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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