What I’d Love to Say to Bruce Jenner

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In Bruce Jenner’s recent TV interview with Diane Sawyer, the world-famous former athlete disclosed that “For all intents and purposes, I am a woman.” He’s being widely praised as a courageous hero for normalizing the T in LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender).

I have a few thoughts I would love to share with him over a cup of coffee:

Bruce, you said you’ve known since you were young that you felt a mismatch between your insides and your outsides: “My brain is much more female than it is male . . . that’s what my soul is.” I have no doubt this was confusing for you, as a boy so clearly athletically gifted.

May I share a different interpretation of your experience?

Most people think there is a single gender spectrum or continuum that runs from masculinity to femininity. Since God’s Word says that in the beginning, He created humankind male and female (Genesis 1:27), I think there is one spectrum for masculinity and a separate spectrum for femininity, and God chooses what kind of masculine or feminine each baby starts out as. On one end of the masculinity spectrum are the rough-and-tumble, athletic boys who tend to emotional insensitivity—the ones often called “All-American boys.” On the other end, equally masculine albeit a different kind of masculinity, are the creative, artistic, musical, emotionally sensitive boys. Boys and men can be anywhere along that spectrum. And with emotional and especially spiritual growth, they can start taking up more bandwidth. The athletic ones can learn to listen well and show empathy to others; the sensitive ones can learn to be more comfortable with their bodies and feel more like they actually belong to the world of males.

Some, like you, are given the rare gift of possessing almost the whole spectrum at once (like Jesus, I think—a “man’s man” who drew other men to Himself, and the ultimate in creative, artistic and sensitive, since He was the Creator of the universe, of sunsets, and of women!). You were crazy-gifted physically, becoming arguably the world’s best athlete in the 1976 Olympics. And at the same time, you said that you believed God gave you “the soul of a female.”

I don’t think your creative, sensitive soul is that of a female, but of a sensitive, gifted kind of male. This was understood better in earlier days. During the Civil War, General Joshua Chamberlain showed uncommon courage and leadership during the battle of Gettysburg, complemented by deep compassion and respect for others. He would walk the battlefield, seeking out and caring for the casualties. He sat down with the wounded General Sickles to try and cheer him up, who whispered, “General, you have the soul of the lion and the heart of the woman.” Chamberlain, clearly honored by this praise, returned the blessing to the one who gave it.

Bruce, I don’t think God gave you the soul of a female. I think He gave you a body and soul very much like His Son. I think it would be fair to say you have the soul of the lion and the heart of the woman, and that does not detract one whit from your masculinity.

One Christian to another, I want to encourage you to develop an eternal perspective rather than only thinking about the here-and-now earthly life. In your interview, you said, “I couldn’t take the walls constantly closing in on me. If I die. . . I’d be so mad at myself that I didn’t explore that side of me.” But the end of your earthly life is only the last step before entering the glory of eternity. We need to always put more weight on the unseen and eternal rather than the seen and temporal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says, “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” Your unhappiness with your gender identity qualifies as “momentary, light affliction” according to the standard God uses. You will spend the rest of your (eternal) life in your new body, a resurrection body similar to the Lord Jesus’. God chose for you to be male, just as His Son was male, and is still male. So will you be, for all eternity. That should help put your earthly life into perspective.

Bruce, I say this really, really gently: your sense that you are male on the outside and female on the inside is an error of thinking and feeling, not an error based in reality. Dr. Paul McHugh is the psychiatrist who shut down the sex-change surgery program at Johns Hopkins University because they discovered that patients were actually no better off after surgery. According to Dr. McHugh, those who identify as transgender, like you, are like the 78-pound anorexic girl who looks in the mirror and sees a morbidly obese cow. It’s your thinking that needs to be adjusted, not your body. You look in the mirror with your male eyes in a male body, a body that has fathered six children, and you say, “I am really a female.” But Bruce, you’re not. God chose to create you as a male. He made you to be a man.

Like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, brother, you are fooling yourself. You can’t change your gender, you can only amputate perfectly healthy, functioning organs and tissue. If you move forward with surgery and continued hormone treatments, everyone will always know that you are Bruce Jenner The Once-Uber Male Athlete, trying to look like a woman.

I recently learned from a computer animator that due to the different bone structures of males and females, men can never walk like women because your hips don’t move like ours do—male hips and pelvis were not created for pregnancy and childbirth. It’s yet another evidence that true sex change is not biologically possible.

Please, Bruce, before going any further down this path, talk to those who have gone down the path you are on, and who deeply regret it. People like Walt Heyer of sexchangeregret.com. People like the very tall female-looking man who told me through tears, in a very long conversation, that he would give anything to go back to the day before his surgery because he now feels like a fraud.

Bruce, our Bible says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Since God chose to give you the gift of maleness, and He calls you to be a good steward of every gift He places in your hand (1 Corinthians 4:2), please reconsider how you can reject His gift of masculinity to the glory of God.

You can have “the soul of the lion and the heart of the woman”—and be the man God made you to be.

 

This blog post originally appeared at
http://blogs.bible.org/engage/sue_bohlin/what_id_love_to_say_to_bruce_jenner
on May 5, 2015.

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. In addition to being a professional calligrapher, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565
info@probe.org
www.probe.org

Copyright/Reproduction Limitations

This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright 2015 Probe Ministries) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. In addition to being a professional calligrapher, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565
info@probe.org
www.probe.org

Copyright/Reproduction Limitations

This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright 2015 Probe Ministries) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.

11 Comments
  1. Tama 2 years ago

    Sue, I appreciate how you always speak the truth in love. This is a very hard topic with which many struggle–thank you for shedding God’s light on it.

    • Author
      Sue Bohlin 2 years ago

      Bless you, Tama, for your warm affirmation! I appreciate you! Before writing it, I asked the Lord to express through what I wrote a balance of grace and truth, shot through with love and respect for Bruce and all those struggling with gender identity.

  2. Neysa 2 years ago

    My question to you is this. Why do you think you can judge Bruce Jenner? Nobody but him can know how he feels. My theory in life is this. ” Just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t make it wrong “. We all have opinions on everything. They only really matter to us, nobody else cares.
    Take care of yourself and you will be better.

    • Author
      Sue Bohlin 2 years ago

      Thank you for writing, Neysa. My intent was not to judge Bruce, but to demonstrate how to think biblically about his statements in the interview and the issue of transgender in general. (Besides, I really would love for him to hear this perspective, and I really would love to sit down with him over a cup of coffee.) Thinking biblically means comparing life—topics and issues and events—to what God’s word says. When someone elevates feelings above the truth expressed in God’s word and God’s works (such as creating him male), it’s important to see the distinction. As a writer and speaker for a Christian ministry that helps people think biblically, comparing things to God’s word is what I do.

      I hear what you’re saying about “Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it wrong.” What makes something wrong is not our understanding or lack of it, but how it stands up to the standard of God’s truth, which we know from His word. Just as we can tell that a stick is crooked by laying it next to a straightedge, we can tell when something is wrong by comparing it to what is right. It’s not just about opinions, it’s about truth and deception as defined by God.

      Blessing you today,
      Sue

    • Ray 7 months ago

      Neysa… My take on Sue’s response is that she IS judging, but to not sound judgemental she will put it on “God” and call it “discerning” the truth. I am not usually this hostile towards others beliefs, but it is the infinitesimal, insidious nature of comments like this that represent the guile of religion.

      • Author
        Sue Bohlin 7 months ago

        I have a feeling that nothing I say would make any difference, Ray, if you lump all religion under the umbrella of “guile.” But I do want you to know I read your comment, obviously approved it, and I wish you well.

        And I wish you truth.

  3. Karla 2 years ago

    I think that Bruce Jenner has been so beaten down by the women on that TV program that he doesn’t feel masculine anymore. Unfortunately our culture has “feminized” boys and men so much, allowing women to appear to be the more dominant of the sexes. I think that some men just give up and go with it.

    • Author
      Sue Bohlin 2 years ago

      Well, Karla, according to what Bruce said on the interview with Diane Sawyer, his gender confusion began when he was a small boy. But I have to agree with you about the feminization of various aspects of our culture, from the church to schools. We even have some articles on our website that refer to this sad phenomenon.

  4. Jane Vetzikian 2 years ago

    Dear Mrs. Bohlin,
    I read your article, “What I’d love to say to Bruce Jenner”. Thank you for your Biblical insight into the transgender issue. However, the article doesn’t answer my specific questions as an Auntie just finding out today that my beautiful, intelligent, formerly faith-professing, yet militant lesbian niece is undergoing gender reassignment. Please tell me, what do I call her? Do I acquiesce to her wishes to be known by he, him, his and Liam? Or do I continue to speak with her by her given name and God-assigned gender identity? Her mother doesn’t know what to do either, and their relationship is tenuous at best, because her mother has taken a firm Biblical stand. I would appreciate your response to these questions. Sincerely, Jane Vetzikian

    • Author
      Sue Bohlin 2 years ago

      I am so very sorry you and your family are put in this difficult position. My answer is about as politically incorrect as you can get, but I am more concerned about aligning myself with biblical truth and the heart of God.

      The call to speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15), as well as Jesus’ example of speaking the truth to people (such as the Samaritan woman at the well, to whom He clearly but lovingly spoke the truth about her living with a man she wasn’t married to), indicates that we should tell the truth. It is not loving or kind to support someone’s wrong thinking. A young lady who was born a female by God’s choice, but whose feelings don’t line up with what is true–she was created female and will always be an XY-chromosome female–is simply wrong and mistaken about her gender. When people’s thinking is out of alignment with their biology, the solution is not surgery but to address the real problem, their erroneous thinking.

      If your niece were an 80-pound anorexic who thought of herself as obese, it would not be kindness to go along with her illusion and agree that she needs to starve herself. It would not be loving to “support” her mental illness by agreeing that eating a stalk of broccoli and a glass of water all day long is a good idea.

      Despite the inevitable pushback you would receive, my gentle counsel is to continue to speak the truth in love to your niece by calling her by her real name and referring to her as the female that she is, and when she objects, tell her that you understand what she wants, but what she wants is not consistent with what is true and good. She may have lost her way and lost her faith for the time being, but as one who was born again and will live eternally with the Lord, it will be in a new, female resurrected body. Cooperating with the delusion that she can change her gender is not loving. God always speaks the truth to us, and calls us to speak it to each other, so I would suggest that means not giving in to her “strong delusion” (2 Thess. 2:11) that she can change what God has decreed.

      I hope you find this helpful, and I submit it with a prayer for grace and truth to win out . . . eventually.

  5. Hilary 4 months ago

    I find it interesting the Neysa accuses Sue of being judgemental of Bruce; yet Neysa is making a judgement of Sue. Sue has written a very gracious comment on Bruce that is clearly motivated by Truth, love and concern. Neysa isn’t able to follow her own advice. She tells Sue to ‘take care of yourself and you will be better’. Had she done that herself, her response would not have been written.

    May we all find the Way, the Truth, the Life.

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