The “Leaning Tower of Dallas” has made national news.
Developers imploded an eleven-story building in our city Sunday morning to make way for a $2.5 billion development project, but nearly three hundred pounds of dynamite couldn’t finish the job. The middle core is still standing, though it is thirty-five feet shorter and listing at fifteen degrees. It will be demolished later this week with a crane and a wrecking ball.
The core was built as an elevator shaft and was designed to resist earthquakes and tornadoes. When demolition “experts” decided to turn it into rubble, it stubbornly refused to cooperate. As a construction management professor said, “definitely something went wrong.”
Metaphorically, when we choose to contradict our created purpose, something usually does.
“She’s leading us on this journey”
Dwyane Wade led the Miami Heat to three NBA championships and was named to the All-Star team thirteen times. However, the now-retired athlete is making headlines today for a different reason.
Yesterday, he talked with Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts about his twelve-year-old child’s transition from son to daughter. “Myself and my family, we love the fact that she doesn’t have to hide who she is,” he said. He added that Zaya, who was originally named Zion and born a boy, has “known it for nine years, since she was three years old.”
He explained that “it was a process for us to sit down with our daughter and find out who she is and what she likes and not put something on her—we decided to listen to her and she’s leading us on this journey.”
“HOW did NO ONE see this????”
I have no doubt that Dwyane Wade and his wife, Gabrielle Union, want the best for this child. What they are doing is consistent with conventional wisdom in a culture that claims we have the right to determine every dimension of our lives, from our gender identity to the gender we marry and whether to abort our unborn child or end our lives when and as we wish.
We could respond to Wade and parents like him by pointing them to Jesus’ statement, “he who created [humans] from the beginning made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4, citing Genesis 1:27; 2:18, 21-23; 5:2).
We could point to people who have undergone gender transition and reported great regret afterward, such as a young woman who said, “I transitioned because as a fifteen-year-old it was easier to say ‘I’m a boy’ than to say ‘I don’t think I’ll ever be a skinny attractive woman’ because that’s how I felt. I will never be pretty enough or skinny enough; I can’t be a woman. HOW did NO ONE see this????” (For more examples, go here, here, and here.)
We could point to mounting secular, scientific evidence that “transgender ideology harms women, gays—and especially feminine boys and masculine girls.” We could also discuss damaging consequences of the transgender movement such as biological males dominating female sports and the danger to females in dressing rooms.
But these facts have been pointed out for years, and parents continue to follow children who are “leading us on this journey.” Why?
The edit that changed history
Perhaps the most famous sentence in the English language is this statement written by Thomas Jefferson: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
In The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians, Jefferson scholar Jon Meacham talked with David Rubenstein about this part of the Declaration of Independence. Meacham noted that Jefferson originally wrote, “We hold these truths to be sacred.” However, Benjamin Franklin changed “sacred” to “self-evident.”
With this edit, Franklin changed far more than a document.
The Founders signed their names to a Declaration claiming that human rights are “endowed by their Creator.” In this worldview, God is the giver of our rights to life, liberty, and happiness. Such rights are to be exercised in alignment with his word and will.
This is why John Adams could later write, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
In the generations following, however, our secularized culture has shifted from rights as “sacred” to rights as “self-evident.” As a result, 74 percent of millennials and 77 percent of those with no faith believe that “whatever is right for your life or works best for you is the only truth you can know”; only 41 percent of practicing Christians agree. Conversely, 83 percent of practicing Christians believe “the Bible provides us with moral truths which are the same for all people in all situations, without exception”; only 56 percent of millennials and 27 percent of those with no faith agree.
Choosing “sacred” over “self-evident”
How can we help our culture choose “sacred” truth over “self-evident” rights? We begin by making this choice ourselves.
Is there a dimension of your life that stands outside the word and will of God? An area that is not yielded to your Lord as “a living sacrifice” today (Romans 12:1)? Are you using your influence to help those you know live by biblical truth?
In Matthew 22, Jesus told of servants who were sent to “invite to the wedding feast as many as you find” (v. 9). That’s because people don’t usually come to a wedding feast unless they know they’re invited.
Whom will you invite to experience God’s best today?
Publication date: February 19, 2020
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Emma McIntyre/Staff
For more from the Denison Forum, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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