March 29, 2024

Does Transgender Visibility Day Override Resurrection Sunday?

“One can’t help but feel that Fairfax County officials’ timing was deliberate.”

By Joshua Arnold

In a 9-0 vote on March 19 (with the one Republican absent), the Fairfax County, Va. Board of Supervisors proclaimed March 31 as Transgender Visibility Day. Paying homage to transgender ideology is consistent with the progressive D.C. suburb’s past radicalism. And trans activists have observed March 31 as an International Transgender Day of Visibility since 2009. Yet Fairfax County’s latest action provoked unusual outrage because, this year, March 31 is also Resurrection Sunday.

“One can’t help but feel that Fairfax County officials’ timing was deliberate,” complained Fairfax County resident Stephanie Lundquist-Arora.

It does seem strange that the board made such a proclamation this year, as opposed to prior years. In 2021, President Joe Biden proclaimed a “Transgender Day of Visibility” on March 31. In May, the Fairfax County Board “affirmed their commitment to promoting a culture of openness, inclusiveness, and acceptance for all persons in Fairfax County” by proclaiming June as “LGBTQ+ Pride Month,” but proclaiming a Transgender Day of Visibility would have to wait three years. They could have conveniently scheduled festivities on a weekday in 2021, or 2022, or 2023, but instead they waited to proclaim the Transgender Day of Visibility until 2024, when it coincided with Easter? I don’t know the board members’ hearts or motives, but I also can’t explain their actions.

Whether the board intended the day as counter-programming to Resurrection Sunday or not, it is true that the LGBT agenda runs directly counter to biblical Christianity, and Fairfax County openly and unapologetically promotes that agenda.

LGBT ideology rejects the truth found in Scripture and instead recognizes each individual’s internal feelings as the ultimate source of truth. In particular, it rejects the truth that God created all mankind in his image, male and female. Instead, it pretends that a person who feels internal distress with his or her body’s created sex can and should alter his or her body and lifestyle to match the feelings, and that those around them ought to aid such a person in his or her self-deception.

In so doing, LGBT ideology “[does] not honor him as God or give thanks to him” (Romans 1:21) but rather “worship[s] and serve[s] the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Those who rebel against God in this way give themselves over to following “the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves” (Romans 1:24), and to “dishonorable passions” that lead to “men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Romans 1:26-27).

The point is not that people who feel the need to change their body’s gender are uniquely wicked, but rather that they are sinners in need of a savior, just like the rest of mankind. Paul’s concern in Romans 1 is to indict not only sexual perversion, but envy, gossip, boasting, and “all manner of unrighteousness” (Romans 1:28-31) — to indict the entire human race. Paul wrote in another letter that “many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ” (Philippians 3:18). He was talking about unbelieving Jews, but his description applies to those who embrace LGBT identities and lifestyles as well.

What brings Paul to tears (in Philippians 3:18 and in Romans 9:2) is the thought of sinners hurtling toward hell, ignoring the only effective salvation, Jesus Christ. As he wrote in the next verse, “their end is destruction” (Philippians 3:19).

Paul added, “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things” (Philippians 3:19). In saying “their god is their belly,” Paul was not saying these enemies of the cross of Christ have made an idol of food, but that they worship their own appetites — and, we might add, emotions — rather than the one true God. He added that they turn reality on its head by taking pride in what should bring them shame, but that they don’t realize their own error because their short-sighted perspective focuses only on this world. This, too, applies to those who follow the lies of transgender ideology.

In contrast to this unhappy group, Paul placed those who hope in Jesus. “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” he declared (Philippians 3:20). The key word here is “savior.” Jesus Christ came once as a sacrifice for sins, that those who believe in him might be saved from the justice of God, reconciled to him, and adopted as his children. Jesus Christ will come a second time to reign as Lord over all and unite those who believe to himself in holiness.

People often criticize Christians for believing that people who engage in LGBT lifestyles will go to hell, mistakenly inferring that Christians therefore hope to avoid hell by our own righteousness. But what Christianity actually teaches is that everyone deserves God’s wrath for his or her sins. Christianity distinguishes not between flagrant sinners and hypocritical saints, but between unrepentant sinners who reject Christ’s salvation and repentant sinners who are saved in Christ by grace through faith. When Christians stand before God’s throne of judgment, we dare not plead for justification on the basis of our own filthy works, but we will humbly plead Christ’s righteousness credited to our account.

Of course, the term “repentant sinners” requires that these sinners repent. That is, they must turn from their sins and walk in righteousness. They must mourn over their sins with a godly grief and agree with God that their sins are wicked. And while traces of their sin nature remain, they must continue in repentance and continue growing in godliness. This is sanctification, and it is a fundamental building block of the Christian life.

Paul warned the Corinthians against the false hope that they could reach heaven without abandoning their sins. “The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God,” he wrote. “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Texts like this one demonstrate that those who object to the claim that those who practice an LGBT lifestyle will go to hell are not taking issue with Christians, but with God’s Word. Texts like this one may also tempt some to despair of ever finding peace with God. “If that is the standard of righteousness,” they think, “then I am far too wicked for God ever to accept me.”

Friend, every Christian has thought the same. That is what makes the Christian gospel such “good news.” After concluding his list of disqualifying sinful lifestyles, Paul told the Corinthians, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). No person’s sin exceeds the grace of God. No one’s sinful ugliness is beyond God’s power to transform into someone holy and beautiful, for his glory.

Speaking of transformation, we left Paul’s letter to the Philippians in the middle of a sentence. When the Lord Jesus Christ returns for his people, he “will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Philippians 3:21). This is a testimony to Paul’s belief in the resurrection of the dead. The firstfruits came on Resurrection Sunday, when our crucified Savior got up from the dead, leaving an empty tomb that changed history forever. The Bible leaves hints that the risen Lord’s body was transformed in glorious yet unexplained ways, and it promises that those who believe in him will one day have a new body like his.

On the topic of bodily transformation, transgender ideology can’t hold a candle to the glory of Christian hope. Man’s best efforts at bodily transformation are negative. If someone loathes their body enough, they can replace functional parts with non-functional, opposite parts, in hopes that they hate themselves a little bit less. According to Christianity, God gave us good bodies, which he will transform positively to be more glorious than any body we have ever known — for those who believe in him.

Regarding days of visibility, too, Christianity holds the trump hand. Faddish ideologies come and go, and their pseudo calendars with them. In a century or two, who will remember that Fairfax County proclaimed a Transgender Day of Visibility? But in 200 years, Christians around the world will still remember the day when Jesus got up from the dead, as they have done for nearly 2,000 years already.

We can’t see Jesus right now, but he has a future day of visibility, when “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him” (Revelation 1:7). Christ’s second coming is certain. The question for everyone to consider is whether they will be found in him when he comes.

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

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