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What is a woman?

Culture is changing so fast, we barely have time to catch our breath. Ten years ago almost no one had ever heard these words or phrases;

  • Transgender

  • Gender Fluid

  • Transitioning

  • And that the idea of disagreeing with someone is "hateful"

And the idea that a woman could be anything other than an adult female would have been laughable. The only reason the re-definition of a woman is being proposed is due to transgender ideology. Let's be clear, while there are many true, transgender, gender fluid people pushing for this change, their numbers are small. By most estimates far less than 1% of the population have historically claimed to be transgender. But these ideas are also being championed by many more straight people, some out of compassion, but others are just politically correct "gender, or tans activists."

What is the definition of transgender? This is an umbrella term for anyone who does not identify with, or feels some sort of discomfort with their biological sex. The phrase "I think of myself as a man, trapped in a woman's body (and vice/versa) is often used by trans people to discribe their experience. So the idea is, "If I have a man's body, but I perceive myself to me a woman- I'm a woman."

In March 2022 US Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson at her hearing before the Senate refused to define a woman. Her response: "I'm not a biologist." Does that presume only biologists know the answer to that question? Until maybe three or four years ago even an elementary school student knew what a woman was!

The Cambridge Dictionary recently amended it's definition of a woman to include, "An adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been assigned a different sex at birth." Now think about that for a minute. Who "assigned" their sex at birth? A medical doctor- someone until a year or so ago, thought they knew what a male and female were but apparently now were wrong, or unsure. So if they give a physical 20 years from now to this person, would medical experts come to a different conclusion, or is "sex" no longer a medical condition, but a mental one?

A decade ago Spenser Johnson wrote management book "Who Moved My Cheese?" It's a book about dealing with change wisely and the consequences if we don't. The "cheese" of change in the conversation surrounding sex and gender is changing so quickly and profoundly that if Christians don't get their arms around what they believe and why, we're going to end up standing alone, apart from even our adult children and grandchildren.

There's an applicable scene in the movie M.A.S.H. about life in a hospital unit in Korea during the Korean war. The commanding officer has all the troops in line in front of him. When he asks for volunteers for a dangerous mission, everyone but one poor soul, takes one step back, leaving him all alone. Many serious followers of Jesus and I feel like that soldier. We didn't move. But everyone else has.

So, now what? Do Christians just shake their heads in disgust while the world moves on. That would be very unwise!

Here are a few ideas when you are in conversation with your children or grandchildren:

1. Be empathetic.

Admit there are people born as transgender and acknowledge how confusing and difficult that must be. I've met with many of them who knew they were trans long before it was cool. It's hard. I feel real compassion for them. They are not the "loud and proud." Many are silent and scared. However, it's also true not every person can always be identified as a male or female. Not every person is born with either an XX or XY chromosomes. And there are inter-sex people who are born with sexual abnormalities. But according to the National Institute of Health these cases occur in only 1 out of every 3,500 births. Not enough to justify redefining what a women is for 99.9% of the non-trans female population.

2. Acknowledge trans people have a right to feel safe and not be disrespected.

"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

-Colossians 4:5-6

Respecting trans people is not the same as agreeing with them. Just because transgender people think of themselves mentally, opposite their biological sex, does not automatically mean they can claim the same rights as the gender they identify with. Common sense tells us biological males should not compete against females. This isn't because we have a theological disagreement, it's just patently unfair to women in certain sports. Let's carry this argument to its logical conclusion. "If biological men can compete as a "woman" why have both have men and women's sports at all? Why not just basketball teams, or swimming teams?" Because 99% of biological women know that would be patently unfair. And they're right.

3. Point out the dangers of redefining what it means to be a woman, or man, which have stood since the beginning of the human race. I don't blame all trans people for this move away from reality. I also blame knowledgable straight people so desperate to be politically correct that they're willing to suspend common sense.

The American Medical Association on June 16, 2021 approved supporting the idea of not designating on birth certificates the sex of a child at birth. So they adopted this resolution: "Designating sex on birth certificates as male or female ... perpetuates a view that sex designation is permanent and fails to recognize the medical spectrum of gender identity."

Obviously this is no fad that is going away soon. The world is shifting under our feet. Will 2+2 equal 5 in the future? Think about the implications for Christians and the future of families. If you aren't sure if you are a man, why bother learning how to be, even wanting to be a godly man, or husband, or father? The same is true of Christian women.

4. Christians are being called "hateful" just for disagreeing with this new definition of male and female. Just watch this this brief exchange between Senator Hawley and a Berkley Law Professor about defining what a woman is. In all fairness, I doubt most trans advocates are that combative, but the language she's using is showing up in more and more videos. We should not be shamed into silence. Neither should Christians respond in anger.

5. Words matter. The world has already turned the word "marriage" from the union of a male and female, into marriage between anyone of any sex. If a person on welfare feels humiliated, we should feel sad for them. But you don't solve the problem by calling welfare, "work." Rather than recognizing the obvious, our culture appears to be getting used to accepting false ideas rather than appear out of step and "old fashion." .

We are on the verge in the next decade of losing the "women" battle. Talk to your children and grandchildren about the importance of words and the dangers of redefining terms that all people, all religions, or no religion have relied on since the beginning of time to make sense of this world.

"Do not be confirmed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

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