Should Christians use people’s preferred pronouns?
To begin, let’s put the usual talking points out on the table:
Yes, we need to desire heart change over managed morality. Yes, we want to have the opportunity to share the Gospel with people, as it is the power of God unto salvation. And yes, we should be gracious, because “as such were some of us.” However, simply making these statements does not necessarily mean that God will co-sign our corresponding approach to walking them out.
Yes, we are to minister through love, not hate, but does this mean we must bow to society’s politically correct definitions of love to do so? Is it really our Christian duty to affirm a lie in order to keep the door open to share the truth of the Gospel?
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. – Ephesians 4:10-15
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:1:18
Consider Jesus and the woman at the well (John 4). When He asked her to “go and get your husband and come back” before revealing Himself as the Living Water, she replied, “I have no husband.” How did Jesus respond to her false perception of herself? Did He tiptoe around her delusions so that He could share the more important revelation of who He was to her? Nope. He replied, “You have five husbands and the man you are with now is not your husband.”
Many Christians today would call such a response HATE. They would argue that because her sexual and marital issues are not as important as the Gospel message, we should ignore these issues so we don’t risk offending her and driving her away. Why? Because that is what our secular society dictates is the Politically Correct thing to do. For decades it has been seared into our conscience that Affirmation=Love and Healing, and Disagreement=Hate and Harm, despite what facts or even the Bible might have to say to the contrary. However, Jesus chose to deal honestly with the truth of where she was spiritually, as opposed to further perpetuating the lie she was living — in the name of truth. What was the result? Not only did she not get offended, but she ran back home to find others that Jesus could help: “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.'”
Could it be that we are so afraid of upsetting people’s corrupted perception of life and of themselves that we never give them an opportunity to be transformed by the very thing they are seeking: Truth? Galatians 5:11 tells us that the very message of the cross is inherently offensive.
To be even more specific, can truth and honesty coexist with love and compassion in the 21st century “Safe Space” church? For the woman Jesus ministered to at the well that day, it was the uncompromising truth communicated honestly in love that affirmed the fact that she was a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. Thankfully, the result was more than just a cool therapy session from someone who “really gets me,” but a Holy Spirit-led encounter that led to her salvation and the salvation of others.
Pastor David Mahan is the Founder of Frontline Youth Communications and a member of CURE’s Clergy Network. David is a national speaker, a youth development consultant, and a fierce advocate for youth and families both in the U.S. and abroad. Visit his site at DavidMahan.com
The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.
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