“I’m a woman”, said the Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner during a Diane Sawyer interview last Friday.
This is the first time Bruce Jenner has publically declared he has always felt like a woman and is now going to be “true to himself” and hide no more.
During the interview, Bruce claimed he has wanted to dress like a woman since he was 8 years old. He also made it clear that he is sexually attracted to women and not men. He describes himself as simply a man, created by God, with a woman’s soul. Is that true? Can that be possible? Would God do something like this?
The transgender debate can be a very confusing topic, so I thought in light of the recent Bruce Jenner interview, it might be helpful to look at some truths from God’s Word to help us better understand the issue.
During his interview, Bruce made a distinction between his physical body and soul being in tension with one another. This is an important distinction and one that the Bible makes as well. Jesus talked about the distinction between body and soul in terms of death and eternity.
Matthew 10:28 – Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Jesus was not only warning about the eternal implications of rejecting God but also highlighting how we all have a physical body and a non-physical soul. In fact, when you read through the Gospels, you quickly realize that Jesus came to save our souls, not our physical bodies. It is our souls that live forever, it is our souls that are sinful, it is our souls that have been damaged ever since the fall of Adam and Eve. (see my blog post, Hell No) God did not create us in a place of brokenness, but our sinful nature has left us in a place of disrepair (Ephesians 2:1-5).
This highlights one very important truth…. we are all messed up! Now some of us are more messed up than others, but we were ALL born with a damaged and broken soul. This is why we need a savior, because we can’t fix ourselves.
So yes, Bruce Jenner was born with a broken soul, one that is confused, struggling, and in pain. Bruce sensed this at a very young age. Now the rest of us may take a little longer to realize it, but we are all in the same boat living in different versions of brokenness. The important piece in all this is that we don’t normalize or accommodate our broken souls by saying it must be okay because we were born that way. We aren’t okay and when we struggle with depression, addiction, transgender, lust, anger, greed, etc., we are reminded that we are broken and need a savior. This is what causes us to desire a place (heaven) where things aren’t broken anymore. This is what drives us to the Lord!
During the interview, Bruce also said his gender is not defined by his genitals. In other words, even though he is physically male, it doesn’t mean he isn’t a woman. Although I understand him trying to make sense of his tension, the Bible is very clear that gender is defined physically (see my blog post, A Boy Name Sue).
It has always been that way and will always be that way. But the bad news is even our physical bodies are broken. Just look in the mirror, most of us would rather have a different version. Once again, it is a reminder of the hope of heaven and how those that have trusted Jesus as their savior will get a new body that isn’t lacking (1 Corinthians 15:39-44).
No, the Bible doesn’t hide the fact that life is a struggle and we all have our brokenness and burdens to carry. The real question is how we carry them. Do we try to normalize them and make them okay or do they drive us to Jesus? Do we argue, point fingers, and talk about who’s worse? Or do we admit our struggles, compassionately pray for each other, and seek God’s mercy and strength together?
Understanding our struggles in light of God’s truth brings clarity and direction for supernatural help and redemption. Compassion and understanding is critical to the process but we need to make sure we don’t let our struggles redefine God’s truth, but let God’s truth redefine our struggles. This will point us to The Savior!
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