News from Beyond the Pale…
Our fair shores have always been a petrie dish of spiritual cultures that over the centuries have spawned some unique, exotic, and on occasion bizarre results – be it Joseph Smith and his silver spectacles, Aimee Semple McPherson riding down the aisle on a motorcycle, Dino at the piano, “Wham, Bam” evangelism of Todd Bentley or Holy Ghost toking. The following sets a new record for beyond bizarre, even by American religious standards – Meet Allyson Robinson, a board member of “AWAB” a pro-Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender (or as Thomas Oden famously put it “multi-orifice”) religious advocacy group:
“prior to her gender transition, Allyson Robinson graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, served five years as a U.S. Army officer, and pastored Baptist congregations on two continents. Before entering vocational ministry, she also served Baptist churches as a deacon, worship minister, and church planter. She received a Master of Divinity from Baylor University with a capstone emphasis in social justice, in 2007. She’s proudest, though, of her ‘thrilling’ marriage of 15 years and of her four ‘mind-bogglingly well adjusted’ children. She currently serves as the Associate Director of Diversity for transgender concerns at the Human Rights Campaign. The Robinsons live in Gaithersburg, MD and are members of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., where Allyson serves on the Pastoral Relations Committee.”
That’s quite a resume. Few can boast of before & after “gender transition” accomplishments! A few weeks ago I preached on Matthew 22:23-33 and Jesus’ discussion of the resurrection with the Sadducees question about a woman who had been married to 7 brothers (and whose wife she would be at the resurrection of the dead). Of course, the critics of Jesus weren’t searching for truth but to poke fun at him. Jesus’ response still applies today – “you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
In these days of “anything-goes-churchianity” its clear many congregations and denominations likewise know neither. But it occurred to me that we now we have a new brain teaser – what gender will Allyson be on that glorious day of resurrection? Male or female? And yet another quandary – how do you know your pastor, organist, youth leader or pastor’s spouse really is the “he” or a “she” they say they are? Will a birth certificate examination become mandatory even if their kids are “mind-bogglingy well-adjusted”? Caution is in order if during the hiring process they say they are “in transition”!