Bruce Jenner been trending all weekend and the church community have not been asleep. Transgender is a term for people whose gender identity — their internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman — differs from what’s typically associated with their sex at birth. Some transgender people alter their bodies through hormones and or surgery, although many don’t.
Anyhow, Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore offers a solution to alienation from identities that transgender people struggle with. The problem is, he explained, that the old Gnostic heresy combined with contemporary expressive individualism gives rise to “the idea that I must be true to whomever I perceive my ‘real me’ to be on the inside in order to be ‘authentic.'”
What should the church say to Bruce Jenner?
“They feel alienated from their identities as men or women and are seeking a solution to that in self-display or in surgery or in pumping their bodies with the other sex’s hormones. In a fallen universe, all of us are alienated, in some way, from who were designed to be. That alienation manifests itself in different ways in different people.” Understanding their struggles, however, doesn’t mean we should “fall for the cultural narrative behind the transgender turn,” Moore warned. “This narrative is rooted in the ancient heresy of Gnosticism, with the idea that the ‘real’ self is separate from who one is as an embodied, material being. Body parts and chromosomal patterns are dispensable since the self is radically disconnected from the body, the psychic from the material.”