10.7 C
Los Angeles
Friday, March 24, 2023

Opinion: As a Christian pastor, I oppose transgender identities.

- Advertisement -

Van Meter is a pastor at Foothills Christian Church in El Cajon. He lives in Lakeside.

A recent controversy at the Cameron Family YMCA in Santee has once again given an opportunity to assert the positive case for heteronormativity. Rebecca Phillips, a 17-year-old girl, was in the women’s locker room showering after a workout. Christynne Wood, a 66-year-old transgender woman, was also in the locker room changing after a water aerobics class. Rebecca was shocked and alarmed to find Christynne in a private space reserved for women. When Rebecca brought her concerns to the YMCA staff, she was told that, indeed, the YMCA’s policy, per state law, is that trans people are allowed to use the locker rooms of their gender identity, and thus a controversy was kicked off, one that has become increasingly common.

- Advertisement -

The question now is whose rights win out? Does Rebecca have the right to expect privacy in a women-only space? Does Christynne have the right to a women-only space? What standard should we use to decide?

- Advertisement -

In today’s society, we have an ever-expanding spectrum of sexual and gender identities. According to the most recent Gallup poll, 19.7 percent of Generation Z respondents identified as LGBTQ in 2022. By comparison, only 3.3 percent of Generation X respondents identified as LGBTQ.

We are in the midst of a massive cultural shift in regard to sexuality and gender, and that change is happening primarily among young people.

I have been a pastor for 22 years and have worked directly with thousands of young people. I would say that in the last decade, I have probably counseled three times as many people about homosexuality than I had in the first 12 years of my ministry, and in the past five years, approximately five times as many people about transgender issues than in the previous 17 years. Issues about sexuality and identity are not going away; in fact, this revolution is only gaining steam.

In light of changing beliefs about sexuality and gender identity, public institutions, businesses and families are having to sort through complicated issues, about public accommodations, locker room use and sports teams, and deeper questions about the nature of the world, our place in it, and what is good, what is right and what is beautiful.

Many modern schools of thought are ill-equipped to answer these existential questions. We have increasingly looked to science or naturalism or philosophy to explain the world around us. While these modern worldviews can be of great utility when they help us to develop modern medicine, or the internet, or air conditioning, they are woefully inadequate in helping us understand the meaning of life, or moral transcendence, or the mysteries of love. Seeking answers to the deep questions of life from modern philosophies is like trying to solve a math equation using a grammar textbook; it won’t help you get the right answer. We must look elsewhere for answers to the deepest and most important questions of life.

This is where the Christian worldview is of such great value. Many people in the last century have dismissed religious claims as outdated or obsolete. We are guilty of what C.S. Lewis calls “chronological snobbery.” We think that new ideas are inherently better than old ideas. Yet, when it comes to modern questions about gender identity and sexuality, it is the Christian faith that offers us the most robust and satisfying answers.

Christianity asserts that we do not find ourselves randomly floating in the universe as a result of trillions of random accidents, but that we are the creation of a personal God who has designed us and this world for a purpose. Our job, as His creation, is to submit ourselves to His standards. By my and many other people’s reading of the Bible, God has designed marriage to be between one man and one woman, that this is not simply tradition, but it is God’s law. Regarding gender, it is assigned to us by God; we are not able to choose it for ourselves. True happiness comes not from trying to go our own way or create our own reality, but from conforming ourselves to God’s purpose and design.

So what standard should we use to decide? We should use God’s standard.

Source link