To be perfectly candid, Christians are struggling with how to interact with and address the transgender community. One of the highest hurdles to overcome is whether or not Christians should refer to a transgender person according to their preferred pronoun. What is the most appropriate and biblical way to approach this issue?
Well, JD Greear, the current President of the Southern Baptist Convention and Teaching Pastor at The Summit Church in Durham, NC, delivered his opinion during episode 49 of his “Ask Me Anything” podcast.
Greear mentioned in his latest podcast episode that “there is a spectrum of generosity of spirit vs. telling the truth” when determining whether or not to refer to a transgender person by their preferred pronoun.
“Some think that as a personal courtesy, you should refer to a transgender person by their preferred pronoun,” Greear stated in the podcast episode description. “Others think that it is wrong to inject further confusion into a person’s situation by referring to them with a pronoun that is not aligned with their biological sex.”
Greear then explained that he would lean more toward a generosity of spirit. “If a transgender person, you know, came into our church, came into my life, I think my disposition would be to refer to them by their preferred pronoun.”
Toward the latter half of the podcast, Pastor Greear alluded to a couple of examples given by Andrew Walker, author of God and the Transgender Debate and Preston Sprinkle, Director of The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender.
One of these examples was if a tribal leader has 10 wives, should a missionary only refer to the chief’s first wife as his actual spouse and the other 9 by their names just because the Bible teaches that polygamy is wrong?
Is that the “battlefront” a Christian wants to take, or should they approach the situation differently in order to have a deeper conversation about the gospel? Is calling out the obvious sinful behavior or lifestyle going to prohibit the sharing of Christ? Greear seems to think it could.
Greear was very clear on how he would approach the issue of pronoun identification. “When we want to talk about gender, I will be clear with them on the truth.” He also added that “If and when this person desires greater involvement or membership in the church, a church leader will need to meet with them and talk about how they identify.”
It’s important that Christians prayerfully and sincerely consider how they respond to others that don’t adhere to the Christian faith. Of course, it’s just as important to be obedient to the conviction of the Spirit in such matters as well. Discussions are healthy. Screaming and pointing the finger is detrimental.