The month of June has been labeled “Pride Month” by American culture. On June 26, 2023, Community Christian Church member and follower of Jesus, Carolyn Smith, respectfully and concisely addressed the St. Johns City Commission regarding her concern about the drag queen performance in Downtown St. Johns as part of the Pride Festival event that took place earlier in June. In her comments to the City Commissioners she noted that she does not hate anybody (in fact, as a nurse she compassionately cared for all types of people) and she recognizes people’s freedom of speech, but she is concerned about a drag show featuring men scantily and seductively dressed in women’s clothing who dance suggestively, and in many other communities dance lewdly and obscenely. She noted that this promotes confusion and inappropriate behavior to children, subjecting them to adult themes, and that furthermore it is inappropriate to have this type of entertainment in a public venue for children to observe. Adults have a responsibility to protect children. She concluded her remarks by noting that if the Pride Festival desires to have a drag queen show, it would be better to have it in a building for adults only who desired to see that kind of performance. At the end of the City Commission meeting, Commissioner Jean Ruestman made comment in relation to Carolyn’s address, saying that she had attended the drag queen show and saw nothing wrong with it…in fact, she found it to be quite entertaining.
Commissioner Ruestman is among a trend in society today, promulgated by main stream media and government officials such as President Biden, who say that tearing down traditional understandings of human make-up such as recognition of binary biology (humans are either male or female) is a good thing. How are Christians to understand this issue? For one thing, the Bible is to serve as our “North-Star” for understanding who we are. In Genesis 1:27 we read, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Being made in God’s image means that humans are more special and precious than anything else God created. We are endowed with God’s character and sense of morality. We are stewards over the earth, charged by God to care for it and to use its resources for good. Unfortunately, because sin entered the picture of our existence, we are prone to veer from God’s character and morality, as well as sometimes to abuse the resources he has entrusted to us.
Being created as male and female means that there are only two sexes—two genders—regardless of what LGBTism (the ideology of gay and transgenderism) says. Our chromosomal make-up determines one sex or the other. Rare exceptions to this are caused only by anomaly and are not the norm. God created men and women to procreate, and only women can bear children once impregnated by the male sperm. This isn’t to be mean or bigoted or “against gays or transgenders.” As followers of Jesus, we do not hate people, but seek to lead them toward God and his truth, because this is how humans best flourish. We exercise not judgmentalism but discernment as we take a stand against the bad ideas and confusing notions that it is normal for people to be attracted to the same sex or to believe that men can be women and vice-versa. Again, these confusions come from sin entering the picture of our existence by our own choices, causing us to believe that truth is based on how we feel rather than on how God ordered creation when he originally made it.
As followers of Jesus, we always seek to honor him with our attitudes, actions and words. We do not honor Jesus with anger, vitriol, and name-calling; but neither do we honor Jesus by accepting sin, confusion, and chaos as okay. Christ-followers should know that it is okay to speak up for Christian values and truth…it is something we must do if we want to help people to flourish in life by becoming connected to Jesus and the transformation that comes through him alone. The Apostle Peter gives good counsel when he writes, “In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Peter 3:15-16). Not only are you God’s hands and feet doing good for others, but you are also his voice proclaiming salvation and truth.