Bryan Matthew Dockens

Regardless of how one identifies himself, God determines what is true.

A man may sever his reproductive organs, surgically reduce his Adam’s apple, receive estrogen, grow his hair and nails, shave his legs, put on a dress, wear cosmetics, protest his masculinity, and declare himself a woman, but, nonetheless, he remains a man. He still has a Y chromosome and he still has male DNA. He will never menstruate, never ovulate, never bear young in a womb, never breastfeed an infant, and never experience menopause. Identifying himself as a woman does not make it so. “From the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female’” (Mark 10:6).

“Deceiving and being deceived” is the work of evil (2nd Timothy 3:13), and identifying oneself as what he manifestly is not amounts to deception.

Like a so-called “transgender,” one may call himself a Christian, quit some immoral habits, attend a church regularly, pray often, read Scripture constantly, contribute generously, teach others about Jesus, and help his neighbors sacrificially, but none of that makes him a Christian any more than a man on hormone pills is a woman. “I identify as a Christian” and “I identify as a woman” are equally absurd to the God who makes men, women, and Christians. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23).

By definition, a Christian is a person who is in Christ, and that necessitates baptism, “for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27). “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6:3). Baptism is immersion, for it involves going “down into the water” and coming “up out of the water” (Acts 8:38-39), and it is likened, more than once, to burial (Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 2:12).

Baptism must be preceded by learning (Matthew 28:18-20). Baptism is predicated on believing (Mark 16:16). Baptism must follow confession (Acts 22:16). Baptism has repentance as a prerequisite (Acts 2:38).

Therefore, a Christian is someone who learned the gospel (Romans 10:17), believes in Jesus (John 3:18), confesses his faith (Romans 10:9-10), has repented of his sins (Acts 3:19), and has been baptized for salvation (1st Peter 3:21).

The person who has not obeyed these words, or who merely performed the actions incidentally, rather than to receive forgiveness from God, is not a Christian, no matter how loudly or often he “identifies” as such.

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