It’s hard to imagine the state we’re in. It takes the honesty of Piers Morgan to uncover the bankruptcy of the convoluted ideology in which we’ve been drowning.
Here’s what happened Friday night in Miami. Celine Provost, a 32-year-old female fighter with over ten years of experience in the MMA, lost her match to Alana McLaughlin. Provost lost in a chokehold. McLaughlin is a 38-year-old trans-identified MMA fighter, and also a military veteran who served six years as a male in the U.S. Army.
The English journalist Morgan reported in the Daily Mail that viewing the match made him “sick.” He wrote that Provost “couldn’t compete with the overwhelming physical strength of her opponent … Provost’s punches bounced off McLaughlin like a baby lion’s off its father, and when she was pinned to the ground, she couldn’t move and quickly tapped out.”
So we have a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces – a biological male – beating up a biological female for the pleasure of the viewing public. I’ll quote directly from ESPN: McLaughlin “used a rear-naked choke to get the finish at 3 minutes, 32 seconds of the second round … In the first round, Provost rocked McLaughlin with punches several times and looked to be on the verge of a finish. But in the second, McLaughlin took Provost down, got her back and clinched in the choke.”
Did you ever imagine that such things would happen with the approval of the popular culture? But that’s where we are. And, after his victory, McLaughlin made it very clear that he was fighting in the name of transgender “progress.”
Friends, this is not a “liberal” vs. “conservative” issue – not even close. This is a women’s rights issue. Our culture is allowing gender politics and transgender activism to erase women’s sports. And that’s only the beginning of the intended erasure. Piers Morgan, who is certainly no card-carrying conservative, pointed out in his piece that “Celine Provost could have been killed as so-called ‘progressive feminists’ around the world welcomed and celebrated the event that could have caused it.”
Friday’s travesty was not progress for anybody. Far, far from it.
So how do you and I “put on love” in this environment? After all, that’s our job (Colossians 3:14). We’re not called to put on judgment. We’re called to put on love. Love for everybody involved in this widespread state of confusion. I’ll offer four simple suggestions here, and I welcome your input.
- We can acknowledge gender confusion, which is a byproduct of our fallen world whether physiological or psychological in nature (and it may well be both), while seeking to guard against the redefinition of God’s creation of humanity. Making the case today for “male and female in God’s image” as the Creator’s original design may be a tall order, but it’s still a hopeful and stabilizing message. And it’s still true.
- We can minister to people who are struggling with gender identity, without celebrating the embrace of every “gender variant” which makes its way to prominence in the culture. There seems to be no end to the labels, and there still exists a widespread lack of consensus among even the leading experts regarding causation, diagnosis, and treatment of the related distress. Let’s love anyway.
- We can help parents who are trying to love and guide their children through the tumultuous years of adolescence, by reminding them that changing social situations and changing bodies often create the perfect storm for confusion of every stripe. There are times when “this too shall pass” can be the greatest of comforts for a mom or dad in an unstable season of their child’s life. Drastic measures – medical or otherwise – are sometimes not nearly as powerful as a listening ear and a gracious response.
- We can seek to love people through their trauma, whatever the source, while honestly recognizing the brokenness of our own identities. (Isn’t every believer still “under construction” in the “in-Christ identity” department?) So let’s humble ourselves and offer others the same hope in Christ to which we’re clinging! I’ve said it before: People don’t care how much we know until they know how much we care. This is fundamentally central, I believe, to the church’s central mission amidst the widespread confusion – what I often refer to as the “truth crisis” – of 2021.
You and I are called to help people – that includes everybody – find their hope in God. There are lots of things about the human condition and experience which we’re still trying to figure out, but I think that Francis Bacon nailed it half a millennium ago: “A little science estranges a man from God; a lot of science brings him back.”
It’s easy to get angry when we see things like Friday night’s Florida fight, and perhaps some of that anger could be righteous disgust. But it’s always best for us to keep asking the Lord to show us how to be love and light – in action – instead of allowing ourselves to stay angry on the sidelines of life. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Matthew 9:36, where our Lord Jesus is so marvelously described: When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
That one verse drastically changes the way I see Friday night. In fact, it changes the way I see forever.