LOVE and KNOWLEDGE:
I view my right to CD as covered under the scripture which reads. “’All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful.” (1 Cor. 10:23) As with everything in life, some aspects of CDing are profitable but some are not. Deciding which are and which aren’t will come through experience and common sense. The Lord will guide.
But beyond “my rights” is the issue of causing another brother (sister) to stumble through carelessness or self-indulgence. Paul, who celebrated his freedom in Christ, also said in 1 Cor 8:8 “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up...” Knowing you have the freedom in Christ shouldn’t give you license to abuse it.
This next part I think has a direct correlation to TG issues or any issue we face which is debated as being “sin” or not.
When discussing the issues of food being offered up to idols Paul said, “...We are no worse off if we do not eat (the meat offered to idols), and no better off if we do.” It was a non-issue with him. But he continues to make a more universal point at the end of chapter 8:12 by stating, “...Thus, sinning against your brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of my brother’s falling, I will never eat meat, lest I cause my brother to fall.”
I see a parallel here to TG issues. Exploring TG issues in our lives (through actions like CDing) is viewed by many as wrong and sinful. We at TG Christian believe that this is not the case. And whether it is sin or not we still have the freedom in Christ to explore these issues as He allows. This is similar to how eating the meat sacrificed to idols was viewed, Paul saw it as “OK” while many others believed it was wrong. Paul was willing to give up his freedom to eat meat so that another brother (sister) would not stumble.
Is the bible saying to lock ourselves back in the closet to please or “weaker” fellow Christians? NO!
What I am saying is that being considerate of other Christians is especially important. And the loving thing to do is to consider their feelings over our own as it is with anything in life. We should not flaunt our freedom in Christ, nor intellectually beat-up our “weaker” brothers and sisters.
So how do we “shine the light” of the Jesus who is our beautiful groom to be? May I humbly submit that it is through patient, loving education that we will be accepted. I envision those of us who are C-TG as banner carriers in the cause of understanding God’s diversity, love and grace. But we should be careful that the pole our banner flies on doesn’t have too sharp a point. I think Romans 14:11-23 sums it up best. (I will replace the words “eat” and “eating” with what is most familiar to me “CD” and “CDing” to demonstrate my point. I will also soften the sexist language and take some fairly aggressive liberties - I hope not too many).
“Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall give praise to God. Each of us shall give an account of himself or herself to God. So let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother or sister.
I know and am persuaded by the Lord that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for the one who thinks it is unclean. If your fellow Christian is being injured by your CDing, you are not walking in love. Do not let what you wear cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let that which you hold as good, be spoken of as evil.
For the kingdom of God is not clothes or gender, but righteousness, peace and joy in the holy spirit. He who serves Christ in this fashion is acceptable to God and approved of by men and women.
Let us then pursue that which makes for peace and MUTUAL upbuilding. The faith which you have, keep between yourself and God;
Happy is he or she who has NO REASON TO JUDGE THEMSELVES in that which they approve! (Don’t give yourself a reason to deny your true-nature!)
May God richly bless all his TG saints who walk that narrow road of the gender blessed. The path is hard, but the rewards are well worth it.
Your sister in Christ,
Trying not to offend any one is virtually imposable and I am not sure that we should in all cases try! What I think this means is that when we wear clothing that is overly suggestive or our behavior is un "lady like" then there is reason to consider that what we are doing is sinful.
To Pare a Phrase, you will offend some of the people some of the time, some of the people none of the time, but you wouldn't offend all of the people all of the time.