Are We Sinners or Victims?

This short Bible study addresses some misunderstandings that confuse and mislead people.

Before doing this Bible study, please read the one-minute introduction: Using Discernment with Christian Testimonies. It explains how the judge-not movement is creating victims instead of believers. And it specifically examines the testimony of a woman who struggled with gender issues.

If you don't already understand that transgenderism is harmful to a person's heart, soul, and body, please see these devotions before doing this study:

What the Bible Teaches about Transgenderism

A Letter from a Reader Regarding Right and Wrong

A Necessary Explanation  

Now let's look at this woman's explanations and compare them with the teaching of Scripture.

1. This woman was offended when her Christian friends told her she should not pursue a transgender lifestyle. Were they doing the right thing?

Galatians 6:1: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”  
James 5:19-20: “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15: “Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.”  
Jude 1:22-23: “You must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” 

2 Corinthians 5:11, 14-15“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others.… Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”  

There are zero Scriptures telling us to be accepting of sinful lifestyles.

2. This woman held people and circumstances responsible for her choices. Can we blame our sinful choices on others?

James 1:13-15: “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” 

1 John 1:8-10“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” 
Consider the challenging circumstances, mistreatment, and temptations of Joseph. These one-minute devotions give insights into Joseph's choice not to sin:

3. Can we be Christians and live a sinful lifestyle?

1 John 3:9“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” 

1 John 5:18-19“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” 

1 John 3:3-4“All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” 
John 14:21“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

4. Should Christian churches accept transgender members? 

I'm not asking if Christians should allow LGBTQ people to attend their churches. Of course we should. I'm asking if we should accept them as members and remain silent about their decision to pursue sinful lifestyles.

Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 clearly explain the church’s responsibility in regard to members living sinful lifestyles. And the Scriptures below explain that we cannot love Christ and live a lifestyle of disobedience to His commands.

2 Timothy 4:2-5“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 

5. To summarize this woman's testimony, we could say that she saw herself as a victim, not a sinner. Is this scriptural? 

One example: The woman explained that she still harbors lots of resentment. And she claimed that Jesus told her that her resentment wasn't selfish but simply an aspect of her unmet needs. 
There are hundreds of Scriptures that refute this claim. In fact, all of the passages above refute it. So I'll simply add this one about resentment. Can you think of other passages that apply?
Hebrews 12:15: “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” 

Copyright 2023,

This short Bible study addresses some misunderstandings about sin that confuse and mislead people.

This short Bible study addresses some misunderstandings about sin that confuse and mislead people.

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