Can we talk about gender on Sunday without coming across as condemning?
Mark Yarhouse, in a Christianity Today article from a year ago, talks about a person he worked with who had gender reassignment surgery:
“Sara opened our first meeting by saying, ‘I may have sinned in the decisions I made; I’m not sure I did the right thing. At the time, I felt excruciating distress. I thought I would take my life. What would you have me do?’ The exchange was disarming.”
As I think about what this sermon on gender should include, Sara’s comments remind me of something very important we need to remember: we’re talking about people. An absolutely vital principle that we need to remember when we talk about people is that they are all made in the image of God. Furthermore, God loves every single one of us.
We have to start there. And that love God has for every single person must consume us. We can’t talk about people without making sure that God’s love for all people dominates our conversation.
With that in mind, we need to talk about gender. Our series on Life in These United States has only two more sessions. One on gender, and one on creation care (theological code for “the environment”). In this sermon series we’re talking about what everyone is talking about, and today that is gender.
I think it is quite timely to bring up gender at this time considering that our election featured the first major party female candidate for president, Hillary Clinton. But in addition to the traditional approach to gender, that of male and female, the topic of transgender has become a feature in our national conversation.
When one of our American Olympic heroes, Bruce Jenner, decided to come out as a women, using the name Caitlyn, he took the spotlight for a news cycle. Around that time, the retail chain Target, joined the conversation by announcing that their stores’ bathrooms would be open and affirming to those who identify with a different gender.
How should Christians think and act about gender? If people like Sara are struggling with their gender, how should we respond?
Join us at Faith Church on Sunday, November 13, 2016, to learn more!