I have two grandchildren who are four-years-old. I can tell you this with full assurance: if those two were left to themselves, their chances of survival would diminish. At the very least, their lives would constantly be in great danger. It frightens me to even think about them trying to meet their basic needs and survive in a world without the love, guidance, and direction of their parents. God has established these two little ones in families. Dad and mom care for them. Because of their age, many decisions must be made for them rather than by them. As it should be, my grandkids have a host of other folks – grandparents, Sunday School teachers, aunts, uncles, older friends, etc. – who desire to see them nurtured in all ways so that they might now and in the future live lives of true human flourishing. . . all to the glory of God.
Now, in today’s world, God’s good design and parental authority are being undermined as the cultural narrative increasingly teaches, promotes, and celebrates a path to self-definition, where everyone is entitled and encouraged to determine for themselves who they are, what they believe, and how they want to live. And if you think this drive for personal authenticity is all about where one chooses to live and the vocation one chooses to enter, think again. Our current cultural narrative tells us that the biology with which we are born has nothing to do with the gender we can and should choose for ourselves. Yes, even four-year-olds are believed to be wise enough to live into their own choices and desires. Truth be told, the bad decisions they might make pale in comparison to the foolishness of those older folks who actually think this is a good idea.
My two little divine-image-bearing four-year-old grandchildren, if they lived in Scotland, would now be able to decide for themselves their personal gender identity. . . whether that gender identity conformed to their birth sex or not. A little less than two months ago, the Scottish government released this document: Supporting Transgender Pupils In Schools: Guidance For Scottish Schools. While the guidelines are non-statuatory, they are strong recommendations that are designed to lead Scottish schools into compliance with The Equality Act 2010.
A summary statement of the 70-page document includes. . .
- “Put the young person at the center and keep them there.”
- “Let them know that you will not share their information with anyone unless they give their permission or there is a risk to themselves or others.”
- “Do not disclose the transgender identity history or any sensitive information about a transgender young person to anyone inside or outside the school, without considering the young person’s view and what is in the best interest of the young person.”
- “A transgender young person may not have told their family about their gender identity. Inadvertent disclosure could cause needless stress for the young person or could put them at risk and breach legal requirements. Therefore, it is best to not share information with parents or carers without considering and respecting the young person’s views and rights.”
- Information on a “whole-school approach to supporting transgender young people and creating a transgender-inclusive environment.”
- “The best approach is to ensure transgender identities and experiences are explicit within subject-specific experiences and outcomes.” This includes posters and displays.
- Educators are given a list of transgender role models to put before students.
- “It is always best to check with young people about the words they use and feel comfortable about.”
Is what’s happening in Scotland the shape of things to come globally? In an article in Newseek, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney is quoted as saying, “I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.” If Scotland is the first, others are sure to follow.
As we navigate this new cultural landscape, let’s not forget that our response as Christ’s followers must reflect the Master’s message and posture on these things. Truth and love must be balanced, without forsaking either. We must endeavor to raise our children according to God’s creational design for gender. There is a gender binary which is God’s intent for humanity. Living into my biological gender is God’s design. While it might be difficult for some due to the brokenness of creation, it is still God’s will and way that freedom and flourishing be found in living into His design, both individually and corporately. And, lest we forget, not one human being on the face of the earth is anything less than a divine image-bearer, filled with value, dignity, and worth. Let us not treat anyone as anything less. And, neither can we forget that Jesus says to us all, “Come as you are.” And for each of us who are His followers, he continues and says, “Do not stay as you are.”
To learn more about our culture’s current transgender movement, take some time to listen to this informative interview we conducted with Peter Lynas. . .