News & Commentary World

Cambridge Dean Says Jesus Could Have Been Transgender

"Heath, whose PhD was supervised by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, also told worshippers that in the Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg, from the 14th century, this side wound was isolated and 'takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance.'"

We have had it all before of course: Jesus the Marxist; Jesus the Muslim; Jesus the homosexual; Jesus the hippy; Jesus the Socialist; Jesus the Greenie. The list never ends. And it was only a matter of time before the unhinged secular left – and apostate clerics and academics – would assure us that Jesus could well have been trans.

In this case, it comes from within the Anglican Church in the UK. As I have often documented, there have been many problems with these folks over the years, so I guess we should not be surprised by this latest bit of outrageous theological moonbattery. One news report tells the story this way:

Jesus could have been transgender, according to a University of Cambridge dean. Dr Michael Banner, the dean of Trinity College, said such a view was “legitimate” after a row over a sermon by a Cambridge research student that claimed Christ had a “trans body”, The Telegraph can disclose.

The “truly shocking” address at last Sunday’s evensong at Trinity College chapel, saw Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow, display Renaissance and Medieval paintings of the crucifixion that depicted a side wound that the guest preacher likened to a vagina. Worshippers told The Telegraph they were left “in tears” and felt excluded from the church, with one shouting “heresy” at the Dean upon leaving. 

The sermon displayed three paintings, including Jean Malouel’s 1400 work Pietà, with Mr Heath pointing out Jesus’s side wound and blood flowing to the groin. The order of service also showed French artist Henri Maccheroni’s 1990 work “Christs”.

Heath, whose PhD was supervised by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, also told worshippers that in the Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg, from the 14th century, this side wound was isolated and “takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance”.

Heath also drew on non-erotic depictions of Christ’s penis in historical art, which “urge a welcoming rather than hostile response towards the raised voices of trans people”. “In Christ’s simultaneously masculine and feminine body in these works, if the body of Christ as these works suggest the body of all bodies, then his body is also the trans body,” the sermon concluded.

A congregation member, who wished to remain anonymous, told Dr Banner in a complaint letter: “I left the service in tears. You offered to speak with me afterwards, but I was too distressed. I am contemptuous of the idea that by cutting a hole in a man, through which he can be penetrated, he can become a woman. I am especially contemptuous of such imagery when it is applied to our Lord, from the pulpit, at Evensong. I am contemptuous of the notion that we should be invited to contemplate the martyrdom of a ‘trans Christ’, a new heresy for our age.”

Before looking at this further, let me say that this is not in fact a first. Radicals have been making these sorts of blasphemous claims for years now. Back in 2017, for example, a homosexual “pastor” in Texas, in seeking to oppose a transgender bathroom bill said this: “In the beginning, God created humankind in God’s image. So God is transgender. We’re all created in the image of what is holy and divine and sacred, and we should all be treated that way.”

Of course, that is just as idiotic and sacrilegious as what Heath is trying to suggest. Indeed, the level of dishonesty here alone is enough to make you ill. Even taking the word “transgender” at its most basic, it of course can never be used to describe God. As an adjective, it has to do with those whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

Thus a girl no longer wants to identify as female or a guy does not want to identify as male. That is what the term actually means. So how in the world can we apply something like this to God? The Bible is crystal clear in informing us that God is a spirit, and is not a sexual being at all.

As I put it in an article about God and gender: “God is not gendered, nor a sexual being. God is a spirit, as we are told by Jesus himself in John 4:24: ‘God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’ Divine beings are not male nor female. But, God is also a personal being. God is not a human being, but is nonetheless personal.”

The fact that we are made in his image does not mean of course that we are spiritual, sexless beings. It means we share in his personal characteristics – we are people with mind, will and emotion. The fact that God made us of two different sexes – male and female – is the creational order and blueprint for how we are as sexual beings.

Nowhere in the creation account – or anywhere else in Scripture – are we told that the way God made mankind can involve choosing a different sex to the one we are born with. We are either male or female, end of story. Nowhere does the Bible tell us that our sex is a matter of indifference or of choice or of preference.

As to Heath’s woke nonsense, there of course is absolutely nothing in the entire Bible that could lead anyone to even remotely consider such a view. One would never get it from simply reading the Bible or doing sensible exegesis. It has to be imposed upon the biblical text as an artificial ideological construct.

There is no social construct to human sexuality, either in Scripture or in all of human experience. There is no biology or science that can back up the trans agenda. And there is no biblical data either. Our understanding of being made in the image of God must include God’s original intentions of creating us as male and female.

In his recent book on transgenderism, American Christian ethicist J. Alan Branch reminds us, “Our sexual identity as male or female is integral to being made in God’s image. If we can learn anything from GRS [gender reassignment surgery], perhaps we should learn the degree to which our sexual identity is profoundly related to our bodies.”

And another American ethicist, Andrew Walker speaks about God’s majestic blueprint in creation. He reminds us that mankind is the high point in creation since we are made in God’s image. And that means all of us, including our bodies: “Every aspect of who we are carries and reflects that dignity – our minds, our hearts, and our bodies. All are created, and all, therefore, carry value and are designed to have dignity. This means matter matters. Our bodies matter. Your body is not arbitrary; it is intentional. While you are more than your body, you are not less.” He continues:

To misunderstand, blur, or reject the Creator’s categories for humanity doesn’t just put us in rebellion against the Creator and creation — it puts us at odds with how each of us was made. Since God made a ‘very good’ world, with no flaws, and since that world included humans created as men and humans created as women, to strive to become different than or even the opposite of how God made us can never result in happiness, flourishing, and joy, whatever it promises.

Biblical studies professor Denny Burk puts it this way:

The creation norm described in Genesis involves biological complementarity for the purposes of procreation. Hence, God commands the couple, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). There is no spectrum here. There is a functioning biological dichotomy between male and female that enables procreation. In other words, what God calls “good” is binary sexual complementarity. This original situation does not present us with a spectrum. Rather, it presents us with sexual dimorphism.

The American author and commentator Nancy Pearcey also highlights these truths:

A biblical worldview leads to a positive view of the body. It says that the biological correspondence between male and female is part of the original creation. Sexual differentiation is part of what God pronounced “very good”—morally good—which means it provides a reference point for morality. There is a purpose in the physical structures of our bodies that we are called to respect. A teleological morality creates harmony between biological identity and gender identity. The body/person is an integrated psychosexual unity. Matter does matter.

Transgenderism is an absolute non-starter in biblical reality and in all other reality. Bruce Jenner the man is not and can never be a woman. The same with Jesus. He was born a male, lived a male, and died a male. Sure, as the God-man he is unique.

But Jesus the man was fully male and could never be anything else. To even suggest otherwise is the height of heresy and anti-biblical bigotry. But such is the culture we live in today. It is certainly to be found throughout the world, but increasingly it is filtering into the churches.

If you ever find this happening in a Christian church near you, your best response is likely to head for the hills.