Is ‘gender transition’ a ‘sacred journey?’

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This week, some senior church leaders – including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and Baptist minister Steve Chalke – wrote a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to ban ‘conversion therapy’ for ‘trans people’. In the letter, they make the claim that “to be trans is to enter a sacred journey of becoming whole.”

Yet this is a message that gravely contradicts foundational Christian teaching.
On today’s Round the Table, our communications manager Paul Huxley was joined by Christian Concern’s policy researcher Carys Moseley, as well as Rev. Dr Ian Paul (Psephizo, Grove Books, and member of General Synod) and Rev. Matthew Roberts (Trinity Church York), who have all written on the subject.

Rev. Matthew Roberts was first to comment in The Critic: “When chemical sterilisation and physical mutilation are promoted as a ‘sacred journey to wholeness’, it is time to realise that those who say such things are not offering the rest of us solutions. It’s time to begin to see them as, just perhaps, part of the problem.”

Rev. Dr Ian Paul agreed: “This claim is no mere pastoral response; it actually touches on central theological issues of creation, incarnation, atonement, salvation and eschatology.”

And for our website, Carys also comments: What exactly is ‘sacred’ and holistic about denying puberty, taking cross-sex hormones and undergoing surgery that mutilates your sexual characteristics? What is ‘sacred’ and holistic about women growing beards and men feminising their faces? What is sacred and holistic about intentionally deceiving other people as to which sex you belong to?”

A Christian response to gender dysphoria is rooted in compassion and truth – because we live in a world given its purpose and meaning by a good God who wants us to flourish. Please pray that Christians would be bold in sharing this better vision for how we relate to our bodies.
Andrea Williams, our chief executive commented in the Telegraph on the government’s u-turning over a conversion therapy ban:

“The Government is being strong-armed by manipulative campaigns rather than following its own research that further legislation is not needed. The fear of upsetting privileged lobbyists runs so deep, the Prime Minister capitulated within hours.
“No one supports coercive conversion therapy, which is already illegal. The Government’s proposals would only stop people seeking the change they want to see in their lives. That is a basic freedom which the Government should not try to take away.”