As you’ve probably heard, the transgender child of Sonny and Cher Bono is starring in this season’s Dancing with the Stars. I’m thankful to those like Scot McKnight and my buddy Josh Graves, who have encouraged Christians to formulate a constructive response the LGBT issues.
There is no escaping the issue. It’s not going away. As a father of three young daughters who attend school in a state in which the schools celebrate Harvey Milk Day (with no opt-out) and now mandate that LGBT (Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender) history be taught in curriculum, this is something I have to work through all the time. Like many Christians, I honestly resent having the acceptance of alternative lifestyles forced on me and especially my children. Having said that, I also resent the venom some Christians have toward the LGBT community, and believe the Church has quite a ways to go in modeling Christ in their attitudes toward LGBT people. The answer isn’t in accepting it as God’s will for human sexuality. So, what is it, then?
This isn’t the forum for an exhaustive theological discussion on the matter. Rather, the intent here is to open a fruitful discussion. So, let’s keep it simple and civil 🙂 But, be honest.
So, what’s a Christian response to Chaz Bono? Here are some options I believe have integrity. They uphold a biblical view of sexuality without resorting to bigotry or hate.
- Don’t mock. Mocking others isn’t a Christian response.
- Don’t watch the show. In this way, you show support for biblical views of sexuality and protect younger kids from exposure to gender confusion issues. Or…
- Watch the show. As you do, think missionally, and educationally. Chaz Bono’s inclusion on Dancing with the Stars is, to some extent, an expression of media’s social values. It’s a putting forth of transgenderism as normal. It isn’t. Nevertheless, how can Christians model the Gospel in our interactions with the LGBT people? What can we learn about our culture’s beliefs and how we can address those out of sync with the Gospel?
- Use this occasion as an opportunity to clarify your theology of sexuality. This should include an understanding of how many heterosexual expressions of sexuality damage people and sin against God, as well. I once had a man who had recently left his wife for another woman (who he was now living with unmarried) rail against his daughter’s lesbianism. He didn’t see the hypocrisy. Granted, his situation and transgenderism aren’t the same. But, they are both sinful and a mutation of the beautiful and robust sexuality of which the Scripture’s testify. Get your Bible open and wrestle with these issues. Remember always that God loves all people and desires their redemption into His family.