Deuteronomy 22:5

If you have not read my post on How to Interpret the Bible, it is vital that you read that post first as this only builds on everything I have written there.  Without reading it, you won’t understand my perspective of Scripture.

As a pastor writing about my crossdressing, I feel like this is probably the most important post I can write.  There are many different aspects of crossdressing to talk about, but I of course enjoy very much talking about what the Bible has to teach us about our struggle.  I have tried to work really hard to make this a careful, sensitive, and intelligent post.  But please forgive me if I have overlooked any important views, objections, or details.  Feel free to comment below and we can continue the discussion, and I may even update this post from time to time in light of your helpful comments.

Let me say at the outset that I don’t think this verse is easy to interpret and don’t think my interpretation is necessarily super clear-cut and obvious.  My explanation here might not convince everyone and that is okay.  You’ll see that my analysis of this passage is that it does indeed prohibit crossdressing as a sinful behavior.  But this verse is not the sole reason that I think crossdressing is a sinful behavior to engage in.  Later on, I will write additional posts about reasons that I think crossdressing behavior is sinful, which include my inner conviction by the Holy Spirit, the addiction aspect of the behavior, the sexual deviance aspect, the crossing of the sex/gender distinctions that God has set up, and the varied ways I think the behavior is destructive to our personal lives.  Even if this verse was not in the Bible, I’d still believe that crossdressing is wrong.

I do think that this passage condemns my type of crossdressing and most (not all) other reasons for and types of crossdressing.  But it’s an extremely tricky passage.  It’s tricky because it is in the Old Testament Law, and it has always been a big challenge to know how to apply the OT Law to our Christian lives.  And it is tricky because it is one of the few verses in the Bible to say anything like this.  And it is tricky because there is almost nothing in the context of the chapter and book that helps us to understand what the intent was behind this law.

But it is tricky most of all because we who are crossdressers are really the only ones who pay much attention to it.  Everyone else seems to basically ignore it or use it to make blanket judgments against all behaviors even remotely connected to crossdressing or homosexuality, without well-thought-out reasons for doing so.  And then when we, as crossdressers, try to interpret it, we do so with a severely strong bias.  I don’t know how our bias could be any stronger.  As sinful fallen people, we look at this verse and we do whatever we possibly can to try to explain it away so that we can continue in our behavior.  I know that we do this, because I’ve done this, and at times of weakness I still try to go back and do this to rationalize giving in to crossdressing.

The same tendency is there for justifying any other type of behavior that might be deemed sinful.  Whether its homosexuality, divorce, keeping our money to ourselves, not obeying our parents, gambling, you name it, whatever we struggle with, our tendency is to explain away biblical passages so that we don’t have to repent and deal with our sin.  We don’t want to take away our pleasures or our perceived happiness, in order to follow Christ.  I think its important that we be honest with ourselves about this bias, and try hard to guard ourselves from just accepting any explanation of this passage, (even if it’s a bad explanation with no evidence), in order to justify engaging in our beloved crossdressing behaviors.  Even if you don’t think crossdressing behavior is sinful, please at least agree with me that we have to be careful about this bias when we go to Scripture.  I’m going to try as hard as I can not to explain this passage away because of my crossdressing desires, and on the other extreme, I’m going to try hard to not pretend it says more to us than it really does about crossdressing being sinful.

Besides reading articles, websites, Bible dictionaries/encyclopedias, and lexicons on this passage, I have read at least 30 scholarly Bible commentaries on this verse.  Most of them were very unhelpful and a couple quite helpful.  The commentary I found most helpful, that I quote on occasion in the analysis below, is the Word Biblical Commentary on the book of Deuteronomy by Duane L. Christensen.  I’m not going to try to say everything possible about this verse, but just what I find is important for our interpretation.

 

 

Grammer of the text

Interpreting from the original Hebrew, my translation is just about exactly the same as the literal translation from the Word Biblical commentary which is as follows:

Things pertaining to a man shall not be worn by a woman.  And a man shall not wear a woman’s garment.  For it is an abomination to YHWH your God, anyone doing these things.”

That’s real rough and literal.  A better fitting English translation would be the NIV’s –

A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”

 

The “things pertaining to a man” are clothes, ornaments, and even utensils.   But it has been noted by scholars that these words  כְלִי־גֶ֙בֶר  can also refer to the gear and weapons of a soldier.  The word can mean both, so we aren’t sure which one it is talking about here or all of those things together.  This detail tells us that this verse probably should not be limited to just clothing, whatever its explanation might be.  It also may or may not hint at a possible explanation.

There is a debate between some scholars as to whether the person crossdressing is detestable to God, or whether just the action itself is detestable, as Rabbi Tilsen talks about here – http://www.beki.org/crossdress.html.  I don’t know which is correct grammatically, but I side with all the common versions of Scripture which apply it to the person.  Either way does not make much difference to me.  How could God feel pleased with a person doing something detestable to him?  And anyway, our main goal is to find out what crossdressing actions are sinful or not.

 

I did a word study on the Hebrew word  תוֹעֲבַ֛ת   translated in the NIV as “detests” and literally as “abomination,”  pronounced “toebah.”  This word appears 118 times in the Old Testament.  I read each verse that used it.

  • The majority of the verses talked about God hating the “detestable practices” of the Israelites or Canaanites or the Israelite kings.  It just mentioned detestable or abominable practices without much specificity, though by reading the Bible stories we can determine what the sinful practices were (examples abound in 1 Kings).
  • The next biggest group of verses used the word to describe detestable or abominable idols or idolatry.  (Deut. 13:15, 27:15, Isaiah 44:19, countless times in Ezekiel).
  • The next biggest group of verses after that used the word to talk about detestable sins of a sexual nature, including things like homosexual sex (Lev. 18:12, 20:13), shrine prostitution (Deut. 23:17-18), defiling a neighbor’s wife (Ezek. 33:26), and incestual sexual relations (Ezek. 22:11).
  • The last group includes the other miscellaneous sins that were labeled as detestable or abominable to God like sacrificing children (Deut. 18:12), lying (Proverbs 6:16, 12:22), pride (Proverbs 6:16, 16:5), oppressing the poor (Ezek. 18:12), theft, violence (Prov. 6:16), dishonest weights and scales (Deut 25:16, Prov. 11:1), and acquitting the guilty while condemning the innocent (Proverbs 17:15).

 

Based on this word study, I notice a few things:

1.  The word describes the sins that are most offensive, nasty, and hated by God.  This explains why idolatry, which is the most serious sin, is the sin most often connected with this word.  There is something about the crossdressing being condemned here that God really hates.  It’s a verse we can’t just ignore.

2.  Every time this word is used, it is used to describe sinful actions which we would still believe to be sinful today even as Christians (aside from the debated Deut. 22:5).  Almost all of the sins are reaffirmed as sinful in the New Testament.  They appear to only talk about timeless universally sinful actions.  The commands against them are probably all part of the Moral Law of the Old Testament, which means they still apply to us as Christians today – (I will explain that later).

3. Perhaps crossdressing is detestable because it falls into the idolatry category like the other times the word is used to talk about idols or idolatry.  It is true that most of the time idolatry in the Old Testament was focused on actual idols or worshipping other gods.  But we know that idolatry can also be worshipping anything other than God, whether it be money, sex or power.  Crossdressing in my experience is generally a narcissistic self absorbed activity.  Like other idols such as power or approval, it is something that we worry about the most in our lives, something that we feel like we can’t live without, something we go to for comfort, something we find much of our life meaning in, and what we think will make us most happy.  If we go to crossdressing over God for any of those things, that is idolatry.  So perhaps that is what is being talked about here.

4. It seems a likely possibility that crossdressing also is detestable to God as these other sins are.  Fetishistic crossdressing especially seems to fit easily into the sexual immorality category of this word just like homosexuality, incest, adultery, bestiality, and other deviant sexual behavior.  The words and sentences are almost exactly the same but with different sins besides crossdressing mentioned.   All of these things go outside the boundaries that God has set up for us regarding sexual pleasure.  It seems possible that this is the way that fetishistic crossdressing might fit into the category of detestable sins.  But we need to do more analysis.

 

 

Historical Background and Context

To begin, it has been noted by many that there wasn’t much difference between the clothing of men and women of that time.  This is true, but there were differences; the differences were just not quite as stark and obvious as the differences we have in clothing today.  “The major difference between male and female robes was their decoration or ornamentation, and not their cut” (KJV Bible Commentary).  There were also distinctions between the ornaments and cosmetics used by men and women.  We don’t need to go into all the details, because culture and dress changes over time, and we don’t need to try live in the culture and wear the dress of the Bible.  But this verse is clearly trying to keep those distinctions in tact, whatever the distinctions were, however small.

Next, we should note the place of this verse in the Bible.  It is in the Old Testament, in the fifth book of the Bible, Deuteronomy.  I won’t say a lot about the book of Deuteronomy.  Most conservative scholars believe that Moses was author, under the inspiration of God.   Most historical critical scholars believe it was not Moses.  It makes little difference to me, given that either way I view it as authoritative scripture.   Deuteronomy restates the covenant that God had made with the Israelite people and does so in a new form for the new generation of Israelites.  A covenant is a binding agreement between 2 parties with commitments and promises made.

The author(s) of Deuteronomy put to writing the whole collection of tradition and truth that God had revealed to him.  The book explains the stipulations of God’s covenant with the Israelites which includes all of the laws which together make up God’s Law.  The Law was given to the Israelites after God rescued them from Egypt, after he made them his people.  The Law showed the Israelites how to live as a distinct people, how to live holy lives in the presence of a holy God, and showed them how to live lives of worship and obedience out of gratitude for what God had done for them.  The book is divided into various sections and Deuteronomy 22:5 falls into the section about specific stipulations of the covenant.

Many scholars group this verse into a subsection of verses going from 21:22 – 22:12.  Please read this whole section if you haven’t yet.  At first glance, these laws appear to be a bunch of rules that don’t relate to each other.  For example, the NIV gives this section the title, “Various Laws.”  But some scholars have tried to figure out what they might have in common, which can be very helpful for us as we try to figure out what the intention was behind this crossdressing law.

 

A few commentaries have labeled this section, “Laws concerning the preservation of life.”  This certainly fits a few of the laws together under a theme, but maybe not all of them.  The view I find more helpful is seeing that all of these apparently miscellaneous laws are actually all about keeping things in their proper boundaries.  They all talk about illicit mixtures, things that should not be combined.  They are about blurring the boundary lines God has set up.  Some of these boundary lines and things that shouldn’t be mixed were for the purpose of keeping the Israelite people holy and distinct or set apart from the Canaanites around them.  For example, the rules about their distinctive clothing in verses 11 and 12 seem to fit this, and the law in verse 9 about planting two types of seed in one vineyard.  And then some of the laws seem to be about moral boundaries such as returning lost items to your neighbor (verse 1), not taking both a mother bird and its young (maybe so that the species continues, verse 6-7), and building a house safely so you aren’t responsible for someone getting hurt (verse 8).

In the Word Biblical Commentary the section is variously labeled –

Ten Laws on “True Religion” and Illicit Mixtures (21:22–22:12)

And “Three Laws on “True Religion”—Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself (22:1–5).

We really don’t know for sure the historical intention behind this verse, so we can only guess.  But I think that the crossdressing verse is best explained by this theme explained above.  It is wrong for the Israelites to crossdress because it blurs the lines of sex that God has set up since creation.  Times change and culture changes and dress codes gradually change for each gender.  (Even gender roles gradually change).  But the verse would suggest that God never wants us to blur the lines of our sex, but to always dress like a man dresses in our particular culture, or like a woman dresses in our culture.

 

Going back to Genesis 1:27

27    So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

God made two sexes, male and female.  He was not content with only 1, but did not make 3 or 4 or 5.  Why?  We don’t know exactly the reasons he created two sexes instead of having us all the same.  Maybe it was for the beauty and diversity of life in his creation.  Maybe it was for the purpose of procreation.  Maybe it was a way to bring fulfillment to humans and our need for companionship, by having 2 sexes that were different and complementary.  Maybe it was all of these reasons.  Having 2 distinct sexes, male and female, was God’s design for his creation.   It is not his original design and desire to have people be both sexes at once, or for people to try to live alternatively as both sexes.  God does not want people to try to be something different than the sex they were created as.  He doesn’t want people to try to deceive others about their true sex.   It would make sense to me that this verse is prohibiting any kind of blurring of the lines of sex that God has created through any kind of crossdressing or transvestism, whether for sexual pleasure or identity reasons.

(TangentPeople born as hermaphrodites with abnormal reproductive organs are still loved by God.  Their abnormality is a result of being born into a fallen world that has been affected by sin, no different from a person being born with an eye abnormality so that they cannot see.  It’s how we are; none of us have perfect bodies.  But it’s not good, and in the resurrection our bodies will be made new and perfect). 

In summary of my position, this quote from the Word Biblical Commentary is helpful in putting together both themes of preservation of life and illicit mixtures of this passage –

Kaufman offers the suggestion that the theme of separation in this law (men’s and women’s clothing) finds parallels in the separation between a mother bird and its young in the next law (vv. 6–7). Inasmuch as the latter at least indirectly touches on the subject of death (“You may take the young”), the law on transvestism may also do so by association. In fact, anyone who so blurs these divinely ordered distinctions is a tôʿăbat the Lord, “an abomination of the Lord,” one who can expect most serious consequences for his deeds. Another linkage between the verse and its context is the chiasm connecting vv. 5–8 with 9–12: dress (v. 5), animals (vv. 6–7), house (v. 8), field (v. 9), animals (v. 10), dress (vv. 11–12). There is thus a strong tie-in between death and mixtures, that is, between the expositions of the sixth and seventh commandments. The sin in improper mixtures is brought out in the laws of purity that follow (22:9–23:18).”

God wants us to keep the integrity and the distinction of the two sexes he has created.  But is this just a boundary line to keep the Israelites distinct as a people, or a timeless moral principle?  I think it is a timeless moral principle because of the extra added clause about it being an abomination, God detesting the one who does this.  Some of the distinctions and boundary lines in this chapter are just for the Israelites as a culture and people, God’s holy special nation.  But 22:5 goes beyond that in that crossdressing crosses a moral boundary God has set up for all people.

 

Another way that it would be possible to interpret this passage is to say that it is only talking about blurring the “sexual”  boundary lines  (not sex as in male-female, but sex as in sexual pleasure or sexuality).  Many other sexual actions were wrong for the Israelites and wrong today because they blurred the boundary lines sexually, outside the boundaries of sexual pleasure that God set up for a man and a woman in marriage.  Things crossed the lines such as incest, bestiality, homosexuality, adultery, and so on.  Perhaps crossdressing here is an abomination because it crosses those specific sexual boundary lines.  But this would only fit fetishistic crossdressing and not other types of crossdressing.  That’s possible, but my view is that the verse prohibits all crossdressing which blurs the lines of male and female as distinct sexes.

 

 

Let’s now briefly look at some other historical explanations for this verse.

Some have guessed that maybe this was arguing against some form of deception, of tricking others by dressing in the clothes of the opposite gender.  This view is pretty general, and I would certainly agree that this would be a sinful thing to do.  But I have a difficult time limiting the verse to only be talking about deception.  It seems deception would have been mentioned if this was the case, and I still favor the verse saying that crossdressing is wrong in general because it blurs the lines God has set up, which is more fitting with the theme of the passage.

Some have taken this view into more detail by suggesting that men were trying to get out of going to war by pretending to be women and being with the women.  And that perhaps some women wanted to get out of being stuck at home and go to war by pretending to be a man, and putting on the weapons and gear of a man.  This is certainly a possibility.  And perhaps this happened at times in Israel’s history.

But I don’t think that this was what God had in mind when he gave the Israelites this law.  There are other passages of Scripture that have laws about men going off to war, and times when they don’t have to go to war.  It seems that this verse would have been included in those contexts instead of here.  Also, it’s hard to see how getting out of going to war would fit the theme of this passage.  Moreover, this verse is written in such a basic general way.  If the application was supposed to be limited to people trying to get out of going to war, that would have been mentioned along with it.  Last, I fail to see how wanting to get out of war, while clearly being disobedience, would constitute being an abomination to God.

Related to this view, some have speculated that this verse was supposed to prevent men and women from doing each other’s roles in society.  Again, if this was the case, I would expect the verse to talk more about gender roles, about what men do, and what women do, than just simply mentioning the wearing of clothing.

Another possibility that some scholars wonder about is that maybe the crossdressing envisioned here was connected to idolatry in some form.  From the Word Biblical Commentary – “Again, in some religions, it has been the custom for priests to assume a quasi-female or even completely female garb, and . . . this usually occurred when the deity was a goddess rather than a god.

This may have included crossdressing during the worship of foreign gods, or even temple prostitution while crossdressed.  (The idolatry connected to crossdressing I am talking about here is different than the idolatry I mentioned under my #3 conclusion about the grammar of the text.  #3 was about valuing something like crossdressing more than God.  The idolatry I’m talking about now is about actual stone idols and foreign gods and using crossdressing in the worship of these idols).

It is definitely true that there have been some cultures throughout history, and probably at least one Canaanite culture around Israel that had crossdressing as part of their worship of other gods.  Maybe the Israelites learned this practice from people around them.  The strength of this view is that it makes sense of why the crossdressing would be detestable, because it would have been connected with idolatry.  And if this was the only reason it was condemned, then it would mean that this verse alone doesn’t necessarily prohibit our crossdressing for other reasons today.

Although this view makes pretty good sense, and could be true, ultimately I don’t think that is what this verse was referring to.  First of all, we have no historical evidence that the Israelites ever crossdressed while worshipping idols and participating in rituals to foreign gods.  Second, it doesn’t fit the theme of the passage.  There are plenty of other passages and laws about idolatry in Deuteronomy, and it would be more fitting to talk about crossdressing and idolatry in those passages rather than here.  And third, if worshipping stone idols and foreign gods was really what was in mind, I think it would have been mentioned, given the serious sin it is, instead of stating only this basic idea of crossdressing.

Another possibility is that this verse had in mind crossdressing for the purpose of committing adultery.  I read about this view here – A Message from Rabbi Tilsen.  This doesn’t make much sense to me.  It’s true that adultery is a sexual sin that crosses the boundary lines that God has set up, which would fit the passage.  But if the command is against adultery, why not just have a law about adultery, (which there were laws about anyway)?  It makes no sense to have a separate and vague law against adultery here.  Also, in my studies of Israelite culture, I don’t remember reading anything about women and men being so isolated from each other in their camps to make such disguise necessary.  In fact, there are verses in this very chapter about rape (verses 25, 28), that seem to talk about how easy it would be for such sins like rape or adultery to happen with no witnesses around.

There may be other views out there, but these seem to be the most common and well respected views. Though they all have some merit, and I certainly can’t disprove them, I still think the view that makes the most sense is that crossdressing blurs the distinctions that God set up between the sexes, and this fits with the theme of the passage.  I have wished many times to believe the other views make more sense, but when I am honest with myself, I have to hold to this view.

 

 

 

Literary Genre

This verse is part of the Old Testament Law that God gave to the Israelites.  The interpretation of this genre of Scripture is pretty basic.  Laws were given to be obeyed by the Israelites as part of how they lived lives of gratitude to God for what he had done, as part of the Mosaic covenant.

But when we think about how to look at the Law as Christians, interpretation becomes much more difficult.  In fact, this might be one of the hardest genres of Scripture to interpret.  Churches and denominations have wrestled with this issue all throughout church history and there are a few main views for how to interpret and apply the Law to our lives as Christians.  I think the biggest misunderstandings of Deut. 22:5 arise from not understanding how to apply the Old Testament Law to our lives as Christians.  Most of the explanations of this verse I have read online are written by people who show no clear consistent method for how to understand the Old Testament Law.   Of course, this is not their fault, but the Church’s fault for slacking in their duty of teaching how to interpret the Bible.  It would be nice if we as Christians could all agree in how to interpret the Old Testament Law, but at least each church should strive to have a consistent method for interpreting, rather than just picking and choosing what passages and laws they want to pay attention to.

First of all in explaining my position, for any of you who know about these two competing views, I am a covenant theologian rather than a dispensationalist.  And that heavily influences the way I view the Old Testament.  I see Scripture as a unity of 2 testaments, one complete story of God and his people.  We are part of the same people of God by faith as the Israelites were.  They looked forward to Jesus’ coming, and we look back to Jesus’ coming, but we are all unified by that event.  The Israelites and us are all saved by true faith in Jesus, even though the Israelites didn’t know his name.  It is not that the Israelites believed in salvation by works, and we believe in salvation by grace, but it has always been about salvation by grace.  The Law was part of that system of grace that God set up.  But because of our sin, the Law became a burden to the Israelites.

My view of how to interpret the Law below is not a new one, and it is the view many Christians throughout church history have held (at least as far back as Thomas Aquinas).  It is the view of my church tradition today.  It is the view that I find most logical and most helpful and most fitting with Scripture.

I believe that Jesus came to fulfill the Law rather than do away with the Law as he himself explains in Matthew 5:17-20.  In a sense, we are still under the Law today, but we look at it through the lens of Jesus who fulfilled it for us.  The important part of my view is that the Old Testament Law contains 3 types of laws.  And each of these types of laws Jesus fulfilled perfectly for us, and we relate a bit differently to each type of law today.

 

 

1.  There are Ceremonial Laws.  These are laws concerning the entire cultic system for the Israelites.  They include laws about the sacrifices the Israelites had to complete, laws about ceremonial cleanliness, and laws about the tabernacle and temple.  Jesus fulfilled these laws by becoming the perfect sacrifice for our sins.  He also became our perfect great high priest (Heb. 4:14) offering himself as the sacrifice.  Instead of the blood of sheep, he gave his own blood.  He was perfectly righteous and innocent, and became the final sacrifice for the sins of humans.  Through his righteousness we are all made perfectly clean and don’t have to go through cleansing rituals to enter the presence of God.  We no longer have a temple, because Jesus was and is EmmanuelGod with us.  All of the laws about cleanliness and sacrifices were shadows pointing the way to Jesus ultimately as the final sacrifice (Hebrews 7-8).  We no longer obey these laws today since Jesus is our sacrifice and way of salvation.

2.  There are Civil or Judicial Laws.  These are laws about the social and civic life of the Israelite people in all of its ramifications.  Their social relations had to reflect the covenant relationship with God that they were in.  These are laws about the justice system, with penalties for sins that affected the society like laws for capital punishment.  These were also laws about the unique culture of Israel, how they were supposed to stand apart and be distinct from the other cultures around them, like circumcision laws.  Jesus fulfilled these laws perfectly as well.  Jesus was the true King of Israel, but also made known that he was the king of the world.  Through what Jesus did, salvation history progressed, and the Gentiles were invited to become part of God’s people as well, through faith in Jesus.  No longer are the people of God limited to one nation and one culture.  Now the people of God is made up of people from all nations.  So we no longer follow these laws today.  There were only for the specific Israelite people.  Some Jewish-Christians, however, because they continue to belong to the nation of Israel and the Jewish ethnicity, continue to observe these laws.  And that isn’t inappropriate.  But the Jews at the first Church Council of Acts 15 declared that Gentiles were exempt from these Jewish customs.

3.  There are Moral Laws.  In general, the 10 Commandments are the summary of the entire Moral set of laws in the Old Testament Law.  The first few commandments are about our love and worship of God.  And the rest of the commandments of the 10 are about our relationship to our neighbor, loving our neighbor.  These laws were also fulfilled perfectly by Jesus.  He perfectly loved God and neighbor.  He had no sin.  But unlike the other 2 types of laws, we still follow the moral laws today.  We follow them not to earn salvation.  We follow them out of gratitude to Jesus for what he has done.  We follow them because Jesus has transformed our lives, and we want to love God and love our neighbor.  Old Testament righteousness is normative for all people today.  The New Testament writers even remind us not only that we must follow these Old Testament moral laws, but that we must even obey them in our hearts and minds.  Jesus made clear in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that he was not bringing a new Law, but he was preaching a new kingdom ethic of radical love, which magnified and strengthened the original moral law.  It’s not just that the moral law continues to apply to Christians, but in a sense it is on steroids.  Not only is it wrong to commit adultery or kill, but even to lust or hate in the mind.  Of course, becoming a Christian is not dependent on observance of such radical commands, but the goal of salvation is to transform us into the type of people that actually live out these ethics by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I’m not going to give a long argument of why I think this view of the Old Testament Law is the best.  There are plenty of examples in the New Testament where Jesus or others talk about certain laws in the Old Testament that we no longer follow, and ones that we still do follow.  Although the Old Testament doesn’t make these distinctions real clearly, it can be deduced from the distinction of the 10 commandments in the Old Testament, and from the way authors in the New Testament relate to the Law.  Paul made distinctions between various types of Law.  Jesus did as well (Matthew 23:23).  Hebrews 7 talks about cessation of ceremonial laws.  Jesus and the New Testament authors held up the moral laws for us to still follow today, whereas the civil and ceremonial laws were not held up as things for Gentiles to follow.  The first church council, written about in Acts 15, also affirms this.  The Gentiles were not to give in to sins (moral laws) especially the ones they were prone to like sexual immorality.  But they didn’t have to follow the ceremonial and civil laws of the Jews, such as circumcision.  They were told to follow a few dietary laws, for the sake of easier fellowship among their Jewish-Christian brethren in church.

 

 

For Christians today, ceremonial and civil laws are not followed to the letter because of their nature and how they have been fulfilled in Jesus.  But they do have use for us as God’s inspired Word and have a pedagogical function.

I believe there are 3 uses of the Moral Law for us.  1.  The Law can help teach society how to restrain sin and promote righteousness.  2.  The Law teaches us about our own sin.  It shows us that we can’t meet God’s demands for holiness on our own.  In this way, the Law prepares us to accept Jesus, knowing that only through him can we have complete righteousness and be saved.  3.  The Law teaches us how to live how God wants us to.  It shows us how to live lives of thanksgiving to God for what he has done, showing us how to live holy pleasing lives to God.

A note on the 10 commandments.  I believe (with my church tradition), that each commandment is just one specific command that teaches a whole principle of what God desires for us.  They are synecdoches, one part signifying a whole group of unwritten commands.   For example, the 7th commandment says we should not commit adultery.  I think that this is a specific commandment that is about the whole issue of protecting our marriages.  The positive force of this commandment is that we should do everything we can to preserve and encourage our marriage and everyone else’s marriage.  The negative force of it would be to not do anything which harms any existing or potential marriages.  (On a side note, because of this I think that crossdressing would be prohibited under the 7th commandment as well).

 

 

So the big question is whether Deuteronomy 22:5 is a ceremonial law, civil law, or moral law.  This is a difficult question.  Is it a ceremonial law?  It has nothing to do with ritual purity or sacrifice.  There are ceremonial laws about priestly clothing, but that is not what is being talked about here.   So it seems that this verse is most likely not a ceremonial law.

It seems very possible that it could be a civil law.  Perhaps it was a law just for the Israelites to dress in a specific way distinct from the Canaanites around them.  The Canaanites crossdressed, but the Israelites did not.  This would be similar to the 2 clothing laws in verses 11 and 12.  Perhaps they are all about the Israelites dressing in a peculiar way for their culture to be God’s people at that time.  This also makes good sense of the theme of the passage.  All of these clothing laws would then be boundary lines and things that should not be mixed, as a way for the Israelites to maintain their distinct set apart culture as God’s people.  If this law is a civil law, then it would be one that we don’t need to follow today as Christians.

The other possibility is that it is a moral law, and that is what I think it actually is.  It still fits the theme of the passage to be a moral law.  The illicit mixtures and blurring the distinctions that God has set up in this chapter are of 2 types.  Some are civil laws, and some are moral laws as explained earlier.  I think that this one has to be a moral law because of the qualifier that it is an action that God detests.  All of the other sins that are mentioned in the Old Testament with this word for abomination or detestable are things that we still consider to be immoral today as Christians.  All the other times this word was used, it was used about timeless moral laws, about worship of God or love of neighbor, about living holy lives before God.  It seems unthinkable to me, that every other usage of this word would refer to timeless moral things, but that in Deuteronomy 22:5, it is just a civil problem that God thinks is detestable or abominable.  I think it has to be a moral law, that we should still follow today as Christians in order to live lives that are pleasing to God.

 

 

 

Comparing Scripture with Scripture

What does the rest of Scripture say that might enlighten us about this verse?

First of all, the New Testament clearly affirms that as Gentile Christians, we don’t need to bother trying to adapt to the culture of the Jews.  We don’t need to eat what they eat, and wear what they wear.  This verse is about clothing, so we should note that we don’t have to try to adopt the clothing and culture of the Israelites.

But Scripture also affirms, in both the Old and New Testaments, that there are differences between men and women, and that those differences should be maintained.  The things that make us distinct should remain distinctions.

This starts in Genesis 1:27 (chapters 1-2) where God makes people of 2 sexes, male and female, (maybe even with slightly different roles – Adam naming the animals? authority?).  There is divine distinction between the sexes among the Israelites, even among utensils that they used (Ex. 22:6, Lev, 11:32, 13:49).  Men and women have different roles among the Israelite people.  They continue to dress differently throughout both testaments.

In the New Testament, we see some changes.  It is especially important to notice that the status of women is lifted up.  Jesus treats them differently than the surrounding culture. He values them and treats them as if they are as important as men.  And later on, we see that in the church we are all equal before God, and equally gifted for helping God’s Church.  In Galatians 3:28, Paul explains that we are all equal in Christ Jesus, receiving his salvation, whether male or female, or Jew or Gentile.  We are all united together in the church.

But distinctions among the sexes remain.  We don’t completely cease to be who we are when we come to Christ.  We remain in the cultures we come from, even though how we act changes.  We remain slave or free when we come to Christ.  We remain Jew or Gentile.  We remain man or woman.  The distinctions among the sexes don’t go away.  And even the different roles for the sexes remained.  Men and women have different though very similar roles in marriage (Ephesians 5).  They are both supposed to serve each other, but in slightly different ways.  And men and women may or may not have different roles in the church.  (This is a completely different debate, and I for one believe that women should be allowed to serve as pastors in church leadership.  I believe that certain distinctions between gender are timeless principles that were taught in the New Testament, like marriage roles.  But I believe that the New Testament is not consistent in saying “No” to women in church leadership, and that in some cases we see in Scripture that they were allowed to be in church leadership.  The cases where they were told not to teach or lead, I believe are unique.  Because of the problems in the church or surrounding city, Paul did not want women to teach just in those cases).

One of the most important passages for our purposes is 1 Corinthians 11.  This is the passage about women wearing head coverings in church.  It is largely ignored by churches because we have mostly forgotten why we don’t literally follow the teachings of this passage.  In general though, this passage is about maintaining the cultural distinctions among gender and dress, so that people aren’t offended in the church and surrounding culture.  Today, this looks very different and has nothing to do with head coverings as it did for the Corinthian church.  (Someday maybe I will give an in depth explanation of 1 Corinthians 11).  But it teaches us the principle that Deuteronomy 22:5 teaches, that there are still distinctions among the dress between men and women that need to be upheld.  Each culture is different.  Some cultures have clothing for men which is similar to clothing for women in our culture.  The point is not that all cultures need to be the same.  In fact, many of the differences in dress between men and women might be arbitrary.  And cultures can slowly change.  But in general, we must uphold those differences in dress in a culture, and appear as a man, or appear as a woman.

 

 

Church history

We never want to interpret the Bible on our own, but instead we are called to interpret it along with the wisdom and accountability of the rest of the church, both today, and throughout history.  I haven’t done enough studying about how this verse has been viewed throughout church history, but most of the commentaries I consulted viewed it as a condemnation of crossdressing in general.  And most Christians today would still view crossdressing, for any purpose other than necessity or humor, to be perverse, offensive, sexually immoral, and a result of gender confusion.

 

 

God’s guidance

Last, I should note that I have prayed extensively about this verse, trusting the Holy Spirit to help guide me.  Of course, this part of the interpretive process doesn’t help me convince anybody else.  But I am convinced that the Holy Spirit has worked in my mind, and worked through my studies, to help me come to the true understanding of this verse.

 

 

Conclusion

So in conclusion, I do think Dueteronomy 22:5 prohibits crossdressing for us today as Christians, both fetishistic crossdressing and crossdressing in general as it blurs the lines of the 2 sexes that God has set up.  It is a moral law that is still to be followed by Christians today.  Sometimes crossdressing hasn’t felt wrong to me, but I have chosen to trust in my understanding of God’s Word, rather than in my feelings.

 

 

Common Objections to this interpretation

1.  If we take verse 5 literally, we have to take the rest of the chapter literally, and no one does that and that would be ridiculous.

This is a common misunderstanding, but as I’ve explained there were different types of laws in the Old Testament Law, and they were not always divided up into their types.  Here we have a chapter that includes different types of laws together in a list.  Some types of laws we still follow today, others we don’t.

 

 

2.  This means women today can’t wear pants.

If at one time, women were wearing pants, not for comfort, but for trying to appear and dress as men, I think they would be going against this verse.  And even for the women who wanted to do so for comfort, they possibly could have been going against this verse if they were trying to dress like men, instead of making pants for women.  But today pants are for both sexes, and they no longer constitute one of the distinctions in our dress (though there are different cuts of pants for men and women).

This is a difficult thing, but culture and dress changes.  And I don’t want to stop that.  I don’t think it’s sinful for that to change.  And I don’t think we should try to stop it from changing.  I think it is good that women can wear pants now.  But we need to be careful how we go about the changes.

As far as changing the culture, I think it needs to happen gradually as dress codes are so ingrained in our minds.  It’s going to take more than one generation for people to get comfortable with men wearing skirts.  If there is a man out there who really finds skirts comfortable, and doesn’t feel feminine while wearing them, and it’s nothing to do with gender, or sexual pleasure, or femininity to wear them, then so be it.  Let him invent a skirt for men and try to change the culture.  But I think as Christians we should be cautious about being the ones trying to make the changes, and we have to make sure our motivations are okay.  And for those of us who are confused about our gender, and lean towards transgender, or fetishistic crossdressing, or anything similar, we should NOT be the ones to try to make those changes in the culture.  We can’t do so in an unbiased healthy way.

Right now in our society men crossdress and people are disgusted or tease men for it.  But women can crossdress by wearing clothing specifically tailored to men and people tend to think its just fine.  I don’t think this is good.  Maybe society accepts it, but I don’t.  Society has always been at odds with the Christian faith in some ways.  Women should not be allowed to crossdress either.

The important thing though is not making detailed rules on what clothing is okay or not.  The important thing is our motivation, what is going on in our hearts or minds.  Are we attempting to appear as women?  Are we trying to deceive others?  Are we dressing like this for sexual arousal?  Are we confused about our sexual identity?  Are we harmfully addicted to this activity?  When deciding what men or women can or cannot wear, the spirit of the Deut. 22:5 verse is more important than the literal application (since culture and dress always change).  So we should focus on discerning our motivation for dressing in a certain way, rather than making lists of rules about male versus female dress.

 

 

3.  So you think all crossdressers are going to hell?

No, this hints at a common misunderstanding of the Christian faith.  We believe that all people deserve hell, whether or not they are homosexual, whether or not they crossdress, whether or not they steal, etc.  You can be a nice seemingly good person and still deserve hell.  You deserve hell if you have not loved God and neighbor perfectly which includes every single person that ever lived, except for Jesus.  Yes I believe crossdressing is a sin, but it’s not just that one sin that makes us deserving of hell.  We ALL deserve it.  Yes, we as sinners are detestable to God because of our actions as this verse says, but he still loves us and gives us the opportunity to be made clean and saved through Jesus.

So if we have crossdressed or murdered 500 people, or avoided both, we can still only be saved through Jesus.  We can be totally forgiven through him.  And even after we’ve accepted Jesus as our savior, we still struggle with sin.  We start sinning less and less, but we still sin.  So even if we have crossdressed as a Christian, this does not mean we are going to hell.  We are still completely forgiven in Jesus.  This is not an excuse to give in to crossdressing as we should still try to resist it and live lives pleasing to God.

 

True Christians show themselves by their fruits of trying to live for God, which the verses below explain.

 

Matthew 17:17-18

17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

1 John 3:5-9

5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. 6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

James 2:17-19

17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

2 Corinthians 7:1

1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

Galatians 5:22-28

Romans 8

Romans 6:5-7

5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

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91 comments on “Deuteronomy 22:5

  1. ikthys says:

    This is probably the most thorough (and faithful) posting on the matter done so far. I appreciate your contribution. I have a couple of random respones:
    1. Just wanna throw it out there, since it was touched on, that your openness to women pastors is very refreshing. I go further and see no solid justification for maintaining any such authoritarian division in the home either… just sayin.
    2. I don’t think the principle of “stick within the cultural boundaries” is really embedded in the scripture, though I do agree that a couple of Paul’s approaches to certain ecclesiological issues assume a cultural norm or two (and that he difinitely felt at liberty to “borrow” popular stuctures like “household codes” in his thinking). I think it’s safe to say he was never intentionally trying to maintain a status quo as such, though he did leave us a wealth of theological creativity in trying to live out the gospel even though conflicts and within oppressive structures without jumping to the necessity of violent overthrow 🙂
    3. On the matter of crossdressings potential link to ancient goddess worship, I think there may be more of a case than you suggest. What’s more important is I think such a link supports your view rather than detracting from it as if this would only apply, then, to people around goddess cults. One simply needs to assert that the very thing God finds detestable about the connection to such temples is that they themselves are an institutionalization and perpetuation of the blurring of gender lines as God created them…

    Overall, my favorite thing about this post is your attempt to be honest despite what would be an obvious reason for bias. I myself find it very difficult to give in to such a view of this verse from the simple experience of my own life. Does God really find my private forays of complicated gender expression to be an abominable transgression of his created order? Perhaps. Either way, we both know that there is good moral argumentation to be done on the matter apart from this verse.
    Thanks again for all the hard work and time on this!

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  2. thorin25 says:

    Thanks Ikthys for the encouragement!
    On your number 2 – It is a very interesting thing to look at how Paul viewed the culture around him. There are a lot of things he just accepts, even if he finds them imperfect. And then there are lots of sinful things in the culture that he challenges. For example he is not afraid to speak out against idolatry, but he refrains from speaking out against slavery, (except by forcing Christians to think differently about it – Philemon). I’m sure there are plenty of interesting books out there on the very subject you raise.

    On your number 3, if you find any resources that would support a link to ancient goddess worship in Israel, let me know. All I have found, even at the most academic level, are scholars guessing that this might have been the case, because it makes sense to them, but really no solid historical facts to back that theory up. So if you find a good resource on it, let me know.

    And for your conclusion, I do plan on talking more about other scriptural passages that relate to our crossdressing struggles, and talking about some reasons why I think it is problematic or harmful. Someday when I get more time 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts!

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  3. Let me join Ikthys in applauding your detailed approach to combining all the multitude of threads for and against crossdressing I have encountered over the years. Just a couple of points that I want to add to the discussion here…

    1) I think the side foray into the topic of women’s roles in church needs further exploration. I don’t see anything in Paul’s wording that suggests it was for a specific group or a specific time That said, I’m kind of on the fence here (as just about everywhere theologically)… I personally don’t have a problem with women preaching, but I don’t know that I can back up my acceptance with scripture. Whenever I run into “The Bible says this, but we believe it doesn’t apply in this situation” arguments, I see you opening a whole slippery slope that ends with “… but prohibitions against adultery and bestiality and murder were unique to that culture, so we know that they are acceptable today.”

    2) Your arguments suggesting that crossdressing offends God both as a sexual deviance and as a violation of the distinction between the sexes are familiar ground and I have never had a problem with them, but where does that leave those who make a point of presenting as fully male but choose to wear dresses for some other reason — I’m thinking Eddie Izzard, Milton Berle, etc. here. If I become a professional actor whose “schtick” includes wearing a dress for laughs or just as an eccentric personality trait, does that make it OK? Or more seriously, and relevant to my world, how do either of those concerns work with men who would happily wear “men’s” dresses if we started seeing silk, full-skirted gowns on the men’s aisle bearing the Wrangler brand, but wear “garments designed for women” for comfort because none such exist for men?

    And whenever I ask a question like that, I must stress that I’m not seeking absolution (“Oh Ralph, you’re different so none of that applies to you”); I *want* to be convicted in my heart. I seek understanding both of what my true motives are and what God desires of us all. In my years of research on the topic I could easily find an equal number of commentaries that can prove with Scripture that God is going to roast me alive for so much as flicking through the pages of my wife’s Just My Size catalog, and those that can prove with Scripture that God doesn’t care if I go to church dressed like Frank N. Furter. Satan truly does know Scripture better than I do, and brandishes it like politicians use statistics to prove any point they want.

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  4. thorin25 says:

    Ralph thank you so much for the contribution. On the issue of women in church leadership, that is kind of outside the scope of this blog, so I probably won’t write more on it. But if you desire, I’ll gladly email you some book recommendations that I found helpful in sorting through the issue. Thinking about the issue is good for sharpening our biblical interpretation skills.

    On your #2, it’s difficult to say, partly because of my bias, that when I see men dressing as women to be funny, I find it not funny, but disgusting, and many times portraying unfair demeaning caricatures of women. (Most of the people I’ve met in my life who find such movies funny are people with pretty rigid gender stereotypes). But perhaps it would be possible for someone to argue that crossdressing, with some restraints, for comedic purposes is acceptable and not a violation of this verse. However, my own feelings are that that is wrong according to this verse. But, my case against it would be a little less strong than my case for condemning my own reasons for crossdressing. I guess I’d flip the question back on you. Why would we ever think crossdressing for comedic value might not go against this verse? How is it different? It still blurs the lines of sex that God has created. Is it different and okay just because it makes people laugh? People laugh at all sorts of demented or offensive things. It doesn’t make it right. So I’d want to read the argument for why someone would think this type of crossdressing would be okay and not against this verse.

    As far as dressing in particular clothes for comfort, I think sometimes we have to go along with the dress norms for our sex even if it makes us slightly less comfortable. I don’t think it’s right to wear women’s clothing and blur the lines of sex, going against this verse, just because its slightly more nice feeling on our skin. But Ralph, you would have to explain to me more about why you would wear women’s clothing just for comfort. I don’t understand, first of all, because most women complain of the uncomfortableness of much of women’s clothing. Secondly, can a skirt really be that much more comfortable than shorts or jeans to make you willing to wear them and have to stay cooped up in your room, not in the presence of your wife/kids, or friends? It doesn’t make sense to me. Even if a skirt is slightly more comfortable, I can’t imagine any man being willing to wear it (with all the stigma), just for that reason alone. To be frank, I doubt any man who crossdresses does it for “purely” that reason. I would think there are deeper things going on, such as a desire to be unique, rebelling against social norms, trying to identify with being feminine in some form, etc.

    So Ralph, if you have a good post on explaining your own desires along those lines, send it along to me and I’ll read it so I can grow in my understanding. I’m not trying to offend, but those are my honest responses. Thanks for being patient with me.

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  5. Dilly says:

    Thank you for your suggestions.
    My question is: is it a sin for women to put on trousers?

    Thank you

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  6. thorin25 says:

    Hi Dilly, my answer is “no.” If you look up in the post, I answer that question near the end.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Hm, I’m not a Christian myself and neither am I familiar with the Bible and it’s history as you are but I did find your post interesting. I do wish to share my thoughts and although I do lack experience, wisdom, and references, I hope you can overlook these and get more at what I wish to convey.

    I do want to say that I agree with you that lustful cross dressing is sinful and frowned upon by everyone really but perhaps other forms of cross dressing are not as sinful or sinful at all as you have argued. I do not begin to see or understand how it blurs gender boundaries or how gender is this important to God to the degree where one would be categorized as an ”abomination”. Clothes are but a physical essential for humans. If the Heavens gave us the initial design for clothes, then it must have existed there first. But then spirits don’t have genders so we must have had the inspiration to make it ourselves. Back then, they didn’t have trendy clothes we have today. They didn’t even wear pants back then. Even tights were a invention for males. What I am getting at is clothes is irrelevant to God’s preferences because He sees you for who you are, not what you physically wear. Even physically, it does not ultimately change who we really are in this world, only in outer appearance outside of our body. This should be more of a societal issue than religious. A good question would be ”When and why did society places rules on what males could and couldn’t wear?” Women get to wear men’s clothing and society doesn’t judge. Apparently, neither does religion. Also to your argument, if society changes its views and conventions on males wearing skirts, wouldn’t your argument and this passage have to change? If it has to change, does it mean it was true to begin with? ”Why would anyone wear ”women’s” clothing beyond sexual pleasure?” Beats me. Comfort? Work? Other miscellaneous reasons? Probably.

    In the multidimensional plane we exist in, designed and created by God, we have to consider that this world is not as black and white as you have painted. Also, to say that there is some hidden purpose or something sexual in your argument in all cases of cross dressing is incorrect. That is not the always case. Through the previous reasoning, an individual\’s reasons is not always the same from person to person due to diversity. If that is the case, then a consideration of degree and personal situations should be taken into account. Even if one means well, it could have the opposite effect in the grand scheme of things. Of course one could argue that to God, it is clear what the truth is but is He really so much concerned as to what we wear compared to our spiritual life? I am sure that whatever truth He has to offer will only apply to you spiritually, not physically as the physical world is not of His concerns unless it affects our spiritual lives. To that extent, what we can determine as sinful cross dressing should only be determined on the basis of it’s degree and circumstances. As to your statements to Ralph, it’s not that cross dressing is funny, it only supports and adds the humor. I do find it disappointing that you would not return the efforts of kind, hardworking men and women who want to please you and put a smile on your face.

    I also agree that we must respect the role, gender, and body given to us but what does cross dressing have to do with religion or manipulating our body? I would say not much really unless we are talking something who is going beyond cross dressing. I would recommend abstaining from becoming lustful or deceitful to avoid corruption in your physical and spiritual tasks. In the end, it will be up to the individual to decide and as a separate entity, we should honor and accept their wishes, guide and understand them the best we can. Obviously, dress as you should on formal and important occasions as a form of respect and sincerity. If you want to pursue a life of spiritual development, it would be best to give up unneeded worldly desires and put your effort towards further spiritual development. In that way, can you really let go and avoid any trifling issues.

    Spirituality is concerned with our souls, (same as spirit in my context) not our genders or what we wear. As far as the spirit is concerned with, it does not need a gender or clothes. As long as the physical means do not create impediments during our spiritual progress, we need not categorize it immediately as sinful. Ultimately, we create our own hells. Free will was given to us as a double edge sword. It comes with great responsibility. How we use it will be up to us but to control and restrict your own free will and desires is a sign of devotion to do God’s work. One should ask this of them themselves not from others. A loving Mother and Father (not giving God a gender but a role) should and would not condemn or hate their own children for what they wish to sow and reap. God’s nature is forgiving and guiding. Not to say He does not get angry but His anger is not of hate or spite. Even so, He is quick to forgive, no matter how many times we mess up. As humans, we have to have regret and the ability to repent for our mistakes. He will always be with us listening, it will be up to us whether we want to listen or not.

    These texts have value but consider the age we live in and the the time it has passed. What had importance back then could no longer be the case today. Even certain texts may have been distorted at some point in time to better control the masses. Translations from one language to another also places constraints and difficulties. I’m not saying they’re no good since God has a plan and that’s why these texts still exist for us today. Although the outer meaning of the text may have been distorted or misinterpreted or just non-applicable, the true meaning and purpose should still exist since it is eternal. Although it is not apparent at face value, we should make it our goal to find that truth that was left ages ago and not take these scriptures lightly. When has Heaven ever given us a straight answer? It’s all for us to figure out since there would be no learning if we were spoon fed. How I would interpret this passage is do not change yourself as wanted but as needed. Need in this case would be a spiritual need, not a physical or mental need. I interpret it this way since during modern times, the movement towards gender equality is a no-brainer. Not so much in privileges and roles but seeing each other as equals and moving forward. If this passage were designed to apply to the present, it should not distinguish between men and women.

    Once again, just my thoughts and I did not want to change anyone’s point of view or beliefs or offend anyone. The point of me writing this is not to say you’re wrong and I am right but I see the act of quick condemnation without being God Himself is foolhardy and can be misleading. I understand you wish the best for others and I have no intention of getting in the way of that. I know that you are Christian but maybe looking beyond one source of God’s attempts to communicate His messages to us would provide a wider view and perhaps a glimpse at something larger. I know that you have also helped others get rid of this habit and if this works for them, then I encourage you to continue to help those who seek your help.

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  8. thorin25 says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful post. First of all, you raise many interesting questions and criticisms, and I actually have reasoned answers/opinions to most of them, but to answer each one with due diligence would take between a page or book for each, and I don’t have the energy to do that. 🙂 You are raising issues about everything from crossdressing, to God, to faith, to the truth of the Bible, to epistemology, gender, etc. etc. To answer all of those questions is outside the scope of this blog unfortunately. Were I your pastor, I would sit down with you and discuss with you those questions more. But for now, I would suggest you read some more of the Bible, and see if it strikes your mind and heart as truth, and read some books that argue for the truth of the Christian faith and of the Bible. Incidentally, many of your questions I’ve addressed in some others of my posts, so feel free to do more reading there too, and if you want to comment with more specific criticisms and questions, feel free to do so.

    I noticed you said a lot about God in your comment. You are making truth claims about God just as I did. What is your basis for those thoughts and judgments? As you can see, I believe the Bible gives us true revelation about God, it is his Word to us. That is fine that you disagree. But where do you get your truth about God from then? Why should I take it to heart? I’m not trying to be argumentative, just showing that it’s interesting you claim to know certain things about God, but I’m wondering what your source of that knowledge is, if it is not the Bible.

    You say – “Spirituality is concerned with our souls.” I firmly disagree. The Bible’s view of life, faith, God, is that all of life and creation matters to God. God created this world and every single thing in it he cares about. People are not just souls in fleshly shells. Humans are body, soul, and spirit. We are physical and spiritual beings. It was an early Christian heresy that was condemned, when people said God only cared about the soul, but not the body. Everything we do matters to God, every minute of every day. And as Paul says, “whatever we do, whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God.” God does care about the clothes we wear, and he has made that truth known to us in his Word, the Bible. It is a very limited narrow view of spirituality to say that only our soul matters. The Christian faith has ramifications for all areas of life, hence why Christians “at times” have been champions on issues such as caring for the environment, racial harmony, women’s rights, caring for the poor, etc.

    As far as culture’s dress changing – the principle stays the same. Men should not dress like women and vice versa. But as styles of how women dress change, then what constitutes as “crossdressing” changes. This is similar to how dressing to look professional changes over time and from culture to culture, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to dress professional on important occasions

    Thanks for reading!

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  9. Jamie Ann says:

    As a Christian, I am primarily concerned with the spiritual meanings embedded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; less with the material written by unknown participants in the early Roman church a generation after Jesus’ death; and even less with verses in the Old Testament or the Torah as a whole.

    Nonetheless, Jewish scholars have analyzed Deuteronomy and come to quite different conclusions from the one you prefer. For instance, Rabbi Jon-Jay Tilsen considered much the same ideas as you did, but concluded as follows:

    “The Torah’s concern in this verse [i.e., Deuteronomy 22:5] is not with creating or reinforcing gender differences per se, but in preventing gender associations of clothing or possibly body hair from being used to deceive others for purposes leading to sexual immorality. The key here seems to be deception for illicit purposes. Indeed this law appears in Deuteronomy in the context of laws against deceit.”

    I don’t know why you crossdressed, but it would be far-fetched to imagine that most part-time male-to-female crossdressers in the US engage in that behavior to deceive anyone. Deuteronomy 22:5 asserts that God is offended by deceitful behavior, not by cross-gender presentation for personal expression.

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  10. thorin25 says:

    Hi Jamie, thanks for the comment. First of all, as you said, we have different views of Scripture in general, so it is unlikely that we will agree on a common interpretation since we have different beliefs about what the Bible is. But it’s still good to dialogue anyway.

    I have read the Rabbi’s views, and disagree. You may have missed that I even linked to his thoughts on this verse in my post above. I understand how you could miss it as this is a super long post 🙂
    I think my post explains at points why I do disagree with that interpretation you quoted.

    It may interest you to know that while I find reading the interpretations of Jewish rabbis interesting and sometimes very helpful, I also have a different view of scripture than they do. For example, Jesus said on multiple occasions that the Scriptures are all ultimately about him, which obviously modern Jewish rabbis would disagree with. Hence, I think they have a false interpretation of Scripture, and Christians are the ones who are interpreting the Old Testament as God intended.

    But, even if this verse does not prohibit the type of crossdressing I have done, or the type of crossdressing you engage in, there are many other reasons I think crossdressing is sinful, confused, not pleasing to God, and harmful to one’s own well-being. You can read about my views if you want in other posts. They don’t all use the Bible as my sole argument.

    I grant that many crossdressers are not trying to deceive people, but you only have to peruse a few crossdressing sites and blogs to see that many people are. They go out en femme and enjoy the thrill of other people thinking they are women, especially when they see women thinking they look beautiful, or men oggling them. I think crossdressing is fundamentally a self-deception as well on multiple levels.

    I’d be interested to know what you mean by saying that you are a Christian. I was reading your site a bit, and am not sure exactly what you believe. It seems as if you might like some of the moral teachings of Jesus but that is about it. I see you mentioned how Jesus said we shouldn’t judge. I encourage you to read my recent post about that. In the context of that teaching, Jesus sets himself up as the ultimate judge (as he does all over the Gospels). https://healingcd.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/do-not-judge-or-you-too-will-be-judged/
    A Christianity without God’s judgment is a false Christianity. If you believe that, I encourage you to have the integrity to not call yourself a Christian. Following Jesus is more than just saying you like some of his teachings. I could be reading you totally wrong. And if I am falsely assuming, I apologize upfront. Feel free to put me straight.

    I saw a while back that you had referenced my site and stopcrossdressing.com on your site. I was not offended that you mentioned my site, (though I strongly disagreed with your assessment of me). I see now you have taken the specific references off. That’s fine too. I would grant that obsessive compulsive tendencies, or we could just call it sexual addictions play a large part in what these anticrossdressing blogs are about. Yes, in that sense I agree. But I don’t think they are completely different categories. Again, one only has to peruse a few crossdressing sites and blogs, to see that many crossdressers “mature” from sexual crossdressers to doing so for their identity or emotional feeling of wellness. And then some go from there to getting a sex change years down the road, convinced they are transgender. These are not mutually exclusive categories. There is a lot of overlap, and a lot of change can happen. Even for myself, while mostly my struggle was a sexual addiction, the feelings of questioning my gender, feeling more a woman, and wanting to live as a woman were there too.

    You say that transgendered persons don’t need healing or forgiveness by God. If you don’t take your religious beliefs from the Bible, where do you take them from? If you only take a few spiritual nuggets from the Bible, how are you to know what is offensive to God and what isn’t? That seems like a radical claim to make with no authority. Did God tell you personally that that is his view? I’m not trying to be offensive, but just trying to challenge you on this. Christians believe the Bible is God’s revelation to us. Sure, that may sound foolish to many, but at least that is an authority outside of 1 person. And it makes sense if God exists that he would have given us such truth. But you reject much of the Bible (it sounds like), and yet still make objective truth claims about what God does or does not think or feel about us. Where do you get those ideas? Why should anyone believe you?

    Thanks for the comment, if I haven’t offended you, I’d love to talk more

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  11. Jamie says:

    Thanks, Thorin25, for addressing my comment. I appreciate it. Regarding Christianity, I think that a Christian is someone who is informed by, and believes in, the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. That includes Catholics, 30 or more denominations of Protestants, and followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as Mormons and others that are hard to classify. I was born and raised in a rural community in the conservative Midwest and was part of a Baptist congregation throughout my formative years. I was taught that only Baptists are truly Christian. In my opinion, though, each of the groups alluded to above is Christian; yet each of them adds to the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. As I’ve grown older and a bit wiser, I’ve become less enamored of the add-ons.

    Saul of Tarsus (better known as Paul the Apostle or Saint Paul) added all sorts of content to the teachings of Jesus, much of it borrowed from the Torah, but some of it just his own personal opinions on things. His motivations may have been admirable — he wanted to reform ancient Rome — but I don’t think that we need to accept the various add-ons as God’s word. After all, the 30+ versions of organized Christianity differ in the add-ons they accept and those they consider total malarkey. Clearly, there can be reasonable doubt about anything where versions of a religion differ.

    As for choosing only part of God’s word and ignoring the rest, I think that criticism is more valid for any of those 30+ versions of organized Christianity than it is for persons who think for themselves and try to stick to Jesus’ teachings. Organized Christianity is notorious for cherry-picking the evidence. Organized churches differ in the categories of worshipers they attract. Rich people like interpretations that imply that being rich is a sign that God loves you, etc. There is a large element of expediency in what people take as God’s word; hence, the 30+ different versions of organized Christianity. I am skeptical of the notion that one of the countless versions of the Bible is a perfect rendering of God’s word.

    Regarding the Torah and Old Testament, the fundamental question I have is why God would have sent a messenger to the ancient Middle East; tell 12 of 75+ primitive tribes that they are a master race or chosen people; and ignore not only the other tribes, but also the rest of the world. After all, China, Japan, and other places had vastly superior civilizations to those of the Middle East. Unless we want to descend into pure racism, we cannot justify believing that God told Moses in a loud, clear voice, using perfect Hebrew, that 12 of those primitive tribes were God’s favorite people and that everyone else in the world was misguided or inferior. I think that Jews and Christians should be more skeptical of their religious traditions. Lack of skepticism is not the penultimate virtue!

    Finally, as for crossdressing, I think that crossdressers are subject to all the human frailties that non-crossdressers are subject to. They can be selfish, insecure, inept in forming social relationships, addictive in their behavior, etc., etc. Still, gender variance has a neurological basis and its expression is not per se an affront to God. There are millions of transgender persons in the world, and it is a bit rash to conclude that they are people who have chosen Satan over God. I don’t think that I need to be forgiven for having a certain eye color, even though some people may think that I should have eyes just like theirs …

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  12. thorin25 says:

    Thanks again for another thoughtful comment. We obviously have very different views of Scripture. I realize that all denominations are very diverse, and some even use slightly different Bibles (with different books), beyond just the different translations. But I stick to the rule of faith that was passed on from Jesus to the apostles to the early church. That early church accepted what we know as the New Testament books because they fit with the Rule of faith and they believed them to be inspired by God. That tradition has been passed on down the years. To accept anything other than the Bible we have, both Old Testament and New Testament (regardless of small debates of a couple books like the apocrypha), is to believe something outside the bounds of normative Christianity. People like Marcion were marked as heretics for doing such, and I would do the same today. I would never claim to say that you are not saved in Jesus because of what I would call your false beliefs about Scripture. But I would say your beliefs about Scripture fall outside of normative Christianity, as I would if you rejected either the Nicene or Apostle’s Creed. So again, labeling yourself as a Christian I think is misleading and unhelpful. If you are deviating from the normative Christian faith, have the courage to call yourself something else.

    Also another challenge for you. If you claim to just stick to the teachings of Jesus, what do you do with Jesus’ teachings that the whole Old Testament is about him? What do you do with his teachings that clearly uphold not only the truth of the Old Testament, but its application for us today, and its fulfillment in him? If you claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, then don’t pick and choose. If you think half of what he said was blatantly wrong, then just live how you want, and don’t pretend that you follow his teachings. What’s the point of only following part of his teachings?

    You talk about the Old Testament and God choosing Israel. It is not racism at all. Over and over and over and over in the Old Testament God explains to Israel that he chose them out of his grace, not because they deserved it. They weren’t supposed to think they were more special or superior to other peoples. They were just as evil as the other nations. In fact, because they knew God’s law and disobeyed it regularly, God said they were even worse than others. God could have totally destroyed his whole creation, because all people deserved it. But God in his grace, according to his plan that we don’t fully understand, began to save his people by his grace, starting with one people who came to be known as Israel. But it was never to be limited to them. They were supposed to be a light to the nations. This is the wonderful crazy way God works, that he chose the backwater tribe of Israel to begin with, rather than the powerful nations around the world. This is the God who reaches out to the blind, the slave, the lame, the women, the children. He is the God who became a human baby, and rode on a donkey. He goes against out preconceived notions all the time.

    And skepticism a virtue? Jesus held up trust as a virtue not doubt.

    Gender variance has not been proven to be a neurological issue, and even if it was, that proves nothing. You can be born with a biological predisposition to being addicted to drugs, or to fits of anger, and that doesn’t make it okay to give in to those things. And I never said transgender people have chosen Satan over God. But if they give in to their transgender desires, I would say they are choosing sin over what God wants. Can Christians who love Jesus still sin and mess up? Sure, I did it all the time when I used to crossdress, or when I had pride, or selfishness, or lack of loving God with my whole heart, mind, and soul. So I’m not saying they are choosing Satan. I’m saying they are sinning. And part of my rationale is that the Old Testament (which Jesus affirmed) states in this verse that it is sinning. But there are plenty of other scriptural passages and themes that lead us to the same conclusion.

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  13. Jamie says:

    Hi again, Thorin25. As I’m sure you know, “Biblical inerrancy” is the dogma that the Bible is accurate and totally free of error, containing nothing that is contrary to fact or to God’s wishes. By the normal human tendency to stretch claims a bit, some Christians assume, in addition, that our understandings of the Bible are totally free of error. I accept the fact that many people believe that dogma. But I also know that it has been criticized as pre-scientific and naïve. The meanings of words become altered over time as people try to integrate old words with new realities.

    Even if the New Testament were inerrant in the third and fourth centuries when it was produced, modern translations of it would not correspond perfectly with what the Roman Church intended. For instance, the word “marriage,” which often referred to the polygamy of the Old Testament prophets, now is stoutly maintained to refer to one man and one woman in an egalitarian union. Such marriage would have seemed unnatural and indeed horrific to Saul of Tarsus.

    Given advances in empirical knowledge, including that pertaining to gender, it seems to me that taking a fresh look at Scripture is good for Christianity, not bad for it. But I grant that this is a progressive view, not one that you would call a “normative” view. I respect your views, but I think that mine have some merit, too.

    I don’t know what else to say about crossdressing. Rightly or wrongly, I think that the overwhelming majority of transgender persons are relatively normal folks with relatively harmless personality traits that they like to express. Just for my own edification, though, I would be interested in knowing the chapters and verses where Jesus affirms the inerrancy of the Old Testament and where he says something about men who wear other-sex clothing for reasons not involving deceit for illicit purposes. Did Jesus even mention that subject?

    Thanks.

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  14. thorin25 says:

    Hello again. Yeah I’m not sure we will get anywhere very quickly, with either of us changing the others views about Scripture. That is a huge topic, and outside the scope of this blog. But interesting to talk about it briefly nonetheless.

    I believe the original autographa were inerrant, but our translations obviously are not necessarily so. And there is interpretation involved in every translation, just to make the translation. But I have faith in God’s providence and sovereignty to oversee the translation of his Word in the world, and I have trust in the biblical scholars who have done the translations. But in the end, it’s still important to learn the original languages of Greek and Hebrew, which I have done, to ensure that we continue to go back to the original texts, and not rely too heavily on English (or other language) translations.

    I grant your argument that Jesus says nothing directly about crossdressing or transgenderism, though he does uphold the distinction of 2 sexes, and he acted as a human male in every good way, even fulfilling the Jewish rituals he was supposed to, aside from of course romantic love and marriage. Though he upholds the OT teachings about marriage, man and woman, etc. And he went against some of the cultural norms for men, in that he was more willing to talk to women, etc. But anyway, if we are limiting ourselves to Jesus’ own words, just the ones recorded in the Gospels, well, he doesn’t say too much on those issues, as you said.

    As far as his views of the Old Testament, I mentioned some passages in the post above, and you can see my post about how to interpret the Bible. Others to look at are Matthew 5:17-20, Luke 16:17.. In the sermon on the mount in general, Jesus clearly teaches the moral laws of the Old Testament, such as the 10 commandments, and our need to fulfill them not only outwardly, but inwardly. The Gospels clearly show Jesus fulfilling the ceremonial and civil aspects of the Law.

    Jesus clearly believed the Old Testament scriptures to be true as evidenced by verses such as these and many more
    Luke 4:16-21
    Matthew 15:3
    Matthew 22:31-32
    Matthew 12:3
    Luke 17:29-33
    Luke 11:51
    Luke 2:22-24

    Got tired of looking up more references, found this page that lists many more (i have no idea who wrote this or what the site stands for), but just lists some more passages you could look up.
    http://www.greatcom.org/resources/reasons_skeptics/ch_06/default.htm
    and another – http://carm.org/questions/about-jesus/what-did-jesus-teach-about-old-testament

    There are numerous passages in the Gospels quoting the OT. Jesus fulfills the prophecies of the OT. Jesus says the Old Testament is about him, and others say so about him. John 1:45, John 5:39-40, Luke 24:25-27, Acts 8:30-35,

    It comes down to this. The Gospel authors, and other NT authors are the ones who wrote about Jesus and what he said. And they clearly viewed the Old Testament to be authoritative, inerrant, trustworthy, true, etc. If they were wrong about that, then why trust them about what they claim Jesus taught? Like it or not, we don’t have a video recording of what Jesus said. All we have are the books of the NT. We either accept them or we don’t. Once we pick and choose, it’s a total free for all. Granted, maybe you think the truth is closer to a free for all. Maybe you believe we really can’t know the truth that well, and we just have to do our best to figure out what passages are true and which aren’t. But we’ll have to agree to disagree on that I guess.

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  15. Jamie says:

    I thank you for the references on Jesus’ views of the Old Testament. Still, I think that there is room for doubt about how completely Jesus embraced the OT. Did he give a comprehensive, completely unqualified endorsement of its content? In John 5:39-40, for instance, Jesus is responding to Jews who believe that the OT is the whole story, and that they do not need to consider what he has to say. He said, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. But these are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” This makes no sense unless he had corrections or additions to offer.

    The Jews would not have had to come to him in order to have eternal life unless he had things to say about inadequacies in the OT. In essence, Jesus was saying, “If you believe the parts about me in the Torah, then maybe you should believe me now!” That is not quite saying that everything in the OT is 100% true. He might even think that some of it is terribly mistaken, the product of human error, and that he will set them straight if only they will stop being so rigid and listen!

    If Jesus offered a comprehensive, unqualified endorsement of the OT, then that would be different from saying that some parts of it are valid. Jesus didn’t think, for instance, that women should be stoned to death for having sex with a man who was not their husband. Clearly, Jesus disagreed with parts of the OT. What Jesus thought about Deuteronomy 22:5, it seems to me, is anyone’s guess!

    Anyway, thanks for the references. I think that a progressive stance on Christianity is preferable to a thoroughly traditional one; but I am not infallible.

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  16. Ralph says:

    Quite true, Jamie, but Jesus also confirmed that what she had done was a sin and advised her to do so no longer. So you could argue that he did not invalidate the law so much as prescribe mercy over strictness.

    HOWEVER, he also made it clear that some laws, such as doing no work at all on the Sabbath, were not appropriate. This is why I don’t even try to personally choose which OT laws are and are not applicable; I cut straight to the “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor” part that Jesus emphasized, and hope that makes up for my countless shortcomings.

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  17. ikthys says:

    Ok, just to pitch in here for the sake of historic accuracy- Jesus didn’t invalidate ANYTHING from the OT. He didn’t nullify resting on the sabbath, he just differed in his interpretation of what constituted work from the ungodly teachers of his day (not to mention having a fuller understanding of what the Sabbath was all about to begin with- again the nonbelieving Jew missing the point of ALL scripture). Jesus IN FACT said that he came to FULFILL the law and prophets of the OT down to the very last letter. How’s THAT for an affirmation of the Hebrew Bible? If that’s not enough, why would Peter, his number 1 disciple be able to say things like “the writers of the OT didn’t speak on their own, but wrote as they were mioved by God,”? No, a “progressive” stance is simply a “convenient” one because the OT is not all light and fluffy (in fact, neither was Jesus’ own teachings, but people love to misinterpret what he said to their lax advantage, too.). The only alternative to a traditional Christianity is a Christianity of one’s own imagination. I already know that I don’t want to trust in my own imagination (anymore), thanks. Kudos to Thorin for a disciplined (while still deferential) approach to a very pertinent scripture to lives of men like me.

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  18. Jamie says:

    I agree with Ralph 100%. Jesus was not condoning sex outside of marriage, but loving God and loving one’s neighbors as oneself may sometimes take precedence over rigid interpretations of a specific religious obligation.

    אשר למר Ikthys, the main impression is a lack of linguistic knowledge. For historical accuracy, my friend, it is worth remembering that ancient Hebrew was a very sparse, imprecise language. Jewish scholars believe that its vocabulary was less than 9000 words, compared to about 320,000 words in modern English. Furthermore, there were no dictionaries to help standardize how words were used. There is a great deal of inherent “fluffiness” in the OT due to the circumstance that the vocabulary and lack of standardization was not very well suited to a precise expression of ideas.

    The task of accurate interpretation gets even “fluffier” when we realize that translations from one language into another always are interpretations, which often reflect the translator’s preconceived ideas. Also, ancient Hebrew grammar (and ancient Greek grammar for that matter) is very different from modern English grammar. Even in the latter, the meanings of words usually depend on context as well as grammatical construction. The OT often does not give much information about the full context of most verses. In Deuteronomy 22, for instance, the verse implying that women should not wear slacks and men should not wear polyester-blend sport shirts is mixed together with verses about one’s brother’s asses and oxen and how not to sow one’s vineyard. The larger context is …?

    A lack of contextual understanding gives us a lot of leeway in deciding what a verse meant. One futher thought: How about the graphic material in Song of Solomon? Did Jesus mean to endorse that, too? Maybe you could rationalize your way around the uncomfortable implications of that, but doing so would illustrate the very “fluffiness” you claim to be against. A Christianity of one’s own imagination seems to me to be no less likely given a traditional mind-set than given one that involves digging a little deeper.

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  19. ikthys says:

    Jaime, I’m not at all sure what you’re even trying to say. But I’ll try to answer your questions and implications anyway. First, the issue of linguistics is really only an issue for us today, though even allowing for that, there is widespread agreement between Hebrew scholars on the basic translation (not to say interpretation) of them- in short you have drastically inflated your case. Second, to put it quite bluntly, the exitence or possibility of varying interpretation does NOT imply the lack of a TRUE interpretation (i.e. Jesus’). Third, this thread of comments was about what Jesus said and/or taught about the Hebrew scriptures, which is total and unequivocal acceptance (to the last “jot” and “tittle”) according to how he was quoted in the New Testatment (and if you wanna argue over that, then you are really on an entirely different issue than this conversation), which of course was not written in Hebrew at all… Fourth, my comment about fluffiness had to do with the fact that people are prone to reject the portions of scripture that have “rules”, “laws”, “commandments”, etc. and opt for only those that deal with a more general (and easily misunderstood and misapplied) “love”. Fifth, yes, I do think Jesus approved of Song of Solomon (it was Hebrew scripture!) which no Jew or “traditional” Christian has ever had a problem doing either. As to the issue of the verse in question of the original post, I think we ALL agree that it is a difficult verse to wrangle with (especially for those of us bent on the type of behavior it may be condemning as abomniable…). Again, I applaud Thorin for taking it on and offering much careful consideration of a huge number of objections and concerns. I just saw all the “Jesus rejected this or that of the OT” stuff and thought I’d remind that he did nothing of the sort. Thanks!

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  20. Ralph says:

    I think this is one of the most enlightening discussions I’ve seen on the subject of those “painful” bible verses in particular and biblical exegesis in general. I applaud all participants for remaining civil and respectful even when approaching from opposite directions!

    Jamie, I’m not sure what there is to “approve” or “disapprove” in Song of Solomon. It wasn’t an instructional book in the sense of telling us how to obey God; it was a love poem between husband and wife. Our conservative baptist preacher even covered it in a Sunday sermon (for Valentine’s day, of course).

    With regards to translation uncertainty…
    The OT commandments are considerably less difficult to interpret than some of the more contentious Greek terms from the NT. “… neither shall a man put on the garment of a woman” doesn’t have any kind of qualifiers around it and the Hebrew terms used do not have any alternate meanings — same for “a man shall not lie with another man as with a woman”.
    Here’s a handy side-by-side translation of Deuteronomy 22 with KJV, Hebrew, and literal word-for-word translation you can compare.

    You get into much murkier water agreeing on a definitive translation for NT Greek. Take everyone’s favorite, 1 Corinthians 6:9. It doesn’t say “… nor homosexuals… shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” No, it says “malakoi”, which literally means “soft ones”. It’s the same word Jesus used when he sarcastically described John The Baptist to crowds: “What did you come to the desert to see? A man wearing soft clothes [malakoi]?” KJV translates 1Cor 6:9 as “effeminate”; most others translate it as “homosexual” but they provide no justification for treating that use as “homosexual” but Matthew 11:8 as “fine clothes”.

    I really had a point when I started all that, but now I have no idea where I was going with it. Proper understanding of the actual meaning behind the words is important to me because I want what GOD wants, not what some self-appointed interpreter tells me he (or she) thinks God wants of me.

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  21. Jamie says:

    Two points are the crucial ones: (1) there is no perfect interpretation of ancient Hebrew into modern English; and (2) a sequence of written words in ancient Hebrew was only a partial clue as to what that sequence meant to the writer or to God. It is well known among experts that there is no one-to-one correspondence between Hebrew words and English words. Ancient Hebrew was a very limited language. The vocabulary was so small that words had many different meanings. So how did people convey meanings to each other? They relied heavily on non-verbal communication. Such things as loudness, pitch, speed, emphasis, inflection, breathiness, clipping or stretching words and phrases, pauses, and so forth. The experts call those things paralanguage. In addition to paralanguage elements, body language altered meanings. Facial expressions, posture, and so forth altered meanings. Some paralanguage may ever reverse the apparent meanings to someone who sees only black marks on white partridge.

    All this is true of people conversing in modern English; but it was even truer of people trying to converse in ancient Hebrew. Words on paper (or parchment) did not convey meanings, no matter what you may choose to believe.

    One of the problems with the “Biblical inerrancy” dogma is its lack of understanding of the factors I’ve just mentioned. Because you and your congregation reach a consensus does not make that consensus true. People reach consensus because of their own insecurities, not because they have a pipeline to God. You can believe that the moon is made out of green cheese, and reach a consensus on that with your fellow church members; but that doesn’t make it true.

    Regarding Thorin25, I believe that he is sincere; but I do not believe that Deuteronomy 22:5 has any relevance to part-time social crossdressing in the 21st century. His claims are a stretch, to say the least. Most crossdressers do not have obsessive-compulsive disorders; most do not masturbate in their underwear; and most do not neglect their families. Claiming otherwise probably causes some teenage suicides. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” means supporting each other, not dumping on each other. I respect Thorin25, but I think he is wrong on several counts and that he should rethink some of his views.

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  22. thorin25 says:

    Good discussion all. I’ve been busy, so hadn’t even read your comments till now. Thank you for civil discussion, and thank you for trying to figure out the truth together. Ralph and Ikthys thank you for your comments, appreciate them. Jamie, my views are pretty clear, and you’ve made yours pretty clear too. I don’t want to keep this conversation about the inerrancy of the Bible going indefinitely so I won’t respond with another long comment at the moment. But feel free to keep commenting on my blog, it’s good to have challenge and dialogue even if I disagree. But as far as our fundamental disagreement about the Christian faith and about Scripture, we’ll have to agree to disagree about that. Thank you Jamie for your comments and civility.

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  23. Jamie says:

    In early 2011, I wrote a section for my webpage about religion and the importance of separating the wheat from the chaff. I updated it slightly in late 2011 when Karl W. Giberson and Randall J. Stephens, two evangelical Christians, wrote an influential article for the New York Times that took essentially the same position I had taken. The interplay of Biblical texts and secular knowledge has been an issue for intelligent religious people at least since the time of Galileo Galilei, who was banished from Christianity for saying that good data and emerging scientific theories showed that the earth and the other planets in our solar system orbited the sun, not that the sun orbited the earth and that the other planets had poorly understood movements (perhaps orbiting the sun as the sun in turn orbited the earth). Biblical references (e.g., Psalm 93:1, 96:10, and 1 Chronicles 16:30) were interpreted literally by the most revered Christian authorities to mean that the earth was the center of the universe and that anyone who claimed otherwise was challenging God’s Word. Modern thinking, by me and by most other educated Christians, accepts the idea today that established secular knowledge needs to be integrated with the central tenets of Christianity. Interpreting writings by fallible human beings in a pre-scientific age may assuage the insecurities of some Christians today, but it is not the path to a healthy, durable Christianity.

    So what’s all that have to do with social crossdressing in 2012 in heavily Christian societies? Well, good data and emerging scientific theories are calling into question the interpretations of Biblical references concerning gender, sexuality, and related phenomena. To say, as Thorin25 does, that Deuteronomy 22:5 should be taken literally is as unacceptable as saying that the sun orbits the earth. To say that transgender persons are “unclean” and misguided and defying God’s will is as wrong-headed as saying that Galileo Galilei was defying God’s will. Sometimes we have to trust our consciences, even if the conventional wisdom within Christianity disagrees with what our hearts and souls are trying to tell us.

    On a recent trip to Poland for reasons not pertinent to this discussion, I took a side trip to Jagiellonian University, where Galileo Galilei worked as a physicist after his banishment from Christianity. His office has been preserved in his honor. Pamphlets available to visitors describe Galileo’s deep sorrow over his banishment — he was a devout Christian caught between conscience and literal Biblical interpretation. Today in America, there are countless teenagers turning away from Christianity because their hearts and souls are at odds with the conventional wisdom within its organized representations. That is tragic.

    If anyone is interested, my short article can be found at the following address:

    http://toselfbetrue.com/transgender/home.html#relig

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  24. thorin25 says:

    “Well, good data and emerging scientific theories are calling into question the interpretations of Biblical references concerning gender, sexuality, and related phenomena.”

    What in the world are you talking about? Scientific theories are calling into question what God deems as sinful and what he doesn’t? Not sure how you are getting there. There is nothing scientific that can prove God approves of crossdressing. Even if you proved there was a genetic link, that would say nothing about whether God approves of the activity. Want to back up your claim? You say there are scientific reasons to call it into question. But your only argument and appeal is to say to follow your conscience, (which I believe can be easily misled without God’s Word, see my post on “don’t follow your heart”).

    Science is a whole other question, and I’m not going to get into a long debate about that. But let me say in brief, that the Bible uses the language of everyday observation. When biblical authors talk about the sun setting, it’s no more an error by fallible humans, than for us to say the same thing today when we go watch a sunset together. We look at scientific discoveries as Christians yes, and learn truth both from God’s Word and from God’s world. But they do not contradict each other. We don’t start chopping off sections of scripture because science has proved them wrong. At the most, we may have to relook at how we were interpreting a passage of scripture, and make sure we were interpreting it rightly. Perhaps we thought something was teaching us physics that really wasn’t intended to do so. And we often have to make sure we are interpreting scientific data correctly cause scientists have often been wrong.

    To equate Galileo’s unfortunate situation in the organized Church to condemning crossdressing is hardly fair. They are completely different issues. Further, most Christians are very naive about crossdressing and tend to think it is harmless. In my experience most of the Christians who actually find it wrong, are those that struggle with it and so understand it and so pay attention to God’s commands about it. I doubt there are many struggling young crossdressers who are turning away from the faith because of their crossdressing desires being at odds with the church.

    You say to follow your soul. You are forgetting you are talking on a website regularly frequented by tons of struggling Christian crossdressing men, who feel it is wrong and perverted and sinful, and are stopping the activity. They are following their consciences, as well as God’s Word.

    Like

  25. ikthys says:

    I can echo the “secular fact” that my “conscience” itself was truly and deeply vexed by my crossdressing, even before I was a Christian and back when I had wholeheartedly cast off the “ancient and fallible” ways of biblical morality. When I became a Christian, what I found was a correction to my unchecked passions, and profound healing for a soul totally wrecked by the implicit contradictions, paradoxes, and downright stupidity that I had lived in using my crossdresser “logic”. If a man wants to be “intelligent” above all, then crossdressing is something he will either never touch with a ten foot pole in the first place, or else he will do all he can to get himself out of it. What leads to teenage suicide, from my perspective and experience, is not the challenge of Biblical morality but the confusion of the “scientific” dogma that tresspasses beyond its borders, creating a false dillema of irreconcilable reality to them (“I can’t change this, it’s who I was born to be, but it’s wrong, and I can’t go on being wrong”…). Unfortunately for them, the only view that might save them from destroying their life is muddied by “secularized” Christianity. In praise of Thorin, again, it is clear he has labored hard to lay out the emotional, practical, moral, philosophical, theological, historical, and all other “cal”s of this issue as fairly as he can, and has shown a consistent and thorough approach to this text, explicitly answering many of the objections that some may find. Could there be other approaches to this text? Perhaps, and I think even Thorin accepts this and is willing to discuss a Christian polemic against crossdressing without any reference to this verse. Is deciding that it is “old and outdated” one of them? Not for the honest.

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  26. thorin25 says:

    True Ikthys. I do concede that there are ways to legitimately interpret this verse differently, according to sound rules of hermeneutics. I don’t find those other conclusions convincing, but true Christians who respect the Bible and have sound rules of hermeneutics can still come up with a different interpretation. This is not because we just do whatever the heck we want with Scripture, but because this verse is so unique and short and hard to understand.

    But I do not find it helpful to argue about biblical interpretation with someone who doesn’t have the same view of the Bible as I do. If someone believes it is written by fallible men only like you appear to have said Jamie, and not God’s Word they have a totally different view than me, which I think it is written by fallible men under the inspiration of God so that it is fully true for our faith and life. So Jamie, as I already said in earlier comments on this thread, I think we have to agree to disagree on this, and move on from debating the truth of the Bible.

    Like

  27. thorin25 says:

    Jamie, just was reading through your page again. You should allow people to make comments, if you want to be reciprocal. Otherwise I have to write here what I want to comment to you. Which is totally out of context of this post.

    Don’t you think it is interesting that you started crossdressing when you were not with your wife anymore? That fits well into the theory that we crossdress to replace a female partner, a wife. The work of a real relationship is too hard to begin, or someone died, or someone left you, and so you create a new female to take her place. But now the female is you, and so you still get the pleasurable feelings of intimacy with a female, except you are now doing it through yourself. In a sense you are married to yourself, finding masculine identity, and your need for feminine intimacy/love with your crossdressed self. If it was “always part of you” as you say, why would it not manifest until after your breakup?
    http://www.tbuckner.com/TRANSVES.HTM

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  28. Jamie says:

    Thorin25 said:

    Jamie, just was reading through your page again. You should allow people to make comments, if you want to be reciprocal. Otherwise I have to write here what I want to comment to you.
    ========================

    REPLY: My home page was not intended to be a blog or a discussion forum; however, the bottom of the page does provide ways to comment. In fact, one link initiates an e-mail message entitled, “Comment on Webpage.”

    Thorin25 said:

    [Your life] fits well into the theory that we crossdress to replace a female partner …
    ========================

    REPLY: I have a number of good female friends — I don’t need crossdressing as a substitute for real relationships … gimme a break!

    Thorin25 said:

    But I do not find it helpful to argue about biblical interpretation with someone who doesn’t have the same view of the Bible as I do.
    ========================

    REPLY: That seals the deal, doesn’t it? If you find it helpful to discuss things only with people who already agree with you, then the discussions are likely to be rather perfunctory. My sense is that if a deep, booming voice from way above the clouds hollered, “Thorin25, my child, transgender persons are part of my creation and I love them dearly! Why do you think that my son never condemned them?” you would quote Deuteronomy 22:5 as proof that the booming voice must be mistaken.

    As you presumably know, the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy (stated fairly well in your paragraph, “View of the Bible”) reached its greatest popularity in the 1800s. Today the growth of Christianity is highest among the Mormons, who certainly have taken issue with the idea that the other branches of Christianity have inerrant understandings. Some of their sacred texts were not recognized as parts of Christianity in the past. While the Mormons grow in size, adherents of Biblical Inerrancy have become a small and shrinking part of Christianity. Conservative evangelical Christians are turning away from it. If ikthys gets pleasure from it, then God bless; but it is not a flourishing view in the modern world.

    Thorin25 said:

    To equate Galileo’s unfortunate situation in the organized Church to condemning crossdressing is hardly fair. They are completely different issues. Further, most Christians are very naive about crossdressing and tend to think it is harmless. In my experience most of the Christians who actually find it wrong, are those that struggle with it and so understand it and so pay attention to God’s commands about it. I doubt there are many struggling young crossdressers who are turning away from the faith because of their crossdressing desires being at odds with the church. You say to follow your soul. You are forgetting you are talking on a website regularly frequented by tons of struggling Christian crossdressing men, who feel it is wrong and perverted and sinful, and are stopping the activity. They are following their consciences, as well as God’s Word.
    ========================

    REPLY: The issue is the same. The larger point is that the organized groups representing Jesus’ teachings always have interpreted religious texts as having secular implications. They have had to eat crow on many occasions in the past; they will in the future as well. When they venture into areas where scientific investigation could prove them wrong, they risk being proven wrong; and sometimes they are. The Baptist Faith and Message (i.e., the fundamental principles of the faith) have undergone two major revisions since the initial version in the early 1900s. The newest version is much friendlier towards women and racial minorities. Interpretations of the Bible no longer support racial segregation and ideas about husbands disciplining their wives (much as they would their children). Religious Ideas about sex and gender almost surely will change as we learn more about those areas, just as ideas about the orbits of the planets changed after we learned more about that area.

    Thorin25 provided:

    http://www.tbuckner.com/TRANSVES.HTM
    ========================

    REPLY: I am not sure what your purpose was. If it was to show that good science is consistent with the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy, then I think we could quarrel with your choice of “good science.” H. Taylor Buckner says (in the material you provided) that he earned a doctoral degree in 1967 and retired as an Associate Professor from a small Canadian university. Evidently, his work was not considered very important by his colleagues or by other experts in his field, or else he would have been promoted to Full Professor no later than the late 1970s or early 1980s. One of his articles claims that the motivation for gun control is to bring about a realignment of the sexes. Huh??? Moreover, his analysis of “transvestism” simply is not state-of-the-art. I’ve read a lot on that subject and I’ve never seen Buckner’s work cited. What do you regard as his single most important conclusion?

    I believe that the status of transgender persons worldwide has improved tremendously over the past decade. Conferences all over the US attract hundreds of attendees — nearly 1,000 in the case of the SCC. If you think that your efforts to stamp out crossdressing are succeeding … well, it might be time for a reality check.

    The real issue is whether social crossdressing in 2012 is something that infuriates God, or whether it is something that is no more harmful than playing golf on Saturdays or any other
    activity that could be abused, but that usually is not. Anyway, have a nice day!

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  29. thorin25 says:

    I’m not saying we need to end all discussion. I simply was saying that we don’t need to keep debating the one issue of our view of Scripture, we have done that, and we don’t need to keep rehashing it, which your post yesterday did. I’m not sure why you felt you had to bring it up again.

    I don’t know much about the article I posted, or the man. I’m not going to try and defend him. However, I find much of what he says in that article to describe my situation very well with my history of crossdressing, and I know many others have related to it as well. And your story resonated with me. I have read many crossdressing fantasy stories where people in the stories start crossdressing in the exact way you described. They did it in the story to feel closeness with their deceased or divorced wife, and then their crossdressing grew into a regular part of their life in the stories. You can also see my post “becoming the woman my wife is not” for some of my own personal struggles with that sort of idea.

    For the record, I am not trying to stamp out crossdressing from this world. Sure I’d love to see that happen. But that’s not my goal. My goal, as clearly stated in various places on my website, is to help Christians, who want to quit their crossdressing, help them quit, help them understand it, and find healing and forgiveness. Many others like you find their way to my site, and I’m fine dialoguing with them and you. But my goal is not to end all crossdressing everywhere. I can’t control what people choose to do.

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  30. Eric says:

    Thorin, while looking up info on the FRC arguments I came across an interesting site discussing Deut. 22:5. It was the Rabbinic interpretration of the verse and how it was applied in Jewish congregrations. For instance, the rabbis said cross-dressing for Purim or theatre was ok. They said the focus on 22:5 is deceiving someone into having homosexual sex. They also focused less on the actual dressing but on shaving of the pubic region and arm pits. I had never thought of those points, but it makes sense. I don’t think this takes away from anything you said. It just adds some insight and is thought provoking.

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  31. thorin25 says:

    Eric, do you have a link?

    Like

  32. Jamie says:

    You make some interesting points. I don’t want to rehash things argued about on this blog before; but Deuteronomy 22:5 was written in the context of conflict between ancient tribes in a difficult environment. Although phrased in the very specific wording of ancient Hebrew custom in a particular time and place, “don’t wear other-sex clothing” essentially meant “don’t be like the Canaanites,” who were seen as enemies of the tribes that merged to form Judaism. More generally, don’t try to deceive like the Canaanites do. Social crossdressing in 2012 in the United States simply was not their concern.

    Social crossdressing in 2012 in the United States, however, involves a mixture of pros and cons. I am assuming that part of the purpose of this blog is education, not simply bashing people whose behavior and personalities differ from ours. With that in mind, I think that a video created from the Phil Donahue Show archive might be of interest to anyone for whom crossdressing is an issue.

    In 2002, Donahue was ranked 29th on TV Guide magazine’s list of “The Fifty Greatest Television Shows of All-Time.” (Unlike some daytime talk shows today, it dealt responsibly with subjects in which many people would be interested; Oprah has publicly acknowledged that it was a model for the Oprah Winfrey Show.) The episode recorded on this video deals fairly well with the issues and negative stereotypes of crossdressing, even though knowledge has progressed since 1987. Some of the on-air telephone callers reveal the antagonism that many people in the US felt towards crossdressing — they are not always pleasant to hear, but they provide a useful reality check for crossdressers and others!

    That video may be found in at least two ways: (1) search on YouTube; or (2) click the link below.

    http://toselfbetrue.com/transgender/home.html#dnhue

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  33. Ralph says:

    Eric’s comments touch on my understanding of why I have never felt convicted on the issue of my crossdressing (and believe me, God convicts me and corrects me frequently on other issues; I’m by no means saying I am free of sin!) I do not dress to deceive or to blur the distinction between the separate sexes — I neither try to appear to be, nor wish to be treated as, a woman. I do not use my dressing as a prelude to sex — not with myself, not with my wife, and certainly not with anyone else of either sex.

    The irony is that while I feel free from God’s condemnation over what I do, I am more under fire from the LGBT community. It’s almost as if society could accept me if I were gay or even if I did wish to change my sex, but since I *only* wish to wear the clothes without changing my sex or my sexuality I am accused of denying my “true self” — be it some suppressed homosexuality or my inner woman — that people are sure I must be secretly harboring.

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  34. thorin25 says:

    Jamie, that is one possible theory behind the history of this difficult text, and I have explained in my post about why I don’t think that is the most likely option. But my view, and your own, are theories. We don’t “in fact” completely know the true historical situation behind this law. And while the concern was not originally crossdressing in the United States in 2012, that doesn’t mean the verse or principles it teaches have no bearing on us and our crossdressing today.

    That said, if you read some of my other posts, I don’t view crossdressing as wrong and sinful only because of this verse. I personally think that this verse prohibits crossdressing of my type and your type, but even if I’m wrong about that, or even if this verse wasn’t in the Bible, I have many other reasons to think it is not only sinful, but harmful, and addictive, and I’ve written about a few of them in other posts. So in the end we probably can’t affirm or deny the goodness of crossdressing looking at this verse alone, even if the verse is convincing enough for me.

    And Ralph, I understand how your crossdressing is different than what I struggled with and very different from what you see on crossdressing or transgender blogs. I appreciate the distinction. However, in my opinion, I still think your crossdressing is not what God wants for you. I’m not condemning you. You know that, we’ve talked about his before. But I don’t think what you are doing makes any sense, and it is not fitting for a man of God. There is some attachment you have to the clothing, beyond what a normal healthy person should have with clothing. What makes you need it? What makes you wear it? If it’s not sexual, than perhaps it is emotional. What emotional need are you trying to fulfill through female clothing, that you aren’t getting relationally, or from God? You may not be trying to deceive. But you are blurring the distinction of the sexes, and you know you are doing that, because you don’t want other people in your church and in the public to see you. Somehow crossdressing has such power over you that you are willing to take those risks, etc. Why is it such a power in your life? And why are you okay with it being such a power in your life?

    Like

  35. thorin25 says:

    Watched the Donahue show you posted. Those crossdressers don’t sound much different from the ones online! Haha. A lot of rationalizations that don’t make a lot of sense. I didn’t choose these desires so they must be okay. That is such a weak argument. They talked about the thrill of fooling people on the street, when people think they are women. How can that be okay, how is that not deceptive? They use people dressing as women in plays and theater in other cultures to rationalize what they are doing. It’s not the same at all (though I’m uncomfortable with people doing it in plays too). They try to claim its just a hobby or a stress outlet, and yet they talk about a completely different feminine persona that they need to let out. Not a very intelligent sex therapist either, calling these people “women” when they are crossdressers and not transsexuals. Now certainly I agree, some of the callers and questioners were very naive about crossdressing and had a lot of irrational fear, and even a couple offensive comments. But all that video did was convince me further of the delusions and lies these crossdressers are sadly giving into. I feel sorry for them.

    Like

  36. thorin25 says:

    Ralph, sorry, we don’t need to rehash all that. You don’t need to respond if you don’t want to. I’ve already given you my views in the past. I appreciate your dialogue and comments even if we ultimately disagree.

    Like

  37. Jamie says:

    Thorin25, most of the difficulty is that you don’t seem to understand crossdressers, even though you once considered yourself one. If you took all your articles and substituted the word “golfer” for the word “crossdresser,” your claims would continue to have the same truth-value (or lack thereof) that they have now. The main difference between avid golfers and avid crossdressers is that the first may do their thing three times a week, while the crossdressers do theirs once a month. Also, a first-rate set of golf clubs, golfing attire, membership at a club, etc., may set the golfer’s family back $15,000 per year, whereas the typical crossdresser spends a very small fraction of that. Except insofar as your objections to crossdressing rest solely on your understanding of God’s word, your arguments might be more applicable to boating, golfing, marathon training, knitting blankets, or many other activities that could just as easily be taken to extremes.

    Better advice might be to find some things that you enjoy doing and allow yourself to do them in moderation. Don’t take them to such an extreme that they undermine your career or your family life. Most crossdressers manage to do that, just as most golfers and knitters do. If you started calling golfers “unclean” and “sinful,” Bubba Watson and Steve Stricker might smack you alongside of the head with a driver! (Just kidding.)

    P.S. Regarding your ha-ha comment, most crossdressers aren’t trying to fool anyone. I don’t kid myself that I have ever fooled anyone about my genetic sex, even though I try to dress as a more-or-less reasonable approximation of a genetic woman. The goal is acceptance, not passing as Marilyn Monroe’s long-lost daughter. Transgender persons are expressing a feeling, not trying to deceive others for illicit purposes. Some people like eating chocolate; others like wearing stiletto heels! The latter has fewer calories … but I don’t consider the chocolate connoisseurs to be unclean or sinful — they just have a different emotionally-based idea about what is enjoyable.

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  38. thorin25 says:

    Jamie, I encourage you to actually read all my posts and substitute the word “golfer.” It won’t work. People don’t golf to make up for their damaged personality trying to fulfill relational and intimacy needs that aren’t being met in other ways. Golf is not sexually addicting like crossdressing. Golf is not naturally disgusting and offensive to people like crossdressing is. Golf is not deceptive like crossdressing is. Golf doesn’t involve divided personalities like crossdressing does. Golf does not usually involve lies and hiding from other people as crossdressing often does. Golf does not cause confusion in your personal identity like crossdressing does. Golf does not objectify women as crossdressing often does. Golf does not usually destroy marriages as crossdressing very often does. Golf does not go against the biblical view of distinction between two clear sexes as crossdressing does. Golf is not hidden from the public for fear of consequences as crossdressing is. Golf does not confuse children about what it means to be a man or woman as crossdressing does. Golf is not infatuated with envy and jealousy as crossdressing is. Golf is not full of delusions and fantasy like crossdressing is. Golf does not cause people to be sexually obsessed with objects and clothing instead of their wife, as crossdressing often does. Golfing usually doesn’t fill people with a feeling of dirtiness, guilt, and shame, as crossdressing does for people until they have beaten their feelings of guilt out of themselves. Golf does not perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes as crossdressing usually does. Golf does not usually take the place of sexual intimacy with a wife as crossdressing usually does. Golf does not lead to other harmful sexual issues, like crossdressing has led me and others into deeper more disgusting sexual fantasies and sometimes actions. Golfers feel like they can stop golfing, no big deal, it’s just a hobby, whereas crossdressers act like they can’t go on living without crossdressing. Golf is a game played with others, whereas crossdressing is usually a self absorbed narcissistic activity focused on self. I don’t find thousands of people searching on google, “Lord Jesus, help me give up golfing” or “golfing is ruining my life” or “why can’t I stop golfing?” or “golf is disgusting” etc. whereas I find about 20-30 of those linking to my blog each day. Golf does not chip away from a healthy holistic masculine identity, whereas crossdressing divides the self into 2 parts, and calls certain things which are healthy things for a man to feel, only things a woman can feel or a man crossdressed. Golf does not violate the social norms of our society, whereas crossdressing does. Golf does not go against my conscience as crossdressing does.

    Jamie, even if you disagree with most of what I just wrote above, certainly you can see that based on what I say, my posts would not be fitting for talking about golf.

    And for the golfer spending $15,000 a year just on golfing, I would have no problem pointing out to him some biblical passages about the sins of materialism, wasting money, etc. I don’t think that is okay either.

    And I’ve spent my life reading what other crossdressers have written online. Many, perhaps the majority, are getting an emotional thrill, even sexual thrill, by passing as women, fooling people, on the street. Just because you might not be trying to do so, doesn’t mean others are not.

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  39. Jamie says:

    Thorin25, I’ve read many of your posts and I think that they are about human failings, not crossdressing per se. The minority that are about crossdressing per se pertain mainly to persons who have taken a relatively harmless activity to outrageous extremes.

    I don’t believe that any but the tiniest fraction of social crossdressers in 2012 in the United States are trying to pass as women. In transgender circles, the current thinking is that we should strive for acceptance and mutual goodwill, not passing as genetic women. But even that tiny fraction that are out of touch with current thinking does not fit well with your argument, which rests on the premise that you know what God really, really meant when he said, “Don’t wear a costume to deceive others for dishonest or illegal purposes.” Deceit is only part of what is necessary for that argument against crossdressing to be cogent. You also would have to establish that the crossdressers in question have criminal or other illicit purposes. Even if you could give convincing evidence that some crossdresser at some time or other robbed a bank, such evidence would not prove that crossdressers are more criminally inclined than other categories of the human race.

    What I wish that you would try to understand is that phrases like “disgusting and offensive to people,” “confusion in personal identity,” and “dirtiness, guilt, and shame” are the same sorts of things that self-described good Christians were using a generation or two ago when referring to Caucasians marrying non-Caucasians. Fortunately, most pastors and others have stepped up to plate and hit that un-Christian bias out of the ballpark. Perhaps today’s biases will one day be knocked out of the park, too. Interpretations of what God really, really meant sometime adapt to improved insights about what squares with logic and evidence.

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  40. thorin25 says:

    Again, we will have to agree to disagree. One little note, on deceit, I think crossdressing is still wrong for many other reasons, some of them just listed, even if it is not meant to deceive. But I think deception is wrong even if not used for criminal uses, and even if not trying to deceive others, I firmly believe crossdressing is at heart self-deception.

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  41. Ralph says:

    No worries, Thorin. I was just responding to Eric and Jamie’s suggestion that 22:5 was addressing a specific *intent* of crossdressing, rather than the act itself. I don’t think there is any misunderstanding on our different approaches to the subject, and I agree there’s no need to rehash those discussions. I still learn a lot from the topics here regardless of whether we agree on every point!

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  42. thorin25 says:

    Oh ya, that is the same one I have linked to earlier in my original post, see above under historical analysis.

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  43. Jamie says:

    I think that Rabbi Tilsen’s analysis is sound; however, I also think that he is a little behind the times in his ideas of how the general public sees transgender persons. There have been huge gains in the acceptance of transgender persons over the last decade. Whether someone is aware of those changes or not depends on what social circles they hang out in. Non-transgender people at a theatre production are more accepting than those at a biker bar; and so on. The generally favorable publicity stemming from interviews by Barbara Walters of Jenna Talackova, the transgender Canadian beauty queen, who placed in the top 12 at the Miss Universe Canada pageant — plus the publicized occupational successes of the Thai crossdressers — is making thoughtful people adjust their prejudices. Nonetheless, Rabbi Tilsen’s analysis of the OT and crossdressing is spot on.

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  44. Alyssa says:

    A lot of food for thought presented here. Thank you all for the varying interpretations and opinions on the topic. I have enjoyed the perspectives and will continue to research. Just in case you are interested in a bit of survey information on another site that may be insightful from some who do dress, there are some surveys that you can view results of specific questions at http://cdsecretgarden.femmegetaway.com/survey.html.

    I would be curious to know if the production of bras specifically designed for men will allow men to now wear bras? (That is if we are going with the same interpretation that is used when dealing with women wearing jeans)

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  45. thorin25 says:

    It would depend on the reasoning for men wearing bras. Is it for support because they have really large breasts that are causing them pain? Or it is because they want to be able to look and dress like women?

    Like

  46. redwallRocks314 says:

    Hi, this is actually the first time I have seen this site before, but I must say it is most helpful and encouraging. I myself have been struggling with cross-dressing for several years, but like most cross-dresses, I felt guilty after each episode. I am a Christian much like you, and only wish to add to your post something that has helped me when dealing with this issue in my life. I read this (your) post about the different possible interpretations of the verse (Deut) and just wish to add these thoughts for anyone going through the same temptation. As a disclaimer you should know I am 18, and this is my own personal opinion based on my experiences, prayers, meditations on, and interpretation of the Scriptures. On the issue of which interpretation of the verse in Deuteronomy is correct, I agree with yours, that all cross-dressing is sinful and ultimately comes from some perverted desire from either Satan or our own disturbing minds. On that note, however, I believe it would be incredibly helpful for the people struggling with this addiction to consider the following:

    1) what is your personal motivation for cross dressing? I would be willing to say that with most people, if you are willing to freely admit it, at least to yourself, that it it likely a combination of several of the following possibilities, but certainly not limited to them. Examples include how the clothes feel (comfort) on you, how they look on you, how they make you feel when wearing them (unfamiliar, “exhilarating”, butterflies in your stomach, etc), being able to feel feminine, sexual arousal, fantasizing, etc, etc. Obviously some of these reasons SEEM innocent whereas others are obvious deviations from Scripture, and I leave you to judge your own motivations, however, the fact that an honest examination probably reveals some or all of the definitively unholy excuses shows that the action is improper, if only for the reason that our motivation is off. Now to those who might say that you ONLY cross dress because it “feels good” ( and that’s supposed to be comfort rather than emotion) or that it looks nice on you, I will give a synopsis of my motivation path, back when I started cross-dressing at 12-13, just as a warning as to how far the innocent “feelings” can lead you into the definite sin, or you can use this to maybe reconsider if your motivation is not entirely innocent. My obsession started simply enough as a comfort issue. I don’t even know why I first wore tights, but as soon as I did I never wanted to take them off, because the physical sensations sent me into overload. I liked how they felt, the smoothness and softness, as well as the wired sensation of rubbing my legs together in them. Anyway, somehow this led to me trying on other women’s garments such as shirts, skirts, underwear, etc. And at first it remained a comfort issue, although combined with a nervous yet thrilling thought of being “dressed like a girl” when alone, although I know that that came from nervousness since I knew that this was wrong somehow. This seemingly innocuous stage progressed, however, when I began searching the internet for other people who felt the same. It all went downhill from there (I was 15-16) as I began reading a bunch of fantasy stories on tg fiction sites, and at first I kept pretty close filters on, but not for long. Needless to say it eventually led to perverse desires, dark fantasies, sexual imorality, etc. It led to a pretty bad time where I was obsessed and also had to hide things from family and friends. Needless to say, as for my point #1, your reason for cross dressing is most likely nowhere near innocent in the first place, which means that you need to evaluate its impact on your following of Christ and cast off anything which distracts you from seeking Him, which I can guarantee it will. And for those who still believe that your motivation is innocent, I would highly suggest stopping before it moves further, as sin ALWAYS does, no matter how disciplined you think you are, also because the Bible calls us to leave behind not just that which does distract us, but also that which may lead to it.

    2) As for point #2, if your convictions on cross dressing are such that you believe that your way of doing it is right, which I’m not saying you are wrong, I just don’t share that opinion, then you need to consider the following. We Christians are supposed to be brothers and sisters, united in Christ, teaching and instructing each other to delve ever deeper into God’s will, as well as to make disciples of non-believers, which is a given. That being said, the Bible teaches us specifically that in sins where our convictions differ from other Christians, we are to treat them with the utmost respect in the following ways:
    a) do not condemn your Brother/Sister, but share your convictions and views gently and with humility
    b) accept that your convictions, if less than theirs, may be wrong, and meditate on it in prayer, fasting, and deep scriptural reference, if possible
    c) accept that your convictions, if more than theirs, may be because you struggle with the issue more than them, so God has convicted you more so because you are likelier to fall back into the sin, or are more prone to it than them, and in His perfect Wisdom and Grace he has given you the proper level of conviction necessary to your walk… Even Paul or Peter mentions this somewhere
    d) do not do anything to trip up other believers, or accidentally do or say something that leads someone more prone than yourself into the sin by telling them to follow your exact convictions, because if they are weaker than you, they might need a more disciplined and abstinent approach than you, this is for God to assign as He sees fit, since he knows each of our shortcomings to the exact degree.

    3) basically what I am getting at in #2 is that you should allow for the possibility on some actions, of which cross-dressing might very well be, that each person may need to evaluate to what extent they need to control the action in order to truly maintain God first in their lives, whether that be stopping 100%, setting internet filters, AND discarding the clothes completely to the trash or fire in a way that makes the temptation gone and the decision irreversible, or if you just need to tone it down some, but without suggesting to others with a similar problem that your way is better.

    4) my recommendation is for each person to honestly evaluate their own level of the sin, and decide from there. By far the easiest way to reach a decision is to decide to get rid of your clothes and stop completely, which will free up your time for Devotion to our Lord, Jesus Christ. I believe that this is the proper response, anyway but I allow for the possibility that I am wrong and that full abstinence is just the level it takes to keep me from sinning, and if you truly don’t believe me, please see #2 & #3 for reference on proper Biblical protocol. This type of sin would include drinking vs drunkenness, where for example if you are prone to addiction or getting drunk, I’d suggest full abstinence, but otherwise drinking in of itself isn’t a sin, and if you feel no convictions or only some then you should stay within your limits, but if you are around someone of higher convictions or temptation level, don’t drink then as it might tempt them, and we should all definitely try not to be the cause of a Brother stumbling.

    Thank you to thorin25 for the dedication of a site like this, and please feel free to contact my email or add the citations where I referenced the Word but couldn’t recall the verse.

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  47. thorin25 says:

    You are most welcome Redwall. Glad to have you here, and glad that you are contributing your own thoughts to our community. I encourage you to keep reading my other blog posts – you can see a full list here, and I would love to have more dialogue with you and hear more of your thoughts. https://healingcd.wordpress.com/most-important-posts/

    I also invite you to join our prayer chain of other guys working to give up crossdressing! https://healingcd.wordpress.com/email-prayer-chain/

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  48. Calo says:

    I have read many pages and comments this night, forgive my skimming the final few posts, I currently unwell and deeply tired.

    I am in fact led to this subject, by way of dreams and deep concern. At this point I would like to point am not a crossdresser, though I ironically am wearing something that could be by the called ill informed woman’s clothing as it reachs my ankles and starts at my shoulders, but is still seen on believers, men of isreal and the middle east.

    I read with interest and appreciate the validity of the many points expressed here, I would thank thorin 25 and the many who post here. I do a have personal interest in this subject having 7-8 months ago met a crossdresser, who in short time became someone I loved deeply. I was intially very reluctant to accept this side of them, however since accepted it.

    While I am hard pressed to argue the orginal hebrew or greek of the Holy Bible, I am struck by an issue regarding Deut 22:5, it seems to be grouped not among sexual sin but rather property law, suggestive that it is actually about a right of a man and woman as that could not be taken from them as it seperation would be unacceptable, this possibly related proximity to then ‘foreign’ people’s or the internal/external role to the a personage of the sexes at the time.

    I tend to agree with thorin about haemphrodites being no more accountble given the fallen and sinful nature of the world. However I would wonder about mental issues being more recognised can they not be equal to the outward difference ?

    I think it worthy of note men having no beard was a shame apon them, and there were many rules regarding hair that are no longer applicable, among many we no longer of a similar fashion deem necessary.

    I had many issues regarding this subject but unfortunately am operating at exhaustion on a poor web browser.
    Please excuse typos and thankyou.

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  49. thorin25 says:

    You are welcome. Thank you for the comment. Some of these issues you will understand my perspective more on when you have more time to read the whole post, as well as the post I mentioned in the introduction about how I interpret the Bible.

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  50. Calo says:

    Thank you thorin, I actually returned to the few I missed, and I had read the introduction on your views on Bible interpretation, forgive me if in my current state I missed the answers to these issues clearly.

    I do understand you section the laws in 3 primary categories but I have perhaps failed to notice an answer directly dealing with the fact that 22.5 does appear grouped with issues previous and after that are laws relating to property, as aposed to a later section which seems to be about sexual sin, making it’s placement curious unless in keeping with the surrounding laws.

    I understand your seem to be of the opinion that mental weakness in this area may be overcame, but is it your opinion that the very real nature of mental illness, or perhaps poorly constructed genetics could be overcame?, naturally if a person is autistic, suffers brain damage, is mentally disabled then they while not allowed to do as the will, are not blamed for such a condition.

    Haemphrodites are not responsible beyond any other for the world having a sinful nature, but who are they allowed to be with?, whoever they feel or wether they look more male or female?, obviously I like you will have seen members of both sexes who may appear contary to there ‘physical’ sexual organs but yet genetic assignment who are in hetrosexual relationships who are perfectly acceptable.

    I look forward to hearing your answers thankyou for your time and patience.

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  51. thorin25 says:

    Yeah I think they do appear to be grouped somewhat as different matters of property, generally that is, not all of them quite fit. Keep in mind that chapters and verse numbers were added later, so this was not originally sectioned off as a section. So you have to look at the end of Deut. 21, and look at what follows in Deut. 22:13. It’s hard to see a distinct sectioning. Most of them do seem to deal with property, but to fit all of them somehow, I like what I said better as dealing with proper boundaries.

    I also think there has to be something different going on with verse 5 than just dealing with property, otherwise “abomination” would not be used. I agree, it’s placement is very curious. I have no idea why it would be put here. Perhaps the author didn’t have anywhere else good to put it. But it stands out from the section it’s in, not only in content but in severity.

    While there is a difference between a biological condition and a mental illness, it doesn’t change what we must do. I don’t blame people for having crossdressing desires, we didn’t choose them. But we do choose how we act with it. In a similar way, someone can’t be blamed for being born handicapped, but they can still choose whether to learn how to adapt and depend on God, or live a life of complaining. We can’t choose our biology, but we still have control over our actions. You may be interested in reading this post – https://healingcd.wordpress.com/2012/02/05/healing-doesnt-mean-no-more-temptations/

    I am far far from being an expert on intersexual conditions that people are born with. From my understanding thus far, they are quite complicated, and each intersexual condition is quite different from others. Further, I’ve learned that by far the majority of these people experience discomfort, pain, or unwanted confusion because of being born this way, and do not view it as a blessing. I don’t have all the answers surrounding this difficult issue. I don’t even have fully thought out opinions. I think for most of us our body clearly tells us what sex we are, regardless of our subjective feelings. But if you have a body that is literally showing both sexes biologically, then you have to rely on the subjective feelings of the person who can tell you whether they think they are a man or a woman.

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  52. Wosret says:

    As you say, we have to decide which of these laws applies our modern lives, and which one’s don’t. We say this sort of thing, so that we can have things a la carte. Interestingly, I was raised fundamentalist, in a sect that kept almost all of the old testament laws, and I have never violated the dietary restrictions in my life. When I rebelled against the religion of my parents in my late teens, I also became a vegan, which also excludes everything excluded for consumption in the old testament.

    My major problem with this though, is interpretation. I’m transgendered, or male bodied, female identified. I believe myself to be inwardly, spiritually female — but I have never worn women’ clothing in my life, so am I breaking this commandment? Am I a woman that only ever wears men’s clothing? I find the justification for the law being to not false represent yourself as the other gender to be persuasive, so then, am I false representing myself?

    I am very susceptible to the emotions of the room, and people’s expectations. I am afraid of looking ridiculous, and being mocked, and treated badly. Of being seen as ugly, for violating dress conventions. I false represent, because of vanity. Because I know that I am see as more attractive, and liked more in men’s clothing — so that is what I wear. Even when I am out, and people know that I’m transgendered, I still don’t dress like a woman, because I fear negative reception. I’m a vain person, and I’ve been told a few times that I could be a model. I work out, and do yoga, and keep myself in good physical condition, and well groomed. I don’t want to to lose the positive reception I get from people…

    What are your thoughts?

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  53. thorin25 says:

    Hi Wosret. Thanks again for the comment and for sharing a bit about yourself. Since you know all about me already, it’s good to know where you are coming from 🙂

    I don’t think we would agree on interpretation of this passage because of our different views of Scripture, that we have been discussing in the other thread.

    I don’t say we pick and choose which laws apply to us. That would be a la carte. Rather, if we believe who Jesus’ claims about himself and what he did for us, it has to change our view of the Old Testament Law so that we don’t view it like the Jews did. Check out this post – https://healingcd.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/christians-arent-inconsistent-with-old-testament-law/ and the article it links to. To apply the Old Testament Law to our lives like the Jews did would be to reject what Christ has done. So we aren’t picking and choose what laws to follow. Rather we are seeing how what Jesus has done has fulfilled the law, thus changing the way we relate to it.

    I don’t know how to respond tactfully to your personal situation. I don’t want my answer to make it sound like I’m attacking you as a person. I’ll just let you know what I think in basic terms, and please try not to take offense. Are you breaking the commandment or are you not? I can’t answer that question because I disagree with your first premise. I don’t think it is possible that someone has a male body but is in some way female in spirit, or soul, or mind. So I believe you are actually being true to your real self right now by not dressing as a female. So I would say you are actually doing right right now as far as dress goes, but I would say that you are thinking of yourself incorrectly.

    How do we know about spiritual things to know if you have a spiritually feminine soul or not? Well lots of people make spiritual claims. For my part I think we only know about such things from God’s revelation to us. From Scripture I see it being impossible to have a male body and a female soul, not only because that doesn’t make any logical sense, but also because I don’t think God would create a person that way, and also because I think the definition of “spirit” in actuality defines something that is without sex. God is spirit, and is not male or female. The Son, the second person of the Trinity is the same, but after the incarnation, the person Jesus is male in body. We all as humans have spirits, with gendered bodies. But I see no basis at all for saying we have gendered spirits, least of all gendered spirits that somehow conflict with our bodies.

    I don’t think a lot of transgendered people think this through well enough logically. People like you say you feel like you have a female soul. Why? What makes you feel that way? Usually it comes down to things like, “I feel more sensitive than guys do”, “I act more like women do”, and lots of other things. These things come down to bad gender stereotypes in our culture. I see it as the result of men (or women) not fitting in well with other men or women in our culture, and so feeling like they are somehow different in their soul. I struggled with this myself. The solution, as I see it, is to become comfortable with who we are as men, even if we are different from the average man in our culture, instead of saying things like gentleness, sensitivity, shyness, etc. make us unmanly.

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  54. Wosret says:

    I’m not offended, but I am disappointed. I don’t think we can see eye to eye, if you simply flatly deny the existence of sexual ambiguity, intersexuality, and transexuality (which are historically present in all societies, the animal kingdom, and has an overwhelming amount of biological evidence for) — I would continue if you simply thought I was wrong about myself, but to even deny the possibility leaves nothing left to be said. The divergence is too extreme at this point, where we both are left thinking the other delusional because of our own personal investments. It seems to me to just be a denial of facts.

    As for the “spiritually female” part, that was more just to connote my inner sense of self, and was not to be taken literally. Especially to be taken as some immaterial, unprovable thing without scientific basis.

    You also misuse logic — logic is grammatical, syntactical, and doesn’t dictate the way the world is. This is the distinction between a priori, and a posteriori forms of reasoning. Facts are logically contingent, and not deducible. It isn’t that people haven’t thought things through logically, it is that we can’t reason things into and out of existence. It is a misunderstanding of the forms and applications of logic to attempt to use it in this context. This is why we have to actually check, experiment, and investigate, and can’t simply deduce what the case is. I realize that Sherlock Holmes liked to claim that he was using deduction, but he wasn’t, he was using induction, or inference.

    I wish you all the best with your journey, but I think this is where our conversation ends.

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  55. thorin25 says:

    I’m sorry to offend. Perhaps I spoke unclearly.

    I am not saying the feelings that you have, and others like you, don’t exist. And although I have yet to see hard core proof for it, I don’t discount the possibility of biological evidence for why some men are like you different from normal men.

    Your feelings and your “condition”, if that is a good word to use, are real.

    What I am saying is that this brain condition, or these feelings, do not in actuality mean that one is really a female. It means one is different from normal men.

    Do you see what I mean? So I’m not denying that intersexed people exist, or any others.

    I think my argument as to the solution of this “condition” is not to get a sex change, nor to consider oneself a woman “inside.” I think this is logical. What do you think is the logical solution? Apparently you might not disagree too much, because you have not pursued a sex change surgery or even dressing as a woman.

    Thoughts? Or am I still offending? Sorry if so, trying to be clear and gentle.

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  56. Wosret says:

    I wasn’t going to reply… shouldn’t have bothered to return to see if you replied… but if I didn’t know any better, I would think that you were attempting to offend me…

    First thing I said was that I wasn’t offended, and proceeded to explain my difficulties, I thought, civilly — but the first part of your reply was “sorry to offend”… was that purposefully provocative, or unthoughful?

    I never accused you of saying that my feelings don’t exist… I accused you of suggesting that they had no basis in reality. It would just be strange to suggest that my feelings didn’t exist…

    You then repeatedly refer to me as a man, despite disclosing to you my gender identification. Again, this seems purposefully provocative…

    Proof is either logical, or comes down to persuasion. Logical proof is formal, and deductive. Science, or material evidence is inductive, and strictly speaking, formally invalid. One cannot logically prove propositions about the world, this is why science operates by falsification, and accepts hypothesis only provisionally. Proof in the sense of persuasive comes down to your own credulity. So the first kind of proof is inapplicable to the context, and obviously you haven’t met with the second or you wouldn’t have said those things…

    Because you are attempting to apply deductive reasoning to logically contingent matters, you assume that because feeling X way, behaving Y way doesn’t necessitate that one is female, because there is nothing in the definition of “man” that excludes such qualities. So, because it isn’t necessary, it isn’t logical, but facts are contingent, and not necessary, so you’re simply making a category error in applying deductive reasoning to inductive matters.

    It also misunderstands, at least my feelings. I simply ignored the simplistic psychologizing, because it was most annoying. Attributing simplistic reasoning to me, based on no other reason than your own presumptions and prejudice. I don’t feel this way because I think I’m sensitive, and women are sensitive, ergo I must be one, or anything so sophomoric.

    It is far more deeply rooted than that. It isn’t simply that we are told to emulate our own genders, and told which heroes we are allowed to have. We emulate our own genders naturally, what it is they’re doing is of almost no importance. We instinctively gravitate to those like us, and aware from those unlike we. When we wish to empathize, we highly similarity, when we wish to be cold, or cruel, we highlight differences. It is naturally to wish to emulate your own gender, to wish to be like figures of your own gender.

    The science seems to point to this having a lot to do with hormones. People with androgen insensitivity syndrome, or those that lack testosterone receptors develop completely mentally and morphologically female, only lacking female internal organs, and do not realize anything is wrong until around puberty, when they do not get menstruation and such. Yet they are not only female identified, but since they are less susceptible to testosterone than average women, they tend to be even more feminine in appearance and behavior than average women. There are also examples of intersexed children being surgically altered as infants, but rejecting their assigned gender. They can systematically produce trangendered rats, but cutting of their testosterone in infancy, making them behave female, and even exhibiting female mating postures, and allowing themselves to be mounted. As I also said, transgenderism is present in all societies, back into antiquity. One should expect, based on variations in hormone levels for animals and people to be predisposed to imitating, and learning how to behave from adults with similar hormone levels.

    Now, it isn’t that I think I’m sensitive, and women are sensitive, therefore I must be one!!11!!one

    It is that I find women to be emulateable, my heroes were mostly female since I was a child, and I wish to imitate them — and if I do have stereotypical female traits, it is because I found those qualities to be qualities I wished to integrate into myself, because of my heroes, and the people I wanted to be like.

    I don’t know that crossdressers are similar, or behave as they do for similar reasons. I can only speak for myself. The reason I don’t care as much as wardrobe, and physical expression, is because I think those things are superficial. Not as important or significant as character, disposition, personality.

    It is however quite common, and rudimentary for those that wish to emulate, or imitate someone they look up to, to begin with their superficial qualities, because they mature enough to consider deeper, more significant attributes, of character.

    I do wish to be accepted for who I am, especially by those that know and love me — but clothing isn’t significant. I also think that it flies in the face of aesthetics, and isn’t as attractive on someone with my body, and would be mocked, and ridiculed, and I wish to avoid that…

    The biggest thing that makes me wish to express as a woman, is so that I would be wearing it on my sleeve, and not false representing myself. Being invisible feels like hiding, and hiding feels like dishonesty, which is damaging to my sense of integrity.

    Now, I don’t wish you to hold back your true feelings, or opinions, but I do wish you would not be deliberately provocative.

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  57. thorin25 says:

    I honestly wasn’t trying to be deliberately provocative or offend. Not at all. So maybe it’s best we end here. If I respond, you might be upset again, so maybe it’s best to end this particular conversation. I don’t see how I can respond in a way that won’t offend you, since I believe what I believe, and it is my beliefs themselves that offend you.

    Maybe I’ll just steer away for a moment from the things that are offending you, and instead I’ll just ask for clarification about what you said and ask some questions. You said it’s natural to emulate one’s own gender. And so you believe that since you always have emulated females that you must really be one? Is that what you were saying? We know that humans have a wide range of problems in which we need psychological help. I’ve needed it for things myself. Now, you have emulated women, but what is the proof that you are a woman? Naturally we emulate our own gender, but are you saying that no one can ever be unnatural? Are you saying no one can emulate the opposite gender of who they are? I would disagree with that and I think there is proof that children emulate often both their mothers and their fathers, men and women.

    People with androgen insensitivity syndrome or those born abnormal genetic conditions or intersexual conditions are obviously in a different category from the common transsexual. These things are abnormalities and complications that cause people biological problems and emotional turmoil. They are hardly proof for the common transgender ideologies. The issue with the rats proves my point rather than refutes it. The scientists knew the whole time that the rats were male, but were acting as female rats. That doesn’t make them female rats. Where we differ I think is not so much on the biology but what to conclude about how to live based on the biological findings. You might say that a person who developed more femininely than masculinely because of hormones (and whatever other biological factors), should embrace that they are a woman as their identity. I would say that they are still a man who has happened to develop incorrectly. I’m not sure this is a helpful analogy or not. It might be crude. But I was thinking that someone who is born without legs, is still human, even though we know humans have 2 legs. This person is born with a biological defect, but it doesn’t change the reality that they are human. A male can be born with many biological abnormalities making him appear and act as female, but that does not make him actually a female.

    If you are frustrated with this conversation, just tell me that you want to stop, and we can stop. My goal is not to frustrate random people on the internet, nor is my goal to go around offending people. If this conversation has ceased to be productive, let’s just stop.

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  58. A Quiet Voice says:

    “You then repeatedly refer to me as a man, despite disclosing to you my gender identification. Again, this seems purposefully provocative…’

    Despite your personal “gender identification”, are you not physically a man? Are you insisting/demanding that I deny what my senses tell me, what is “presented” to me my your appearance and mannerisms, in order to enable your personal desire to be seen/perceived as a woman? I that not asking a bit much?

    “Now, it isn’t that I think I’m sensitive, and women are sensitive, therefore I must be one!!11!!one It is that I find women to be emulateable, my heroes were mostly female since I was a child, and I wish to imitate them — and if I do have stereotypical female traits, it is because I found those qualities to be qualities I wished to integrate into myself, because of my heroes, and the people I wanted to be like. ”

    Again, despite your wish/desire to “emulate” women because as you say, you admire them and find them attractive/heroic, is it incumbent on the rest of us to enable your wishes and desires? I must have missed that memo.

    “The biggest thing that makes me wish to express as a woman, is so that I would be wearing it on my sleeve, and not false representing myself. Being invisible feels like hiding, and hiding feels like dishonesty, which is damaging to my sense of integrity.”

    Uhuh….???

    ‘Now, I don’t wish you to hold back your true feelings, or opinions, but I do wish you would not be deliberately provocative”

    Great! How did that work for you?.

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  59. A Quiet Voice says:

    “People with androgen insensitivity syndrome or those born abnormal genetic conditions or intersexual conditions are obviously in a different category from the common transsexual. These things are abnormalities and complications that cause people biological problems and emotional turmoil. They are hardly proof for the common transgender ideologies’

    Agreed, with the following caveat. When I first entered into this debate. I was initially flummoxed by the seemingly total conflation between the terms trans-gender and transsexual. While these are both serious, potentially debilitating conditions, they actually are quite distinct with different protocols for humane and effective treatment. Hopefully we can agree that what might work for the goose, could be totally inappropriate and potentially harmful to the gander.

    ” A male can be born with many biological abnormalities making him appear and act as female, but that does not make him actually a female.”

    Again, agreed.

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  60. Wosret says:

    “Despite your personal “gender identification”, are you not physically a man? Are you insisting/demanding that I deny what my senses tell me, what is “presented” to me my your appearance and mannerisms, in order to enable your personal desire to be seen/perceived as a woman? I that not asking a bit much?”

    Why should your cosmetic surgery make you any different? Are you not physically male? If I dye my skin, does that make me another race? If however, I am born of mixed race, but without any immediately discernible physical characteristics of one of them, does that mean that I am not that race. Historically in the States, they had what was called the “one-drop rule”, which declared that anyone with any African ancestry whatsoever counted as black. Regardless of their physical appearance. For the sake of politics, we make such definitions, and decide their inclusivity, and exclusivity.

    “Again, despite your wish/desire to “emulate” women because as you say, you admire them and find them attractive/heroic, is it incumbent on the rest of us to enable your wishes and desires? I must have missed that memo.”

    No more than it is on me to accept either of yours. I am equally free to hold, and espouse provocative views on your identities. I don’t wish, or desire to “emulate women”, and never said that, by the way. I said my heroes, specific women. I also said that their appearance was superficial, and never mentioned attractiveness. Frankly many of my female heroes weren’t very attractive. Don’t project your dispositions onto me.

    “Agreed, with the following caveat. When I first entered into this debate. I was initially flummoxed by the seemingly total conflation between the terms trans-gender and transsexual. While these are both serious, potentially debilitating conditions, they actually are quite distinct with different protocols for humane and effective treatment. Hopefully we can agree that what might work for the goose, could be totally inappropriate and potentially harmful to the gander.”

    I don’t have a debilitating condition, and understand that you both feel that you do. This is why the pyschologizing is projected onto me. A psychiatric illness is defined by the distress it causes you, and the effects it has on your ability to function in every day life. I have none of these problems, so do not have a psychiatric condition.

    The only distress I feel is from the need some feel to go out of their way to intentionally defame my identity and character — and anyone would feel distress if their identity and character were being intentionally defamed.

    This is why I said that the conversation must end here. Mutual respect, and civility is a prerequisite for constructive interaction. Without this foundation, interaction will only be harmful, and negative. I do not force, or expect anyone to behave respectfully, and considerate to me, unless they wish to interact with me. This moral, civil foundation is necessary for a functioning, and rewarding co-operation, and dialectic. If these foundational commitments cannot be met, then interaction will be poisonous, and detrimental. So, for that reason, this is where the conversation must end.

    ” A male can be born with many biological abnormalities making him appear and act as female, but that does not make him actually a female.”

    Similarly with a Christian. One can appear and act like one, but that doesn’t make them one. If however I denied you your identity as one in every breath, surely you would find discussion difficult, if not impossible. True of all of your identities, and true of mine.

    Again, I wish you both well, and that you both find healing, and peace.

    Like

  61. Wosret says:

    ” A male can be born with many biological abnormalities making him appear and act as female, but that does not make him actually a female.”

    I should also point out the question begging nature of this suggestion. It already identifies the subject as a male, and then proceeds to say that this such of thing, and that such of thing doesn’t change this — but the maleness is the exact thing in dispute.

    I realize that you think I’m just delusional, and can just talk me out of it by appealing to logic and reason — but frankly, you clearly have no impressive grasp of them. There are valid ways to approach thing subject, that do not just assume the conclusion, and proceed by prejudice, but you seem wholly unaware of them.

    You aren’t going to reason with me, when you don’t know how to reason. Just look at the envy thread, a clear and obvious example of attempting to get the evidence to fit the conclusion, through distortion of meaning, and fallacious reasoning.

    Like

  62. thorin25 says:

    Worset, I don’t think you are being fair. If the whole purpose of our conversation was to decide what being a Christian actually means, than I would not be offended in the least if you didn’t think I was really a Christian and wanted to point out to me why. You have to remember what our conversation is about. It is about how to determine what sex a person is, and what sex means. You brought up your life as an example, so we were talking about you as an example. It’s hardly fair to then say I’m offending you with a personal attack, because I believe differently than you about what sex is and how it is determined.

    I do not think you are delusional. I do not think you are stupid. I do however think you are being needlessly offended. And I think being offended makes no sense in this case. If you want to quit talking then quit, but as you keep talking, I’ll keep talking to you. If you keep responding, I’ll keep responding, because I don’t mind the conversation and am not offended as you are.

    I’m not sure how I could be more civil and keep having this conversation. If you refuse to hear me say that I don’t think someone can have a male body and still be a female, than you might as well leave, because that is what the conversation is about. I can’t present my views if you will not hear them without offense. If my views themselves offend you, then you either have to deal with it, which is what tolerance is about, or we are at an impasse, and I guess the conversation is over.

    I am perfectly still willing to have a logical conversation. You’ve criticized my post saying it is illogical. You said that coveting doesn’t mean what I said, and that I should look up what it means in a dictionary. I did so, and what the dictionary said supported what I said coveting can mean. And you never responded.

    Further, I think our other disagreement comes down to how to define sex, and how to define what one’s sex is. I understand and grant that my argument seems somewhat circular or begging the question, but I don’t see how yours is different. You say you are female because your heroes are female. But what is the definition of “female” for those you emulate? We both have to start somewhere to define our terms.

    I start theologically that God made male and female, 2 sexes, with different bodies, different roles. I start biologically with 2 sexes, XY, XX, and all the rest that goes into the biological differentiation of the sexes that is not only scientific but common sense that any child can see. Of course, my definitions get complicated with intersexual conditions, but I believe that intersexual conditions are abnormalities of the norm, that people are still actually male or female, biologically, and in God’s eyes, but that something went wrong and so their bodies (and maybe minds) are different from the average male, or average female.

    What is your starting point for the definition of male and female?

    Like

  63. Wosret says:

    If I just began by calling you a pagan every other paragraph, I think that would get to you, especially since it demonstrates that I’ve begun with my conclusion, and show no interest in reevaluating it, but only undermining you, and continually re-asserting your pagan status.

    I don’t recall that being what the conversation was about. I thought it was about the implications of Deuteronomy 22:5, and the moment the subject changed to an attack on my identity, I explained that I didn’t wish have such a discussion. Such a discussion is simply disingenuous, when you have zero intention of reevaluating your position, and simply wish to undermine my identity, and bring me into the truth and light. If a genuine discussion were to be had, it would not begin by repeatedly asserting a pre-established conclusion every other sentence.

    You just keep calling me offended, despite my protests. As I said, this seems just like an intentional attempt to offend me, annoy me, or paint me as offended for rhetorical purposes. In any case, I never said that I was, I said the precise opposite.

    I also think I am being needlessly offended, but being told that I’m offended repeatedly, even though I said that I wasn’t… see how needless that is? They said that if you say something enough, it will make it become true — and this seems to be such a case. Repeatedly ignoring me to my face, is offensive. You win.

    You gave this definition: “to wish for, especially eagerly”, without giving this half of it: “He won the prize they all coveted.” Referring to a specific thing, and placing the object of the eager wish to be an unavailable, specific possession of someone else. I didn’t respond because I have half that people can read for themselves, and wouldn’t be fooled by such obvious obfuscation.

    Checking out an analysis of the commandment on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou_shalt_not_covet shows also that it always refers to a specific item owned by another, and is set out in Jewish law as being wrong because coveting serves for motives against theft, adultery, and murder. I am more than confident that anyone that bothers to research this for themselves can conclude nothing else. A definition only half quoted in order to attempt to make your interpretation even possible hardly stands in the way of this. Find a clear definition, or analysis that supports your specific interpretation, (that coveting applies in the general, and don’t always refer to a specific thing possessed by someone else), and not merely a vague definition (ignoring all surrounding definitions, encyclopedia analyses, and the clarifying half of the definition you do give).

    As I said in that thread, it should be abundantly clear to anyone that isn’t attempting to make the evidence fit a conclusion, that you are unequivocally mistaken. If you cannot admit this, then you probably wouldn’t admit to any mistake, or resend any of your pre-judgments.

    I never said I was female because my heroes were female… you seriously are disingenuous. Showing yourself to be either an incredibly sloppy thinker, or simply dishonest.

    Our definitions of the world are supposed to be dictated by the world, and not the other way around. This is when we check, we measure, we investigate, we do science. We determine what is a male, and what is a female by contrasting similarity and difference between all studied, and observed members of the species, and developing the categories by measuring the similarities, and differences between them. At one end of the spectrum we have the average woman, or the bell curve of most shared, and closest attributes of one distinct group, and at the other man, or the bell curve of the most shared, and closest attributes of another distinct group. Those that fall in the middle, sharing qualities and attributes of both sexes are historically classified as hermaphroditic, if non-functionally intersexed, or sexually ambiguous, and androgynous if functionally intersexed, or sexually ambiguous.

    The middle of the sexual spectrum (denying a sexual spectrum ignores the fact that all individuals begin female, and altered with hormones, and genetics in order to produce the other sex. There cannot be a definite, and absolute divide between the sexes for this obvious reason.), or the sexually ambiguous, those sharing qualities and attributes of both sexes, and not being able to be clearly placed as one sex or the other, without ignoring some of the characteristics, and attributes, and only focusing on others.

    This understanding of sexual ambiguity, in the form of hermaphroditic, and androgynous have been known about, and classified in all cultures, back into antiquity, and the concepts are also used in biology.

    I attempted to explain the problems with proceeding from definitions, deductively, and why that approach was not a valid approach. One cannot define things into, and out of existence. We need to check, investigate, and follow the data, not presumption and prejudice.

    Sorry if I’m flipping out a bit in this one, but the repeated accusations, the misrepresentations, and the blatant unfairness is just too much. If you repeatedly demand that I be offended, despite my protests, that is what’s going to happen.

    Like

  64. A Quiet Voice says:

    ““Despite your personal “gender identification”, are you not physically a man? Are you insisting/demanding that I deny what my senses tell me, what is “presented” to me my your appearance and mannerisms, in order to enable your personal desire to be seen/perceived as a woman? Is that not asking a bit much?”

    I take it that your obvious and intentional avoidance of this simple question means that you do not have a simple straight forward answer. Your Alinski-esgue efforts to avoid answering by attacking the messenger is tiresomely trite. No problem, let us try another. If you do not have a problem with cross-dressing, why are you here? Is it that you are extremely narcissistic and have a pathological need to have others accept you or your views as you define them. I am not trying to be offensive, but honestly, your presentation needs polishing in that mere mortals such as myself might find it just a bit angry and lugubrious.

    “Sorry if I’m flipping out a bit in this one, but the repeated accusations, the misrepresentations, and the blatant unfairness is just too much. If you repeatedly demand that I be offended, despite my protests, that is what’s going to happen.”

    Works for me. 🙂 No need to apologize. Have a wonderful life. Enjoy your gender identification. Just try to not be so easily offended because others might not share your ah…peculiar, POV. Oh and please spare me your convoluted dissembling.

    Good luck with this one, Thorin. He reminds me of those Hare Kritsna types that have thankfully been banned at our airports for their annoying chants.

    Like

  65. thorin25 says:

    Wosret, first of all I apologize, you did say further up that you were not offended, but just disappointed. I must have missed that by reading too quickly. However, your others words communicated to me (surely I read you wrong) that you were indeed offended. My mistake.

    At any rate, we’ve derailed from the topic of this post. Further, we are obviously talking past each other and not getting anywhere. There are too many loose ends of this conversation to try to pick it back up. We both keep going back to things each other has said. And getting more and more frustrated, each of us.

    I propose we either end this conversation and part ways for good. Or we could begin a new conversation about something specific without drawing on what we have said here, because this thread has gotten too confusing.

    If you wanted to keep talking about my envy post, in more detail, perhaps that is a better way to build a more helpful less frustrating conversation. I will comment no more to you on this thread, and I’ll respond to your last comment’s envy thoughts, on my envy post. You can comment if you wish or we can part ways.

    Like

  66. thorin25 says:

    A Quiet Voice, on my blog please be careful not to be purposefully sarcastic in your comments to Wosret (or anyone else), that is not helpful. Your intelligent remarks are helpful and appreciated though. Be the quiet voice of reason, not the loud voice of sarcasm. 🙂 Thank you for understanding.

    Like

  67. Wosret says:

    AQV, no, you don’t have to accept my identifications, and I don’t have to accept yours. In which case, we won’t get along. I thought I did answer this question directly, but you perceived it as an attack against yourself, because I brought your identifications into question — so Q.E.D. on that point.

    I’m here, because I am Mitchell Gilks on the crossdreamer’s blog, and Thorin requested that I come here, and acquaint myself with his blog and ideas. He may have just assumed that I was a crossdresser, and that is why he suggested that. I don’t know. Perhaps you’re right though, that the focus on this site has nothing to do with me, so I do not belong here.

    Yes, I do have a need for others to accept me, and who I wish to be, and be seen as. You may refer to this as pathological, and narcissistic, but I call this a normal human need.

    I also apologize Thorin, and thank you as well, for the respect, and civility. ,

    Like

  68. A Quiet Voice says:

    “….so Q.E.D. on that point” Well, no. I do not see how you have shown proven or answered that, “which had to be demonstrated”. But again, that is of little consequence to the discussion here. You describe yourself as a man who “identifies” as a woman”, a difficult proposition to say the least.

    Nevertheless, if you are happy and feeling no angst or need to change this, then why are you here among men who wish to be happy and complete as men? How are you contributing to their goal to do away with cross dressing forever?

    Like

  69. Wosret says:

    Because I said that it was natural for someone to perceive question there identity as an attack, and you did just that — I call that a good demonstration, thus Q.E.D.

    I never described myself like that, not once. Please stop misrepresenting what I’ve said. If you infer that is what I must have mean, or interpret something I’ve said as meaning that, then that is different than me having said that myself, so you need to qualify the difference between what I’ve said, and your understanding of it.

    I already said why I came here. I was asked to.

    Like

  70. thorin25 says:

    A Quiet voice – Wosret is welcome here, just as you are. No need to try to chase him off. Both of you don’t fit the audience I identify with and try to help. But that’s okay. As I’ve said, a little dialogue about other issues can be good too and so that is why I welcome both of you to read and comment.

    Like

  71. panteradraco says:

    Reblogged this on doramapolis and commented:
    Cool, awaiting the next post on cross dressing.

    Like

  72. Liz says:

    Hi, i agree but i dont know how to deal with my desires except to suppress them. Being transgender female to male it touched every part of my life- even such daily things asgoing to the toilet, so when i discovered this verse after being saved i turned away from my natural ways & have done my best to live as a woman though i have struggld with depression & failure often. Any thoughts?

    Like

  73. Andrew says:

    Liz, first I want to thank you for coming here and being vulnerable on this blog. As you have stated that you have been saved then I can only welcome you to the family as the Holy Spirit wants you here. I know the feelings of failure as well as depression but remember that God says in Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

    This means that no matter how many times I have failed in my life “trying” God was there to hold me up, dust me off and start all over again. You are loved Liz by an awesome God that can’t love you, care for you or forgive you any more than He already does right now.

    Read Ephesians 2: 1-10 where Paul starts to tell us to walk as a true believer needs to walk. We were dead, God gave us the cure and then gives us our calling all in 10 verses. Yes you will continue to sin, slip, trip and even fall this side of Heaven but be encouraged Liz as God is always going to be there for us. I’m here for you also so thanks for sharing!

    Remember that as much as God loved Jesus, that is how much He loves us. I am humbled when I think of that statement. He only wants what is best for us and what is best is that we do not mess up a perfect system of man, woman and their union which is marriage so it is not His best if I try to be woman or you to be man but we must love all our fellow sinners whether SSA, gambling,and addiction or even gossip because sin is always sin. God has a more wonderful plan for you Liz so to close I will give you one of my favorite Journey songs by telling you “Don’t Stop Believing”!

    Come here often and feel free to join this fight that is worth fighting!
    May the Lord bless and keep you Liz

    Andrew

    Like

  74. Liz says:

    Thanx for your encouragement Andrew & your Godly stand, i’m struggling to choose Gods way at moment though you help me understand why he made it so, but i find hope to try again. At the moment being a woman feels like a death sentence but i am praying He will help me overcome the revulsion i feel at being a woman & remove the desires of a man from me. Thank God we live this side of the resurrection. Keep up the good work -i appreciate u taking the time to help me. God bless

    Like

  75. Liz says:

    …& praying for yeshua’s strength in this fight for me & for you & also that my last post of my struggle hasnt made it hard for you. Grateful for your help. God bless & stand strong

    Like

  76. thorin25 says:

    Liz, you are certainly not alone in such hard feelings of gender identity confusion. Many of us have been there. Sorry I’m replying late. I’m going to pray for you right now and I encourage you to read other blog posts of mine as many deal with gender identity, transgender feelings, and how to work through them. You can search by subject, or look at my whole list of blog posts: https://healingcd.wordpress.com/most-important-posts/

    Like

  77. Liz says:

    Thnx -i’ll be reading them- takes me a bit to read so will be over some time but i’m convinced God brought me to your site as i was on the net places i shouldnt have been when it popped up. Cant see how i could have found it that moment unless it was God!! I needed help at that moment. Praise him

    Like

  78. thorin25 says:

    Liz that is so encouraging to me. Thank you for sharing how God has used this site.

    Like

  79. natzjam says:

    I firmly believe that God does not create confusion but is very ordely. Transgender and cross dressers seem to be very confused to me.Also their confusion all begins in the mind.mental confusion.the most recent sensation in regards to this topic is Bruce Jenner.now he is being hailed a hero by his influential family who has this massive influence over the minds of the younger generation. We are living in a perilous time and the evidence of spiritual warfare is obvious.the devil is out for souls.we Christians must become ready and prepared for it and never be surprised or frightened. We were forewarned. We need to keep our minds guarded. I pray for our children.as they are vulnerable and easily attacked.let us grow them up in the way that pleases the Lord so they may be strong for battle.

    Like

  80. thorin25 says:

    Yes this is a spiritual issue for many of us. Satan loves confusion. But as we fight against this new change in our culture, let us also do so with love, grace, and compassion towards those of us who have struggled with the confusion

    Like

  81. Jamie says:

    I have a possible interpretation that nobody seems to consider that I think would make a lot of sense.

    When it is talking about not wearing clothes that pertain to the opposite sex it’s not referring to a brand of clothing only worn by the opposite sex (because that often varies by culture), but rather to clothing that has actually been worn by the opposite sex at some point.

    As far as cleanliness is concerned that would make a strange kind of sense, cleanliness laws often seem to deal with not touching things, and wearing clothes worn by the opposite sex might qualify as it is touching something.

    Still this law keeps me afraid of crossdressing or trying to appear feminine, just in case, although I don’t know how long for.

    Like

  82. thorin25 says:

    Jamie, your interpretation makes some sense, and I believe I have heard it before. But I think it would be pretty unusual, looking at the rest of the Bible and cleanliness laws, for God to hate something and call it an abomination solely for uncleanness reasons. Also, it would not have been difficult to add that in the Hebrew, “clothes having been worn by a man” should not be worn by a woman, something like that. But it’s tough to know.

    But as a Christian (and even if was not), there are plenty of other reasons besides this passage why I don’t crossdress, and why I think it is wrong. The whole biblical story, and the themes therein, make clear that God only made men and women, and they are not to be confused together.

    For other reasons I gave up crossdressing and other biblical passages see this post:
    https://healingcd.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/summary-of-why-crossdressing-is-sinfulharmful/

    Like

  83. benaiah says:

    cross dressing is an abomination before God.

    Like

  84. Carol Lemay says:

    To destroy humanity, Satan will use every means possible. God also uses different means to win the war. Mankind is used by both to either promote or destroy the human race. The ignorance of man can play a vital role in his own destruction. Mankind can be destroyed by not desiring the opposit sex. There would be no posterity. We see this in the tale of Sodom a Gomorrah. All the men of the city demanded to have sex with the angels. This implies that the natural function of a man or woman can be changed to an obsession for the opposite sex. In fact the Bible states that humanity comes close to extinction. God intervenes. To think that our own science can save us through artificial means is naive to the total process of destruction that will envelope the world. We will very likely destroy civilization and all the science that goes with it leaving the propagation of mankind dependent on natural and not artificial means. Cross dressing is just one factor leading up to men and women denying the natural function of intercourse being for the opposite sex. This in turn will play a big role in our own annialation and “if God had not intervened there would be no life left”.

    Like

  85. CD wife says:

    Carol your post is most interesting the same applies to Porn Addiction very much and the two often go together from what i understand.The way Porn Addiction is escalating it could in theory spell the end of mankind. Children are getting hooked at alarming young ages.

    Like

  86. thorin25 says:

    I’m not afraid. Things have 10 times worse than today at many times in history. The immorality of America has nothing on the immorality of the Roman Empire for example.

    God is in control. Humanity cannot go extinct while God is in control. Don’t fear that. Things will go on. We wait for Jesus’ return when he will make all things new

    Like

  87. Zack says:

    I fine the help given by thorin very helpful. I’ve cross dressed since I was about 10. My normal sexual development was hijacked one day when I saw on tv a woman with a skirt on that showed her knees, Her knees were shiny due to the stockings she had on. During the 1960s it was impossible not to notice women wearing beautiful shiny stockings. So I was hooked. Not until around 2005 I finally stopped wearing women’s hose. I knew it was wrong but it was so wonderful for me to wear stockings with a girdle. I read Deuteronomy 22:5 about around 1985. I was shocked that my occasionally wearing the hose was so wrong. Unfortunately I kept doing it cause I liked the feel of the hose with girdle so much. Finally God got my attention after I suffered a mental breakdown. I was so bad I could hardly eat or sleep. I quickly got over the incident.I haven’t worn hose since that last breakdown around 2005. I am still very much tempted though even to this day. Note that I did not want to look like a woman but would wear the stockings under my pants. I also enjoyed just the feel of the material on my legs. I suppose cross dressing is a mortal sin even though the death penalty is not indicated directly in Deuteronomy 22:5. Adultery was dealth with by stoning the sinners to death. Also are cross dressers going to hell if they fall back occasionally into cross dressing again?

    Like

  88. thorin25 says:

    Thanks for the post Zack. There is so much to say, to help you understand the Bible and the theology here about this subject. But I’ll try to be brief.

    First of all, I’m not Roman Catholic and reject the idea of “mortal sins.” All sins are forgiveable in Christ. No such thing as an unforgiveable sin except for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which is not something easy to commit.

    Second, all of us are “going to Hell” unless we trust in Christ, whether you are a crossdresser or not. The only way to be saved is by trusting in Christ through faith, that he lived the perfect life for us that we are not able to live ourselves, and that he died to take our punishment. By faith in him, we receive his perfect righteousness, so that when God looks at us, he sees the perfect righteousness of Christ and will welcome us into Heaven.

    Third, after someone trusts in Christ and are born again, they receive a new heart, a new heart that wants to do right and please God and obey his commands. But yet they will not be perfect, they will still struggle with sin and have to confess and repent regularly and keep trying to live for Christ. So if you fall back into wearing pantyhose, it doesn’t mean you are going to Hell.

    But fourth, a true born again Christian wants to please God, and will not live in sin. The good works in your life don’t save you, but they are evidence that you are truly saved. Someone living in sin, without repentance and confession, without fighting that sin, does not have evidence that they are truly saved. So I would NOT say you are going to Hell if you failed and wore pantyhose today. I would say you should begin to doubt your salvation if you are convicted that what you are doing is sinful yet you purposefully keep on doing it anyway. Faith without works is dead as the book of James says. A true follower of Christ wants to obey Jesus and please him, even if we don’t do so perfectly. The occasional failure is just that, an occasional failure, which real Christians will fall into, and then they will repent and keep on trying to live a holy life again. That is different from willful intentional disobedience, walking in sin.

    Remember you saved by grace through faith, not by your good works. The good works are only the evidence that you are a new creation who has been saved by grace. But you don’t do the good works in order to earn salvation in order to escape Hell. We are saved by grace, and in gratitude and thanksgiving we love to please God and do what is right. That is the evidence that we are really in Christ and really have new hearts.

    Like

  89. Zack says:

    Thank so much, Thorin, for your insightful comments. I’m glad I can talk to a former cross dresser who know s what it’s like to be tempted by that particular sin. I went to my Baptist counselor to seek help about the issue some time ago. I felt he didn’t quite understand the issue like you and I do.I forgot to mention that I have had obsessive compulsive disorder for a long time. I was diagnosed with it in 1989 but I had symptoms going back to 1965. I am now 63 years old. I don’t know if my cross dressing behavior is part of that disorder. As far as mortal sins I mentioned it because the Apostle John wrote about mortal and non mortal sins in John 1 Chapter 5:16-17.

    Like

  90. thorin25 says:

    Zack, I also have borderline OCD, see this post for more reflection on the connection – https://healingcd.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/ocd-connection-to-crossdressing/

    It is only natural that your counselor doesn’t understand CD in the same way that we do. But there is much he could still do to help you, especially giving you strategies for putting sin to death, giving you accountability, praying for you, reflecting on Scripture passages with you, etc. So don’t discount those things!

    Have your counselor read this post and the linked articles before he meets with you again – https://healingcd.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/giving-pastoral-care-to-a-crossdresser-or-transgendered-person/

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