I got my first subscription to a fashion magazine when I was 13, and have worked with or been involved with fashion ever since. I still remember the red, glossy cover of that first issue of “Model” magazine that arrived in my name. Magazine covers can make a great impact, whether they are selling upcoming trends or promoting diversity or capturing a moment in history.
This morning my Instagram feed was inundated with the same picture: Bruce Jenner announcing his rebirth as “Caitlyn” on the cover of the latest issue of Vanity Fair.
This topic clearly does not jibe with my Christian beliefs, but I don’t want to discuss any of that here. What broke my heart the most this morning was reading the comments below the posts from so-called Christians spewing hatred.
Just to be clear, God doesn’t hate fags, they may not all burn in hell, and gays should not be put to death. (And these were the nicer remarks.)
I don’t know Bruce/Caitlyn personally, so I cannot attest to his/her faith. I also cannot hold accountable anyone who rejects Jesus Christ. What I CAN do, however, is call out the sin of those who claim Christianity.
The Bible tells us again and again to love one another, to love our enemies, to love those who persecute us, to love as God loved us – love, love, love.
1 John 4:8 – The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Bruce Jenner was searching for his identity, and seems to have found it in “Caitlyn.” We, as believers and followers of Christ, already have our identity in Jesus. And if we therefore have the privilege of being called children of God, then we also have the responsibility to follow His commands: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).
The Bible also tells us to be fishers of men, to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20).
How – HOW – are we to win souls to Christ with cruelty, hurtfulness and absolute vitriol toward the lost? How are we to show them love when we are slinging flaming arrows and condemning them to hell?
Isn’t it possible to show compassion without approving, accepting or tolerating sin? Didn’t Christ do that for us on the cross?
God does not hate sinners. Here is what God hates, from Proverbs 6:16:
There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Let’s put down the stones and use our hands in better ways. We can reach out; we can hold hands as we talk and listen and try to understand each other; we can pray.
When I was in my early 20s, I made the mistake of telling my father where I was going one Friday night: to a nightclub to see RuPaul perform. Of course my dad had no idea who that was, and I (stupidly) explained it to him. My father was not pleased, and I (stupidly) set out to defend myself. I smugly told him, “Jesus hung out with sinners, Dad.” And he looked at me and wisely replied, “Jesus saved sinners.”
The world is full of sinners, including Christians. I sin every single day. I am ashamed of my sin; I don’t celebrate it and I’m not proud of it. But I am a sinner nonetheless.
And nowhere in any Bible that I’ve read does it say that it’s okay to hate and condemn each other. That is not our job; we’re called to a higher and much harder purpose: to love.
You don’t have to love that Bruce is now Caitlyn and it’s all over the news. I certainly don’t. But we need to keep ourselves in check: …for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.