Bruce Jenner, the former U.S. Olympic track star-turned-reality-TV star, now claims that he is a woman and wants to be called Caitlyn. On Monday, a photo of Bruce Jenner in drag was on the cover of Vanity Fair. Much of the media is celebrating Jenner as an example of bravery because he allegedly is living as his “authentic self.” Even ESPN is planning to present Jenner with its Courage Award.
The issue of transgenderism is confronting our society. Here are four biblical truths to bear in mind:
Bruce is not a woman. Gender is determined biologically, not according to one’s fancies about which gender he might prefer. Bruce Jenner never can be a woman. No man has ever been able to fill the woman’s God-given role of producing offspring (see Genesis 3:20). “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. . . . Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 1:27; 2:24). Bruce has failed to understand that his biology is male and that he cannot think hard enough, apply enough makeup, or have enough cosmetic surgery to change himself into a female.
Bruce’s claim to be a woman insults women. God designed the genders in such a way that each gender contributes what the other cannot (Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 7:2). For a man to try to be a woman is insulting to both God and the women He created. In fact, God told the Israelites not to cross-dress (Deuteronomy 22:5). As one writer put it,
A woman is a woman. She has earned that title. She pays for that title. She suffers with that title and gives life with that title and lives from conception until death and beyond with that title. . . . She should not be told that it’s such a flimsy thing that a man with enough money can buy his way into it. It’s demeaning and reductive, and as a father and a husband and a son and a brother, I take exception to it (Matt Walsh, tinyurl.com/qfkd4c4, emp. in orig.).
Bruce is entitled to only one “self.” Bruce is referring to his “former” male self by using the third person. But a human being makes a grave mistake if he attempts to reject the single self that God graciously gave him. We can better ourselves in various ways—primarily by subjecting our own will to the will of God (Ephesians 4:22-24)—but we cannot make of ourselves a second, third, or fourth person (Hebrews 9:27).
Bruce needs the gospel. Those whose lives have been damaged by any kind of sin whatsoever are candidates to receive the saving grace of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 John 1:7-9).