2 Truths & a Lie

2 Truths & a Lie

Caitlyn JennerWednesday night the world watched as Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner officially graduated from the 5th most famous person in his own household, to the prime time centerpiece of ABC. The world watched as he received the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage, named after someone who courageously broke racial barriers in a predominantly white sport during a time of intense racial injustice. Jenner won the award not having broken racial lines like Nelson Mandela (2009 recipient), or overcome grave illness like Robin Roberts (2013 recipient), nor choosing to reject a lucrative sports career to serve his country like Pat Tillman (2003 recipient). Jenner won because he has decided that he no longer wanted to be a man, and has begun the journey of re-making himself into a woman.

Between the video montages, the speeches, and even the commercials, we were force fed this narrative that changing sexes was somehow more brave than the work it took for him to win the gold medal in the 1976 Olympic Decathlon and be declared the “worlds greatest athlete.”

I learned years ago that the best place to hide a lie is between two truths. I believe this is why Wednesday’s narrative was digested as it was. Truth #1 is that no one should be subjected to bullying and homelessness, including transgender youth. Truth #2 is that every human being deserves our respect, including transgender adults.

The lie in the middle is that those who have decided to change genders are simply “embracing who they really are.” The false narrative presented and received is that God somehow made a mistake and they are courageously correcting God’s mistake.

If you’re struggling with gender identity or sexual orientation, please allow me the opportunity to proclaim this truth to you…

God did not make a mistake when he made you. He knew exactly what He was doing.

I wish this truth were as obvious as it sounds. Here’s how this truth is presented in the Bible by King David:

For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
~Psalm 139:13-15

David understood God’s role in creating him, and joined Him in His divine purpose for creating him. He looked into the mirror and found joy in God’s creation… Himself… Flaws and all. You will not find joy and fulfillment by changing yourself. You will only find that joy and fulfillment by connecting with the God who created you purposefully, and walking in that purpose… no matter how difficult.

Don’t join ESPN in mistaking cowardice for courage. TRUE courage is pressing past your “feelings” and embracing who and what God made you to be.

  • Metric Manning

    Well said, my brother.

    July 17, 2015 at 12:51 PM
  • Natasha

    Well well…finally! Praise God for your courage Pastor.

    July 17, 2015 at 2:50 PM
  • Graham Hatton

    I’m not sure how that passage makes your point.

    July 17, 2015 at 3:26 PM
  • Mark Baylis

    A couple thoughts :
    1. Truth #2 is that every human being deserves our respect, including transgender adults. I don’t believe that posting an article accusing someone who you have never met or spoken to of “cowardice” is respectful.

    2. By your logic that God doesn’t make mistakes that we need to fix- please tell that to the hundreds of thousands of people born with a disability that can be alleviated through surgery and enjoy their response

    July 17, 2015 at 5:48 PM
    • Hundreds of thousands of people born with disabilities… You mean like my 6 year-old son Levi? My son was born with a disability. Having gone through this journey, my wife and I are more than convinced that God still did not make a mistake. Levi’s resilience and strength… as well as God’s grace and power have been displayed through Levi’s life. The point that I’m making is that it is not our job to question God when we experience hardship. It is our job to seek His will for what has taken place. You picked the wrong example and the wrong person.

      Besides, I wonder what the LGBT community would think of your comparing them to people with “disabilities.” Doesn’t sound very respectful to me.

      July 17, 2015 at 10:28 PM
      • Mark Baylis

        I’m sincerely happy that you and your family have come to that conclusion and peace through your journey with your son. I won’t continue with the analogy as I clearly did choose an example that conflicts with your personal experience. And I think the ultimate message you are trying to convey in your article–to accept God’s will– is a beautiful one. However, in criticizing Caitlyn Jenner (and by proxy the entire transgender community) to make that point, the article perpetuates a judgementalism that, unfortunately, has taken hold of too many Christian communities and, as a result, become the public face of Christianity. And that is a truly sad thing. For everyone. Be well.

        July 17, 2015 at 11:20 PM
        • When I say that LGBT persons deserve our love and respect, I mean it. For me, that means that they should be embraced and loved whatever their background. That means that they should not be treated as if their sin is any worse than the countless others running around our churches. That means that they should be given a safe place to seek God without being derided and ridiculed. This, as you say and I agree, is the responsibility of Christian communities who want to follow Jesus’ example.

          At the same time, my disagreement with their premise has nothing to do with what I think about any individual person, but everything to do with what I think about God. My biblical worldview will not allow me to go along with this “God made a mistake” narrative. That is not the result of a disrespect for anyone… but a result of my immense reverence for Him.

          Furthermore, this another lie that the LGBT agenda has successfully fed us. That anyone who disagrees with them is by default a judgmental bigot who just needs to catch up with the times. My disagreement with you does not make me a bigot, nor does it undercut my ability to love you. Biblically speaking, my disagreement with you enhances my responsibility to love you.

          Thanks for the dialogue. I appreciate you engaging and hope that I haven’t been overly abrasive.

          July 18, 2015 at 8:30 AM
  • ken

    This is total b.s.,I love how they try to use the bible,as they say the devil can quote scripture for his own purpose and you are obviously one of his acolytes.,robin Roberts is a lesbian and if she came out years ago would never be where she is,God makes a ton of mistakes,look around…….

    July 18, 2015 at 7:50 AM
  • N.D.Bryant

    Thank you Pastor Manning for we wrestle only in the spirit. The natural man CAN NOT understand the things of God.

    July 18, 2015 at 10:30 AM
  • Patrick Pete

    Doc, well stated. I concur! I would join in the fray of those who disagree with your assertions, but you have done a more than adequate job of responding.

    July 18, 2015 at 11:24 AM
    • Patrick, I’m curious which assertions you disagree with.

      July 20, 2015 at 1:49 PM
      • Patrick Pete

        Huh!? Bobby, I said that I concurred. My point was that there was no need for me to join in the fray with those who disagree with you, because you had done a more than capable job of addressing them. Not sure how you could possibly have thought otherwise.

        July 20, 2015 at 2:10 PM
      • Patrick Pete

        I think “with” might have been a better word than “of”. One of those quirks of the English language where ambiguity rears its ugly head. My point was, I am with you 1000%. Still I would hope you knew me better than that. 😉

        July 20, 2015 at 2:14 PM
  • Betty Wilkerson

    I agree with what Dr. Manning has said. In my opinion, as humans, we can only partially change what God has already planned. She is a tall beautiful looking woman but when she speaks, her voice reveals who God initially intended her to be–a man.

    July 25, 2015 at 9:49 AM

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