Caitlin Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, has been in the news a lot recently and it is not because of the success of Keeping up with the Kardashians. It is because of his well-publicized switch from being a male to a woman. Jenner has been the headline of a Diane Sawyer interview, a new reality show has been green lighted with him as the star, and he is now a coveted speaker at many transgender events (where he charges a mighty fee I might add; $40,000 per appearance at last check). I will refer to him as a ‘he’ throughout this article, since his biological DNA will always define him as a male no matter what physical changes he makes to himself. How should Christians think about this transgender movement? I will try to tackle this issue in this month’s article.
First, we must make it very clear that God defines gender, not people. He created them male and female (Gen 1:27) and He forms individuals in the womb (Jer 1:5). Defining what gender a person is is not up to the subjective feelings of the person, but up to the God who wrote the person’s DNA. What is so surprising about this transgender movement happening nowadays is that it is all housed in the realm of subjectivity. If a man ‘feels’ like using the women’s restroom, because he identifies as a female that day, he goes ahead. If a woman ‘feels’ like a man, she should think of herself as such, the transgender supporters will say. This is so bizarre since most of the transgender supporters would probably be those who don’t believe in God because of the lack of ‘hard’ evidence. Yet, they support transgenders even without any scientific proof that the person is another gender. The inherent contradiction of this world view is found in that Jenner is celebrated as a hero, yet the white woman who pretended to be black was mocked and joked about. What separates the two? They both define themselves subjectively. How can the public accept one and not the other?
We can’t live in the realm of subjectivity, we must live in a world of objective truth. What if I didn’t ‘feel’ like going to work? Or if I didn’t ‘feel’ like paying my mortgage? There would be serious consequences! Yet with gender, somehow we have allowed subjective feelings to be the determiner of truth. This is a dangerous and conflicting worldview to uphold.
Second, God condemns any type of gender switching in His Word. Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” I don’t know how much clearer that could be. “But isn’t that the Old Testament?”, some people may ask. Ok, look at 1 Cor 6:9 where ‘effeminate’ males are grouped as those not inheriting the kingdom of God. An effeminate male is a male trying to imitate a woman or act like a woman; just like Bruce Jenner. Even in all the passages about character traits of women and men it is never even hinted that a confusion between male/female is possible or encouraged.
It is no surprise that our culture has accepted the transgender movement, even to the point of celebrating it. Jenner is up for an award at the ESPY’s. The Bible says the “whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19) so if God says it is wrong then the world will say that it is right. That is nothing but the plan of Satan: to malign, destroy, confuse what God has said. Transgenders are told to “be what they truly are” yet at least one study suggests transgenders are more depressed and more suicidal AFTER gender transition than they were before. Once again, we cannot live in the realm of subjectivity.
What should Christians do? First, we need to recognize this is where our culture is heading. The things that God says are wrong the world will say is right. Second, embrace how God made you, and encourage others to do the same. He created them male and female, there is no third category. Lastly, remember transgenders are people who are entangled by the deceitfulness of sin. They need Christ and they need mercy, not ridicule and scorn. But the truth of Christ must be proclaimed to set them free.
Pastor Mark Scialabba