BLOG: People, pronouns and perspectives
The time to go back to school is here. Students get to know their teachers and teachers get to know their students.
The other day I heard about a class where students were asked to share their favorite food, sports team, and color. These same students were also invited to share their favorite pronouns.
If you were to go back a few years, such a question would make no sense. Today, we talk about pronouns everywhere.
“He / him”, “she / her” and even “they / their”: we now ask young people what their gender is. The discourse on preferred pronouns has spread widely in society. We see pronouns on employee name badges in stores, on social media bios; and yes, in the students’ classes.
Much has been written and shared on this topic. Journalist and author Abigail Shrier addressed these questions in an important speech titled “The Run Amok Gender Ideology”.
Shrier said, “In 2007 America had such a pediatric clinic; today there are hundreds. Testosterone is readily available to teens from places like Planned Parenthood and Kaiser, often on a first visit, without even a therapist’s note. How did we get there ? How come we’re all supposed to pretend that the only way you will know I’m female is to tell you my pronouns? How did we come to an America where a 13-year-old Washington State teenager can begin “gender affirmation” therapy without her parents’ consent? How did we get to an America where a 15 year old teenage girl from Oregon can have “upper surgery” – an elective double mastectomy – without her parents’ permission? And what can we do about it? “
I encourage you to read his speech and reflect on his analysis and solutions.
In Oklahoma, many know Testimony of Laura Perry. Laura, who struggled with her gender identity growing up, spent almost 10 years living as a transgender man, before God changed her heart, and she embraced her God-given sexuality as a woman.
Drawing inspiration from Laura, Christians must find ways to deal with this growing problem. To do this, let us remember, it is ultimately not a problem; it’s about people.
Jesus shows us how to treat people on a personal basis, with love and truth. For example, look at how he met Zacchaeus, the city’s famous tax collector who defrauded people with money (Luke 19). No one loved Zacchaeus except Jesus.
Jesus, however, didn’t just talk about Zacchaeus. He spoke to her directly. “Zacchaeus, hurry up and get off, cause I’m just staying with you today(Luke 19: 4). After this powerful moment with the Son of God, Zacchaeus repented, changed his life, and gave back to others.
In this example, as well as in others (eg Nicodemus, the woman at the well), we learn from Jesus to love people and to deal directly with them.
What’s interesting about this approach, if you’re talking to someone directly, you never really use pronouns in the first place. You call them by name. This element alone holds a key understanding of gender confusion.
We have to look beyond the pronouns, speak and see the person. Behind all gender confusion lies a person who is almost certainly struggling, someone whom God loves and whom we should love too. He is a person who needs the gospel and also the biblical truth to be delivered, all in a compassionate and redemptive way.
The next time you hear someone talking about their favorite pronouns, take it as a cue to see someone in need, not just a problem to be dealt with. It is only when we see people like Jesus sees them that we can help a culture in crisis return home, one person at a time.