Request your free, three-month trial to Tabletalk magazine. You’ll receive the print issue monthly and gain immediate digital access to decades of archives. This trial is risk-free. No credit card required.Try Tabletalk Now
Already receive Tabletalk magazine every month?
Verify your email address to gain unlimited access.
Once upon a time, boys were boys, girls were girls, and binary was a mathematical term.
Today, however, the idea that there are only two sexes, male or female, which you stay in from birth, has been condemned as transphobic. The sex binary, we are told, is just an idea. To argue otherwise is sometimes regarded as hate speech.
This new orthodoxy is a denial of reality, a rejection of science, and an attack on God our Creator.
The Enlightenment project and its result, modernism, effectively said, “We don’t need God anymore!” Without God, we are left to our own reason. Yet trying to derive certain knowledge by relying on our own individual reason is doomed. Who is to judge between competing claims? We are pushed toward complete relativism. As confidence in the claims of modernism faded, instead of turning back to belief in God the Creator who defines reality and truth, people attempted to escape from reason. Modernism crumpled into postmodernism.
It takes years to construct a magnificent cathedral. A bomb can reduce it to rubble in minutes. To build a civilization involves the cumulative wisdom of generations over centuries. From the 1920s, a group of thinkers set in motion a process aimed at smashing the hegemony (power) of culture, tradition, family, religion—all the various institutions that opposed unlimited personal freedom.
This cultural revolution set out to question everything, to deconstruct, to subvert reality. The tactics? Divide humanity between the powerful and the oppressed (men and women, “straight” and “gay,” “cis” and “trans,” white and black, abled and disabled, ad infinitum). Deceive people into thinking that all truth claims are grabs for power. Those who hold power use “big stories” (religion, family values, historical narratives, science, etc.) to keep control. Words are just tools in this power game.
This virus infiltrated academia. As those trained in universities and colleges moved into the professions, it spread throughout Western culture. We see the noxious results in the rancorous identity politics currently destroying academic freedom and tearing communities apart.
Come back to the statement “girls are girls and boys are boys.” This is no longer seen as an unquestionable biological fact, accepted by all reasonable people. It’s regarded as a metanarrative about binary sex: a power grab by which cis people (the privileged majority) dominate trans people (the oppressed minority). To assign biological sex to a newborn is said to be a violent act. “Words are violence!” “Silence is violence” as well, if you fail to affirm a victim’s claims. To call for evidence or cite science is viewed as a power grab, proof that you’re part of the hegemony (the powerful, oppressive, sexist, racist, etc., elite).
Many today have been deceived by the devil’s lies: “There is no God; there is no truth.” Gender theory is just one noxious outworking of unbelief. It has already ruined countless lives. It is true that many of the people who are most troubled don’t consciously set out to promote this theory. But they are victims of this ideology, and if it is not challenged, the number of these victims will only increase.
This is a rerun of the ancient Gnostic heresy, and history shows that answering heresies results in God’s truth being more deeply explored and clearly proclaimed. As believers, we have been placed here “for such a time as this” (Est. 4:14). This is our opportunity to proclaim that human dignity is respected only when we understand that we are made by God and in the image of God. God has created us male and female (Gen. 1:26–28). We see the dignity of embodied humanity supremely in the incarnation. The eternal Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, became flesh—a man, born of a woman.
The arrogance of the Enlightenment liberal project was to think that human reason, unaided, could solve human problems. Critical theory now challenges the very concept of reason. We are collectively plunging down the vortex of insanity. We stand amid the ruins of a culture that has defied and denied the creator God.
Some Christians are scared to speak out. But we are to fear God rather than men (Acts 5:29). We are to proclaim the truth and extend God’s free offer of grace to those around us who have been deceived by lies.