I have withheld comment on the Jenner-transgender story for several days. I have read what many others have said. I deeply appreciate the contribution to the conversation made by Christians who have dealt with and deal with sexuality and gender issues. I particularly appreciate the story and testimony of Jackie Hill-Perry.
I also found Russell Moore’s response helpful.
What I haven’t heard anyone address is the reality that “transformation” is being co-opted into the advocacy for transgenderification.
The word transitioning which has been used by trans-people for some years, is being replaced by the word transformation. They have also sought to co-opt the language of the soul into a discussion that is clearly body focused. One glance at the airbrushed Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair silences all arguments to the contrary. If this is not about sexualization, pornographic temptation and the glorification of the physical body then why appear nearly naked as your first exposure to the world?
If you read the interview you hear Jenner say things about his soul. But those statements are disconnected from the reality of a personal Creator God who knit Jenner together in his mother’s womb just as God saw fit to do. So, if God is really God (holy, perfect and infallible) then how could God have mistakenly knit Caitlyn together to be born as Bruce. Something is seriously wrong with God if that happened the way Jenner says. A person who believes that they were born in the wrong body cannot also believe in God who makes no mistakes.
What God offers in all sufficient measure to those whose souls are sick, minds confused and lives wracked by sin is redemption. A whole new life – lived in Christ Jesus who died to set us free from the bondage of sin and death. Somewhere along the way I wish Jenner had met a Jesus freak who would have introduced Jenner to the strange and wonderful Savior.
He could have experienced the transformation for which he instinctively longed. He could have lived in freedom and hope and joy. He could have been transformed by the renewing of his mind by the Word of God instead of conformed to the image of a sex object fit for Hollywood’s reality-TV reel.
The transformation that Jenner really needed was the one by which a sinner’s life is transformed moment by moment, from one degree of glory to another, not into the image of Caitlyn, but into the image of Christ.
From a Biblical perspective, transformation is what happens when the reality of who Jesus is shines through into the darkness and doubt and despair of human brokenness. That is the transformation that Jenner needed and still needs.
Transformation is not a word we should allow to be co-opted in the conversation about transgenderism; it is the hope-filled promise we should making to those who are caught in the confusion of our culture.