The good book

Believe it or not, I’m a Baptist.  When I get into a chat and reveal that I’m a crossdressing Baptist, four questions inevitably come up:

  • How do you reconcile that with your beliefs?
    The one reference to the subject is the infamous Deuteronomy 22:5. “A man should not wear that which pertains to a woman.”  OK, but that’s in the middle of a bunch of stuff about helping your neighbor’s donkey out of a ditch and what you can and can’t keep if you find a bird’s nest fallen to the ground… not to mention mixing different types of cloth together.  Taken as a whole, Deuteronomy is not a checklist of what it takes to make God happy; Christ made that clear when He simplified the whole of the law into love the Lord your God and love your neighbor.  I try with all my heart to do both of those, so I’m not going to beat myself up over it when I fail to avoid blending two different types of thread in my garments.  In addition, I did not choose this driving force that compels me to wear dresses; it chose me.  If I am to accept that God made me the way I am and God does not make mistakes, then I am indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made”, and I am thankful for that.  If God chooses to remove this compulsion from me, I will abandon it gratefully.  Meanwhile I will concentrate on loving God and loving my neighbor, and not letting the way I dress interfere with either of those.  Which brings me to the next frequently asked question…

  • Do the others in your church know?
    No.  I know that being a crossdresser doesn’t make me gay, or make me a child molester, or make me want to be a woman.  But try to convince 99% of the rest of humanity of that, and you have an impossible chore ahead of you.  In some ways, crossdressers have more of a “pervert” stigma than homosexuals do.

  • If so, how do they treat you?
    N/A (see above)

  • If not, how do you justify not telling them?  Isn’t that like lying?
    I could explain all of the above to my friends at church. Over time, I might convince two or three of them that God doesn’t hate me for being this way and I’m not going to endanger the children… but it would take years, and it wouldn’t convince the vast majority of the people at church, particularly the older ones. Paul tells us that even though we are free to do things that were once forbidden, we should not let our freedom be a stumbling block to the faith of others. And that’s exactly what this would be. My very presence would rip the church community to shreds, dividing people in pointless arguments about whether what I do is a sin or a perversion. I don’t want to be the source of dissent; I want to be free to serve as God directs me.

About Ralph

Male. Straight. Married.
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3 Responses to The good book

  1. thorin25 says:

    Hi Ralph, an old post I know, but I’m still getting around to commenting on them 🙂
    Here are some thoughts to challenge you this morning.

    You said – “Christ made that clear when He simplified the whole of the law into love the Lord your God and love your neighbor.” Read Matthew 5-7. Not only did Jesus not do away with the Law, but he made it more strict, not less. Not only should we not commit adultery, but we can’t even lust after another woman. God cares about not only our actions but our thoughts, and feelings, and what’s going on in our hearts.
    It’s true that Jesus emphasized love of God and neighbor as the center and most important part of the law, and in a sense those two things do summarize the entire law. But Jesus never said, “follow these 2 commands and ignore the rest.” Rather, it’s those two are the most important, but still have to follow the rest, and following the rest of the laws is how we love God. In fact, he was speaking to the pharisees who were obeying lots of little laws, but not loving God or others. But the point isn’t for us to do the opposite error of the pharisees and think we can love God but ignore all his laws. It’s both loving God and others, and obeying his laws. And Jesus say in John 14:15 – “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” You can’t just say to focus on loving God and leave it there. What does it mean to love God? It means obeying his commands.

    You said – “If God chooses to remove this compulsion from me, I will abandon it gratefully. ” Where do you get this idea? Just curious. Think about that one. Do we only obey God when the temptations are removed? Or do we obey God even when it means resisting temptations? Even Jesus was tempted to sin by Satan in the wilderness, but he resisted. Being a Christian is not about having God remove all of our temptations to sin. He never promises to do that. But he promises that we will always have enough help from the Holy Spirit to resist the temptations. Every day we will be confronted with temptations to pride, lust, anger, selfishness, etc. Those compulsions will not go away until Jesus returns and makes us new. In the meantime, we will always have compulsions and temptations. To wait for God to take them away to start obeying is not right. Now you may think crossdressing isn’t a sin, and that’s a different story. And then we’d just agree to disagree on that. But IF you do think it is a sin, and you hold to this reasoning, please think that through again! Just trying to help, thanks for the interesting discussion

  2. Ralph says:

    You’re quite right, Thorin. I phrased that poorly, making it sound like I feel perfectly free to do whatever I want until God removes any temptation to even want to do {whatever}.

    There are times when I am convicted about some word, thought or action that the Holy Spirit (or as some would say, “my conscience”) makes it clear was the wrong way to go. I am miserable with guilt until I confess and repent.

    So I guess that was the long way around saying, this is not something that I have heard God pressing upon me to stop. Maybe that’s why He brought you and the others into my life; maybe He’s been saying it all along and I’m stubbornly plugging my ears. *as far as I can tell*, what I wear does not interfere with my ability to love God or love my neighbor, unless as you say the only path to loving God is to obey every one of the commandments laid out in the Torah… in which case I’m a lost cause no matter what I do or don’t wear.

  3. thorin25 says:

    “unless as you say the only path to loving God is to obey every one of the commandments laid out in the Torah… in which case I’m a lost cause no matter what I do or don’t wear.”

    Well, I’d always say we don’t obey the law in order to earn our salvation. So even if we are disobedient, it doesn’t mean we are lost.

    Secondly, I would not advocate obeying every law in the Torah. If you are up to it, you could reread the section about types of laws and how to apply the OT law, within my Deut. 22:5 post. We only need to try to follow the moral laws as Christians.

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