Following the release of her book, “To Be a Woman: The Confusion Over Female Identity and How Christians Can Respond,” author Katie McCoy continues to speak out about how cultural norms have generated confusion about gender — specifically how biological sex is seen as something that can be changed. McCoy recently spoke with ALCAP President and CEO Greg Davis on his radio program, Priority Talk.
From the fringe to the center
McCoy, director of women’s ministry for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, explained that she wrote the book because, as she was teaching in seminary, her students were increasingly encountering what, at first, seemed to be “fringe issues.”
RELATED: Check out other stories on McCoy’s book here.
“These were some anomalies in the news,” McCoy said. “We would hear about transgender identity. But gradually that became more and more common.” References consistently increased in entertainment news and academic contexts, she noted. “Now it has trickled down even to the elementary schools.”
Churches and parents are struggling to navigate
Now “we have so many people who are trying to navigate the cultural moment we are in,” McCoy noted. It’s an increasing challenge to help families, students, teachers and church members and leaders deal with what has become a very confusing topic.
“Wherever social media is,” she explained, “this is there.” She shared how she was recently in a small rural church in Texas and stunned to discover “this issue, this question” is affecting them. “It has pervaded all of society” due to social media proliferation. As a result, an “entire generation” is being influenced by ideas that too often lead them to irreversible choices, she said.
Countering the LGBTQ “community”
A challenge for churches is that the LGBTQ culture, those who endorse and advocate for transgender rights, “is very much a community.” The message that kids who are struggling with identity issues and same-sex attraction hear from them is that, McCoy said, your families may reject you, but we will accept and embrace you.
In her book, McCoy shares the story of Heather who was a new Christian dealing with same-sex attraction.
“She needed someone to come along side her,” said McCoy, “and disciple her in how to live a biblical sexual ethic.” Her church failed to help her so she turned to the LGBTQ community. They embraced her, but in doing so, added to her confusion and led her into irreversible choices she now regrets. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit persisted in her life and she returned to Christ and a biblical lifestyle. She is now actively warning others about this danger.
Searching for answers
McCoy points to how these women need discipling and therapy, not “gender affirming care” or treatments. Her book focuses on women because ”this issue disproportionately affects adolescent women and girls.”
A startling statistic she offers in her book is that 80% of LGBTQ women come from a religious background. She says this is due in part because we are in a post-Christian time. “We have a generation growing up [in the church] with a normalization of these identities, desires, choices and behaviors,” she noted, yet they don’t hear a biblical, rational, factual rebuttal that explains how to be human and sexual in a God-created God-imaged manner.
Churches and parents need to be aware that their kids “are searching for these deep significant questions of what it means to be a happy and whole and fulfilled human being,” McCoy noted. In other words, the issues related to gender are not “out there” but right in the church.
“It also really dovetails into the deconstruction movement,” McCoy said. This is because there is the sense that they have to either choose church and religion, or the find acceptance in the LGBTQ community.
To counteract this, McCoy said, the church needs “to recapture the true meaning of community and family, that sense of identity that is formed within the family of God.”
She emphasized that this “is not a fleeting fad” but a persistent issue that needs a “clear, cogent biblically based response.”
Listen to the entire interview at Priority Talk. Her book can be purchased wherever books are sold.