Bruce Jenner: It’s Vanity, but it’s hardly Fair.

There are 17 Comments

TylerR's picture

Editor

I work nights at a hotel. As I unbundled newspapers to put in the breakfast area early this morning, I saw Jenner's ridiculous and disgusting Vanity Fair picture. I was sickened and filled with sadness at the same time. The depths of man's depravity was clearly on display. What's worse is that so many people seem to be celebrating this madness. All the more reason to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Who is the only cure for the kind of peace Jenner and others need. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Jim's picture

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/caitlyn-jenner-love-future-tense

It’s an image that crystallizes a national metamorphosis as much as a personal one. It’s proof of micro-evolution—of a man, a magazine, a world shedding its skin. It’s also an image that resists complacency. Once you’ve seen this magazine cover, you are without excuse. You are forced to choose: Are you now looking at a man or a woman?

 

dgszweda's picture

One thing this gives me an appreciation for is that it gives me a picture of how God must see me.  I was created for a purpose and my sin has perverted myself.  What mercy God shows that He still loves us despite the distortion our sin has placed upon us.

Jim's picture

Disabled by choice.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/becoming-disabled-by-choice-not...

 

http://thefederalist.com/2015/06/02/are-we-allowed-to-call-transabled-pe...

At The National Post today, there is an absolutely insane piece about a tiny group of people who want to cut off parts of their body or live as disabled people despite being physically fine.

...

: Is wanting to cut off certain essential body parts reasonable, while wanting to cut off others isn’t? Is self-mutilation something that we ought to hail as courageous and brave, but cutting yourself as a teenager problematic? Cutting your genitalia is good, but cutting off your hand isn’t? 

Bert Perry's picture

.....that we need to come up with a Biblical set of reasons that tell us why this kind of thing is wrong.  As far as I can tell, it's a lot like prenatal infanticide (abortion) in that in Bible times, it was not mentioned specifically as a sin simply because it was unthinkable.  We have to infer that transsexualism is wrong from the Bible's consistent witness to the importance of how we are created--see things like the prohibition of a man wearing women's clothing in the Torah, the Prophets' mockery of the armies of the doomed "your troops are women", Galatians 5:12, and the like.  

Put differently, I would suggest that Mr. Jenner's sin is to take the image of God and transform it (sort of) into a repulsive version of the image of the church (using Ephesians 5's picture).

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Jim wrote:

Yes I think that's it ... a perversion of the image of God

Interestingly there are probably good reasons to amputate a member as in:

http://www.kare11.com/story/news/local/2015/06/02/toddler-learns-to-walk...

Jim, I understand that there are differences, but that's the type of argument I've heard on this before -- if it's against God's will to change our appearance surgically, why isn't it against God's will to fix a "problem" we were created with so it functions better (at least to our human mind)?  If God created us as a cripple, why aren't we content to stay that way?

I'm not saying that these situations are equivalent, but I've certainly heard the argument.  I would assume that cosmetic surgery to change or reduce size of features we have would be closer, so I wonder what we should think about cosmetic surgery to "fix" appearance, even if it's not so drastic as changing gender.

Dave Barnhart

Jim's picture

Cosmetic surgery: Never considered it because I look like Brad Pitt / George Clooney / Richard Gere :) 

I had a deacon who though I should use Rogaine to retain my hair (he gave me a video for me to consider)

I do understand some aspects of cosmetic surgery: eg breast reconstruction and eyelid droop surgery to name 2

Bert Perry's picture

Not having an Adonis-like physique like Jim's, I actually have had plastic surgery--to remove some benign cysts from the surface of my skull that were giving me incredible headaches.  My brother charitably noted that he thought they'd replaced my brain with polystyrene.  It's how a seven year old shows his love for his nine year old brother, of course.  :^)

(true story: when I was working a summer mission, one of the missionaries asked me about the scar, and I concocted a story about walking a young lady home and being accosted by the KKK on Harleys.....having actually done a bit of time in an Ecuadorian prison, my friend believed me until I fessed up as to what the scar really was)

But that said, dcbii's comment is well taken; at what point are we fixing a real defect, and at what point are we just satisfying vanity?   May I suggest the "exhibitionism test"?  That is, if you put the results of your surgery on display to as many people as will look, five will get you ten it's about vanity.

This test works for pretty much any plastic surgery, as well as things like steroid use.  If you need to show off your bosom, muscles, hair, or whatever to the whole world, you're rocking vanity, not health.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

JC's picture

Should churches consider writing into their constitution/statement of faith that God created Adam and Eve male and female?  

I can foresee applications for membership coming from transgendered people and it will create issues - particularly if there is not a pre-existing stance for the church.

Jim's picture

Triple-D Demented

Observation: This guy has a wicked (and I don't mean this in a negative way) sense of wit.

Allow me to link you to three demented stories. The first has to do with the mainstreaming of incest. The second has to do with folks cutting off limbs or opting for a wheelchair while perfectly healthy so that they can “identify” as transabled. And then last, but certainly most celebrated, Bruce Jenner now identifies himself as Caitlyn Jenner after having himself fixed. Being the kind of hater I am, I am afraid that I am not going to be addressing him as Caitlyn — the most accommodation I will offer is that of calling him Jenner. As a result of the marvels of modern surgery and the even greater marvels of Photoshop, Jenner now graces the cover of Vanity Fair in much the same way that he used to adorn those old boxes of Wheaties.

...
The problem is not the hurting people; the problem is that they are self-destructing in front of a culture that has nothing whatever to say to them. If you don’t believe in God, you do not believe in nothing. You will fall for anything.

We are not responsible for the one-off oddities. Our society is not sick unto death because we contain such people. There have always been those troubled enough to maim themselves sexually and call it good — pretending to be Jehovah during creation week. The troubling symptom is the universal acclaim for Jenner, and the fact that in this general celebration the only people who will catch any of society’s disapproval will be those who understand, and say, that Jenner is one troubled puppy.

JC's picture

Jim wrote:

Triple-D Demented

Observation: This guy has a wicked (and I don't mean this in a negative way) sense of wit.

Allow me to link you to three demented stories. The first has to do with the mainstreaming of incest. The second has to do with folks cutting off limbs or opting for a wheelchair while perfectly healthy so that they can “identify” as transabled. And then last, but certainly most celebrated, Bruce Jenner now identifies himself as Caitlyn Jenner after having himself fixed. Being the kind of hater I am, I am afraid that I am not going to be addressing him as Caitlyn — the most accommodation I will offer is that of calling him Jenner. As a result of the marvels of modern surgery and the even greater marvels of Photoshop, Jenner now graces the cover of Vanity Fair in much the same way that he used to adorn those old boxes of Wheaties.

...
The problem is not the hurting people; the problem is that they are self-destructing in front of a culture that has nothing whatever to say to them. If you don’t believe in God, you do not believe in nothing. You will fall for anything.

We are not responsible for the one-off oddities. Our society is not sick unto death because we contain such people. There have always been those troubled enough to maim themselves sexually and call it good — pretending to be Jehovah during creation week. The troubling symptom is the universal acclaim for Jenner, and the fact that in this general celebration the only people who will catch any of society’s disapproval will be those who understand, and say, that Jenner is one troubled puppy.

 

Well said

T Howard's picture

dcbii wrote:
I would assume that cosmetic surgery to change or reduce size of features we have would be closer, so I wonder what we should think about cosmetic surgery to "fix" appearance, even if it's not so drastic as changing gender.

It starts with the slippery slope of getting braces for your child's crooked teeth. Much of this industry is fueled by wanting your children to have the "perfect smile."

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

T Howard wrote:

It starts with the slippery slope of getting braces for your child's crooked teeth. Much of this industry is fueled by wanting your children to have the "perfect smile."

Well, I did pay for orthodontics for my children, but to be fair, in both cases it wasn't about improving their smile so much as preventing problems happening later.  You do have a point, though, even if it was meant humorously.

Be that as it may, I still think it's worth discussing at what point we think surgical or other modifications of our bodies go too far.  If we leave this completely alone, I think we are not on solid ground when we claim that certain elective changes reveal a heart that doesn't accept how we were created, but others don't.  For us to make the creation argument, we need to have solid, biblical reasons to separate the two.

Dave Barnhart

Bert Perry's picture

T Howard wrote:

 

dcbii wrote:

I would assume that cosmetic surgery to change or reduce size of features we have would be closer, so I wonder what we should think about cosmetic surgery to "fix" appearance, even if it's not so drastic as changing gender.

 

It starts with the slippery slope of getting braces for your child's crooked teeth. Much of this industry is fueled by wanting your children to have the "perfect smile."

 

It's worth noting that orthodontia (my stepbrother is an orthodontist, I had braces twice) is not just about having a perfect smile.  It's about how the teeth work at cutting and grinding your food, and whether they stay in your mouth.  There are all kinds of health consequences related to bad teeth--and it's worth noting that the "English" way of steaming vegetables into a pulp simply was their way of compensating for bad teeth.  Not much Vitamin C in those veggies after you do that, though--there are consequences to a lack of good dental care from heart disease to diabetes and even cancer.

Medicine for vanity vs. medicine for health is a big issue, but I don't know that most childhood (or even adult) orthodontia qualifies.

 

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.