Robert Wheeler: I know there has been a lot of discussion about gay marriage long before Pres. Obama recently supported it. I have many friends who have been harmed by social exclusion because of their sexuality or orientation. I have a blog that I posted about a year ago that addresses the assumptions that we make about the GLBT community, about the science relating to it and scriptural principles that have been applied to it. In a nutshell, the ethic of Christianity is unconditional and unrestrained compassion. To those who read passages from the scriptures to support their right to judge another, I ask whether you can both love unconditionally and judge fairly the circumstances and practices of another person. That, again, affirms a comment common to all of my blogs: “by their fruits you will know them.” My blog site is Love and Do Not Judge, which may be found at https://lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/
Discussion with Sisters on Nashville Statement
Robert E Wheeler God created male and female. No argument there. Where does the hermaphrodite fit in?
Sister 2: Did you read the statement, Robert? This was addressed. Just reading the comments for and against this you would not see it, but see the link Sister 1 posted in comments
Sister 2 I signed. Thanks for sharing, sister 1.
Robert E Wheeler Thanks. I didn’t catch that and will read it again.
Robert E Wheeler Sisters 1 and 2, I looked over the Nashville Statement again, and I do not see that hermaphroditic sexual structures is addressed. Rather, that “physical anomalies” do not nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self conception of male or female. In the Statement there are a number of references to transgenderism as being contrary to the will of God.
Here is my problem and the reason that I mentioned the hermaphrodite: I believe that transgenderism, at least with respect to the persons that I know who are, even by themselves, considered to be transgender, are related to a hermaphroditic condition.
(See http://www.isna.org/faq/conditions/mosaicism for an article on the genetic structures of a mosaic hermaphrodite. Who can deny this genetic condition? )
This IS their biological sex in the language of the Statement. My friend who considers himself transgender has a combination of both male and female genetics causing him to be hermaphroditic. In his case, his parents considered him to be female – predominant, so he tried to live as a female according to their expectations; but he always identified with the boys that he played football with. While considered as a female, he worked on electric lines just like “other fellows,” and fell once, requiring medical attention. It was then that he learned that he has the bone structure of a male, contrary to the external appearance as predominantly female. Nonetheless, even externally, there were male structures along with the female appearances just that those exterior appearances predominated on the side of female. Who can reasonably deny that such physical conditions do occur?
Why does this trip my trigger? First, I have always been particularly sensitive to outcasts. That likely reflects my polio hospitalization and significant isolation from Mom and Dad. Secondly, as a lawyer, I have been guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children, many of which were misunderstood. Finally, I have represented people of the LGBT community and have several of them as friends. When I come across views and actions upon them, such as that expressed by the Nashville Statement, I consider that position to be based upon ignorance of undeniable physical conditions which they judged as acceptable. I feel compelled to defend them, and help people to understand them.
Sister 1: I don’t know, Robert, but I think “physical anomalies” includes what is known as the “hermaphrodite”condition. Did you read the articles carefully? There is nothing that denies the worth of any person, only of specific behaviors that for over 2000 years the Christian Church has said are outside of what God has ordained. Either that is true or not. It really doesn’t matter what any of us think or feel if there is an actual right and wrong about the behavior.
Sister 1:Did you see that Rosaria Butterfield signed it? Have you read her writings?
Robert E Wheeler I understand that, but to me, it appears that the statement requires that such people with sexual anomalies none-the-less conform to the interpretation of the Bible which sanctions only male female sexual relationships.
Sister 2: This is not about anyone being an “outcast.” If you are reading it that way, I am sorry. It does not deny that some people are born with both male and female characteristics, and even underdeveloped male/female structures. I had a grandchild born that way, so that is real. This statement doesn’t address this as you want, but yet it does.
Sister 1: Rob, you are very compassionate, but telling someone that what they want to do when what they want to do is wrong is not compassionate, it is harmful. That does not mean you don’t care about the person. You must have seen some situations like that as a judge as well. Obviously, the bottom line has to be what is the ultimate truth. If there is none, then the Nashville Statement is meaningless. If there is, how we “feel” is not the right motive of behavior. If we persist it is rather a rebellion against truth.
Robert E Wheeler I have heard “Truth” many times from different people, and of man’s wisdom as folly, in opposition to my evidence concerning the world that we live in. I like the statement by someone that faith is a commitment without physical evidence, but not contrary to the evidence.
Sister 1:Robert, from what I read the Nashville statement addresses the physical world which you emphasize and the eternal world.
Robert E Wheeler Do I understand correctly: not outcast, persons of worth, but unfaithful with all the consequences that follow.
Sister 1: I’m sorry, Robert, I don’t know what you mean when you say “unfaithful with all the consequences that follow.” It is often difficult for me to understand someone when I am not face to face with them. Too bad we are separated by so many miles!
Robert E Wheeler My point is that it appears that the Statement defines the beliefs and expectations for behaviors of faithful Christians. What are the intended consequences for a believer’s violation of the Statement’s provisions and denials? While it may appear that the statement holds that LGBT people are respected as God’s creation,
Sister 1: This statement is really a challenge to the Church Universal to remain true to what we believe is God’s purpose for the people he created, specifically related to the fact they are created male or female. Go back to the Statement (which I linked) and click on the preamble. It is not about consequences or punishment. It is more like a world view, except Christians believe it really is God’s design, and command, not something to which we are given legitimate choice.
Robert E Wheeler Sister 1:, I don’t have evidence to show why gays are gay or why lesbians are lesbian (and, frankly, I don’t understand a justification for bi’s). But I do have irrefutable evidence of why hermaphrodites are hermaphrodites, and that in the cases I know, transgender is simply a choice of a hermaphrodite address the conflict in their inherited double sexuality, and to embrace one part of sexuality and to minimize the other to become as close as possible to normal. I am an idealist and I at times find it is unacceptable to others, and that it exacts great cost. but whatever the cost, I feel I must be true to what I believe to be right and true. In that regard I cannot deny the world, and scientific evidence concerning it, and what it reveals to me to be true.
Sister 1: I know.
Robert E Wheeler And as you know, the world doesn’t operate according to ideals, and it is difficult – I should say impossible – to live up to your ideals.
Sister 1: What you describe ends up in hopelessness. This world has been chaos ever since we listened to “Did God really say..?” and determined to live on our own terms and according to our own understanding. And rather than freedom we’ve experienced absolutebondage. C.S. Lewis said “Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement; he is a rebel who must lay down his arms…this process of surrender…is what Christians call repentance.”
Robert E Wheeler Sister 1, thank you for your concern , and I know it is sincere. What I wrote was not out of despair, but a recognition that I must accept the fact that the world is not perfect, and neither am I, and that I must temper my idealism. A couple of the symptoms of post-polio syndrome is type A personality, and OCD specific to post-polio: constant activity so that the polio survivor doesn’t have time to fear as he or she once did. To deal with that, I work the 12-step program, and God is active in my life. I am a follower of Jesus, just not with all of the historical doctrine that has, in my mind, clouded him with theology (philosophy justifying religious belief). I appreciate Dad’s writing to me: Christians think that the goal of Christianity is dying and going to heaven. “I say absolutely not. It is about living a life of Eternal significance.” He quoted Mathew 25: in as much as you did it for others, you did it for me; enter into your reward. I thank you for your concern and love.
Robert E Wheeler Sister 1:, my first response to the Nashville Statement was the exclusion from the “faithful” of the LGBT community. (How can one be faithful if he or she does not follow the doctrine – the rules of behavior?)
Beyond that, I wonder whether this doctrine is like the rules of the Pharisees which Jesus condemned. It seems to be creating a log in the church’s eye while trying to pick out the speck from that of the LGBT community, which they don’t even understand.
2 On Compassion and Forgivenesshttps://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/493