Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. -Matthew 26:41
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. -John 3:6
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. -John 6:63
Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. -John 8:14–15
Denying the flesh, even crucifying the flesh, was a common refrain in churches and Christian circles as I grew up. The view was that we are spiritual beings who have a body, as if the body was only a vehicle we lived in. I heard many times the saying, “I am a spirit. I have a soul. I live in a body.”
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. -Romans 12:1
I was taught that when our bodies die, we live on because the body is only a shell that contains the true self. Our spirit and soul are eternal.
Apparently, this is no longer the prevailing belief in evangelical circles.
“They’re telling young children if they’re feeling unhappy with your body you can divorce and declare war on your body and pretend it’s not real, but how you feel and identify is real… This is a war that’s been declared on biology, on our DNA, on the very heart of what it means to be human, male and female.” -Bill Muehlenberg, talking about “transgenderism”
In the echoing lack of any Bible verses to use against trans people, Bill tries to argue that this is a war on our flesh. Excuse me, but what the hell? Since when do Christians believe that the body is our true self? This is such an about face from what I was taught that I can hardly believe it.
There is not one verse in the Bible that states that being transgender is sinful. In fact, Galatians 3:28 appears to say the opposite:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Some try to use Deuteronomy 22:5:
A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
When I was a teenager, I attended my local church’s youth group. The youth pastor was the lead singer of a Christian rock band. For at least one performance, the band, which was made up of men and teenage boys, dressed in drag and called themselves “The Rockin’ Grannies.” No one had a problem with this. No one told them God detested them for wearing dresses.
I wear pants all the time. I’ve even worn a tie a few times. I wear boxer shorts as pajamas. In our modern western world, is there any clothing that is only mens’? It’s just clothing.
Of course, being transgender isn’t about what clothes you wear. A transgender woman is a woman, not a man wearing women’s clothes. A transgender man is a man, not a woman wearing mens’ clothes (which, as I mentioned above, is just a woman wearing clothes).
The only reason Christians have for disliking transgender identities is ignorance.