The Squeezings of my Brain Grapes.
I’m Pretty Sure I’m Transgendered, and I Don’t Know What To Do

aacsi asked you:
I am ftm transgender, & I didn’t chose this, It’s something I was born with, probably caused by hormones in the whom. I tried to live in my birth sex, but ended up depressed. I just changed my name, & started living as male, but many christians are telling me that I’m sinning, especially if I change my body. There isn’t anything specific about this in the bible. God doesn’t make mistakes, & dealing with it has made me stronger, but I don’t know what to do, in my heart and brain I am a man.

Jed Brewer replied:

Hey my friend,

Thanks for your note.  I’m sorry you’ve got religious people in your life putting guilt on you.  As you and I both know, that ain’t helping nothing.

Something that Christian sometimes say (and they should, ‘cause it’s true) is that God loves you and accepts you exactly as you are.  In fact, here’s some words from a hymn written hundreds of years ago that says exactly that:

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

The truth, my friend, is that God loves, accepts, and welcomes you right now today, just as you are.  And he wants to pardon, cleanse, and unburden you right now today, just as you are.  But the struggle I often have – and I’m guessing this may be the same for you – is, am I willing to take a hold of that, just as I am, right now, today?

Jesus said that he would never put a heavy burden on us.  That if we were burned out on religion, if we were straight up worn out, we should just come to him, and he’d give us the kind of rest we were looking for.  (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV/MSG)  But, Jesus is a gentleman, and he’s not gonna force anything on us.

The question I would hand back to you is this: are you willing to let God accept you as you are?  God can handle your transgendered status and questions.  But can you handle God being able to roll with you on it?

If I read between the lines on your question, what I hear you describing is a sense of needing to figure out where you stand in regards to your gender, and then, once that’s set, you can figure out where you stand with God.  What I’d suggest to you is to own the fact that you’re not exactly sure where you stand, and you’re not sure where it’s all headed – in terms of your gender identity – and that you’re gonna start building a relationship with God in the midst of that uncertainty. 

It sounds like you’re trying to figure out what God wants from you in this situation, and, I promise, this is what he wants.  For you to just be with him, right now, in this moment, in this season of your life.

Yes, a time will come when the two of you will talk about gender identity and what he wants to see happen with that.  But that isn’t today.  And if you’ll build and cultivate your relationship with your Father today, then it won’t be such a scary thing down the road.

One last thing: I love you.  Seriously.  I believe in you, and I agree with you when you say that God doesn’t make mistakes.  You, my friend, are no mistake.  No matter where things land with your gender, you are not a mistake, or a weirdo, or a freak, or anything else.  You’re a child of the God of the universe, adored by your Father, and ransomed at the cost of Jesus’ blood.  There are great things waiting for you in your life, and I want to see you take a hold of every one of them.  The confusion and uncertainty that you face today is not the last word in your life.  There are great things to come for you – walk with God, and don’t ever, ever quit.

xxpatchworkxx asked:

On the event of Obama’s statement about the legalization of gay marriage, I’ve been unsure of what the Christian perspective on this is? I am respectful to homosexuals and those who choose to take that path. However, I know God says what they’re doing is a sin. Should homosexuals be legally allowed to get married?

I answered:

Let’s get this out of the way: same-gender sexual intercourse is a sin (Romans 1:26-27), therefore folks who engage in it are sinners.  Now, no one can say I didn’t point that out.

Now, you know who else is a sinner? Everyone! Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Everyone is a sinner and there are no levels of sinner. The good news is that Jesus came to love and redeem sinners; not former sinners, not reformed sinners, not sinners who only engaged in socially acceptable sins, sinners. 

And since the Church is called to love like Jesus did, guess who the church has to be accepting of? Exactly, sinners. I’m glad you are respectful of homosexuals, sadly that is way ahead of some Christians. But we are not called to be respectful of our fellow sinners, we are called to love them. 1 Corinthians 13 says “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and love others.

What is at issue in President Obama’s announcement is that when Christians hear the word “marriage” they think of it in a Christian context.  The problem is that we live in a society that has all kinds of marriages.  We have Common Law marriages that are recognized legally in many states in America, and where no “vow” has ever been taken.  We have so-called “open” marriages where one or both partners are involved in extra-marital sexual activity, and both partners have signed off on it.  Further, there are many different religious marriages that are non-Christian - Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Mormon, Jewish, etc.  None of these meet the definition of a Christian marriage, but they are every bit as legally protected. Our society, as an outgrowth of our democratic underpinnings, has, for centuries, honored the desire of two consenting adults to enter into a long-term relationship and call it marriage.  There is, of course, one notable exception - the prohibition of slave marriages in the pre-Civil War South.  As a people, we do not look back kindly on this period.

Further, Christians often fail to understand that the designation of “marriage” is not a ceremonial one.  In the United States, marriage is a legal contract between two consenting adults. With it comes hospital visitation rights, legal protection of financial assets, health insurance coverage, and a host of other considerations.  It would be very difficult to argue that denying any of these rights to a committed adult couple is loving, or that denying them is in some way a defense against same-gender sexual intercourse. 

And, of course, there is the unfortunate reality that some Christians have taken a concern over the implications of gay marriage and the presence of homosexuals in society, and allowed that concern to spiral into something that is definitely *not* loving.  Verbally assaulting homosexuals - shouting that they are wicked and evil - is not loving.  Period.  (How would you like it if people castigated you every time you failed to give 10% of your income to your local church?)  And, it is nothing short of offensive to campaign that it be legal to bully LGBTQ school children.  A Savior who said he would judge the world by how they’d treated the least of these would not be pleased.

Now some might say that we have to defend the word and uphold blah blah blah. If I get married someday, the fact that other consenting adults can enter into a legal agreement will not have the slightest effect on how I love my wife. I will boil this down to the simplest terms. We are called to love, above all else. I see tolerance and equal rights as love. I see exclusion and scapegoating and using human beings for political gain as hate. As a man who believes Jesus will return to this Earth and I will stand before him and give an account (Matthew 12:36Hebrews 13:17) I am going to choose love.

-Matt from The Bridge