His Spirit Is Crying out and Yearning

Let me tell you a story of a person who’s family was religious, not spiritual, who has walked a path of hardship, loneliness, denial, and violation within the society called “church;” who feels drawn to spirituality.  This person wants trust and acceptance in a community of spiritual believers, not judged, condemned or rejected for the path he walks today.  From the “get-go,” she felt out of sorts, neither fully female nor fully male. She ran with a group of boys during the week, but on weekends her parents tried to put her in dresses.  She hated that from an early age: it felt contrary to who she was.  Her family was religious, not spiritual. She went to a revival meeting about the age of ten, accepted Christ and was baptized that night.  When her dad, a deacon in the church, found out (someone told him before she got home) he beat her because she did this without his permission. At the time, she was devastated and hurt, not just physically but emotionally. Years later she came to recognize that was the first time she was spiritually hurt. By later elementary school years through high school she was tormented and humiliated by the other girls for being different and not developing physically as they were. The boys generally ignored her gender marker society had tagged her at birth because she could and did compete successfully with them in sports and really didn’t look like a girl. As she grew into a teen, she didn’t turn from the church but yearned for knowledge.  She took every adult class she could, but this only furthered the rift she felt with her peers.
Her spirit was crying out and yearning.
The youth pastor took her into his confidence to teach her what a proper woman is to do. He betrayed her trust and violated her spiritually, emotionally and physically for his own personal gratification.  She was devastated. She then walked away from church for many years, though her spirit was still calling out.  By her early twenty’s, she found the yearning of her spirit too great to ignore and was drawn back to the church in another town. Here she felt forced to take on traditional female roles. By this time she was dressing more masculine or neutral, which matched her physical appearance and was unacceptable to the church community.. This caused her great emotional turmoil and ostracism.  Again, she walked away, feeling alone and rejected.
Her spirit was crying out and yearning.
She moved to another state and finally gave in to society, took a husband and gave birth to a child. She did not conform to society’s demands, though, in her dress, appearance or mannerisms, and was often taken for a male.  Again, the yearning in her spirit persisted so she tenuously reached out to another church community. All seemed well at first.  Her husband allowed her to join mission teams to build churches, which suited her well, but in time, through a series of manipulations over several years and abuse by her husband, she severed her connection with the community. Then eventually she with her three-year-old child ended up in her birth state in a shelter and her husband on death row.
Her spirit was crying out and yearning.
Over the following four years she picked herself up, got out of the shelter system and went to college and discovered she was not alone in this world: there are others like her. In time, after a lot of research, a lot of “now what do I do with this information,” “how do I proceed,” and “do I walk away and ignore this,” she decided to proceed.  Finally, after everything she had walked through, she now knew it was not her fault and she was not abnormal, just part of a hidden society that heterosexuals wish would go away and does nearly everything possible to inflict pain, judgment and ostracism. She is a male with some physical gender characteristics of a female – or a female to male transgender. His spirit starts crying out and yearning. Again, he tenuously is reconstructing trust.  That is complicated.  On one side he is loved and accepted in his local church community.  Some know of his transgender identity and some do not.  On the other hand, he is aware of the conflict in the larger church community concerning GLBT issues. He hears from that group that he is a sinner and does not belong in Christ’s community because he is not acting like a woman, consistent with a set of female physical characteristics, while ignoring that dominant part of him that is physically, emotionally and spiritually male.
His spirit starts crying out and yearning.
I am a Christian.  I want to be accepted and loved among the followers of Christ, as Christ has loved and accepted me. I want again to trust.  But, it is difficult when I hear muffled, but angry, judgment of who I am.

Next blog post: Niebuhrs’ Moral Man and Immoral Society               https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/587

His Spirit Is Crying out and Yearning

18 My Response to My Friend

Thanks, My Friend.  This is helpful to me, as I want to deal with the facts of human existence as Nature gives them, and how we deal with the ambiguities, even conflicts, of nature.

Acknowledging that such mixed sex persons exist, I understand that you believe that if the hermaphroditic condition could be determined in time to legally abort the fetus, it would be a sin to do so.  So, accepting that the infant should be born, do you think it is sinful for parents or doctors to then make choices, as they in fact do, to eliminate some of those characteistics, such as a penis or a vagina, or breasts, so that the child can be identified and accepted as one of the sexes and not as both together in the same body? We know of cases where the parent or physician opted to eliminate one of the sexual characteristics (usually they opt to preserve the penis) to find as the child developed that it felt psychologically like the sex that was discarded.  How would your religious views judge the decision to give the child the markers of only one sex so as to protect the child from exclusion and derision?

If the argument against homosexuality is that humans are commanded to marry and to multiply, then what does the hermaphrodite, providing that it chose to keep both sexual sets of organs, select as the means for multiplication?  Would it be a sin for he/she to marry a woman, because he/she had a woman’s sex organs to go along with his/hers male organs, or would it be sin to marry a man because he/she had male sex organs to go along with his/her female organs.  I consider this to be a legitimate question, as oppposed to the question put to Jesus about who would be the wife in heaven.  Contrary to that test, these are real questions faced by parents of hermaphrodites.

Do you think it is sinful for the hermaphrodite, when he/she is old enough to make a decision, to eliminate the sexual characteristics that conflict with the sex that he/she identifies with psychologically, so he/she can be one or the other as is normal, and not both together?

What do you think of the man who married a woman who could not conceive (he was on Oprah a while back) so he chose to be inseminated to bear a child, (I assume he did this in a medical procedure rather than an adulterous act), and after the delivery he planned to continue to function as a man and a husband.

If you think that the hermaphrodite should alter nothing, but should celebrate his/hers natural gift for both sexes, what would such a permissible celebration look like?

Again, these are not just some mind games to play with a religious litmus test.  Julian finds himself in a similar circumstance, and, according to what I understand your position to be, the discerning Christian must find his transgender decision to be sinful.

I appreciate your sincere reply to what I consider to be hard and real questions that Christians face.

Rob

 

19 Concluding Response to Georgiahttps://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/374

18 My Response to My Friend

12 My Response to My Friend

My Friend, I respect your reply as sincere.  This response is more clear than your latter: here you don’t just imply that Julian’s choice is sin, but you come right out that it is sin, but he is nonetheless welcome in the church, but the implication here, if not explicit, is that he will not be saved until he acknowledges that he is a woman, acts like it and consistent with it, and confesses his sin.  Of course none of that acknowledges his undeniably male self or the inherent conflict, both genetically and bodily.
My Friend, we have had many conversations about religion, and as I understand your position, only a religion that is founded on scripture, as it is found in our current version of the Old and New Testaments is valid.  I do think that when Jesus says, I have sheep of other flocks that you do not know, and I must gather them, also, he was talking only of non-Jewish, Christian groups that had not yet formed at that time, if even he referred to them at all..  I do think that God has many whom he loves and receives that do not know or even call on the name of Jesus.  Those are people, I think, that Jesus would include in his statement, “By their fruits you will know them.”

I actually had hopes of presenting gay’s, lesbians and trans-sexual in a way that would finally help Christians, both fundamentalist and those not so literal, to accept them as brothers and sisters, loved by God and accepted as they are within the fold of God’s love and blessings.  It is now clear to me that there will always be those who will use Holy Scripture to bash, to separate and denegrade people who they are not in a position to judge, but nonetheless judge.

With that, perhaps it is best to acknowledge we will never agree because of irreconcilable differences, but to accept the love such Christians can give to me and the GLBT community, as conditional as it is, not based upon any real love and acceptance, but upon God’s command to love (however one does that given the judgment).

Thank you for going to the trouble to respond in detail.  It helps me to know what I am up against in my call for full inclusion of all those who love God and Jesus.  I understand and acknowledge the logical persuasiveness of your argument, given your premises.  I consider my premises to be as fully founded on God, but they are not so limited.  I have no hope of persuading you to these, as you have no basis for hope to persuade me to yours.  I don’t know that a fundamentalist view must doom one to eternal damnation, if the fundamentalist can truly love despite the judgment.  I choose to believe that whatever that reward is, Jesus’ welcome into eternal reward of those who cared for others, fed them, clothed them, and gave them shelter will include all those who did so, without regard to articulated faith or reasons for doing so: fundamentalists, atheists, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and many faiths that have not been yet articulated.

Love, Rob

 

Next blog post: 13 My Friend’s Response to Me               https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/362

12 My Response to My Friend