Monday, June 22, 2015

What Is The Most Loving Thing to Do?

After a high profile former athlete recently decided to become transgender and reported that he/she had suicidal thoughts, I wondered how common suicide is among transgender people.  As I was channel surfing, I stopped briefly on a channel that was talking about this very topic. They reported a staggering 41% suicide rate among those who transition to another gender.  To be honest, I don't even know the channel or the show. But I googled it and apparently the Williams Institute has done research on this topic. Here is the article highlighting the findings:

If the suicide rates for transgender people are really this high, then shouldn't we be loving these people and finding them healthier ways to deal with their gender issues?   If we don't discourage people from engaging in this situation with a documented 41% death rate, and in fact, encourage them by calling them "heroes."aren't we guilty of being complicit in a hate crime? Why don't we help them understand the truth about the thoughts they struggle with.

I understand that when sin entered the world, all kinds of awful things happened: lying, murder, stealing, adultery, and yes, gender confusion. But there is an answer, Jesus Christ. Jesus reiterated in Matthew 19:4 (NIV)  "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'" There is something deep within our DNA that tells every cell in our body which gender we are. The X and Y chromosomes determine our gender: XX for women and XY for men. When we try to we go against the very nature that God designed, it has to be stressful to the point of wanting to end our life.  Jesus wants to bring life and hope and goodness, to change our gender seems to steal emotional health, kill relationships and destroy life... Jesus says in John 10:10 (NIV) "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

I understand that there are chromosomal disorders and people with these disorders need love and sensitivity just like any of us with a disorder, but those are rare. The truth is, we all have a natural sin bent, a personal sin that reaches out to us and seems to easily lure us in, but we don't have permission to indulge that bent.  Why don't we encourage those with impulses to be ax murderers or pedophiles to act on those impulses?  Because it is harmful to them and others. So, why then do we encourage people to "embrace" and "act on" transgender impulses when we know it is going to be harmful to them and others?

We need to take another look at this issue in the light of the Truth.  Jesus said, "I AM THE TRUTH."
I believe Jesus would handle this just like he did with those he healed of other issues... He would pray to the Father and lovingly restore people to health and faith in Him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Best Laid Plans

My youngest are on a mission trip that was well planned and prayed for. The students had prepped and studied, the travel arrangements had been made, the teams were working together well. And with great promise the much anticipated departure time had come.

The bus, coming from another state was right on time when the driver decided to stop for gas before load and departure. He was about to pull out of the gas station when the brake line broke. No problem they would just send another bus. The 9 pm departure would just be slightly delayed. The next bus arrives 2 hours later. but misses a turn and attempts to turn around and falls into a ditch. No problem,  they can have it towed out and be on their way. But when the tow truck pulled them out the oil pan was destroyed. No problem, bus number three can be sent. Finally, at 4 AM the bus arrives, the kids load up. They had been sleeping around the church like it was O'hare during a snow storm. They make it to their first stop and the doors won't close. But alas the doors close and they are on their way. 
Not a fun 24 hours, but the kids finally arrived in Texas only to find out there's a housing issue. Needless to say parents several hundred miles away are praying fervently for this trip.
The second 24 hours yielded an AC breakdown in fry-an-egg on the sidewalk temperatures. 
I don't know what is going on, but it's definately one of those prayer and patience kinds of trips. 
One of the most difficult mission trips I ever experienced was as a student minister, the facilities were much more primitive than promised and the folks we were ministering to were much more hostile than expected. A seasoned mission trip going volunteer suggested an old fashioned prayer vigil. Each of us would take a half hour through the night to pray. Each one woke the next one at the end of their vigil to pray. The Lord answered in miraculous ways. Children came to salvation, teens were discipled in life-changing ways and through it all, God was glorified.

We sometimes make the plans, but it's the Lord who orders our steps. And he causes all things to work together for good for those who Love Him and are called according to His purpose.