“Born that Way” and Transgenderism: How Should Christians Respond?


(By Andrew T. Walker, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission). The pace at which the transgender debate has been thrust on American culture has left most Americans, and especially most Christians, playing catch-up. It’s hard to keep up with the expanding vocabulary of sexual identities. Perhaps most of all, Christians find it difficult to express objections to evolving gender identity norms when authority on one’s gender identity is mediated through personal experience.

The weight of personal testimony raises a good question that Christians must answer if we are going to be faithful to the Bible’s view of sex and gender: If a person who desires to live as a member of the opposite sex says “This is how I feel” or “This is how I was born,” how should Christian respond in heartfelt compassion when people wish merely to live out the identity they believe will bring them happiness and joy?

We must first begin by understanding how a common story underwrites everyone’s experience.

As I lay out in my forthcoming book, God and the Transgender Debate, Genesis 1 and 2 offers a picture where gender and biological sex are connected. This means that in the uncorrupted world of Genesis 1 and 2, an accurate view of how sex and biology should be related is depicted.

Creation did not stay uncorrupted. Rebellion occurred, and disorder resulted.

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Genesis 3:7)

The first result of the first rejection of God by Adam and Eve in Genesis is that people feel ashamed of, and awkward in, their bodies. Something went awry between the person’s experiences of who they are and what their body is. This wasn’t gender dysphoria per se, but it does testify to the reality that in a fallen world, our fallen sense of self manifests itself in an alienation from our bodies.

Genesis 3 means that everything went haywire. In a fallen creation, it should be expected that individuals would experience a sense of alienation between their biological sex and their perceived gender.

This is why the “I was born this way” argument holds so much sway, but remains problematic. In a fallen world, people are going to experience all sorts of different feelings about themselves. And in a very real way, all people are “born that way”—but we’re “born that way” because we are distorted versions of our created selves.

Nothing about experiencing the world through a particular feeling demands that we accept those feelings as normative and praiseworthy. People are born with all sorts of afflictions and predispositions that do not produce joy and wholeness. Whatever “we are born with” is to be evaluated by Scripture.


Listen as Carmen interviews Andrew Walker on The Reconnect.

Spotlight Interview with Andrew Walker: God and the Transgender Debate: What does the Bible actually say about gender identity




  1. REPLY
    Pete Fleming says

    There are cases where a child is born with both sex organs and if they guess wrong, then that could be terrible. Other than that, this seems to be a never ending freak show, the objective being – how long can we burden 99.8% of the population, stressing this to be an issue to corrupt our young and annoy the rest of us who have better things to do with our time, money and thought processes.

  2. REPLY
    peter gregory says

    The trans. issue for conservative Christians is much like the polemics of the LGBTQ movement. You are trying to make a Christian or faith based engagement to a culture that is by and large post-faith and post-objective truth. And the discussions or shouting is usually on matters of vocation, utility, or function. I doubt very much a conservative Christian would walk off a plane if they knew the pilot was Gay or refuse cancer surgery from a LGBTQ surgeon. My comments on the military and service have been made known. Again I doubt very much the ECOs and EPCs, even PCAs of the world would seek to bar LGBTQs on matters of access to either housing or police services , as they may have family members who may to gay. What they do object too is having the LGBTQ politics and ideology shoved down their collective throats by either polity, administrative fiat, or just plain strong arming (PCUSA). Or having their faith insulted, or their assets confiscated by the LGBTQ lobby (PCUSA).

    This is how you respond. Faith, freedom, opportunity. We all know there is no Constitutional guarantee to either LGBTQ marriage or even protected class status in either the Bill of Rights or Constitution proper. It occupies the same legal space and foundation as Abortion. Abortion is indeed a legal right as currently defined, but over all popular support of the act has remained either static or decreased since Row. Why? Because the faith and people of faith have made the argument, that such a practice falls outside what a civilized society, let alone a Christian one should tolerate. And those on the other side now cling to the lie of PP about women’s health access and such, to keep their historically low level of funding.

    The LGBTQ lobby can talk all they want about love, acceptance or general equality. But there is nothing equal as to how the LGBTQ laws are now used as a sword to either put Christian bakers and florists out of business, or in essence to deny Christians what is Constitutionally guaranteed by both civil and judo-christian Western values of faith, freedom, and the ability to make a living based on skills and work, not to be denied by some new aggrieved protected social class. That is a point and view and argument that wins in the post-faith, public square.

    Conservative Christians can choose to go down the rabbit hole of trying to convert or make trans/LGBTQ folks “straight” or just like them. I think that ship has sailed culturally and in the church at large. Now the fight is for Christian civil rights and Christian space in the culture to practice our faith as a free and independent people.

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