This wouldn’t be a blog about trending topics if we didn’t cover the week’s hottest news story: Bruce Jenner’s transformation into Caitlyn Jenner.
As Christians, how do we begin to think about the topic of transgenderism? Over at the Gospel Coalition, contributor Alex Duke shares his three-point template for thinking through and acting on our response to Jenner’s transformation.
1. Expect disagreement or even hostility from those who have a different view. Duke reminds readers that to publicly discuss your views on this subject will more than likely invite harsh, possibly even malicious, criticism. Though this might worry some, Duke reminds us that, “Here again, we embrace the future tense: a time when many present-day slanderers will exchange their shame for joy as they glorify God on and into eternity.”
2. When you share your opinion, make sure it is true, gentle and respectful. As Duke notes, there were two main reactions when the Vanity Fair cover was released: praise or parody. But Duke urges Christians to go a different way: speak truth in love.
He writes, “Telling the truth means telling the world what it just might already know: that no amount of surgical reconstructing or dexterous Photoshopping will re-make or beautify Bruce’s self-inflicted wounds on his way to becoming Caitlyn. But telling the truth in love means listening, really listening, when other Caitlyns tell you why their Bruces needed to go, why they always felt like impostors in their own skin until that skin was sovereignly rearranged and knit back together, fearfully and wonderfully made another way, their way” (Emphasis mine).
Related, John UpChurch shares 10 practical ways we can love our transgender neighbor. On the importance of listening, UpChurch writes, “Your faith in Christ is secure. You know the truth of His Word. But those struggling with their identity don’t have that certainty. Listen to their stories without jumping in to “fix” their misunderstandings. Often, listening to their story opens them up to listen to yours.”
3. Always remember: Jesus is Lord. This, Duke explains, is the reason that Christians can have hope, regardless of how we see the culture around us unfolding.
Duke writes, “We endure the inevitable derision because Jesus is Lord. We endure the frothing accusations of hypocrisy, of having no right to judge someone we don’t know, because Jesus is Lord…because Jesus is Lord, we also pray for Caitlyn Jenner. We pray because we know that all those the Father has given the Son will come, and whoever comes to the Son will never be cast out (John 6:37). We pray Caitlyn would become the fruition 1 Peter 2:12—one who saw good deeds among Christians and responded by glorifying King Jesus on the day of his visitation.”
What do you think about Jenner’s transformation? How can we best love and share the gospel with the transgender community?