Union Chapel Baptist Church

Jul

22

Some thoughts on Transgender demands in light of the Church Father, Justin Martyr

By Stephen Mitchell

Early in his letter to the Church in Rome, the Apostle Paul wrote: “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts.”

In a similar vein, in chapter 93 of his Dialogue with Trypho, Justin wrote,

For [God] sets before every race of mankind that which is always and universally just, as well as all righteousness; and every race knows that adultery, and fornication, and homicide, and such like, are sinful; and though they all commit such practices, yet they do not escape from the knowledge that they act unrighteously whenever they so do1

We can see this in the ancient laws, such as Hamurrabi’s, or the Sumerian Law Code, that have been recovered through archaeology. They all have very similar restrictions on the behavior of mankind in regards to those they consider ‘citizens,’ those that are not considered as the lower classes such as barbarians or slaves. We also see it in the laws of the Roman Empire in regards to those considered Roman citizens. For lesser people, the law was much less fair. For example, when Paul, who was born a Roman citizen, was about to be beaten, he objected to the soldiers.

But when they stretched him out with thongs, Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to scourgPaul beatene a man who is a Roman and uncondemned?” When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and told him, saying, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman.” The commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” And he said, “Yes.” The commander answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” And Paul said, “But I was actually born a citizen.” Therefore those who were about to examine him immediately let go of him; and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had put him in chains.

The soldiers understood fully the requirement of formal charges by an authorized person in the Roman Law for any Roman citizen to be deprived of freedom or to be punished in any way. To violate that law was to personally put themselves in danger of that same law. That is why they feared. The law, in regards to Roman citizens, was again, similar to other ancient law codes. They showed that a common law was written on the hearts of all mankind. But to those not Roman citizens, the soldiers were free to violate a person’s right to fair treatment. They were free to chain a person and then beat him until they decided to stop. They had obviously been educated on to whom the Law applied fairly and to whom it did not. Merely on Paul’s statement that he belonged to the favored class, they changed from treating him wrongfully to respecting his rights as a human being. The law, by fiat statement, divided up humanity into two divisions: the favored class and all others.

Which brings me back to Justin. Above we stopped in midsentence. Here is a fuller quotation.

For [God] sets before every race of mankind that which is always and universally just, as well as all righteousness; and every race knows that adultery, and fornication, and homicide, and such like, are sinful; and though they all commit such practices, yet they do not escape from the knowledge that they act unrighteously whenever they so do, with the exception of those who are possessed with an unclean spirit, and who have been debased by education, by wicked customs, and by sinful institutions, and who have lost, or rather quenched and put under, their natural ideas. For we may see that such persons are unwilling to submit to the same things which they inflict upon others, and reproach each other with hostile consciences for the acts which they perpetrate.

Justin pointed out that one loses that sense of a violation of the law by “debased … education, by wicked customs, and by sinful institutions.” Those Roman soldiers had been taught by education and by custom to hold to that sinful institution of the law’s division of mankind so that they were perfectly justified treating an innocent man as guilty simply on their own whim. Paul did not have the right to the same consideration as the commander even though Paul was obviously a thinking, breathing, human person just as was the commander. What the commander would not accept upon himself, due to purchasing membership in the favored class, he was perfectly willing to inflict upon Paul

In our western culture, this is exactly what has happened. Our culture has educated the people to ignore the obvious realities of the human body in favor of an artificially constructed division based solely on the fiat statement by a favored class. Where we would normally divide people by the obvious reality of their birth sex, now we are expected to ignore the obvious sexual identity of birth in favor of an artificially declared sexual identity, no matter how grievously this impacts those who hold to that reality of birth, which is the vast majority of humanity now and throughout history.

Justin continued with these comments.

And hence I think that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ spoke well when He summed up all righteousness and piety in two commandments. They are these: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbour as thyself.’ For the man who loves God with all the heart, and with all the strength, being filled with a God-fearing mind, will reverence no other god; and since God wishes it, he would reverence that angel who is beloved by the same Lord and God. And the man who loves his neighbour as himself will wish for him the same good things that he wishes for himself, and no man will wish evil things for himself. Accordingly, he who loves his neighbour would pray and labour that his neighbour may be possessed of the same benefits as himself.

The transgender movement, demanding the right to be included in the bathrooms, the changing rooms, the showers of the opposite sex, are wishing upon their neighbors the things from which they themselves are demanding escape. They are not granting to their neighbors the same benefits as themselves. In insisting on not being included with the sex they reject, they demand acceptance by those whose very use of separate facilities shows their desire to not be included with the sex they reject. By fiat statement, the transgender movement desires to treat others as a less favored class. They are not allowing their neighbor the same benefit they give themselves. They “ are unwilling to submit to the same things which they inflict upon others, and reproach each other with hostile consciences for the acts which they perpetrate.

As Justin wrote, God “sets before every race of mankind that which is always and universally just.” In violating this, the transgender movement aligns itself with every unjust division of law throughout history which created artificial divisions within humanity in order to treat people as divided between less favored and more favored, less rights and more rights.

Where God regards all men alike, it takes education which supports wicked customs and sinful institutions to so divide people up that not all are treated with equal consideration. Because this violates the natural law that God has built into all humanity, we, as followers of God, must reject the demands of the Transgender movement.

 

1 Justin Martyr, “Dialogue of Justin with Trypho, a Jew,” in The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe, vol. 1, The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885), 246.

One Response so far

People don’t care about rights of others just their own. They reject things just because it goes against God’s law.

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