Theologian John Piper has explained why Christian healthcare workers should not work in hospitals that perform body-mutilating sex-change surgeries, warning that doing so contradicts “God’s revealed will,” damages people and normalizes evil in the world.
On his Desiring God website, Piper, the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, addressed a question posed to him by a nurse who works in surgery pre-op and recovery for a hospital that performs so-called gender-reassignment surgeries.
“I play no role in the decisions made to undergo these surgeries,” she wrote. “I believe the decision itself is sinful. The question I cannot resolve is this: Is it sinful for me to serve as a nurse involved in the care of these patients in the pre-op and recovery settings?”
After highlighting why it is “good and appropriate for a Christian to work in an institution where perhaps nobody else is a believer,” the theologian explained why other settings are “inappropriate or harmful” for a believer.
He wrote that in hospitals, for example, both Christian and non-believing nurses pursue the same goal through “all kinds of surgeries, all kinds of medications, all kinds of therapies and policies of care and protection.” But while Christians view their work as an external form of “Christ-exalting love” and an act of worship, nonbelievers are motivated by “man-centered values.”
“Given what hospitals are for, there is a remarkable external behavioral overlap — like doing surgery or a short-term goal like making the patient comfortable — between the Christ-exalting love of the nurse and the man-centered, unbelieving humanism of the other staff. There’s an overlap of external forms of virtue,” he contended.
But sometimes, he said, the “overlap between Christ-exalting, faith-rooted Christian behavior and unbelieving behavior is lost.”
“For example, the hospital staff, instead of caring for old people, now may euthanize them, kill them. Instead of caring for mothers and babies in crisis pregnancies, they may kill the children. Instead of helping men flourish as men and women flourish as women, they pursue the illusion of surgically and hormonally turning men into women and women into men, which can never happen,” he wrote.
In such cases, the skill and ministry of the Christian healthcare worker “are no longer simply a bona fide participation in a common grace of healing done in the name of Jesus,” but instead used “in a setting where the external manifestations of God’s order are openly defied, and where untold damage is being done to sometimes desperate people.”
“Which means that your participation becomes, against your will, a support for contradicting God’s revealed will, for damaging people, and for bringing part of the ongoing normalization of evil in this hospital and in the world. So, I encourage you to seek the Lord earnestly for alternative ways to use your life-giving abilities,” he said.
In recent years, the conflict around Christian healthcare workers and transgender identity has grown increasingly tense as secular culture seeks to redefine what it means to be male and female.
Around 700,000 people younger than 25 identified as transgender in 2020, nearly double the estimate in 2017, according to statistics from the Williams Institute, a research center at the University of California, Los Angeles.
In the United Kingdom, referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service increased by over 4,000-fold in the past decade, as was documented by the trans-critical website TransgenderTrend.
In December, a federal appeals court blocked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from enforcing a regulation requiring medical professionals and health insurance providers to perform sex-change procedures against their beliefs.
The move came after U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra said the Biden administration supports taxpayers funding irreversible body-deforming surgeries and cross-sex hormones for youth suffering from gender confusion.
"The department follows the law, and is working to ensure that all patients, everywhere can access care free from discrimination, stigma and barriers," Becerra said.
"The Biden-Harris Administration supports the upcoming release of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards of Care Version 8 and believes that all children and adults should be afforded life-saving, medically necessary care," he continued. "Payers, both public and private, should cover treatments which medical experts have determined to be medically necessary."
According to Dr. Richard Land, executive editor for The Christian Post, 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 previously told CP.
Land recently contended that the issue of gender identity highlights the pervasive moral question of today: “Who and what is a human being?”
“Nothing illustrates that more vividly than the transgender issue. It is the ultimate rebellion against God and against male and female. The transgender movement wants to revolt against that to say that you can decide, and it is a catastrophe to put this in front of children and is the ultimate child abuse,” Land added.
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org