ACLN invited Paul Dirks to speak on gender dysphoria
by Debbie Cazander
The first Abbotsford Christian Leaders Network (ACLN) lunch of 2018 was held January 24 at Transform Central church and drew a larger-than-usual group of attendees.
Typically 40 to 50 local pastors and Christian leaders attend the monthly gathering, but this time approximately 110 people were in attendance. They were there to hear Paul Dirks, pastor of the New West Community Church who spoke on gender dysphoria and the SOGI issue.
Tim McIntosh, chairman of the ACLN, said the organizers had decided to ask Dirks to speak because the topic has become a current issue which “has sprung on to Canadian society and we want to speak out in love. We invited Paul Dirks because he has done the research.”
McIntosh welcomed Dirks to the podium who began by reading Isaiah 59 verse 14, “So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance, truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.” He shared how he had become aware of the issue of gender dysphoria about four years ago while he was on a council of parents at the school his children attended. He and his wife have five children. In order to gain insight into gender dysphoria he began to educate himself and in the process has read hundreds of studies and papers and has discovered much empirical data disproving much that is now commonly believed by many to be truth on the issue of gender dysphoria.
A significant finding was that in the vast majority of people who at one time indicated a desire to become the other gender, those feelings went away over time – a troubling predicament for individuals who have started the process down the road toward transition.
Another disturbing discovery was that for those who did transition, their lives did not usually improve in the long run. Although initially there was a sense of happiness, over the long term these feelings often did not remain and sadly the rates of suicide and drug use often increased.
Dirks encouraged those present that the church of Christ needs a rethink on sexuality and said it is vital that the God-given strengths and beauty within male and female are stressed and held in high esteem.
Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld was in attendance at the lunch. He has been vocal in his disagreement with the BC government sexual orientation and gender identity resource SOGI 123. He received much support from those present, including prayer.
Dirks will be one of the speakers at the Apologetics Canada Conference 2018 at Northview Community Church the first weekend of March. www.apologeticscanada.com
The next ACLN luncheon will be on February 21. The theme will be ‘First Responders’ and held appropriately at Fire Hall 6.