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Unread 09-27-2016, 08:34 AM   #16
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Ran across this a few minutes ago. Getting ready to kick back and read it.

Executive Summary – Sexuality and Gender - The New Atlantis

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Unread 09-27-2016, 08:54 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Leboman View Post
Ran across this a few minutes ago. Getting ready to kick back and read it.

Executive Summary – Sexuality and Gender - The New Atlantis
Thanks for the link!

Sounds about what I would have said without all the research. And I doubt more research is necessary. Those who accept the overall conclusion say, "uh-huh." Those that disagree will want more research until they hear what they want to hear.

" We anticipate that this report may elicit spirited responses ... " Ya think?

Cheers!

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Unread 09-29-2016, 12:26 AM   #18
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So here's my thoughts.

It's clear to me that the breadth of the Tradition, (apart from some recent 'malarkey' - thanks charisjapan - mostly produced by liberal/'progressive' Christians) speaks to the existence of a gender binary, and indeed, of God's relating to Creation itself in terms of male and female: God is the one who seeds Creation with His energies (viz. St. Gregory of Palamas and the distinction between God's essence and energy), and in turn, Creation bears forth life.

What's a lot less clear to me is that the attributes that define this binary;

- exist without commingling or confusion in each and every human person (genetic chimerism, intersex conditions such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia)

- are defined solely in terms of the external genital presentation of the individual human being. It is silly to deny that they don't play any part, and thus to claim that you can just 'be whatever gender you want', as the modern LGBTQIA+ movement claims, but I'm not at all convinced that genitals form the be-all and end-all of what determines a person's God-given and God-gifted gender, otherwise, the people I referred to in the previous point could be said to not have been given a gender by God, which is clearly an insane proposition. The Scripture says, 'male and female created He them'. Unless you want to say that a person is neither - which is not admissible in Orthodox Christianity - they have to be one or the other. But determining which is, as has been said, sometimes not at all a simple proposition.

-
necessitate a specific set of likes and dislikes (eg. it's not okay for girls to like monster trucks or for boys to like cooking, playing with dolls, or tea parties. Hell, I have a huge beard and I love a good tea party - though not the crazy right-wing kind)

I want to focus on the second statement for a second. I just said that it's clear in the Christian tradition* that a binary exists. It's not clear, however, that that binary subsists solely in the genitals. In other words, it is conceivable that part of what determines the gender makeup of a person, and whether, in God's eyes, that person is male or female, subsists not solely in whether they were born with a _____ or a ______ (and indeed, there are some people for whom it's legit really difficult to tell whether they were born with a P or a V) but in the kind of neurological makeup that person has in terms of certain sexually dimorphic brain structures (i.e. structures that tend to be differently-sized in males or females).

I'll say more about any of this if people have queries.

*As an Orthodox Christian I do not believe that 'the Bible alone' represents the sole source of doctrine that forms the Church's teaching. Rather, I speak of "the Tradition" as encompassing all of the Church's teachings, whether committed to writing by the Apostles or not, that we believe have been handed down to us by Christ and His Apostles by the Church which He established to safeguard and transmit said teachings.
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I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac

Lo! How a rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as seers of old hath sung,
It came a flower bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah t'was foretold it, the rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind,
To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Saviour,
When half-spent was the night.

O flower whose fragrance tender with gladness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious speldour the darkness everywhere,
True man, yet very God! From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.


Last edited by IsaactheSyrian; 09-29-2016 at 03:36 AM.
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Unread 09-29-2016, 12:26 AM   #19
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...seriously? The words p3nis and v@gina are censored???
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I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac

Lo! How a rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as seers of old hath sung,
It came a flower bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah t'was foretold it, the rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind,
To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Saviour,
When half-spent was the night.

O flower whose fragrance tender with gladness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious speldour the darkness everywhere,
True man, yet very God! From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

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Unread 09-29-2016, 02:56 AM   #20
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Huh?

Ryan,

Honestly, I don't understand the point you are trying to make. God made men and women. There are those that have physical mutations/aberrations that could possibly blur that division, but they are very rare. Then we have emotional/psychological "indisctinctions" that are not black and white, but gray. As I have said, I deal with such things on a case-by-case basis ... what more are we supposed to do? Create laws to cover all bases? Shades of grey ... impossible to regulate. As soon as you satisfy one, another will complain that they are different. That is not a can of worms, but an impossibility.

And I am not sure what church traditions have to do with it ... ? Which traditions?

I can't help but think that Jesus has a much simpler way to deal with these things, that it is in the Bible, and that the Holy Spirit gives abundant understanding.

Peace in Jesus,

cj
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Unread 09-29-2016, 03:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charisjapan View Post
Ryan,

Honestly, I don't understand the point you are trying to make. God made men and women. There are those that have physical mutations/aberrations that could possibly blur that division, but they are very rare. Then we have emotional/psychological "indisctinctions" that are not black and white, but gray. As I have said, I deal with such things on a case-by-case basis ... what more are we supposed to do? Create laws to cover all bases? Shades of grey ... impossible to regulate. As soon as you satisfy one, another will complain that they are different. That is not a can of worms, but an impossibility.
I'm not trying to make any point other than that sexuality and gender is possibly a lot more complicated than some Christians would have you believe, for the reasons I alluded to.

Re-read what I said and if there are specific things I said that you disagree with or have questions about, then quote me in my own words and we'll talk.

Also, 'regulation' is not the point of the Christian faith. Healing people's souls so that they can grow into the image of God which they were made to be - is. To that end, there are norms. There are 'typical cases', but there is also oikonomia - the 'managing of the household' for cases that do not fall into the typical categories. A wise pastor employs both akrebia ('strictness') and oikonomia, as the case dictates.

Quote:
And I am not sure what church traditions have to do with it ... ? Which traditions?
The Christian Tradition, of course! Of which the Scriptures are a part See 2 Thessalonians 2:15, the relavant word [παράδοσις] means 'that which is handed down'.

It's not an essential point. I was merely trying to explain my use of the word 'tradition', since it might be a bit confusing to some. The Orthodox Church maintains that the whole of the Christian faith has been tradition-ed to us (paradosis-ed, if you will). In that sense, our faith is a tradition that we receive from those who teach it to us. In learning it, we embody it and live it out and then go into the world and teach them to observe all that Christ commanded (cf. Matt 28:20).
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac

Lo! How a rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as seers of old hath sung,
It came a flower bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah t'was foretold it, the rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind,
To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Saviour,
When half-spent was the night.

O flower whose fragrance tender with gladness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious speldour the darkness everywhere,
True man, yet very God! From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.


Last edited by IsaactheSyrian; 09-29-2016 at 03:52 AM.
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Unread 09-29-2016, 03:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaactheSyrian View Post
...seriously? The words p3nis and v@gina are censored???
I had to add those in a few years back to keep them out of spammer's links and images.

It cut down on the raw porn we were getting plastered on the site so I probably won't remove that as I have no desire to relive those clean ups of adds for "male enhancement" and porn. (It has nothing to do with medical terms being used appropriately)
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Unread 09-29-2016, 03:56 AM   #23
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lol, fair enough If I were responsible for going through and deleting a whole slew of porn, I'd probably do that too..
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac

Lo! How a rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as seers of old hath sung,
It came a flower bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah t'was foretold it, the rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind,
To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Saviour,
When half-spent was the night.

O flower whose fragrance tender with gladness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious speldour the darkness everywhere,
True man, yet very God! From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

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Unread 09-29-2016, 05:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaactheSyrian View Post
I'm not trying to make any point other than that sexuality and gender is possibly a lot more complicated than some Christians would have you believe, for the reasons I alluded to.

Re-read what I said and if there are specific things I said that you disagree with or have questions about, then quote me in my own words and we'll talk.

Also, 'regulation' is not the point of the Christian faith. Healing people's souls so that they can grow into the image of God which they were made to be - is. To that end, there are norms. There are 'typical cases', but there is also oikonomia - the 'managing of the household' for cases that do not fall into the typical categories. A wise pastor employs both akrebia ('strictness') and oikonomia, as the case dictates.

The Christian Tradition, of course! Of which the Scriptures are a part See 2 Thessalonians 2:15, the relavant word [παράδοσις] means 'that which is handed down'.

It's not an essential point. I was merely trying to explain my use of the word 'tradition', since it might be a bit confusing to some. The Orthodox Church maintains that the whole of the Christian faith has been tradition-ed to us (paradosis-ed, if you will). In that sense, our faith is a tradition that we receive from those who teach it to us. In learning it, we embody it and live it out and then go into the world and teach them to observe all that Christ commanded (cf. Matt 28:20).
Ryan,

Pardon me for speaking simply, but how complicated can sexuality be, for the vast majority of folks? The reasons you alluded to are mostly conjecture, and perhaps a little bit of observation colored by emotion and social agenda. IMO, a great deal of genetics still fall under the category of pseudo-science. Interpretation changes often, and therefore unreliable. Seems that we (this perverse generation) are feeling something, then manipulating conjecture to confirm our speculations.

Could it be, just maybe, that much of the hoopla is confused folks trying to explain sin without any conviction of sin?

About tradition, especially as expressed in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, it is not the traditions of man's interpretation of God's will taught to others, but the tradition of men of faith, walking in faith, and the testimony of God's grace, mercy, and love. The difference is in the interpretation ... history shows that man's interpretation of God's will is often influenced by social situations and emotion.

My friend, I practice grace daily, as one called to shepherd the flock. Theory, academics, and supposed societal evolution are nice, but I live in what I believe to be a much simpler world, and most people don't really worry about such. We want to live a life that gives glory to God, and when that becomes difficult, we ask the Lord for guidance ... which He grants. Even to the "complicated" situations, Jesus is the answer ... as corny as that sounds, I believe it and walk it.

As always, my opinion, and YMMV,

cj
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Unread 09-29-2016, 05:56 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charisjapan View Post
Ryan,

Pardon me for speaking simply, but how complicated can sexuality be, for the vast majority of folks?
Try telling a teenager who is dealing with all the changes to their body that sexuality isn't complicated.

On the one hand, the Tradition teaches a binary. This is a fact. I left Anglicanism for the Orthodox Church in part because in abandoning the male/female binary in their theology, their view of who Christ is and what the Church is in relation to Christ became (to be frank) nonsense. So I know fully well how important 'male and female created He them' is to the integrity of the Christian tradition.

On the other, sexuality deals with emotions and how people act in society, and this is complicated.

Quote:
The reasons you alluded to are mostly conjecture, and perhaps a little bit of observation colored by emotion and social agenda.
No, they're not conjecture. Sexual dimorphism of certain brain regions is an observable fact of human neurology. That medical conditions exist that cause ambiguous genitalia to present is a fact. That medical conditions exist that can cause cells from a different person (usually a twin that is ' absorbed' - also known as chimerism) to exist inside a person's body - is a fact.

The only 'agenda' I have is to accurately and faithfully live out the Tradition handed down to us by Christ and the Apostles through the Church, and be merciful to those who fall outside the lines.

Saying that trying to be merciful to people who have atypical neurological gender or chromosomal disorders or some other thing is 'trying to justify sin' is insane.

Quote:
IMO, a great deal of genetics still fall under the category of pseudo-science.
And you base this opinion on what?
Quote:
Interpretation changes often, and therefore unreliable. Seems that we (this perverse generation) are feeling something, then manipulating conjecture to confirm our speculations.
I agree that science can be used to suit an agenda. My only agenda is faithfulness to the Tradition and as much mercy as possible to my neighbor who doesn't fit the neat little mold. How dare you accuse me of trying to justify sin on that basis!?

Quote:
About tradition, especially as expressed in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, it is not the traditions of man's interpretation of God's will taught to others, but the tradition of men of faith, walking in faith, and the testimony of God's grace, mercy, and love. The difference is in the interpretation ... history shows that man's interpretation of God's will is often influenced by social situations and emotion.
You're making a mountain out of a molehill - a footnote I intended to explain what I meant by the term 'the Tradition'. If you want to debate what the shape of the Tradition is, please start another thread.

Quote:
My friend, I practice grace daily, as one called to shepherd the flock. Theory, academics, and supposed societal evolution are nice, but I live in what I believe to be a much simpler world, and most people don't really worry about such. We want to live a life that gives glory to God, and when that becomes difficult, we ask the Lord for guidance ... which He grants. Even to the "complicated" situations, Jesus is the answer ... as corny as that sounds, I believe it and walk it.
The answer absolutely is Jesus. But we also live in reality, and must deal with reality as it is. Not bringing to bear and grappling with the best evidence available about how the world works in light of the Tradition, is a recipe for living in ignorance.

Science is not at odds with the Christian faith. If you believe that it is, you are mistaken.

Quote:
As always, my opinion, and YMMV,
If your opinion is based on faulty understanding, then it isn't worth much.
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac

Lo! How a rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as seers of old hath sung,
It came a flower bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah t'was foretold it, the rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind,
To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Saviour,
When half-spent was the night.

O flower whose fragrance tender with gladness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious speldour the darkness everywhere,
True man, yet very God! From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.


Last edited by IsaactheSyrian; 09-29-2016 at 06:18 AM.
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Unread 09-29-2016, 06:52 AM   #26
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I'm sorry. I tried to re-write the above so it sounds less crotchety. I didn't have much success. Forgive me I'm a crotchety old..crotch.
__________________
I believe, O Lord, and I confess, that You are truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief...
~ Ryan Isaac

Lo! How a rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming, as seers of old hath sung,
It came a flower bright, amid the cold of winter,
When half-spent was the night.

Isaiah t'was foretold it, the rose I have in mind,
With Mary we behold it, the Virgin Mother kind,
To show God's love aright, she bore to us a Saviour,
When half-spent was the night.

O flower whose fragrance tender with gladness fills the air,
Dispel with glorious speldour the darkness everywhere,
True man, yet very God! From sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

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Unread 09-29-2016, 07:11 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaactheSyrian View Post
Try telling a teenager who is dealing with all the changes to their body that sexuality isn't complicated.

On the one hand, the Tradition teaches a binary. This is a fact. I left Anglicanism for the Orthodox Church in part because in abandoning the male/female binary in their theology, their view of who Christ is and what the Church is in relation to Christ became (to be frank) nonsense. So I know fully well how important 'male and female created He them' is to the integrity of the Christian tradition.

On the other, sexuality deals with emotions and how people act in society, and this is complicated.
I deal with teenagers all the time. I pastor a church, and am principal of out little homeschool/church school. I have dealt with my own children, children in the church, and a lot of outside counseling for over 30 years. It is not as complicated as the world is making it. (keyword-making) Folks have been dealing with life for at least several thousand years, not much has really changed.

Quote:
No, they're not conjecture. Sexual dimorphism of certain brain regions is an observable fact of human neurology. That medical conditions exist that cause ambiguous genitalia to present is a fact. That medical conditions exist that can cause cells from a different person (usually a twin that is ' absorbed' - also known as chimerism) to exist inside a person's body - is a fact.

The only 'agenda' I have is to accurately and faithfully live out the Tradition handed down to us by Christ and the Apostles through the Church, and be merciful to those who fall outside the lines.

Saying that trying to be merciful to people who have atypical neurological gender or chromosomal disorders or some other thing is 'trying to justify sin' is insane.
You are talking about an infinitesimal portion of the whole. Those folks I would give special attention as I said before, and I trust the Lord would give wisdom. I admit that by many modern standards, I am insane ... I believe in God.

Quote:
And you base this opinion on what?
Scientist claim to know a lot, but then backtrack a lot, too. One research says this, another says that ... not yet confirmed science.

Quote:
I agree that science can be used to suit an agenda. My only agenda is faithfulness to the Tradition and as much mercy as possible to my neighbor who doesn't fit the neat little mold. How dare you accuse me of trying to justify sin on that basis!?
Wasn't accusing you of anything, my friend. I made it pretty clear that I was talking about this perverse generation.

Quote:
You're making a mountain out of a molehill - a footnote I intended to explain what I meant by the term 'the Tradition'. If you want to debate what the shape of the Tradition is, please start another thread.
Actually, I am trying to make a molehill out of a mountain. I have no intention whatsoever of starting a thread about the interpretation of the term tradition (with a small "T")

Quote:
The answer absolutely is Jesus. But we also live in reality, and must deal with reality as it is. Not bringing to bear and grappling with the best evidence available about how the world works in light of the Tradition, is a recipe for living in ignorance.

Science is not at odds with the Christian faith. If you believe that it is, you are mistaken.
I am present in this temporal reality, but my home is in eternity with Jesus. I deal with reality exactly as it is ... I am considered to be a pretty pragmatic Christian! But I see a lot of lies mixed in with truth these days, and our enemy is a master of lies. I try to see through the murkiness.

Quote:
If your opinion is based on faulty understanding, then it isn't worth much.
" If your opinion is based on faulty understanding" ... Agreed, my opinion is absolutely worthless on the internet ... like everyone else. My real job is here in Japan (and sometimes Hawaii), with real people and real situations. The record shows that my understanding is not entirely faulty, FWIW.

Ryan, I am sorry my statements upset you. I am merely expressing how I see things, how I live in this world. I base my opinions on observation and hopefully, the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I do not assume to judge your faith, or your intelligence, and my words were not directed specifically at you, but in keeping with the thread discussion.

Peace to you in Christ Jesus,

cj
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Unread 09-29-2016, 05:34 PM   #28
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I hate to say I haven't read the entire thread but decided to post a reply anyways while my thoughts are fresh in mind. Forgive me for that.

In practice I try to keep my mouth shut and be as sensitive as I can in regards to all of this. Working in schools makes this of the utmost importance right now.

That said, I wonder if we have misdiagnosed the problem. I think our society is under major shifting and upheaval faster than we can adapt and our language, culture, politics, philosophy, and theology have yet to catch up. Until we can correctly name the issue and prescribe a response I think it best to abide and love.

I think we really do need to establish clear boundaries between sex and gender so that we can more easily navigate the open waters. The physical makeup of people have for so long been indicative of their societal roles that in these modern times where social roles have changed so rapidly I think it best for us to try to create a form of detachment. I understand the men that don't identify with their "maleness". It is extremely difficult to fulfill that role of being a traditional "man" in our current society (this is due to any number of factors...pick one: economics, family makeup, politics, careers, education, media...). I think this has always been an issue, but never before have we had the technological prowess that allows for the types of procedures taking place today. Couple that up with an over amplification of the individual through media such as the internet and mass media companies, reactionary politics, and a constant undermining sense of stress and discontent among the vast majority of people with the current state of affairs in this grand experiment of globalization and we have a recipe for our current situation. Mental health has failed in many aspects by the over reliance on chemical fixes and surgical procedures. The church has failed in their lack of wisdom, tact, and sensitivity. The media has failed us by indirectly prescribing answers and ridiculing those that question said answers. And the government has failed us by allowing the media to become a demagogue and help to dictate policy. The individual then is left with not much to go on in regards to guideposts for morality and truth.

I think we currently have great power but a lack of wisdom. Rather than asking the right questions, we move forward with action and ask the wrong questions afterwards. I just pray that those that make life altering decisions don't become more damaged later on because of their decisions.

In other words, rather than addressing where transgender people exist within Scripture, perhaps we should discuss the systemic powers that have caused this question to arise. To put it more plainly - will we allow physical makeup determine who you are? If not, how will we allow the individual who is increasingly more self-aware to determine who they are in society?

I may delete this post if I come back to read it and think I've made an ass of myself. If it's clear that I've done so, just ignore it and wait a little while for it to go away.
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Unread 09-29-2016, 07:20 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Almost Enough View Post
I hate to say I haven't read the entire thread but decided to post a reply anyways while my thoughts are fresh in mind. Forgive me for that.

In practice I try to keep my mouth shut and be as sensitive as I can in regards to all of this. Working in schools makes this of the utmost importance right now.

That said, I wonder if we have misdiagnosed the problem. I think our society is under major shifting and upheaval faster than we can adapt and our language, culture, politics, philosophy, and theology have yet to catch up. Until we can correctly name the issue and prescribe a response I think it best to abide and love.

I think we really do need to establish clear boundaries between sex and gender so that we can more easily navigate the open waters. The physical makeup of people have for so long been indicative of their societal roles that in these modern times where social roles have changed so rapidly I think it best for us to try to create a form of detachment. I understand the men that don't identify with their "maleness". It is extremely difficult to fulfill that role of being a traditional "man" in our current society (this is due to any number of factors...pick one: economics, family makeup, politics, careers, education, media...). I think this has always been an issue, but never before have we had the technological prowess that allows for the types of procedures taking place today. Couple that up with an over amplification of the individual through media such as the internet and mass media companies, reactionary politics, and a constant undermining sense of stress and discontent among the vast majority of people with the current state of affairs in this grand experiment of globalization and we have a recipe for our current situation. Mental health has failed in many aspects by the over reliance on chemical fixes and surgical procedures. The church has failed in their lack of wisdom, tact, and sensitivity. The media has failed us by indirectly prescribing answers and ridiculing those that question said answers. And the government has failed us by allowing the media to become a demagogue and help to dictate policy. The individual then is left with not much to go on in regards to guideposts for morality and truth.

I think we currently have great power but a lack of wisdom. Rather than asking the right questions, we move forward with action and ask the wrong questions afterwards. I just pray that those that make life altering decisions don't become more damaged later on because of their decisions.

In other words, rather than addressing where transgender people exist within Scripture, perhaps we should discuss the systemic powers that have caused this question to arise. To put it more plainly - will we allow physical makeup determine who you are? If not, how will we allow the individual who is increasingly more self-aware to determine who they are in society?

I may delete this post if I come back to read it and think I've made an ass of myself. If it's clear that I've done so, just ignore it and wait a little while for it to go away.
Well said ... you should be more confident! (and I quoted it so you can't delete!)

But ...

While I agree that we lack wisdom, I don't think we have near as much power as it might appear.

Medicine has made great advances, surgical technique certainly (better anesthesia, chop, slice, graft, stop infection), but we can't cure the common cold or even prevent it beyond ages-old common sense. I am Celiac, came upon suddenly at age 50, but except for stay away from gluten and a little relief (and side effects) via Dapsone, doctors are mostly clueless. Cancer, immune disorders, etcetera ... we are just not that smart. Please understand, I am NOT knocking the medical community! My point is that we still know so very little about God's creation, even though we marvel at our abilities and claim that immense breakthroughs are "just around the corner."

Internal medicine? Ummm... we can't even come up with a satisfactory pain-killer that does not get you strung out. Yes, yes, I know about the "great strides" ... but the side effects and misdiagnosis and misdosage (Ooo, a new word!) and iffy interactions and still.a.lot.of.sick.people! make me wonder about our wonderfulness.

Psychology and psychiatry ... if we really had a clue, why is everyone on anti-depressants? Nearly every child is diagnosed with something that requires therapy and drugs. I better stop here on this one.

Social "science" seems to only making people less happy with their circumstances and with the whole world. I better stop on this one, too.

The church ... is failing to help most of the problems addressed in this thread. We keep parts of society "in check" ...but while having many "answers," we don't fully trust that Jesus is the Answer. Institutionalization of faith is supposed to strengthen the church, but in my opinion, has put Jesus up on the wall, along with all of the other accoutrements.

I don't have the answer for everyone, because my method is pretty radical. I divorced myself from organized and popular religion. It's harder than you might think!

Be of good cheer!

cj
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