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Preston Sprinkle: Jesus Left the 99 to Pursue the One—And That Means Trans People

“I never get more than five minutes into a conversation with somebody on this topic before I say, when you say ‘gender,’ what does that mean?”

“The trans conversation has become the latest hot topic in culture right now. So all of us are being forced to think through this conversation.”

“There has been a massive increase among teenagers identifying as either transgender, non-binary, genderfluid, genderqueer, demi-girl, and there’s many, many other gender identities.”

“Since as responsible leaders, we need to help disciple our next-generation well, there’s a growing number [of teens] who are either embracing an alternative or minority gender identity, or they definitely have friends that are.”

“We can’t pretend that this is such a fringe issue that it’s not worth our interest to engage in. But even if it was a minority experience, didn’t Jesus leave the 99 to pursue the one? If our congregation only had a few trans people there, then all the more reason to leave the ninety-nine to make sure we are embodying the truth and love of Jesus toward the one.” 

“As Christians, we should be nervous about mainstream views on the topic…it’s a hot mess.” 

“The one thing that the Bible does say with anybody, whether they have gender dysphoria [or not], is that we all are in desperate need of community, of belonging, of being part of something that is bigger than ourselves…we need to create communities of love and repentance and care, especially for people—like many trans people—who have not at all experienced that from the church.”

“We need to be very clear that we are not taking cultural moral assumptions and projecting that on the Bible.” 

“There’s very few commands [in the Bible] that would be given to women and not men or men and not women.” 

“We just need to make sure as a church that we don’t morally mandate certain stereotypes that probably aren’t really mandated by the Bible. And I think the church does tend to do this, probably implicitly.”

“I do think that God wants us to embrace and celebrate our sexual identity as either male or female.”

“The Bible does give us, I would say, a fairly clear and robust view of what it means to be an embodied human.”

“When it comes to the trans conversation, science and the Bible are actually friends, not foes.”

“That’s never really been done before in medical practice, where we would take a perfectly healthy body and a mind that is not resonating with the body, and we could try to correct something that doesn’t need to be corrected…rather than asking the question, maybe it’s the mind that is off.” 

“The whole science conversation in the trans world, it is very congruent with what the Bible says.”

“I would recommend that a pastor with a group of leaders work hard at educating yourself on the topic.”

“We cannot preach truth at the expense of grace; we cannot preach grace at the expense of truth.”

“However we navigate this, we need to make sure that we’re not just preaching to the choir, stoking the fires of outrage.” 

Mentioned in the Show by Dr. Preston Sprinkle

Genesis 1:27
Deuteronomy 22:5
Matthew 19:12
Galatians 3:28
Titus 2

Embodied: Transgender Identities, the Church, and What the Bible Has to Say by Dr. Preston Sprinkle

Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender
Theology in the Raw

Check out Preston’s website
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As Vice President of Ministry Mobilization for Outreach, Inc., Jason dedicates his time to encouraging and equipping churches, denominations and ministry organizations to develop their Kingdom effectiveness by creating a culture that is both incarnational and invitational. He also serves as the Executive Director of the National Back to Church Sunday movement and hosts the weekly ChurchLeaders podcast. Jason lives on Anastasia Island, Florida, with his beautiful wife and children. Connect with him on Twitter and Instagram @jasondaye