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A Letter From A Believer To Another Believer


Guest Elizabeth K

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Guest Elizabeth K

Pinned here as this work by Emily Ray is the best letter I have ever read, explaining to a Pastor, why the recent sermon was not an appropriate interpretation of God's Will.

Slightly edited for privacy reasons.

Elizabeth Anne

................................................................

Pastor John *******,

Today's sermon brought great conflict to me. In all fairness to you I am sure it was not your intention to cause this within me. I have had a long email discussion with Pastor Greg ******** at the office of the president of the EFCA. You and I met before last May only at that time my name was Brandon. I am a transsexual. For most of my life I believed that I was an abomination to God as described in the Old Testament. I lived a life detached from all of my family, my friends, myself! I believed as most Christians do that my desires to dress in women's clothing were wrong and the fact that I did on occasion cross dress brought immense shame and guilt that separated me from all that is good in this world. I was devoid joy, companionship, peace, understanding, authenticity. I was a shell of a being. While I was saved as a teenager I had none of the fruits of the spirit. I was alone on a desolate plain with no comfort in sight.

In my life I made extraordinary efforts to become a man that I believed God, family, friends, society, wanted me to be. I was given awards for my courage in high school and for my dedication to my country as a Marine. Everything I tried to do to become that man only increased the despair that I felt inside. After 10 years of gallant struggle I found relief in drugs. As we all know relief found this way only leads to further demoralization and for me, culminated in an attempt on my life. It took another year of treatment and relapse end further searching for the truth before I finally accepted that who I am is what God made me and that includes my sex/gender in-congruency.

The day that I accepted that I am a transsexual was the day I found peace in the Lord! He as gone on to show me the light that I need to live my life according to his will. You may say at this that I am mistaken in my understanding of scripture. But, I am not! No, it is the EFCA's and many other denominations that hold to an erroneous understanding. It is an understanding without merit. Through my discussion with Pastor Strand I learned that the belief that Transsexualism is a sin comes from a verse written about the human condition before the fall, when man and woman were separate. Also at this time there was no death and the animals laid down together. But, Man sinned and creation fell and nothing has ever been the same since.

Transsexualism is not mentioned in the Bible. If one takes the view that the cross-dressing mentioned in the Old Testament is a prohibition against it than I would not have the fruits of the spirit that are now apart of my life. I now can feel the Love of others and Love others. I now have Joy in my life and can share the Joy of others. Peace brings comfort to my weary soul. I am long suffering at the injustice of our fallen world. I can show Kindness to those I am in contact with. Goodness has replace the darkness that once ruled my life. Faithfulness to my Creator just as he made me. An image of His with both male and female parts. Gentleness in bringing the message of Christ to the hurting and broken. Self-control in staying free of illicit drugs and other negative behaviors.

The damage done by believing Christian transsexuals to themselves because of a mistaken belief that they are an abomination to God is terrible, worse though is the murders, beatings and other indignities brought upon us in the name of God It is beyond understanding. We who are gender variant did not ask for this! We do not choose to become the hated and despised. We gain nothing from a life wrought with uncertainty and destruction. We are made by God in a way that is Holy to Him. We do not live our lives to please others, to be something the culture or Christianity perceives to be right and worthy. We live our live to be honest with ourselves and those with whom we have a relationship.

I was never a "Real" man and I never will be a "Real" woman and surprisingly I am OK with that. I am a special kind of person that transcends genders. I now see that my gender variance is a blessing. You were born a male will live as a male and die a male. I was born a male will live as a male and a female and die as a female. I have the pleasure of being both a Groom and a Bride. I am a Father and hope to be a Mother. I was a Brother and now a Sister. I was a Son and now a Daughter. I was a Nephew and now a Niece. I get to experience a life like no Cisgendered person could imagine. You have no understanding of the concept of the Trinity, I have perfect understanding. No my transition is not a sin it is a gift from God that I will always cherish. Yes, society is progressing. They are beginning to accept us for what we are and that is not a bad thing.

If you care to challenge my understanding of scripture I would love to carry on a discussion over email, my address is ********

In His Name

Emily Ray

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  • 9 months later...
Guest veronicanickie

Hi Emily

I agree with you totally ! Those who damage us so greatly do not understand real Christianity and what the bible says in total. They love to go to the old testament and find a law or verse to condem us. Do they not listen to Paul when he says the old covenant has been replaced by a new and better one! Why would they try to drag us into legalism ? It is entirely true that we can be born again, walk with Jesus and live a spirit filled life. The transgenders that feel they can not, and God hates them have been deceived by sometimes well meaning mistaught believers. The fruits of His holy spirit living in your life is His stamp of approval. You are speaking and showing more love than many many of those who claim to be Christ like ! In so many churches today, why do they not honor the command that Jesus gave his disciples in the upper room ? Interestingly Jesus said three times this new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you. I guess he know he needed to repeat it to draw attention and importance to it.

Jesus is my Lord and Savior, He loves me daily, and I am transgendered !!!

Veronica

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  • 8 years later...
  • Admin

There are churches who affirm us and respect us for who we are.  I myself belong to one of them, and I am recognized as an Out Trans person in my area (Episcopalian Diocese) and have been consulted by members of our clergy on dealing with Trans people.  You are not an abomination (the Jewish word this comes from means annoyance and not a major offender) just another totally human human being.  It will help you to be at peace with yourself if you see that.  You cannot cure that which is not sick.  You cannot change that which is beautifully and uniquely YOU as you have been made.  YOU are YOU and do what you can to be that YOU the best way you can find.

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  • Admin

 @Markjvp  One better is to go ahead and let yourself feel the feelings and do not deprive yourself of how you can see the world.  However take the steps to come out slowly and no faster than you feel safe.  Think for a minute and you will get what I mean there.  

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  • 2 years later...
  • Admin
1 hour ago, Telestria said:

Or does this refer to something else?

 

I was quoting from a discussion I had taken part in with a Rabbi and some other friends who have studied both Hebrew and the Greek.  I do not know which of the two it boiled down  into, and have to admit that I do not know either language other than miscellaneous words.  I was simply happy to have been present and heard it. I would be happy to hear more about it from you.  The final take away I had from the conversation was that the concept was NOT the terrible and unforgivable ever behavior that most Christians take it to be and was translated with the wrong flavor because someone wanted to make it a darker picture than it was for their own purpose of behavior control. 

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On 8/1/2022 at 6:45 PM, VickySGV said:

 

I was quoting from a discussion I had taken part in with a Rabbi and some other friends who have studied both Hebrew and the Greek.  I do not know which of the two it boiled down  into, and have to admit that I do not know either language other than miscellaneous words.  I was simply happy to have been present and heard it. I would be happy to hear more about it from you.  The final take away I had from the conversation was that the concept was NOT the terrible and unforgivable ever behavior that most Christians take it to be and was translated with the wrong flavor because someone wanted to make it a darker picture than it was for their own purpose of behavior control. 

Hi Vicky. Speaking a bit pastorally, here are a couple of things that might clarify for you. Generally speaking, if it's from the Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture), it was written in Hebrew; from the New Testament, it's Greek. I had to learn both in seminary as a denominational requirement for ordination. 

 

Additionally, there is no direct mention of trans-people in either Testament. Period. A lot of the issues that arise regarding the LGBTQ+ community within Christianity stem from poor catchecisis or lack of understanding. Especially since the most vocal voices come from, for lack of a better term (although it isn't correct), the "conservative/evangelical" denominations. 

 

That said, in orthodox Christian theology, no sin is "unforgivable." That's pretty much a universal constant, although I admit it applies mostly to Protestant denominations--Roman Catholics have that whole purgatory/mortal sin thing going on which Protestants generally don't believe in. The point being that as Christians, we are justified--made sinless--before God by our faith alone, not by anything else.

Got long winded there. Sorry...

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My faith community is pretty conservative, and goes by a very literal interpretation of Scripture.  The general view is that if it is specifically a sin in the Bible, then it is a sin.  If the Bible doesn't list it, then it isn't.  As such, female homosexuality and intersex/transgender issues are something the community stays silent about.  Same thing with a man having multiple wives...as long as he isn't desiring to be a spiritual leader for the congregation, it isn't an issue.  What isn't explicitly a sin is permitted.

 

So, I'm in kind of a gray area, and nobody bothers me.  I've wrestled with the idea of how exactly I'm supposed to relate to my community and to God.  The best I came up with is this: God made us male and female...but we live in a broken world.  If the world was perfect, I'd fit in my body.  Since the world isn't perfect, I don't see anything wrong with doing what I can to make my life easier.  I prefer not to surgically modify my body, but that's a preference not a conviction or moral idea (as well as a recommendation from my doctor, as my internal structure is a bit unique.)

 

After death (or if the Second Coming happens before that), God will fix all the issues in the world.  This includes the human body.  No more illness or disease, no more death, no more feeling like we don't fit.  If God intended me to be male, that's what I'll be.  If God intended me to be female, that's what I'll be.  Whatever I'll be in that perfected state, I trust that I'll fit in my body and like it.  I know I'll be OK since the decision is His and the effects of sin are removed. 

 

I guess my faith is simple.  I'm not very educated, and I'm not a theologian.  I have a kid's kind of faith, and I'm blessed to be accepted in my community and by the family that loves me.  I just wish that others were able to experience the contentment and kindness that I receive, because there is too much tension in the world.

 

 

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Hi @awkward-yet-sweet. You make some very good points, and if I may say so, are more of a theologian than you think. I

heard it said in seminary by one of my professors that we're all theologians in our own way. Also, Jesus himself told us about the faith of a child in Matthew 18:3, Mark 10:14 and Luke 18:17, so I would say that you're in pretty good company there. 

 

And we do live in a broken, fallen world. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote what is widely considered the best commentary on sin back in the 1930s if you're interested. Personally, I think he would agree with your assessment.

 

Hugs and blessings

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