Author Topic: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me  (Read 862 times)

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Offline Jennifer1975

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As a former pastor/minister in a conservative/evangelical church, I am now moving forward as me, the woman I really am. In this process I haven’t lost my faith in Jesus at all.
My hope is, as I have studied Christian Theology, is a future as a transgender pastor/minister.
I would love to bring hope to other transgender individuals, that God loves them.
As I am moving forward, I would love to help other move forward that may be locked in a conservative setting as I was.
I see this as my life mission really.
This is my vision, my hope and my dream, to join my ministry with the one I really am.
I was a pastor as a man but I want to aim for being a pastor as the transgender woman I really am.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 09:46:54 pm by Northern Star Girl »

Offline Autrement

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2020, 09:43:07 am »
Jennifer,

Congratulations for your courage !
As you do this, you are helping so many others to understand and accept...
I wish you all the best.

Hugs.

Pascale

Offline JudiBlueEyes

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2020, 10:43:20 am »
Good for you!  I hope you are able to show others that love is the most important virtue.

I have a friend who is also a pastor.   You'll be fine.
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Offline HappyMoni

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2020, 05:14:33 pm »
Hi Jennifer,
   I'm an atheist myself, but I love your story. I think accepting yourself is a wonderful thing. The fact that you want to help others is fantastic as well. I might tweak one thing in what you wrote, not as much a criticism as something to keep in mind. I try to always say, 'transgender people' rather than something like '<transgender people>.' I have seen many who are hostile to us, try to dehumanize us by leaving off the 'people' part. I wouldn't say anything except for your plan to preach, so I thought it important to mention. I wish you luck! From everything I've heard, this Jesus fellow was kind of an accepting sort. Take care!
Moni
If I ever offend you, let me know. It's not what I am about.
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"Moni" is pronounced like "Bonnie"

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Offline Rakel

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2020, 08:52:14 pm »
Thank you  HappyMoni, for explaining this  so well.

Lets all keep in mind that Jenny is new here. If she expresses herself in an odd manner, then it just means that she needs some help. Most all of us were at this same place at one time.

Jenny, I sent you a PM.




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Offline Jennifer1975

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2020, 10:52:02 pm »
Hi Jennifer,
   I'm an atheist myself, but I love your story. I think accepting yourself is a wonderful thing. The fact that you want to help others is fantastic as well. I might tweak one thing in what you wrote, not as much a criticism as something to keep in mind. I try to always say, 'transgender people' rather than something like '<transgender people>.' I have seen many who are hostile to us, try to dehumanize us by leaving off the 'people' part. I wouldn't say anything except for your plan to preach, so I thought it important to mention. I wish you luck! From everything I've heard, this Jesus fellow was kind of an accepting sort. Take care!
Moni

I apologize if I offended, you get the meaning I was aiming at though?

I am not a native English speaking person so if I write errors it has to do with language.
My main language is Swedish, then Finish, English comes in as my third language.

My meaning is that I want to help transgender people to get new hope, to know that they are loved.
I will not use the way I wrote anymore, so thank you for pointing it out. It is a language thing as English just is my third language.

Offline Sarah-Red

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2020, 10:56:36 pm »
I like to hear this. Congrats Jennifer. :)

Can I ask you a question? What would you say to someone who believes that god made men to be men and women to be women and that the bible says things against lgbtq things?

Offline Jennifer1975

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2020, 11:19:22 pm »
I like to hear this. Congrats Jennifer. :)

Can I ask you a question? What would you say to someone who believes that god made men to be men and women to be women and that the bible says things against lgbtq things?

Thank you  :)

I like your question. Everyone, ask me these kind of questions as I can train before meeting the hostile ones out there. Good to have this place as a training ground, I feel safe here.

My answer,

The collection of scriptures that make up the Bible has been in the making for a long long time. Thousands of years.
In Christian Theology it is believed that God inspired people to write down the things that makes the Bible.
God used ordinary people and their experience of life. Like for instance, Psalms, many of these psalms are believed to be written by David and his experience of life.
If we go back in time a long way, people experienced life a lot different than today. In warfare in the Bible “God’ said that the people of Israel had to kill everything after their victory, including children, babies and so forth.
Would we hold this as an important doctrine today? After military victory every baby should be killed? No.

The relationships in the Bible, Salomon, David. Did they treat their women like people treat their loved ones today? I don’t think so. Salomon had a lot of wives. David sent a general to his death because he wanted the generals wife. Is this a thing we should do today if we are after one that we love? It maybe happens but do we think it is moral?

THe same thing with the creation story, it talks to the people of that time in the way they understood as God inspired the people of that time to write down. It was the really old generations understanding we have to take to account.

The problem today with many who tries to explain what the Bible means for us today is that they pick and choose according to what they want to say. They are using the Bible as a weapon to hit people with.

I would say that many of the stories are colored from that time. The universal things in the Bible that holds through every generation is the message of love and hope.
I would say that the Bible talks about the stupidity of people but points towards a loving God.

Somebody wrote in this forum somewhere that in the Bible there were eunuchs, and to be an eunuch for the faith was seen as a good thing. To become an eunuch, that is body modification from the standard norm.
I don’t know about the eunuchs of that time, how many did it willingly and so on. But there seem to be support for eunuchs that did it willingly. In a way they experienced that being eunuch corresponded with they way the where.
So us on HRT, maybe in some way a bit a like. We experience that we are not like the standard norm, the created bio man and woman. And we want to change ourselves to be what our inner picture of us are. We should also be seen in a good way.

I also remember something that Jesus answered on a question, if a woman married another after her husband is dead, the brother of the dead one as the custom was back then. Who will she be married to in heaven?
Jesus answered in heaven we will be like the angels, we will not be married there. This is actually a non binary answer from Jesus  :)

Offline Sarah-Red

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2020, 11:32:31 pm »
Thank you  :)

I like your question. Everyone, ask me these kind of questions as I can train before meeting the hostile ones out there. Good to have this place as a training ground, I feel safe here.

My answer,

The collection of scriptures that make up the Bible has been in the making for a long long time. Thousands of years.
In Christian Theology it is believed that God inspired people to write down the things that makes the Bible.
God used ordinary people and their experience of life. Like for instance, Psalms, many of these psalms are believed to be written by David and his experience of life.
If we go back in time a long way, people experienced life a lot different than today. In warfare in the Bible “God’ said that the people of Israel had to kill everything after their victory, including children, babies and so forth.
Would we hold this as an important doctrine today? After military victory every baby should be killed? No.
[...]

Thank you Jennifer. It's a very good answer <3
Some of it is actually very close to what I've said, but you added more than I knew and I'm grateful for that.

Unfortunately, in my case, the person involved picks and chooses certain things, ignoring that some of the things in the bible would be immoral in this time, and goes along what other people preaching may say about lgbtq being considered bad, and thinks that they're being deceived by the evil side. What do you think about that?

Offline Jennifer1975

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2020, 11:58:38 pm »
Thank you Jennifer. It's a very good answer <3
Some of it is actually very close to what I've said, but you added more than I knew and I'm grateful for that.

Unfortunately, in my case, the person involved picks and chooses certain things, ignoring that some of the things in the bible would be immoral in this time, and goes along what other people preaching may say about lgbtq being considered bad, and thinks that they're being deceived by the evil side. What do you think about that?

I would say that people like that don’t really listen. They are colored by their view and don’t actually treat the Bible verses in the right way.
I have studied Old and New Testament exegetic, doctrines and so forth in University.
When we studied we learned to be very careful with the Scriptures to not add our own personal beliefs in the interpretation of the texts.

When studying the BIble you have to take account to many things,

1. WHat did the first listeners hear? The ones living at that time. That can be hard to understand today as the culture was so different, the knowledge of things wasn’t the same etc. Here we need to use history as best as we can and the Hebrew, Arameic and Greek languages to try to understand the people at that time. How they understood the Bible.

2. What can we take with us to our time from the Bible texts?
We cannot transfer everything that is in the Bible texts to our time as the culture, society and languages are totally different. Believe me, I have translated Koine Greek text to our modern languages, that is the language of the New Testament, and it is really hard sometimes to explain what Koine Greek means in our modern language. We need to choose the closest logical meanings many times.

3. Always be respectful in your understanding
We have to acknowledge that not anyone of us understands fully. Everything we read is colored in some way.
To interpret Bible texts we need to be very careful.
Try to understand the original setting as best as we can and also what we can bring with us from the texts to our time.
Humanity is always in development, we need to understand how the texts can meet were we are at right now.

Those people who don’t take these things in the equation is not able to interpret the Bible and should not do so.

Offline Sarah-Red

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2020, 12:20:00 am »
Thank you(again) for your responses Jennifer :)

I think that's very true, and unfortunately some people get lost in the emotion that drives certain interpretations, and then followers think that they have the answers, not questioning it themselves since the ones who preach or have loud voices have confidence and some people latch onto that.

I'm not sure how to treat certain people who are like that, like in family, but I probably need to at least hold to more rational points of view around it, like some of what you're sharing.

I think that we need to have discernment because no one has the perfect answer, especially when it can be interpreted in many different ways.
I think love is always a good point of reference. <3

Offline Jennifer1975

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2020, 12:52:26 am »
Thank you(again) for your responses Jennifer :)

I think that's very true, and unfortunately some people get lost in the emotion that drives certain interpretations, and then followers think that they have the answers, not questioning it themselves since the ones who preach or have loud voices have confidence and some people latch onto that.

I'm not sure how to treat certain people who are like that, like in family, but I probably need to at least hold to more rational points of view around it, like some of what you're sharing.

I think that we need to have discernment because no one has the perfect answer, especially when it can be interpreted in many different ways.
I think love is always a good point of reference. <3

Yes, love is the universal theme in the Bible. I think that is a good point for all interpretations, begin from love.
The Bible says that God is love, the letters of John in the New Testament states that.

The question of evil is a really hard one to understand though, you wrote about it earlier.
I would say that evil is everything that truly hurts anyone. The motivation for evil is to hurt.

Another hard topic is sin. What is sin? My understanding is a simple one here.
I think sin is everything that tries to stand in the way for love, God is love, love for others and ourselves.
Here we can think like this, do we who are transgender people love ourselves best in our bio bodies before transition?
I truly don’t, I am starting to love myself more and more as I transition to become the one I truly am.
Is that sin? No, love is not sin. There is no sin in love.

Offline Sarah-Red

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2020, 01:04:01 am »
Yes, love is the universal theme in the Bible. I think that is a good point for all interpretations, begin from love.
The Bible says that God is love, the letters of John in the New Testament states that.

Yeah :) <3

I think it's possible to love ourselves in any case. But if we're true to our hearts, that is, really love ourselves and honor who we are, then transitioning is an act of love to ourselves. I'd like to see it that way.

I was going to maybe pm you, but I almost forgot you need 15 posts before we can do that, so I'll go ahead and ask my extra question since I already asked the other ones, but what advice would you give to someone transgender who has a parent like the type of person I mentioned?

I don't necessarily expect all that great of an answer, I think it's kind of hard too say much, in a way, but I'm still curious what you would say.

Offline Jennifer1975

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2020, 02:01:26 am »
Yeah :) <3

I think it's possible to love ourselves in any case. But if we're true to our hearts, that is, really love ourselves and honor who we are, then transitioning is an act of love to ourselves. I'd like to see it that way.

I was going to maybe pm you, but I almost forgot you need 15 posts before we can do that, so I'll go ahead and ask my extra question since I already asked the other ones, but what advice would you give to someone transgender who has a parent like the type of person I mentioned?

I don't necessarily expect all that great of an answer, I think it's kind of hard too say much, in a way, but I'm still curious what you would say.

Well, after this post I will have 15, so we can PM each other  :)

Parents are the really tricky ones. Many time rational thinking doesn’t work even if your explain it very well.
I have to take something from myself to answer.
When I felt trapped in my ‘prison’ not seeing a way to transition to the one I am, I was really really depressed like many of us are. I was really near to end my life. My nearest and dearest noticed this, I was never smiling, always talked negatively. But when I finally decided to go through with my transition, in the decision stage before starting HRT and everything... Something lifted from me, I started to breath. My nearest and dearest also noticed this change.
Even if some of them had ideas like you encountered, that it is sin and things like that. They could not reject the change in me. And as I was lucky there that they love me, my health and well being became more important to them than their views of <transgender> as sin.
I think it is a slow train, but the only way is to talk from the heart. If they really love you they will see it someday.
The most important thing is that you are honest and truthful about who you are. It will reach them.
That will be my prayer for you and your nearest.   

Offline no-moose

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2020, 08:32:50 pm »
As a former pastor/minister in a conservative/evangelical church, I am now moving forward as me, the woman I really am. In this process I haven’t lost my faith in Jesus at all.
My hope is, as I have studied Christian Theology, is a future as a transgender pastor/minister.
I would love to bring hope to other transgender individuals, that God loves them.
As I am moving forward, I would love to help other move forward that may be locked in a conservative setting as I was.
I see this as my life mission really.
This is my vision, my hope and my dream, to join my ministry with the one I really am.
I was a pastor as a man but I want to aim for being a pastor as the transgender woman I really am.

Congrats and Love!!
I'm in a similar boat - currently pastoring a conservative church. I've always been a black sheep theologically, myself. But I'm starting to wonder if my repressed gender identity has been part of that equation...
I would love to hear how it all unfolds for you.

Offline Rachel Montgomery

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Re: As a former pastor in conservative church, I am now moving forward as me
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2020, 02:23:39 pm »
I want to start by my background first.  I am saying what I say because if I am wrong I would love to know it.  I don't want to trigger anyone or bring anyone down.  I am not trying to convince you that you are wrong.  I'd actually like you to convince me that I am wrong.

I am a transwoman.  I have not transitioned and don't plan to unless I absolutely feel compelled to do so to have any quality of life.  I was raised as a Christian, attended Christian schools, and have studied the Bible, but I don't have any degrees in theology.  I was raised in a VERY trasphobic home, which was probably made extra clear to me because there were signs that I was indeed transgender even as a small child. 

I ultimately was unable to reconcile my faith with who I am.  I consider myself agnostic, which to me means I do not claim to know there is no God, but I also don't know whether there is a God. 

If the God of the Old Testament is as described therein, and if my interpretation of the message of Christ is correct, that I will not go to heaven under any circumstance.  It is possible that my interpretation is wrong, and I invite correction.  Paul said there will be no perverts in heaven, and I don't think he meant that because there will be no sex in heaven.  I think he meant we wouldn't get in.  And, I believe when he used that word, he was talking about us.  But, Paul is not Christ, and Paul said a lot of things I cannot reconcile with Christ.  So, I don't put much trust in what Paul says.


If we go back in time a long way, people experienced life a lot different than today. In warfare in the Bible “God’ said that the people of Israel had to kill everything after their victory, including children, babies and so forth.
Would we hold this as an important doctrine today? After military victory every baby should be killed? No.
So, are you saying that God did not tell them to do that?  Is the Bible just wrong when it says He did?  Or, are you saying that God told them to do that because at that time it was the thing to do, but now it wouldn't be?  If so, what changed?  Why was something moral and right then, but not now?  Cultures change, times change, but what is and is not sin should not change over time.

Quote
The relationships in the Bible, Salomon, David. Did they treat their women like people treat their loved ones today? I don’t think so. Salomon had a lot of wives. David sent a general to his death because he wanted the generals wife. Is this a thing we should do today if we are after one that we love? It maybe happens but do we think it is moral?
That wasn't seen as good or moral when David did it.  It is one of the reasons he wasn't allowed to build the temple.  So, the fact that a generally good person who God used to accomplish His purpose did something wrong is part of the lesson.  In fact, none of the Patriarchs were described as flawless.  They all were presented as being very human, with documented failings.  But, God is presented as all knowing, all powerful and unchanging. 

Quote
THe same thing with the creation story, it talks to the people of that time in the way they understood as God inspired the people of that time to write down. It was the really old generations understanding we have to take to account.

The problem today with many who tries to explain what the Bible means for us today is that they pick and choose according to what they want to say. They are using the Bible as a weapon to hit people with.

I would say that many of the stories are colored from that time. The universal things in the Bible that holds through every generation is the message of love and hope.
I would say that the Bible talks about the stupidity of people but points towards a loving God.

It is hard not to pick and choose, because applying the entire concept of the Bible to a particular question is difficult to express.  Nonetheless, that approach is what I attempted (perhaps erringly) to do.  The OT seems to describe God quite differently from the one Christ describes, but there is little question He is merely offering a different perspective of the same entity.  The laws of the OT were generally only for the Jews as part of the covenant.  Paul said that we do not have to become Jews to worship Christ.  I am unaware of Christ ever saying that.  Nonetheless, Christ did say there are basically only two commandments: 1 Love God; and, 2 love your fellow man.  That can certainly be done while being transgender.  So, I suppose there is hope.

On the other hand, Christ said that to be forgiven for sin, you must repent and turn away from sin.  And, if being transgender is a sin, that is a sin from which I have been unable to turn away.  I really don't believe I ever chose to be transgender, I believe this is hard wired in me.  Why would the potter make a pot in a way that the potter despises? So he can hate it and destroy it?  It makes no sense.  So, maybe I am wrong about something.

Maybe I can stop being transgender, and I haven't tried hard enough.  I have tried really hard, I think I have done my best.  There was a lot of internalized transphobia here.  Maybe, there is nothing wrong with being transgender.  I don't know.  If it is wrong for a man to wear that which pertaineth to a woman, and for a woman to wear that which pertaineth to a man, how do you know whether you are a "man" or a "woman"?  Am I sinning when I dress as a man?  I don't think that question is answerable.  We just don't have the text to make it clear.
 
People and cultures change, but God does not.  The question seems to me to be: to what extent did "divine inspiration" in the form of the Bible result in timelessly "correct instruction"?  Was the Bible merely for people of that culture and that time?  Or, was it describing the way all people should live to please God forever?

Quote
Somebody wrote in this forum somewhere that in the Bible there were eunuchs, and to be an eunuch for the faith was seen as a good thing. To become an eunuch, that is body modification from the standard norm.
I don’t know about the eunuchs of that time, how many did it willingly and so on. But there seem to be support for eunuchs that did it willingly. In a way they experienced that being eunuch corresponded with they way the where.
So us on HRT, maybe in some way a bit a like. We experience that we are not like the standard norm, the created bio man and woman. And we want to change ourselves to be what our inner picture of us are. We should also be seen in a good way.

Eunuchs were not allowed to marry or to have life partners.  To follow that path, you would basically need to become a nun.