Every time I see a man who thinks he is a woman beat a bunch of women who are actually women I ask: “how in the world could a man actually believe that he is a woman”? The Hollywood hype, with their characters on primetime; the social media juggernauts, with their memes about ‘trans’itions; and the news channels, with their community services, are always cramming this down our throats. It is simply outside of my realm of understanding. Seriously, how in the world could a man actually think that he is a woman? I have been struggling with this for so long now that it has come to feel like there is no connection at all between the ‘trans’ movement and my life, except…
A funny thing happened to me this week as I was talking with my wife about something around the house. It got me thinking that maybe it isn’t so hard to understand this phenomenon after all. Amy and I were talking about something and I was convinced that I was right and she was wrong. I would not let it go! I was willing to give up the peace and tranquility of our home in order to defend my opinion. I’m sure you all have been there. I got angry. I defended myself with more words than I want to admit. It was very real, to me and to her! It was pretty impressive until the moment when I realized that I was absolutely wrong! I was definitely NOT what I had, honestly and passionately, thought I was. I was talking to and treating her as if she was wrong and I was right – but it was actually the other way around. I was actually ‘trans-right’. I was stunned. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I am ‘trans-right’ ALOT more than I actually am when it comes to arguing with my wife.
Now, I am not correlating every single aspect of the transgender movement with this one, but I am going to try to work through this basic idea for a moment. We are ALL ‘trans-something’. We are all susceptible to thinking that we are something when we definitely are not. We think we are nice, generous and happy when we are really kind of mean, selfish, and depressed. This is true for everyone in the world. We all think we are better than we really are. It’s our sinful nature that leads, rather misleads, us to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. At some level, we are all walking evidence of ‘trans-authenticity’!
We see examples of this throughout the Bible:
King David thought he was better than that rich man even though he, himself, was actually that wicked rich man! David was ‘trans-righteous’! When he came to the realization that he was evil, his opinion of himself crashed hard and we have him to thank for the beautifully ‘trans-correcting’ psalm 51.
King Nebuchadnezzar was ‘trans-sovereign’. He thought that everything in his kingdom was his and his alone. When the True Sovereign brought him to terms with his own futility, he realized he wasn’t actually sovereign. Eating grass instead of a king’s food for 7 years will do that to a man!
The apostle Peter was great at thinking things about himself that he shouldn’t. He was ‘trans-lot of things’ – When he was walking on the water he thought it was because of something about himself. When he came to terms with gravity, he realized he wasn’t! He was ‘trans-wise’. He thought that he was God’s counselor and took it upon himself to correct Jesus. Jesus thought something altogether different about Peter at that moment and told him in no uncertain terms: “get behind me satan!” He was ‘trans-courageous’ when he thought that he was Jesus’ personal body guard and yet a young servant girl proved his thinking all wrong.
A simple reading of the Gospels shows us exactly what Jesus thought of people who thought one way about themselves even though the truth was something different. In John 3, Nicodemus thought that he was someone who could come to Jesus on equal terms. Jesus made sure that he came to understand that Nicodemus, a ‘trans-righteous’ man, had to be born again before he could even see the kingdom of God!. In John 4, the woman at the well thought she was doing alright until Jesus told her all that she had ever done. When we look at Jesus’ condemnation of the hypocrites we can see him describing men who thought that they were better than everyone else as white-washed tombs full of dead men’s bones. He condemned them for their ‘trans-worship’ – worshipping with their mouths when their hearts were far from Him.
It is really easy for us to think something about ourselves that isn’t even close to being true. The human heart is deceitfully wicked above all things. Our hearts only want to think the things that will benefit our skewed view of ourselves at any given moment. The trouble is that our hearts think that they are ‘trans-alive’ when they are really dead! Paul, in Romans 1:18ff, gives us the correct perspective on this when he writes about us suppressing the truth by our unrighteousness. This is what we all do. This is the reason we are all ‘trans-something’. We all want to judge ourselves better than we actually are: husbands think that they are understanding, wives think they are respectful, children think they are smarter than everyone, grandmother’s think that their coleslaw is edible, and dads know that their jokes are hilarious.
One of the most incredible things that we imagine is that somehow, we are God! How ridiculous is it for us to suppose that we are ‘trans-divine’? Consider this with me: every single day we act like we are the ones on the throne! We talk like we are gods. We think and feel like we are the most high opinion in this world. Oh how we fool ourselves.
This is the way we think about almost everything. We all fill in the information that is lacking in any situation from our own intellect and experience. If we feel something about our ourselves but can’t put our finger on it, we fill in the spaces with the opinions of the world. When we hear someone say something that rubs us the wrong way we immediately think what we want to about them whether it is true or not. Maybe it’s their tone or their choice of words but we read between the lines and form an opinion about them based upon how we feel or how we think they feel. All day long our hearts lead us astray in this way. We are all ‘trans-something’.
There is only one way to fix this problem – the truth! The reason we are in this terrible sinful cycle is because we are wired this way. We all claim to be wise and yet exchange the truth about God for a lie and worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 1:22-23). We need to have our hearts removed and replaced with a heart that loves the truth and longs for it. This is why Jesus came. The Bible tells us that “for our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” THAT is the Good News! Jesus Christ took upon Himself our sinful identity. This was absolutely contrary to His own sinless nature. On the cross, Jesus Christ really became ‘trans-sinful’ so that He could make us into new creatures, with new hearts, who can now identify as righteous because of His grace! When we turn to the Lord Jesus in faith, we are born into a new family – God’s family! What a privilege to be able to look to the One who promised that we will know the truth and the truth will set us free!
The next time you are faced with the ‘trans-anything’ argument – stay off of your high horse. It is an uncomfortable thing to think and talk about but it really isn’t all that far from the position of your own heart at any given moment. Let’s have some grace. Let’s lovingly walk with them to the cross where Jesus levels all of the playing field – the foot of the cross where it doesn’t matter what you think about yourself – all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory! THIS is the truth! This is what will bring hope into the lives of all those who are on their way to Hell. The truth is that Jesus died for sinners according to the scriptures and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. It doesn’t matter who you think you are – you are lost and need to be saved! Turn from your sins and trust in God! Call on the name of the Lord Jesus and you will truly live!