To Tell The Truth

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie…  Rom. 1:25a

I’m looking around and honestly wondering if we have lost our minds!

Ten years ago if you would have told me we’d be engaged in the current public debate, I wouldn’t have believed you. If you would have told me our president would declare that public schools would be compelled to allow “transgender” students to use the public restroom which corresponds with their chosen gender identity, rather than their actual gender, I would have again, not believed you.

But I would have been wrong.

In fact, today we face the bizarre, awkward, and even dangerous reality of men in the women’s restroom and women in the men’s. All because of the arbitrary misapplication of “gender identity.” I’m not sure we even understand the complex and nuanced implications of that term, but what I do know, is that I don’t look forward to the first time I have to inform some poor woman that in spite of her “gender identity” that urinal is just not going to work. It’s not built for her kind of “guy.”

And, of course, here is where the idea of “gender identity” breaks down. Gender is not a matter of opinion; it is observable, scientifically provable fact. It is determined by X and Y chromosomes, and anatomy, not how one feels. In this recent Wall Street Journal article, Dr. Paul McHugh, formerly of the Johns Hopkins Institute, pioneers in the field transgender surgery, explains why the institute stopped performing the procedure. Dr. McHugh categorizes transgender identity as a mental disorder similar to anorexia or bulimia nervosa, where a person who is dangerously thin sees themselves as overweight. Similarly, in this very direct report, the American College of Pediatricians strongly weighs in and warns against attempts to make gender a matter of ideology rather than biology.

Sadly, many people will view this as horribly offensive and insensitive, and I’m sorry for that. Please know, I feel genuine compassion for those who wrestle with transgender feelings.

The problem is, how they or I feel has no bearing on the truth.

And this brings us to the real issue…some things are simply true in spite of how we feel about them. For example, if you and I are ever on top of a tall building and I tell you that I self-identify as Superman and try to jump off, don’t spare my feelings, just stop me. That is the truly compassionate thing to do, because my feelings or self-identity have nothing to do with reality…I’m not superman and I can’t fly! Now this should seem like common sense, but in a world where feelings increasingly trump truth, you never know!

And here lies the crux of the problem. The greatest casualty in this whole conversation is the truth. We are creating a world where we dare not claim to know, let alone declare, truth. Stop for a moment and consider what that world would eventually become?

In John, chapter 8, Jesus said, “You’ll know the truth and the truth will set you free.” How many times have we seen this statement proven true? Think about all the lives you’ve seen improve and the people you’ve seen set free, because they moved from self-deception to embracing truth. 

If truth leads to freedom, what does a world where truth isn’t welcome look like? Sadly, I think we’re beginning to get a glimpse. Things that would have been considered deviant and harmful just a few years ago are being applauded as normal, and even courageous. And what’s truly sad, is that the people involved, while “feeling accepted,” are still suffering rather than being truly set free.

And it seems, by and large, that our culture is just following along blindly.

Like the child in Hans Christian Anderson’s story, I just want to call out…   

“The emperor has no clothes…

…And that’s a dude!”

But we need to be careful, because while telling the truth may be the right thing, it’s often not the popular thing.