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The spiritual importance of the Munroe Bergdorf row

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This past week the male-to-female transgender activist and model Munroe Bergdorf resigned from a voluntary post advising Labour Shadow Equalities Minister Dawn Butler on LGBT issues. Much of the press focused on the fact that this was partly due to complaints about previous remarks on social media branding all white people racists and the Suffragettes who campaigned for votes for women “white supremacists”. Bergdorf also called for eight-year old children to be allowed to choose their gender

Former Labour LGBT adviser practices witchcraft and voodoo

However nobody so far has said anything about the spiritual nature of other remarks Bergdorf made. Last weekend Bergdorf had told the Mail on Sunday:

“I practice witchcraft. It’s something I’ve always been attracted to and I like it because it’s female-centric.”

Bergdorf then said this:

“It interests me because it’s part of my ancestry - voodoo is more entwined in black identity than Christianity.”

These statements, and the fact that not one single transgender campaign group or charity in the UK has condemned them, contain a lot that Christians need to take seriously. First of all, it is completely untrue that voodoo (essentially, cursing other people) is ‘more entwined’ with black people’s identity than Christianity. This is essentially a way of saying that witchcraft and voodoo are authentic religious practices and is typically made by people who equate the spread of Christianity with colonialism. This runs parallel to the tacit assumption that transgender identity is authentic whereas ‘gender’ is ‘assigned at birth’.

The Apostle Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch

The first black African Christian was the Ethiopian eunuch recorded in chapter 8 of the Book of Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament. The eunuch was reading the Song of the Suffering Servant in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, and asked Philip, one of the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus, for help to understand the passage.

Philip explained to the eunuch that the passage was a prophecy about Jesus.

The eunuch came to believe in Jesus and asked Philip to baptise him in a river nearby, which he did.

In the fourth century, Ethiopia became the first Christian country in Africa. Today, there are probably more black Christians, both in Africa and in the pan-African diaspora, than there are Christians of European descent.

This story is also relevant because the Ethiopian was a eunuch. Many male-to-female transgender people today could be classified as eunuchs, in that they have been castrated. A little after the Song of the Suffering Servant, Isaiah conveys God’s message of blessing to those eunuchs who obey Him and choose the things that please Him.

Two things matter especially in today’s context. First is that Jesus teaches His followers to bless people - including our enemies - and not to curse them.

Therefore God is calling us to bless those who, like Bergdorf, appear to wish harm on so many of us by throwing around hostile and slanderous remarks.

In addition we must pray for God to protect children and adults from the deceitfulness of the trandgender movement, and from all who would deliberately tell them that gender reassignment is the answer to their problems.

What does truly blessing an enemy of God’s purposes look like here? Christians must pray for such people to be truly converted, to repent and come to know and love Jesus Christ as Lord of all creation. At the same time God forbids all witchcraft, voodoo and suchlike. They express hatred, vengeance and a wish to destroy people. Thus everybody doing these things must stop doing them. 

The second is that Jesus insisited that the sin of deceit comes from our hearts, and that our hearts must be cleaned. This means that anybody trying to pass themselves off as a member of the sex opposite to the one of their birth must stop doing that. Notice how the Bible always uses the male pronouns for eunuchs, because they remained male. Finally, if Christians are to be credible and tustworthy in this area we must be deeply invested in truthtelling ourselves. 

The intention of cursing is to destroy people

Where does the hostile mentality behind cursing one’s enemies lead? To the kind of violence dished out against an event involving Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson recently by an unnamed woman.

It leads to the relentless campaign by transgender activists, egged on the LGBT news site Pink News, to prevent the We Need To Talk tour from taking place.

Transgender activists and their allies in the wider LGBT world do not want the women organising the We Need To Talk tour because its purpose is to protect sex as a characteristic in UK law. Therefore it is rasonable to conclude that they want to obliterate protections for women-only spaces, facilities and services. Ultimately this is because they refuse to accept that we have been created male and female. It is also because they refuse to accept that in a sinful world we need single-sex spaces to protect human dignity, including rendering sexual assault of women by men (including men who say they are women) less likely.

The need for spiritual discernment

Christians had better realise the true spiritual nature of the situation regarding transgender rights and policy in this country and around the world.

Spiritual discernment is a gift in short supply in liberal churches though.

All those who want Christians to shut up about our faith and want to drive Christianity out of public life should be challenged here. Do they realise that the retreat of Christian commitment in successive generations has led to a spiritual vacuum which is now in serious danger of being filled by its opposite?

Hope for our society lies in the public proclamation and lvng out of the Gospel - the same Gospel for everyone, including people who say they are transgendered.

 

 

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