". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Evangelical Christians and the Transgender Movement

March 29, 2024

An 82-year-old woman is now taking steps to sue her local YMCA for banning her from its facilities and triggering “mob-like attacks, public humiliation, and widespread mendacious reporting.”

The initial incident occurred in 2022, when Julian Jaman was banned from the Mountain View Pool at a Port Townsend, Washington YMCA after confronting a transgender biological male in a locker room, asking him, “Do you have a penis?” Jaman later organized a protest in which transgender activists reportedly assaulted her and fellow protesters, stole their possessions, and damaged their audio equipment.

Jaman is now being represented by The Center for American Liberty, whose representative, Eric Sell, told reporters, “What we are advocating for here is people using their common sense and listening to women when they object to biological males being in their sensitive spaces, like the locker room at the city pool.”

Dozens of similar incidents have been reported during the last several years. Just last week, a woman had her Planet Fitness membership revoked for taking a photo of a “man with a penis” in the gym’s women’s locker room. The roiling social conflict over transgender “rights” is not going away any time soon, and evangelical Christians must be prepared to give a reasoned defense of our view that God created human beings in predetermined categories of “man” and “woman.”

Why are evangelical Christians so concerned about the transgender movement?

We are concerned because the transgender phenomenon represents the “tip of the iceberg” in the secular progressive movement to sever society not only from its roots in the Judeo-Christian worldview but from scientific reality and common-sense wisdom. For that reason, we should evaluate gender dysphoria (discomfort with one’s biological sex) and transgenderism in light of three biblical teachings supported by science.

1. God’s Design for Humanity and Gender

The first biblical teaching is found in the Bible’s opening chapter: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). God created us in his image, with a predetermined distinction between “man” and “woman” being essential to his design. He created men and women with equal value and dignity but with pre-determined, differing characteristics.

In other words, since God is the Source and Designer of all life, he is also the ultimate authority in the transgender debate. Our attempts to override his design are futile because they lie about reality, and they are destructive because they will inevitably meet with frustration and failure. We are beautifully designed beings, and we will fail no matter how hard we try to override the design.

2. Human Rebellion against God’s Design

The second biblical teaching is that human beings are predisposed to rebel against God’s design for their lives. The first couple, Adam and Eve, chose to reject God’s authority so they could control their destiny (Genesis 3). It didn’t go well for them; instead of gaining happiness and freedom, they experienced pain and sadness.

In the wake of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, we, their progeny, are born predisposed to reject God’s authority and control our own lives. The transgender movement is one such example of this impulse, and an egregious one at that. Although it is not a sin to experience gender dysphoria, it is wrong to take steps to alter one’s predetermined biological sex. Like all deviations from God’s design, transgender therapies and surgeries promise spiritual life but deliver spiritual death.

3. God’s Desire to Save and Restore Humanity

The third biblical teaching is that God offers to save us from our rebellion and restores us to new life with him. If we embrace God through Christ, he will enable us to overcome our confusions, transgressions, and rebellions to flourish in the here and now. What’s more, he promises to return one day to restore this world in its entirety and our individual minds and bodies in particular.

For people who are experiencing gender dysphoria and are uncomfortable with their biological sex, God will transform their hearts and help them live according to his design. God will walk with them through the confusion or discomfort. And when he returns one day to restore the world, they will finally experience the delight of being fully in accordance with God’s design.

Scientific Research and Common Sense

As pertains to any biblical teaching, the best scientific research confirms the biblical view of the transgender phenomena. For example, world-renowned genital reconstructive surgeon Miroslav Djordjevic recently reported that many patients with gender reassignment surgery experience crippling levels of depression and suicidal thoughts afterward and often ask for “reversal” surgeries to restore their original genitalia. Human beings flourish best when we live within God’s design.

Similarly, psychiatrist Paul R. McHugh and his associates have argued that puberty suppression treatments are detrimental, psychologically and otherwise, to their recipients. An in-depth exploration of the research — such as outlined in Ryan T. Anderson’s fine book, “When Harry Became Sally” — is beyond the scope of this article, but these examples suffice to make the point for now.

In conclusion, evangelical Christians’ growing concern regarding transgender activism is deeply rooted in a commitment to God’s design for humanity, a design that encompasses distinct and purposeful gender identities. Through incidents like the one involving Julian Jaman, it becomes evident that the clash is not merely about individual rights or social norms but touches on more profound theological and philosophical convictions about the nature of human identity and the limits of human autonomy.

As evangelical Christians, we recognize that the transgender movement is a profound challenge to the Judeo-Christian worldview and a call to defend its principles, which are grounded in scripture, scientific research, and common-sense wisdom. By advocating for a compassionate yet truthful engagement with those experiencing gender dysphoria, we aim to navigate these tumultuous waters with compassion.