The theological angle: Neo-Gnosticism, the meaning of being human
The claim that a person can have a sexed body but a gendered brain, a body-mind split, a “mismatch” between their gender identity and their biological sex is not a particularly unique idea, though it might seem new, theologians say.
In a short letter to the editor of the U.K. Times published in August 2017, renowned Anglican theologian and author N.T. Wright opined that the contemporary confusion about gender identity in youth “is a modern, and now internet-fueled, form of the ancient philosophy of Gnosticism.”
He continued, “[t]he Gnostic, one who ‘knows,’ has discovered the secret of ‘who I really am,’ behind the deceptive outward appearance.”
“This involves denying the goodness, or even the ultimate reality, of the natural world. Nature, however, tends to strike back, with the likely victims in this case being vulnerable and impressionable youngsters who, as confused adults, will pay the price for their elders’ fashionable fantasies,” he said.
In CP's 2017 article series on the many facets of transgender ideology, CP executive editor and outgoing Southern Evangelical Seminary President Richard Land said that when a human being takes on a transgender identity it's the epitome of self-idolatry and an affront to God’s created order.
"It is the ultimate attempt to become one's own god. I want to be different than the way God made me, so I'm going to employ modern medical science to change my gender, chemically and surgically," Land said at the time.
"The religion of America today is narcissism. … We want to define our own version of truth of who we are regardless of anything else."
Land believes that a particularly pressing philosophical question that all Christians must consider today is: “What is a human being?' The forces at work within modern culture ... are self-centered."
Echoing Wright, Land further explained that at the root of the transgender movement is a resurgent Gnostic view that the body and mind are not united, coupled with the hedonistic creed of the sexual revolution that “if it feels good, do it."
"The sacred trinity of modern man is I, myself and me. And it is only with modern science that people have the ability to claim they can change their gender and seek to do so," he added.