This is a helpful article at The Gospel Coalition by Russell Moore – Joan or John?
He sets up really well the difficult complexities of caring for someone who is transgender. Repentance and change is not simple in these situations. It really gives new meaning to “dying and rising with Christ” to think of repenting of your decision to live as the opposite gender and to contemplate the difficult realities of trying to transition back once again.
I love, love, and really love this quote from the article –
We should abandon any sense of revulsion because Joan’s situation is “weird” or “perverted.” All sin is weird and perverted. The fact any of it (especially our own) seems “normal” to us is part of why we need the gospel.
At the foot of the cross we are all equal and in need of salvation for our sins. Some Christians would ostracize people like us for dealing with these “weird” sins but when we realize that all sins are a perversion of the good that God wants for us, we will treat each other with more compassion, mercy, and understanding.
This is a good quote that gets at the heart of why acting on transgender feelings is sinful –
After discerning that Joan is truly trusting in Christ (and it certainly appears that she is), my counsel would be to make sure she understands that part of the sin she’s walking away from is a root-level rejection of the Creator. God’s creation is good, and he does not create generic persons but “male and female,” in his own image (Gen. 1:27). In seeking to “become” a woman, John has established himself as a god, determining the very structure of his createdness.
This next quote echoes the reality that I have talked of in many places. A decision to follow Christ and not act on these sinful desires will not make the feelings and desires necessarily go away. They may remain a struggle for the rest of our lives.
In saying I don’t think Joan can continue living as a “woman” I’m not saying regeneration will mean he suddenly “feels” like a man. John is telling you the truth when he says he’s felt all his growing-up life like a woman trapped in a man’s body. He will not suddenly turn into a lumberjack. He will probably grapple with this issue for the rest of his life.
Last, this quote about the pastor’s job to counsel the church and make sure they don’t gossip about the person who has repented is so important.
Any ongoing gossip or judgment of John’s sin or John’s past is itself violence against the gospel, as well as divisiveness in the congregation, and will be disciplined as such.