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The Position of Encounter Christian Church Regarding Gender Dysphoria

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Abstract
Post-Modernistic Western culture and the issues surrounding gender have become a politically 
charged and complex for the community of Jesus’ followers. There are obvious differences regarding the origin of gender and subsequent medical and/or psychological path forward, with very little tolerance afforded to ideas different than those of the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans, and Questioning (LGBTQ) community. Beyond the political and cultural polarization, there seems to be common ground regarding desired standards of treatment. The recent spike in identity dysphoric conditions seems to bear a correlative relationship with the propagation of broadly accessible social media, suggesting either a passive sympathetic replication or an active advocation via intervention. Encounter Christian Church adheres to the Biblical position on identity as presented in Genesis, predicated upon the concepts of human creation in God’s Image, the intrinsic and infinite worth attributed to each human life at conception, purpose of humankind to work as agents of God’s will reflecting His purpose in our own lives, and culminating in the perfect example of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels. This position is that any worldview counter to these principles about identity is not God’s intent and that we as a church are called to love and serve all human beings, regardless of their present state, and introduce the good news of forgiveness and redemption, and to love them into a life with Jesus.

Keywords: dysphoria, gender, identity, disorder, body-image, self-mutilation, self-harm, suicide, child development, adolescent development, Biblical purpose, Biblical identity

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The UFO Phenomenon

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A Biblical Based Perspective
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Gospels for the Early Church: Means, Motive and Opportunity

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Presented at NW Regional ETS Conference, April 2019
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This paper considers the means, motive, and opportunity for the production of written Gospels by the apostles during the earliest years following the death and resurrection of Jesus, in support of an expanding church. Based on a review of contemporary Greek and Latin literature it will be shown that the publication of the Gospels was only a relatively modest accomplishment. Further, distribution of the earliest Gospel(s), once published, was supported by a Roman trade network which provided ample means for the circulation of these documents. Therefore, Gospel development theories should consider the possibility of early Gospel production and should be biased towards the assumption that each Gospel was produced with full awareness of prior publications. In addition, the scattering of early Jewish and Gentile believers who were accustomed to the use of written materials in support of oral presentations would have provided a sufficient motivation for the publication of Gospels. A collaborative development effort, especially while the apostles were yet in Jerusalem, offered an ideal opportunity where the effort would have been supported by local resources and a literate priesthood. Given these observations, modern synoptic development theories should be re-evaluated to ensure that they adequately consider the literary situation within the Roman empire, the potential demand of early believers for written materials, and the advantageous circumstances supporting publication of Gospels within the earliest years of the church.

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