Actions speak louder than words. If you were to know me or my wife (and this particular blog post is a joint effort of both my wife and myself) through social media alone, you would see clearly that our family and the church we attend have only one response for sinners who are broken: come. Come and be loved by the Lord Jesus and us. Nothing you can do or have done can separate you from the love of Jesus. You are welcomed, forgiven, and rescued by Jesus, the true hero. You are made new through His blood alone. This includes all sinners: alcoholics, drug addicts, liars, cheaters, porn addicts, fornicators, thieves, child molesters, gays and lesbians, murderers, and transgender.
There is a myth out there that says in order to be welcoming and loving you need to be fully accepting and affirming of other people and their lifestyle. Here’s the problem with that: I’m not fully accepting and affirming of anyone’s lifestyle. Seriously. No one. Not my spouse. Not a single person. And you shouldn’t be of mine. We have all fallen short of God’s will, His Law, and the path that He has laid out for us.
Last Friday there was a 2 hour interview of a man, Bruce Jenner, who “Us Weekly” claimed has gone through an “Amazing Journey” as a man who is now self-proclaimed from here forward “for all intents and purposes a woman.” After the interview, the media hailed him as a hero. Here, they said, is “a brave and courageous man who was finally on the right path.” And then after the media had their turn, I saw and read a storm of Christians post similar sentiments lauding and praising his decision and labeling him as a hero.
I believe the intention from these Christians was to offer to Bruce love from Jesus. To extend to him an olive branch. To show the world that we Christians can be loving of someone who has been labeled as “different” in the past. My fear in this whole ordeal, however, is that by lauding Bruce Jenner as a hero, we are actually hurting him even more. At the root of all of this, Bruce Jenner is a sinner and he is in suffering and pain and has been from the day he was born.
The Bible teaches us to bring our sin, our pain, and our suffering to Jesus. And rather than doing that, I hear many outspoken Christians saying, “Good job Bruce. You’ve figured it out for yourself.” Except for one thing. He hasn’t. He may be able to cut off a body part and have some surgery but the pain and suffering he has now will continue until the day he dies unless he gives it to Jesus. Just changing your gender will not remove your pain. It won’t take away your suffering.
If you are a Christian, you have willingly signed up for and agreed that Jesus is your Lord, you follow Him alone, and that you work with Him to show people what the Kingdom of God looks like according to what we find in the Bible.
If you are an atheist, you are off the hook. You don’t have the Bible as your authority so you can think and write as you please and fight for whatever it is that you believe.
This is what the Bible says about sexuality:
Most basic to our understanding of sex is that God created two (and only two) genders: “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). All the modern-day speculation about numerous genders—or even a gender “continuum” with unlimited genders—is unbiblical.
In Psalm 139, we learn that God fashions each one of us. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. . . . My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. . . . your eyes saw my unformed body” (verses 13-16). God’s creation of each individual must surely include His designation of gender/sex. His wonderful work leaves no room for mistakes; no one is born with the “wrong body.”
After the fall of man, it did not take long for gender issues to become confused. In Abraham’s day, homosexuality was widespread in some cities (Genesis 19:1-7; Jude 7). The Bible is unmistakably clear that homosexuality is a sinful perversion of God’s gift of sexuality (Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
In the Law, transvestism / transvestitism was specifically forbidden: “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this” (Deuteronomy 22:5).
No matter if the gender distortion has a genetic, hormonal, physiological, or psychological cause, the Bible clearly and consistently labels any sexual activity outside of marriage or not between a man and a woman as sin, rebellion against God’s plan.
But following this realization is good news: sin can be forgiven and lives can be changed through faith in Christ. The Corinthian believers are an example of such a change: “And [homosexuals] is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). There is hope for any sinner, transsexuals, trans-genders, and transvestites included, because of God’s forgiveness available in Jesus Christ!
If you sign up to profess that the Bible is our ultimate truth and authority, then we cannot be hailing a person from the transgender community as a hero. Why? Because instead of offering this person the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ, you are affirming that all the pain they went through to get to where they are is part of God’s plan and is what God intended for their life. It absolutely isn’t.
And honestly, touting him as a hero and standing alongside is a lazy response: “Just have surgery and then you will be fine. Just go through some years and thousands of dollars and then you will be happy.” What is our involvement in that? Nothing.
What if they are seeped and broken by abuse, failed marriages, divorce, or pain and need help? That’s a lifetime of work for the body of Christ and requires much more involvement that just cheering for them from the sidelines.
Let me be clear on this: there is nothing heroic about sin. Nothing. Sin is cowardly. Sin is pathetic. And sin is what forced the one true hero this world has ever known to be brutally murdered on a cross. Through His death and resurrection sin has been defeated. But don’t think for a second that it was easy for Jesus. And don’t for a second lift up a sinner as a hero. When you do that you minimize what Jesus did and who He is!
So fellow Christians, extend love. Extend grace. Extend mercy. Extend your money, house, and time to help and build up. But please don’t glorify someone’s pain and sin and call it heroic. Because it just gets you off the hook and it’s sloppy faith that minimizes the work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only hero. And only he has the love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance that make an eternal difference.
Bruce Jenner is right about one thing. From the beginning he hasn’t felt right. Something has been off. This is true for all of us. We are all born sinners separated from Christ. We will not feel “right” until we are joined back with Christ. You do not join with Christ through changing certain body parts. You join with Christ by allowing Him to change your heart!
Lastly, here are two articles that informed this blog post: