Faith Questions

Navigating LGB(T+) Relationships as a Christian

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Last week we talked about how to navigate LGB relationships as a Christian. Today, we are talking about the “T”: transgender relationships (siblings, co-workers, friends, etc.) and how to faithfully pursue those relationships as a believer. If you haven’t listened to last week’s episode, please do so! That sets the foundation and the tone. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on a lot of the groundwork. 

Remember the four principles from last week:

  1. At the heart of Christianity is the gospel: God loves you and has sent his Son to rescue you from your sin and restore a relationship with you. 
  2. If you believe in the God of the Bible, the Bible makes it clear that engaging in same-sex relationships is sinful BUT Christians should not hold non-Christians to a biblical standard. 
  3. Christians have often viewed same-sex behaviors and relationships as worse sins. This should not be the case. 
  4. Christ calls his followers to die to themselves.

These all still apply with some slight modifications.

The Biblical Foundation

Let’s set a major biblical foundation when it comes to this issue:

 God intentionally created male and female.

This wasn’t controversial 15 years ago, but now, this statement is highly controversial!

Males and females were created to complement each other, they are not interchangeable. There are also biological differences between men and women. On a fundamental level, we know that men have more testosterone and greater bone density, they produce sperm, and they have a Y chromosome. Women typically have more white matter in their brains, have a bigger memory center, have two X chromosomes, produce eggs, and are able to support the growth of life. 

These differences are beautiful and should be celebrated, not minimized. There are things men can do that women can’t. There are things women can do that men can’t. This is a good thing! This does not mean that one is inferior or superior. But this gives us the ability to partner with and support each other.

But what about someone who is born intersex?

It is true that there are medical anomalies, not everyone fits neatly into an XX or XY framework. 

As these situations arise, they need to be handled with grace, love, and compassion. But we must not use these cases to say that gender is meaningless or that the differences between males and females do not exist. 

We don’t use medical anomalies to define the norm in any other case. There are differences between your hand and your foot. Now, some people are born without hands, some are born without feet, and some are born without both. Some lose a hand or foot. But we don’t take these situations to try and say that there is no difference between hands and feet. Exceptions don’t determine rules, we handle them on a case-by-case basis giving them the love, care, and attention that they deserve. 

But isn’t there a difference between sex and gender?

“Sex is assigned at birth and focuses on the physiological characteristics of male and female”

“Gender is the socially constructed characteristics of men and women.” 

Just because someone does not fit into the socially constructed aspects of a man or woman doesn’t mean that they are not a man or woman.

If a boy doesn’t like sports but wants to play with Barbies, that doesn’t suddenly make him a woman. 

Just because a girl loves sports and doesn’t like fashion doesn’t make her a boy. 

What is “girly” and “manly” completely varies by location in the world. The Gospel and biblical truths transcend all the cultures of the world.

The question is, is someone who is transgender truly their new gender? Biology would tell us no.

This is so controversial, and many today would ideologically not agree with this. But, men who transition to females are still inherently advantaged physically (in some capacities – strength, etc.). Men who transition to female are not able to produce human life, they do not have the capability of menstruating.  Women who transition to male are not able to produce sperm.

These aren’t the only things that define what a man or woman is, but they play a big role in it. Those biological differences still remain. If you find the bones of someone from hundreds of years ago, based on their physical characteristics you can know whether they were male or female. 

The irony is that people say gender is a social construct but then they try to fit into that social construct. 

From a Christian perspective, God intentionally created male and female, there isn’t a distinction between sex and gender, and the differences we discussed are to be celebrated, not minimized!

Moving Forward in a Hostile Society

So after setting this foundation, how do we move forward as Christians in a society that is increasingly hostile to this viewpoint? 

#1: We need to hold on to the truth but do so in love.

As followers of Christ, we seek to demonstrate love to everyone but to stand firm on biblical truths. 

Affirming someone’s sin as good is not speaking the truth. We don’t go all “hellfire and brimstone” and we don’t mock or belittle others. But at the same time, we don’t call what God says is good bad and we don’t call what God says is bad good. 

Isaiah 5:20-21 says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!”

As Christians, we don’t affirm sin, and we need to stand firm in that. Don’t go out of your way to anger someone, but stand firm on the truth. 

For example, we would use preferred names but don’t use preferred pronouns.

#2: Remember, we preach the gospel and allow God to transform.

Oftentimes, as Christians, we rage against culture, but we don’t interact with it. Too often, Christians either isolate themselves from the world or try to make themselves look just like it 

We are sent into the world to transform it, not to run away from it. We are ministers of reconciliation that God uses to minister to others.  

I (Nathaniel) once heard a pastor say that when everybody else runs out, Christians run in. This should be our mentality. We aren’t at war against people and called to build a wall around us to protect us and our kids from outside influences. The way we actually engage in spiritual warfare is by interacting with and opening up our lives to people who are different than us.

It’s messy and hard and puts yourself at risk, but we should not avoid it.

#3: Pursue people who don’t look like you, think like you, or act like you.

Coworkers, neighbors, friends we do hobbies with, etc… Invite them into your house, talk with them, and build relationships with them!

Demonstrate the gospel, but also speak the gospel.

Don’t run away from those opportunities and situations.


A big question for Christians is whether to use a transgender person’s preferred name and pronouns or not. This is a really difficult question, and we have our own personal opinion. You need to wrestle with this question and decide for yourself.

But, I (Nathaniel), would not use a transgender person’s preferred pronouns. From a biblical worldview, you can’t change your gender, so I wouldn’t call someone by a different name than what they are. But, I’m not going to go out of my way to call that person by their actual gender’s pronouns just to rub it in their face. Don’t be a jerk about it.

However, I will call them by their preferred name. For the purpose of building bridges, we are going to use their name. It’s also easy to just refer to them by their name, instead of using pronouns.

I (Xan) have wrestled with this. I used to lean towards the idea that couldn’t do any harm to call a transgender person by their preferred pronouns. It felt like it built a wall before you could ever build a relationship. But, we haven’t really had to put this belief into practice yet.

What does discipleship of a transgender person look like?

Say that a transgender person has accepted Christ. What now? How should we disciple them? Honestly, it should look like discipleship for any other person! Read the Bible. Go to church. Walk through the fundamentals of the faith. 

Just like someone living with their boyfriend or girlfriend before coming to faith may start being abstinent after coming to faith, someone who is transgender would start going back to the sex God gave them at birth after becoming a believer. If they have had surgeries, it may require abstinence for the remainder of their lives. 

We recognize that this is and will be incredibly difficult and challenging. Remember what we talked about in Luke 14:25-33 and counting the cost in the last episode. It requires picking up our cross, choosing to suffer, and following Christ.

This requires a lot of patience from us! As believers, we are learning and growing and we can’t expect perfection from each other. Walk with them in patience and show them the love of Christ!

One Degree Shift

Try to get to know people who think and live differently than you. Have them over to your house and open up your lives to them!

Before you encounter a situation, dig through Scripture and know where you stand on using a transgender person’s preferred names and pronouns!

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