- Virginia Brown
How Did We Get to LGBTQ+?
I’ve been reading an excellent book—The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self by Carl R. Trueman. The central question he tackles is this: How and why does society at large regard the statement, “I am a woman trapped in a man’s body,” as a meaningful statement that is “so significant that to deny it or question it in some way is to reveal oneself as stupid, immoral, or subject to yet another irrational phobia?”
Trueman argues that the sexual revolution of the last sixty years, climaxing in the LGBTQ+ movement, has occurred because there has been a fundamental change in how people conceive of human nature. Human nature used to be thought of as a fixed reality, given by God. That is no longer the case. Human nature now is thought to be something malleable and fluid. Humans create themselves to be what they want to be. Within this understanding of human nature, a focus on inward, psychological, sexual life of the person has become the focus. Therefore, anyone who “denies” someone else their “right” to express their sexual identity “violate” that person’s “humanity.”
Trueman’s analysis has important consequences for us as Christians. First, it is important that we are aware of broad cultural trends so that we may understand how and why large parts of society think the way they do. Second, Christians need to continue emphasizing the centrality of Scripture in determining how we think and feel. Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2). Paul’s exhortation is exactly what we need to remember. Third, we ourselves must not adopt a view of humanity that is focused on how we feel about ourselves. Yes, self-image is important, but self-image must be established on the image of Christ (Rom 8:29), not vice versa.