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Reason!  Analyze the assertions!  Compare the
assertions to the scripture!  The Lord will give
you wisdom!

Much love in Christ;

Caryn LeMur

************************************




Essays For The Thinking
Christian:

The Right Path Versus
The Better Path.

Lessons In The Mercy Of God For
The Transgendered Christian and
For the Transsexual Christian.


Copyright © Caryn LeMur    2006   

The authoress expressly gives the right for anyone to freely
reproduce and distribute this essay verbatim.



The Bible is filled with books and letters.  One of
those letters in our Bible was written by Paul
the Apostle to the church in the city of Corinth.  
Almost all Christians hold that Paul was inspired
by the Holy Spirit of God in his writings, and that
Paul’s advice is therefore equal to the Holy
Spirit's advice.  

I am intrigued by a thread of mercy within
Paul's first letter to the Corinthian believers.  I
think that understanding such a thread of
mercy will help many that are transgendered
(TG), to especially include those diagnosed with
severe Gender Identity Disorder (GID), often
called “transsexuals” (TS).

Let’s look at what God teaches us.

First Corinthians Chapter 7 has a long discourse
on marriage, divorce, cross-religious marriages,
engagements, and so forth.  Paul makes an
interesting statement in that chapter, "So then,
he who marries the virgin does right, but he
who does not marry her does even better." [I
Cor 7:38]

"Right" moves.  “Better” moves.  “Right”
decisions.  “Better” decisions.  Yet, neither
move was sin.  Yet, neither decision was sin.  
Each move or decision, however, came with a
cost.

Sometimes, the series of concepts involved in
selecting the “right” or selecting the “better” is
called 'Determining the secondary and primary
will of God'.  However, in this essay, I wish to
continue to use the terms found in the Bible,
the New International Version, because I think
that the semantics (that is, our gut-level
reaction), is better served by examining the
“right” path versus the “better” path.

So yes, I am terribly intrigued by this verse,
because at several points in my life, I could not
choose the "better".  To survive, I instead
selected the "right" path.  Ultimately, I had to
choose the “right” path of ceasing to live in-
between the gender life-styles and to fully
transition to living opposite of my birth gender.  
My decision was not sin.  But I would never say
it was the "better".

Let’s look at the Spirit’s teaching again, "So
then, he who marries the virgin does right, but
he who does not marry her does even better."
[I Cor 7:38].  It is very key for anyone within
the TG spectrum to see those terms: “right”
versus “better”.

There is another key concept found within this
wonderful chapter:  “Each one should remain in
the situation which he was in when God called
him.” [I Cor 7:20]

What “situations” is Paul writing about? – three
of those situations intrigue me:

    - “It is good for a man not to marry.”
    [verse 1]
    - “Now to the unmarried and the widows I
    say: It is good for them to stay
    unmarried….” [verse 8]
    - “But if the unbeliever leaves [the
    Christian wife], let him do so.”  [verse 15]

So then, what is the “better” in these
situations?  The “better” is for the single man to
never marry, for the single woman to never
marry, for the widow to never remarry, and for
the Christian wife to accept the termination of
her marriage by her unbelieving husband.

And then, we ask ourselves, what is the lesser
path, called the “right” path for each of these
situations?  The lesser path is for the single
man to marry, for the single woman to marry,
the widow to remarry, and the divorced
Christian wife to stay divorced and be
“concerned about the Lord's affairs… to be
devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.”
[verse 34]

Can you sense the thread of mercy that God is
winding through this chapter through Paul’s
writing?  God is showing clearly the “better”
path, but is allowing for the lesser “right” path.

When does one chose the lesser “right” path?  
Here is the criteria:

    -   Examine your giftedness – “But each
    man has his own gift from God; one has
    this gift, another has that.” [verse 7]

    -   Examine your weakness – “But if they
    cannot control themselves, they should
    marry, for it is better to marry than to burn
    with passion.” [verse 9]

Let me use this passage against my own life for
a moment:

I became a Christian at the end of 8th grade.  
This Chapter 7 of Corinthians urges me to
examine who I was, and to "remain in that
situation" wherein Christ called me.  Let me be
honest, I was pre-onset TS, I was single, and
my presentation was artistic and gentle male.  I
learned over the years, to love who God had
made me.  My “situation” was in-between the
genders.

How much I wish I could have stayed in that
state forever!  So does my wife of 31 years.  So
do my children.  So does the pastor that hates
me.  So does the elder that loves me.  We all
know what the previous state was, and we also
know what was "better".

But like the widow that had lost her husband, I
could not stay in that state.

And like the woman that lost her non-believing
wife through his divorce, I could not stay in that
state.

And like the one engaged, I could not stay
single.

Indeed, I examined my “giftedness” and was
struggling to stay living in-between the
genders.  I also examined my “weaknesses”,
and was battling depression and a sense of
over-whelming incongruity.  

    I felt like the person that had dropped a
    porcelain figurine – a miniature of
    Michelangelo’s “David” – and was
    frantically spending hours each day trying
    to glue back what few pieces were
    recoverable.  The male figurine I held in my
    heart – like shattered porcelain – never
    returned even with prayer and fasting.  
    Instead, the figurine shattered again, and
    again, and each time, fewer and fewer
    pieces of the “male image” remained.  The
    gluing became more frantic, until
    amazingly, what I held in the hands of my
    deepest understanding was not a male
    figurine, but a female one.  My mind had
    transitioned all on its own.
  
Thus, I could not live within the "better", and I
chose to live within the "right".  I will say again
that I did what was "right", per I Corinthians
Chapter 7.  But I did not do what was "better".  
I could not do what was “better”.

Having said all the above, was my Lord Jesus
ashamed of my choice?  Of course not!  This
chapter 7 shows that our Lord is not ashamed
of our "right" choices, even though we are
urged to select the "better" choices.  

Rather, I was ashamed that I did not live up to
my high expectations of myself.  And, very
deeply, I was ashamed that I had to lower all
my guard to my Jesus, and simply become an
object of His mercy.  

    You see, I was always an object of His
    mercy (per Romans chapter 9:23, right?),
    but now, I was undeniably an object of His
    mercy.  My pride is what was shattered
    when that “porcelain figurine” was
    shattered.  My ego was what was
    shattered with every attempt at putting
    back together that continually shattering
    internal gender identity.  My last hope to
    continue to swing back and forth from
    female presentation to male was equally
    shattered, when my heart could only see
    the female gender identity.
  
Now, every day in the mirror, I see a woman.  I
see a woman that knows she lives by the mercy
of her God.  I cannot live as I once did, in denial
-- in denial of the mercy of God.  I see the
mercy of my loving God every day in that mirror.

The questions of TG lifestyle, transsexualism
and living in-between, and even transition in full
or in part, in light of I Corinthians Chapter 7,
are so intriguing:  

    -  What is "better"?  
    -  What is lesser, yet "right"?  
    -  What am I capable of living according to
    my giftedness?
    -  What am I capable of living according to
    my weakness?

How deeply the latter two questions cut into
me.  I could not live as single, many years ago,
and abandoned the "better" to choose the
"right".  I married my spouse in 1975.  And in
October of 2002, I knew I could no longer live
the "better" of male hormones, and by April of
2003, was taking the lesser "right" path of anti-
androgens to cope.  And just in September of
2004 to September of 2005, I proved I could
not live any longer in the "better" of in-
between, living in the day as male and in the
evening as female, but had to choose the lesser
path, the "right" path of full transition.

I measured this vessel of clay -- this earthen
vessel.  It had shattered.  

Dysphoria is not just a difficult word to spell --
for this one, it is far more difficult to live.  But
my Jesus knows that shattered vessels hold so
little oil and wine.  That is why He allows the
widow to remarry, the divorced believer to
accept the divorce from the non-believer, and
even the engaged to cease their singleness.  

I hope that all of us can see the incredible
thread of "mercy" that is within Chapter 7 of I
Corinthians.  There are two paths in that
Chapter 7 - the best path called the "better"
and the lesser path, called the "right".

I have reviewed the counseling of some
websites -- to include our brother-in-Christ,
Jerry Leach -- and sadly they often believe that
every vessel is made of steel and not fragile
clay.  They point to the "better" path and that is
good.  But, they forget to point to the lesser
path, which is called by the Spirit of God "right"
-- not "wrong", not "sin", and certainly not
"disgrace".  The lesser path is called "right" --
let that term sink into your heart, with all its
healing power.

Such counselors, like Jerry Leach, do not urge
you to examine your “giftedness” and your
“weakness”.  They also imply that the mercy of
God is only upon those that can choose the
"better" path.  In this, they err, because they
do not know the scriptures, nor the mercies of
our God, which continue forever.

I am trying to take great care in this essay,
because you, dear reader, may be able to stay
in the state wherein Christ called you.  Were
you called by Him when you were pre-onset?  
Were you called by Him when you were living
somewhere within the TG-spectrum only on
occassion?  Were you called by Him during the
time of living in-between the genders (or living
in both gender presentations)?    

I believe that in accordance with I Corinthians
Chapter 7, and as obligated by our Lord, to
urge you to stay beautifully pre-onset,
beautifully within the spectrum, or beautifully in-
between.  But, I am equally in accordance with
the scripture and equally obligated by the same
Lord Jesus, to show you that He has mercy on
any person that cannot stay within the situation
that God called them.

    -  Therefore, unlike pro-transition sites, my
    current understanding is to urge a
    Christian TG (of any nature) to stay in the
    state wherein Christ called them, if at all
    possible.  
  
    -  Therefore, unlike anti-transition sites,
    my current understanding is to show that
    Christ, the Lord of all mercy, has set aside
    the mercy of the "right" path for the
    widow, the divorced, the engaged, and
    yes, for any that are shattering in the
    pursuit of the "better" path.  We must
    preach all the words of the I Corinthians
    Chapter 7, to include an honest self-
    evaluation of our “giftedness” and our
    “weakness”.

Dear one, there is mercy, and mercy in
abundance beyond anything we can ask or
imagine, if you cannot stay within your
“shattered porcelain" male image.  That mercy
is a thread that runs though I Corinthians
Chapter 7.  It is the mercy given to those that
must chose the "right", for they cannot choose
the "better".

May you hear His gentle voice speaking of the
“better” and the “right” paths; may you have
His wisdom in understanding your “giftedness”
and your “weakness”; may you never be
ashamed if you choose the lesser “right” path,
for Christ’s love in all its height, depth, breadth,
and width is not ashamed of you.

Much love in Christ, always and forever;

Caryn LeMur.



Copyright © Caryn LeMur    2006   

The authoress expressly gives the right for anyone to freely
reproduce and distribute this essay verbatim.
Essays For The Thinking Christian

The Right Path Versus The Better Path