's no part of eunuchs that we understand their gender identity. In fact, there's no eunuch that ever presented themselves as a woman, they were still men. The only thing this passage would speak to in this, one, it speaks to Jesus's affirmation of singleness, two, it speaks to Jesus's affirmation that some have chosen a life without sex for the sake of the kingdom, like the Apostle Paul. And he goes, man, that that is a life to be praised, not diminished. But nothing about this verse speaks to gender identity or transgender.

Tim Lundy: [00:33:28] One other verse, Paul's reference to neither "male or female" does not overturn sex differences. The verse where he says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Some of you used this verse to go, see, he's showing a spectrum, it's not binary anymore. It's not speaking to their sex bodies, it's not speaking to the differences not existing anymore, as we've seen through all the way throughout Scripture. In the same way, they're still Jews and they're still Greeks, they're still slaves and they're still free, but in Christ now, we've been united as one and these barriers are not in place. But this doesn't speak to gender identity.

Tim Lundy: [00:34:12] Now, some of you have gone through some of those, you're going, really? Every verse that I pointed to, these are verses that people debate, and so you need them at least to understand with that. So how do we come out of this? Let me give you some summary points out of it and move toward that. And I know that was a Bible blitz, but I would encourage you if this is an issue you're struggling with, go back through the verses, I'd want you to understand them, I'd want you to wrestle with them. Because here's the reality, God's truth is the truth we align to, not my opinions. And so I may say certain things that you look at and you go, well, I don't know in that? Go back to the Bible, I encourage you to do that. Let me give you a few summary points out of this.

Tim Lundy: [00:34:54] One, biological sex and gender are linked together and important to God's design, there's no way around that. As you go through the Bible, God links the two together, and they're both important in his design.

Tim Lundy: [00:35:05] The second thing, instead of transitioning, we should help people accept their bodies as part of their God-given identity. Now let me say this because I want to be absolutely open, not all Christians agree with that last statement. Mark Yarhouse, he's a doctor, he works with a lot of people who have gender dysphoria, he wouldn't agree with that statement. He would say there are some extreme cases where the brain is so dominating the body, that we should recognize the brain more than the body. I don't agree with him. I do agree Preston Sprinkle would agree with this statement, and he's the President of Human Sexuality, and studies in that, he's probably one of the best resources as Christians we have. And even as he looks at it he goes, that brain-body disconnect theory not proven out of that, so I can't go there. And so I believe our call, and even as I say that because if you're struggling with that, man, it may be hard to hear this, but I think this is the hard truth that Scripture leads us to. That we should not encourage transitioning, but I'd encourage a discipleship, and part of that discipleship journey is learning to accept your body, learning to see God's good design even in your desperate struggle.

Tim Lundy: [00:36:29] So as I say that as well, we need to recognize the unique struggle for Christians who suffer, and I use the word 'suffer' with gender dysphoria. If you start reading some of the first-hand accounts, unbelievable levels of suffering. And I've got to confess, I don't know what that would feel like, that every day, some of them describe, it's almost like electricity to your body, and just every day you feel wrong. Every day, there's just this tremendous battle in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:02] And so at the very least, I believe we have to make this statement based on the truth of God's word. But I think it's got to be followed with...We need to be people, and maybe you're out there, if you're so far removed from this, you may look at those expressions and you see the drag queen hour and you see the different really radical expressions of it, and part of you just maybe reacts in disgust, or part of you reacts with the, well, they just need to stop it. Hear me, there are Christians who love the Lord, they're praying every day, and they're struggling with this in an internal way, and so just dismissing it is not going to help them.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:43] Now, embracing the ideology doesn't help them either, it actually is killing them, and so as Christians, we have to be people of truth, but extend the grace. And recognize, when I say suffering, the level of suicide for those who have attempted suicide, for people that struggle with gender dysmorphia, it's one of the highest of all groups. In fact, it's one of the things, though, that drives the ideology because here's the thinking here. Well, I mean, they're going to try to commit suicide, and so even if they're a little kid, or even if they're expressing any point, it'd be better to go ahead and change their gender so that they don't commit suicide. Here's the problem, they don't take into account any of the other coexisting conditions like depression, like anxiety levels, and OCD, and bipolar, a lot of which would exist in this. Here's the other thing they don't take into account, the suicide rates don't go down for people who transition, in some cases, they go up. That's the reality that needs to be said, because so many people are held hostage by a high suicide rate that they go, we have to do this. No, that's not what it shows. In fact, the only longitudinal study, it was a 30-year study of those who transitioned, they actually saw a spike in suicide at the 10-year mark, that it didn't solve what they thought it was going to solve.

Tim Lundy: [00:39:17] And so as we come to that, we need to recognize this struggle, and we need to speak into it, and we need to come alongside it. Because here's what I'd say, I don't care what the rates are, one suicide is too many. And so can I caution you, that maybe you see something, and you want to go express your disgust, there may be somebody around you, do you know what they hear in it? They hear I'm not lovable, and maybe I'm disgusting. Now, I know, as I say, that some of you go, yeah, but Tim, don't we stand for truth? Of course we stand for truth, but we serve a Savior who stood against lies while they still chased after people who are the one sheep that went astray.

Tim Lundy: [00:40:12] And to that end, here's what I'd say, as a church, we've got to create a safe place where people can find and follow Jesus. Guys, Jesus is the key, we need to be creating relationships with people outside of this church, across all spectrums, that's part of our evangelism. We need to welcome people, but hear me, we don't fix people, I can't fix me. But I introduce people to Jesus, and he's fixing me, and he changes everything, and it's got to be the heartbeat of our church as we do that.

Tim Lundy: [00:40:48] We need to avoid defining genders according to stereotypes and embrace the diversity of expression in God's design. See, there's a stereotype that sometimes we've contributed to, that to be a man, you've got to be a big, burly man, you have to love sports, and you have to do these kinds of activities, and that's what makes you a man. And you're really strong, and you got a lot of hair, and that's manly. And the same thing with girls, man, if you're a girl, if you don't really like sports, and you really refined, and you're sweet. And I mean all these things in that, that may be true, there is nothing wrong in that. But the reality, and this is where the culture is using these stereotypes, because you take a teenager, you take somebody going through puberty, you take your time period, and hear me, young people, all of us were confused at that stage of life. And the culture takes your confusion, and they take your doubts, and they go, well, maybe you're not really a manly man, or maybe you're not really a girl. Do you know what their answer is? To put you in another gender-stereotypical box and make you transition?

Tim Lundy: [00:41:55] Here's what I love about the Bible, listen to me, it's not said enough in the Bible, God loves the diversity of all of us, he actually created it. God looks at you and says you're fearfully and wonderfully made, you're exactly like I wanted you. And if you start reading through the stories of the Bible, read it sometime, if you want to take a manly man, there's nobody manly earth than King David, he killed a giant, but he also was a guy who liked to hang out and play his harp and he was a poet. And his best friend was a dude named Jonathan, and when he died, he told everybody, I loved him more than any woman. Now in our culture, we'd go, was he gay? No, no, but the diversity of what it means to be a man. Look at Jacob and Esau, Esau was the manly man, had hair on his arms, he's a great hunter, Jacob was real smooth skinned, and he liked to cook, and God goes, yeah, Jacob was my dude, because he's a man. I look at a woman like Deborah, who led the army into battle. Or Jael, who in the tent, she put a tent peg through a general's head. You look at it, some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the Bible are women. Proverbs 31's wife she's a major entrepreneur. Lydia was one of the major supporters of the church. Here's why I say this, if we'd actually read our Bibles, we'd recognize, God loves the diversity of that expression, but it doesn't change their gender, that's what the culture is doing to you.

Tim Lundy: [00:43:41] And if you're a young person today, and you keep hearing these things, and you keep feeling a little confused or you're struggling with your own identity, hear me, the answer is not radical surgery and radical hormones that are actually destroying bodies, and they're destroying fertility, and they're destroying the rate of it. It's madness, at a certain degree, that we are so quick to prescribe this, we don't do it medically anywhere else. And by the way, if you think I'm just saying this is the ranting pastor, 60 Minutes just had, a few months ago, a whole segment on 20-year-olds who transitioned, and all of them said, why did we do that? And why did they rush us into this? We don't do this anywhere else; you would never look at somebody that has a mole on their skin and go, oh, you need radiation and chemotherapy today. You're thinking, what? Well, that could be cancerous. But that's what we're doing in this area, don't believe the lie.

Tim Lundy: [00:44:45] As we do this, we got to confront the lies of the current ideology because, guys, it is destroying lives. And even me speaking, or anybody that speaks out on this these days, you get canceled. And any time I see that, I look at it and I go, whoa, what's going on there? Why the vitriol? Why can we not talk about it? And any time I see something this embedded, where they lie, and kill, and destroy. Just hear me, there's part of the movement, I'm not talking about the people, I'm talking about the movement, there's part of the movement, it's demonic. And Jesus was willing to stand up and go, you're not killing mine, you don't get in here. And even at the risk of being castigated and rejected by culture, we need to love those who we look over enough that we're willing to step up and go, yeah, not mine either, we're going to live truth even at a cost.

Tim Lundy: [00:45:52] Now, as I say that, though, let me close with this. Never lose sight of the individual that Christ loves, no matter how their lives have been impacted by sin. We stand against an ideology; we chase after individuals. And as I say that I want to close with the story of just one guy named Alan, he grew up as a pastor's kid who could not wait to get out of church as soon as he turned 18. He said I was sick of the hypocrisy of the church, and particularly how they treated LGBT people. And as he became 18, he immersed himself in a homosexual lifestyle and started dressing as a woman. And yet, even as he describes it, he said it didn't relieve all the problems I thought it was going to, I still found myself struggling.

Tim Lundy: [00:46:43] One day, a Christian friend of his from high school said, hey, Alan, let's get together, I just want to talk. And he's like, Yeah, you don't want to talk to me. And the guy said, no, I want to hear you, I want to listen to you. And listen, as Alan describes that conversation out of it. He said I was so expecting him to condemn me, but I just laid it all out there. I told him my whole story, I told him my homosexual struggles, I told him life as a woman, I told him everything, and he just listened. And he said instead of shaming and the condemnation I expected, I was told that despite my past and present desires, God didn't hate me, and I was lovable by others and by God. Just simple words that literally pierced his soul, and as he describes it, it was that grace, that unmitigated grace, that led him to Christ, that he embraced Christ as his Savior that day.

Tim Lundy: [00:46:43] Listen to how he summarizes, because he left transgenderism, he embraced the hard journey, the suffering journey even, of what it means to follow Jesus. Listen to his words, I just want you to hear this, he said the thing that brought me to an acceptance of Biblical masculinity was not a poignantly laid out exegetical argument against transsexuality, nor a fire and brimstone diatribe against homosexuality, but a man who gave me the space to speak about my desires openly and let me know that he and God loved me, nevertheless.

Tim Lundy: [00:48:34] Guys, my prayer for our church, my prayer for this series, even as we speak about these things, that maybe you've heard some of the passion today, because I have seen so many lives that are getting hurt through this. And so I think we need to be a church that's willing to speak truth, but we also need to be a church that lives truth and extends Grace. And so no matter where you are today, maybe you're someone here that you go, this is really not a part of my world, it's more a part of your world than you realize. Maybe you're someone here and you're wrestling because you've got a child, or a friend, or loved one, and they're wrestling with it. Maybe you're a young person here today, and you feel so confused, I've come at you with a lot of information pretty quick, and you feel confused because it really doesn't match what you're hearing out there. Wherever you are, hear me. One, I ask you to investigate God's truth, study it for yourself. Two, talk, this isn't a place that you need to hide, this is a place that we share. And three, can we be the kind of community that would be like Alan's friends? That we give people space, that we actually listen to them, we learn about them, and we extend the grace of Jesus Christ that was given to us.

Tim Lundy: [00:50:06] Let's pray together. Father, we come before you and we thank you, we thank you for your truth, we thank you for your hard truth. And maybe today this truth was harder for some in here than others, I pray that they'd feel your grace today. Lord, I pray that you would lead us, that you would guide us, I pray that we would be a community that extends that kind of grace no matter where someone is in their journey. Lord, we love you and we pray these things in Christ's name. Amen.

Tim Lundy: [00:50:38] Hey, guys, I know these three weeks have been really full and a little bit long. I noticed JC said that he always wishes the worship team went longer, I don't think he said that about me. But so in light of our time now, we're going to go ahead and dismiss today out of that. Here's what, would you follow up if you have questions, make sure you email them. If you need someone to pray with you, maybe you're struggling even today, the team that comes down here, this is one of the most grace filled teams I know because they love just praying for people, no matter where they are. And if you ever need a connection, make sure you stop by the hub, and we'll connect with you there. Thank you for both your diligence and your patience in this, and we'll see you next week.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032