The Truth About Bruce Jenner

Bible

Sometimes, I get stuck in the Psalms. I used to avoid them because they were cryptic and poetic and I just didn’t get it. Somehow, God has grown me out of that frustration and into the mindset that a Psalm a day tends to keep the blues away.

Part of what fascinates me is that the Psalmist speaks words of comfort and hope into the life of those he’s never met. God is the one who is ultimately speaking, of course, and his goal, in part, is to convey that our heart-wrenching questions and struggles in life are not rare. I’m thankful the Psalms (and much of Scripture) shatter my “I’m all alone” mentality.

God made us with a need for community, and nobody goes through life relishing complete solitude. This is partially why suicide is on the rise. People feel alone in their struggles, perhaps because they are ridiculed for even having struggles. Hope is lost because if nobody understands, nobody can help. Often, the conclusion of the sufferer is to check out, end the pain, and stop the internal madness.

Am I the only one who fears for Bruce Jenner in this way?

Believing we are alone can thrust us into living two extremes: like a hermit, or like an exhibitionist. The former allows us to succumb to what we feel. The latter allows us to fight what we feel. Clearly, Jenner has chosen the latter. His struggles are being touted as unique, classy, and heroic on the left, and weird, freakish, and disgusting on the right. In both cases, the attention he has garnered has given the impression that he’s somehow different than the majority. This is simply not true.

I Corinthians 10:13a says there is no temptation such as is common to man. So we know Jenner is not different for struggling as he does. He is, however, willing to take his temptations to a level of partaking and flaunting that most are not. This does not make him heroic. It makes him an abomination.

A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God. (Deut. 22:5)

Jenner is not only putting on a woman’s cloak, he is attempting to put on her hair, breasts, skin, and overall genetic makeup. What he is doing and attempting to become is the result of not “keeping his heart with all diligence.” (Prov. 4:23) In other words, little sins have become gigantic sins because they’ve not been nipped in the bud. Rather, they’ve been nourished, cherished, and have grown out of control. According to James 1:14-15, the result of coddling rather than combating our sin is death:

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

Jenner’s baby-sized temptation that has “blossomed” into a full-grown sin, and the next step in the process is possible physical death, and most certainly spiritual death. Therefore, the promotion of Caitlyn is the promotion of Bruce’s destruction. John Hopkins hospital no longer performs sex change operations, because they’ve found through years of study that the operations do more harm than good. Patients are not overwhelmingly satisfied with the results, the sex change harms them psychologically, and many of them go on to, not flourish in their new identity as promised, but rather commit suicide.

So given all of that, who do you suppose should be credited with truly loving Bruce Jenner? Those taking a stand, waving the flag of caution because up ahead lies death? Or those who are going so far as to award, flaunt, and encourage the “heroism” of his actions with blatant disregard for the fact that he is doomed for destruction?

I am not near as eloquent as the Psalmist, but if I could write to Jenner, I would tell him he’s not alone, because I know what it is to desire someone else’s body and to stoop to self-destructive measures to get it. I have desperately wanted to be thinner, prettier, taller, and shorter (what can I say, I’m fickle). I’ve coveted bigger boobs, a smaller butt, curves where I don’t have curves and no curves where I do have curves. I’ve wanted to be rid of thunder thighs, and I’m in a lifelong struggle to be content with a less than feminine nose. Also? I’d love a pair of smaller feet. Oh, and smaller eyes, because bug eyes bug me – especially when they’ve been topped with a uni-brow the size of a fuzzy caterpillar on growth hormones. I’ve participated in a reasonable level of change by plucking the brows and tweaking the make-up, and I’ve participated in what I can only refer to as foolish by resorting to bulimia in an attempt to have a figure I lusted after. One had consequences that were completely reversible and minimal. The other had consequences that are irreversible, drastic, and life-altering.

I even know what it’s like to resent my gender. Growing up with two older brothers and all boy cousins at times caused me to resent being a girl.  I lost races. Got tackled in tackle football. My pig tails that were supposed to make me look cute were used as horse reins and motorcycle handlebars. I’ll never forget the one time (the one time!) I won PIG against my oldest brother. It was a total fluke. Luck, probably. But for one second, I was a better basketball player than a bigger-than-me boy.

Additionally, being a victim of sexual assault has at times made me feel utter disgust that God made me feminine and pretty (read: fresh meat) to someone who didn’t have my best interest at heart, coupled with an inability to defend myself. Many times, I’ve resented the God-given title of “woman” and subtitle of “weaker vessel.” Sometimes, it wasn’t so much that I wanted to be male as I didn’t want to be female. I’m sure nowadays they have a title and restroom sign for people who don’t prefer to be either sex. But back then, we just called my problems what they were: discontentment, lust, and a desire to control my DNA.

Here’s what I’m getting at: If I started hacking away at my body and swallowing pills that are harmful in an attempt grow a penis, I would hope my friends would be man or woman enough to try and stop me from self-destruction, rather than cheering me on to the world’s idea of “bravery.” I would want them to tell me that I’m not alone because nobody is beyond any temptation, and God is faithful to not allow me to be tempted beyond the ability to escape.

I would want them to tell me the truth: that a sex change is a direct affront to God, his all knowing, all wise character, and his sovereign plan for my life. That God made me a woman, and a woman I shall remain, because a scalpel cannot alter the handiwork of God. That God did not make a masculine piece of pottery and accidently pour feminine DNA into it. That God is a bigger Savior than I am a sinner and I am complete in him. That I am not a mess-up. That I need to fess up. That I need to surrender to God’s perfect plan for my life.

Most of all, I’d want them to lovingly, respectfully pray for the grace to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.*

Jenner does not need endorsement for, or validation of, his actions. He needs the truth, said in love, by people who are honest about their own struggle with sin and are willing to pray with and for him. He needs tough love. Not “love” that accepts his actions in spite of the fact that those actions will lead him straight to destruction. It’s flat out nuts, and dare I say hateful, to lead a hurting, vulnerable, spiritually and psychologically ill person to their grave.

The transgender debate is multifaceted. I can’t cover all of the angles in one blog. But if you take away anything from this post, let it be this: Jenner is not alone in his depravity, he is simply one of the few who relishes in displaying his depravity, and he is being heavily rewarded for doing so (monetarily, if in no other way). I don’t know the solution to that, but I know condemnation from me isn’t it. Clearly, I am not a better person than he is. If either one of us is ultimately, eternally condemned, God will do the condemning, and it is not my place to say whether he is regenerate or unregenerate. Do I think he is far from the Lord? Yes. Can Christians be far from the Lord? Yes they can.

And …

While I don’t want to promote or perpetuate his highly publicized display of depravity by writing this blog, I recognize that his display demands critical thinking and discussing – especially when it comes to the younger generation. What God has labeled an abomination is what we are now forced to discuss with our kids and grandkids because when we stop for a jug of milk at the grocery store … there lies Vanity Fair.

Kids are going to ask, or at the very least, wonder. So start thinking and praying. Then start talking.

In writing this, I’m attempting to work out my own mental and theological kinks. It is not laced with condemnation from me, but it is laced with truth, and I am aware that truth is often offensive. If I’ve helped you work out some of your own kinks, awesome. Go forth and perpetuate the unkinking. If your kinks are now more kinky than ever and you’re having wicked thoughts of wringing my scrawny, feminine neck, perhaps you can message me and we can cordially hash it out, together. Because again … solitude is no bueno.

 

 

*taken from the Serenity Prayer

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