Emmy Griffin / March 10, 2023

Confronting Gender Confusion

The avenger lion versus the counselor lamb.

There is a portion of our society that is truly struggling with identity. They are hurting, confused, destructive, and looking to justify their actions by grooming the next generation to be accepting of, if not entirely converted to, their worldview. It has taken on the proportion of a cult. According to a MasterClass article on the subject, there are four characteristics of a cult: authoritarian control, extremist beliefs, isolation from society, and veneration of a single individual. Perhaps the only thing this radical movement doesn’t have is the last characteristic.

Radical gender ideology is pervasive. It is marketed to children on the brink or in the throes of puberty. It targets feminists who have no desire to be married or mothers. It targets lesbians who may not perfectly fit into their definition of gender roles. It targets men who are porn addicted or struggling with mental illness. It appeals to pathological narcissists of all stripes as a means to achieve power and prestige. It is a soul sickness that presents as a solution to an identity crisis that leads to destruction first through puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, then through cosmetic surgeries, then through mutilation surgeries that remove sexual organs or create useless facsimiles of the desired sexual organ. None of these promised solutions ever bring about the promised result: becoming whatever their declared identity is.

The pushback against drag queen story hours, family-friendly drag shows, inappropriate LGBTQ+ literature in the classroom, and clear grooming and predatory behavior has been met with two different approaches from the community.

You have the political pundits who are on the front lines of the fight such as Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire. He is the archetype of the avenger or the lion. He is so zealous in his pointed and persistent attack on the groomers and activists who are pushing this ideology on the innocent that sometimes he is a little too extreme. Walsh in a recent podcast confronted TikTok “transgender” influencer Dylan Mulvaney with ruthless criticism of his actions. Many on the Right felt that Walsh had crossed a line because he got so personal in his attacks. His critics found his rhetoric unhelpful to change minds. Moreover, as a Catholic, Walsh’s behavior doesn’t seem very Christian-like. Perhaps his critics are correct.

However, in Matthew 21 and Mark 11, both Gospel authors shared a story of Jesus after He entered Jerusalem before Passover (and right before His death). Jesus entered the Temple in Jerusalem, and when He saw the money changers and merchants selling doves for sin sacrifices, Jesus overturned the tables, saying “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” Jesus displayed righteous anger toward people who were desecrating the Temple. In Matthew 23, Jesus pointedly attacked the Pharisees (church leaders and scholars), calling them out for their hypocrisy and sin.

There is a place for righteous anger and pointed attacks when sin — such as gender ideology — is this pervasive. Walsh is on the front lines and is actually making a palpable difference in this cultural battle. Walsh’s anger is righteous. He has been the favorite punching bag of the gender activists, he and his family have been threatened many times, and he is a father who wants to make this world a better place for his children. In the grander scheme of things, perhaps he can be forgiven for being too harsh on Mulvaney.

But there is another approach to confronting the gender ideology cult that is equally important — the lamb. That is embodied by Pastor John Piper. An article in PJ Media highlights Piper’s compassionate counsel to a woman struggling with the question of gender transition. He gently confronts her with truth and loving guidance. He talks about each aspect of her question and ends with this beautiful sentiment:

The glory of womanhood is not something as superficial as breasts and uterus. It is marked in every cell of your body, every dimension of your soul, every part of your brain. You can’t even begin to undo the pervasive mystery of your womanhood. Your womanhood is like yeast in the dough, like the color in the paint of your life, like the aroma in the flower that you are, like the melody in the song. Dear friend, whose name I wish I knew, you are a female wonder of God’s handiwork, and no amount of chipping away at it will make it cease to be a God-designed masterpiece.

Piper, as a pastor, is counseling and shepherding exactly as he ought. He told the truth, but throughout he was sensitive and compassionate to this woman who is struggling.

We need both the lion and the counselor working in tandem to change hearts and win battles. God uses both the lion and the lamb to bring about His purposes.

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