The Conservative Response to Transgenderism
Recently, Danielle Smith’s government made a decision to announce some guidelines with regard to parental consent, gender pronouns, puberty blockers, and transgender surgeries. These guidelines protect young minors from making life-altering decisions and from making them without parental consent and/or notification.
For Christians, and especially for Christian parents who have kids in the public school system, the fact that there are now at least some guidelines surrounding these things will be a relief and a welcome change.
However, the NDP and Liberals have used this to try to lambaste Smith and the Conservatives as though they are hyper-conservative bigots. And of course they would! This is what politicians do! But Smith’s policy isn’t radically conservative or even Christian. It’s just adding a little bit of sanity and common sense to a discussion where that is wholly lacking. But in this current culture, it takes guts even to do that.
Smith has actually been careful to affirm two groups within our population: parents who are concerned about their rights being taken away, and 2SLGBTQ+ people who want to live their way. She has been very affirming of Transgender people and wants everyone to know that. She has made promises to bring in a better Transgender surgery doctor so these surgeries can continue and ramp up in our province.
In sum, Smith’s guidelines are not even all that conservative. Conservative social values are long gone from parliament and the public square. Christian values are buried even deeper in the past. Smith’s guidelines basically reflect the whole population of Alberta, which contains some conflicting values and ideas.
The Christian Response to Transgenderism
What is the Christian response to all of this?
First, of all, we have to make sure we are grounded in a biblical worldview. We have to know that our God created this world, and made human beings in his image, to reflect and represent him well with our rational and moral capacities (Gen 1:1, 26-28). We have to know that God created mankind in two genders: male and female (Gen 1:27). To be a boy or girl, man or woman, is a gift from God, and we all need to embrace how God created us and live out his plan and purpose for his glory.
God created this world with the social structure of the family in place. He has given children to parents, who are instructed to raise them in a loving and godly way (Eph 6:4; Deut 6:7). He has given parents the right to protect and care for their own children (Neh 4:14; 1 Thess 2:7).
God created a good world that was cursed by sin but is being redeemed by Christ (Gen 3; Gal 3). We are all broken with sin and confusion because of the Fall, and our own history of trauma and transgression (Eph 4:17-29). But when we trust in Christ and walk with him, he forgives us and will progressively renew us into his image and help us to live according to his will (Eph 4:20-24). For some, this may mean a difficult road of sanctification in the realm of gender, even learning to live with the effects of previous surgeries while trusting God for a resurrected and renewed body one day. But we are not without hope that Christ can change us and strengthen us to do what is right according to how he created us.
We need to understand that the desire to be another gender is an evil desire, and it must not be entertained or acted upon. It must be seen and named as sin, mourned over, and repented of (Col 3:5-6; Lev 18:22; Deut 22:5; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9). All this in the context of a supportive church community that will speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15-16). We need to have the Law of God and the Gospel of God lodged deeply and firmly in our hearts.
Second of all, we have to pray for our leaders, nation, and children. As we personally repent and put on a Christian mind, we must pray that more people in our nation and even our leadership, including Danielle Smith, would come to Christ and submit to his truth. We must pray for the protection of all children, and that all people would be swayed away from making the destructive choice to attempt to change their gender (1 Tim 2:1-8). The effects of such decisions are horrific and life-altering. I’ve heard a story about a young mother who could not breast-feed her baby because she made the choice to do a surgery earlier on, which she regretted. I’ve known a man who went through transgender alterations earlier in life only to become a Christian later and have to live on as best he could as a man, but now having those decisions to live with as well. Let us pray for our nation, that this Satanic darkness would be pushed back by the light of Christ!
Third of all, we have to be a voice of truth. We must not fear those who can cancel our social media accounts, fine us, or put us in prison. Rather, we must fear the Lord and speak his truth, knowing that he will take care of us and all things will work together for our good (Matt 10:26-33). To be silent is worse than suffering for the truth. It is to be complicit in the descent of society into a very dangerous place. It is to rob oneself of personal dignity and respect. And it is to stand before God one day as a coward, who will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 21:8).
Speaking the truth can take different forms: personal conversations that arise, communication to MPs, MLAs, and the Premier’s office, evangelism in the park in the Summer (please join me!), and perhaps some social media posts (though more personal forms of conversation are usually more meaningful).
One fellow at our church reminded me yesterday that leaders often cave under pressure, so we should encourage leaders like Danielle Smith who have enough guts to actually put some guidelines in place. And we should also let her know the fullness of what Christians believe on this matter, and that there is hope for her and all Albertans in Christ. Below is an email I sent to Danielle Smith’s office (Premier@gov.ab.ca). You might consider sending her or your MLA a similar email.
Honourable Premier Smith,
I would like to encourage you today and thank you for adding some common-sense, sane guidelines to our province with regard to transgender procedures, youth, and parental rights. In this culture, it is hard to stand against extremes and protect children and parents from these life-altering decisions.
As a Christian pastor, I don’t believe these policies go far enough. I believe all capitulation to transgenderism is wrong. However, I am thankful that you have done something to protect families and children in our Province. Please continue to do so despite the opposition and pressure from extreme voices.
Ultimately, transgenderism is a symptom of the sinfulness of humanity, which can be forgiven and redeemed through Christ alone and his death and resurrection. Christians will continue to believe this, and help transgender and LGBT people by leading them to the truth of their identity as a man or woman created in the image of God who can be redeemed and have an identity as God’s child in Christ. Christ is the only hope of all Albertans.
We will continue to pray for you as you lead our Province!
Rory St. John