Ethics: Transgendered Person Becomes a Christian

What would you do Wednesday!

Today’s scenario is inspired by an ethics situation Russell Moore mentioned in a sermon. He made up the situation for for future pastors for an ethics test. I altered the scenario to be applicable to any Christian.

Pat, a single mother, moved into the neighborhood a year ago. Since she moved in you have made friends with and invited your new neighbor to church. She has always politely declined the invitation until two months ago.

Pat attended church with you twice last month and twice the current month. On the second visit Pat responded to the gospel call. She went to the pastor after the sermon. She repented of her sins and professed belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of those sins unto eternal life.

Pat is very excited about her new faith. Being excited with her, you take her and her daughter to a nice Sunday lunch to celebrate. While her daughter is outside playing with the other kids, Pat has a very serious concern now that she is a Christian. Pat doesn’t really know the pastor, or anyone else, as well as she knows you. So, she comes to you in confidence with her concern.

She admits that 25 years ago (she is 50 now), she had male-t0-female gender reassignment surgery. She went from Patrick to Patricia. Her 10 yr old daughter was adopted 10 years ago. Her daughter does not know about her life as Patrick. No one in her new town knows either. Everyone knows her as the female Patricia or, Pat, for short.

As a Christian, Pat is concerned with what she needs to reveal and repent of about her past. How is she supposed to live now – as a man or woman? Does she need to tell her daughter or the people at church? Does she remain single and celibate? She has lots of questions….

What advice would you give?

  • You’re forgiven so just keep on living as you are.
  • You’re forgiven but it might be good to come clean about the past.
  • Or….

tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 LarryFarlow May 29, 2013 at 10:29 am

Wow this would be a difficult situation – for Pat. I don’t think the difficulty is in determining what the sound biblical advice is but in the cost Pat is going to have to pay to follow it. Bottom line is, he is living a lie and must stop doing so. God created him as a man and so he must as best he can under his current circumstances begin living as one again. It will take a lot of love and support from his new church family but it must be done. Sadly the consequences of our past sins often follow us into our new lives as Christians making for difficult going but the call to die to self is universal for those who claim to follow Christ. We don’t get a pass because something is uncomfortable, difficult or life altering.

2 CaraOD May 29, 2013 at 11:08 am

Without knowing ALL of the medical facts about Pat’s gender reassignment, nobody should even speculate as to what to do about this.  The scenario as presented above is incomplete.

3 nvahalik May 29, 2013 at 11:25 am

I wanted to respond to CaraOD, but instead I want to ask another question:
Take person A and B.  Person A isn’t a Christian and Person B at this point doesn’t matter.  Person B is divorced on unbiblical grounds.  Person A and Person B get married.  Person A converts and becomes a Christian.  Do you make Person A and Person B get a divorce?
Where one gender reassignment surgery is wrong, is it okay to go through that same sinful process in order to go back to a place of … what exactly?  Nothing we can do can make us right with God except for for the blood of Christ.
My personal reaction is that the person (like anyone who has done something they truly regret) should be honest about their sin and confront it, but also realize that what they did cannot in a sense be “undone.”
Now, if that person is truly convicted that this life is a lie and must be undone, I suppose that is between them and the Lord, but I don’t think it is proper to force them to “change back” simply because of the illustration I presented above.
Does that make sense?

4 Mark Lamprecht May 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm

CaraOD There was nothing that I left off as far as I know. The scenario implies that the surgery was not necessary – it wasn’t. Pat was born a healthy, anatomically correct male later desire to be female.

5 Mark Lamprecht May 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm

nvahalik I’m not sure that surgically changing back is even an option. It seems Pat would have to live the rest of his life as a her.

6 nvahalik May 29, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Mark Lamprecht Well, then all the more reason to be thankful for the grace that aren’t deserved and to maybe even help others who are considering what they went through and witnessing to them.

7 CaraOD May 29, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Mark Lamprecht nvahalik  Although I do not equate the two surgeries, think about a person who was born with a huge nose.  It was the nose God gave her, but as a teenager she decides to have rhinoplasty–not because she has a deviated septum with associated difficulty breathing, but rather because she just wants a smaller nose, more in keeping with the contours of her face.  Some years later, she becomes a Christian.  Should she go back to the plastic surgeon and ask to have surgery to get back the nose God gave her?  Was it even a sin for her to have the original plastic surgery on her nose if she was not a Christian when she had that surgery?  
It does, indeed seem that Pat will have to live in a woman’s body if she cannot get back a male body through surgery and cessation of hormone supplementation.  Should she be honest, going forward, about her past surgery with future friends–especially with male friends who might be interested in her as a woman?  Absolutely!  
Does Pat’s Christian faith mean that someday she might NOT feel “like a woman who was born in a male body?”  That is very, very unlikely.   
I truly think this is something Pat has to work out with God’s grace.  As her faith deepens, she will desire to glorify God.  How she glorifies Him will be revealed in time.


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