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By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter

The Rev. Franklin Graham rebuked the notion that Jesus Christ
has a "trans body" after a research student at the University of
Cambridge made that assertion during a sermon, offending many
churchgoers in the process.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Graham reacted to the outrage
that ensued after Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow at
Cambridge, delivered a sermon at the school’s Trinity College on
Nov. 20, likening Jesus’ side wound and blood flowing to the groin
in Jean Malouel’s 1400 work Pietà to looking like a vagina.

John 19:34 says that when Jesus was crucified and died on the
cross before His Resurrection, Roman soldiers broke the legs of
the two men who were crucified alongside Him, but seeing that
Jesus was already dead, one of the Roman soldiers decided not to
break Jesus' legs but instead pierced His side with a spear, "and at
once there came out blood and water."

According to The Telegraph, Heath displayed three paintings at a
Sunday sermon, including the depiction of Jesus' crucifixion.
Heath contended that the wound, also depicted in the 14th century
Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg, “takes on a decidedly
vaginal appearance.” The Telegraph also reported that Heath
discussed “non-erotic depictions of Christ’s penis in historical art,”
which the research fellow maintained “urge a welcoming rather
than hostile response toward the raised voices of trans people.”

“In Christ’s simultaneously masculine and feminine body in these
works, if the body of Christ as these works suggest the body of all
bodies, then his body is also the trans body,” Heath declared.
Heath’s sermon prompted considerable outrage, with one
churchgoer writing a letter to Trinity College’s Dean Michael
Banner recalling how they “left the service in tears.”

Graham joined the chorus of criticism directed at Heath’s sermon,
which he described as “repulsive and shameful.” The prominent
televangelist and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association and Samaritan’s Purse asserted that “to insinuate that
Jesus Christ, the Holy Son of God, is transgender or to sexualize
in any way His sacrificial death on the Cross for the sins of
mankind is utter heresy.”

Noting that “the Bible warns us about false teachers,” Graham
maintained that “this speaker and the dean at the University of
Cambridge who defended him are false teachers, preaching
heresy.” Graham insisted that “people don’t need messages from
the pulpit that are trying to interpret art like this speaker was —
people need the truth of the Word of God that has the power of
God to change hearts and lives for eternity!”

“The Bible warns us to beware … ‘there will be false teachers among you,
who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master
who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction,’” he
concluded. As Graham alluded to, top officials at the University of
Cambridge stood by Heath following the firestorm that erupted due to his

For his part, Banner defended the sermon as “legitimate.” In a
statement obtained by The Telegraph, the academic summarized
the thesis of the speech as a suggestion “that we might think about
these images of Christ’s male/female body as providing us with
ways of thinking about issues around transgender questions today.”

“For myself, I think that speculation was legitimate, whether or not
you or I or anyone else disagrees with the interpretation, says
something else about that artistic tradition, or resists its application
to contemporary questions around transsexualism,” he added.
Banner insisted that “he would not issue an invitation to someone
who I thought would deliberately seek to shock or offend a
congregation or who could be expected to speak against the
Christian faith.”

A spokesperson for the school issued a statement describing the
sermon as an exploration of religious art “in the spirit of thoughtprovoking
academic inquiry, and in keeping with open debate and
dialogue at the University of Cambridge.”

As reported in The Christian Post, lawyers for the U.K.-based
group Christian Concern called into question Cambridge’s
commitment to “open debate and dialogue” earlier this year when
contending that the school’s Fitzwilliam College violated national
law by canceling an event organized by a group opposed to samesex

A member of Fitzwilliam College’s staff told the event's organizer,
Wilberforce Academy, that its views were “not compatible with the
values of the college.” The values of the college, as identified on
the University of Cambridge’s website and outlined in the school’s
response to Heath’s sermon, include an expectation that staff and
students “be tolerant of the differing opinions of others, in line with
the university’s core value of freedom of expression.” The
university also expressed the importance of tolerating the “diverse
identities” of others.

Heath is not the only person to attempt to tie Jesus to LGBT
ideology in recent weeks. On ABC’s daytime talk show “The
View” earlier this month, co-host Sunny Hostin declared that
“Jesus would be the grand marshal at the pride parade,” implying
that Christ would fully support the LGBT movement at the center of
the annual event.

Franklin Graham rebukes claim Jesus has transgender body, vagina |
World News (christianpost.com)

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