With the growing popularization of transgenderism sweeping the nation, preferred pronouns such as he, him, she, her, they, or them are often used by those who wish to identify as something other than their biological sex. A man who prefers to be referred to as a woman might ask others to refer to him as she or her. Some gender-confused individuals may even express a desire to be referred to as xi or xem, “new” words that have surfaced as a result of transgender ideology.
This has forced Christians to make a choice.
Should Christians, in an effort to be polite, yield to a transgender person’s wishes by referring to them as pronouns which are opposite of their biological sex? Should Christians show allyship to the transgender community by amplifying their own personal pronouns on social media or in the signature of their work emails?
While the Bible doesn’t specifically address the issues of transgenderism or personal pronouns, like anything else, Christians have an obligation to apply the principles we know to be true in Scripture to determine how to be the most loving in confronting such issues.
Genesis 1 clearly lays out the foundation for the argument against transgenderism: God intentionally and specifically created humans in His image: “…male and female He created them.”
This passage alone establishes God’s authority and His sovereignty over creation, refuting any idea that we might be able to change that which He has ordained. It also affirms that there are only two genders, both created by Him and assigned to us by Him at conception.
Not only that, but God said His creation of man and woman in His image, according to His purpose, is very good. By what authority should we disagree?
This should be the driving truth behind how we approach the issue of personal pronouns. As Isaiah 5:20 says,
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Woe unto us, Christians, for embracing, celebrating, or engaging in the opposite of what God says is “very good.”
In order to determine whether or not using preferred pronouns is loving our neighbor, we must first properly understand what it truly means for the Christian to love his neighbor.
The world might say that loving your neighbor means accepting, justifying, ignoring, and even celebrating sin. Progressive Christians would also agree. And some professing Christians may fear that any rebuke or call to repentance might turn away potential believers.
But all of these perspectives are a result of, at best, bad theology and, at worst, a godless worldview.
Leviticus 19:17-18 gives us important insight as to what it means, biblically, to love our neighbor:
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”
Loving our neighbor gives us permission to rebuke when necessary, to judge rightly, and to be impartial. It requires us to share the same Gospel that saved us with our neighbor, urging them to repent of their sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, lest they face eternal suffering under His wrath.
To start with, it is always unloving to refrain from sharing the Gospel with our neighbor, knowing that it forgives, blesses, and offers eternal life. But it can’t be a watered down, softened Gospel that normalizes sin.
Despite the consequences or the offense it might cause our neighbor, we must stand firm in the truth that sin is damnable. “But God…” (Ephesians 2:4). See, the good news of Christ crucified is only good news because the bad news is that we are dead in sin and must repent. We cannot effectively love our neighbor if we fail to warn them of the danger they are in when they choose to live in unrepentant sin.
Thus, by engaging in the lie of preferred pronouns, we are actually hindering our neighbor from receiving the message of the Gospel, leading them away from the only thing that will offer them true identity and salvation and heaping further judgment upon them as they remain dead in their sins.
By affirming their preferred gender identity, we would also be affirming that they are not who God created them to be. We would be denying God’s sovereignty in knitting them together, purposefully and sovereignly, in their mother’s womb. We would be advancing a lie rather than the truth.
To use preferred pronouns or engage in the use of pronouns as a reality is actually to hate our neighbor and to sin against a holy God.
To use preferred pronouns would mean we are no different than those Paul warns about in Romans 1:32:
“Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
Woe unto us, Christians, for giving approval to those who practice such godlessness. Woe unto us for being lukewarm and failing to reject what the world has to say about love, identity, and sex.
Woe unto us for foolishly believing that our ways could possibly be more loving, compassionate, and effective in spreading the Gospel message than God’s ways.
As the world grows more depraved and godless, Christians must count the cost of standing for truth. We must not be like those who are tossed to and fro by every wind and wave of doctrine, failing to stand tall in the midst of wickedness, lies, and persecution. Rather than being a friend to the world, we must be set apart from the world as Christ calls us to be.
This might mean refusing to put preferred pronouns in your email signature at work.
This might mean calling a gender-confused person by their name only, rather than by their preferred pronouns.
This might mean refraining from the social media trend of adding our own preferred pronouns to our profiles.
It also means sharing the true, unsoftened Gospel with transgenders and praying that God will help them realize and embrace their true identity and salvation in Him, despite the offense it may cause them.
And it absolutely means that we reject the satanic ideology that is transgenderism and refuse to waver on what God says to be true.
Follow Reagan on Twitter! @thereaganscott