How the Acceptance of Transgenderism in Churches Mirrors a Heresy from Long Ago

There existed a philosophical idea in the ancient world which took many forms which we call today, “Gnosticism.”  It came from the Greeks and was basically the idea that the world was made up of two things—spirit and matter—spirit being good and matter being bad or at least not as good as spirit.  In fact, this idea so permeated Greek and later Hellenistic culture that one might say that it saturated the air people breathed.  Applied to man, this idea gave birth to the notion that the soul of man is good and the body bad.  Salvation in philosophical terms meant the soul’s escape from the “prison house” of the body often through ascetic behavior and ultimately death.  This understanding even came into some Christian thinking.  This is admittedly a simplistic description of ancient Gnosticism, but I hope it will suffice for this brief essay.

Though Christianity was impacted by this line of thought, particularly in monasticism, the Church as a whole rejected the idea.  God made the world and proclaimed it good according to Genesis 1.  There is no radical division between man’s body and his soul; man is a unitary being made up of body and soul.  For starters, man was created an embodied being; second, our Lord assumed a body in his Incarnation; and, third, every man’s body shall rise from the dust at the resurrection on the last day.  For these biblical and theological reasons, the Church rejected Gnosticism as a philosophical base upon which to build theology.

Now what has this to do with transgenderism?  At the heart of transgenderism is the insistence that one’s body and one’s soul do not line up.  The transgendered person claims that he is really a woman (or she is really a man) and must therefore change his or her body to match the person within.  It goes without saying that according to this understanding, the human person is not a unitary being of body and soul but a soul for which the body is incidental, the body being that which the soul wears as a garment and which may be changed according to the soul’s determination.  This betrays the very essence of Gnostic thought—which is to say that transgenderism both as idea and behavior is incapable of being reconciled with Christianity.

Moreover, I would go so far as to say (and have argued elsewhere) that not only transgenderism but any and all same-sex sexual behavior manifests to some degree Gnostic thought as such behavior must incorporate some form and adopt some means of aping the opposite sex; that is, one partner must play the role of the sex that he or she is not.  Thus, churches that condone such behavior under the rubric of love understand neither love nor what the Church has taught down through the centuries, nor even care.  Such churches openly manifest their heretical hues and their calls for peace are utterly disingenuous, and churches which cling to the word of God and hold “mere Christianity” too dear to part with will ignore these deceitful attempts to assimilate them into what is nothing less than pagan syncretism.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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