Trans Baptist minister forced to resign : comment

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Dr Susannah Cornwall, Associate Professor in Constructive Theologies, University of Exeter. S.M.Cornwall@exeter.ac.uk

“Gender transition is understood by some conservative Christians as a rejection of one’s God-given body, as going beyond the bounds of what it’s legitimate for us as humans to do with our bodies. But many trans people of faith, like Revd Junia Joplin, hold that it is by going through transition that they are able to more fully and authentically live out God’s purposes for them, and more effectively minister to others. The very close result of the congregational vote at Lorne Park Baptist Church, which resulted in her removal as pastor, illustrates the intensity of conviction among Christians with different convictions about the legitimacy of gender transition. Sadly, Revd Junia Joplin is not the first Christian leader whose ministry has been brought into question because of their trans identity, but her removal is likely to cause other trans people to ask whether the church is a safe and affirming place for them.”