Once the shooting begins, there is little place for rational conversation.
Alas, recently in Nashville, TN, a 28-year-old disturbed woman, calling herself a male, walked into the Covenant School, which she had attended as a youth, and executed three adults and three nine-year-old children: Evelyn Dieckhaus, Mike Hill, William Kinney, Katherine Koonce, Cynthia Peak, and Hallie Scruggs. We note the names of those slaughtered and pray for their bereaved families.
Recently, there has been a call to violence among progressives. Already, violent speech and the refusal of dialogue has taken over college campuses, where screaming and physical threats bring an end to any conservative lecture. This vicious mindset can lead some to actual physical violence, as was the case, apparently, in Nashville.
On ABC’s “The View,” actress Jane Fonda recently declared that women were not going to retreat on abortion rights. If their marches and protests were ineffective, Fonda suggested they should have recourse to “murder.” Even more explicitly, Wayne State Professor Steven Shaviro posted his views about free speech on campus: “Although I do not advocate violating federal and state criminal codes, I think it is far more admirable to kill a racist, homophobic, or transphobic speaker than it is to shout them down.” Was the violence in Nashville the beginning of a ruthless, murderous opposition to anyone who holds conservative or Christian values?
The response to the Nashville incident caught the country by surprise. Rather than recoiling at the horror of six murders, trans activists shifted the blame away from the twisted killer, Audrey Hale, and onto the chosen victims. The trans community is using the incident to demand the end of the conservative “love affair” with “radical religious schools.” In our upside-down society, the targeted victims have become the political victimizers. Eli Erlick, who recently boasted about providing cross-sex hormones to children, posted a tweet citing accusations of abuse at the Covenant Presbyterian Church of Nashville in 2013, though he presented no factual basis for this rumor.
It should not surprise us that violence and false accusations will spring up like weeds in a culture that rejects God’s authority, laws, or existence. Christians will become targets of hatred and violence. If there is no God who is the ultimate source of morality, then human beings will appoint themselves to be that authoritative source. If there is no source of ultimate truth, then there is no limiting structure to human behavior.
When faith in God disappears, it is not replaced by some reasonable abstraction. Instead, all sorts of things rush into the gap: superstition (37% of adults under 30 believe in astrology), personality cults, conspiracy theories and a conviction that we are now gods who can save the planet and change gender at will.
Have we reached a point of no return?
On April 1, 2023, after the Nashville massacre, our President made a disturbing statement about transgender sexuality:
On Transgender Day of Visibility, we want you to know that we see you just as you are: made in the image of God and deserving of dignity, respect, and support. Transgender Americans shape our Nation’s soul…
The President is right that human beings are made in God’s image but he forgets the Scripture’s account of the fall into sin, which distorts that image. We need to know the true image, how the fall distorted it, and how God plans to restore it. Can we “shape our nation’s soul” on deeply disturbed human nature, while proposing as the simplistic answer to all ills—the banning of guns? Do we not need to consider, as a matter of urgency, the factors that contribute to the many souls who take their anger and confusion out on other people’s little children?
A study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior confirms the common-sense conclusion many observers of the “transgender” hysteria have long drawn regarding the sociogenic nature of deviant sexual identity. The study shows that youths with a history of mental health issues are especially likely to have taken steps to socially and medically transition. These youths were disproportionately (75%) natal females. Abigail Favale, Dean of Humanities at Fox University and mother of four, once a radical feminist, has written a book to get us back to sane thinking about sex. To define male and female, she speaks of “generative potentiality” (the objectivity of male semen and the female womb) that is essential to sexual differentiation. Only males can produce semen. Only females have wombs. She believes that men who try to portray themselves as women are only portraying what they think women are, not what they actually are. They try to become a painted lady sex object rather than a competent and crucially important child-bearing human being. Femininity is a treasure to protect and defend, not an object to poorly imitate and pervert.
Favale argues that feminism ultimately destroyed natural femininity because it wanted to make women into men. Because our world has reduced sex to mere appearance and pleasure-making, a sex-change can seem feasible. But, ultimately, such an attempt has no meaning and is thus mentally destructive and perverted. Actual men make poor women. If you have to digest hormones, have surgeries to change your appearance and remove your genitals, then you will always be a fraud—hence the growing number of devastated detransitioners. Such a mangled image cannot be derived from Scripture, nor can it find its origin in the true God or in the objective human sexuality he created. Trying to become the opposite sex is a self-confusing imag-inary invention leading one totally astray. We are building the nation’s soul on pure fantasy, on what dysfunctional males imagine women to be. As in the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes, we need some innocent voices with the courage to speak the obvious. Instead, we have reached a place where to state the obvious gets you labeled as “transphobic,” and treated as mentally incompetent and worthy of death.
In a press conference three days after the mass murder, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre failed to name any of the victims or to identify the murderer, Audrey Hale. The Biden mouthpiece did say, however, that “our hearts go out to the trans community as they are under attack right now.” In reality, they are on the attack, harshly criticizing Christians who oppose castrating children, for example.
So we must ask: What can Christian believers contribute to this imploding culture without being accused of mercilessly attacking transgender citizens?
We bring two things: words of clarifying wisdom and words of genuine love.
Words of Wisdom
The biblical “image of God,” a term President Biden fails to understand, is God’s wise creation of individual importance and personal nobility. Such qualities originate in the work of God, the intelligent personal Creator who created us in his image, male and female (Gen 1:26–7). The Creator gives divine significance to science, morality, long term goals, meaningful human relationships—in short, everything!
God sets binary distinctions throughout his creation. It is the key to creativity. Without difference, we would have only repetitive drabness. The terms “non-binary” and “binary,” invented by progressive liberalism, actually fit a biblical way of thinking and thus facilitate Christian apologetics. I have often used the terms “Oneism” and “Twoism.” In a Bible verse of just 25 words, the Apostle Paul gives a summary statement of the cosmos. This balanced, wise description of the created universe makes sense to the world in its unique depth and simplicity:
…they exchanged the truth about God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:25)
Non-Binary and its Effects on Sexuality
In this verse, Paul speaks of those who worship and serve the creature (or creation). This phrase expresses Oneist or non-binary thinking. The creation is self-creating and self-explanatory. Everything is made up of the same stuff, whether matter, spirit or a mixture. There is only one basic kind of self-creating existence. If this is true, then “worship” can only be given to the created order. If everything shares in the same divine substance, ultimate distinctions are, in principle, eliminated. Everything is non-binary in its essence and thus everything is “god.” One might call this a “homocosmology.” This leads human beings to be utterly mistaken about the nature of existence, denying the existence of God. On this basis, they construct a false image of Oneist sexuality.
Biblical faith brings clarity to people who may not know what to believe. The Sixties revolution faced society with a confusing new age mysticism, mixed with pagan sexuality. At the time, a progressive Harvard observer called this movement “a cultural cataclysmic transformation.” Sexual androgyny was introduced as a significant expression of religious paganism. The word “androgyny” joins andros/male to gune/female, which melds sexual distinctions into a non-binary entity. Androgyny includes homosexuality (two males together or two females together playing both the male and female roles), bi-sexuality, drag-queen culture (where men dress up as women in flamboyant exaggeration), transvestitism, and transgenderism. All these sexual activities have brought massive confusion to our modern culture. We can see the sexual behavior, but what we often fail to see is the androgynous spirituality that accompanies the sexuality. That spirituality rejects any distinction between us and God, making humans the measure of the divine.
Not many people are aware of the myths of bisexual or androgynous gods or homosexual and androgynous priests. These have existed as far back as ancient Mesopotamian and Indo-European nature religions, as well as in the myths of Australian Aborigines, African tribes, South American Indians (the blood-thirsty Aztec gods) and Pacific islanders.
Mircea Eliade, the great historian of that time, explains the spiritual meaning of androgyny. It is the pagan meaning of “the image of God”—“a symbolic restoration…of the undifferentiated unity that preceded the creation.” He states that androgyny in pagan religions is “an archaic and universal formula for the expression of wholeness, the co-existence of the contraries, or coincidentia oppositorum . . . symboliz[ing] . . . perfection. What better description of the non-binary “image” could we find these days than the one our President is proposing?
Paul now speaks of those who worship and serve the Creator. This expression describes a binary view of existence. Biblical wisdom brings a discourse that avoids emotionalism and moralizing while reaching to the heart of the issue. The universe is the work of a distinct Creator who caringly made it but is separate and different from it. There are thus two kinds of existence—the Creator, who is uncreated, and everything else, which is created. This worldview celebrates Twoism or the binary because there are two kinds of personal beings—God who is uncreated and human beings who are created. We worship as divine only the personal triune Creator, who is distinct from the creation he has made, and who placed distinction into the essence of existence, thus revealing a heterocosmology based on otherness and difference. Maleness is holy and good: femininity is a treasure to protect and defend, not an object to possess and pervert. Herman Bavinck (1854–1921), the gifted nineteenth century Dutch theologian, stated: “True religion distinguishes itself by the fact that it construes the relationship between God and the world, including man, as that between the Creator and his creation.” The binary God or the God who is other, is the logical source of intelligence. The young, brilliant scientist, Stephen Myer, argues that ever since the recent discovery of the genetic code, many scientists now consider chance an inadequate explanation of existence. Meyers points out that the genetic code is a code:
a sophisticated marvel of information-processing nanotechnology whereby three-letter nucleotide codons are translated into amino acids which are assembled into proteins. And that intelligent design is the only known cause of the origin of large amounts of functionally specified information. Theism explains an ensemble of metaphysically significant events in the history of the universe more simply, more adequately and more comprehensively than major competing metaphysical systems like pantheism and deism.
Just as the software in a computer program points to a programmer, so the digital code within the DNA molecule suggests the activity of a designing mind in the origin of life.
This means that the original design of distinct human beings as recounted in the Bible was an act of intelligence. So when God says about his work that “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen 2:18) he means that the universe could not function with just men alone. Adam needed “a helper fit for him,” so God created woman and together they were able to start the process of creating civilization in the form of babies. Then everything was “very good.” “Transgenderism rejects God’s explanations of the beginnings, but has no serious ontology or theory of being to put in its place.”
This has implications. Transgenderism, by definition, is not “good.” It is also psychologically troubling. Meyer describes undergraduates who see no point in anything because they have come to accept that existence is nothing but atoms in the void, and then with Nietzsche they accept “existence debased to a mere couch-potato exercise for mathematicians.” This is doubtless true of those who believe that dimorphic sexuality (male/female sexuality) arises from mere chance. Such people are likely to endorse transsexuality. “If, on the other hand, says Meyer, you affirm the God hypothesis, then the universe reflects not mere random chance but the work and intention of a Creator.” We can extend this to sexuality, affirming its deep meaning and wisdom given to us as essential to God’s image.
Transgenderism is illogical. It is not surprising that many caught up in the movement fall into depression and despair. Their minds begin to detach from reality, whereas detransitioners re-discover their logic. There is hope.
Words of Love
What better words to hear in our time of growing schism and violence than these: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). Trans people are searching for love and acceptance. They should know that “wokism” lacks the essential element of love. It accuses, produces proud and active victims but it has no forgiveness.
But trans people also need to know that the term “love” occurs at least 466 times in the Bible. The ultimate defining notion of the universe is the principle of love and there is nothing anyone can do about it. I don’t mean to say that there is no justice, no right or wrong. We all know that there is a difference between good and evil. Yet we do not get to define those two realities. Ultimately, we all fail to do good and cannot measure up to God’s standard. God provided a way for us to be accepted by him. How can this happen? It is not obvious.
Bernard d’Espagnat, winner of the Templeton Award, speaks of God as the hypercosmic God, outside of space and time and indeed the creator of space and time. This is the God who is the creator of the 200 billion galaxies (each with a billion stars) that are billions of light years away. The light year refers to the distance that light travels in one year, namely 6 trillion miles. Little wonder the Apostle Paul declares: “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” How can we know such a God? In the Old Testament, Job rightfully declares: “Therefore I am terrified at his presence; when I consider, I am in dread of him” (Job 23:15).2 Jesus instructs us to love this formidable God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” God devised a plan “abounding in steadfast love” (Num 14:18). That love is shown to Israel in a thousand different ways. But how is God’s love shown in a personal way to the world? How does this hypercosmic God, who is behind the trillions of light years, show personal love to miniscule human beings on miniscule planet earth?
God devised a plan. God the Father decided to send the second person of the Trinity, the Son, “whom I love” (Mat 17:5), to take on sinful human flesh and to save a fallen world. The best known verse in the Bible, John 3:16, says clearly: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” Romans 5:8 reiterates the message: “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The hypercosmic God, whose mind cannot be known, yet communicates his personal love to human creatures—by the mystery of the incarnation and the cross, by taking on human flesh, bearing our sin in the Son’s atoning death on the cross.
Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved (Eph 2:4-5)
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10).
I write this essay on Good Friday evening. Jesus Christ is the destroyer of death! He is the Lord of life and the Giver of love. By his resurrection, Jesus is declared to be the Son of God in power. Death could not hold him. The grave could not keep him. Our Savior broke the chains of sin and death, and by his resurrection he has brought life and love to light.
Dear reader, if you have not yet found such love, it is not too late to hear both wise words and words of love. Kneel in repentance before God who is both your intelligent Creator and your loving Savior. Then seek him in his word, in a Bible-preaching church, in a group of Christians. God will not turn you away!