A Transgender God: Reflections on God and Caitlyn Jenner

A Transgender God: Reflections on God and Caitlyn Jenner June 5, 2015

The Internet is in an uproar about Caitlyn Jenner. And, if you’re like me, you have some Caitlyn Jenner fatigue. You may be thinking, “Not another Caitlyn Jenner story.” So, let me tell you, this isn’t another post about Caitlyn’s transgenderism. This post is about God’s transgenderism. God is transgender.

Why God is Transgender

Some may be offended by the idea that God is transgender, but it’s actually a theologically orthodox statement. “Trans” is a prefix that simply means “across,” “beyond,” or “through.”

God is neither male nor female. God transcends gender. God goes “beyond” the binaries of male and female gender. Thus, God is transgender and if we are created in God’s image, as we read in Genesis 1, then we are transgender, too. Remember the creation story:

So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

The God who transcends gender created humanity in God’s gender-transcending image, male and female, not male or female.

God goes across the human binaries of male and female gender to include both genders and every gender identity in between. Gender identity is fluid and much of gender identity is dependent upon cultural norms to tell us who we are and who we are not.

We often use the dualities of “male and female” gender to create a distinction of who is included and who is excluded from certain roles in society. For example, I was born a male, but what does it mean to be a man? For many people, to be a man means that you must fight and protect yourself and your family. When danger comes, men must “man up” and defend themselves, their family, or their country. The manliest of men aren’t afraid of anything. According to many in our culture, that is the universal truth of what it means to be a man.

A Transgender Jesus

If that’s the truth of what it means to be a man, then Jesus wasn’t manly. He didn’t “man up” by protecting himself. Jesus was transgender in the fact that he transcended cultural standards of gender. Jesus’ culture had diverse messianic expectations, but many in his culture, including his disciples, expected the Messiah to be a manly warrior king who would free Jerusalem from their Roman oppressors. No one expected the Messiah to be killed. That just wouldn’t be manly.

If Jesus were manly by cultural standards, he would have led an army against the Roman occupiers. He would have defended his homeland, his family, his friends, even his Manly God against the Romans. But Jesus transcended any manly expectation that would have him lead a violent army against his enemies. Rather, he lived out his teaching to “love your enemies” and “turn the other cheek.” He didn’t fight back with violence. Rather, when this King was high and lifted up on his throne of glory, he decreed his final judgment upon those who killed. “Father, forgive them,” Jesus said from the cross, “for they know not what they do.”

Jesus Is Not the King We Were Looking For

Jesus confuses my expectations of gender roles. I don’t want Jesus as my King. I want a King who will man up. I want a King who will fall into the gender norm of being a man and defend his people against evil oppressors. I want a King who will reinforce gender norms and my desire to kill the bad guys.

But that’s not the King that Christians get. Christians get a King who nonviolently nurtures humanity into a future of love and compassion.

Does that mean Jesus had feminine qualities? Yes. And did he have masculine qualities? Yes. Jesus took upon himself the fullness of humanity. With a literal reading of Genesis 1, we can say that Jesus was the truly human one, whom God created to be male and female.

What about Caitlyn Jenner?

What does this mean for Caitlyn Jenner? God is transgender, which means that God crosses over our dualities of male and female to include those binaries and everything in between and beyond. That means that Caitlyn Jenner is part of the human and divine experience. But really, I’m not concerned about Caitlyn Jenner. I’m more concerned about our cultural responses.

Why are so many scandalized by her story? Some say it’s a publicity stunt that she hopes to get paid for. Others claim she is deliberately sinning against God’s will. Others claim she is just confused.

As Benjamin Corey states, none of us is in a position to judge Caitlyn Jenner. We don’t know her whole story; only God does. So we shouldn’t be judging her.

Rather, we should embrace her and all transgender people. Why? Because God already has. It is we humans who use categories such as gender to exclude and include others in loving community, but God doesn’t work that way. God seeks to include everyone, no matter anyone’s gender identity. In fact, God revealed at creation and through Jesus that to be truly human means to transcend cultural norms of gender. To be truly human means to be transgender.

I don’t know whether Caitlyn believes in God or not. But I do know this, the God who transcends gender embraces everyone, especially those who, just like God, are transgender.

 

For more, read my article Bruce Jenner and God’s Response to Transgender People.

 


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  • Andrés Enjuto

    Although I guess most people in my church would (violently) disagree, after reading your post I really feel like having a cup of coffee with you to chat at length about how to switch our twisted minds back into the message of love we have in front of us without seeing it. 😛

    • May we all be able to have a cup of coffee and share a conversation about how to transform our twisted minds back to the message of love we received from God. Thank you for this comment, Andres.

      Grace and peace,
      Adam

      • Sherry O’Shea

        Where the rubber hits the road Adam, has NOTHING to do with gender. When a person is born male or female then decides that GOD got it wrong and made a huge mistake. So in order to fix GOD’s mistake they go and change the way HE created them by surgeries, hormone replacement, parts etc.. When a person who does this (becomes transgender) they are putting themselves up as god, because the real GOD screwed up. The real GOD says “YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME”

        • Hi Sherry. Thank you for your comment. I know many transgender people who have a completely different frame than the way you have framed it. They don’t believe that God “got it wrong” or has “made a huge mistake.” Rather, they believe that God loves them – and that’s no mistake. We are the ones who impose words like “mistake” upon others. They are living into who they believe God made them to be. And we might have judgment against that, but God doesn’t. Here’s an example – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teachingnonviolentatonement/2015/04/bruce-jenner-and-gods-response-to-transgendered-people/

          Peace to you,
          Adam

          • Ilan

            I really don’t see how you can erase God’s moral law by pointing to “love”. This is a common argument by those who disagree with the clear moral precepts in the Bible – ex, regarding homosexuality and transgenderism. We simply cannot grasp how a loving God would not allow people to act the way they want. The argument goes, since God loves the person, He must must the person the way he or she is.

            But God asks us to change for His sake. He asks us to DENY ourselves and place ourselves in conformity with His will. If we love God, we will follow his commandments. And not the other way around (i.e., that if God loves us, he will accept us whichever way we choose to be).

          • llan, to your first point, I take Paul as my model – “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Indeed, God asks us to change for God’s sake. And I’m open to the possibility that that’s exactly what Jenner did.

            Peace,
            Adam

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  • SeriousQ

    Wrong, God is Pure Spirit no gender whatsoever. In His image, does not refer to male or female physicality. It’s our soul and spirit that He has given every human being. When He calls us, our response will determine whether or not, we receive the Holy Spirit, which quickens ours, for Eternity.

    • You’re right! God is Pure Spirit! God transcends gender. And yet, male and female are the very image of God. So, there is something about God that includes male and female qualities.

      But I don’t want to over spiritualize God. After all, I am a Christian who believes in the Incarnation. God took on a body in the fully human Jesus. God took on the full spectrum of the human experience, which includes the full spectrum of gender. God gave us our souls and spirits, but God also gave us our bodies and called them good. It’s a form of gnostic dualism that separates body from soul. The Judeo-Christian tradition claims that body and soul are good. That body includes the full spectrum of gender that is God’s image – male *and* female.

      Grace and peace,
      Adam

      • SeriousQ

        Yes, God inhabited a male form in Jesus, but before that, the Trinity’s eternal existence was totally Spiritual Nature in perfect harmony, as we say, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There is no sexual inference in this. For the purpose of offering a way back into relationship with God, Jesus came to create that path, in His Death and Resurrection, making full atonement for all of humanities sins. I think that you are attributing characteristics to God, that don’t exist. God the Father has never had a physical existence, neither the Holy Spirit. Jesus has a new Spiritualized body form, as he was seen by many people after His Resurrection, and being able to to pass through solid walls. On His ascension back into Heaven, this is the form He possessed. Our own bodies will be transformed into His likeness, at the time of the Rapture. It is futile in trying to ascribe God with either or both genders. The LGBT is a political animal, controlled by demonic forces. The hordes of spiritual beings that Satan heads, are wily and overly crafty in beguiling humans to listen and follow them.

  • Bobby Gilbert

    begging the question to get people to believe an argument is just plain frustrating. “To be truly human means to be transgender”. The playing field will get even as we get closer to the week. God’s workers will weed out the goats and the sheep.

    • Hi Bobby. I think we’re all at least a little transgender. I think we all transcend the binaries of male and female because both qualities are included in us. Genesis and Jesus reveal that. But, I’m more interested in what you mean by “The playing field will get even as we get closer to the week. God’s workers will weed out the goats and the sheep.” Can you tell me more about that from your perspective?

      • Bobby Gilbert

        gay people have been in the church for as long as there has been gay people outside the church. The % numbers probably mirror the same in or out of the church. When the church opens the doors, wow, the numbers will not change in society as a whole, but what is worshiped might.

        When the week starts to get closer to the middle, we will weed ourselves out. It will be hard to be a Christian whether one is gay or not. The last week requires that the adopted complete the week. Maybe gay people who have been under greater “persecution” may whether the real persecution when it happens.

        This is the playing field. History has been a trial for Christianity in the past. The benefits of 312 AD may just disappear.

  • ChrisHayes1

    OMG who wrote this piece of shit article. God is transgender? Comparing God to a tranny… LOL.. I’m agnostic, so insulting God doesn’t offend me.. but what DOES offend me is your lack of intelligence. Adam Ericksen you’re a straight up moron.

    The word transgender is only meant to be applied to people and possibly animals..

    If God exists it doesn’t have a gender (transgender IS a description of ones gender).. are you really that stupid that you think GOD is some magical creature in the clouds.. were talking infinite intelligence here, it’s not even something that can be seen. An entity beyond our comprehension. You should be embarrassed.

    • Marra Nathar

      Wow – your defense – for an agnostic – is spot on! You do know who God is!
      As a Christian you’ve won my vote!
      [BTW this is a complement – not sarcasm].

    • Hi Chris. As I stated in the article, God transcends gender. So, you’re right, God is neither male nor female. And yet, Genesis tells us that the image of God is male and female. So, there’s something about God that includes male and female qualities. As a Christian, I also believe that God took upon God’s Self the full spectrum of the human experience in Jesus – that includes the full spectrum of gender. And so, in essence, God transcends gender, but God also includes the full spectrum of gender qualities. Thus, God is transgender.

      Grace and peace,
      Adam

      • yewtree

        Hi Adam, I really admire the peaceful and compassionate way you have responded to some of the hostile comments on this article. More than I could have done.

        Of course Christian tradition supports the idea of a transgender God. If I believed in a single divine entity, I would also take the view that it both transcends and includes all genders. As it happens I am a polytheist, but I think that the deities also manifest all possible genders.

        There’s a marvellous book about the Queer God by the theologian, Elizabath Schussler-Fiorenza.

    • Patric

      Chris, did you read his article? He fully explains what he means by applying the term to God.
      Every informed Christian knows that God does not have a body (except in the Incarnation via Jesus Christ). If you read his article, you would get that his overall point is that we have something special to learn about our fellow transgender neighbors by realizing that our Creator is ultimately not male or female but transcends any categories we think in.

  • Frank

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve read in a long time. Wow.

    • Hi Frank. Could you say more about “stupidest thing”? Just wondering how God transcends gender and yet takes up the fullness of gender in the Incarnation is stupid. In the Christian tradition, that’s actually orthodox. Christian tradition says that in the Incarnation, God took upon the fullness of the human experience, which includes the fullness of gender. So, to say that God is transgender because God transcends gender while at the same time taking up the fullness of gender in the Incarnation makes a lot of sense within Christian tradition. But maybe your issue isn’t with the article but with Christian tradition.

      Thanks!
      Adam

      • Frank

        God transcending gender does not equate to being transgendered as we understand and use the word. And in no way can that be used to support a man pretending to be a woman as a Godly thing.

        • Why can’t that be seen as a Godly thing? How do you know? It might seem strange to you, and we often fear what we think is strange, but God can work through things we think are strange. The Bible is full of those kinds of stories.

          God takes up the fullness of human gender, male *and* female, as in Genesis 1. That sounds pretty transgender to me.

          • Frank

            Yes to you but there is no support for your position. It’s just an opinion. Gender matters. There is no way to get around that.

          • Frank, I never said that gender doesn’t matter. It absolutely does. That’s why Jesus took on the fullness of gender in the Incarnation. Sure it’s an opinion. And it’s an opinion that fits within Christian tradition.

          • Frank

            Except that a man pretending to be a woman does not fit in with Christian belief.

          • cvryder2000

            Someone feeling all their life that they were born into the wrong body simply does not fit in with *Frank’s* belief. And that. to Frank, is the most important thing.

          • L.W. Dicker

            Good grief Adam!!!

            Please allow your sad, deluded religious mind to experience the light of reason for even a brief period of time.

            Read something besides the idiotic nonsense of religious horse crap.

            Google “preachers turned atheist”, just for starters.

      • William Davis

        I think it would be more appropriate to say God is intersex as opposed to transgender, but I’m not terribly concerned about it 😉

    • L.W. Dicker

      Well, Frank, you must not follow Christian pronouncements very closely.

      Because there is so much asinine bullshit spewing from their deluded minds that it would be near impossible to pick a single blog post as the stupidest single thing that you have read.

      Because, you see, stupid bullshit is the engine that fuels the deluded Christian mind.

      • Frank

        How embarrassing for you.

    • Patric

      Frank, for starters, if you believe your brother is in error, calling his words “stupid” is not a good way to proceed.
      In the first few paragraphs, the author thoroughly explains what he means by calling God “transgender.”
      Also, it is very prideful to claim that the author’s concept does not fit within Christian belief, considering modern Christianity contains a diversity of opinions on questions of belief. Everything from the nature of baptism to the number of books in the Bible has a range of Christian understandings.
      Where are transgender persons referred to in the Bible, if this is your primary source for Christian truth? I’m willing to bet your views, Frank, are not necessarily biblical as much as they are traditional.

      • Frank

        When words are stupid and conclusions are stupid calling them stupid is appropriate.

        • William Davis

          You do realize you continued posting of poorly thought out 1 line comments makes YOU look stupid. That said, I don’t think this article is on a much higher plane than you are.

          For the record intelligent people explain exactly why something is foolish or stupid. You fail the intelligence test 😉

          • Frank

            I respond accordingly. When something requires intelligence I give it, when it does not I don’t.

  • GREGORY GORDON

    “…for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.” (Jeremiah 31:22) …

  • L.W. Dicker

    And then Jesus said,

    “Children, I have just witnessed Justin Bieber taking a shower. And I feel the need to confess to you that your beloved Savior’s cock got harder than a three year old Christmas fruitcake!

    Holy shit but I just couldn’t stop myself!!!! I wanted that sweet asshole more than Charlie Sheen wants a teenage whore with a crack pipe!!!

    And before you could say “Sean Hannity is a fag with a dick the size of a mosquito”, my Son of God cock shot a wad the size of Jerusalem!!

    And it felt goooooood!! And I mean God fucking damn good!!!

    So children, I can only hope that your mercy and forgiveness will be enough to wash away my terrible sin, and once again bring purity to my sinful pecker………..Holy shit, is that Zac Efron running on the beach in a Speed-O!!!!???

    —–Jesus Christ, your horny Savior

    As told to Kirk Cameron

  • yewtree

    Beautiful post, well said, Adam.

  • trinielf

    People are not ready to tackle the undefinable vastness, enormity, universality, omni-everything of any Higher Intelligence that could be behind a universe so gargantuan we cannot even fathom just how gargantuan in our microscopic to the nth degree little corner of existence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AC7yFDb1zOA

    So, they cling to very culturally specific concepts of such an entity that best serves their human needs. The concept Yahweh which came out of a polytheistic deity pantheon, is limited by world view of the primitive Hebrews that made this concept their primary deity (after long struggles with eliminating polytheism). He is the Ultimate through THEIR eyes, THEIR experiences and THEIR prejudices and THEIR limited knowledge of the universe, the planet and its people. It is THEIR thoughts, projections, hopes and dreams that are reflecting in THEIR writings about this deity. The evolution of Yahweh into a second incarnation, the figure of Christ as a deity also stems from another amalgamation of very culturally specific human concepts.

    So, for the spiritually minded who want to grow deeper and deeper in understanding of the universe, themselves, our purpose, you will eventually have to move past the limited CULTURAL beliefs that spawned these deities and start focusing on what lies beyond that. This is what people seem to be having trouble with, letting go of iron aged Middle Eastern cultural beliefs with regard to gender, sex, race, imperialism and many other limiting or outmoded ideals that do not stand the test of time once we acquire more knowledge of ourselves, the planet and the universe.

    Thankfully articles like this are beginning to dare to look at BIGGER more UNIVERSAL ideas of what a truly Higher Intelligence would be- beyond culture, beyond gender, beyond our insignificant human squabbles for supremacy.

    • William Davis

      Why someone would think the creator of this universe (assuming such a being exists) would give a crap about human sexuality is completely beyond me. I have a high enough intelligence to be relatively unconcerned, and I’m human.

      • trinielf

        Great point William. Even greater is why would anyone believe another human being’s claim that they KNOW the mind of the creator of the universe on this or any given matter? How can such a thing ever be verified? In the end you are just trusting HUMAN CLAIMS and HUMAN TESTIMONY. And that is religion essentially. The transfer of power and authority to HUMANS on the faith that they actually did make “contact” with some Higher Being.

      • Cardunculus

        I do not have anything against transgenderism, but I do not think that this is a good argument, as it seems to me that it presupposes an overly anthropomorphic idea of the Divinity.

        Yeah, a hypothetical human being with magical powers, put in charge of the whole universe, would have their hands far too full to be concerned in the least with human sexuality, and would have to be petty indeed to dedicate their time to devising punishments to humans which employ it in unapproved ways; but that’s not the Deity that serious theology (of any religious tradition I know of) talks about.

        If the Ultimate Source of Good and Love exists, I would think it more likely that He/She/It would be deeply, profoundly interested in everything – in the orbits of planets and in the wavefunctions of electrons, in the anatomy of grasshopper legs and in quasar emissions, and – yes – in human sexuality and in the ways in which it can either enrich or debase the human experience.

        As I said, I have no issue against transgenderim, or for that matter against homosexuality; but there are immoral ways of making use of sexuality – for example, anything that exploits other people for pleasure without regard of their sentiments or interests. And while I certainly do not believe that the Divinity takes pleasure in devising tortures or subjecting ill-doers to them, I do believe that one’s choices and actions are not consequence-less, for themselves or for others.

        • William Davis

          For me, the evidence for an indifferent God comes from everywhere. If you look at the problem of evil, especially natural evil (volcanoes, hurricanes, disease, accidents) I don’t see how you can come up with a God who is concerned with and wants to meddle in people’s lives…i.e. the Christian God.

          1 in 1500 peopl are intersex. If God cared about sexuality, why would he allow that?

          http://www.isna.org/faq/frequency

          Nature is just too messy with regards to what we consider good for me to believe God has much concern for humans, but I suppose everyone has their own intuitions on that subject.

          • Cardunculus

            Personally, I would rather follow an impotent God than to an indifferent one. I want to bow to Love, and to Love alone, no matter whether king or beggar.

            Apart from this, I confess that my ideas are not terribly clear. Perhaps traditional theology is right, and Love is and has always been sovereign, and the sad state of our world is ultimately the consequence (in some sense that almost certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with literal gardens and fruits) of the free actions of sapient beings.

            Or perhaps, as Process Theology would have (lately, I’ve been on a bit of Process Theology kick – I’m not sure if I buy into it, but it’s interesting to read about) Love has always been the underdog, struggling to make itself manifest in a world that mostly spurns it, and we as sapient beings are given a chance to take part in this struggle and decide its ultimate fate.

            Perhaps it matters little. Regardless of its source, there is a struggle in reality between love and indifference, between good and evil; and the side that I should take in this struggle is clear (although, to be entirely honest, I cannot say I am terribly sure which “side” my actions so far have supported the most).

          • William Davis

            That’s all pretty interesting. I won’t say I want God to be indifferent, but that’s largely the impression I get from reality (including, but not limited to science and history).
            I think the universe is headed somewhere, even if an eventual heat death. I like to think (though I have no real evidence to back it up) that God might be more interested in something we are to become, not what we currently are. Until then, I think the focus on helping each other with not only our actions but what we can do to change the world with science and technology is what we should be doing. In a real sense, helping everyone else is also helping yourself.

          • Frank

            God allows many terrible things because of the gift of free will too humanity. Our sinful fallen world is tainted by sin and that humanities fault not Gods.

          • William Davis

            Rather than directly responding, let me link you to a recent thread where I discussed this on a website dedicated to Catholic/Atheist dialogue. Original sin is a deeply flawed doctrine in many levels.

            In addition to this convo, I can also get into how all the elements in the beginning of Genesis are clearly based on Sumerian mythology. Ever wonder why God used a rib to make eve? In Sumerian cuneiform (oldest written language in the world) the word for rib is the same for life. Thus, in the original language, it was a joke (the idea came from Enuma Elish). The joke was lost in Hebrew as it had evolved to be quite different from the original cunieform. Hebrew is related to the breed of cuneiform found in Ugarit, but I digress.

            With the determinative UZU

          • Frank

            Gods story is woven throughout creation so it’s not surprising that his story finds its way into different forms. Genesis in the real deal however.

            There is no compelling case against original sin.

          • William Davis

            There is no compelling case against original sin.

            Sure there is, you are just unwilling to engage and understand it. It’s actually common for a joke like the “rib” to get lost in translation when it’s a play on words. The fact that it’s lost in Hebrew makes it clear the direction it was copied from (plus it’s completely clear linguistically that Hebrew is a new language). Of course in the original story, there was no “original sin” as such. Ever wonder where the snake came from?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ningishzida

            Human head with a snake body. Word means “lord of the good tree”. There are plenty of old stories about the tree of life, but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is a unique addition as far I know. It’s a good story, but nothing to base a world view on.

          • Frank

            Nothing compelling yet….

          • William Davis

            Impatient aren’t we? I actually have a family I’m also trying to spend some time with. I’m taking time out just for you.

          • Frank

            It’d be better spent with your family instead of pursuing this dead end argument of yours.

          • William Davis

            P.S. I thought you said you’d respond to intelligence with intelligence…so far I’m quite disappointed 😉

          • Frank

            As I said when something requires more I will give more. Post something compelling and I will respond accordingly. Until then….

          • William Davis

            “Compelling” is quite arbitrary, so I’ll try simplicity. I won’t be surprised if you say this isn’t compelling, but why not.

            Here’s the Christian story in a nutshell

            1. God creates the universe, then creates two brand new people

            2. Being brand new, these children didn’t know right from wrong, and God left them alone in a cool garden with 1 instruction, not to a certain fruit.

            3. Curiosity combine with some coaxing from a serpent, these children eat the fruit.

            4. Only AFTER eating the fruit do they realize they have done wrong. Why? Because eating the fruit gave them the knowledge of good and evil. They couldn’t have known they were doing wrong before, just like a small child doesn’t know he’s doing wrong until he is taught (the apple represents fast learning).

            5. God decides to punish not only Adam and Eve, but also their offspring and all of creation (even though this isn’t what the story actually says, I’m going with the Christian interpretation)

            6. God decides he needs to kill himself to rectify the situation, and sends Jesus as a human sacrifice (which is repulsive in itself). Why God wouldn’t just say, “eh, that’s enough” is beyond me

            7. If you don’t believe this ill conceived story, you’ll burn in hell forever…for not good reason than God is sadistic.

            How’d I do? I really don’t understand how so many people just roll with this story…it really makes God out to be some kind of monster. Who punishes someone’s children for the parents mistake? Who punishes children so severely who didn’t even know better to begin with? An unjust God…that’s who. A God that doesn’t exist.

            Of course, the story doesn’t say Adam was cursed at all, let me quote:

            Genesis 3

            To the woman he said,

            “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing;
            in pain you shall bring forth children,
            yet your desire shall be for your husband,
            and he shall rule over you.”

            So women get their pain “increased”. The fact that it is increased means not only that there was pain before, but also there was birth before. Who were these people before Adam and Eve (detail happen to matter)

            17 And to the man[b] he said,

            “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife,
            and have eaten of the tree
            about which I commanded you,
            ‘You shall not eat of it,’
            cursed is the ground because of you;
            in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
            18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
            and you shall eat the plants of the field.
            19 By the sweat of your face
            you shall eat bread
            until you return to the ground,
            for out of it you were taken;
            you are dust,
            and to dust you shall return.”

            God never says man is cursed, he says the ground is curse to make it harder for him to work the field. Death was the end of curse, it doesn’t say “Now that you have eaten the fruit you will die” or anything of the sort. There is no mention of immortality for Adam and Eve until after the “fall”. This mention involves God kicking them out so they can’t eat of the tree of life (which in all the old stories grants immortality)
            If you think about it, we’ve used technology to undo the curses. We have epidurals to relieve pain for women in childbirth, and we have tractors (now fully automated) to plow the fields. Curse is over folks thanks to technology 😉 How’s that for compelling?

          • Rachel Hedin

            Spoken like a guy who has never had an epidural during childbirth? But I hear what you are saying. I’d always read those passages as God noting that the knowledge of good and evil was going to complicate life. ..for example, if women tend towards the relational, those relationships will be messier and sometimes painful and if men tend towards success in working, it’ll be harder now that the innocence is gone. I’m not sure that Jesus was sent simply to die, but I know he was sent to reveal the truth about God’s nature. Which I would describe as “genderful” more than beyond gender, but it results in the same thing which is that people are image bearers of God no matter what their gender identity.

          • William Davis

            Spoken like a guy who has never had an epidural during childbirth?

            With our first child, my wife wanted to do it without an epidural for some reason, she changed her mind near the end.
            The second child was almost painless for her (seriously, I was there both times). So this is spoken like a guy who has been their and seen what a difference it can make. I recall my wife saying “that was nothing”, but I did marry a woman with wide hips 😉

            Otherwise I like your interpretation. These stories are largely about the rise of civilization and how it complicated things. Smarter humans = larger human heads = more pain in childbirth. There was no agriculture before Sumeria (they invented the plow and irrigation) and there’s no doubt that the peasant population considered their labor in the fields a curse. Taken in reasonable context, it’s a great story.
            I’m largely fond of Jesus’s message, but I don’t see how it’s connected with God any more than Buddha’s was. Buddha said similar things nearly 1000 years before Jesus (not to mention the absurd effectiveness of mindfulness). Christianity had the huge advantage of Greek philosophy from Plato and Aristotle. I like Justin Martyr, for example, and his early attempts to merge Christianity and philosophy.

          • Frank

            Compellingly incorrect for sure.

            Let me correct you.

            God creates the universe
            God creates humanity
            God give humanity everything they need
            God gives them free will
            God tells them to not touch one tree
            They reject God
            Sin enters our world and corrupts everything
            Humanity is still rejecting God today
            Jesus comes and solves our problem
            Faith will set you free

          • William Davis

            Show me where it says God gave them free will. It doesn’t say that.

            In fact, how can you have free will without the knowledge of good and evil (i.e. the story direct contradicts the idea that they had free will in the way we conceive of it)? Have you ever studies philosophy of ethics and morality?

            Show me where it says sin enters the world and corrupts everything. I showed you what the Bible actually says, it’s just two specific curses. You guy have believing something the Bible doesn’t say for so long, you don’t even realize the Bible doesn’t say it. It’s that bad.

            I’m not a Christian, but here is a bright Christian who demonstrates the doctrine is not Biblical (it was an invention of the Catholic Church)

            https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/276-original-sin-and-a-misapplied-passage

            Jews don’t believe the nonsense either because it is a completely false interpretation of the Genesis story. It really is, just read the darn story.

            https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Original_Sin.html

            The fact that Christians have believed something so obviously false for so long is telling about how poorly Christians often engage in critical thinking. Status quo bias rules the day (though status quo bias is everywhere)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_quo_bias

            We can get into the history of how the doctrine developed in the early Church if you want. I’m spending time with this because I know I’m right. Losing original sin does not destroy Christianity, it just removes a pathetic explanation of the problem of evil. Better Christians general admit they don’t know why God allows natural evil, but they are sure he has his reasons. I’m fine with that, not a bullshit explanation that doesn’t even match the text (I can read…)

          • Frank

            You are welcome to embarrass yourself by publicly exposing your ignorance.

          • William Davis

            Wow. You’re even dumber than I thought. I usually don’t call people stupid, but your combination of arrogance and ignorance qualifies as that. You’re also a great example of what’s known as the Dunning – Kruger effect

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

            Plus you’re a bad person to boot. Have a nice life, I’ll never waste time speaking to you again, but hopefully others (who have sufficient IQ) may benefit from the information in my posts. It’s no surprise you don’t have a family…who’d want to be around someone like you 😉 I’m sure you blame everyone else for your own shortcoming…it’s consistent with your personality.

          • Frank

            Keep up the good work ensuring that we don’t have to take you seriously.

          • William Davis

            Who is we?

          • Frank

            Everyone reading your comments who care about the truth.

          • William Davis

            Lol!

          • Frank

            Yup we either laugh out loud at your foolishness or cry at your ignorance.

          • William Davis

            Glad I could add some humor to your life as well. Have a good one 😉

          • William Davis

            That was a good one, maybe you aren’t so bad after all 🙂

          • William Davis

            Jesus comes and solves our problemFaith will set you free

            I have faith in God, but not Jesus per se. God knows the reasons I don’t believe that Jesus is actually an incarnation of God, but a great teacher. My conscience tells me he is fine with it and he prefers my honesty and candor over believing something I simply do not (and boy have I been diligent in trying to learn the truth to the best of my ability. For me, not being Christian is clearly the right thing to do. To pretend to be Christian would be to lie.
            Clearly my attempts to learn the truth have made my understanding of the subject dwarf yours in comparison. I beginning to think you can only write simple sentences, if so then you are doing the best you can. If not, perhaps you should have studied all this more so you can actively converse about it and defend your position. If you just come here to make proclamations and call people stupid, it’s pretty obvious aren’t aren’t really a Christian, even though you claim you are.
            Mark’s Gospel doesn’t indicate you can be saved by faith (never says it until an added ending). In Mark, the oldest Gospel and closest to the events (Mark was Peter’s scribe) salvation came by right action. If this is true, you’ll find yourself damned in spite of your cheap “faith” in obviously false doctrines. What if faith doesn’t save you? Are you living right? Are you helping the poor and needed and Jesus specifically commanded Your character makes me think you aren’t…

            Even in Matthew the parable of the sheep and goats says nothing of faith. Are you a sheep or are you a goat? Matthew 25

            31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[g] you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

          • Frank

            You are welcome to make yourself your own god.

            And I am uninterested in your hubris. I have nothing to prove to you and clearly know more than you ever will.

          • Bobby Gilbert

            Is there really free will?

          • Frank

            Of course.

          • Bobby Gilbert

            show me

          • Bobby Gilbert

            Turn it all around to a god who is trying to reveal himself to you. It seems it is not easy.

          • radiofreerome

            The idea that original sin is the source of human suffering is stupid. Human suffering is the result of living in a rational universe rather than a cartoon universe. Hurricanes, tornadoes, etc, are the results of physical laws that would exist even if man never existed.

          • Frank

            Speaking of stupid….

          • radiofreerome

            Coming from an uneducated, snake-juggling epsilon semi-moron like you, that means absolutely nothing.

          • Frank

            See above and repeat.

          • Bobby Gilbert

            For an agnostic to be honest, the agnostic has to deal with evil. To assume there is evil, there must be good.

          • Bobby Gilbert

            Not if one sees weeks and can historically show that there are other weeks that have nothing to do with Sumerian mythology. The Holocaust has nothing to do with Sumerian mythology.

            The birth of Israel has nothing to do with Sumerian Mythology. For Israel to be a nation, Benjamin had to die. (Rachel’s children).

            If Rachel’s children died, there had to be a child name Immanuel.

            If there was a child name Immanuel, there had to be a flood.

            If there was a flood, there was a man name Adam.

            This may sound all crazy, but weeks are connected. The Paradigm is the Passion Week, the Passion Paradigm. The Passion Week has nothing to do with Sumerian Mythology.

          • William Davis

            Weeks are a human contrivance. Their symbolic use was post hoc. In general most of what you just wrote are non-sequiturs. There were 7 tablets in enuma elish that got condensed into 7 days.
            Sumeria invented western religion, that doesn’t mean others didn’t modify it in creative ways.

          • Bobby Gilbert

            so, is Israel today a sumerian myth. They actually exist. There is no connection between a sumerian myth.

            What does the death of Rachel’s children have to do with a sumerian myth. No way connected. For Israel to be a nation, Benjamin had to die.

            What does Joshua’s prophecy in joshua 6:26 have to do with Israel being a nation. The prophecy says the youngest has to die. This event happens 3 times. What does that have to do with a Sumerian myth. It actually literally happens once. It was completed again when Israel became a nation. It will happen again when the adopted have to die in the middle of the week. The adopted is already experiencing it. Heads are not mythologically being cut off.

            None of any of this have to do with a sumerian myth.

          • Bobby Gilbert

            If you speak of weeks, you must know the names of the weeks. The time tables of the weeks. Why there are these weeks. You must know how many weeks there are. You must know where there are metaphors and allegories for these weeks. You must know how to get the names of the weeks. You must know that if you find an end of the week, it points back into history certain points that must have happen in history for a week to be possible.

            If you know just a little of this what I am saying, I need to talk with you. If not, you do not know at all what I am speaking.

            How do you get the names of the weeks? Where is the allegorically story that makes it possible to get the names? Is the story of Jacob working two weeks for his wives, two weeks or something else. These are pretty simple questions to answer.

            Help me.

          • Bobby Gilbert

            no one has ever written about the weeks meaning that there are 15 weeks and 70 workers. The paradigm is the passion week. If you know someone who has written in any way on this subject in this way, please give me that name and their work. ASAP thank you

          • Bobby Gilbert

            Is Israel contrived? They are on the map again. They finished the last week, the benjamin week. It begins with abraham’s birth, finds the middle with the death of Rachel’s children and voila, see Israel. Israel has nothing to do with with Sumeria. Sumeria does not exist. Sumeria did not complete the weeks???

          • radiofreerome

            Our world is more tainted by the atrocities of the pious.

          • Bobby Gilbert

            Is there such a thing as free will? Free will is a terrible assumption theologically when dealing with the Christian god.

          • Frank

            There is nothing terrible about it nor is it an asuumption. It’s reality.

          • Bobby Gilbert

            Reality is there is an end. Who planned all of it. The first shall be last.

            The Creation Week begins first and ends last:

            The 2nd Pentecost has begun and we are experiencing the birth pains of kingdom..

            The 1st Resurrection will allow citizens to enter the Kingdom. I am not the judge of who gets in because we are living in GRACE. Free Will is a terrible assumption.

            (What we should know and free will has not much to do with)

            A death of Rachel’s children gave birth to nation that is called Israel today.

            A holocaust bought a people out of a diaspora.

            A fall of the temple in 70 AD allowed a people to be adopted by 12 strange tribes.

            A tear in the veil caused fired to fall on about 120 people in an upper room.

            A man died on the cross under pontius pilate. Everything rests on his resurrection.

            A child was born because of a flood and Rachel children died about the time this child was born.

            A temple fell and a new temple was built.

            A Nation came out of exile because a prophet said they would be exiled.

            A generation went into a desert and another came out.

            A law was given because the first born died.

            The land died and 12 brothers were reunited.

            A brother was sold into slavery to be raised up out of a dungeon to run a nation.

            All this happen because there was creation Week.

            There are 15 weeks. 11 are done. 2 are almost done. One is reaching the half way point. One remains. to begin.

            This has very little to do with free will.

            How can we have free will if the covenant of night and day was made on the 4th day of creation? Jeremiah 33 has some thoughts on it. From the beginning, there was a plan. Who committed the greater sin?

            .

          • Bobby Gilbert

            To be a Christian, one’s life has to line up somewhere in this plan. One cannot enter the plan unless they are chosen. Choosing one’s gender does not mean one is chosen. Neither does pointing out one’s sin help choose either.

            Where is the temple? It is where the Spirit landed. How can one destroy the temple?

            Do not sell the temple to money changers or anything that would make the temple unclean. The temple is closer to home than just entering a building, joining an organization or having some religious group decide what is a temple.

            Take Paul’s test. Do you pass?

          • Bobby Gilbert

            The Christian God is a pretty bad god, he allowed his son to die.

            If one looked at the week, one week goes from father to son.
            one week goes from son to son.
            one week goes from son to spirit.

            pretty multi-personality god, huh?

      • Frank

        Why wouldn’t a loving creator care about his creations?

  • Guthrum

    I understand that Bruce is a Christian.
    Where the problem is that if people question or oppose the spurious transgender surgery they are labeled “hate filled”, “transphobic”. No. There are many esteemed and respected doctors and psychiatrists who have valid objections.

  • Stacey (the kids’ Aunt Tasty)

    My favorite part of this comments section is the trolls trolling each other!

    • You are funny! Thank you for this.

      • Stacey (the kids’ Aunt Tasty)

        One must laugh. 🙂

  • Brandon Roberts

    i’m not exactly christian but i’m pretty sure god isn’t transgender :/

  • Ilan

    It is true that culture may affect what it means to be a “man” or a “woman”. But this does not imply that there is no inherent essence to what it means to be a “man” or a “woman”. There are certain biological traits that remain unchanged across culture.

    More importantly, however, is that you misrepresent God’s message. God makes a clear distinction between male and female. He made “male and female”, but equally “male or female”. The passage in the Bible refers to humanity as a whole – that humanity is comprised of both males and females. This doesn’t erase gender distinctions.

    Deut 22:5 – “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”

    This highlights the importance of gender distinction in God’s eyes. It’s pretty clear.

    And you point to Jesus, who presumably assumed “feminine” characteristics (i.e., being meek instead of fighting back), and conclude this to be a proof of the absence of gender distinctions. However, it is also written that Jesus will come back as a warrior King, in battle.

    Even if the latter weren’t true, the story of Jesus is not so much a proof that gender distinctions do not exist, as it is an indication that maybe certain preconceptions that we have as to what it means to be a “man” are wrong.

    I agree that we cannot judge Jenner, but we can point to how his approach is not in line with God’s moral law, and label that approach as wrong (from God’s moral perspective). We cannot debase Jenner because of it, because we are all sinners; but this does not stop us from recognizing the wrongfulness of his actions.

  • Paul Cutlip

    I’m a Christian and a supporter of LGBT rights but this is nonsense. You can’t begin from God is transcendent and assume you can put that ‘trans’ prefix in front of other words like ‘gender’ and it will be at all meaningful. Transgender means something, it means that your gender identity is different from your biological sex. I doubt that God has any sort of gender identity and I REALLY doubt that God has a biological sex so using the word ‘transgender’ to refer to God is just facile. Likewise there is absolutely no evidence that Jesus had any sort of conflict between his gender and sex. Calling him transgender because he didn’t conform to normal gender roles (ie going around beating the snot out of people) is just … honestly blisteringly stupid….. I just can’t think of anything else to call it. People are all of sacred worth, you shouldn’t have to twist around words and put God in a box to see that.

    • Paul, as I stated in the article, God transcends gender and takes the fullness of gender up in the incarnation. Sure, God doesn’t have a biological gender. God transcends gender and includes it. We see this in Jesus, as the article states. In fact, there have been movements within orthodox Christianity that see Jesus as Mother who gave birth to a new humanity. There is no twisting words or putting God into a box here. God transcends and includes every box, including our gender boxes.

      Peace to you,
      Adam