Transgender Swimmers, Becoming a Sending Church & Churches Still Recovering from Pandemic
The organization that governs competitive swimming events around the world has ruled that swimmers who identify as transgender women and who began transitioning after the age of 11 cannot compete in women’s swimming events. FINA made the announcement June 19. “The local, New Testament church is not the goal,” Vance Pitman, president of Send Network, said of church planting during a Send Network panel discussion over breakfast, part of the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting. And in 2020, pandemic restrictions made it more difficult to attend church services. Many haven’t returned to an in-person service.
The organization that governs competitive swimming events around the world has ruled that swimmers who identify as transgender women and who began transitioning after the age of 11 cannot compete in women’s swimming events. FINA made the announcement June 19.
The rationale for the rule is the inherent physical advantages afforded to males who undergo puberty as males, such as increased muscle mass and lung capacity, that give them an edge over biological females.
In March, Lia Thomas became the first athlete identifying as a transgender woman to win an NCAA championship in the 500-yard freestyle competition.
“This decision highlights God’s design of both men and women as distinct but equal in terms of worth and value. Hormone treatments and gender therapies cannot alter the unchanging fact of being created male or female in the image of God,” said Jason Thacker, director of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s Research Institute.
“The local, New Testament church is not the goal,” Vance Pitman, president of Send Network, said of church planting during a Send Network panel discussion over breakfast, part of the 2022 SBC Annual Meeting.
“The local, New Testament church is the tool established by Jesus for the expansion of the kingdom in cities and nations around the world,” Pitman said. “The real endgame is the kingdom of God.”
The discussion, moderated by Trevin Wax, centered on creating a sending mindset in a local congregation.
Any local church will eventually die, Pitman said, pointing to the churches planted by the apostle Paul in Ephesus, Colossae, and Philippi that are “dead and gone,” but t he kingdom of God, “is alive and well.”
The first step in developing a sending culture, Pitman said, is to recognize that the purpose of the local church is to focus on a mission grander than itself.
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In 2020, pandemic restrictions made it more difficult to attend church services. Many haven’t returned to an in-person service.
The pandemic has greatly affected teenagers and young adults.
Lifeway Research found 66 percent of churchgoing teenagers drop out for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22 making it even more challenging those affected by the pandemic to return to in-person services.
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