By Steve DuPlessie | May 13, 2019
Ok, so I spoke off-cuff, extemporaneously yesterday (May 12, 2019) in the middle of a sermon on Living to hear “Well done!” (listen or download here) about acting as salt to preserve what is good – from Jesus’ statement, “You are the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13-16).
I launched into the question, “What needs preserving in our culture today? What’s at risk?” And I suggested the answer is, the family: “The whole idea, the concept of family is God’s idea; the ideal environment for raising the next generation of kids. And that’s a man and a woman, committed to each other in a loving, respectful, stable relationship.”
I continued, “After centuries of a common, shared understanding of what a family is, the concept of the family is under attack in ways your parents couldn’t even imagine. And now the new front of transgender identities is putting even more pressure on God’s very intentional design for one woman and one man to raise a family. “
And then I said (unscripted) something like, “The whole transgender thing is just giving God the finger…, an act of rebellion against God’s design and order.”
So to be clear, now that I have a moment to be thoughtful and more careful about my words … I wouldn’t change anything about what I said. If the Fall in the Garden by Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1-19) was sin because it was calculated rebellion – deliberate disobedience against what God had said – then the new focus on transgender identity is no less sin, no less defiance of God’s design, God’s order.
Genesis 1:26-27 tells us God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness … So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” God created just two biological sexes, male and female, apparent at birth in the baby’s XX or XY chromosomes and obvious anatomical sex characteristics.
It is true, a small percentage of births result in a baby that is intersex, “individuals born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, ‘do not fit the typical definitions for male or female bodies.’” That number is anywhere between 0.07%-0.00067% of births – significantly less than 1% of the population.
But the fast-growing transgender movement is not the result of a sudden and dramatic increase in birth defects. Rather it is the result of a militantly secular ideological shift in academia, and the resultant influence on culture, children and young adults in particular. In fact, most calling themselves transgender today are perfectly normal, healthy though mentally and socially confused individuals. This confusion is called Gender Dysphoria by doctors and mental health professionals.
Rather than biology, the determining factor for an individual saying they are transgender has become how they feel — do they think they are in fact the opposite sex from their birth sex. The issue is confused thinking, possibly even a mental disorder, not confused biology.
In the pursuit of yet another personal statement of significance and independence, children and young adults are being encouraged – by peers, some teachers, some counselors, some medical professionals, and primarily by popular media and social media – to question the sex label of male or female that was assigned to them at birth.
So perfectly normal girls—some as young as 8 years old are directed by medical professionals to take male testosterone hormones to delay menarche, then other hormones that will effectively sterilize them, later undergo disfigurement surgery to remove their breasts, then begin a lifetime of hormone treatments to overcome their biological design, plus possible additional mutilation surgeries to remove their female organs and attempt to create male-looking genitals.
And boys are encouraged to take hormones that block puberty, have emasculating surgery, breast augmentation surgery, and begin a lifetime of hormone treatments to overcome their biological design. All for no other reason than “I don’t like who God made me to be – I want to be something else, so I’ll reject God’s design and actually destroy God’s design with life-altering surgery and chemicals.”
An Act of Rebellion
This radical, life-altering decision is nothing less than rebellion against God – with devastating, life-long consequences that include sterilization or infertility, multiple elective surgeries, life-long dependency on hormone altering drugs (all which have yet undetermined risks), and an 46% elevated risk of suicide: “More than half of transgender male teens who participated in the survey reported attempting suicide in their lifetime, while 29.9 percent of transgender female teens said they attempted suicide.”
Not all medical professionals agree that this is a wise or necessary course of action. “Dr. Kenneth Zucker, long acknowledged as a foremost authority on gender identity issues in children, has also been a lifelong advocate for gay and transgender rights. However, much to the consternation of adult transgender activists, Zucker believes that gender-dysphoric pre-pubertal children are best served by helping them align their gender identity with their anatomic sex. This view ultimately cost him his 30-year directorship of the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.”
Led by the very-public stories of 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner’s transition in 2015 to “Caitlyn,” and Wikki-leaks convict Bradley Manning’s transition to “Chelsea Elizabeth,” the whole transgender movement has become a prominent 21st century media phenom.
The ideological basis for this new transgender trend is seen in the ever-growing list of “identities” that define new concepts of gender – such as cisgender or “cis” (for normal people!), gender fluid, gender non-conforming, gender-queer, non-binary, queer, questioning, skliosexual, transsexual, etc..
That list is accompanied by a faster growing list of personal pronouns that transgender and gender-questioning individuals use instead of “he or she” and “his or hers” to describe themselves such as He/She — Zie, Sie, Ey, Ve, Tey, E; Him/Her — Zim, Sie, Em, Ver, Ter, Em; His/Her — Zir, Hir, Eir, Vis, Tem, Eir; His/Hers — Zis, Hirs, Eirs, Vers, Ters, Eirs; Himself/Herself — Zieself, Hirself, Eirself, Verself, Terself, Emself. The list continues to grow. And proper gender etiquette demands you ask a person which pronouns they prefer to be identified by.
All of which is another way of saying, “Notice me; I’m different.” What remains unsaid is “I am desperate to be known and loved as I am, but I’m struggling with that because I don’t like who God made me to be.” Which means we need to relate in grace-filled love for these broken individuals, and help them find their true identity as a woman or man made in the image of God, known and loved by their Creator – while at the same time acting as salt to preserve God-designed biological truth and strongly opposing the defiant, family-dangerous rebellion against God that this movement represents.
“If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
“… to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12