As secular culture continues to promote transgenderism, popularized by the transformation of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn, a group of Christians counselors will be tackling transgender issues and how the church responds next month at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.
"We wanted to do this conference because we saw that the issue of transgender was one that was getting a great deal of attention in the culture, but not understood well from a Christian perspective," said Association of Certified Biblical Counselors Executive Director Heath Lambert to The Christian Post.
"We want to inform Christians about a biblical perspective on this matter so that we are most equipped to show care to people who will be damaged by the current approach to this issue in our culture."
The event is cosponsored by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and its scheduled speakers include Lambert, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler Jr., and Boyce College Biblical Studies professor Denny Burk.
"At ACBC we believe the Bible teaches that a person cannot possess a gender other than the one they were biologically assigned by God Himself at birth," said Lambert.
"We believe that those who resist a thankful embrace of their biological gender are in need of the comforting and empowering grace of God, available to all who place their trust in Jesus Christ as resurrected Savior."
The event will serve as a preconference to the ACBC annual conference, scheduled to be held Oct. 5-7, whose theme is centered on the topic of homosexuality.
"The Christian community cannot only be known as the people who understand that homosexuality is wrong," reads an announcement for the conference.
"It is a matter of urgent concern that we also be known as the people who move toward people struggling with homosexuality with the love, grace, power, and hope of Jesus Christ and walk with them through the door to real and lasting change."
Plenary speakers for the annual conference, which expects approximately 1,200 attendees, will include a wide range of experts, including professors, authors, theologians, and counselors.
In recent years, the debate on sexual ethics has increasingly focused on gender identity and individuals who do not identify as either male or female.
Figures like Caitlyn Jenner have drawn national attention to the transgendered community, with some arguing that gender identity will be the next civil rights movement.
Lambert of the ACBC disagreed with that conclusion, telling CP that the struggles of African-Americans to gain equality were fundamentally different from the transgender movement.
"African-American persons were shamefully abused and mistreated in the middle of the last century for no other reason than being created by God with a dark color of skin," said Lambert.
"The irony of the problem of transgender is that these troubled men and women are actually in rebellion against who God made them to be. It is not the desire of any faithful Christian to abuse or mistreat such people, but to call them to a gracious embrace of who God created them."