Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

We are not own our own

My post a couple of days ago concerning my faith and my transition has generated quite a lot of interest,and a few question. Clearly there are a lot us around the world who have both a Christian faith and occupy a place somewhere within the trans spectrum. What I wrote before was very much about my personal journey, here I am indulging myself with some more general thoughts.

It has always been a matter of great interest to me how we choose which laws we will not follow, we cut our hair and men shave their faces, we wear clothes made out of mixed fibres, we certainly do not marry our brother's widow to ensure an heir, nor indeed,do we force rapists to marry their victims after paying off the family! Clearly some of these laws are cultural and others fundamental, but which are which? Of course the one that concerns us here most is Deuteronomy 22:5 

Of course when I became Christian I was very troubled by this particular verse and how it applied to me, and sometimes I have had to accept the "I don't understand, but if you say so Lord" attitude. However as a Christian I believe I have a responsibility to try to understand God's will for me, to seek his guidance, through his word (the Bible) and prayer.

I am quite certain that this verse is not telling modern women that they may not wear trousers, neither does it ban men from wearing non bifurcated nether garments, after all in much of the biblical times that would have been all that was available. In plenty of other places in the Bible we can find encouragement to dress and act with dignity, decorum and modesty, this verse does appear to be speaking of something else altogether.

I have now come to the conclusion that this particular verse may well be to do with military service as much as Temple ritual, I can understand the strong approbation of a man trying to avoid duty by pretending to be a woman, or indeed a woman trying to join the battle by pretending to be a man. There are certainly examples of both in British history! The Temple service side of it is about the nature of God, and the service He requires, a very different nature and service to the false Gods of the area that the Israelites were to inhabit, we read references to "Temple Prostitutes" I understand that at least some of these will have been crossdressed men, providing "services" to other men, I am sure that God would find this abominable form of worship! The Israelites were to be different, to remain separate from the previous inhabitants.

I reject the principle that says we are all sinners alike, I prefer to consider myself a chosen and beloved adopted child of God, a co-heir of the Father with Christ,,,,,,who sometimes sins. Because we are human and we live in a fallen world we will sin, now I know that when I have willfully indulged my sinful nature that I will feel estranged from God, it feels as though His Grace has been withdrawn from me, until I once again turn back to him (confess my sins and repent). Paul tells us that we have The Law so that we know is sin, without the Law we would not know, I incline to think that we know when we have sinned by how it affects our relationship with God. In many ways I believe that God is as much concerned about our attitudes and motivations as He is about our actions (Matthew 5:21-30).

I think that the two questions I would encourage all Christians to ask themselves about their activities would be; Does this affect my relationship with God? and, Does my activity impact on anyone else, harming them or bringing them into temptation? Paul writes a lot about this in 1 Corinthians, but I think the bit that sums it up is 10:21 where he says "Do it all for the Glory of God"
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