The Monday feature of the Worldly Saints blog focuses on a story from the sports world – current or historic. The point is to recognize athletes who are using their sports and athletic abilities to further the kingdom of God or to show how some athletes are wasting their days by not giving God the glory.
He competed as a man.
Last Friday, in an interview with Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner announced what many of speculated in recent years: that he is a “trans-woman” who has been struggling with gender dysphoria (the term used by psychiatrists and psychologists for an individual who is not content with the gender assigned to him at birth).
His summarizing quote, which has been on the cover of most major sports news services has been, “for all intents and purposes, I am a woman.”
During the 1980’s, Jenner began hormone replacement surgery to transition into becoming a woman, but that was ceased when he met and married Kris Kardashian some ten years later. Apparently in July 2015, there will be a scheduled release of an eight-part documentary on his story, including these recent “announcements.” He continues to maintain his attraction to woman, even though he believes himself to be a woman.
Others who have been open about their acceptance or struggles with their transgender status are actress Laverne Cox (from the Netflix show Orange is the New Black), Isis King (a model from the TV show America’s Next Top Model), Jenna Talackova (the candidate who won a legal battle to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant), Alexis Arquette (starred in movies Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer and the TV shows Friends and Roseanne), Balian Buschbaum (a former German pole vaulter), and Chaz Bono (the son of Sonny and Cher Bono).
Truthfully, my heart grieves for individuals like this for a number of reasons:
#1 – The Bible is not unclear about human sexuality. When God created mankind, he created two genders: male and female (Gen 1:27). And when He creates a man, He intends for that man to remain a man; and when He creates a woman, He intends for that woman to remain a woman. This is God’s will and He finds it beautiful when men and woman embrace their gender assigned to them at birth. It shows a submission to God’s design for their life.
#2 – Transgenderism is another example of how mankind takes what God designs as beautiful and corrupts it. It didn’t take long for sexual immorality to become well-known through the world; during the time of Abraham, homosexuality was rampant (Gen 19).
#3 – Those that are experiencing transgender confusion are not “weirdly evil” people. They are like all of us, as John Piper says, who have “disordered desires that need to be subdued.” Those who struggle with these issues of sexuality need to be ministered to by the church – not ostracized.
#4 – The Gospel saves us from this type of confusion. Transgender confusion it is another indicator of how desperate men like Jenner need to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Freedom from sin is desperately needed for men and women who struggle with this. And we need to be praying for Christians who are in their spheres of influence to point them to Christ and the freedom from sin he guarantees for those who trust in Him.