He was on my Wheaties box.
Bruce Jenner was famous longer than some know. In 1976, Bruce Jenner won the decathlon gold medal at the Montreal Olympics. Before Twitter, the way you got known by everyone was through cereal boxes, and Wheaties featured America’s most famous athletes. Bruce made the box.
Now, almost 40 years later, things have changed. Wheaties is still around, but not Bruce. Bruce is now Caitlyn with currently over 2.4 million followers on Twitter and a cover on Vanity Fair.
What just happened here?
In Christian circles there have been some understandable reactions. Biblically, gender roles are not to be crossed. Women are women and men are men. The two are not to be confused. Human beings work best when we learn to compliment each other according to the attributes we have.
There has also been some of the – If Caitlyn came to church what would you do? Simple. We welcome everyone regardless of their choices. Jesus welcomed you and me knowing the decisions we have made. We welcome others in his name just the same.
As a pastor, the greater truth to be seen here is the basic common truth of the human condition. It is one that crosses every boundary and type of person and it affects us all to the same degree. The truth is:
All of us.
And it reveals our basic struggle – knowing we are broken how do we live with ourselves?
In today’s world there is a great desire for external solutions to this problem. We medicate our children for their inattentiveness. We drink to mask our depression. We have surgery to hide our decline into death. Then to make matters even worse, we make celebrities out of those who deal with their brokenness in the most excessive, external ways.
The path is false, a literal death-end.
In Matthew 15:11 Jesus said:
“Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
For Jesus, all that is good – peace, holiness, joy – these come from within. We will never medicate our way to happiness in the same way Bruce will never surgically alter himself to the same.
The cure for our condition is the gospel Jesus offers. Ask for and accept forgiveness, love God and neighbor, follow Him – and as our hearts become more like His we see ourselves healed and the life we have been looking for, found.
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