Could a person who is a trans-gender ie. a man who became a woman, or a woman who became a man, become a parish pastor and if yes would they have to and should they have to reveal the fact that they are trans-gender? Does it matter what they were, or does it matter who they are?
Surely what matters is who they are? If they are spiritual, well-balanced and know the job, does it matter about what gender body they inhabit or how they attained that gender?
I believe the term is called "strange flesh".
If a person is spiritual, and certainly led by the Spirit, their gender choice would not be aloof to their natural creation.
I am actually working on a piece about transgender and the spirit called Sex and the Spirit.
This could be an interesting thread, if they can stay on topic...
Staying on topic lol-good luck with that.
Trans-gendered ,are they not confused about their identity,gender etc?
The role of Pastoring is to lead ,guide,protect etc within the'family of God'.
Not a position that affords one to be confused in anyway
That is just the tip of the iceberg.
other areas include sexual depravity, nymphomania, gender swapping, pedophilia, etc. --even without surgical alteration. The argument presents the case: "...because of spiritual dryness or discord, the natural tendency of an individual is offset, perhaps causing these outward changes --subtle or extreme, hostile or non-violent, aggressive or repressive against themselves or a single --even a group-- of other individuals..."
As it has been explained to me, someone who is trans-gender people were people who were not happy in the sex they were for whatever the reason and after much time of soul searching have decided to change from one to the other theirfore I would not say they were confused any more. I therefore feel this is not an issue.
Should they reveal the change though or should they be seen as they appear now without any revelation of their past life in a different sex than they now appear?
Perhaps this is a matter between God and the person themselves ,at least initially.
I am not one to wish to pass judgement who can and who cannot serve God.
I am also assuming that in order to be a Pastor the church concerned will interview and seek to clarify this persons spiritual standing /experience/character,etc.
I guess then it will be however the person concerned chooses to define his life coupled with honesty will be revealed (or not)
usually the person applying to be Pastor their spiritual standing, experience and character would come into question but this might not question their sexuality one would see a woman or a man and usually assume either is as seen not as what was before. Regardless of this should the candidate be forthcoming and reveal it? They are now as perceived and what is past is past.
I think Dave Matthews response to this post is right on the money.
The only addition to it that I would make is if you think pastors are incapable of doubt or confusion, you don't know any of them very well. They are like anyone else, and go through seasons of greater and lesser faith as they go through life. The only difference is they hold on and ride the waves of insight as they are revealed and alternately hidden.
Yep why not ..God is happy when the dead minister to the dead....
that's not right kess --funny, but so not right.
Have you notice the dead will always have the dead with them for they are one....what else there is to except to minister one to the other....
Well then show me your perspective..?
I agree with you, it was just funny how you said it.
The dead have no company but the dead; the blind no company but the blind. The image that popped in my head was a bunch of pirate skeletons talking to each other over a very aggressive game of cards and rum. That's why I laughed...
If you can go through the identity crisis that a transgendered person does, and come out with compassion and understanding for humanity without bitterness, then I'd wish that all transgendered people were counselors, pastors, and those who help humanity find themselves.
This is a really great question. I believe trans-gender to be an issue of confusion within the person it affects. The cause or reasons of that confusion, I admit I am largely ignorant of, but I believe so is everyone else, all opinions on the matter be they deeply experienced or not, are still just opinion.
It could be the result of environmental /home life and childhood experiences or even physiological make-up beyond their control. I don't believe a man can be born in a woman's body or vice-versa, that would suggest that God is cruel or that He made a mistake with someone, and the Bible says God is not a respecter of persons meaning he does not give one any more special treatment than another, thought I believe he blesses those who seek him out and are faithful. Those who do not, He simply does not interfere in their lives. He is an equal access God - but that is my opinion on it.
I preface these points because I want to say that God says he is not the God of confusion and I believe someone who lives with that condition and turns to God, will eventually have that confusion cleared up for them one way or another. I make no attempt to answer what the end result will be I think that will vary with each individual and their personal relationship with God and their level of faith.
I tend to believe we all have a handi-cap of some kind though some are more visual than others. Is trans-gender a handi-cap? Call it what you like, it is still a condition that those who have it must live with and I am sure they find themselves impaired from it at some level in their life, just as if they were blind, or had palsy. Surely they are discriminated against now and again, that can be an impairment. And I am sure it has its mental tax on them now and again too.
I believe God can and will heal the issues of our lives if we let him. But you have let him drive the car and too often we are too busy in the drivers seat to move over regardless of whether we are trans-gendered, or whatever condition we have.
I have to say yes, a person could be a trans-gendered pastor, because there is not one person in the Bible that God called to do his work that was perfect. No, not one. We are all as filthy rags, we have all gone astray. Those without sin cast the first stone.
Whether or not people would accept them as a pastor, is another matter all together. Certainly some would and God wants to reach everyone. Jesus came to save sinners, those without sin, don't need him. Its that simple.
Too often as Christians we are too busy looking at someone's sin and forget we are all as filthy rags ourselves. God can and does use anyone who will do as He calls them to do, but if they continue to play with sin He can take them out of that role just as fast. (There is a difference in being a sinner, and playing with sin.) A sinner is merely a descendent of Adam and Eve, playing with sin, is willfully disobeying God. Adam and Eve sinned by eating a piece of fruit; puts it in perspective I think.
Good question, and this is all just my opinion.
Also, you say that once they make up their minds which sex that want to be, they are no longer in confusion. That sounds nice, but it may not necessarily be true, yes it can be true, but that does not make it true in every case. One can make a wrong decision about something because they thought they were sure about it, and find out later - oops I was wrong. It happens everyday in nearly every office and every job. No? Turns out just this morning, I thought my lazy son was upstairs sleeping in when he needed to be working on the brakes on his truck. Turns out - he was up and working on his brakes... I was wrong! Good job son!
Harlan: You make some excellent points hereand I agree with what you have to say totally. The only question that remains in my mind is should the candidate reveal this change in their life, if it never arises?
Dave, that depends on what religion you are talking. Some are very open to it, others will likely never allow it.
There is NO WAY Optimus Prime should be allowed into a Church!
Why should being trans-gender be any different from being blonde, or hispanic, or wheelchair bound? It's who you are, your faith in the Lord, and your ability to minister to his people that matter, not what you look like or what sex you are.
Disturbia: Fully I agree with what you say. The question remains though: Should the candidate be forthcoming about their change or say nothing unless asked?
I don't see how it's anybody's business. Does the dentist need tell you that he wears dentures? I think it's personal and should remain so and the candidate shouldn't have to volunteer any information about being trans-gender unless they want to. However, if asked directly, I believe they should respond honestly and be forthcoming with the truth.
By all accounts, Pastors are regarded by the Christian doctrine, based on Torah. So whether or not it "shouldn't make a difference" is genuinely irrelevant. If one adheres to the doctrine, then all the rules of that doctrine must be followed. Same as anything else, be it mechanics, laboratory tests, academic scoring, gene splicing, what have you. If the rules are constantly being altered to satisfy mere fragments, then the core purpose and those items themselves become increasingly unstable. And in some cases ultimately of little or no value to the greater good.
Gender stability is a huge issue in Christianity, Islam and Judaism which accounts for nearly 6.9 of the 7.4 billion humans. Gender stability and self control are the founding principles of a better and healthier society --which is where all three sectors base their morality. Therefore, if one is to be an instructor of such beliefs and morals, they themselves must also be stable in mind, body and spirit --the unified morality, the unified human.
Just because modern science has invented what some call the "gender escape clause", through the use of hormones and plastic surgery, doesn't mean it holds any weight in these sectors.
Is there Christian doctrine that specifically addresses "gender stability?"
Not specifically, to my knowledge.
Most is geared toward males, notably regarding Sodom and such acts of sexuality like the public rape of 'fresh males', multiple 'taking' of a female by males, bondage, domination, forced feminization --dating back thousands of years. I know for certain Torah is full of such stories, which many of the Christians are not fully aware of. The Christian, Islamic and Judeo texts all speak heavily regarding the sexual nature and self control of the individual, within the natural (non-medical influenced) procreation order. From some work I am doing, I see a direct correlation between the nature of a persons sexuality and their spiritual nature.
I am also aware, it is quite an issue now plaguing Catholicism because of ramped acts and the larger organized sects with regard to female or male sexual choice, conduct and ministry instruction. Moreover, if anyone is going to instruct a moral code, they must adhere to the full measure of that code of conduct, in order to receive rights as an instructor and to any measure create a valid reason to learn it or degree it.
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