Should Christians be gender inclusive?
An alto in our choir works in the big leagues at a nearby university. This alto has shared that the campus has made it clear that no one is to call freshmen by that title. They are now to be addressed as first years. Why? The name ‘men’ is offensive to some.
When the choir heard this comment, a general sense of “Oh, what now?” came across the room. Really? We are retitling a tried-and-true title at a university because the word man is in it?
Here is another question. Have we gone too far? You may argue yes or no, but what’s the Christian to do about this? Scripture says, “God created man and woman (Genesis 1:27).” This is factual. Man. Woman. Both words seem okay, or at least they have been. So, what’s all the fuss about now?
I can’t answer that question, at least not in a column, but I can share how we Christians are to respond—and that’s with love. And this love is inclusive love. We are not to judge. We are love. Love big. Love beyond. Love. Just love.
“Wait, now,” I hear some of you say. “Hold up. You’re next going to talk about sexuality, and then those who change sexuality.”
To those who are here, I am where I was in the paragraph about love. I don’t have this. Commentary on gender identification is not something I am going to venture into because God never calls me to do that. What God does call me—and you—into is deep, lasting, transcending love.
If we are to love our enemies, and we are (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:28), then we are love everyone. If we are love our neighbor as ourselves, and we are (Mark 12:30-31), then let’s do more love. A lot more love.
If you’re caught on this, or upset with me on this, maybe you’re selling short what love can do. Please do yourself and the world a huge favor. Never sell short what love can do. We led people to Christ. This is our call. Christ does the changing, the rearranging, and the conviction. That’s not in our job title.
Love changes everything and everyone for the better. My thoughts are not God’s thoughts, and my ways are not God’s ways. Rather than be stumped or stymied on this, we have a far better option.
We have an awesome option, in fact. We love. We love not to change ourselves or others. We love because that’s what we do boldly, beautifully, and bountifully.
Something somewhere gets all of us. Specifically, someone somewhere gets all of us. There’s that person out there that really pushes our buttons. You have the person—or personality type.
For me, it’s hunters who literally walk under clearly posted NO HUNTING signs with their gun slung over their shoulder. Oooof. Also, people who don’t return a shopping cart to the nearest shopping cart min-carport-like thing in the parking lot? Um. Yeah. What’s up with that?
I’m not to respond to roaming hunters and those who abandon a once sought-after shopping cart with an agenda, anger, malice, or even a snide thought (oh, yes, that can be tough); I’m to respond with love. And you are, too.
Yes, we are to build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Yes, we are to reproof (Matthew 18:15, Galatians 6:1, 2 Timothy 3:16). And in all of this, and through all of this, love (1 John 4:7-11).