Is he a boy or a girl?
How do you know?
Why does it matter?
I watched, adored, and cheered for Bruce Jenner in 1976. He was the ultimate man. Every other Olympic athlete was good at one or maybe two events, but Bruce excelled more than anyone else. He was a decathlete. I wanted to be like him because he defined masculinity for me.
He was also good looking, popular, and soon-to-be rich. What more could a person want?
40 years later
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. – John 10:10 (ESV)
Bruce Jenner is in his sixties now, and he’s a woman. Or, that is what he would like for you to believe. A few weeks ago Bruce showed the world what he thought himself to be when he made the cover of Vanity Fair as a babe with boosted boobs and raised cheek lines.
Prior to his provocative coming out spread, he revealed in a Diane Sawyer interview how he wanted
[To] be able to have my nail polish on long enough that it actually chips off.
His perspective on what it means to be a woman has created a firestorm for feminist everywhere. Though they truly desire to be his ally, they have insisted for decades that being a woman is more than beauty, nail polish, and slim waist lines.
The “I was born in the wrong body” rhetoric favored by other trans people doesn’t work any better and is just as offensive, reducing us to our collective breasts and vaginas.
Imagine the reaction if a young white man suddenly declared that he was trapped in the wrong body and, after using chemicals to change his skin pigmentation and crocheting his hair into twists, expected to be embraced by the black community.
Many women I know, of all ages and races, speak privately about how insulting we find the language trans activists use to explain themselves.
After Mr. Jenner talked about his brain, one friend called it an outrage and asked in exasperation, “Is he saying that he’s bad at math, weeps during bad movies and is hard-wired for empathy?”
After the release of the Vanity Fair photos of Ms. Jenner, Susan Ager, a Michigan journalist, wrote on her Facebook page, “I fully support Caitlyn Jenner, but I wish she hadn’t chosen to come out as a sex babe.” – Elinor Burkett, NY Times
Feminists have long decried the image of beauty as being the antithesis to their cause, and now Bruce Jenner, the torch-bearer for the transgender cause, has made feminine beauty the defining icon that supports his claim to be a woman.
This is quite the conundrum.
Feminists, like pro-abortion activists, believe you can do anything you want to do because personal choice is personal and should be unencumbered by any other opinion. The problem that Jenner has unwittingly brought to the fore is that the feminist lobby has spent the last 50 years saying that how we look is not what defines us.
I have had little interest in this story because there is nothing I can do to influence it as far as voicing my opinion. The Bruce Jenner narrative is not a place where I am allowed, and to even try to speak into the public discussion would draw the ire of the mainstream–a distraction that rarely promotes the cause of Christ.
However, I have found it more than ironic that he has tossed a monkey wrench into the to each his own universe.
From my view there are two controversial talking points in this public debate:
- What makes a man or a woman?
- What is Bruce Jenner’s core problem?
I am woman!
But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. – Genesis 2:20-22 (ESV)
There is no use for me to make this point to our culture because they reject it and the conversation shuts down before it ever begins. Nevertheless, my world view answers the question about what makes a man or a woman: God made the man and then He made the woman.
However, if you’re going to reject God and His Word, then each person has to come up with their own opinion as to what makes a gender. Now we’re back to the to each his own world view.
Feminists say that being a man or a woman is not about penises or vaginas. They do not believe biology makes the gender. Like the gay lobby, they assert that each person can decide on what they want to be (Romans 1:22-25).
They also have done a good job debunking what they call cultural stereotypes, e.g., boys don’t have to have blue and girls do not need to play with dolls.
Women like me are not lost in false paradoxes; we were smashing binary views of male and female well before most Americans had ever heard the word “transgender” or used the word “binary” as an adjective.
Because we did, and continue to do so, thousands of women once confined to jobs as secretaries, beauticians or flight attendants now work as welders, mechanics and pilots.
It’s why our daughters play with trains and trucks as well as dolls, and why most of us feel free to wear skirts and heels on Tuesday and bluejeans on Friday. – Elinor Burkett, NY Times
This public smash campaign has worked well for them. We’ve gone from binary persons to the uni-person that is neither male nor female. Then the transgendered voice sought to be heard.
When men want to be women or when women want to be men, they typically choose to transform themselves into the traditional norms–long-standing cultural stereotypes for gender–to show the world what they hope to become.
And that is the rub.
And it is also a problem when people choose to defy God by creating gods made in their own image (Genesis 3:6). Whenever we step outside of God’s design for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), we run headlong into traps (Galatians 6:1).
Bruce Jenner, and those who have gone before him like Renee Richards, have created a dilemma for the God antagonist.
The solution to the Bruce Jenner problem is to accept God’s design, but I know I’m spitting in the wind on that one, and since I’m not allowed popular public discourse, I can only watch, comment on occasion, and seek to tell anyone who’ll listen to me about Jesus.
Bruce is like all of us
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death. – Romans 7:24 (ESV)
Bruce Jenner is like you and me. Bruce Jenner has communicated what we all have said at one time or another. Bruce does not like his Adamic self; he wants to be changed (John 3:7). He is like the person who looks in the mirror and says, “I don’t like the way that I am.”
You fill in the blank:
- I’m not the smartest person in class.
- I’m not popular.
- I’m not pretty.
- I’m not rich.
- I’m not like Jesus.
- I’m not like my neighbor.
- I wish I had a nice car.
- I wish I could preach like him.
- I want to be famous.
- I want to be different from the person that I am.
- I’m too fat.
- I’m too skinny.
- I’m discontent.
- I wish I married a different person.
- I wish I was not addicted to [fill in the blank].
- I wish I had children.
- I wish I had not done [fill in the blank].
- I wish my life was different.
You get the idea.
The cry of our hearts is that we want to be something that we are not. That is why I am not disgusted with Bruce Jenner. Yes, I feel sorry for him because he has not found what was given to me (Ephesians 2:8-9).
He has sipped from wells that hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13). He has tried to alter the dysfunction of his soul without using the means of grace that the LORD provides. Haven’t you gone down that path too? I have.
All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. – Ecclesiastes 1:8 (ESV)
Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee. – Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
We know what Bruce Jenner wants. It’s as plain as day. He put the desire of his heart on the cover of Vanity Fair: he’s a 60-something year old man, who has turned himself into an artificial 30-something year old model.
We all have an image or a life that we want. We all long to put off the old Adam that has made us miserable and to put on something that we believe will bring us happiness. Some of us have put on Christ.
What are you turning yourself into?
Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. – Ephesians 4:22-24 (ESV)
I hope you are dissatisfied with yourself. I hope you have a holy hatred for how you are, and that you want to be changed into something better. I hope that something better is Jesus.
Bruce does not want to look like Jesus. Bruce wants to be transformed into his version of perfection–the image that is in his mind. His diagnosis is called autogynephilia: a person attracted to women, in the form of oneself.
- He’s attracted to women.
- He desires to be a woman.
- He has an idea of what a woman is.
- Thus, he has become the image of his own making.
As mentioned earlier, this has created a huge problem for feminists because they have gone to great lengths to debunk the image of what a woman should look like. Bruce Jenner is the anti-woman for the feminist lobby.
While they are fighting over how a woman should present herself to the world, we must come back around to a more probing question: How does discontentment manifest itself in your life?
- How are you like Bruce?
- What one thing about you would you love to change?
We are controlled people. Everyone is controlled by someone or something. What primarily controls you? The thing or person that primarily controls you is your functional god.
What Bruce does not know is that having a gender reassignment will not change him. He may look like a woman on the outside; he may be surgically changed to be more like a woman, but he will not be satisfied with his man-centered alterations no matter what he does.
When “the tumult and shouting dies,” it proves not easy nor wise to live in a counterfeit sexual garb.
The most thorough follow-up of sex-reassigned people—extending over thirty years and conducted in Sweden, where the culture is strongly supportive of the transgendered—documents their lifelong mental unrest.
Ten to fifteen years after surgical reassignment, the suicide rate of those who had undergone sex-reassignment surgery rose to twenty times that of comparable peers. – Paul McHugh, The Witherspoon Institute
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. – Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)
Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.
The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. – Jesus, John 4:13-14 (ESV)