I opened up my Twitter feed early this afternoon, and in a somewhat ironic juxtaposition I was greeted with this (see image below) — two tweets from separate news agencies posting two separate pictures from a Vanity Fair photo shoot that resulted in a disjointed portrayal of a man who has made himself into a woman. A confusing picture of a confused human in an even more confusing world.
Rather appropriately, the default twitter prompt was asking me “What’s happening?”… You tell me, Twitter, because it’s times like these that I’m at a temporary loss for words.
Side note — apparently this is “Maine Breaking News”? You can do better, BDN.
While media agencies like Vanity Fair champion Jenner through photo shoots and feature interviews, I submit that their reporting approaches a level of mockery masked as appreciation and support, all for their own financial gain. Kind of like the “bearded woman” act in an old traveling circus, Jenner is being used as a pawn for magazines to gain revenue, and for TV news outlets to get ratings.
But Jenner, like the rest of us, still bears the image of God. God created Jenner in His image. So as Christians, we should not join in the mockery of mainstream media, nor should we lash out in disgust at a man who is having an identity crisis only slightly more extreme than our own.
To paraphrase and expand upon what Russell Moore outlines here:
The hope for Jenner, as it is for all of us, is to realize we are all born alienated from what we were created to be. We don’t need to fix what happened in our first birth; we need a new birth altogether. This only takes place when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us — and through powers not our own — gradually transforms us into who God truly created us to be.
Like Jenner, our transgender friends and neighbors experience real suffering, and we should suffer with them. But the self-affirming answers offered by VanityFair and the like can’t relieve that suffering. Only through an intimate relationship with Our Creator can we be healed of the scars that distort our image of self.
God’s good design that has been true “from the beginning” says that we are created male and female (Mk. 10:6). We must trust that these are not self-willed designations, but are part of God’s creative act — in his image.
- Jon Bloom at DesiringGod.org: How Should We Respond to Caitlyn Jenner?
- Paul R. McHugh at FirstThings: Why We Stopped Doing Sex Change Operations
- Matt Walsh: Calling Bruce Jenner a woman is an insult to women