Transgender identity is subject of proposed SBC resolution

Meredith Flynn —  June 2, 2014

BREAKING_NEWSNEWS | Two Southern Baptist leaders have submitted a resolution on transgender identity that could be considered June 10-11 by messengers at the SBC’s annual meeting in Baltimore.

“You know you’re a cultural tipping-point when both Newsweek and Time magazine run cover stories on your cause within the span of a single year,” wrote Denny Burk, who co-authored the resolution. “Such is the case with transgender, which both Newsweek and Time have declared to be the next phase of the gay rights revolution.”

Burk, a professor at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky., co-wrote the resolution with Andrew Walker, director of policy studies at the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. The SBC Resolutions Committee will consider the measure prior to the annual meeting and decide whether to bring it (or an amended version) to the Convention for a vote.

On his blog, Burk outlined several reasons for the resolution: The American Psychiatric Association removed transgender from its list of disorders last year. Some school systems now allow students to use opposite-gender restrooms and locker rooms. And, Burk wrote, parents, medical professionals, and counselors are increasingly open to treatment – including sex reassignment surgery – that helps children and others identify with the gender they feel, rather than the one with which they were born.

“…Christians are going to have to have to meet the transgender challenge as a matter of great pastoral and missional urgency,” Burk wrote. “We must be clear about what the Bible teaches and be faithful to live that message out in a culture that is increasingly out of step with biblical norms.”

The full text of the proposed resolution is available at DennyBurk.com (scroll to the bottom of the post). It asks SBC voters to affirm several statements, including:

  • That “perceived conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity” is one way some people experience the brokenness sin brought into the world.
  • God’s design is that “gender identity should be determined by biological sex and not by one’s self-perception.”
  • Transgender persons should be invited to “trust in Christ and to experience renewal in the gospel.”
  • “That we regard our transgender neighbors as image-bearers of almighty God and therefore that we condemn acts of abuse or bullying committed against them.”
  • Opposition to efforts to bring biological sex in line with a different gender identity.
  • “Our love for the gospel and urgency for the Great Commission must include declaring the whole counsel of God, including what God’s word teaches about God’s design for us as male and female persons created in His image and for His glory.”

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.