We write as a group of church leaders to express our grave concern at the portrayal of Jesus as transgender in a performance at a theatre in Belfast on Sunday November 15.
The traditional teaching of the church, expressed in it’s historic creeds, clearly portrays Jesus Christ as the eternal Son of God.
As the Bible says, he is ‘the exact imprint’ of his Father in heaven (Hebrews 1.3) and the good news of the Christian message entirely depends on this unique and unchangeable relationship.
Although in his incarnation he is male, the New Testament is very clear that his death upon the cross is for all. All have sinned and all can be redeemed through faith in him, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, social class or any other human distinction. There is therefore no need for any other Jesus.
A presentation of a different Jesus, such as a transgender Jesus, is just one particular version of a ‘DIY Jesus’ which will not only be regarded as offensive by Christian believers but also by Christ himself.
We say this because at the heart of Christianity is not an impersonal philosophy or a religious idea that can be changed with time and culture.
Instead the historic Christian faith and all that it offers is thoroughly personal and relational. It rests on the reality of a living person, God himself who came to earth in his Son Jesus, Lord and Saviour.
The performance will therefore cause great offence and for this reason we respectfully urge that it may not happen.
Tim Anderson, Rector St. Elizabeth’s Church Dundonald; Johnny Beare, Youth Leader, St. Elizabeth’s Dundonald; Peter Bourke, Associate Minister St. Elizabeth’s Dundonald; Stuart Crooks, Pastor Dundonald Baptist Church; Trevor Johnston, All Saint’s, University Street, Belfast; Ivan de Lima Goncalves, Pastoral Worker St. Elizabeth’s Dundonald; David Luckman, Crosslinks Ireland; William Press, Rector Knockbreda Parish, Belfast