It is a vertigo-inducing experience for me to poke my head out of my theology books and see headlines about Christians coming around to supporting Trump and absolutely losing their minds about transgendered folks and bathrooms. The first of these is so self-evidently absurd, I’m not sure there is anything else to write about it.
The second one is a different case, but still bizarre. . Let’s grant, for a second, that it is possible to search the deep recesses of the Bible and find a passage that can be made to say something about transgendered people (we should all be clear, of course, that gender transitions were never on the mind of a single biblical author when he was writing)
Let me, further, grant that well-meaning Christians can be convinced they've found valid grounds to conclude that the Bible would condemn gender transitions, were it to mention them. It seems to me that Christians should then keep in mind a general rule: the further a moral conviction is from the plain sense of the biblical text and the fewer times it is repeated, the more humility is required by the one asserting its biblical warrant. Kindness, peacefulness, compassion, helping the poor, honesty, etc.: these are explicit commands mentioned all over the Bible. Christians can recommend them and condemn their absence with complete confidence. Christians must take a stand on these categorically, but can tolerate differences of opinion about issues which require extensive and fallible interpretive work and which are non-essential to the faith.
Thus, when it comes to the bathroom issue, while it is conceivably possible to find Biblical grounds to condemn gender transitions, it is impossible to avoid the explicitly stated Christian duties of compassion, kindness, and love. To legally force men (sometimes bearded, burly men) to go through the humiliation of using a women’s room because they were born with female genitalia (or vice-versa) is an inversion of the priorities of Christian ethics (in addition to being weird for everyone involved). It absolutely reverses the way we should weigh moral judgments that are more and less certain. We must always lead with non-negotiables like grace and love. I don’t mean this in the weak “you must always accept everything and never condemn anything” way it is sometimes used. Christians absolutely must take unpopular moral stands, against the flow of culture, and which might hurt people’s feelings. Love and kindness don’t require a shallow and empty tolerance of evil. But we must condemn evils in proportion to our certainty about them and to the priority given to them in the Bible, all in the context of faith, hope, and love. From a biblical perspective, Christians should be much more confident condemning the use of the law to enforce humiliation on people who are already marginalized by society (and often shunned by their own churches and families), than we could possibly be in condemning something as tangential to the moral teaching of the Bible as gender transitions.
I am open to being convinced that Christians should condemn gender transitions, but not that they should do so with more confidence and ardor than that with which they condemn greed, covetousness, lying, indifference to suffering, pride, self-centeredness, lack of hospitality to immigrants, failure to visit prisoners in jail, or having anything less than an all-consuming desire to follow God at every moment of life. Any passion about gender transitions should come in somewhere far below those.