We’ve been in the season of Lent for some time now and tomorrow is Good Friday. We celebrate the work of Jesus on the cross for us to take away the punishment for our sins, and give us total forgiveness. What a wonderful merciful God we serve.
This got me thinking. Most of the time when I see crossdressers write about crossdressing and faith, they emphasize a couple things. 1. Since Jesus died on the cross for us, and we are forgiven, we don’t need to fear being sent to hell for our sins. (I agree. We only have reason to fear if we aren’t a true follower of Jesus trusting in him for our salvation). So they emphasize the important thing is just to love God and love others. (I agree with that too except I think the way we love God is by following his commands as Jesus says in John 14:15 – “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” And one of God’s specific commands is Deut. 22:5). 2. If crossdressing was something God does not want us to do, he would take away my desires to crossdress. Therefore, since he has not taken away my desires to crossdress, and this is who I am, he must be okay with me crossdressing.
This kind of view is illogical. I have many problems with this ways of thinking as I’ve written about in so many posts. In this post I just want to talk about the cross. Many Christian crossdressers are so right on the aspect of the cross about Jesus dying for us to take away our sins. I fully agree. But there is another aspect of the cross that they tend to overlook. That is the aspect of the “cross” talked about in these passages –
Luke 14:27 – And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
Through the whole section of verses 25-35, Jesus point is that his followers need to count the cost of discipleship, what they will have to give up in order to be his disciple.
Mark 8:34-37 – 34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
Matthew 10:38-39 – 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 16:24-27 – 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
In these many passages Jesus is telling his disciples clearly that many of them will literally have to die in following him. And most of them were killed eventually for their faith in Jesus. They also have to give up money, give up sins that they wanted to commit, give up homes, give up dreams, and so on.
Luke 9:23-25 – 23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
In this passage, we see that Jesus says we have to take up our cross, “daily.” It’s not just about being willing to die for Jesus. It’s about daily self-denial. It’s about giving up our wants and desires to follow Jesus. It’s about giving up our pleasures to resist sin and do what God wants us to do. It’s about sacrifice and serving other people, and taking care of their needs more than our own.
Some other passages hit these same themes –
Romans 12:1-2 – 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Titus 2:11-14 – 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Galatians 2:20 – 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
It is not a biblical view to say that if God wanted me to not crossdress, he would take away my crossdressing desires or make things easier for me. Maybe you think that crossdressing is not sinful. That can be argued. But the aforementioned argument is totally illogical and unbiblical. God never promised to take away our desires to sin. God never promised that the Christian life would be easy. In fact, Jesus promised the opposite, that the Christian life is full of self-denial, sacrifice, and daily taking up our cross to follow him. This is a counter-cultural message, but it is the biblical message. Jesus denied himself to give us salvation, and on this Good Friday, let us remember we are supposed to give up our old sinful ways in obedience to him, even it means denying our pleasures and wants, even if it means it’s going to be hard. But thankfully God promises to give us help and strength through the Holy Spirit living in us (John 14, Romans 8, 1 Corinthians 10:13).