5/19/16

Donald Trump, Transgender Issues, and Jesus

Author's note: I may lose some followers over this post. Also: I'm not a theologian. I'm a sinner...and a Jesus-lover. I've included lots of Bible verses throughout the post for reference--please know that the Bible should be read and studied in context, so if you're going to read through the verses I've included, read what surrounds the verses to get a bigger picture. Finally, please try and get through the whole post before you dismiss it as garbage :) 

If you haven't noticed, there are some significant cultural shifts occurring in our country that are difficult to ignore. This election season has been incredibly detrimental to our country for many reasons, and the results of it could be even worse. To me, one of the most frightening effects of this election season has been the rise of Donald Trump and the respect he has somehow garnered for his knack for cutting others down and calling it "abandoning politically correct behavior." A large portion of our culture (including, sadly, Christians) has embraced the Trump-Way and have used it to propel their own hate-filled language professing that "it's about time we have someone who isn't afraid to tell it like it is."
Man in fedora gets sucker-punched by an angry lady...this was probably taken at a Trump rally
One result of all of this: An increase in the hateful rhetoric that is spewed over social media, in particular to Target's decision to allow people to use whichever bathroom/fitting room they want based on their gender identity or to the Obama administration's decision to require federally-funded schools to be "non-discriminatory towards students on the basis of sex and gender identity."

It is certainly okay and right and necessary to have an opinion--especially one that is well-researched and deliberate. What I'm incredibly disappointed in is how many folks are throwing around hateful language, memes, and irrational logic (is this really a public safety issue?!?) in the name of Jesus. It doesn't sit right with me.

As a Christ-follower, I don't agree with the concept of a person changing his/her gender identity because when God created people, he created genders (Gen. 1:27); I don't think it's our place to mess with what God intended for people. Additionally, as a Christ-follower, I don't agree that we should go around slaying people and being hateful. We can disagree with culture--we can even be opposed to it; in fact perhaps that's what is implied in the scriptures regarding all of the "in this world but not of this world" stuff (John 17).

But I can't believe that Jesus would be okay with people parading through Targets yelling about transgender folks being perverts. I can't believe that Jesus would be okay with people blasting transgender or homosexual folks on social media for their choices. Jesus would definitely oppose the transgender concept, but I think he would run towards transgender folks with truth and love--not towards them with hate and malice, and not away from them with disgust and revolt. It's what he did throughout his entire ministry--he ran towards those who lived in opposition to the truth, so that they may be brought to the truth (Matt. 28:!6-20).

As Christians, we've always known that the world would think, operate, believe, and function antithetic to Christ's mission (Luke 12: 49-53). I'm not calling for lukewarm beliefs here. We should be strong in our Biblically-based convictions, and we definitely have a responsibility to speak truth in love (Eph. 4:15, 29) but there is no scripture to support outward displays of hate towards those who oppose our beliefs. This kind of behavior destroys our mission as believers...it taints the name of Jesus. I'm not perfect at upholding the name of Jesus. I've got a laundry list of sins that taint the name of Jesus, which is why I'm so thankful for his grace (Romans 3). But fellow Christ-followers, can we please stop running away from people who think differently than us? Can we quit using hateful speech to condemn? Instead, can we speak truth in love? How many people would we be able to impact for Christ if made this change?

1 comment:

Ron Guthrie said...

Danielle, may I recommend a book that I am currently reading? It is, "The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert" by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield. It is an autobiographical account of a lesbian college English professor's coming to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Here is a sample from the book: "Although I live my life now for Christ and Christ alone, I do not find myself in like-minded company when my fellow Christians bemoan the state of the university today. Feminism has a better reputation than Christianity at all major U.S. universities and this fact really bothers many Christians. Feminism has truly captured the soul of secular U.S. universities and the church has either been too weak or too ignorant to know and to know better. But how has the church responded to this truth? Too often the church sets itself up as a victim of this paradigm shift in America, but I think this is dishonest. Here's what I think happened: Since all major U.S. universities had Christian roots, too many Christians thought that they could rest in Christian tradition, not Christian relevance. Too often the church does not know how to interface with university culture because it comes to the table only ready to moralize and not dialogue. There is a core difference between sharing the gospel with the lost and imposing a specific moral standard on the unconverted. Like it or not, in the court of public opinion, feminists and not Bible-believing Christians have won the war of intellectual integrity. And Christians are in part to blame for this."