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Did God make a mistake?


SheenaT

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I have heard this alot. Most say no he didn't.  But...

People are born with any number of abnormalities. Is transgenderism any different?

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Although I don't really identify as christian or theist personally, I've heard a lot about the "God doesn't make mistakes" argument, and my take is this:

 

1. Trans people clearly exist.

2. If God doesn't make mistakes,

3. Then God, therefore, intentionally makes some people trans.

 

And if someone happens believe that God's will should not be questioned, well, then being anti-trans is clearly questioning God's will.

 

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Although I still attend and take part in The Episcopal Church I have had my beliefs tempered by the "God as you understand (pronoun or God)" concept in Chemical Dependence Recovery Programs and that makes a difference to the whole picture.  I understand a Creator/Created/Parent and not the "Sky Daddy" sorta human image that some of my non-theistic and frankly bitter friends have created in ridicule other beliefs.  My background includes Zoology where I was introduced to the field of genetics and in Physiological Psychology.  I find a great deal of awe for the forces of nature that take the small molecules of amino acids that have come into being and create all of what we call Carbon Based Life which includes human beings.  The interplay of those small molecules as they create the organs and organ systems that make up our bodies, even though they can be described as reactions of individual atoms which are even smaller things, do inspire me with their depth and individual beauties.  As we go on in research on why a percentage of us have natural variations that make up our bodies, it has become evident that these small building block are functioning exactly as their chemical properties can happen based on those chemical properties possibilities for creating viable human life in predictable shapes that will support life, and beyond the individual, into human social life that sustains human communities.  Trans people are part of creation, it is the human inability to see our immense similarities inside of what the insecure see as immense and threatening differences.

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There are so many aspects to this.  I mean, what is "god" to start with.  Does she micro manage… or just let things happen.  I mean… dang, girl…  

 

I'm not sure I even want to know.

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15 minutes ago, Jandi said:

There are so many aspects to this.  I mean, what is "god" to start with.  Does she micro manage… or just let things happen.  I mean… dang, girl…  

 

I'm not sure I even want to know.

😊

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I think we are all given trials and tribulations here on earth and those are meant to help us become us and to help others who need help on the earthly plane. 

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1 minute ago, Heather Shay said:

I think we are all given trials and tribulations here on earth and those are meant to help us become us and to help others who need help on the earthly plane. 

😊

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Interesting thoughts here, folks, and I'm afraid I'm gonna have to weigh in. As an ordained PCUSA minister of Word and Sacrament, and a practicing Calvinist (I'll keep practicing until I get it right) my thoughts are these.

 

First, @SheenaT, God does not make mistakes. To do so would not only be contrary to the nature of God, but would mean that God is not infallible, and thus would not be God. Circular argument, I know, but it's the truth from a Christian Theological perspective. 

 

Second, nowhere in Scripture is transgenderism mentioned. (Yes, I've heard the arguments about eunichs being trans. That argument is made by folks who don't speak either Biblical Greek or Hebrew. In Greek, the word eunich is always used to indicate a castrated male, while in Hebrew it's used to indicate a either a person in authority or a castrated male. The point being, trans folk don't show up in Scripture. Period.) 

 

This leads me to @Heather Nicole and her point that transpeople clearly exist and thus God made them that way. While a valid argument, it is a bit simplistic. I say this because it overlooks the fallen nature of the material world and the role of sin corrupting God's creation. Incidentally, and frankly more importantly, her point about questioning God's will is particularly apt. That said, I point to two passages in Scripture that emphasize this. The first comes from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, specifically 55:8*9 wherein God speaks to him saying words to the effect of "my ways are not your ways, don't presume to question" (shortened here for purposes of brevity) and the New Testament's Gospel of Matthew where Jesus tells us "Judge not, lest ye be judged." (Matt 7:1-3.

 

And @Jandi, you ask the question that has been debated since time immemorial regarding the nature of God; a being of pure spirit. There is neither time nor space to answer that in full here. Apologies. That's a question you will have to decide for yourself. Ultimately, It's between you and Him. (I'm using a male pronoun here because in Aramaic, Jesus referred to God as "Abba," which is a colloquial for of Father, which was used the way we would use "daddy," and I figure he ought to know...)

 

And finally, @Heather Shay, knowing your love of music, I am thinking of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, where the apostles are all singing, "Look at all my trials and tribulations, sinking in a gentle pool of wine..."

 

I hope I've not offended anyone. If so, I apologize.

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Sorry if my last got a bit preachy. Even though I'm retired, I paid for my MDiv and still like to use it. Occupational hazard. 😁

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@Marcie JensenI became a Christian about 25 years ago, and what I have been taught, and what I have read, is absolutely in line with what you've related here. What I will add is that we are not meant to understand His ways - think garden-snake-apple.

 

I also learned to fully understand and appreciate "Jesus Christ, Superstar."

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26 minutes ago, Hannah Renee said:

@Marcie JensenI became a Christian about 25 years ago, and what I have been taught, and what I have read, is absolutely in line with what you've related here. What I will add is that we are not meant to understand His ways - think garden-snake-apple.

 

I also learned to fully understand and appreciate "Jesus Christ, Superstar."

😁

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I don't think the problem concept is "God" but the idea of a mistake.

It seems to refer to humanity's blessing and curse of imagination and idealism, and therefore the idea of an alternate universe, where things "should" or "should not" have happened.

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2 hours ago, Marcie Jensen said:

you ask the question that has been debated since time immemorial regarding the nature of God; a being of pure spirit. There is neither time nor space to answer that in full here. Apologies. That's a question you will have to decide for yourself.

Yeah. This is true.

 

Oddly enough, I was a "ruling elder" for a time in a smaller Presbyterian denomination.  I've seen good and bad in churches.  For better or worse, I no longer consider myself to be a christian.  I also no longer try to define "God" or speak for him/her/them/whatever.  I think that once we try to define "God" in anyway, we at that point are limiting him/her/them/whatever.  I do not consider myself to be an atheist, but there is no way I can begin to explain "God" at this point.

 

I'll admit, my life was simpler when I still trusted the scriptures.  (There is actually some good stuff in there)

Personally, I feel that arguing for LGBTQ issues from scripture is grasping at straws. But that's just my opinion.  And it is true that my knowledge of Greek & Hebrew is very limited.

 

@Marcie Jensen I mean you no offense in any of what I've written here.  And I would agree that "God" does not make mistakes.

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Hey @Jandi,  no offense taken at all. You're entitled to believe what you want, and faith is a very personal thing. I get it. i grew up in a household with an agnostic father, a Unitarian mother, a Calvinist grandfather on one side and a Missouri Synod Lutheran grandfather on the the other. One of my brothers is Catholic and the other is something else--not sure what. You can imagine what family gatherings were like...

 

For the record, I agree with you about trying to define God, as it tries to limit that which cannot, by definition, be limited. In seminary that was called "putting God in a box" and was laughed at.  Also, I agree about arguing LGBTQ+ issues based solely on Scripture is grasping at straws and is a losing proposition. My point was that transpeople are simply not addressed in Scripture, and that anyone who tries to argue the point--from either perspective; pro or con--is wasting their time. And, I would point out that those who try to argue against the LGBTQ+ community based on a passage in 1 Corinthians is wrongly interpreting Scripture. Paul was addressing a specific situation within the church in Corinth where temple prostitutes--both male and female--from the temple of Aphrodite were disrupting services to ply their trade among the congregation. 

 

The point I was trying to make by quoting two pieces of Scripture was that as humans, finite beings, we can't hope to understand how God thinks, and as Christians, we are told pretty plainly not to judge other people. Sorry I wasn't clear. 

 

And, @Jaycie, I'm curious, and this is not an attempt to convert or proselytize; rather it's a serious question and I'm trying to understand. If you don't believe in a higher power, what do you believe in? What I'm referring to is multifold; your moral compass, how the universe was created and so on. I don't mean to insult, offend or otherwise push any buttons or trigger anyone with this. You see, science doesn't have all the answers and nature makes no distinctions between good and evil behavior. Incidentally, I believe in evolution and see no conflict between science and faith. And, as a corollary, if there is no God, and everything was randomly created, what is the purpose of life, ie: why are we here? These are huge questions, and I've never heard an adequate explanation outside of faith. I'm sorry if this comes across in the wrong way. My position has changed through the years. In fact, when I was in my 20s and a parachute infantryman for religious preference I had "Tac Air" on my dog tags (that's army slang for tactical air support) on the grounds that anything I called on from the sky needed to be fast, hard hitting and on target. Needless to say, I've evolved...

 

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Heh heh….  I was actually raised in the  Missouri Synod Lutheran church.  LOL

 

Oh well.

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52 minutes ago, Jandi said:

Heh heh….  I was actually raised in the  Missouri Synod Lutheran church.  LOL

 

Oh well.

Heh heh, indeed. LOL.

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When I came out to some family members last December, one of my cousins took it upon herself to tell me that I should pray this away. I was told that God does not make mistakes and Jesus loves me. I told her that praying does not change the fact that I am transgender, but I will admit, that praying to help me find ways to transition, seem to be working fine. I have indeed been very fortunate with all of the people I have encountered in my journey to my best version of me.

 

As for the mistakes thing, I told her that she was right. God did not make a mistake, he made me transgender. That sort of shut her up. I also let her know that I never doubted my relationship with God or Jesus. I never heard another word from her. No great loss. 

 

We exist. We are real people with so many common thoughts, dreams, hopes, sorrows, joys, obstacles, and yet, despite anything else, we know that we have a female soul. We are born as to what is thought to be a clean slate, but is it? Too many of us have similar stories in what we experienced. I could be wrong in this belief, but I believe we were born with a female soul. We achieve awareness that the shell we are in is all wrong. What can you do about it as a kid? Back when I was little, nothing. How many of us engaged in female role playing as kids? As such, when we say we are transgender, I am not sure that is as accurate as it could be. We are transitioning our external body to match our innate soul, or what makes us, us, so there is a congruence. We are not suddenly going from being totally male in thought and action, to that of a female. Most of us become aware that things are wrong at an early age, and we go on to try to live our lives. It is a complex journey.

 

There are all sorts of thoughts out there. I still believe in God. Too many people try to interpret the Bible to meet their own desires. Too many people try to tell us their beliefs wrapped in religious speak. These people know the form of religion but not the substance of religion. We are who we are. Decent human beings with flaws like everybody else. We have as much right to be our best selves.

 

Sincerely

Katie

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1 hour ago, Jaycie said:

No worries!

 

Do I believe in a higher power? No not really. I believe "higher power" is a thing everyone gets to define for themselves. Personally I guess if I had to say I had a higher power... the universe in general but I don't believe its directed or every was by any being(s). My moral compass? Try not to hurt other beings human or otherwise. Fulfill my needs and the needs of those around me as best I can, to have a happy and fulfilling lives. Try to leave things better than I found them. Good and evil are real human ideas and I truly believe good and evil people/behavior exist (by D&D alignment, I'm lawful good by the way 😊). I have strong political/social beliefs that makeup my moral compass too. The purpose of life is that there is no purpose unless we make one. I don't think there is a being or group of beings directing us or that made us for a specific purpose, its just that we exist and now what does each/all of us do with that existence? I choose to try and be a "good" person, that's how I was raised and a choice I've made. I'm fine with us not having the answers to all things and I'm open to new ideas, however the unknown does not cause me fear or worry. I try to be curious, kind, and be open minded about as many things as I can.

 

These are just my thoughts and I don't mean to hurt or upset anyone with them. I guess I'm a weird being overall having read this and I thought about just deleting it. LOL 

Thanks, @Jaycie. I appreciate your answer, but I have to ask, while your moral compass comes from "strong political/social beliefs," where did those come from? (No need to answer, just think on it.) If you are referring to what the founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, etc., I would point out that all of the rights and principles in these documents come from Christo-Judaic ideals, the Bible, and the writings of numerous European theologians and philosophers. We can deny it all we want, but it doesn't change the facts. Also, if good and evil are merely human ideas, and not divinely derived, what makes "good" good, and what makes "evil" evil. For example, I think it's fair to say that human sacrifice is virtually universally condemned as evil, yet the Incans, Maya, Aztecs, Phoenicians and Philistines, to name a few, not only practiced this and regarded it as "good" and "moral" behavior. There's something of a disconnect there, I think.

 

Also, if there is no higher power, and everything is by random chance--a dice roll to D&D players--what it the purpose of life and why be "good" as it's commonly defined? (BTW, back in the  day--I started playin D&D back in 1974--the was a distinct Christo-Judaic flavor to it, and Gary Gygax was a Pentecostal Christian. Just sayin'...)

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19 minutes ago, Katie23 said:

When I came out to some family members last December, one of my cousins took it upon herself to tell me that I should pray this away. I was told that God does not make mistakes and Jesus loves me. I told her that praying does not change the fact that I am transgender, but I will admit, that praying to help me find ways to transition, seem to be working fine. I have indeed been very fortunate with all of the people I have encountered in my journey to my best version of me.

Hi @Katie23. First, you're cousin has an interesting theological perspective. In my experience, prayer doesn't work the way your cousin wants it to. I will say, prayer is always answered, but sometimes the answers are "no," or "wait and see." It's also not some sort of magical panacea. And I would agree to the comment that God does not make mistakes and Jesus loves everyone. Being trans doesn't change that.

Hugs. 

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1 hour ago, Jaycie said:

I guess I'm a weird being overall having read this and I thought about just deleting it. LOL

Well, IDK.

I have some weird ideas of my own.  Perhaps we each are a part of one organism?  Kinda like those fungi that pop up in the fairy circles.  There is one theory that the whole planet is a single organism.  I mean, what is life really?

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41 minutes ago, Marcie Jensen said:

I think it's fair to say that human sacrifice is virtually universally condemned as evil, yet the Incans, Maya, Aztecs, Phoenicians and Philistines, to name a few, not only practiced this and regarded it as "good" and "moral" behavior. There's something of a disconnect there, I think.

Just to note-

Abraham was told to sacrifice Issac, and was in the process until stopped.

Also Christianity itself is based on the sacrifice of Christ.  (I do understand the principal behind this, but still…)

 

The existence of "God" can neither be proved, or disproved.

Killing each other over our opinions is just messed up.

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25 minutes ago, Jandi said:

Just to note-

Abraham was told to sacrifice Issac, and was in the process until stopped.

Also Christianity itself is based on the sacrifice of Christ.  (I do understand the principal behind this, but still…)

 

The existence of "God" can neither be proved, or disproved.

Killing each other over our opinions is just messed up.

True about Abraham. Yet, God provided an acceptable sacrifice for him. And God is the one who stopped him. The story isn't about human sacrifice, but Abraham's faithfulness, obedience and trust in God.

 

And, with regard to Christ's self sacrifice, well, entire books have been written about it and this forum isn't the place to go into detail. Time, space and potential to offend folks preclude this. The best short analogy I can provide, and I admit it's utterly inadequate, is similar to when a soldier throws himself or herself on a grenade to to save their squad mates. That's utterly different from deliberately killing your own babies to ensure personal wealth (Carthaginians), sacrificing thousands to make it rain (Aztec, etc.) or similar.

 

And yet, killing each other over opinions is messed up. Sadly, history seems to show that such is the human norm.

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1 hour ago, Marcie Jensen said:

 

And yet, killing each other over opinions is messed up. Sadly, history seems to show that such is the human norm.

An example of why/how our way is not God's way, and why we cannot understand Him or His ways. We don't seem to have sufficient capacity to learn.

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7 hours ago, Katie23 said:

When I came out to some family members last December, one of my cousins took it upon herself to tell me that I should pray this away.

That was just plain evil of her. Sorry, Katie.

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