Added to all this, the sexual revolution has led to a society fixated on sex and reluctant to draw any clear boundaries. A worldview of nearly absolute non-judgmentalism leads the larger society to consider sexuality and sexual issues to be beyond the bounds of common concern.

The saddest part of the Sun's report comes when the pastor claims that "today God's gift of medical science is enabling me to bring my physical body in alignment with my true gender."  This is an illusion of incredible tragedy. Modern medicine is truly capable of many wonders, but it cannot turn a woman into a man, nor a man into a woman. Doctors may perform drastic surgery and prescribe hormone therapies, but they cannot make a woman into a man. Rev. Drew Phoenix will be no more capable of biological fatherhood than Rev. Ann Gordon. Those who overlook this fact are hiding from reality.

Subsequent to its first report, the Sun reported that local Methodist clergy have asked for a judicial opinion from the church's highest legal authority, questioning Bishop John R. Schol's decision to reappoint the pastor. UMAction, an organization of conservative United Methodists, called upon their church to offer moral teaching on this pressing issue:

"I think instinctively most church people would say there are some theological problems with gender change, but they don't know how to articulate the arguments, and expect the church to offer a teaching on the subject," said UMAction director Mark Tooley.

"The issue of gender identity is not directly about sexual practice and really requires some different theological arguments," he said

As one concerned pastor lamented, "Medical technology has gotten ahead of us." That is true for virtually all churches and denominations. Now is the time for Christian congregations, schools, and denominations to offer clear moral teaching and sound theological reflection on the gift of gender and the challenge of transgender persons. 

The challenge could show up at your church tomorrow.

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Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary — the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world. He is a theologian and ordained minister, as well as an author, speaker and host of his own radio program The Albert Mohler Program