Gender as Calling: The Gospel & Gender Identity
A Testimony of North America, Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church.
Published by Crown & Covenant Publications and The Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America First Printing, 2017
62 pages, Kindle Edition July 9, 2018, by Crown & Covenant Publications
A review by Jack Kettler
“The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) is a Presbyterian church with congregations and missions throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Chile, and China. Its beliefs—held in common with other members of the Reformed Presbyterian Global Alliance—place it in the conservative wing of the Reformed family of Protestant churches. Below the Bible—which is held as divinely inspired and without error—the church is committed to several “subordinate standards,” together considered with its constitution: the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms, along with its Testimony, Directory for Church Government, the Book of Discipline, and Directory for Worship.”
“Primary doctrinal distinctions which separate the RPCNA from other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations in North America are: its continued adherence to the historical practice of Reformed Christianity, contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith, of practicing exclusive psalmody, and its continuing affirmation of Jesus as mediatorial king, ruling over all nations. Prior to the 1960s, the RPCNA refused to vote in elections or participate in government in the United States due to it not directly acknowledging Christ’s authority over it, and since has continued (at some times more heavily than others), to lobby the federal government to expressly submit to the authority of Jesus Christ in the United States Constitution.”
“The RPCNA has a long history, having been a separate denomination in the United States since the Colonial era. In Scotland, where the denomination originated, Reformed Presbyterians have been a separate branch since the late 17th century, and prior to that, a part of the original Presbyterian Church of Scotland that came out of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.” Wikipedia
For the last few years, the transgender movement has been the latest rage among left-wing liberals and progressives. Transgenderism as a movement seemingly exploded out of nowhere. This small book under review provides an overview of the transgender movement, its terminology, an evaluation of the philosophies that it rests upon, and a Biblical rejoinder.
The chapters of the book are well laid out:
1. Key Concepts and Terminology
2. Philosophical Presuppositions
3. The Theology of Sex as Gender and Gender as Calling
4. Anatomical Ambiguity (Intersex)
5. Conclusions and Pastoral Guidance
Particularly beneficial is chapter one on key concepts and terminology, which are well documented with endnotes. In addition, the book is pastoral throughout.
“Clearly, the transgender movement is as complicated as the varied experiences of those who are part of it. We must be careful not to presume that there is a stereotypical transgender-identified individual, or that the frustrations and excitements which this movement represents are monolithic. The varied vocabulary of the movement captures its complexity.26” (Kindle Locations 178-181)
“26. For a helpful glossary of these and other terms used in the transgender movement, see Yarhouse, Gender Dysphoria, 20–1.” (Kindle Locations 758-760)
In chapter two of “Philosophical Presuppositions,” the reader learns:
“Even though the mainstream acceptance of transgenderism is quite recent, there are longstanding philosophical influences in western society that undergird this acceptance. Two of these philosophies are existentialism and Cartesian mind-body dualism (cf., gnosticism).” (Kindle Locations 183-185)
Chapter three delves into the “Theology of Sex as Gender, and Gender as Calling” and explores the following:
“Humans are created by God with one or the other anatomical sex, and that sexual identity marks the person’s gender calling.” (Kindle Locations 292-293)
Chapter four evaluates such issues as Anatomical Ambiguity (Intersex) or ambiguous genitalia:
“In such circumstances, the individual should be affirmed as a person with dignity made in the image of God. Where anatomical gender can be discerned (often through examination of the internal reproductive organs),72 the malformed features should in no wise be regarded as lessening his or her full masculinity or femininity. Where anatomical gender is impossible to determine, the church ought to fully support and respect the best efforts of the individual (with support from family and medical professionals) to adopt the gender calling that seems correct.” (Kindle Locations 500-504)
Chapter five concludes with a message of pastoral guidance in accordance with Scripture. The booklet under review should be read by all church counselors, deacons, and elders. Additionally, the book has a high view of Scripture and does not allow outside emotions or political faddism to influence its Biblical fidelity. End of Review
Supplemental material 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)
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 books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at www. Jack Kettler .com