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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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Transgenderism: When Falsehood Looks Like Truth

Posted by admin in June 21st, 2017 | 1 comment 
Published in Uncategorized

Trans·gen·der – /transˈjendər,tranzˈjendər/ adjective: denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

I teach semantics. The first three weeks of class we look at definitions and try to answer these questions: How does society determine the meaning of words? How are lexicons formed or developed? This is a big deal, because if speakers of a common language don’t agree on a definition, communication is not only hindered, but it is a bit chaotic. For example, British English refers to the end of a pencil used to wipe out written words as a “rubber.” American English uses the word rubber to mean a condom. That’s a big difference. British English says a person is “pissed” when he/she is drunk; American English uses the word “pissed” to describe someone very, very angry. Again, that’s a big difference.

So, people communicating in the same language must have an agreed upon definition of a term in order for true communication to take place. In my classes these days we have to look at terms that are rapidly changing in society due to use or new concepts—words such as marriage, gender, euthanasia. Society, political movements, governments, and even the general population of specific language groups are debating and redefining terms. Proabortion became a term people were unhappy with so they now refer to it as prochoice. In North America, Indian became an inappropriate term and now we say First Nation People, or Native Americans. Definitions are important and terms really do matter.

It is also important to note here that I believe science should be a basis when defining certain terms. For example, no matter how many surgeries, how many hormone medications, or how much he declares his femininity, Bruce Jenner, according to his DNA and chromosome count, is still scientifically, genetically, and physically a man. (I’ll address hermaphrodites a bit later). This may sound melodramatic and a bit over-the-top, but I believe very strongly that when society begins destruction of terms and definitions, it is to the demise of that society. Take Rome for example, during Caesar Caligula’s reign (37-41 AD) he brought his horse into the palace and called this animal his priest and consul. Everyone had to follow suit calling an animal a priest. All of this to say, terms and definitions matter. Language matters. God spoke the worlds into existence (Genesis 1; Hebrews 11). Jesus is called the Word (John 1). Man’s first duty was to name the animals—again, language and definitions.

Now hang in there with me. I might seem like I am going off on some rabbit trail, but I have a purpose in laying down a foundation here…

Our fallen world is broken and we see that in the disorder around us. Things are not as they were supposed to be. Death, sickness, disease, famine—all of these are a result of a fallen world. This was not the way God planned it. But as one man sinned and brought sin nature to the human race (Adam), one Man also came to redeem us through His sinless nature (Jesus) (Romans 5). Where our world is broken by sin, we have found a Redeemer Who has promised to make all things new one day and restore this earth to its original beauty and wholeness (Acts 3:21; Romans 8:21).

If the Bible is true and without error (which I wholeheartedly believe it is), if Jesus IS indeed the Son of God and the only way of salvation, if our world is nonconforming to God’s will and plan, then we as followers of Jesus must ask the question, “How then should we live?” (A question asked by Francis Shaeffer over 40 years ago).

Six hundred words later and I am just now getting to my point. But I wanted to lay some ground work so you’ll know where I am coming from and why I believe as I do.

I believe we live in a broken and fallen world. I believe as a result of sin, humankind needs a Savior. I believe that the only Savior is Jesus, “There is no other name on earth or under heaven by which humankind can be saved” (Acts 4:12). I believe that once a person declares Jesus as his/her personal Savior, there is a mandate to live by God’s Word, the Bible. There are no “special agreements” with God. There are no special dispensations, special arrangements or exceptions…

Look at 2 Timothy 3:14-17, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the people of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

So, here’s where I am going with this, transgenderism is the process by which fallen human beings (just like you and me) ask the question from Romans 9:20, “Why did you make me like this?” It is the creation raising a fist to God and saying, “I am not the way You created me!” It is saying to the Creator, You made a mistake and I am going to fix it. You were wrong and now I will make it right.

However, I believe the real problem with transgenderism is surrender–not wanting to surrender to God. Without a doubt I believe there is power in God’s Word, the Bible, to live the life we are meant to live. Scripture tells us that we can do this. We are to cast down every imagination and every thought that tries to exalt itself against what we know of God (2 Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…”). We are to have the mind of Christ, “Let this mind be in you that is also in Christ Jesus…” Philippians 2 goes into great detail that we are not to live self-centered or vain lives. Scripture exhorts us to die to ourselves and to our flesh. We are to be crucified with Christ and let our lives be lived in Him. Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Yielding. Surrender. Giving our lives wholly to Christ that He might live in and through us.

Just to be clear, I don’t have homosexuality and transgenderism confused. However, I do believe they are the same issue: sin. We are all born with a sinful nature. I was born to lie. I lied all the time; I’d rather lie than tell the truth even if the truth was better! Daryl has struggled with lust most of his life. Some men might believe that they were not made to be monogamous. You see, our skewed sense of right and wrong comes from our sinful natures. Perhaps you believe transgender issues are mental health issues, but I do not. I believe transgender issues are sin issues and that each individual struggling with the idea “I’ve been born in the wrong body” is being self-focused and in bondage to sin. That’s the bad news. But the Good News is that we ALL can be free from this skewed vision of things. We ALL can be set free to be exactly who we were designed to be by God. Ephesians 2:10, “We are God’s workmanship, His masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which HE designed beforehand that we should walk in them.” By surrendering our lives to Christ, we are able to defeat the lies of the enemy and live a new life in Christ. Jesus said, “Behold I make all things new.” If my DNA says I am a woman and my chromosomes say I am a woman, then I am a woman. Through Christ Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life I can live the life Christ designed for me. I can have victory through Christ Jesus and the finished work on the Cross. We all can. Second Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

No matter what our old lives may have been—lust-filled, deceitful, stealing, addiction, fear, abusive, violent—we can become what Christ intended us to be! And that image is always aligned with God’s Word.

In closing, I want to deal with hermaphrodites. Look at Matthew 19:12. Eunuch here can be a form of hermaphrodite. I heard an evangelical hermaphrodite speak once. This person was truly grounded in Scripture and had a clear understanding of who s/he was in Christ Jesus. S/he said, “I know God is able to redeem all of life. I know that God is loving and has a plan for me. The great thing about being born with both sex organs is that I can choose…choose to live my whole life for Christ Jesus. I don’t have all the troubles, worries, and distractions of married people. Society focuses so much on sex. There is more to life that sex. You see, I can focus all my love and attention on Christ and His work for my life.” Brave person.

Unfortunately, life isn’t fair. I wish it was. We are all born to a world of struggle and woe. But Christ is our hope and we have a promise of better things to come. I always try to encourage parents of children who say they are “transgender,” not to let the enemy have those children. Don’t surrender to this lie. Hang on to your kids and fight with the weapons of our Christian warfare which are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4). Christian parents need to be instructing their children how to stand strong in their faith and how to resist the lies of this world. Sadly, according to Walt Heyer, who regrets his own transgender operation, over 30 percent of transgender people admit regret of transitioning; 41 percent attempt suicide after the surgery, and at least 60 percent suffer from some kind of mental illness or breakdown afterwards. “Suicide and regret,” he writes, “remain the dark side of transgender life.” Even Bruce Jenner in an open conversation (and a transparent moment), said he regretted the surgery and wakes up oftentimes not knowing who he really is anymore. Now, once the media got a hold of that statement, he of course retracted. But I do think it is a struggle for people who have the surgery—not being happy with themselves after. In truth, there is only one thing that can quench the longing of our broken souls and that is a right relationship with Christ Jesus.

Here are some facts that could stop this charade of society’s transgender agenda, if society actually cared about truth. The information comes from a Swedish study. Sweden has been doing transgender surgery since the 1970s. Here are their findings:

1. Suicide Rates Among Transgenders Do Not Decrease Thanks to Sex-Change Surgery. The suicide rates among transgenders do not drop after surgery. 41 percent of transgender people attempt suicide sometime in their life; just 4.6 percent of the rest of the population does. The suicide rate among transgender people who say they are never identified as transgender is still 46 percent. 45 percent of transgender people who undergo hormone therapy attempt suicide – higher than the general transgender suicide rate.

2. Most Children Grow Out Of Transgender Feelings. Dr. Paul McHugh, former head of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, finds that 70 to 80 percent of all children with transgender feelings grow out of it. This is important because the media has already told parents that children confused about their sex should consider whether they are transgender. (From the ages of 9-11 I wanted to be a boy! I cried because I was a girl. I cut my hair, wore boy’s clothes and was thrilled if people didn’t know I was a girl. My parents just called me a “tomboy” and knew I’d grow out of it. And I did.)

3. Transgender Regret Is Very Real. Walt Heyer, a man who underwent sex-change surgery and then regretted it, writes at The Federalist:

The study commissioned by The Guardian of the UK in 2004 reviewed 100 studies and found 20 percent regret. Consider the findings of a 2011 Swedish study (not the study Ms. Costello used) published seven years after the 2004 UK review. It looked at mortality and morbidity after gender reassignment surgery and found that people who changed genders had a higher risk of suicide. In this study, all the sex-reassigned persons in Sweden from 1973–2003 (191 male-to-females, 133 female-to-males) were compared to a comparable random control group. The sex-reassigned persons had substantially higher rates of death from cardiovascular disease and suicide, and substantially higher rates of attempted suicide…. The study concluded: Gender surgery is not effective treatment for depression, anxiety or mental disorders.

And by the way, Jenner showed early signs of regret. Here’s the story from the original Vanity Fair paean to Jenner’s transgender heroism:

Jenner went into the long hallway and paced back and forth on the dark wood floor, where not even the footsteps made a sound. The panic attack lasted about 15 seconds, but a single thought continued to course through her mind: “What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?” A counselor from the Los Angeles Gender Center came over to the house so Jenner could talk to someone with professional expertise. The counselor helped ease her mind. She said such reactions were often induced by the pain medication. She also said such second-guessing was human and temporary. The thought has since passed and has not come back. There is no buyer’s remorse. Not that it matters anyway, because there is no turning back.

In Shelley’s Frankenstein she writes, “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” Society and our culture have only one narrative: gender is a choice and it is malleable. Scripture teaches us differently. Peace.

Living Right-Side Up in An Upside-Down World

Posted by admin in January 31st, 2017 | 3 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

I just read an essay by Stephen Mattson, “History Will Judge Today’s Christians According to These 4 Questions.” Mattson lists the four questions he decided were the important issues the Church in America is miserably failing to answer. There’s an arrogance in Mr. Mattson’s approach and an assumption that he alone knows what is the high moral ground all Believers should take because of his superior intellect. BTW, he published his essay in Huffington Post – who by their own definition call themselves, “a left-leaning American online news aggregator…” After reading Mattson’s article, I had to ask myself the question, “How did a young Christian man from Moody Bible Institute come to this?”

Some days I feel dizzy. Not from hot flashes or sugar lows, but from some of the things I hear in person and see on social media. Do you ever wonder, “What in the world is going on?!?” How am I supposed to navigate in today’s swampy waters and alligator infested bayous? It’s tough. It’s disheartening. And sometimes it seems impossible.

Recently, I was talking to a family member about our family doctor and I said, “He’s an excellent Catholic…” Someone overhead the comment and yelled at […] Continue Reading…

The Misery of Being Misunderstood

Posted by admin in November 2nd, 2016 | 4 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

The more you try to explain, the worse it gets. Ever been there? The more you try to bridge the gap, the wider the gap becomes. One of my greatest struggles in this world is the angst I get if someone misjudges me. Makes.Me.Crazy. There is a hilarious episode of Everybody Loves Raymond titled “Somebody Hates Raymond.” The entire episode Ray is trying to figure out why this guy hates him so much and how Ray can clear the air and make things right. Doesn’t happen. The writers were able to hit on the average Joe’s struggle with rejection over misunderstanding. “If they only knew my heart!” Or, “If I could just explain, I know I could make him understand.” And the always useful, “If we could just sit down and talk…” But sometimes, for whatever reasons, there will be people in our lives that simply want to keep their negative opinions of us. Why? I have no idea. But it happens and I guess the upside of it all is that it happened to Jesus too…a lot. As Jesus Followers we are called by God to be conformed to the image of Christ and most of the time […] Continue Reading…

Road Signs

Posted by admin in October 6th, 2016 | 7 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

Am I the only person who likes road signs while driving? I like them because they tell me what is ahead and if I need a warning. Caution: curve ahead. Yield: there’s oncoming traffic. Slowdown: school crossing. Love those road signs. Need them.

There are some “road signs” in our Christian walk, but not always and not as many as I would like. In July 2015, Daryl and I moved back to the US after a dreamy and wonderful five-year existence in beautiful Lithuania. Loved my job. Loved my students. Loved my friends. Loved Lithuania. I truly felt God’s good pleasure (in the words of Eric Liddell). But we knew in our last year there that God was calling us back to the US. Promptings. Urgings. And some tangible evidence that we were needed back home. So we packed up our wonderful life in Lithuania and returned to the States with joyful expectations and a plan. Plans are funny. Plans are stupid.

On the night of our arrival back home in Kansas City, all of Daryl’s kids greeted us at the airport and all the grandkids were there too. It was a lovely sight and all felt as it should […] Continue Reading…

Heroes, Transitions, and Faith

Posted by admin in April 20th, 2015 | 4 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

Whenever I write a post for this blog, I always wish that it could be brilliant. I wish I could be a brilliant writer, but I’m not. I have this deep desire to write profound thoughts as well as thought-provoking ideas. I’m that land-locked penguin that wishes she was a swan. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Sadly, after five years here in lovely Lithuania, Daryl and I are moving back to the USA. But leaving Lithuania is not the only big change. After nearly 20 years of working with IICS (now called Global Scholars) neither Daryl nor I will be with the organization any longer. Our departure from Lithuania inadvertently becomes our departure from IICS.

Wow. Big change. Big transition.

Here’s a piece I put together for our colleagues and friends. My words, though not eloquent nor terribly weighty, do come from the heart.

Greetings from cloudy and very cold Vilnius! Spring in Lithuania is more of a state of mind than an actual season change. I hope and pray that you are flourishing in your walks with God, your host cultures, your classrooms, and of course your families! All of you—each of you—have been a tremendous […] Continue Reading…

Am I a Pharisee?

Posted by admin in March 1st, 2015 | 6 comments 
Published in freedom, obedience

Recently I received an email from a sister in Christ calling me a Pharisee. Hmmm…a Pharisee? The dictionary gives two definitions of Pharisee: 1) A Pharisee was a member of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form; 2) A hypocritically self-righteous person. I think my sister was probably referring to the second definition. And maybe she’s right. However, it is that first definition that I was really aiming for – in a New Testament kind of way. I think anyone who knows me, knows that I live in a black and white world. I am devoted to absolutes: right/wrong, good/evil, yes/no. I am teaching a semantics class this semester and I repeat again and again, “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” Yup. Pretty black and white.

Sadly our world is often lived in the gray areas. Gray. Dismal. Unclear. And if you try to draw clear distinctions, as I am prone to do, then there is the question of being judgmental. Are we as followers of Christ ever directed by Scripture to be judgmental? And what is Christ referring to when He […] Continue Reading…

Walking About On My Own

Posted by admin in May 11th, 2013 | 5 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

I hate being a hateful person who hates people. A good friend of mine wrote to me today, “You know one of the reasons I want to be in heaven is I want to see what it feels like to have no sin in my life—I am not sure how we get rid of the hate and frustration…and I am sure my sin clouds my view of things. So I would love to know what it feels like to have no sin.”

It was the first time I’d ever thought of Heaven in those terms—as being sin-free living. To me Heaven always has meant seeing Jesus (yay), being healed of all of our diseases, getting along well with others, and being able to live in peace. But being completely free of sin hadn’t really entered my mind; not like that. I read my friend’s words and just started to weep. Yes. I want to be free from sin. I know I’m forgiven each time I ask God to cleanse me of my sin. And I know the Holy Spirit works in me to convict me of sin and help me to overcome it, but I can honestly say […] Continue Reading…

A Postcard from the Ledge

Posted by admin in December 4th, 2012 | 9 comments 
Published in faith, Lithuania, obedience

I love being in Lithuania. Especially on days like today when the sun is shining and there is fresh snow on the ground. A delicious 21 degrees Fahrenheit is for me a perfect temperature. But not all days are like this…some days it’s a struggle. Not because of Lithuania, but because of homesickness, missing family and friends. I often wonder what am I missing in the lives and events of those I love back home in America?

Obedience means different things to different people. For some it is raising a family; for others it is starting a small business or keeping financial records at an organization that provides humanitarian aid. For Daryl and me it has meant to travel 5,057 miles away from home to live as strangers in a foreign land. We are deaf—we have no idea what is being said around us. If someone was to call out, “FIRE”, we’d have no idea what was going on. We are illiterate: as academics it is a difficult struggle to not be able to read or write; not to comprehend something as simple as a label on a jar. We are mute: we can’t answer when people speak to […] Continue Reading…

Patches of Godlight

Posted by admin in October 1st, 2012 | 6 comments 
Published in faith, Lithuania, obedience

In our apartment building here in Vilnius we are required to clean the common areas/entry areas of our building every third month. There’s a list on the door as you leave the building reminding all the tenants which month is their month to clean. Welcome to the cooperative neighborhood of a former Soviet State. September was our month.

It’s not that I mind this duty so much, it’s more of a hassle than anything else. Daryl and I do clean the area together, sweeping, dusting and mopping. We also shake the welcome mats and clean off the sidewalk leading up to the building. But to be perfectly honest, it’s not my favorite thing to do. Once I just half-heartedly swept and didn’t even mop! There are times when it is our turn that we take a paper towel and spot clean. Not really the right way to do this job. Argh! (Not the pirate argh, more like the ugh argh).

But recently Colossians 3:23 kept rolling around in my head, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Not just when you get paid? Not just when people are watching? Not […] Continue Reading…

Who Remembers Second Place?

Posted by admin in May 23rd, 2012 | 9 comments 
Published in Lithuania

Okay, I have to start by telling you how all this came about. I started reading the Book of Acts this year to remind myself of the life and times of the early Church. This is probably my 20th reading of this book, but for the first time EVER something hit me. Let’s look at these verses then I’ll explain.

Acts 1:21-26: “‘Judas must now be replaced. The replacement must come from the company of men who stayed together with us from the time Jesus was baptized by John up to the day of his ascension, designated along with us as a witness to his resurrection.’”

(Insert: So we’re talking about 120 people. And out of that band of Jesus’s followers they selected two…)

“They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, ‘You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way.’ They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles.”

For me, this story illustrates perfectly how men think. Jesus told […] Continue Reading…

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