Pipe Down, Pat

For Pat Robertson to be viewed affectionately among the Left would require nothing short of a miracle, maybe even hell freezing over, but that’s exactly what has happened after some recent comments he made on the 700 Club about transgenderism and sex changes.

Cavan Sieczkowski of Huffington Post writes,

Pat Robertson has said a lot of shocking things, but his latest comment about the transgender community might be the most surprising yet.

The 83-year-old televangelist sat down on Sunday for the “Bring It Online” advice portion of his Christian Broadcasting Network show, “The 700 Club.” A viewer named David wrote in asking how he should refer to two transgender females who work in his office and have legally changed their genders. Instead of criticizing the trans individuals, Robertson approached the situation in a seemingly level-headed manner.

“I think there are men who are in a woman’s body,” he said. “It’s very rare. But it’s true — or women that are in men’s bodies — and that they want a sex change. That is a very permanent thing, believe me, when you have certain body parts amputated and when you have shot up with various kinds of hormones. It’s a radical procedure. I don’t think there’s any sin associated with that. I don’t condemn somebody for doing that.”

The only problem is that there is sin associated with transgenderism and “gender reassignment surgery.” One sin would be that transgenderism tampers with God’s created order by erasing His ordained boundaries between man and woman. This is partly why transvestitism was prohibited in ancient Israel (Deut. 22:5), the other part being that it had its roots in the cultic homosexuality of the surrounding pagan cultures. But in this day of evil, wearing the clothing of the opposite sex looks comparatively tame when gender reassignment surgery exists as an option. Choosing to mangle one’s “wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14) body based upon a delusion, which exalts man’s aberrant sexual understanding and desires above that of God’s, is most certainly a sin—though, thankfully, a sin that can be forgiven (Acts 8:38).

A second sin implied in Robertson’s argument is that God is imperfect and capable of getting confused now and again, putting men in women’s bodies and vice versa. But God is incapable of error and to believe otherwise is dangerous. “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he” (Deut. 32:4). Moreover, given that the “lesser” offense of transvestitism is a sin, then, surely, sex change operations are no less sinful. And since God doesn’t force anyone to commit a sin (James 1:13, 1 Cor. 10:13), then no one can treat transgenderism as if it were a morally innocuous birth defect, like spina bifida. God doesn’t screw up, nor does he require anyone to pursue sinful gender reassignment surgery in order to be content.

The story of Job feels appropriate here. At the end of the book of Job, in chapter 38, God launches into a withering series of questions aimed at Job, meant to display the vast gulf that exists between the awesome Creator and His lowly image-bearing creature.

Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?

This scathing admonition carries on for another seventy verses or so until God concludes by asking Job a rhetorical question: “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” Job responded appropriately—by acknowledging his limitations and shutting up. Robertson’s understanding here, too, is limited and it would best if he took a page from Job and did as he did, beginning by laying his hand across his mouth (Job 40:4), proceeding no further (Job 40:5), and then repenting (Job 42:6) for his unrighteous counsel. But will he follow in those godly footsteps? I’m not so sure.

2 comments

  1. Clare Flourish

    You are wrong about Deuteronomy 22:5. Why do you suppose that it begins with women? Because certain men’s roles- judge, priest, soldier- had specific clothes, and women should not take those roles, in the Deuteronomist’s view. So, is a female judge- in Scotland, they still wear men’s wigs- sinning, or is it a purity law, altered by the new covenant?

    On transsexuality, why do you suppose that God is in error creating the mind? God creates the whole human, body mind and spirit. You are very much mistaken. Speak to trans folks, and learn something.

    • igrobertson

      I’m wrong about Deut. 22:5? Maybe, but I don’t think so. I’ll let the great Matthew Henry explicate the passage,

      “The distinction of sexes by the apparel is to be kept up, for the preservation of our own and our neighbour’s chastity, Deut. 22:5. Nature itself teaches that a difference be made between them in their hair (1 Cor. 11:14), and by the same rule in their clothes, which therefore ought not to be confounded, either in ordinary wear or occasionally. To befriend a lawful escape or concealment it may be done, but whether for sport or in the acting of plays is justly questionable. 1. Some think it refers to the idolatrous custom of the Gentiles: in the worship of Venus, women appeared in armour, and men in women’s clothes; this, as other such superstitious usages, is here said to be an abomination to the Lord. 2. It forbids the confounding of the dispositions and affairs of the sexes: men must not be effeminate, nor do the women’s work in the house, nor must women be viragos, pretend to teach, or usurp authority, 1 Tim. 2:11, 12. Probably this confounding of garments had been used to gain opportunity of committing uncleanness, and is therefore forbidden; for those that would be kept from sin must keep themselves from all occasions of it and approaches to it.”

      I don’t believe it is altered because God’s created order is to remain disturbed, even under the new covenant. In Paul’s eyes, bestiality and homosexuality remain just as sinful in the new covenant as in the old (1 Cor. 6:9, 1 Tim. 1:10) and, likewise, women are still prohibited from teaching men within the church (1 Tim. 2:11,12).

      I agree with you that women were not to take such roles. They were made to be nurturing helpers, not soldiers, priests, or politicians. As far as Scotland’s judiciary is concerned, I don’t think women should be judges at all. Obviously, Deborah made for a remarkable exception in ancient Israel, but the rule still holds (Exod. 18:21,22).

      Finally, God wasn’t in error in creating the mind. He made it perfectly but, because of Adam’s fall, it became darkened by sin.(Eph. 4:17-19). There’s no hope for anyone’s heart or mind, transsexual or otherwise, to be restored without Christ living within their heart. I hope this provides some clarity. Blessings!

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