Blog Articles

Social Media

Cover of "Transgender" by Vaughan RobertsContinuing to look at this much-talked-about subject, below is a short synopsis of Chapter 4 of the book "Transgender" by Vaughan Roberts, published by thegoodbook company, ISBN 978-1-78498-195-2 which can be obtained from your local Christian bookshop or by going to the website. The cost is just less than £3. Summaries of the remaining three chapters will follow in subsequent blog posts.

Chapter 4:

In this chapter Roberts moves on to the biblical story of the ‘fall’ (Genesis 3) and its effects on humanity and creation. These include the facts that now ‘all of us by nature follow in the way of Adam and Eve, in rebellion against God’, and that ‘the material world, including our bodies, has been spoilt.’ We are all now broken and disordered. This biblical insight that we are all both created and broken ‘is vital,’ claims Roberts, ‘for understanding not just transgender questions but every kind of human affliction – physical or psychological’.

Physically, the bodies of each of us get sick and decline as we get older, while some of us were born with deformities, including intersex conditions. Roberts notes that ‘up to about 1% of people are born with conditions in which their chromosomes or their sexual or reproductive anatomy does not fit with what is typical for men or women.’ For the vast majority of this group, however, their sex ‘is not in doubt’. Nevertheless, there is a small percentage (0.02%) whose sex cannot be identified simply ‘by looking at their genitalia.’ Roberts wants to differentiate this physical intersex condition completely from gender dysphoria, which stems from ‘the mind, emotions and sense of identity’.

Psychologically, the fall also affects us all to some extent or other, leaving us, e.g., struggling with ‘stress, anxiety or depression’ – something that should encourage us to be humble and compassionate in our dealings with one another. Amongst those psychologically affected by the fall Roberts would include those who experience gender dysphoria and who feel alienation from their bodily identity as men or women. As we’ve already seen there is no agreement on what causes this, and it is likely that causation varies from person to person. ‘In very general terms,’ says Roberts, ‘we can say that it is the result of sin – as is everything that spoils life on earth.’ ‘But it’s very important that we don’t move from the general to the specific’, warns Roberts, ‘and imply that an individual’s gender dysphoria is because of their own personal sin.’ On the other hand, Roberts also reminds us that, regardless of the particular struggles and temptations we have, ‘we are, of course, responsible for how we respond to them.’

Having dealt with the physical and psychological impacts of the fall, Roberts goes on to discuss what may well be the greatest and most significant effect of the fall – our perverse, ‘disordered hearts’ which desire and choose ways that are contrary to those of God. One way in which humans show this perverse rebellion against God is when ‘we refuse to go along with the way he has made the world, such as in the division of the sexes.’ But this is only one of a myriad of other ways in which human beings express their perverse rebellion against God. We are all affected and implicated. None of us should look down on anyone else, for ‘there is no-one righteous, not even one’ (Rom 3:10). 

Consequently, concerning those who struggle with transgender issues, Roberts concludes: ‘We will never give in to a “yuk” reaction, because they are beautiful and precious creatures made in God’s image, but neither will we give way to the false notion that “they were made that way.” We are all ‘created but fallen … made but marred.’

Summary prepared by Rev Hector Morrison