Thursday, June 07, 2007

United Methodists Approve Transgendered Pastor

A recent article in Baptist Press carries disturbing news about the approval of a transgendered pastor in the St. John's United Methodist Church in Baltimore Maryland. The article, which can be seen here describes how the pastor underwent an operation a year ago to have her sex changed from female to male. She also legally changed her name from Ann Gordin to Drew Phoenix. On May 25th she was reassigned as pastor of St. John's Church.

Disturbingly, Phoenix, who is supposed to be a beacon of truth based on the Word of God, distorts the sovereignty and foreknowledge of God by saying, "The gender I was assigned at birth has never matched my own true authentic God-given gender identity, how I know myself," Phoenix, 48, said, according to The Baltimore Sun. "Fortunately today God's gift of medical science is enabling me to bring my physical body in alignment with my true gender."

It is worth repeating that the good news of Jesus Christ is the news of transformation, but not gender transformation. Romans 12:2 commands us, "do not conform any longer to the ways of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." The transformation is one of conforming to God's standards, not the world's standards. God is responsible for creation, and the Psalmist makes it very clear that God knew us as He knit us together in the womb. Our God is a God who does not make mistakes, the claim by pop-psychology and liberal theology is that gender is not biological, but that is not the true claim of the Scripture.

Erin Roach, the BP reporter covering this story summarizes the event well. Leaders in the United Methodist Church apparently have no problem with a transgender pastor leading one of their congregations, and in fact, they applauded the pastor's bravery in charting new territory within the denomination. Unfortunatly, Ms. Roach did not go quite far enough, for the heart-breaking issue is that in applauding this sinful action, UMC leaders have spat upon the Word of God.

Mark Tooley, director of a conservative UMC action group has spoken out against this action. "Once again, liberal church elites, presiding over dwindling churches, are making decisions without regard for historic Christian teaching or a wider consensus among the church's membership," Tooley said in a news release May 25. "Rev. Phoenix merits compassion for a lifelong struggle over gender identity issues, as related at the conference. But the church helps no one when it fails to faithfully transmit the Gospel of hope and transformation."

May it be that this situation causes us all to fall to our knees and pray for revival across our land.

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