Is it “inclusive” – or is it “indulging”?

So what would you say to a Christian pastor who says we Christians should not only welcome people to church who identify as transgender, we should celebrate their gender identity and expression as well? He wasn’t stopping with just being “inclusive” in other words, he was going one step further into “indulging” too, by wanting his church to celebrate gender variance.

The inclusive part I had no trouble with, because Jesus made the marginalized in his world feel very welcome. But I don’t see him indulging the marginalized by creating safe places for them in the synagogues to enable them to continue in and celebrate what had marginalized them in the first place. Jesus did not invite lepers to join him, or create churches for them, so they could celebrate their leprosy. Instead, he healed them, so that they wouldn’t be marginalized by their leprosy any longer.

Compassion for all and healing were Jesus’ solutions to the ills that marginalized people, so why should his solution be any different today? Or did he change his spots at some point along the way and he’s now telling the church that the solution to people being marginalized is “celebrating their diversity”?

On the other hand, why not celebrate, when we know Jesus loves the transgender community as much as anyone else, and given the chance he’ll remove the baggage that got them being marginalized in the first place? They can, therefore, become remarkable examples of what Jesus came for. And that really would be something to celebrate.

Society, however, demands that we indulge the transgender community by treating gender variance as just another “normal” part of a diverse society, so that people can continue being who they identify themselves as, and that way no one is marginalized. For some of us that will be tough, though, because a large part of Jesus’ ministry was devoted to healing, and the reason for that was “this present evil age” in which people “exchange the truth of God for a lie,” one obvious proof of which is society’s blatant deviation from what God created male and female for.

It doesn’t stop us being inclusive as far as God accepting people – including those who’ve deviated far from his normal – but it does stop us indulging them. Peter pleaded with his audience in Acts 2:40, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation,” not indulge it. And God sent Jesus “to bless us by turning each of us away from our wicked ways” (3:26).

Jesus came to heal people from the damage evil had done to them, and he was utterly inclusive and indulging in that, refusing no one who turned to him for healing.