As we witness the public Bruce Jenner transformation we need to have something to say to all transgenders.
Something is definitely not right with the world, and our challenge is to accurately identify maladies, and seek authentic remedies rather than temporary pain-relief. Every such question should begin with: What wisdom does our Maker offer for this?
Russell Moore addresses that question: “What Should the Church Say to Bruce Jenner.”
In the 1970s Bruce Jenner seemed to have it all—fame, wealth, admiration. He was an Olympic star, so popular in American culture that he was reputedly considered for both the roles of Superman and James Bond. That’s changed. Now, Jenner is best known as the step-father on reality television’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Jenner is now ready for one more change. He says he knows what he’s been missing: his identity as a woman.
Jenner has reportedly undergone surgery to make himself appear more like a woman and has been photographed wearing dresses. Now, in a highly publicized interview with with Diane Sawyer, he says that his “whole life has been leading up to this.”
Russell Moore provides helpful mental contours for the case of Bruce Jenner… and others who are likely closer to us. Improper diagnosis and treatment can be deadly—let’s strive hard not to commit spiritual malpractice.
We are born not out of self-effort but in the pure providence of our creator. Our given gender points us to an even deeper reality—to the unity and complementarity of Christ and the church. A rejection of the goodness of those creational realities then is a revolt against God’s lordship, and against the picture of the gospel that God has embedded in the creation.
The hope for Bruce Jenner, and for others like him, is not to alter the body with surgery or to flood their system with hormones. The answer is to realize that all of us are born alienated from what we were created to be. We don’t need to fix what happened in our first birth; we need a new birth altogether.
A fallen world brings plenty of pain—both emotional and physical—and I am confident based on decades of experience that looking to Jesus of Nazareth brings the comfort and healing for which we deeply long—both for our few years here on earth, and the countless more to come.