When you hear gender, what comes to mind? How would you define it? What does scripture have to teach us about sex and gender? We continue our Jesus & Identity series by focusing on gender and transgender issues. Paul Kiss unpacks Psalm 139 and Proverbs 18:13 as we learn that we must be willing to listen to and understand one another with issues of gender identity.
Jesus and Identity – Part 2: Transgender Issues
Speaker: Paul Kiss
Date: February 24, 2019
“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.”
1. Recap: Bounded, Fuzzy, or Centred Approach
** – Refer to the sermon on Jesus and Identity Part 1 – February 10, 2019, for more on how we might approach this topic as a Christian community.
2. Proper Terms about Sex and Gender:
Yarhouse, Mark A. Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Gender Issues in a Changing Culture. Intervarsity Press, 2015.
● LGBTQ+ – Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Plus
● Biological Sex – Referring to male or female (typically with reference to chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, internal reproductive anatomy and external genitalia).
● Gender – The psychological, social and cultural aspects of being male or female.
● Gender Identity – How you experience yourself (or think of yourself) as male or female, including how masculine or feminine a person feels.
● Gender Role – Adoptions of cultural expectations for maleness or femaleness.
● Gender Dysphoria – The experience of distress associated with the incongruence wherein one’s psychological and emotional gender identity does not match one’s biological sex.
● Transgender – An umbrella term for the many ways in which people might experience and/or present and express (or live out) their gender identities differently from people whose sense of gender identity is congruent with their biological sex.
● Cisgender – A word to contrast with transgender and to signify that one’s psychological and emotional experience of gender identity is congruent with one’s biological sex.
● MtF – Male sex at birth but experiences Female identity.
● FtM – Female sex at birth but experiences Male identity.
● Intersex – A term to describe conditions in which a person is born with sex characteristics or anatomy that does not allow clear identification as male or female. The causes of an intersex condition can be chromosomal, gonadal or genital.
3. Personal Interview with MtF individual:
4. Interview with her Parents:
5. Love, Grace, Mercy…
● The suicide rate within the transgender community is exponentially higher than the average.* They need a community who will accept, love and walk with them.
● They need to be accepted first, without hearing about whether or not you disagree with them. In time you might have that conversation, but it doesn’t need to be soon.
1. What questions do you still have about transgender issues?
2. What did you think of the interview with the transgender girl? What about her parents? What did they say that stood out to you?
3. Read Psalm 139:13-18. What do these verses add to the discussion about our identity, whatever gender you identify with?
4. Read John 4:25-26, 39-42. Here was a woman with a questionable “identity.” What is Jesus’ word to her, vs 25-26? What does he not say to her? How did she respond, vs. 39-42? These people, according to Jews, had a twisted identity (Samaritans). What does Jesus do when he is with them, vs. 40? How do these verses shed light on how we, as a congregation, might respond to those in the LGBTQ community?
5. If Jesus is willing to identify with the “wrong people” and even die for sinners (all of us – Rom. 5:8), what would it look like for us to be willing to identify with and even die for “the wrong kind of people?” (This question is for those on either side of this discussion/debate. Think “centred-approach”)
1. Watch the video by RZIM ministries, “How Can I Know My Gender?”: Watch Here.
2. If you want to read about the science involved in gender issues, read this article from Harvard University – “Between the Gender Lines”: Read Here.