What Do Bruce Jenner And Rachel Dolezal Have In Common?

What Do Bruce Jenner And Rachel Dolezal Have In Common?

On June 9th, 2015 the world woke up to the picture of Bruce Jenner, now “Caitlyn” Jenner, on the front cover of Vanity Fair magazine.  Who is Bruce Jenner? Bruce Jenner was the gold medal winner, and world record breaker, in the decathlon competition in the 1976 Summer Olympics. After some time out of the spotlight he returned to television, not as an athlete, but as a reality TV star father on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” Then on April 24, 2015, in an exclusive Interview with 20/20, Bruce Jenner identified himself as “transgender.” Now, due to a surgical procedure and some hormone therapy Bruce Jenner, the Olympic athlete, looks like a woman.

On June 11, 2015, about two weeks after this groundbreaking story broke about Bruce Jenner we hear of another person, a woman, by the name of Rachel Dolezal. Who is Rachel Dolezal?  Rachel Dolezal is a White American woman who served as the NAACP President for the Spokane Washington Chapter, but claimed she was Black (or African-American).  Her story came to light as the city of Spokane investigated Dolezal for a possible ethics violation related to false claims about her ethnicity on a job application. Jeff Humphrey, a reporter for KXLY news, broke this story when he interviewed Rachel Dolezal who claimed she, and her family, had been a victim of numerous hate crimes.  When Rachel Dozal was asked by the reporter if her father really was a African-American man her response was, “That’s a very…I mean…I don’t…I don’t know what you’re implying.”  A couple days after Dolezal’s story broke, her parents Larry and Ruthanne Dolezal, two White-Americans, shocked the world using her birth certificate to prove they were Rachel Dolezal’s parents. Recently Rachel Dolezal was interviewed by The Today Show in which she claimed to identify with Jenner and said, she was “transracial,” then “biracial,” and then at last “Black.” She said,

“I definitely am not white. Nothing about being white describes who I am. I’m more black than I am white. That’s the accurate answer from my truth.”

You may think there is no connection or association with these two stories.  You may believe in terms of their topics they are light years apart. One is talking about a man becoming a woman by surgical means, and the other is talking about a woman who was faking an ethnicity for the sake of personal benefit.  Despite the contrast, there is one overarching fact connecting these two events that must not be ignored: The rejection of absolute, objective truth.

For Bruce Jenner (I refuse to acknowledge him as Caitlyn) this is a denial of the clear and objective truth of how he was created.  It does not matter if he has felt all of his life he was a woman trapped in a man’s body, or if he has all the external body parts that make up the female anatomy.  The plain fact is: He is not a she, but he is a he with some modified body parts resembling a she. For example, Jenner lacks such things as ovaries, fallopian tubes, and a uterus which are important internal organs for a woman’s body.  In addition, because of these reproductive organs, a woman, naturally, is able to create and house a human baby naturally, something Bruce Jenner will never be able to do.  He could never give birth to his own baby with his own ovum, breastfeed, or experience a menstrual cycle.  This is something Bruce Jenner’s DNA did not grant him the abilities to do. He lacks the very things that make women objectively unique and special and never will have them.

On the same level, Rachel Dolezal will never be an African-American no matter what she does.  Similar to Bruce Jenner, she would have to modify herself artificially to continue her African-American ruse. It does not matter how many times she kinks or dreadlocks her hair to make it look more ethnic, or spray tan herself to make it appear like she has darker skin, or even study the Africana culture to identify herself according to the ethnicity she feels intimate with.  It does not change the absolute, objective reality that she is White.

Then we have society at large which has not only accepted this denial of objective reality, but celebrates it.  In July 2015 Bruce Jenner is expected to receive the Arthur Ashe ESPY award not for his contribution to sports, but for his “courage” to come out as a transgendered person. Maura Mandt ESPN executive producer says

“She has shown the courage to embrace a truth that had been hidden for years, and to embark on a journey that may not only give comfort to those facing similar circumstances, but can also help to educate people on the challenges that the transgender community faces.”

There are people even coming out in defense of Rachel Dolezal and her subjective reasoning. For instance Whoopi Goldberg and Raven Symone said this about Rachel Dolezal

If she wants to be black, she can be black,” said Goldberg, adding, “Look, just like people say, ‘I feel like a man, I feel like a woman, I feel like this.’ She wants to be a black woman, fine. Everything that comes with that she is prepared for. Okay.” Raven-Symone noted that “everybody has some type of African blood inside them,” and asked rhetorically, “And what makes a black person, just your skin?”

Sacred Scripture discusses this issue with those who embrace the lie of relative truth when Paul, writing to the believers in Rome says

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (Romans 1:18-23, NASB)

Both Bruce Jenner, and Rachel Dolezal, believe it or not, have suppressed the truth in their unrighteousness and wickedness. They have chosen to neglect God’s divine attributes that are clearly seen and understood by what has been made.  God made Bruce Jenner a male, this truth is clearly seen. However Bruce Jenner has decided, due to how he feels, to reject this plain clear truth he is indeed a male and distort this clarity, even though he had second thoughts about his surgery and even some regrets concerning his procedure. In fact, he has admitted that he has not removed his male genitalia. Rachel Dolezal has also rejected objective truth by denying that she was born White. She has not only deceived others, but herself by ignoring and rejecting what has been clearly seen based on the nature of her DNA.  By contrast, when they, and we, base our reality on what we feel rather than what is, how do we determine what is right or wrong? By how strong we feel something? By how many people agree with us? This particular type of worldview is ripe for all kinds of confusion and trouble.

As believers in Christ, we hold to the objective and absolute truth of God’s Word,  and so we must continue to hold the objective light of this Sacred Word.  Due to the denial and rejection of absolute truth found in Sacred Scripture, we, like Paul, must acknowledge the world is indeed under the wrath of God…

But we must also proclaim the external, objective, and absolute reality of repentance and the forgiveness of sins.

Yes, even now God will forgive Bruce Jenner for changing who God created him to be: a man.  God bled and died for this sin and Bruce Jenner can receive a full and complete pardon for his denial of reality.  Even Rachel Dolezal for deceiving people, and herself, stating she was Black when she was not. Even she can be forgiven for this lie. No amount of justifying herself in front tons of cameras, or having a change of heart and apologizing for lying to all the people who have heard this will quiet the judgment of God. Only her trust in the Gospel of Christ Jesus will accomplish this reality.

We are no different from Bruce Jenner or Rachel Dolezal. All of us, at one point or another has denied objective reality. Whether we have told a “little white lie” or have denied who we are to obtain fulfillment and happiness all of us have fallen short of God’s glory. When we focus on objective truth, moreover the objective reality of the Word of God, we will no longer see one another as “transexual,” “transracial,” or “trans-anything.”  We will see ourselves for who we truly are and what we truly need…

We are all sinners in need of a transformation by our God who offers the forgiveness of sins in His Name.

Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria!

How Should Evangelicals Respond To Ferguson? With The Gospel of Course!

How Should Evangelicals Respond To Ferguson? With The Gospel of Course!

In an article “A Decision in Ferguson: How Should Evangelicals Respond,” Ed Stetzer addresses the tense feelings and emotions within the African-American Community in the wake of the grand jury decision regarding the case of Michael Brown. Dr. Miller wrote his own response in this MTC article, and now I would like to offer my own thoughts. Stetzer insists that many within the African-American Community are hurting, and that they are giving good reasons as to why they are in pain–not just over the recent decision in Ferguson–but over the pain and damage of racism in society.

Ed Stetzer encourages “us” (meaning white Evangelicals) to listen to “them” (meaning African-American leaders). Why should White Evangelicals listen to these leaders within the African-American community? Stetzer tell us his reason when he writes the following:

For many, this is about an incident. Yet, for many African Americans, it’s about a system. It’s worth listening to why people are responding differently to the situation in Ferguson.

Stetzer asks the question: How should evangelicals respond to the decision in Ferguson? I will attempt to answer this question by using the source all Evangelicals ought to use in shaping their response: Sacred Scripture.

Racism Exist Because Sin Exist

The reason racism exists is because of the Fall of man due to the rebellion of Adam in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Because of sin’s depravity, man is wicked and corrupt by nature, and as a result we do not see God, His will, nor His creation rightly. We are conceived in sin and produce wickedness due to the condition of our hearts (Ps. 51:5; Ps. 58:3; Isa. 64:4; Jer. 17:9; John 3:19; John 8:34; Rom. 1:18; Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:1-3). As Evangelicals we understand that racism and prejudice are not the cause of the problem, they are the symptom of the cause of the problem. Racism is not a “White American” nor a “Black American” problem, it is a human problem, because humans are born dead in trespasses and sins. Ed Stetzer is right about one thing: the problem we face is about a corrupt system, but we differ on what and how the system can be fixed.  What we, as Christians, need to focus on is a worldly system that is infected by sinful creatures.

In fact, all Evangelicals, White and Black, acknowledge racism and injustice is present in the world because the Evangelical Worldview understands this is a world steeped in sin and lawlessness. Poverty and prostitution exists right before our very eyes. Child Abuse and Domestic Violence, and School shootings are seen on our television screens daily (and many experience these horrific events). Many people glorify what is unrighteous and inhumane, while they call those who have Biblical values “narrow-minded” and “bigoted.” Yes, Evangelicals know and believe corrupt systems exist, and they groan and long for the world to change, to be transformed; for Christ Himself to return and exercise justice and establish a world where freedom does ring. For Ed Stetzer to say Evangelicals who are “white” need to recognize that a problem exists and they must “rise to the aid of those in need” is to presume that white Evangelicals do not see a need and are not rising to the aid of these needs. This is something that I wish Ed Stetzer had acknowledged in his blog.

The Gospel Is The Means By Which God Transforms Hearts From Racism

Now this is one of the things that I wish Ed Stetzer would have quoted as the antidote to racism–the Gospel of Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Not just that those who are hurting would see the unconditional love of Jesus displayed by His Church (John 13:35), but that this would be boldly procliamed to African Americans–as well as all men—no matter their ethnicity.

I want all men of every race to to understand that:

  • Christ died for every racist that fails to love their neighbor and God.
  • Christ was rejected by hate-filled people, just like those who have felt rejected by racists.
  • Christ spoke the truth and was kicked and pushed and beaten and “disenfranchised” by His own creation!
  • On the cross, Christ took on the wrath of God as if He were the leader of the Skinheads or the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. And He did it all for those who are racist, White and Black.

This truth of the Gospel of Christ is that God transforms the hearts of people and brings them to repentance and confession of their sin. Christ changes people from bigots, whatever race or ethnicity they once despised, into people who would give their own lives for the very race they sought to ridicule and destroy. It is this truth of Christ alone that motivates Evangelicals to serve and love our neighbor.

Because of The Gospel All Evangelicals Responses Should Be Based On These Two Truths

Lastly I want to address what Ed Stetzer said at the start of his blog when he writes:

In light of the grand jury decision handed down tonight in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, MO, I think it is of utmost importance that all Christians, but specifically white evangelicals, talk a little less and listen a little more.

I appreciate Ed Stetzer taking a hard look at himself in light of the issues in Ferguson and encouraging fellow Evangelicals to do the same. However, may I suggest that it should not be “white Evangelical” alone (whatever this means) but every Evangelical who holds to the authority of Sacred Scripture that needs to examine their own life. Ed Stetzer comes from a different culture from other Evangelicals who have different parents, were raised in a different neighborhood, and have made different decisions in life. Yet, despite being different in almost every way, we all share a common message: The forgiveness of sins found in Christ Jesus. What I am saying is in Sacred Scripture there is no such thing as a “white” or “black” Evangelical. In fact, Paul takes it a step further to say because of our unity in Lord and doctrine “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” which is distinct from the Law (Gal. 3:28 NAS). This is our message; what we believe concerning the authority of Sacred Scripture, specifically what Christ has done for us has unified us. No matter if we are wealthy or poor, black or white, male or female, adult or child, no matter the culture, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, the Message of the Word of God and the proclamation of the forgiveness of sins is what we, the people of God and the bride of Christ, must proclaim (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47).

So, how should Evangelicals respond to the anger after Ferguson? I am convinced that we should revise this question into a statement by acknowledging another truth that is not often expressed. Evangelical Christians, both white and black, have long been on the frontline responding to these issues of race and poverty. It was Christians who created the orphanages for the fatherless and hospitals to care for the sick. It was Christians who were abolitionists, helping slaves pass through the Underground Railroad. It was Abraham Lincoln, a Christian, who understood the need to abolish slavery and, along with his supporters, helped shape the Republican Party. It was Martin Luther King, a Southern Baptist preacher, who led the freedom marches in Mobile, Alabama.

Christians, black and white, have understood the Great Commission. To preach the gospel to all people and do good works, and many have lost their lives to fulfill this mission. But these people gave up their lives, not because they were “white Evangelicals” or “black Evangelicals” but because they were Christians; period! Christians who believed in the authority of Sacred Scripture and the gospel of Christ. May all Evangelicals, no matter what race, respond in with such loving sacrifice.

In short, preach the Gospel to all people and do good works for your neighbor to the glory of God. Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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