The ‘Cross-dressing’ of Words

lipstick-on-a-pig-1024x835-300x244Cross-dressing is defined as wearing the clothing typical of the opposite sex. It is a man wearing a dress and high heels or a woman dressed like a soldier for combat. Cross-dressing doesn’t change the reality of God’s creation of the sexes, male and female, along with their equally valuable, but very distinct roles. You can put lipstick on a pig and it is still a pig. Calling the birds of the air creeping things or night day doesn’t make it so. God speaks reality. One cannot change reality by trying to conceal it with lipstick or with erroneous adjectives.

Words can correctly describe reality, but they can also attempt to conceal reality. When two men say they are “married” that isn’t the reality. Marriage is the lifelong union between one man and one woman. Even if one of the men dresses like woman, that doesn’t make him a “woman”, “wife” or “suitable helpmeet made from man for man.” God created them male and female; first, Adam from the dust; second, Eve from Adam. It is not good for man to be alone. God creates reality and He uses words to describe reality (Gen. 1-3).

Christians must be careful how we use words in a culture that denies God’s Word and tries to conceal the reality of sin with the ‘cross-dressing’ of words. The LGBT world says “marriage” when it isn’t marriage. It also commands that you call Adam Eve, when Adam is still Adam, despite the mutilation or concealing Adam has done.  Therefore, a Christian should not refer to sodomites as “married” nor to a cross-dressing man by his preferred female name. That would be a sinful confession contrary to reality and God’s unchanging Word. It would be calling Baal God. What the One True God says is true. Out of love, Christians should say, “Adam, repent of desiring to be Eve in thought, word, and deed.” Yes, lovingly call him to repentance, don’t confirm and share in his sin by calling him something he isn’t, and something forbidden by God (Romans 1). Don’t call Baal God.

Yes, there is no shortage of the ‘cross-dressing’ of words in our God-hating culture: The world says a woman can be a pastor, but God lovingly says, no, impossible, only some suitable men (I Tim. 3). Therefore, a Christian should never condone rebellion against God’s Word and reality by saying, “Pastor Eve.” There is no such reality as a pregnant man or a woman pastor. The dying world defines “love” as tolerance; Christians must fight against such ‘cross-dressing’ of words. The world defines “liberty” as “doing whatever you want”. Christians must fight against such fiction.

What the world is trying to conceal is the reality of sin by covering it by changing God’s Word. Chocolate is not sinfully good, and it isn’t a sin to not eat organic food. It is sinful to reject God’s gift of sexuality. Homosexuality is sinful. It is sinful for a man to wish to be a woman, even if he doesn’t show his sin and shame by putting on a dress and lipstick. It is sinful for a woman to covet the roles of men, like pastor, head of household, president, or soldier. It is sinful for a man to wish to be a mother. God has created men and women uniquely for different purposes. God doesn’t describe such things listed above as, “disorders, mental illness, gender dysphoria, addiction, or an ism”; these things are sinful. Yes, the world says, “Victim of alcoholism, binge eating disorder, or suffers from anxiety.” God says, “The sins of drunkenness, gluttony, and not trusting God above all things.”

Christians, don’t be duped by the world, the devil, and your sinful flesh. Don’t aid others in condoning and covering sin with how you use your words. Lovingly call sin sin. God’s Law doesn’t change and it is for our good. It curbs the world, shows our sin, and guides our Christian lives. God exposes and brings our inbred sin to light for the sake of the Gospel. Don’t answer the cross-dressing of sin and words with compromise and concession, but with compassionate condemnation followed by the cross. Jesus came to die for our sin and sins. He is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. If everything becomes acceptable in our eyes or is only a disorder and not a sin, why do we need a Savior? God desires that we confess our sins, receive forgiveness, and live godly lives in word and deed. By God’s grace, may we continue to correctly confess His Law and Cross to a crossed-up world.

About Pastor Clint Stark

Pastor Clint Stark is from Dallas, Texas. He is married with five young children. His undergraduate degree is from The University of Texas at Austin. During college he was converted to Lutheranism from the Southern Baptist creeds. After college he taught high school Spanish and coached basketball. He was graduated with an M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN in 2007. He has been an LCMS pastor for a decade, and is currently pastor of St. John Lutheran in Frisco, TX. He enjoys smoking meat and spending time with his family.


Comments

The ‘Cross-dressing’ of Words — 49 Comments

  1. Yes. Exactly this. It is time we cease and desist with the (satanic) social sciences and simply say what Scripture says. Sin is sin. (Try to say that with a lisp.)

  2. Sinful for a woman to be president? Huh, guess Deborah went to Hell, and all the Christian queens that ruled for sick or dead husbands, and former Christian mayors who were women, etc. Guess they should be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen cooking and cleaning and running to get her husband that beer he asked for while sitting in the living room watching the game.

  3. Yes, the world says, “Victim of alcoholism, binge eating disorder, or suffers from anxiety.”
    God says, “The sins of drunkenness, gluttony, and not trusting God above all things.”

    Let the reader understand:
    • Alcoholism and drunkenness are not the same.
    • Binge eating disorder and gluttony are not the same.
    • Anxiety disorder and distrust of God are not the same.

    Furthermore, “the world” generally recognizes that alcoholism, binge eating and anxiety disorders are extremely serious and potentially very damaging problems that should be addressed before they become totally destructive.

  4. What is the argument for saying that It is a sin for a woman to be the head of state? Or is it the coveting that is the sin?

  5. @porthopepizza #7

    I pray that you and your wife will continue to attend a faithful Lutheran church where you hear the pure preaching of God’s word for your salvation. I pray that you will be brought to share in our confession of the faith and once again experience communion fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.

  6. LW, you are very gracious. Thank you so much! I know what a scandal I am, and Julie and I are, and when not seen as a scandal certainly we leave folks in a state of befuddlement. All we want to do is properly understand ourselves and be obedient to the Lord. Where we fail, we throw ourselves on His mercy in Christ. We trust John 3:17 and Romans 8:1 and similar promises. We pray that one day we can rejoice again in the LCMS with the church body we call family.

  7. @porthopepizza #10

    I wish I were very gracious. My lack of grace is too often a scandal to Christ and his church. But it’s not about me or you, it’s about Christ for me and you. He will never abandon us or leave us.

  8. Carl,

    Yes, they are the same. This is entirely the problem. The world has done away with the category of sin.

    Zeke,

    He said, “coveting the roles of men.” Think about it.

  9. @Mark Preus #12

    @Carl H #5

    Dear Pastor,
    The world has certainly done away with the category of sin, but need this be an either/or with us? When I’m told that a link exists between certain sinful proclivities and certain genes, I say: of course there is. When we confess that original sin means all of Adam’s progeny are born sinful, isn’t this what we would expect to see at the genetic level: sin coded into our very nature?

    The concept of genetic predisposition(s) to sin is only a theological problem if we equate a genetic predisposition to sin w/ God’s permission to follow it. That would be to reject original sin, and claim that all our genetic predispositions come from God (which we don’t do.)

    What am I missing Pastor?
    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

  10. @Matt Mills #13

    Thanks for this comment. I have an anxiety disorder and yes, if I had enough trust in God I wouldn’t be anxious. But it is also a medical condition that can be treated with meds and therapy. Mental illness is a result of your own sins, but also a result of original sin and living in a fallen world, is it not?

  11. @Matt Mills #13

    Hi, Matt,

    Sin causes bodily harm. The sin of worry creates a medical condition, and we should be thankful that it can be treated. The more we think a certain way, the more our bodies become accustomed to us thinking that way. So when a man wants to be a woman such thinking changes his body. We have always known this, even more clearly before Freud came into the picture. Sin affects the body. In fact, sin kills the body. It finally effects a separation from the soul and the body and the body decays and loses all of its faculties.

    Just as someone who has stopped being a drunk is more likely to have a perpetual lack of self control with regard to alcohol, so also a person who gets into the habit of worrying is always going to struggle with it. The fact that the sin has now affected the body and changed it does not make it wise to consider the physical malady apart from the sin that causes it. Doing precisely this has led Greg Eilers to justify his perversion and impose it upon the Church of God, publicly declaring an agenda to convince us to coddle him as his wife has been deceived into doing. Doing this led pastors to think the Bible didn’t speak clearly about it, as if we have to wait for the verdict of science before we know that a man desiring to be a woman is wrong. Finding physical evidence of someone’s predilection towards something evil is hardly surprising. The soul changes the body, and, yes, kills the body when it sins. “The soul that sins, it shall die.” But such a rebuke is, as the social justice warriors have taught people to say, “hate,” and not the kind of love a father has when he tells his son not to dress in women’s clothing when he’s four years-old.

    The worst sins are those of the mind and will, because they wreak such havoc on our understanding of God and ourselves. They blind us to the will of God and lead us to justify ourselves while condemning those who would point us to the awful truth about ourselves.

    I am very thankful for medicine that helps someone with schizophrenia or anxiety. But even this is nothing compared to prayer, hearing God’s Word, staying busy, volunteering, helping people, being with stable family members, and getting exercise and eating right. We’ve had the cures all along, but we think we have to feel the pain of the other person before we can give them a legitimate cure, because otherwise “We don’t understand.”

    And while I’m speaking to this, calling oneself an alcoholic as if that is different from being a drunk, because an alcoholic is simply someone who used to be a drunk, is simply not the way Christians talk about their past sins. “And such WERE some of you, but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.” Drunks aren’t Christians. God says they don’t inherit the kingdom of God. So there’s no such thing as a Christian drunk. Why does there need to be a Christian alcoholic? Because they separate the disease from the sin. We see it everywhere. It’s latent in the neo-antinomianism of today which is finally becoming clear for all of us to see. Pastors are defending and justifying the desire of a man to be a woman in the name of the same strategy that people have used for despair, worry, drunkenness, and gluttony. And we’re so deeply embedded in thinking this way that we are powerless to say anything. We have to rely on some “expert” who wrote a paper about it instead of simply looking at the Word of God.

    And for all our science, we have more worry, more despair, more drunkenness and debauchery with drugs, and more gluttony. The emperor has no clothes and no power to help us.

  12. @Mark Preus #16

    Well Pastor,
    Clearly a man desiring to be a woman is wrong, and when the SJWs claim it isn’t, you are right in citing the problem as antinomianism. But the antidote to antinomianism can’t be Pelagianism Pastor. When you say: “The sin of worry creates a medical condition,” or “when a man wants to be a woman such thinking changes his body,” it sounds as though you’re saying our minds and bodies are somehow pure until our active decision to sin taints them. An extended chicken or egg debate on sin and disease is not the orthodox antidote to antinomian SJWs. This is not an either/or, it’s a both/and: we are born sinful, and sinning does makes it worse.

    I think the better approach is to hold firm on the doctrine of original sin, because that’s what the humanist SJWs get wrong(est). The truth is that since the fall, “natural” is no longer synonymous with “good.” Proving that we’re born wanting to kill one another doesn’t make it OK to kill one another, it’s just one more piece of evidence that nature itself has been corrupted, our world is fallen and broken, “Charley’s in the wire.” When science tells us there’s a gluttony gene, or a pervert gene, or a drunk gene, my answer is: who cares if there is? The problem isn’t the concept of pathology, it’s the unfounded conclusions that follow. perhaps if the parousia holds off long enough they will find my greedy gene, and my smart-ass gene. It will still be sin.

    Science is just saying what the Church has always believed, taught and confessed: We are sinful from conception. That shouldn’t be a newsflash, or fighting words to a Confessional Lutheran Pastor.

    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

  13. The issue is that the church, as reflected in the remarks of some I have seen, has fallen for the lie of the world, which is that my feelings justify my behavior.

    Post #7, based upon the provided link, is evidence of this.

    This is a direct contradiction against the truth. It is a contradiction against the Scriptures, and it is a contradiction against God Himself.

    We are far more comfortable in being secure and comfortable with our sins than we are in being confronted by them. And we will hide behind whatever solidifies our rebellion: psychology, social opinion, even Scripture out of context or wrongly pitting law against gospel. It’s easier to shrug our sins off than it is to say that we are wrong and must repent of them.

    Preaching another gospel comes about as a result of a wrong understanding of the gospel. But another gospel can also come about as a result of preaching “another law” as well. If the law is not proclaimed fully and clearly, the gospel is not understood fully and clearly, and people will have a false sense of repentence.

    You cannot understand God’s love for you in the gospel if you do not also understand with equal clarity God’s hatred of sin in the law.

  14. In seminary Dr. Weinrich said more than once that we’re basically living in the 2nd century again, and gnosticism reigns supreme especially in the homosexual lobby. This was 10+ years ago, but the same is true of the LGBTQalphabet movement today.

    Dealing with people who identify themselves as having gender dysphoria and pretending to be what they are not is not theoretical to me. It’s part of my day to day life.

    What I’ve learned in this is that those who suffer in a way that leads them to deny their sexual identity have suffering that is very real, very personal, and of a kind that I can’t begin to understand. This suffering leads some of them to disfigure their bodies in a way that is permanent. This is tragic beyond belief and brings tears to my eyes. It’s something that a person has to live with it for the rest of their lives.

    I have only love and compassion for people who suffer this way. I will not interact with them as if they are what they want to be (rather than what they are), but I do respect legal name changes and the like.

    Jesus died for these folks, disfigurements and all, and we need to be careful to not make their sin greater than ours. The post above I think deals with the issue in a forthright way, but I think those of us in the ministry would do well to ask ourselves what we’ll do and say when someone like Gina visits our church.

    I haven’t figured it out yet. I tend to think that the law is apparent to these folks in their bodies. The challenge is to speak the Gospel in a way that is unequivocal but not antinomian.

  15. @Charles Lehmann #21

    “I think those of us in the ministry would do well to ask ourselves what we’ll do and say when someone like Gina visits our church.”

    Charles, thank you for your post. I would respectfully add that anyone who is a Christian would do well to ask the same thing. We all know that love is the rule, but precisely how love is best expressed is not always clear.

    I once met a Lutheran church organist who identified himself as homosexual but acknowledged that satisfying his sexual inclinations would be inconsistent with his Christian faith. He chose celibacy as a way of life and expressed his wish that somehow further research in psychology would help provide some answers.

    I also recall a “seeker” friend who was adamantly questioning the conventional Christian disapproval of homosexual behavior. I said something to the effect that it is not our job to condemn people but to love them. But then I hastened to add that we want to honor God and respect what he says in the Bible. From there I could point to particular Bible verses about the unacceptability of homosexual behavior. My bumbling answer somehow defused the tension, perhaps because it was more about trying to follow God myself rather than stoking an issue about other people’s failings.

  16. My experience with a “transitioning” person has been humbling in the extreme. It’s not easy to figure out how to love them while being faithful to my confession of what the Scriptures say.

    One thing that has been made clear is that it’s not easy being a faithful Christian when dealing with any sinner, ever. 😉

  17. @Matt Mills #18

    Hi, Matt,

    I did not take your words as fighting words. That you regarded mine as indicating this makes me think you don’t understand what I’m saying. That makes me think I haven’t been clear.

    You write, “When you say: ‘The sin of worry creates a medical condition,’ or ‘when a man wants to be a woman such thinking changes his body,’ it sounds as though you’re saying our minds and bodies are somehow pure until our active decision to sin taints them.”

    I think I can explain why you think I sounded that way. A person inheriting an actual sin is not the same as inheriting the general corruption of original sin, though the former is certainly caused by the latter.

    Original sin does not mean that every man desires to be a woman or that every one has a condition some doctors call “anxiety.” We don’t, however, pass on any sins to our children apart from passing on that thorough corruption and lack of fear, love, and trust in God from which all actual sins (e.g. a man desiring to be a woman) flow.

    Original sin is not inheriting a predilection to alcohol, as perhaps a son may inherit from his father. It is a lack of fear, love, and trust in God. This is precisely the corruption, a lack of original righteousness, which is fear, love, and trust in God. This is why God says, “punishing the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation *of those who hate me*,” i.e. of those continue in the sins of their fathers that come from hatred of God. God punishes children for doing what their fathers did (actual sin).

    Martin Chemnitz points out in his discussion on original sin in either his Loci or his Enchiridion (I don’t remember which), that it is often very hard to distinguish original from actual sin, especially in older people. I think that we can see that problem in our culture and theological climate today as well. Inheriting actual sins of our fathers is part and parcel to original sin, but is not original sin as such.

    The reason that this matters is that the actual sin causes the medical problem, not merely a general corruption of mankind. This is what we mean when we pray in the baptismal rite that God would forgive all sin which he has inherited from Adam, and all sin which he has committed.

    In the same way, original righteousness does not mean that a person will have any of the predilections towards skills that his fathers cultivated. So, if Adam hadn’t fallen, and Cain had learned to farm and learned various skills that Abel didn’t learn, we wouldn’t say that the original righteousness that was not lost to them would guarantee that Abel’s children have what Cain’s children have.

    It is an easy solution, one I used to use for years, to say, “It doesn’t matter if they find a gay gene – it’s still wrong because of original sin.” But I think this solution is incomplete because the antinomians who say that it’s not a sin for a man to desire to be a woman or that we can’t know if it is, or that it’s just as much a sin as diabetes (yeah, that’s been said), also say that the gene is because of original sin, but they make it to be part of the corruption of original sin that embraces diseases that come upon us through no fault of our own. They avoid dealing with it as actual sin and embrace it under original sin in order to excuse it, not call it what it is.

    This is why I don’t think we disagree, since you say, “It’s still wrong.” I think your thinking is incomplete for the reasons I stated above, which probably still aren’t clear because I’m still sorting it out in my mind. It is this most recent case that has helped me understand this much better, but I would appreciate any correction from you or questions you have about any wholes in my logic or theology.

    Your brother in Christ,
    Pr. Preus

  18. @Charles Lehmann #23

    I understand your point to a certain extent. But, I also know that it is just as much a sin to try to remove the offense of the cross as it is to make it unnecessarily offensive.

    I think we are being seduced by the American evangelical philosophy that if we are “nice” enough, it will convert people. That can be a VERY dangerous position to take, because we can put the approval of the world over and above faithfulness to God, and that turns our good intentions into an idol. Jesus ate with sinners, but He made it abundantly clear that He did not fellowship with their sin.

    Remember: the same Jesus who said that He came to seek and save is the same Jesus that said He would cause division, that few are chosen, and that had many people put off by His words. We do not unnecessarily cause sinful offense to unbelievers, yes. But if we call sin sin, and they get angry, we aren’t the ones with the problem.

    As Walther said: without the law, the gospel is not fully understood. Repentance cannot happen if sin is not named and condemned.

  19. I’m the last person to want to remove the offense of the cross. I’m not suggesting that we not preach the law. I’m suggesting that we preach it appropriately and take into account the law that is already being preached to them by their own body.

  20. @Rev. Charles Lehmann #29

    Rev. Lehmann,
    I’ve read every word that you wrote.
    If a person does not resolve to amend their sin, they are not repentant. If they are not repentant, they are in need of the preaching of the law. If one is unwilling to do so,how is that love?

  21. Pr. Lehmann,

    “I tend to think that the law is apparent to these folks in their bodies.” Is it really the Law that requires love that is apparent to them, the law that requires love of God with all the heart and love towards their neighbor that is apparent to them? It is apparent to me that someone who desires that his body not be the way God made it to be is trying to resist the law that tells him to love his neighbor with the body that God gave him.

    So, while the law may be apparent is some manner, it is certainly not understood as requiring love of God and neighbor in the case of Greg, whom you should, as Pr. Stark admonishes us, not call Gina. He is denying that the Law requires him to love his wife as a man and his children as a father (fathers can only be men).

    I don’t deny that they suffer a lot. But we may not excuse them of their sin simply because we haven’t justly suffered for our sins as much as they have. Our authority to tell them no, and not to budge, does not come from our empathy or suffering as much as they have. It comes from the truth of what the Law requires.

    In short, St. Paul says that they show the Law written on their hearts when they do the things required by the Law. It follows that they have erased much of the law written on their hearts when they refuse to do what the Law clearly tells them to do. God has given them over. We should fear and not pretend to be more loving than the God who gave them over to such a desire.

    Your brother in Christ,
    Mark

  22. Mr. Eilers isn’t struggling with his sin if he wears dresses, calls himself Gina, and publicly proclaims his intention to castrate himself. He has accepted and embraced his sin. Instead of suffering with Christ he has taken comfort in this godless world’s denial of the created order. He pawns his sin on Lutherans by a wicked confusing of Law and Gospel, acting as if he can embrace his sin while receiving forgiveness. This is flouting Romans 6. The only words Mr. Eilers should hear are words of Law, until he repents and begins again to fight against his sin. May God grant him repentance and may God preserve us from his false and destructive propaganda.

  23. It seems that people who suffer through this confused spiritual state are not all that concerned about distinguishing law and gospel. Perhaps such folk are in need of an exorcism?

  24. To Mark Preus, first
    but ultimately to all~

    While I did not read you as directly saying that the Lord has given me over to my desire, the sense of what you wrote struck me that you did. As much as I am loathe to participate online, this hit me so deeply that I must speak to it.

    When I hear this phrase, I think of Romans 1. I have often thought on this section. I see in it that it was those who already were idol worshipers whom the Lord gave over to their desires, in the same way He was justified to harden Pharaoh’s heart because Pharaoh already was doing so. I always taught it this way: “It is as if the Lord were saying, ‘Okay, folks, if you want to live this way, then I will let you live this way. This is not my will for you, but you have hardened your own hearts, and so I will let you go to do as you please.’”

    Can this be me? The thought has often scared the living daylights out of me. As I gather myself, I know that it is not. From the age of nineteen days, when I was clothed with Christ in baptism, united with Him in His death and resurrection, forgiven and justified and made an heir of heaven, the Triune God has been my God, the Son of God has been my Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit has remained the Paraclete for my sake.

    By the power of the Holy Spirit who works with my spirit, I am thankful to confess that I have never, not even for a moment, wavered in my trust in the Lord. By His grace, I have been able, in faith, to speak back to Him His many promises that He will not abandon me to the grave, or break me who is the bruised reed, that He will remain faithful even when I am unfaithful, that He will never leave me nor forsake me, that there is no condemnation for me for I am in Christ Jesus, that He will confess me before the Father in heaven because I confess Him here on earth.

    How many of these precious promises need I quote to show the character of the Lord? This has long been the foundation of much of my teaching: Correctly understanding God’s character is vital. From the beginning of His Word and right through to the end, He shows me His character, beginning with Adam’s “The woman you put here with me” and He did not flick Adam with His finger right out of the garden. Adam sassed Him to His face and lived to tell about it. Amazing grace! You or I would have ground him back into the earth from which we formed him!

    Then Peter betrayed Him and lived to tell about it. And on and on.

    This NEVER gives us permission to do as we please, as if the Lord has to forgive us no matter what. No, we are not to grieve Him with wanton behavior. What this trust in His merciful, faithful character does for us is to strengthen us in our weakest times, and I have never been weaker in my entire life.

    Is this the God in whom you believe: “Mind your Ps and Qs, or I will flick you away from my presence”? If this is the God who revealed Himself in His Word, I would never believe in such a one who created me only to abandon me when I need Him most.

    I hate that we are in such stark disagreement, which I constantly find the difference being my reckoning I have a real, physical intersex condition, a confounding combination of my being both male and female, while the many insist mine is specifically a sinful proclivity, whether it is borne of a mental illness or some other aspect of the sinful nature. Because our starting points are polar opposites, we are unable to get past square one.

    That said, if the Lord has given me over to my sin, then shame on Him for abandoning me when I need Him most!

    He knows how desperately I have clung to Him, how frequently I have called out to Him for mercy, for direction, for hope, for help, how I love to be in His House to worship Him, how I weep in humble joy when I kneel for His body and blood, how I sing hymns at the top of my lungs in joy-filled faith and love for Him who first loved me and gave Himself as the atoning sacrifice for my sins.

    Ah, but what if I am wrong about myself and my transitioning? Well, then I am wrong. I will add myself to the multitudes of this present age who make wrong decisions on a daily basis. Our wrongness is the reason the Son of God took on our flesh. Not to excuse us, but to forgive us. Not to condemn us (John 3:17), but to save us.

    If I am wrong about the Gospel, then there is not hope for anyone. Then all are damned.

    I will place my life into the hands of the Righteous One any day. Every day. Eternally. I trust Him to be faithful to me, the chief of sinners and most fallen and fractured person, for whom He bled and died, for whom He propitiated the Father’s wrath that I might be holy in the Father’s sight, His beloved child.

    I am holy, set apart from death, devil, and damnation. I am holy, called out from the devil, the world, and my own sinful nature, and called into the church, where I live in His forgiveness, life, and salvation.

    If anyone reads all of this and adds a “but,”—a “but” to send me back to the Law, back to my need to clean up my act in order to be loveable, then the Gospel is lost and I am damned. Then these words are no longer true: “He saved us, not by righteous things we have done but by His grace, which He poured out on us generously” and so on from Titus 3. Then these words are no longer true: “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, it is the gift of God, not by works, that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2, the most Lutheran words in the Bible!)

    Oh, I boast! I boast in Jesus Christ!

    I am not damned. I am loved. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit love me. The Lord loved me from the moment He elected me to be holy in His sight for the sake of Christ. Alleluia! Amen.

  25. @porthopepizza #35

    I had decided not to post anymore on this site, but you pulled me out of my exile. I have to respond to this sentence: “That said, if the Lord has given me over to my sin, then shame on Him for abandoning me when I need Him most!”

    Please read what you wrote carefully, and repent of it. God owes you nothing. He owes me nothing. We don’t get to shame Him into being merciful to us. If God has given you over to your sin, shame on you. He gave you want you wanted.

    You and all who suffer in a similar way are in my prayers.

    Please don’t go down the road of self-mutilation. There are other ways to deal with your hatred of of who you are.

  26. To appeal to the gospel as justification for continuing in sin is to blaspheme God and to tread the precious blood of Jesus underfoot. Greg, you are a man. You are not a woman. That you are very confused is beyond doubt. For a man to try to make himself into a woman is to display a less than sound mind. On the other hand, you are quite capable of writing theologically, making an argument, articulating the gospel, and thereby demonstrating rational ability. You are capable of rational thought, yet you are deliberately setting out to try to change yourself from a man into a woman. You are making this very public, trying to gain sympathy for what is a manifestly perverted course of action. And you appeal to the gospel!

    No. You are wrong. You are not boasting in Christ. You are boasting in your perversion. You are not appealing to the grace of God. You are distorting it into license to gratify your flesh. Instead of confessing your disgusting desires to God and relying on his mercy in Christ for his forgiveness, you are advertising them and claiming that the gospel authorizes you to do so.

    No. You are wrong. You are not boasting in Christ. You are denying him. You cannot claim his forgiveness. You cannot claim his salvation. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Confess your sin to God, claim forgiveness for it, and then shut up about it. Your impenitence is manifest. If you believed that God forgives you your sins for Christ’s sake, you would not try to pawn them off on the public as something other than what they are. While claiming to believe the gospel of Christ you publicly announce your decision to persist in “transitioning” yourself from a man into a woman. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Shall we advertise it to the whole world while we’re doing it and boast in divine forgiveness of manifest impenitence?

    Greg, I pray God will lead you to repentance. It gives me no pleasure to write as I have written, but your public distortion of the gospel calls for public rebuke.

  27. @Mark Preus #24
    Well Pastor, you’re right in listing Chemnitz as a source, and, if memory serves, another good place to go to review his views on concupiscence is his Examination of Trent. What you’ll find there is that, unlike the Romans, Chemnitz considers concupiscence to be actual sin, for which we are culpable. That being the case, I’m afraid I don’t see the danger, or even “incompleteness” of saying: “It doesn’t matter if they find a gay gene – it’s still wrong because of original sin.”

    That’s pretty much it for me on the subject, other than to say that a man living in the unrepentant sin of stealing bananas because he claims to be a chimpanzee and, having given up trousers, has no place to keep his wallet, has bigger problems than larceny. I would hope the man tasked w/ the cure of such a person’s soul would recognize that.

    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

  28. Wearing women’s clothing, makeup, growing longer hair, taking hormones and mutilalation of ones body does not make one a woman! It’s a LOT more complicated than that, and NO medical procedure can do what it takes, or the way one dresses or acts!

  29. @porthopepizza #35

    … I constantly find the difference being my reckoning I have a real, physical intersex condition, a confounding combination of my being both male and female, while the many insist mine is specifically a sinful proclivity, whether it is borne of a mental illness or some other aspect of the sinful nature. …

    “A physical intersex condition”, according to the web sites which deal with such things, is that [rare] circumstance where a child is born with some organs of both sexes, i.e., an hermaphrodite.

    In the absence of a reputable physician’s diagnosis to that effect, [I’m not impressed with “your reckoning”] it would seem that claiming a “physical condition” is either an error on your part, or the dominant sex is that which you have lived in for more than 50 years, since (you have said) that you have male DNA, which determines what you are.

    [Or, (having escaped all the intervening inconveniences of the female life) are you now having “hot flashes”?] A poor attempt at humor, but it does seem that of all the people on this list, you are least likely to convince the women!

  30. Now that I’m back in the conversation, I’d like to make a few points.

    I realize that my words were unclear in several ways. I am not advocating going soft on sin or refraining from proclamation of the Law. I am suggesting that cookie cutter approaches on this issue just aren’t appropriate.

    Those who struggle with the sins of homosexuality and transsexualality are, in my opinion, ultimately struggling with the sin of self-hatred. Homosexuals express this self-hatred by physically engaging in sexual perversions which are contrary to their physical nature. This causes them both spiritual and physical harm.

    Some transsexuals express this self-hatred by openly mutilating their own bodies. It’s not surprising to me to learn that many of those who choose to mutilate their bodies in order to look like the opposite sex engaged in other forms of self-mutilation first (like cutting).

    In all of these cases we have people who for a variety of reasons (some psychological and some potentially physiological) hate themselves so much that they want to deny the way that God divinely orders creation and blame Him for it.

    As I’ve talked to these folks I’ve found that my proclamation of Law and Gospel to them has to be very particular. They all have different stories. There is some similarity in what I say to all of them, but it’s never exactly the same.

    This, by the way, is why though I sometimes use previous homiletical work in my preparation of a new sermon, I never preach exactly the same sermon twice. It’s always to (at least) a slightly different group of people at a slightly different time.

    In the case of a transsexual who has already mutilated themselves, I think we need to pastorally deal with the self-hatred that led them to that choice. To be pastoral is not to be antinomian or permissive. It is to listen and apply the word of God appropriately.

    What has troubled me in this thread is that it seems like some folks think that we can approach all of these situations in exactly the same way. That’s simply not the case. Sometimes the reason we want to do that is because of the “ew” factor, and I get that.

    However, we need to grow up and remember that God wants to forgive these folks, and we might just end up having men who look like women or women who look like men in our congregations. Some aspects of the mutilation are permanent, and when the repentance happens after the mutilation, we need to bear with the brother or sister as they deal with the consequences of their tragic choice.

  31. @Rev. Charles Lehmann #42

    In the case of a transsexual who has already mutilated [himself/herself] themselves…

    How about we don’t abuse the English language, because some folks want to make a spectacle of abusing themselves?

  32. @helen #43

    Both the usage that you suggest and the way in which I wrote my comment are permissible under modern conventions of usage. There are no golden tablets upon which the unchanging rules of English grammar are written.

    Our language isn’t even 1,500 years old yet, and it’s changed more in that time than Greek has in the past three millennia.

  33. I am only able to respond to the first comment made, unable to read more for the pain continually caused by my being mis-read and mis-taken.

    I never said God owes me anything. My premise was His promise of faithfulness, mercy, etc. What good is my faith in Him if He gives me His Son, then gives me His Spirit to believe in His Son, and then when I need Him most, calling on Him in my brokenness, in trusting in His promises, I cannot rely on Him to be faithful to His promises?

  34. @porthopepizza #45
    The problem is, you can’t hold God to promises He has never made. You can’t both insist on your rebellion, and claim Christ’s reconciliation.

    You’re like the 5’7″ 90lb anorexic asking for bariatric surgery to help fight their “obesity.” You have a counter-factual self-image, and it is tearing you up. Some of us are jerks, but the advice we’re giving is solid. Our society has rejected Matt 19:4-6, and as a result they are encouraging your rebellion against God. Stop kicking against the goads: it won’t make your life any easier, but it will change everything to be struggling and hurting in a vocation you have truly been given, within God’s pattern, rather than against God and your own God-given identity.

    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

  35. Hebrews 12:17 comes to mind in reading this exchange, especially, “…[Esau] found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.”

  36. @Rev. Charles Lehmann #44

    The reason 2% of the country [plus the judiciary] are turning the country’s values upside down is that the 98% meekly allow it. Starting with buying into constructions from people who never bothered to learn English, and never will, if those who know better ape them.

    Words matter.

  37. @helen #48

    Understanding the reality of the way language works (and has worked since the sixth day of creation) also matters. No one except for obsessive compulsive English teachers who learned from structuralist tomes that are based on Latin instead of English (and their disciples) ever based their use of the language on imaginary, unchanging rules of grammar.

    The rest of the rational public try to speak using consistent grammar and mechanics but recognize that language is not static.

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