jasonbwatson

November 11, 2015

Celebrating sin

Earlier this year ESPN awarded “Caitlyn” Jenner its Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs. I did not agree with that decision and still do not. Even if I did not think that transgenderism is a sin, I agree with a number of other individuals who commented that there were far more deserving, far more courageous possible recipients of the award than Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner. Apparently, celebrating sin is in this year, though, big time. This past Monday, Glamour presented Jenner one of its Women of the Year awards. This not really news for Glamour, since it gave one of last year’s awards to Laverne Cox, a transgender actress. We cannot really expect much else from the world, though. The world is full of people who like to do their own thing, and when someone does their own thing so publicly and gets praised for it, it becomes a little easier for everyone else to do their own thing, too. The more people there are doing their own thing, the easier it is to suggest that your “own thing” is just as legitimate, just as deserving of acceptance. Celebration even.

One thing that did stand out about Jenner’s acceptance speech on Monday, though, was her assertion that coming out as a transgender individual was the reason God put “her” on earth. Said Jenner, “My transition was very, very long. I had many, many, many years of isolation from the world, of lying to the world, of not being myself. I sat down with each one of my ten children, and I said, ‘This is my story. This is who I am. What can I do?’ I had a lot of conversations with God. I came to the conclusion that this is why God put me on this earth — to tell my story. To be authentic to myself, to who I am.”

I have never met Jenner, and the odds a quite high that I never will. I am not a prophet, either. I will tell you this, though, with absolute certainty: God did not put Bruce Jenner on earth to come out as transgender, to tell a story or to be authentic to him/herself. God did not put anyone on earth to be true or authentic to themselves. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden all humans have been born with a sin nature. The Old Testament law was given to reveal that we are flawed, sinful individuals and that, in and of ourselves, we fall short of God’s holiness, God’s glory and God’s perfection. In an of ourselves there is nothing we can do to earn or warrant forgiveness for our sins.

Proverbs 14:25 and 16:25 both say that the way that seems right to a man ends in death. Jenner’s words of choice were “to be authentic to myself.” That translates quite well to “the way that seems right,” and the Bible clearly does not condone that thought process. The Westminster Shorter Catechism, on the other hand, says that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Revelation 4:11 says that by God all things were created, and they were created for His pleasure. The Westminster Shorter Catechism goes on to state that we glorify God by adhering to the instructions in His Word, the Bible. Question 10 further addresses Jenner’s matter by stating this: “God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.” Scripture makes it clear that God created male and female. Scripture also makes it clear that God Himself creates each individual human being, knitting them together (Psalm 139:13). God does not mistakenly put a female in a male’s body, as Jenner is suggesting. God certainly does not create anyone for the purpose of contradicting the Bible and then celebrating it. That would be contradictory to God’s nature and His holiness.

God loves Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, and if he/she ever chooses to confess his/her sins to God, repent and accept the forgiveness of sins made possible through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross–a perfect sacrifice paying a penalty demanded by a holy God that no human could ever pay–then God will forgive Jenner and we will spend eternity in heaven together. That, by the way, would be why God put Jenner on this earth. Unless and until Jenner chooses to do that, though, I think it would be in his/her best interest to leave God out of it completely. Bringing God into a celebration of sin–indeed, giving Him credit for it–is a really bad idea.

June 11, 2015

Another Double Standard

Last time I commented on the ridiculousness of the double standards that exist in our country, thanks in no small part to our elected officials and (often unelected) judges. Here’s another excellent example for you. New Jersey, California and Washington, D.C. all have laws which ban state-licensed counselors from talking to minors about changing their sexual orientation. In New Jersey and California the law also states that counselors cannot talk to minors about changing their sexual behavior or trying to minimize feelings of attraction toward members of the same sex. This means, according to reporter Jamie Dean in an article published in the May 16 issue of WORLD, that the laws prohibit “any counseling that suggests it’s possible for a person to change–or even reduce–same-sex attractions.” Furthermore, Dean reports, at least eighteen other states have considered such bans. Worse, the Obama administration has indicated that it would support federal legislation on this matter if Congress were to act.

Why is this so problematic? Consider, please, what these bans do not prevent–namely, counselors talking to minors about changing their bodies if they want to switch to another gender (like Bruce Jenner). If a young person feels a sexual attraction to someone of the same gender, and does not like it, counseling would be a logical next step in most people’s minds. Yet, according to these laws, the counselor could not discuss this with the young person. Apparently it is not okay for a young person to want to change the fact that he or she feels a sexual attraction to someone of the same sex, but it is perfectly fine to discuss with that young person changing their body and almost every other aspect of their life in order to assume an identity as a member of the other gender. In other words, state legislatures are giving their seal of approval on what kinds of feelings are perfectly acceptable (such as changing one’s gender) and those which are not (such as trying to overcome unwanted sexual attraction).

What we are seeing here is not only a horrible double standard but a frightening invasion by government into the most private and personal areas of personal lives. Here the media and many in our nation have been celebrating Bruce Jenner’s decision to abandon his life as a male and switch to a female, and counselors are more than welcome to assist young people in exploring these feelings and desires, but when a young man does not like the fact that he sometimes feels attracted to other men (or a young women does not like that she sometimes feels attracted to other women), young people cannot discuss those feelings with the very people who, theoretically, should be most equipped to help them deal with these feelings. The government, then, is deciding what feelings are okay and what feelings are not okay. It is perfectly okay to want to switch genders and it is perfectly okay to be attracted to people of the same gender, but it is not okay to not like it when those same-sex feelings pop up. The pendulum has swung far in the other direction! Not too long ago there was considerable debate over whether or not a person who felt same-sex attractions was mentally stable. It was even less long ago that someone who felt same-sex attractions would have been extremely reluctant to speak about, much less act on, those feelings. There has been a shift toward accepting those who feel that same-sex attraction, embracing them, and helping them accept those feelings. Now, instead, a person who feels a same-sex attraction and does not like it is not allowed to talk about it, is discouraged from feeling that way, and is told that trying to deny that feeling is wrong. When you see how far we have come in this area it is not really all that difficult to envision the lunacy I described in the last post that will come from giving human-like rights to chimpanzees. The government cannot tell anyone what to think, and it ought not try.

Funny, isn’t it, that our culture seems to encourage people to think whatever they want, to eschew any ideas of right and wrong and pursue whatever makes them feel good–yet when something is making them feel bad, that the culture thinks is just fine and should make them feel good, all of a sudden there is a wrong! This is just the kind of foolishness that stems from man messing with what God has already decided; we just make a big mess of everything.

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