I was invited to be in a local drag show. As a cisgender heterosexual disciple, I thought it would be fun to dress up and perform a song. I want my LGBTQIA2S+ friends to know I am in solidarity with them in our small rural community. It’s an opportunity to celebrate free expression and emotional honesty. Is this acceptable under biblical guidelines? Why/why not?
What a testament to your unconditional love and positive regard for your LGBTQ+ friends that you, a Christian, were invited to be a part of this show. I appreciate the wrestling match in your heart to find the messy middle space as you balance out love and righteousness in seeking a clear conscience in this situation. Below are a few thoughts I have on the matter:
Seeking a clear conscience before God is always my go-to directive for any kind of “messy middle” consideration. Your conscience may allow one thing while mine may allow another. Conscience considerations can be influenced by spiritual advisors, but we ultimately make them kneeling at the feet of Jesus. It is important to note, though, that a clear conscience does not mean a “gut decision.” Our consciences are not ruled by our emotions, but by the Spirit. A clear conscience seeks to honor God in all decisions and motivations for those decisions. What helps me is to imagine standing before God and going through the playbook of my life with Him on judgement day – how might He respond to 1). The action and 2). The motivation for the action
Compassion/Empathy/Validation is a wonderful part of God’s heart and one that we should wholeheartedly aim to imitate! I so appreciate your heart to want to stand in the messy middle and uphold other people’s honor and integrity as they enact their God-given free will however they’d like to. That said, compassion never changes God’s standard of righteousness/boundaries for His people. For example, Jesus had tremendous compassion for the rich young ruler in Mark 10, but His answer/standard did not change in His compassion.
Celebrating sin vs. Having compassion. We are most certainly called to have compassion for people, even in their sin; but we are never called to celebrate that sin; especially since we have more of an eternal perspective on what that sin is doing to our friends’ hearts and to God. God grieves and mourns for the distance between His lost children, while still honoring and respecting their free will to live their lives however they’d like and having immense amounts of compassion for them in their sin and brokenness. Your conscience consideration may include: “Am I crossing a line into celebrating sin here?”
The Bible does command that God’s people not cross gender boundaries – it even includes clothing in that command (Deuteronomy 22:5). Now, we certainly don’t want to be legalistic about that, but we also want to try to capture the Spirit in which that boundary was set for God’s people – respecting the gender binary God set for us by not departing from it. Part of your conscience consideration here may be – is it ok for me to engage in disregarding the gender binary by dressing in drag with the intent of showing solidarity to my friends?
I pray that the Spirit leads you in making a decision that both honors your identity in Christ and your friends’ identity.
Sign up for Ellen’s Monthly Newsletter and gain immediate access to Ellen’s comprehensive resource guide exploring the intersections of sex, sexuality, gender, LGBTQ+ topics, and parenting within the context of faith.