The Gospel and Gender

When this paper was tabled and discussed at the 2016 General Assembly of the PCQ, many of those present were united in expressing sorrow that their attitudes and ministry approach to human gender, and especially to those who experience gender identity struggles, may have sometimes failed to acknowledge their own sin, causing undue hurt; may have failed to adequately understand such struggles; and, in doing so, may have also prevented the hope of the gospel being heard by those who, like us, are in desperate need of salvation and secure identity in Christ.

Therefore, as an Assembly, we commit ourselves to repentance for any sinful attitudes and to attending with compassion to people who struggle with sexuality, gender and identity. We commit to this in order to carefully and faithfully share with them the vital, liberating news of salvation, secure hope and identity in Christ.

The issue of gender, and how the world understands what it means to be human, is a significant and present concern in public debate both here in Australia and abroad. Transgender rights are the new flashpoint in the ongoing shift away from Biblical norms and the created order; and are in the public conversation thanks to initiatives like the Safe Schools educational material and questions about such diverse issues as school uniforms and public toilets. As Christians we are called to respond to the world in love, not from fear, confident not only that Jesus is King, but that he is the real answer to the longing of every human heart.

“This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” — 1 John 4:17-19