For a couple of days I have seen the “debates” across social media concerning transgender people and which bathroom they’ll be using, and while I have my own opinion on it I have yet to speak it at all. I’ve instead sat back silently for a bit and watched with raised eyebrow, not in judgement, mind you, but kind of in a depressing watch and see mode. Because when words flash emotionally, quickly, and passionately across the Internet it becomes not so much a debate as a misuse of power and truth.
Every single day I put on the armor of God, and if you read the verses concerning this battle garb you’ll notice that it is available for your protection as a believer in Christ. I love that shield of faith that protects me from the enemy’s poisonous arrows. Even the sword of the spirit, although a defensive weapon of truth, is to be used a certain way.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
But what I’ve been seeing this week, and just about anytime these kind of arguments arise on social media, is that sword of the spirit, God’s truth being used to cut up those around us. So instead of following the instructions in Galations to “restore with a spirit of gentleness” we come out guns blazing, head-butting with our helmet of salvation and kicking tail with our gospel of peace. Isn’t that ironic?!
I believe in God’s truth. I believe in the Bible and its instruction, but I also believe that God is love. God loves me a lot. This I know. But I also know He loves transgender, gay, and lesbian alike. He loves the recently deceased artist named Prince, and he even loves Hillary Clinton. Crazy I know.
And the thing is as His ambassador here on earth, given the great position of spreading His gospel, I am instructed to love my neighbors as He does. Even if they don’t believe, dress, or pee sitting down like me.
Now, does that mean as a Christian I’m a pushover? Heck no! Can I stand up for truth, righteous, and the rights of myself and my family. Yes, yes, double yes!
We are instructed by these same verses in Ephesians to stand firm against the enemy and his schemes, but we are also reminded of where the real battle exists. And in that knowledge we cannot tear apart our fellow man who does not see clearly. We should not ridicule or demean others, as that’s not how you build up God’s kingdom.
We shouldn’t tear apart other believers when opinions differ. We cannot allow division among God’s house. We should carry ourselves in an atmosphere of Christ, standing firm in truth, but not browbeating everyone in our path.
This is one of the hardest things to do as a lover of Jesus. When someone does something that is an affront to our Savior we want to get even, but Christ would say, “forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
I’m not saying that when corruption runs rampant that you sit silent. I’m not saying you twiddle your thumbs when persecution persists. Stand firm, wear your armor. Just remember who you’re really fighting. It’s not Target.
As you go to battle for the Lord take care to run your actions through the filter of the fruit of the spirit. Do you approach others with patience and kindness, even as you speak truth with a convicting yet gentle reproach? Are you exercising in self-control or flying off the handle with misguided passion? If your words ridicule or wound a human then they should be redirected. Your contempt should be for sin, not a guy who wears dresses.
So if I say anything at all in regards to this transgender bathroom debate it would be this. Speak your words like Christ was right beside you. Carry not hate in your heart towards man. Instead direct your passions toward living your entire life in truth for one sin is no greater than another.
Speak life. Live as an example. Show love. And pray that when you put on your armor that the Lord equip you to use it wisely against your true enemies, not to wound your brothers and sisters.
pat k says
I applaud your comments. thank you
Stacy Wolkwitz says
Thank God for your response to the Target issue. The barrage of “boycott” posts and hateful language has depressed me…leaving me to think, “Am I the only Christian in the world who thinks this reaction is wrong?!” How on earth are these people ever to come to Christ and truly be healed? Christians make no path for them. By their very behavior and response to these people, they are telling them that, because they can’t be loved by a Christian, they can’t be loved by Christ–so what about Christianity would EVER draw them toward it? Thank You….Thank You again for being brave enough to say these things out loud.
Ron Becker says
I agree . We should always strive to speak our words as if Christ was standing right beside us . I so do not want to wound my brothers and sisters and others , and I pray not to be a stumbling block to those who don’t know Jesus as their LORD by my words and actions, including my LACK of actions and words – meaning encouraging and uplifting words and kind deeds showing the love of Jesus – not the best explanation but hopefully you get my drift . (Very puzzling to me in this spot on post is …God ” even loves Hillary Clinton . Crazy I know .” …..Ummm , yeah that comment through me for a loop considering the point of your article . I honestly don’t get it . Certainly He loves her; she is His child . ).
You’re right. Sorry. It was pointed towards a majority audience who have quite the disdain for Clinton. It was meant to be mildly sarcastic.
It was hilarious. And, actually I took your article to mean that we need to be careful in our approach to our brothers and sisters in Christ–much of the mud slinging is against other Christians. I read your blog as insisting on standing for the truth of God but not being divisive with one another.
My conflict is with the wording…let me explain. Transgender-someone who has had surgery, taken the hormones to transform themselves into the opposite gender. Transsexual-someone who emotionally & psychologically identifies themselves with the opposite sex. Cross dresser-someone who likes to dress in the opposite sex clothes. What I have a problem with is a man dressed like a woman wanting to flash his penis to women & little girls. A transgender person would not be doing that. In fact you wouldn’t even know they were transgender. And honestly we have been going potty with them for years. Lol. So transgender isn’t what we fear, it’s the male pervert. A man dressed like a woman with facial hair & a penis. Unfortunately, this battle is only in the USA, Europe has restrooms period. Having only a single room with toilet & door lock would solve the problem. Just means we’d have to have a row of them or stand in line. So….what will you do when a man in women’s clothing walks in the public restroom? Hmmm good question. What will you do if a transgender walks in? Absolutely nothing!! I’ve gone on a tangent. Sorry. But excellent article!
Having not seen very many women’s bathrooms, I can only go by the one’s I have seen or watched in a TV show. In men’s bathrooms we have urinals and there is not a lot of privacy. I thought in a woman’s bathroom they have stalls. These stalls I believe have doors. When you enter a stall, don’t you usually close that door? If a transgendered individual enters a stall in a woman’s bathroom, isn’t it appropriate to close the stall door? Seems with a stall door closed you don’t see anything but a closed door. If stall doors are closed, then there is nothing to see. Also when women enter a stall, isn’t the door also shut. If it is, then there is nothing else to see by anyone else. Seems to me that the main problem is our belief in society’s moral attitudes. It is something, that until recently, we just have not had to deal with. It is therefore strange and uncomfortable. It may be a non-issue in the future but for now, it will remain a hot button issue.
There are doors. The doors are closed when the stall is occupied. However, there are cracks where the door connects to the stall wall. I have seen many women on the toilet through the cracks. Granted, I don’t linger to see what’s going on in there, but a pervert would and could. Also, the stall walls are very easily looked under and over. I am not afraid of a Transgender/transsexual but I am afraid of a man with ill intentions. Because what if I’m in there alone? I am sitting on the toilet and he comes to my door, or corners me in the bathroom? I have no misconceptions about my strength. He is probably stronger than me. What now? And what if he touches me against my will? Now we have a “he said/she said”. And same goes for an innocent man and an opportunistic woman comes in and claims he did something he didn’t do.
I hate that there are people out there who don’t feel at home and comfortable in their own skin. Transgender, transsexual, gay, straight, fat skinny. But there has to be a better solution than this.
A very reasonable and considered exposition. I am not religious, but even I can feel the unChristian attitude being displayed by these Christian activists. It makes you wonder how you and they can be so similar in faith, but so divorced in ideals.
Ron Becker says
I have been serving our Lord for over 30 years. (Not that tat is important.). I consider myself to be a mature Christian, a very strong relationship with Christ. I applaud your writing ! We are to love the sinner and hate the sin as Jesus would. I met my own challenge when my son decided to become gay. By the way you would never catch me supportin Target they donate to the enemy.
I am a Christian and I do my best to love every one. I to fear being alone in a restroom with who knows what. I also have a 6 year granddaughter that we watch closely. I do not believe God is pleased with the lifestyle that some people live.He would not have destroyed Earth with a flood or destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. He was tired of all the evil and sin.