How did we get here? Have we always been here, but could it be that I’ve been too blind to see it? Am I the only one who sees this as more than a religiously moral issue?
What I’m talking about is Transgender Identity. Maybe you are unfamiliar with this identification – if so, this article may be a great discovery into the world we live or it will make you cynical to those around you. Either way, one can’t be indifferent to the growing acceptance to this identity. So what is transgender anyway? Simply put, transgender is “the state of one’s gender identity or gender expression not matching one’s assigned sex.” If you are unaware of today’s trend, transgender identity has been pervasive in the United States for the last 50 years. This is not something, like many trends, that I believe will go away any time soon, or ever. So how do Christians respond to this newly embraced lifestyle? Before I give my thoughts on the matter, let me paint the current cultural norms as they are developing.
One can’t help but notice Bruce Jenner these days. His frequent appearances in the tabloids have been preeminent. Jenner is most notably known for winning the Olympic Decathlon Gold Medal in 1976 in Montreal. Since then, Jenner has been seen on television, auto-racing circuits, owning an aviation supplier and an aerobic center. Jenner has had 3 wives (his 3rd divorce to Kris Kardashian was finalized on March 23, 2015), 6 biological children, not to mention being a stepfather to Kourtney, Kim, Khloé and Rob Kardashian. The point of all this detail is that it is readily available to anyone looking at what a transgender lifestyle could look like. Now I don’t know Bruce Jenner and am not an authority to judge his faith, so I can not say where he stands with Christ. I can say however that we are all accountable to God for our actions. “You then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written; ‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10-12 NIV)
What are we to make of the popularity and acceptance of transgender identity? Bruce Jenner is NOT an isolated incident. If you’ve been on Amazon lately, you more than likely saw their TV Show, Transparent (now in its second season). In its first season, this show won a Golden Globe Award for Best Televison Series (Musical or Comedy). In fact, Jeffery Tambor won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Television Series (Musical or Comedy) for his portrayal (of a retired college professor who identifies as a woman). Have you heard of RuPaul, Laverne Cox or Tiq Milan? Each of these individuals are heralded in the media as brave and noble pioneers for their public transgender identity. As colleges and gyms change their bathroom and locker room policies to reflect this lifestyle, we are left scratching our heads. So back to the original question; How did we get here?
I believe this all stems from a thing called original sin. Let me be clear here, I am not saying that one sin is greater than another, nor am I attempting to highlight one sin while discarding other sins as insignificant. All sin is deserving of death (Romans 6:23), conversely, all sin has been defeated by the work and person of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:25-26). I, just like any other human being to walk the earth stand condemned under the Law of God (Galatians 3:10-11). God help us.
Back to my point. If Adam and Eve desired only what God had given them, which was everything good from His hand and not given into temptation of what was forbidden, would today’s desires of the world be any different? Just like Adam and Eve had the choice to willingly disobey God, we too have the choice to live outside of His good and perfect will for our lives. The Bible says, “Take delight in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). I think the disconnect with each of us comes when we skip the “take delight in the LORD” and go automatically onto the “desires of your heart”. Most people believe that the emotions that come from the heart are good and pleasing, but if those desires omit taking delight in the LORD, they will lead to sin. Scripture makes this clear when Jesus says, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you” (Mark 7:20-23)
My sin falls under Jesus’ list of heart issues as does every other human being, young and old alike. Where do we go from here? We go to the cross of Christ, we run to His mercies for our daily lives, we embrace our Savior and not our carnal heart’s desires. In a post-Christian America, We (Jesus following disciples) are faced with a challenge to either affirm our faith in Jesus Christ or to play the sacred/secular game as we embrace the folly of our Godless hearts and become part of the growing secular nationalism we see reshaping our nation. May we learn from the fall of the Roman Empire as well as those people living on the continent of Africa today. May we guard our hearts from its godless desires. May we take delight in the things He has ordered for our daily living and may we find our new identity in Jesus Christ, as fully redeemed, fully saved, and fully loved by the God of the universe.