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Correspondence: Kicked Out of Church

posted Feb 27, 2010, 3:34 PM by J Baker-Johnson
May, 2009

Dear Ephilei, I just love you sight. Its great that you are brave enough to take the bull by the horns as it were, and brought this to the public eye. I cem acroos you sight while doing dome research in regard to the Evangelical Alliance ot transgendered people. I thought your criticism was well founded as they fail to take on board many of the contributing factors that make up male and female. I myself am an evangelical Christian who just so happens to be post-op,male to female. I feel totally complete in my gender and for me it really was the right thing to do. I am also a theologian as I qualifed in Leeds [...]. However, I am not open to my fellow Christians due to the prejudices that where out there. I once returned to my old Church after 15 years of my absence as I went off for the op. 15 years later I thught I would pop into see them. They did not know me at first till one lady 'reconginzed me', I was then asked to leave. How terrible. I attended another small Church evangelical independantand I have been there a year. I was planning to move on but keep good friends with everyone. However, a couple from the Church which I was asked me to leave started coming on a sunday. I was afraid that they would out me so to speak. I tried to speak to them but they just ignored me. Last sunday evening Iover heard the lady telling another member of the Church that I was previuosly male and that I had gone to their old church and then preceded to tell her my old name. Why are people so horrible and just let us alone. I now feel that I can't go back there now to visit them. I am very saddened over this. While I have been settling in to a new church I have told people where i was going. It just hangs over you like a dark cloud. I told my house mate today what makes it so hard is that the denomination that I feel theologically aligned with does in actualy fact condemn me. This greatly saddens me and its hurtful.I could leave and go to a more liberal church but there are to many theological tensions there that I could bow to. i wish Christians would not think just in black and white terms as you well know black and white. I was very down today and I thank GOd I came acrross your site as it has cheered me up. As a matter of interest i was in contact with that guy called keith with his supposed helpful website. We emailed each other back and forth a bit but he was unable to answer my arguments and I told him that his answers failed to engaged my argumentts and he was merely restating his position. I preceeded to take his arguments to bits by just sheer logic. I havent heard from him since !

Yours in Christ

Hi

It's good to hear from you. I completely sympathize with your frustrations with finding a church as I am in the same place. I attended an Episcopal parish for some time, partly because they accepted my gender, but eventually I just could not stomach that the only authority were individuals, not God, Christ, Scripture, or Tradition. I attend an Orthodox parish now where I have the opposite problem; I adore (95% of) the theology, we're at odds with anything related to gender. For the time being I've presented as my birth gender and while I may or may not pass as such, we have an unspoken agreement not to bring it up. Were I vocal about it, I am sure I would no longer be welcome. For now, I'd rather not find out; having an experience like yours sounds like too much for me to handle, at least at this point in my life. I have a lot of respect for your courage to go back to your congregation.

What denomination are you closest to? Are you considering ordination, teaching, or a  place to take advantage of your theology work?  The conservative/EV/orthodox church ignores trans issues and we need to give ourselves a voice that's respectable with good theology to them.

I exchanged a few emails with Keith. I don't bother debating anymore unless the person has an open heart and Keith does not. My understanding is that Keith is dealing more with personal guilt; logic and theology won't absolve him.

I'm guessing who referred to the EV Report on Transexuality? What did you think? While I obviously find a lot of problems with it, I encourage it for people to see both sides. It's logic is awful, but at least it doesn't lie.

Ephilei
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