How the modern day church has let progressivism transform the definition of morality.
To begin, I believe it is crucial that we understand the biblical definitions of a few important words. To biblically define morality we must first biblically define ethics and to do that we must first believe and understand fully that we are created by God and that because of this we are accountable to God. From there we must also understand that we are created in the image of God and that as born-again Christians the Holy Spirit lives within us thus making our bodies a temple of God.
By secular definition, ethics is defined as, moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. Therefore by biblical standards ethics would be the moral standards of the Holy God and morality would be conducting ourselves in a way that glorifies a Holy God through righteous decision making and actions. If we look to Colossians 3:1-11 we see Paul addressing this type of living:
“So if you have been raised with Christ, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in the knowledge according to the image of your Creator. In Christ, there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.”
With this, we must understand that sin is simply a rebellion against God. You can further break that down, but often in doing so, we unintentionally add to or subtract from that basic principle of rebellion against God. We must then understand that God is Holy which means He is perfect and completely righteous and is deserving of our complete devotion. Anything short of perfection is a rebellion against the Holy God which we are incapable of achieving thus the need for a savior who we find in Jesus Christ. The gift of salvation through Jesus Christ does not, however, relinquish us from striving to live righteously.
So now that we have some things defined, we can dig into the very “UnPC” topic to which this article is about which is “transgenderism.” Notice I put that in quotes, I did this intentionally because this is a relatively new term for a psychological condition called gender dysphoria that has been around for a very long time. I believe that it is important to recognize that this is a psychological, medical condition just as is depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance dependence, etc.
By failing to acknowledge the fact that gender dysphoria is a mental illness we take away any accountability to both the individual and society. By normalizing this condition, we not only avoid encouraging treatment, but we also demonize it and label it “Transphobic.” More importantly, we discontinue the study and research of the disease which could lead to potential treatments and cures.
As the church, we do not and would not normalize a suicidal person’s disease (depression) and say that they have the right to end their own life because that is what they feel inside. We encourage them to seek treatment and get professional help. As the church, we classify suicide, not the root cause (depression), as a sin because it fits the definition of rebellion against God. Similarly, gender dysphoria, the root cause of the transgender lifestyle, is not sin in of itself. However, the manifestation of the disorder, the lifestyle that is now socially acceptable, is a rebellion against God and therefore is a sin. I believe the saying, “Hate the sin, love the sinner” although it is easily perverted, is very relevant in this situation. We are called by Christ to be loving to all people and all sinners, just as he loves us even as we are sinners. However, just as it is an unloving and hateful attitude to not share the gospel message of salvation with the lost, it is also hateful and unloving to help a sinner justify their sin away rather than lead them gently to repentance and in this case medical treatment.
Currently, we are seeing the transgender movement explode reminiscent of the sexual revolution in the 60s and in a similar fashion to the sexual revolution we see many young people falling into this movement who are simply following the popular trend who do not actually have gender dysphoria yet are living out the transgender lifestyle. If we consider the “Free Sex” agenda of the sexual revolution in the 60s as birthing the homosexual movement of the 80s and 90s, then we must recognize it as the grandparent of the transgender and gender fluid movement we see today, and the great-grandparent of whatever sexual movements are yet to come. All of these ideologies are simply rebellion against God and thus sin. God created us with two distinct sexes, man and woman as described in the book of Genesis. Scripture also tells us He created us to be in monogamous opposite-sex relationships designed for reproduction.
I believe it is abundantly clear why God describes sexual immorality as abhorrent in scripture when you recognize that these types of sexual revolutions oppose everything that God has created and challenge not only our identity in God but the actual identity of God. If we are created in God’s image as scripture says, then by identifying as anything other than what God has created us to be we are redefining who God is and opposing His authority over us. Any time we go down the path of believing we know what is best for ourselves over what God has laid out for us, we are rebelling against Him and making an idol of ourselves.
The church has continued to allow our definition of morality to be watered down by way of progressives. Many of which probably have good intentions, however, there is another old saying about where good intentions lead. When we began accepting and justifying divorce and unwed lifestyles in fear of chasing away members of our congregations and family members rather than lovingly rebuking and leading them gently to repentance, we laid the groundwork for doing the very same for homosexuality, transgenderism, and anything else that is headed our way. We have to replant our feet firmly on scripture and call sin exactly what it is, rebellion against God. We must stop sugar coating sin and justifying sin away for these are the tactics of the Father of Lies as Satan is described in the Gospel of John. We must stand firm upon God’s word when defining sin. We must treat sinners as Jesus commands with love and gentleness. We must be faithful in prayer, trusting God to work in their lives. If we do these things, I believe we will see many more examples of Prodigal Sons instead of the multitudes of brothers and sisters going to hell with a clear conscience because we have justified away their sin for them.