Last week, the Episcopal Church leaders in the United States held their 80th annual conference. Leading bishops voted on and passed a resolution declaring transgenderism a religious liberty, and as such, to be supported and even defended by those within the Episcopal Church.
In 2018, Pastor Rich Lusk and his congregation at Trinity Presbyterian in Birmingham approved their own position paper on the transgender issue and other issues of sexuality within the church and church leadership.
Lusk has not shied away from challenging the transgender ideology from the pulpit either. He says the issue is being pushed to the forefront of American culture by the progressive left and is sucking up all the oxygen in the room for a reason. Lusk says legitimate gender dysphoria affects very few statistically speaking but still symbolizes so much to those with liberal ideology in that it "crystallizes the modern therapeutic (non-objective) view of self and sexuality."
In one of his sermons, Lusk posits the idea that transgenderism is extremely important to the leftist movement because it's the ultimate human laboratory to run experiments in sexual autonomy as an act of defiance against God. Lusk maintains that a truly biblical view accepts that identity and sexuality are given and assigned by God and cannot be changed.
Lusk responded to this recent decision by the Episcopal bishops, calling it one more compromise in a long string of compromises made by the Episcopal Church and other denominations.
"It's disappointing and is obviously very sad and frustrating to watch. I think this is what happens when the Great Commission is reversed; instead of the church discipling the nations, the nations begin to disciple the church, and the culture has way more influence over the church than the church has over the culture."
One perplexing part of the recent Episcopalian resolution was the initial reference to humans being made in the "image of God" based on the first chapter of Genesis. This biblical concept was used as their reason for supporting the practice of transgenderism at any age. Lusk responded to the particular use of this biblical term.
"A church that adopts this kind of gender ideology and still uses biblical language such as the 'image of God' - they might use all kinds of biblical language or what seems to be biblical practices - they have still departed from the God of the Bible. They have departed from the God who made us, male and female."
"When it comes to being made in the image of God, that means we belong to God, and we don't get to deface God's image. And that is what is being done with this transgender ideology. It really goes back to the lie from the serpent in the garden [of Eden], 'you shall be as God.' You can be your own creator. You can be whatever you imagine yourself to be, whatever you feel like being. Your feelings and your imagination has become your God. At this point, you have departed from the God of scripture.
"And I think especially to impose this type of gender ideology upon a child is nothing short of child abuse, quite frankly."
Lusk cited the testimonies from those who have gone through with hormone therapy or even surgery and have since regretted it because it did not solve whatever struggle they were having mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
According to Lusk, competing theories on creation are at the root of how our current culture grows willing to engage in life-altering practices of changing identities and genders.
"I would say that more than anything else, the evolutionary worldview stands behind this because with the evolutionary worldview, 'chance' rules. Nothing is fixed, everything is fluid, nothing has a design or a nature given to it by God. If everything we see existing around us is from the 'Big Bang,' whenever it supposedly took place, and whatever was there at the beginning, the original hydrogen atoms, can now morph into planets and moons, and stars and rocks, and mosquitoes, and giraffes and oak trees and humans, if basically anything can become anything, which is what the evolutionary theory has to say, then why can't a man become a woman, and a woman become a man? Anything can become anything."
Lusk says when any church allows its sacred text of the Old Testament to fall to the wayside and be replaced with scientific "theory" as a greater authority (or idol), then all manner of confusion over sexuality, marriage, the family, and gender will result.
"I think one reason why the church has become susceptible to this is because we have not taken a firm stance on Genesis, or the creation account which is so foundational to so many things.
"Just for example, when you read in the New Testament when Jesus or the apostle Paul were dealing with issues on sex, marriage, and the roles of men and women, where did they go? They would refer back to the Bible's account of creation and how God made them male and female, to begin with. If that creation account is dismissed or replaced or compromised with evolutionary theory, that's when the dominoes begin to fall. And you can see how a church that jettisons Genesis might end up with transgender ideology like what's happened in the Episcopal Church.
"This is not the first compromise the Episcopal Church has made. This is just the next step in an ongoing slide into idolatry, but it's a significant step, and it's one that is going to be very damaging however it plays out."
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