Can we combine compassion and truth in response to transgender?

Sep 13, 2021 by

by Ian Paul, Psephizo:

Andrew Bunt, who is Assistant Pastor at King’s Church, Hastings and Bexhill, has written a fascinating and helpful Grove Booklet on welcoming and supporting transgender people in the Grove Pastoral series, under the title People not Pronouns: Reflections on Transgender Experience. I asked him about the background to writing the booklet, and the interesting approach that he took to this important pastoral question.

IP: You start the booklet with a very honest account of your own confusion about your sex and gender identity. Do you see this confusion as unusual or quite common? Do you think that it is on the increase now because of current debates about sex and gender?

AB: It’s hard to know how common such confusion is, but I expect it might be more common than we think. Many children experience some level of confusion about their sex or gender identity. That can just be part of the journey of coming to understand the reality that we all have sexed bodies and that men and women are different. Or it can, as it was for me, be a more profound confusion or discomfort with one’s sex identity and sense of self. But for the vast majority of children, this confusion naturally abates as they grow up.

Since talking about the topic of sex and gender, I have met many people who relate to my later experiences of not really feeling they make the cut as a ‘real man’ or ‘real woman’. I think that sort of experience might be quite common.

Right now, we are of course also seeing a huge number of teenagers identifying as trans and reporting discomfort with their sex and gender identity. This does seem to be a new phenomenon, likely influenced, at least in part, by the prominence of the discussion in our society.

Read here

Editor’s note: Andrew Symes posted this comment on the Psephizo page:

If I have read this correctly, Andrew Bunt has three main points:
1. Many individuals suffer from gender dysphoria
2. Some Christians are nasty to them
3. The solution is to prioritise compassion and creating welcoming an non-judging communities, while holding on to the biblical view, backed up by scientists who hold to traditional biology, that there are only two sexes.
There appears to be no acknowledgement of the powerful secular ideologies of the sexual revolution, the cult of the expressive self (as described by Carl Trueman), and what is broadly called ‘critical theory’ which identifies and calls for the elimination of ‘oppressive structures’.
There is no mention of the horrendous effects of surgery on young people, or of the problem of large numbers of teenage girls opting out of womanhood (something which has caused alarm to feminists), except as part of a controversy causing emotional heat.
There is no mention of the way that trans ideology is being imposed on schools and workplaces, and how dissenters (ie, people with common sense and concern for children and the truth) are demonised and have lost their jobs.

Mr Bunt seems to believe that “there are no issues or problems, just people”, (the phrase used by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his radical inclusion speech in 2017). There are no dangerous ideologies and false philosophies leading people astray from the truth, in fact ‘grooming’ and catechising us all, there are just suffering individuals with their own internal problems, for whom the response should simply be compassion and inclusion. Perhaps there is no radical Islam, just nice Muslims needing Christian compassion? Any attempt to critique the ideology is seen as an attack on the person, therefore don’t go there.

Sorry, but I’m with Paul here, in Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ.”

See also: Pastoral care for transgender people: does it require acceptance of LGBT ideology? by Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream





Please right-click links to open in a new window.

Related Posts


Share This