What sin did Bruce Jenner commit?
Seriously, before you freak out on me think about that question. For a people who are determined to live by book, chapter & verse….we ought to be able to rationally voice what our problem is with Bruce Jenner.
I think that a by-product of our drive-by media is that it’s produced a nation of drive-by Christians. Every time a crazy story pops up on the “news” all of christendom gets into an uproar and forwards along Facebook links about how bad the world is, without ever addressing the root problems that our world is facing.
So rather than just forwarding along editorials about how Bruce Jenner is a “monster”, let’s ask ourselves what it is that he’s done wrong.
Bruce Jenner altered his body to look like something he’s not. Well, is that necessarily a sin?
I used to have crooked teeth. But when I was around twelve years old or so my parents spent a lot of money to mechanically alter my teeth so that they’d be straight. And I’m sure glad they did. In a nation where tomorrow morning saints will arrive at worship services with mechanically altered teeth, “done up” hair, make-up and nail polish…..are we seriously going to say that altering our bodies to look like something they’re not is a SIN?
And I’d be careful with the argument that Bruce Jenner just went to far with his surgery. If you’re allowed to mechanically or surgically or even temporarily alter your appearance, then where in the Bible does it say where the line is drawn? Please point out the book, chapter & verse that allows a little body modification, but not a lot.
And we might as well discuss the “our body is the temple” argument.
Yes, 1Corinthians 6 tells us to honor God with our body. So let’s talk about how that applies to Bruce Jenner. If you had an opportunity to talk to Bruce Jenner tomorrow, what would you say? Really? Given one hour to convert him, would you really focus on the superficial?
If Bruce Jenner undid all that he’s done to his body, would he suddenly become sinless? If not, then why are we focusing on his body?
Sidebar-I can see, and the rest of the world does as well, the hypocrisy in saying that Bruce Jenner isn’t honoring God with his body-temple enough……in a country where 33% of the population is obese and suffering from numerous weight related illnesses, many of which can be fatal. Again, until you stop eating fried and sugared bread on national donut day (I had two) or some similar tasty, but unhealthy, treat I’d be very careful drawing an arbitrary line in the sand with 1Corinthians 6.
Truth be told, 1Corinthians 6 isn’t the passage that Bruce Jenner needs to hear. And personally, I don’t think it’s the passage that Christians need to be shouting right now.
Bruce Jenner isn’t gay.
I’m not sure how this works, honestly. Because Bruce Jenner has said that he’s still sexually attracted to women.
And if your position is that Bruce was born a man and will always be a man, regardless of how he surgically modifies his body (that’s my position)…then I don’t think that he can be gay by having sexual relations with women. Even while in his body that appears to be a woman.
The whole thing is more complicated than Back To The Future 3, but the conclusion is that homosexuality isn’t the sin Bruce Jenner needs to worry about.
Bruce’s problem is that all of his life’s energy is being spent searching after his own happiness.
Matthew 6:19-20 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Thieves aren’t going to break in and steal Bruce Jenner’s new lady parts. But his new lady parts are going to rot away. Over time his new body will start to droop and wrinkle and the airbrushed beauty will tarnish. And what Bruce Jenner has done is to lay up all of his treasures….everything that he works for and trusts in….here on earth. Rather that spending his time and energy seeking to please God, he’s spent all of his time trying to please himself.
Psalms 37:4 tells us Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
If we want to find true happiness and peace in this life, we have to stop looking for happiness and peace in this life. God has promised us that He will fill our lives with contentment, IF we delight in him. Bruce Jenner’s problem is that he’s searching for contentment in this life….in this life.
The suicide rate among people who have gender reassignment surgery is TWENTY TIMES higher than the general population. And I think that’s caused by a feeling of despair. Can you imagine being so unhappy with your life that you’re willing to mutilate your body to the extent that Bruce Jenner did?
And the sad part is that after the surgery….you’re still not going to be happy. All of the surgery, the pretty new clothes, all of the interviews and attention will not fill that hole in your heart. When men seek “freedom” by chasing every desire they have, all they find is that they’ve become enslaved to the fleeting, transient desires of their heart. As soon as they grab hold of what they’re chasing, they’re not happy….they just start chasing something new.
And when you’ve gone to such great lengths to catch happiness, only to find that it still escapes you….I’d imagine that suicide seems like the only option left.
Bruce Jenner’s sin doesn’t have anything to do with his body. His surgically modified body is just a symptom of his sin.
And that’s what I believe Christians should be shouting from the rooftops.
Instead of focusing on Bruce’s appearance, let’s focus on his heart. His heart that is only seeking to serve himself. His heart that is so broken and desperate for happiness that it would put his body through so much pain.
Because that’s the same problem that the rest of the world is suffering from too. It might not manifest itself in body modification, but it can be seen in the father tells trashy jokes at work to fit in with everyone else. It can be seen in the mother who abandons her family to seek fulfillment in her career. It can be seen in the teenager whose identity is wrapped up in their clothes and car, rather than in how they appear to God.
Bruce Jenner is suffering from the same sin that we all are, his just looks different from ours….to us anyway.
Jesus knew what he was talking about when he said that the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
It’s our hearts that God wants. It’s Bruce Jenner’s heart that God is concerned with. Because God knows that if He has our hearts, our bodies will be His too.