Christians’ insistence on hitting back hard at public controversies has yet again made us look like insensitive fools who don’t actually care about people but care more about being “right” instead of doing both.
What he most closely resembles is a mentally disordered man who is being manipulated by disingenuous liberals and self-obsessed gay activists. Far from having the appearance of a genuine woman, he reminds me of someone who is being abandoned to his delusions by a culture of narcissistic imbeciles. I feel a great deal of compassion when I gaze upon this tragic sight — especially because post-op “transgenders” very often regret their decision, and in many cases attempt suicide — but few share my love or concern for him.
But if you read the rest of his piece, there was no love or concern. There was simply an insistence on calling him/her “Bruce” and over and over again stating that he/she was a shame to women and killing feminism.
How in the world is it possible that with a straight face the culture can all of a sudden begin speaking of a living person in the past tense and now speaking of a new person in the present and toward the future – who knows for how long? But in its essence that actually points to the impossibility of the whole transgender project. It speaks to the fact that the secular worldview behind this and even those who are the religious enablers by terms of their argument can’t deal with the fact that Bruce Jenner, is still very much alive and is still very much in public view. Now going by the name Caitlyn, but referring to Bruce Jenner in the past tense, isn’t actually fooling anyone, including the people who insist that’s exactly how Bruce Jenner should now be addressed.
There was mention of compassion and love, but most importantly, Mohler said, was insisting that gender transition was impossible.
I agree with facets of Walsh and Mohler’s arguments. Caitlyn/Bruce chose to sin in rebelling against the creative nature of God in designing him/her the way he/she originally was.
But is that the most important thing that Christians really have to say in all of this? Must we spend all this time insisting on things being a certain way that we forget to show love, that we forget to actually have compassion on people?
One thing that gets overlooked in this whole scenario is the root issue behind these changes. My guess, and I could be wrong, is that people who want to change genders feel some sort of dissatisfaction with the way God made them. And that’s the root cause of any type of sin – a dissatisfaction with the way things are. And that’s not always a purposeful, sinful choice. Perhaps their life circumstances have made things hard for them, and they’re looking for an escape. Perhaps someone said something derogatory to them once and it stuck, causing them to make the change they did. There could be a number of reasons. Whatever it is, there was a discontentment with their current circumstances and they did whatever they could to make a change.
Let me be honest: if a friend came up to me and said he/she was considering changing their gender, my first reaction would be to tell them to not do it because it’s wrong. But here’s what I should say.
Following Jesus leads to so much more satisfaction than changing your gender. Following Jesus leads to so much more satisfaction than drinking a bunch of alcohol. Following Jesus leads to so much more satisfaction than lying to get out of trouble at work. Following Jesus leads to so much more satisfaction than viewing pornography. Following Jesus leads to so much more satisfaction than over-eating.
The thing that gets lost in all of these messes is the root issue behind the person choosing the path they do. Oh, we’ll talk about the culture’s root sin: ignorance of God’s Word, neglecting the way God has created things, etc. But we don’t want to dive deeper and look at where there’s probably a lot of hurt.
In a preview of the Vanity Fair cover story:
Jenner tells (reporter Buzz) Bissinger that Bruce was “always telling lies.” (She even describes doing public appearances after winning the gold medal, where “underneath my suit I have a bra and panty hose and this and that and thinking to myself, They know nothing about me. . . . Little did they know I was totally empty inside.”) Caitlyn, she says, “doesn’t have any lies.”
Jenner felt “empty inside.” It’s reported that he/she also struggled with “gender identity disorder,” a medical condition that causes people to be discontent with their gender.
I can’t speak to the process of the medical condition, but the only hope for fixing any kind of mental or emotional hole, for mending that brokenness, is a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s a relationship that Bruce/Caitlyn can still have! I believe that no gender transition can take away a person’s opportunity to be a child of God.
But Christians often miss that part, miss the idea that there’s something much deeper to be fixed than the person’s faulty view of gender. There was probably some depression and anxiety, some insecurity, some feeling of loneliness. And, for whatever reason, Bruce/Caitlyn thought that changing his/her gender was the right way to go. What are we as a Church doing if we fail to let people know more than that him/her doing that is sinful? While that may be true, Jesus didn’t just walk around saying everything that everyone was doing was sinful. He also said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
I relate to that depression, anxiety, insecurity and loneliness. I’ve been there. I’ve never had the urge to change my gender, but I’ve committed sins in response to those feelings of depression, anxiety, etc. And just because I didn’t change my gender doesn’t make me any better than Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. As the body of Christ, we need to be far more concerned with the root feelings and issues that lead to decisions like this. It’s a shame that in Christianity we like to try to fix the surface problems when the root issues are far more common and, in my opinion, far more deadly.
It’s in approaching those issues where we have the better opportunity to live like Jesus, to show compassion and love. We can still confront sin and say that something is wrong, but we also have the opportunity to do far better things than just condemn. Love is telling the truth, but not just in the area that’s staring you in the face, but in the areas that are deeper and more impactful on the person.
Can’t we just be the Good Samaritan to these people?
But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:33-37)