Transgenderism by Jack Kettler
In this study, we will look at transgenderism. We hear the term in the media; see characters in movies and the children in fed gov schools are being indoctrinated into its acceptance. Restrooms in many places are now so-called gender neutral. Going into a restroom is now left up to a person’s personal assessment of what their sex is. This new standard of individual subjective assessment of sexual status is problematic.
Past societal norms are being bludgeoned apart by the new social justice warriors. States, fed gov agencies are in full swing behind eradicating the biblical norms and the past moral consensus. The only standard used is that of the individual or who can scream the loudest on a college campus. This standard of subjective individualism as the interpretive norm is full-blown autonomous humanism.
The Bible God’s revelation to man is the only objective standard for determining right and wrong.
Hence, as in previous studies, we will look at definitions, scriptures, lexical data, and commentary evidence and confessional support for the glorifying of God in how we live.
Transsexualism, also known as transgenderism, Gender Identity Disorder (GID), or gender dysphoria, is a feeling that your biological/genetic/physiological gender does not match the gender you identify with and/or perceive yourself to be. Transsexuals/transgenders often describe themselves as feeling “trapped” in a body that does not match their true gender. They often practice transvestism/transvestitism and may also seek hormone therapy and/or gender reassignment surgery to bring their bodies into conformity with their perceived gender. *
Is there a societal event that has triggered the transgender movement? In the modern era, it may very well be that feminism is partially the cause of gender confusion. Feminism would be a cause because of feminism’s idea of radical equality and its corollary that there is no male supremacy by a man over a woman. This assertion is speculative; nevertheless, ideas have consequences, and there can be a causal connection, for example, legalized abortion and the progression to calls for infanticide.
Transgenderism a biblical evaluation:
Transgenderism must be dealt with primarily as an issue of biblical conformity. Besides the sinful nature, one should not rule out factors such as fed gov school indoctrination, media propaganda, side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, imbalanced diets. In addition, sexual molestation as a young person by an adult and hormone therapies as possible contributing factors to gender confusion. These possible extenuating factors in no way lessens the requirement of biblical fidelity on the part of individuals. It is possible that someone can struggle with gender confusion without becoming transsexual.
The Bible does not directly mention the word transgenderism. The passage referred to most often is Deuteronomy 22:5 in discussions of transgenderism. This passage is undoubtedly relevant to the issue of transgenderism. 1 Corinthians 6:9 is also uniquely important passage as will be seen. In the additional biblical passages consulted in this study, it is evident that men and women are distinguished clearly in Scripture, and this fact most certainly has to bear on the subject.
What do the Scriptures say?
This distinction between men and women is seen right from the beginning:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27)
As said, the passage most often referred to is:
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man; neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.” (Deuteronomy 22:5)
From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary on this section of Scripture:
“De 22:5-12. The Sex to Be Distinguished by Apparel.
5. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment—Though disguises were assumed at certain times in heathen temples, it is probable that a reference was made to unbecoming levities practiced in common life. They were properly forbidden; for the adoption of the habiliments of the one sex by the other is an outrage on decency, obliterates the distinctions of nature by fostering softness and effeminacy in the man, impudence and boldness in the woman as well as levity and hypocrisy in both; and, in short, it opens the door to an influx of so many evils that all who wear the dress of another sex are pronounced ‘an abomination unto the Lord.’” (1)
In the Gospel of Mark, we see confirmation of the creational norm:
“But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.” (Mark 10:6)
Apostolic directives to husbands and wives add further confirmation:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22–24)
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives.” (1 Pet 3:1)
A Pauline message to churches concerning apostolic instructions that also distinguish the sexes:
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35)
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.” “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” (1 Timothy 3:2, 12)
“That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.” (Titus 2:2–6)
Paul continues, and exhorts Timothy to esteem and reassure older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters:
“Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.” (1 Timothy 5:1–2).
The next two passages assume that we can distinguish men and women:
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands.” (1 Peter 3:1).
“Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” (1 Timothy 2:11, 12)
Men and women, distinguished in worship:
“Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman, but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?” (1 Corinthians 11:4-13)
Thus far, it is clear that the Scriptures give no support for transgenderism as an accepted Christian lifestyle. God created both men and women; they have different roles in marriage and the church.
A conclusion thus far:
“It is significant that Genesis 1:26–28 appoints the binary categories male and female using the anatomical (rather than social) terms of gender: “male (zakar) and female (neqebah) he created them” (v. 27). We believe this is done because it is the anatomical sex of the individual, which indicates his or her gender calling. The social role of manhood (Heb., ’ish) or womanhood (Heb., ’ishah) is determined by the person’s anatomical sex.” (2)
The warnings of judgment in Scripture:
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.” (Romans 1:24-27)
As mentioned at the start, 1 Corinthians 6:9 is particularly relevant:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” (1 Corinthians 6:9)
Regarding the word effeminate:
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:
1 Strong’s Number: g3120 Greek: malakos
Effeminate: “soft, soft to the touch” (Lat., mollis, Eng., “mollify,” “emollient,” etc.), is used
(a) of raiment, Mat 11:8 (twice); Luke 7:25;
(b) metaphorically, in a bad sense, 1Cr 6:9, “effeminate,” not simply of a male who practices forms of lewdness, but persons in general, who are guilty of addiction to sins of the flesh, voluptuous. (3)
Strong’s Concordance 3120 malakos:
malakos: soft, effeminate
Original Word: μαλακός, ή, όν
Part of Speech: Adjective
Phonetic Spelling: (mal-ak-os’)
Short Definition: soft, effeminate
Definition: (a) soft, (b) of persons: soft, delicate, effeminate.
Some Bible translations connect the word effeminate with homosexuality. For example:
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality.” (1 Corinthians 6:9 ESV)
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who submit to or perform homosexual acts.” (1 Corinthians 6:9 Berean Study Bible)
For those identifying as transgender, the Bible categorizes it under the general heading of homosexuality. Two points, first, this passage from 1 Corinthians is listed under the heading of a biblical warning. Second, all must heed the warning to flee from sexual immorality.
There is hope for those struggling with these types of temptations as seen in Paul’s writing in the past tense wording used in the next passage.
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11)
For those struggling with transgenderism, there is hope. You are not alone. Everyone is to flee from sexual sins.
“Flee from sexual immorality (porneia). Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18ESV)
Strong’s Concordance on fornication, sexual immorality:
porneia: fornication 4202
Original Word: πορνεία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (por-ni’-ah)
Short Definition: fornication, idolatry
Definition: fornication, whoredom, met: idolatry.
The word porneia is broader than fornication, and includes homosexuality, adultery, transgenderism and other sexual sins. The transgender individual is to “flee from sexual immorality” just like the apostle calls everyone. The Scriptures give no support for anyone living in any type of sexual immorality.
As seen from the Bible passages covered in this study, men and women are differentiated, and God has ordained these differences. Therefore, someone struggling with gender confusion needs to come to terms with created personhood and God’s purposes.
Confessional support for the above exposition.
The Westminster Larger Catechism Question 139:
Question139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
Answer. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required,1 are, adultery, fornication,2 rape, incest,3 sodomy, and all unnatural lusts;4 all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections;5 all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto;6 wanton looks,7 impudent or light behaviour, immodest apparel;8 prohibiting of lawful,9 and dispensing with unlawful marriages;10 allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them;11 entangling vows of single life,12 undue delay of marriage,13 having more wives or husbands than one at the same time;14 unjust divorce,15 or desertion;16 idleness, gluttony, drunkenness,17 unchaste company;18 lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays;19 and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.20
1 Proverbs 5:7: And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
2 Hebrews 13:4: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Galatians 5:19: Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality.
3 2 Samuel 13:14: But he would not listen to her, and being stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her. 1 Corinthians 5:1: It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.
4 Romans 1:24, 26-27: Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves. … For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. Leviticus 20:15-16: If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.
5 Matthew 5:28: But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 15:19: For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. Colossians 3:5: Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
6 Ephesians 5:3-4: But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Proverbs 7:5, 21-22: To keep you from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words. … With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast.
7 Isaiah 3:16: The LORD said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet. 2 Peter 2:14: They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children!
8 Proverbs 7:10, 13: And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. … She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him.
9 1 Timothy 4:3: Who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
10 Leviticus 18:1-21: Click to read passage. Mark 6:18: For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife. Malachi 2:11-12: Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts!
11 1 Kings 15:12: He put away the male cult prostitutes out of the land and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 2 Kings 23:7: And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes who were in the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. Deuteronomy 23:17-18: None of the daughters of Israel shall be a cult prostitute, and none of the sons of Israel shall be a cult prostitute. You shall not bring the fee of a prostitute or the wages of a dog into the house of the LORD your God in payment for any vow, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:29: Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity. Jeremiah 5:7: How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me and have sworn by those who are no gods. When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of whores. Proverbs 7:24-27: And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths, for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.
12 Matthew 19:10-11: The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.”
13 1 Corinthians 7:7-9: I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. Genesis 38:26: Then Judah identified them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.
14 Malachi 2:14-15: But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. Matthew 19:5: And said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”?
15 Malachi 2:16: “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” Matthew 5:32: But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
16 1 Corinthians 7:12-13: To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.
17 Ezekiel 16:49: Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. Proverbs 23:30-33: Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things.
18 Genesis 39:19: As soon as his master heard the words that his wife spoke to him, “This is the way your servant treated me,” his anger was kindled. Proverbs 5:8: Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.
19 Ephesians 5:4: Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. Ezekiel 23:14-16: But she carried her whoring further. She saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion, wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea. When she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. Isaiah 23:15-17: In that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute: “Take a harp; go about the city, O forgotten prostitute! Make sweet melody; sing many songs, that you may be remembered.” At the end of seventy years, the LORD will visit Tyre, and she will return to her wages and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. Isaiah 3:16: The LORD said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet. Mark 6:22: For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” 1 Peter 4:3: For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.
20 2 Kings 9:30: When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window. Jeremiah 4:30: And you, O desolate one, what do you mean that you dress in scarlet, that you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life. Ezekiel 23:40: They even sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and behold, they came. For them you bathed yourself, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with ornaments.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
1. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible, (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan, 1977) p. 157.
2. North America, Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Gender as Calling: The Gospel & Gender Identity (Kindle Locations 388-392). Crown & Covenant Publications. Page Location 385 Kindle Edition.
3. W. E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, (Iowa Falls, Iowa, Riverside Book and Bible House), p. 349.
Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: www.TheReligionThatStartedInAHat.com
For more study:
Many articles on the topic of transgenderism and political ramifications at
For one of the best experts on sexual sins and those struggling with sexual sins, see
Rosaria Butterfield at https://rosariabutterfield.com/
Gender as Calling: The Gospel & Gender Identity
This booklet offers an introduction to the development of the transgender movement and its terminology, a critique of the philosophies that undergird it, and a loving, biblical response. Purchase at https://www.crownandcovenant.com/product_p/ds536.htm also available at Amazon in the Kindle format.