The sudden demand for transgender bathrooms and locker rooms took most of us by surprise. We had seen the movement for same-sex marriage advancing year by year for more than a decade, but who knew transgender confusion and gender dysphoria had gone viral? That’s why most of us in the church are still left speechless when the topic arises. Nobody wants to cave in and say, “Whatever,” but we don’t want to look like troglodytes either! So I’ve established some basic principles for my conversations about gender neutral restrooms and all the other emerging civil rights in our decaying culture.
I can expand upon these and explain my rationale next. But here are my priorities for responding to gender neutral restrooms, as well as the next social catastrophe that comes down the pike in a month or two:
- Not every conviction that guides a believer is a biblical truth. Think!
- In everything, lead with love.
- Love is not the same thing as approval.
- Christ is more powerful than rules or laws. Trust Christ.
- The laws of the land do not amend the Laws of God.
First, let’s not blame every controversy on the Bible. Like most people, I have some opinions and convictions based on natural law, practical experience, science, and history; principles that are not rooted in the Word of God. When church people insist on hurling lightning bolts from the Bible into every political debate, it gives the impression that we are blindly reactive; not rational. What’s more, if our opponents don’t respect the Bible, we are merely casting pearls to the swine.
For instance, quoting Genesis and insisting “God created them male and female” doesn’t settle the question of gender confusion. God also made tigers orange and black, but that doesn’t mean there are no albinos. I’ve had friends at church throw up their hands in despair: doesn’t an earthworm have both sexes? Some children do seem terribly uncomfortable in their assigned gender. Maybe the secular progressives are right: maybe life is more complex than male and female. Perhaps gender and sexual orientation are different categories altogether. Maybe sexual orientation is always in flux!
Or perhaps we’re talking about mental illness and emotional disorders. There is no doubt that people should not be mocked or shamed for the way they were born. Haven’t we been telling the world for twenty years that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of? Americans who are burdened with shame should find their most compassionate support in the church of Jesus Christ. But there’s a great deal of scientific research that indicates we’re spinning off civil rights and special privileges for fellow travelers who suffer from fleeting adolescent uncertainty or mental illness.
- The American College of Pediatricians asserts, “Gender Ideology Harms Children.” In a lengthy official statement, their physicians have documented the fact that 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls finally accept their biological sex after puberty. For the complete statement, click here.
- The Johns Hopkins University Hospital, which pioneered sexual reassignment surgery for transsexuals in the 1960’s, eventually discontinued that procedure. The most thorough research, both here and abroad, indicated that the radical physical alterations did not measurably improve the emotional disorientation. Dr. Paul McHugh now insists that transsexuals need counseling, not surgery. To read his summary click here.
The next time you have an opportunity to engage in a conversation about gender issues in this country today, take a few moments to listen thoughtfully. Ask what makes gender dysphoria different from paranoia or PTSD or claustrophobia? Sophisticated people in the 21st Century can surely manage to be both compassionate and rational.
I’ll pick up with Priority 2 next time. In the meantime, lift up the Cross!