“My friend Steve Garber told me three years ago,” writes Mueller, “that the transgender issue is ‘the most complex, tender, and difficult issue we face in the church right now.'” In figuring things out, Mueller is committed to following the example of the Apostle Paul in Athens (Acts 17) — to be faithful to Scripture, to know history, and to be willing to listen and learn before speaking.
As a beginning, we need to “frame” the issue, says Mueller. “Maybe we need to close the frame where it needs to be tightened. And maybe we need to expand the frame where it needs to be expanded.” We need to be “faithful to the Word, present in the world.” The first step in working things out is to frame the issue with some assumptions, or realities, that we must recognize. Here are four of Mueller’s twelve “realities”:
1. This is an incredibly complex issue. Face it we must, but we can’t jump to quick conclusions or make it too simple. If we do, we risk getting it wrong and never having a voice.”
2. We don’t own the conversation. Because the culture is leading the conversation we must be invited in. We must listen hard and study hard, as Paul did in Athens.
3. When it comes to kids, you may be the only voice speaking to them about biblical sexuality. In doing so, you will be challenging the basic world view of their generation, so your views may well seem incomprehensible to them — as if you are speaking a foreign language. You will need patience and tact.
4. Our kids are incredibly vulnerable to the cultural narrative. These are the formative years of their lives; you need to be “forming” them.
If we seriously, prayerfully, and responsibly examine the Scriptures, concludes Mueller, relying on revelation rather than speculation, then good will come out of this incredibly “complex, difficult, and head-spinning” issue. How? Read “Who’s in the Rest Room?”