Monday, April 25, 2016

A Few Thoughts About The Public Restroom Debate

            Every once in a while I find myself addressing topics I never imagined addressing. For instance, 10 years ago I never imagined having to address the topic gay “marriage.” However, as our culture continues to deteriorate morally, I find myself in a position of spiritual leadership that requires addressing things that were once unimaginable. Os Guinness noted that ours is “an age of advertising and political correctness that will put up with unbelievable levels of nonsense.” There is no better picture of that than our current debate over the use of public restrooms. Specifically, at issue is whether or not one can reject his or her God-given gender, self-identify as the opposite sex, and then enjoy all of the privileges publicly afforded to the opposite sex, including use of that gender specific restroom.  Those wishing to do so have found a cultural environment ready to champion the cause. Even as I type that out Romans 1 rings in my mind, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools. (Rom 1:21-22, ESV).
On the one hand, I am shocked that we are in this position of having these conversations, but on the other I am not because I know what the Bible says about moral depravity. The question becomes how do we, as Bible believing Christians, respond to this? While I certainly cannot give an exhaustive response in this format, let me give you a few thoughts.
First, we should pray for our culture as well as our response to it. I cannot over emphasize the importance of this. Prayer is very key. We should pray both for those who consider themselves transgender, as well as the society that champions that cause. We should pray in a gospel centered way, recognizing that all are individuals every bit as in need of Christ as we. We should pray privately concerning these matters, and we should pray corporately as well. In that, you should make the church’s corporate prayer gatherings a priority in your life.
Second, we should stay in the Word of God. We should not be getting our cues from the culture. The Word of God should inform and dictate what we believe about these things. Paul said in Romans 12 that we are to “abhor what is evil and hold fast to what is good.” Good and evil are defined by God and do not change as the culture changes. The culture may call “good” that which God has said is “evil,” but it will always be what God has said. This is one of the reasons we are in constant need of having our minds renewed by the Word of God, so we can discern what is the will of God, what is good (Rms 12:2).
Third, use wisdom when in public. If you are a parent, take your child to the restroom and do not send them there alone. Lots of public places have family restrooms. Take advantage of those when possible. If you find yourself in a situation in which someone claiming to be transgender is in a restroom, make every effort to politely remove yourself from the situation.
Fourth, let your voice be heard. As we have seen, businesses have begun to jump on board with this agenda. It is good to politely express your concerns. Remember, that while it is fine to express that to a local branch of a big retailer, the management of such a store, like Target, receives orders from a corporate office. It may be better to express your concerns in written form, and again politely. Also, it is good to express your concerns with your wallet. Thankfully, we are still in a position to do business elsewhere.
Finally, remember who we are. We are ambassadors of Christ. This world is not our home. Our citizenship is in heaven. We are here on mission for Him, to make disciples of all nations. We are to be a people of great optimism. Why? Because even as the cultural climate darkens and becomes more hostile towards us, we know Who wins in the end and we are His! 


Bethann's Babbling said...

Well said, Jeff. With each inch that we move away from Gods standard, another issue/topic begins to move us again another inch. We need to go to our Heavenly Father in passionate, audacious prayer, imploring Him to draw upon the hearts of a downward spiraling society, or we may go farther eskew than is salvageable. I am often shocked but not really shocked at what I hear and see. We are grieving the heart of our Father. I worry about my sons and my granddaughters. This world is not what I thought would be my legacy to them. I can only pray and pray more.
God bless you for standing on Gods word and teaching the Word as Jesus did. If only there were more like you.

Give my love to your family. Bethann R

Loose said...

In Europe all the bathrooms were unisex when I traveled there. No one bats an eye. At my house men and women and boys and girls all use the same bathrooms. We don't label them by gender restrict usage to one or another sex.