CALL ME CONFUSED

Growing up in the 1970’s, Bruce Jenner was something of a hero of mine. When he won the 1976 Gold Medal in the Decathlon in Montreal he was dubbed The World’s Greatest Athlete.  It wasn’t just hyperbole. The 10 discipline historic event is a grueling test of athleticism and the human spirit. I remember being in awe of this quintessential spectacle of masculinity. He had stunning good looks and the physique of a Greek god. He was immortalized on the cover of the Wheaties box and it was all us young teenage males could do to eat bowl after bowl of the miracle cereal in hopes that one day we could be built like Bruce. But alas, I switched to Frosted Flakes and ended up looking more like Tony the Tiger.

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So when the events of this week saw the gender troubled Bruce Jenner roll out as Caitlyn Jenner on the pages of Vanity Fair I confess I was troubled… but mostly saddened. Nobody likes to lose a hero. In case you have been living under a rock and have missed this story, the short version is that Bruce Jenner told Diane Sawyer in a two hour interview in April that he has struggled his entire life with gender dysphoria (or gender identity disorder), which is defined as being discontent with the gender in which one was born. In his case he claimed he has lived a profoundly tormented life as a female in a male body. I watched the entire interview and I had no trouble believing that the torment he was suffering was real. At the same time it was hard not to also feel that there was something seriously unhealthy, either spiritually or mentally going on as well. It was not easy to watch. Among other things I was struck by just how incredibly narcissistic the whole thing was. Whatever he was, is, or was going to be, it was to be played out publicly for the whole world to see. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since he did spend a decade of his life with a camera recording his every movement as a cast member… I mean ‘family member’… on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. He declared to Sawyer that the next time the public saw him he would appear as his true self – a woman.

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Vanity Fair had the exclusive rights to the story and this week rolled out the feature under that tag line “Call me Caitlyn”. Caitlyn Jenner’s new Twitter account broke all records as it garnered one million followers in the first 4 hours. The news media outlets for the most part have been tripping over each other congratulating the transformation as an act of heroism and courage, especially for the apparently millions of people suffering from gender dysphoria. ESPN announced they are going to award Caitlyn the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at their summer awards banquet. Only a few brave voices have had the moxie to condemn it as a crass prostitution of one’s soul for monetary gain. Ironically one of them was transgender national news reporter Zoey Tur (formerly Robert Tur) who claimed Jenner is not the kind of icon their movement needs since what ‘she’ appeared to be doing was rolling out a professional produced commercial product. Clearly the brand appears to have been carefully constructed and presented to the public in a way that is guaranteed to make Jenner millions of dollars. The Diane Sawyer interview was negotiated, the Vanity Fair piece lined up, and the entire gender reassignment process was timed to coincide with a brand new reality show that debuts in July on the E! network. Yippee can’t wait!

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What everybody seems to forget is that Jenner is not a pioneer in this field at all. Forty years ago in 1975 tennis player Richard Raskind had sex reassignment surgery to become Renee Richards, and then had the nerve to sue the United States Tennis Association to be able to compete as a woman in the US Open. Richard’s won the case in the New York Supreme court only to lose the matches on the tennis court. In 2007 Richards rewrote her autobiography, No Way Renée: The Second Half of My Notorious Life, in which she expresses regret over the type of fame that came with her sex change.  She also wished she could have found another way to have solved her gender anxiety because the gender reassignment didn’t solve it. Her grown son  still refers to her as ‘he’ explaining, “Because I have a mother that’s a woman, my father could have an elephant change — he could be a dromedary — and he’d still be my father.”  Here is Jenner and Richards together in 1987.

bruce jenner renee richards

This of course brings up the important part of the discussion for us Christians. Where do we put all this? We need to have the conversation. It can’t be put off or ignored, and our young people in particular need to be part of it. They have been raised in a culture that has already accepted homosexuality and gay marriage as part of the norm. Pop culture, music, TV and movies have been way ahead of the curve on this one and have for the most part swept an entire youth generation along. 78% of 18-29 year olds support gay marriage, over twice that of seniors. Church leaders today, who for the most part still do not share these beliefs, have become eerily silent on these and related moral issues (adultery, divorce, remarriage). I understand why. We are trying to reach people with the good news of the gospel, we don’t want to offend the very people we are trying to reach by putting up moral or ideological barriers. The unintended consequence however is that by our silence we lend passive assent to a culture that has already redefined the God-given meanings of gender, sexuality, marriage and family. We have every right to be part of this discussion. Our voice matters as we have a very critical contribution to make to the debate – the biblical one. Even if the world isn’t listening, the church needs to hear it. If God did one thing without ambiguity it was defining marriage, sexuality and our gender assignment. Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. It really doesn’t get any clearer than that. This is not a mix-up God could make by placing a person in the wrong gender body. Nor did He offer up a multiple choice of various marital options or sexual partner combinations.  Lev 18:22 ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. And make no mistake about it, God never changed His mind on these things in the New Testament like many claim. 1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. Oh… and don’t miss the heterosexual misgivings on the very same list!

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I have read a number of the books on how the bible somehow validates same sex attraction or homosexuality. Every single one of the them violates the most important rule of bible interpretation – they draw the conclusion first and then go to scripture to try to prove it, rather than the other way around. Most of these authors have had life long struggles with same sex attraction and are desperate to try to find an explanation. When they say they did not choose their propensity towards same sex attraction, we have no reason to dispute that. We cannot, however, conclude that this somehow makes it God’s will for their lives, any more than it is for the next guy whose ‘natural’ inclination is towards fornication, overeating or depression. There are a lot of things in this life we don’t choose, but they somehow choose us. I think Daniel Mattson may have said it best in an article he wrote for First Things Magazine entitled Why I don’t Call Myself a Gay Christian.  In it he concludes,  “The gay community will become family when those of us in the Church who live with the inclination accept it for what it truly is: a deep wound within our persons which we joyfully choose to unite with the Suffering Christ, on behalf of those we love so dearly in the gay community. By his wounds we are healed, and by the acceptance and transformation of our wounds, through the love of Christ, the Holy Spirit will draw them home to their Heavenly Father.”

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We truly need to sympathize with those struggling with gender anxiety, but we cannot condone sexual reassignment as a solution. Seriously, is this truly the ‘real’ Jenner that has been buried for so long?  Tens of thousands of dollars in plastic surgery, gallons of hormones, tubs of makeup, silicone implants, designer evening dresses and considerably ‘airbrushed’ photos? I for one am not buying it. It doesn’t seem like the ‘real’ anything to me. Having said that, other than losing my teenage idol, I don’t actually care what Bruce Jenner does with his body, it’s none of my business. I can’t impose my sense of morality on him or anyone else I don’t know. I am however profoundly embarrassed with the world that my children and grandchildren are inheriting. Any Christian sense of propriety or decency seems to have been eviscerated from our culture. How do I explain to them how I let their world roll down this sordid path of moral decay while ostensibly doing nothing at all to stop it? We should not be surprised if in the days ahead we hear a lot of Christian young people saying, ‘call me confused.’

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61 Responses to CALL ME CONFUSED

  1. mellanie nystrom says:

    It’s not OUR place to condone what anyone is doing. As a Christian we love and except everyone at face value, not because of what they do or don’t do. This is a disgusting article and I feel ashamed to have read it to the end! I am saddened to know that not only did these words come from your mouth but from your Christian heart!

  2. Shari Greenberg says:

    hello ,i hear what you are saying !I have just become a christian and joined your church last week… i was raised in a Jewish home , but adopted , and suffered great abuse not only at the hands of my family , but teachers , cousins , uncles and many many more ….my suffering and abuse has effected my life greatly . as i have always searched for god ! the Devil has had his way with me for way to long .I am 53 years old , and had to leave my marriage recently and go to Ohio , where i met a man , am who introduced me to GOD !! no one else has been able to do that for me.since meeting Jesus(in less than one month) everything has had a way of working out for me … i came back to Winnipeg ,my husband took me back , and i have been healed … i am sure you have heard many stories like mine . our society is going down a dark path , and so is our world ! no wonder why people are confused ! thank you ever so kindly for reading my comment !! look forward to seeing at the North end campus this Sunday… god bless you !

  3. M.C says:

    thank God there are still pastors willing to stand up and tell the truth. Our society has gone downhill incredibly in the last few decades. We are definitely living in the days of Sodom & Gomorrah! I pray the Lord returns soon,. If he waits much longer, there won’t be any moral decency left on this earth.

    • Luba says:

      Actually, we are not quite there yet, but it’s coming. Do you remember how the angels came to sodom to search for 10 good people and were chased by everyone. It says in the bible that the men in Sodom wanted Lot to hand the angels over so they could sleep with them. My opinion is that sodom was so perverted that everyone slept with everyone. If Christians don’t speak up, our societies are headed there and even more degrading places.

  4. Janeal says:

    Melanie, have you read the bible? It absolutely IS our place to let people know if what they’re doing is not what God wants. But you are correct, we are to love everyone as ourselves- and pointing things out (in a gentle way, as Mark has) is showing love.

    • mellanie nystrom says:

      Janeal, yes I have read the bible and it seems like people have missed the new testament. I find this article so judgemental, it just broke my heart and I’m positive that no matter what a person does or says can and will be forgiven by the Grace of God! Telling people that they are wrong for thinking and feeling the way they do is not they way of God,no matter how you look at it. If we are true Children of God, that means all of us, then we need to show people the way not with judgemental words but with loving, excepting actions. If we don’t except people for who they are, how will they ever learn to except them selves. Live thy neighbour, not love thy neighbour that is doing what is right! This is what God wants, not for us to condemn HIS children.

      • Stephanie says:

        Mellanie,

        It is true the Bible commands us to love others… But this isn’t our modern day concept of love … It’s love in truth. If you love someone, you tell them the truth especially when it comes to their soul. Trying to spare someone the truth in order to be accepting and avoid hurting their feelings is actually a very selfish motive because it actually protects you . Remember God said that you shall know people by their fruits…. Homosexuality is not a fruit of the spirit, same as gossiping is not a fruit of the spirit. If you lack the fruit of the spirit than you have faith that is dead or no faith at all… This is a serious problem because it is our faith that gets us to heaven and in relationship with God. You can never “love” someone into faith in God by holding back the truth. If you care about Jenner’s soul and love him Biblically then you tell him the truth. If you simply want to be accepting and passing on this issue in order to appear accepting of everyone then that is a thought process of the world… We are to be in the world but not of it, the truth of God’s word shines like a lamp within us, and the truth of his word offends!! Jesus said himself that he came to bring a sword not peace, his word (truth) divides… And as we come closer in time to Christ’s return we will see an increase in those who are offended by God’s message. Do not conform to the world and try to please everyone, please God with Biblical love and truth.

        • Stephanie says:

          I also should say that it is realistic to expect that Christians share the truth with decency and not in a condemning way. None the less we must share the truth, God’s word condemns all of us and it does this very well on it’s own. God designed the Bible to point out our need for him no matter what sin… So I agree with you that we are not to condemn or personally attack anyone… But we are to share the truth.

  5. Katherine says:

    Thank you for being light in this confusing darkness.

  6. Steve says:

    Good insight Pastor Mark. The Bible’s pretty clear on things. There’s really no argument here, just truth.
    The truth is sin is sin and Jesus came to set us free. The blood of Jesus shed for sinners so they can turn from those sins through His grace! God bless!

  7. Bernie says:

    Excellent blog! Thank you for having the courage to speak the truth.

  8. Patrick Kavanagh says:

    I look at God’s word as a rudder in my life and with these types of topics it is very clear that God does not approve of this. God formed each of us and He did not make a mistake. Saying Bruce Jenner is right and that God was wrong is to be expected from the world but from Christians, well, that concerns me for those with worldly views.

  9. Lud says:

    As Gary Jules Put it….MAD WORLD!!!

  10. mellanie nystrom says:

    No one is saying Caitlyn is wrong or right, it’s her business and it’s between her and God. God’s love is all forgiveness, he is the King of fathers! Wouldn’t you forgive your child for anything? I believe our Father does, so if she’s ( Caitlyn) made a mistake, wouldn’t you think our loving God would forgive her? I know God doesn’t make mistakes, he made you as he wants you to be, we are all perfection in his eyes, even Caitlyn. Yes the devil’s hand is at work in our world, more evident every day, but everyone changes themselves constantly, women put on makeup and men as well, people wear fancy clothes and jewels all to change into something that makes them feel better about themselves. Haircuts and expensive cars, big houses, these are all things that fill a void. Christians see past the sin and love the sinner!

    • Luba says:

      Mellanie, God can and would forgive, no doubt, but only those who admit that they are wrong and stop doing it. Every time Jesus healed or helped someone he said their sins are forgiven and to go and sin no more. Caitlyn does not think she is wrong, she instead thinks she is finally right. God is patient, he is waiting for him/her to realize that gender will not give fulfillment but only the Creator.

    • Sarah says:

      Mellanie,

      I think you hit it right on the nose. God made each of us exactly how He wants us to be. I don’t think anyone is wanting to hurl judgement at Caitlyn. The blog clearly states that in fact. “I can’t impose my sense of morality on him or anyone else I don’t know.” I think the point is that maybe the answer isn’t spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on changing ones outward appearance, but rather helping people to know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together in their mothers wombs, just as God intended. You are right, God doesn’t make mistakes.

  11. Sally says:

    I felt very sad when I heard the news about Bruce Jenner wanting to become a woman. I can only imagine what inner turmoil he must have been going through. And after all the highs of this initial transition is over, he is going to find that there is no satisfaction in trying to change ones outward appearance when really it is the healing of ones heart that is the core issue (as well as being under the influence of a spirit of identity confusion.) He will probably end up like many transgenders and regret this decision because he still will be looking for the love and acceptance that only comes from God.

    • Steven Watson says:

      How can you be so judgemental? And the main reason why some transgendered people regret it is because they lose rights. Did you know that in most of the USA Caitlyn Jenner suddenly lost marriage rights, employment rights, and can legally be discriminated against by Christian businesses? Iver night he lost that. Because of Christians.

    • Randy says:

      You got it right, Sally. What it all boils down to is the healing of the heart. That’s where it has to start and end. But people will always try to fill that void with something else and always come back empty and disappointed. If God is not at the root of the soul, there will always be an empty heart.

  12. Steven Watson says:

    Sorry, but the whole “world slipping into filth” claim is getting tiresome. Women can vote, blacks are equal, the church no longer kidnaps native Americans, and there is more equality than ever before. But Bruce Jenner turning into Caitlyn Jenner is a problem? Come on. And no, the bible does not have a say in the lives of others. It is YOUR bible and you need to start seeing it that way. As a man that is part Native American, and has two kids that may grow up to be different, I am very glad we do not live in a Christian theocracy anymore, because THAT was terrible.

    • Luba says:

      Steven, what are you going to do and say when God asks about every decision, thought and action you made in your life? You will need to give an account of everything so is it not good to get ready? God is good and he is just. Everyone will be rewarded or punished. Which will you be?

      • Steven Watson says:

        Why do you assume you have the right god? There are thousands to choose from, yet you have the arrogance to say over 6 billion people are totally wrong while you are right.

  13. Kevin says:

    Great blog. This is just one of the many reasons why I make the hour and a half long trip into winnipeg to attend Church of the Rock as much as I can. Being a father of two young kids I am extremely concerned with the world in which they will be raised in. The moral decay in our society is increasing so rapidly. It is so important that we as Christians hold true to our faith and Jesus Christ. We can not stray away from what the Bible teaches. The world says we are intolerant but in fact they are mistaken. We as Christians can be tolerant of a lifestyle choice in the way that we will not judge them. It’s their life. We do not have to agree with it but we are in no place to judge. However we don’t have to accept that choice and conform to societies demands. Marriage is between a man and a women. That will never change. It’s Biblical. That argument is a whole different debate. The fight for same set marriage is unsound. The so called marriage between two people of the same sex is not a marriage at all and should garnish a different title as the Bible clearly defines marriage. The only confusion I feel is why so many Christ following people are conforming yo societies accepted new norms. My only explanation is fear. Fear from a world that demands are “tolerance” while extending none in return. Thanks Pastor Mark for sticking to scripture. You are an inspiration and a awesome leader. Fight the good fight, God bless and keep up the great work.

  14. Andrew McLeod says:

    Thank you Pastor Mark for being obedient to the Spirit. I thank God for your integrity and I was blessed by this article. It’s nice when to see someone standing up for what’s right and doing it in such a loving way. Will be praying for Mr. Jenner. Thank you again!

  15. Stephen says:

    Just can’t seem to get away from these photos of the man-girl.
    Why anyone would want to talk about or show photos about this persons life is beyond me. Why anyone would take notice of this freak show is beyond me.
    But I do know, the more attention freaks get, the freakier they get.
    Just like the world Mark, same story with a “Jesus” stamp and a differen’t opinion. You churchman so are no differen’t then the world.
    I can assure you that there are a lot of non “Christians” who are not impressed with this, and are tired of seeing it, but they need to JUSTIFY themselves using some book.
    Truly pathetic you all are who are supposed to be salt and light but are here squaking about what YOU believe the bible says and pass it off as Truth.

    Quit giving these people attention and they just might go away

  16. Kevin wiebe says:

    Thank you for your service , I always appreciate your words.

  17. Donna says:

    Hate the sin but love the sinner.
    Thanks for standing up against the “politically correct” groups.

  18. Saskija says:

    Good article. Fairly and sensitively written. You have been respectful, but the word does offend despite your best efforts. God’s word has always offended the world and so there may be many either non-believers or those that identify themselves as believers that will be angered. If a person is still conformed to this world instead of transformed by the word, they may disagree with you. Romans 12:2 It’s sensitive subject matter that is confusing for some, myself included. The only thing I might add is that there really is nothing new under the sun. These issues have always been around so there isn’t a reason to be embarrassed at this present time. Dealing with sin is a human experience. Not that you were saying this in any way, but I’d remind myself and perhaps others, that it isn’t our place to compare. It isn’t a matter of who is better. I’m not better even though I’ve never struggled with these issues, as ‘all have fallen short of the glory of God’. I have my own set of things I struggle with. The difference though is that I believe and follow Jesus Christ. Christ has redeemed and restored me because I have given him my life. I could try and imagine what it would be like without him, but I really don’t want to. Thank you for leading us in how to live out the word while standing up for the word. I’m glad you are my pastor.

  19. Debra Hutchison says:

    I liked the blog Pastor Mark wrote. There are a lot of points of views. I have no idea why someone would put themselves through something like this. I do believe Bruce was in the limelight as a competitive person and liked that attention. Living with Kardashians these past few years would probably make him a little crazy, all the competition among the ladies and then there’s poor Bruce in the background. Now, ladies, looks who’s getting the attention. I doubt he felt like a woman when he was on the Wheatie box. I believe he has a mental illness and when you have so much money you can buy anything, people will agree with you to take your money.The photo’s have him/her pose just so, then some photoshop and there you have a beautiful woman. Lots of attention from here on in. But you can’t buy joy. Joy is an inside job. Am I judging him, not really, I don’t really care what he/she does, but I do hate that my granddaughters are growing up in such a crazy world. But then my grandparents said the same when I was growing up. I’m no angel and thank god for the grace of god. I am grateful that people accept me for me and not from my mistakes. He may or may not find his joy, but it’s he’s journey, not my journey. I think God would want us to love him regardless of his choices. God is Love.

  20. Angel Peterson says:

    Yes, we are all sinners. There are enough biblical laws for holiness that no one can help breaking at least one. Just maybe the laws are so stringent as to make us have a need for Jesus. That is why he died on the cross; to take the punishment for all our sins.

    Having said that, it is a fine line judging sin and judging people for how God created them. Some are born with ambiguous sex organs and the doctors or parents make the choice which way to raise the child. Sometimes they are wrong. Other people feel their sex organs don’t match their desires or attractions. Whether they should remain celebate or not is up to them and God. Others are born with other “imperfections” like epilepsy, blindness, Downs Syndrome. Should we condemn them to life in institutiopns like we once did?
    Maybe we should just love people and accept them the way they are, no matter what. Accept them and show that they have value, just the way they are! God doesn’t make mistakes. It’s us humans that need to learn to totally accept ourselves and others with our imperfections, just as God does.

    Personally, I try to accept myself the way God created me, and it’s pushing my comfort zone to even dye my hair, so I wouldn’t be comfortable with cosmetic surgery, tatoos, piercings and the like, but I try not to judge others that feel the need for these. I am me and you are you. God loves each one of us the same, so lets show compassion to those who have struggled their whole lives feeling rejected by their families, churches etc. Many Christians have turned away from God because they haven’t been able to change and feel so rejected and alone. Others have embraced the way God made them and are getting stronger and more open about their struggles. They need our love and support.

    Christians: pray for God’s Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts, words and actions.

  21. Mark Hughes says:

    Thanks everyone for chiming in on this subject. As I said, it is important to have this conversation because as some have said, like it or not, this is where our world is going. If Jenner had chosen to make it a private matter then it would be none of our business. But Jenner has made it our business, which is exactly what the product roll out was designed to do. The fact that Jenner has elected to live this out very publicly, and profit off the attention, gives us every right to comment openly.

    One of the great tenets of our culture is the free and open exchange of ideas. Unfortunately it is no longer true when it comes to espousing the biblical position. We continually hear that our highest cultural value is ‘tolerance’… unless of course you don’t go along with the current moral trends… for that there is little tolerance. And ironically you will be judged and labelled as being judgmental by the very people who say you have no right to judge. That is a strange sense of tolerance. In other words, you are free to hold whatever opinion you want… as long as it is the same as everyone else’s!

    When others say that ‘Jesus is love’ and our only appropriate Christian response is to love Jenner, although it sounds noble, it is not significantly meaningful. How do you ‘love’ someone you don’t know and will never meet? The expression is really nothing more than a platitude meaning, ‘live and let live’, ‘que sera, sera’, ‘whatever will be, will be’. That is not the core message of Jesus at all. When we read the gospels we discover that Jesus loved people enough NOT to let them continue living in their broken state. In virtually every encounter Jesus compassionately and lovingly brought people out of their brokenness. To the man at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5:14 Jesus said, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” To the woman caught in adultery in John 8:11 Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” All the way through the gospels Jesus’ love for us is demonstrated by healing them internally or externally and bringing them out of their former ways. John 14:21 claims that people who are loved by God and love Him back are those who obey His commandments. “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

    Yes, Jesus loves everyone, but when we love Him back, we need to start obeying His commandments. Apparently, this kind of the ‘love of God’ is not very popular.

  22. JJ says:

    Whether you think it’s right or wrong, I don’t think really matters. We can have ideas, thoughts and opinions about it. But ultimately God is in control at all times. Nobody who commented on this blog is a friend of jenners, or who knows him well. Just because he may be a “celebrity'” he still a person who’s struggling like the rest of us. Christian or not. Instead of talking about how immoral the world may be, how about you pray that Jenner will come in contact with someone who will show him to Christ. Pray and show love for people who you don’t know.

  23. Leah says:

    i feel so much frustration on this topic. And to be honest I don’t know what frustrates me more, the article or the flippint comments or the arrogant insensitive ones sharing it. seriously the one with no sin in his life cast the first stone ! If this is sin (which I’m not convinced) then your not going to save anyone with your carless, self absorbed visions about it. This does not effect you, nor is it any of your business. But if you do continue to search for creative ways to see how it effects you or your or your children to the extent you claim it does then head over to your prayer closet and bring it to God. And ask for a productive, loving live giving way to handle it. because you do not sound nor look like Jesus. And I hope I don’t need to pull out every scripture that reminds you to be, look, sound like Jesus.. be the salt of the world. Not a self righteous, condemning man. Using the pulpit to shame rather then love. Your message was not courageous. It was anger and hurt provoking with bares not fruit.

    • Stephen says:

      Some people like to take it upon themselves to deny the very free will that God gave to man and they use a book to justify it. It’s mostly what religion is about. They “claim” freedom but in reality bind people to their dogma and personal interpretations of the bible.
      The first step in conforming people to Their beliefs is to convince people that the bible is the word of God. Once they’ve done that, then they’re open to control these people and bind them.

    • Marilyn says:

      Leah, if someone has had cancer since birth and finds a cure, isn’t it up to that person to lead others to the cure regardless of whether that individual is fully healed or not? It’s kind of the same thing with sin. We’re not perfect by any means. We’re still carrying that disease. We have a cure, however, and far be it from us to be selfish enough to keep it to ourselves! Everyone has free will and can decide to take it or leave it, to believe the cure exists or not. It’s not about casting the first stone at all. (That phrase, by the way, is taken completely out of context. The Pharisees cared nothing about the woman’s sin of adultery – the real issue – and cared solely about condemning Jesus. He called them out on it.)
      Let me give you another point of view. Let’s say your toddler likes to repeatedly kick other kids in front of you. How would you show your child you love him? By letting him continue that behaviour even though you know it will cause him problems interacting with others at a later age, or by teaching him that it’s not ok so he can have friends and a fulfilling life? Sometimes love is saying what the other person doesn’t want to hear.

      • Steven Watson says:

        Except sin is made up, cancer is real.

        • Kevin says:

          Hi Steven,

          It’s pretty clear that you have some unresolved issues of your own. I don’t think the constructive way of dealing with those issues is by coming here and posting the kind of comments you’ve been leaving. If you are so sure in your own beliefs, be content with them and stop trying to force them down on other people’s throats.

  24. Tarah says:

    Thank you for speaking truth when many are not willing to say things that may offend even though it is Truth from the Bible. I think that we as the Christian Church are quick to address the issue of homosexuality and transgender (and those sexual sins) however, we don’t address the issue of premarital sex anymore. These are all sexual sins and I believe that they should all be addressed and not just one or two of them.

  25. Rose says:

    I know I read the same blog and agree with some of the points made regarding the promotional roll out of this television program but it’s a sad day for women who worked hard to gain credibility in male dominated world.
    I don’t see Jenner as woman but as he was quoted as stating ” it’s business”. Most 65 year old women are more than one dimensional , and see this for what it is.

  26. Evelyn Bennett says:

    Disclaimer do not use email address outside of blog. Thank you.

    This blog article was very thought provoking. As I was reading it I was wondering if the disorder that Bruce claims he has could be managed with medication or cognitive behavior therapy. Like any mental issue there must be some imbalance in the brain to have a low self esteem thought process. I have bi-polar disorder and I have reached the point of reality I will not be healed without God’s hand in it. I know that everyone in this world struggles with something. Altering your gender seems extreme to me. Some of us who are women may have testosterone levels, some men estrogen; but that is not a good enough reason to harm yourself. After the surgery what will you see in the mirror? There are many people out there that expect a doctor to make the problems go away by changing their outward appearance. That doesn’t change who you are in the inside. I strongly suggest that you check in with your heart once in awhile to see if that is part of God’s plan for your life.

  27. Evelyn Bennett says:

    Disclaimer do not use email address outside of blog. Thank you.

    This blog article was very thought provoking. As I was reading it I was wondering if the disorder that Bruce claims he has could be managed with medication or cognitive behavior therapy. Like any mental issue there must be some imbalance in the brain to have a low self esteem thought process. I have bi-polar disorder and I have reached the point of reality I will not be healed without God’s hand in it. I know that everyone in this world struggles with something. Altering your gender seems extreme to me. Some of us who are women may have testosterone levels, some men estrogen; but that is not a good enough reason to harm yourself. After the surgery what will you see in the mirror? There are many people out there that expect a doctor to make the problems go away by changing their outward appearance. That does change who you are in the inside. I strongly suggest that you check in with your heart once in awhile to see if that is part of God’s plan for your life.

  28. Isaac says:

    great blog Mark. Very thoughtful and well-put. You seemed very fair. We need truth even when, especially when, it challenges cultural norms. Thanks for this.

  29. Dave C says:

    Thank you Pastor Mark for your frank opinions on all matters of concern from a human and biblical point of view.All we should concern ourselves about as I see it is that God Almighty does not make mistakes, we are the ones who would distort the truths to satisfy us.Holy Spirit guide us into all truth YOUR (WORD) IS TRUTH.God Bless.

  30. Lisa A. says:

    I thank God for you.The Issue you have brought up is true and very fundamental in knowing God’s truth.God never makes a mistake in whom He chooses to create as man or woman.Ofcourse everyone has free will to do what they choose but those that follow God’s word follow in the will of His spirit.There is no thing such as ‘gay Christians’ however where the term Christian is so loosely defined in today’s society let us not mistake the ways of the world clothed in the ‘Christian’ connotations’ as God’s ways.

  31. Shayne Lewis says:

    Mark’s blog is scriptually correst. He is also entitled to his opinion as well as this is still a democracy. The gay agenda has tried to demonize anyone who doesn’t agree with them, they are the most intolerant.The rage against anyone who speaks against them is incredible, even against Dolce Gabanna (Who are gay themselves) who only stated an opinion against gays adopting. Then the boycotts began.God loves gay people, he just doesn’t like what they do. We do not have the authority to rewrite God’s laws. God’s opinion is what matters, not mine, not Mark’s or yours, that simple.Satan tried to rewrite God’s laws and put himself above God, which is blasphemy, this is why Churches won’t marry gays.Now before you blast ma as a bigot let me tell you a couple of facts. I owned a Hot Dog Cart outside a gay bar, met lots of lovely people, who were in a lot of pain trying to kill it with booze and dope. I was concerned for their health, spiritually, physically and emotionally.Here is something else nobody in the media wants to address. I ran Internal Investigations for some large retailers. The 5th floor bathroom of a store downtown became a gay meeting place for sex. We would arrest half naked guys 5 at a time running from stall to stall having sex. We would get called when somebody’s young child walked into the mayhem trying to use the bathroom. Sears Polo had the same problem, as well as a variety of other retailers. We had a large photo album with hudreds of men we arrested having public sex. The gat agenda try’s to potray themselves as Ma & Pa Kettle being attacked by dirty Christians.You have been sold hog wash! That said I know people who are gay and are very moral decent people and don’t put on the gay act, and I say “act” because some act out because of insecurity or shock value so they can brow beat you if you flinch, it’s about baiting conflict.I have gay friends and family members. They know I love them, but am concerned for them.I tend to thinkof things in military terms, and I got to tell you, I don’t think we could have defeated the Nazi’s with this bunch, and I mean the non gay men as well, they are un manly and uncertain, unsure, and feminized, tought to hate the testostorone in flowing through their bodies. My concern is for the security of this Nation, as a Nation turns away from God, that Nation soon falls. That is the big picture, it’s not just about Gayness but morality in general, what was right is now wrong, and wrong is right. The Universities have been high jacked by nonsense. Men have made themselves little demogods who think they rule and can make their own rules of right and wrong. Well in the short term you may think so, but soon there will be a correction.If you are gay I assure you God loves you, and will accept you as you are, please ask him for the Holy Spirit and he will carry you through the tough times.

  32. Shayne Lewis says:

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes I wrote it in a hurry as the first draft disappeared.

  33. Steve says:

    God bless Pastor Mark. Have you heard what Tony Campolo has been speaking lately?

  34. Unavailable says:

    This post gave me such a headache to read honestly. It’s not anyone’s place to approve or disapprove what someone else wants do do with heir life because it isn’t your life nor is it going to have any effect on your life or how you go on about your day. Saying that they’re “just confused” is the oldest excuse to ever exist. Also, you haven’t lost your idol she’s still here, her transition does not erase anything that she has accomplished in the past. This is one of the worst things I’ve ever read.

    • anon says:

      What can I say ? You’re a cool cat. Im blind drunk. U want “blessings” ? now? or after your dead? streets of gold or 72 virgins I forget….tell your daughters… sex with virgins….they’ll woop fer joy… ( I apologize in advance)

  35. Mireille says:

    Thank you for a wonderfully written blog Pastor Mark! I have always struggled with how to converse on this issue with friends, co-workers, or acquaintances. I don’t want to alienate people who might be willing to explore Christianity with something they find too strict but I also don’t want to dishonour God by acquiescing to the world’s opinion. With much thought it occurred to me that we are all given our own crosses to bear in this life. Some of us have smaller crosses than others or, in other words, some have more temptations to battle than others. My daily struggles are with sloth (laziness in particular) and gluttony (over eating in particular). I wake up every day and have to struggle with these issues. I believe that homosexuality can be viewed in the same way. It is something that is not right in the eyes of God and it is (unfortunately) the daily struggle of the person who feels it to resist that particular temptation every day. We can love them by sharing with them the truth and by being understanding with them through their struggles.

    I use to remain quiet when people around me would discuss this but then I read Matthew 18:6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” By remaining silent I was allowing those around me to believe that there were no biblical ramifications to what they believed. By speaking up I provide them with the opportunity to choose biblical truths or to continue to believe as the world does. What they choose is up to them but at least I have given them the information to know there is a choice. Should they choose to accept biblical truth, it will not mean that the temptation to live a homosexual life simply disappears, just as my daily struggle against laziness and over-indulgence hasn’t disappeared. This is where being a part of a Christian community and having people to talk to can help us resist the temptation and overcome our burdens. Should the individual choose to remain with the beliefs of the world then we can pray for them, and continue to be an example of God’s love.

  36. Jack says:

    The pastor quotes Leviticus :Lev 18:22 ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”.
    And Leviticus 20 says “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
    This is a tenet in all the “monotheistic” faiths (Islam, Judaism and Christianity).
    I thank the forward thinkers of the enlightenment for laying the groundwork for the society that we have in Canada.
    Look at the anti-gay legislation that was proposed in Uganda – executions (although apparently now just life imprisonment). The president of Uganda and his wife are “born-again” Christians and much of that line of thinking was influenced by American evangelicals. It becomes obvious what some biblical literalists mean when they want to “stop immorality”
    From this church’s doctrinal statement of faith “The scriptures, both Old and New Testament, are inspired of God, and comprise the infallible and authoritative Word of God to mankind”
    What would happen to those of us who don’t such inspiration in the bible without our Bill of Rights to protect us? Well, look to Uganda or Saudi Arabia or Iran.

  37. Jeff Norman says:

    Mark, I Love when Anyone tells the TRUTH like it is, & you have written this just Right to us who KNOW that without God in this world, it Isnt gonna get Better but WORSE, as it is Written in the Bible. I will NOT accept any immorals of this world & if the world said to jump off a bridge I Probibly Wouldnt do that either lol OI feel so out of place in this world & WISH I cold just take off or get off the Grid if you will to Escape this multi-accepted things that THEY are programming most everyone to Believe! It also makes me Angry that these things are being done. I wait Patiently for Jesus to Return, but I know it will still get Worse Before Better…TY Mark for your insightful, TRUTHFUL Letter. More churches NEED to also take a STAND! Amen

  38. David Williams says:

    In Leviticus 18:22 it says a man should not lhave sexual relations with another man……. It is curious to me that even back in the days of Moses some men had the innate desire to want to sleep with other men. We are Gods creation, wether straight, gay, transsexual , pedophile etc. I want to believe that being gay or a pedophile is akin to people who are borne with a genetic disorder . If this was a choice issue then gay people in Africa will stop being gay at the threat of death or being thrown in prison . Pedophiles after serving a jail sentence will stop looking for children to molest. God is the one that created all of us , I am not blaming God for creating some people with defects but we need better answers to this issue . Over to you pastor Mark

  39. Martha says:

    Finally, someone says it like it is. I’m so tired of Christians being “politically correct” lately. I wish more preachers would stand up for the truth !

  40. LINDA Madden says:

    Thank you for your sermon on gender issues. I personally recognize it as a sin..an abomination and against Gods law. But it seems that I am in the very few that think this way… Every TV show I watch have gay men..married..like that us the norm..not so many gay women..but their numbers are climbing.
    It seems like every day..someone us coming out of the closet!!! What’s going on…I ‘m pretty sure I know..Satan has been unleashed for a thousand years..but his years are coming to an end soon.
    I give this world maybee 20 or 30 years until the Muslims take over and kill all of us Christians ( In the name of god..not OUR GOD…our god would never command such violence. But their god..Allah..I. cringe even when I gave to type the word! I WILL NEVER RECUEVE THE MARK IF THE BEAST..and if they kill me..so be it! Then I will be with my heavenly father for eternity!! 🙂

  41. LINDA Madden says:

    I have tremendous respect for you..you hit home with your sermons and awesome sense if humour!! Kudos to you! I watch your sermons online and I never miss them on Sunday morning! I …being a singer/songwriter for 30 years truly can appreciate your sense if humour and the way that you put your sermons in a perspective that is humerous, profound, and us totally able to be understood..haaa..does the name “Church of the Rock” signify anything?..Are you a musician..just wondering!! You are AWESOME! Youare changing my life! But there’s one thing Pastor Mark..I don’t like going to Church..its too ridgged, hymns, sermons that don’t inspire me..its like the dark aged…can I still be a Christian and study the bible and pray and watch sermons at home???

  42. C. Stevens says:

    Dear Pastor Hughes,

    We have enjoyed your messages and sermons now for almost a year. We watched your Christmas Eve show recently and as always, the message was very valid and to the point.

    However, I have to express that I was very disappointed with the fact that with the number of young people in the audience at that time and the very fact that you stated that “Santa Claus does not exist”. Again, I value the reason for the season message but I do believe as a Christian, it is up to parents to decide when to inform their children and not someone of Authority in the Church that the children look up to divulge this to them as it is a custom still in practice in many Christian homes.

    I would also strongly urge you to look into the wisdom in the spirit of giving/receiving during the season and the story, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” – I do believe as a Christian that you can believe in God first and also practice the spirit of giving/receiving at the same time of the year, especially for young children – let them enjoy this in their youth, they will have their entire adult life to figure out the rest.

    Sincerely,
    Chris Stevens

  43. chris says:

    i thought your article was very well written. thank you

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