Misbehaving With Pronouns

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So let us now write about pronouns. The cultural pressure is mounting, and will soon become a fiery wall of persecution. Well, it won’t be that intense, but it will be intense enough to roll right over our Christian intelligentsia, whose lifetime pocket promise verse appears to be “ye have not yet resisted unto blood.” (Heb. 12:4).

The fine print says to respect the pronouns. Who, me?
The fine print says to respect the pronoun. Who, me?

There are many levels where an objection to the regnant dottiness could be registered. For the most trivial example, the newly selected gender neutral pronouns are themselves dumb and stupid, which really ought to have been considered. I mean, seriously? The offenders are “ze,” “hir,” “hirs,” “zir,” “zirs,” “xem,” and “xyr.” Rather than accomplish gender equality for all, this is just trying to get us all to mock German tourists trying to order exotic dishes in a sushi bar. Far from bringing in healing, we are just going to deepen the hurt and misunderstanding.

You ask if I jest? Well, okay. That is not where the real action is, of course. Rebellious man wants to lay claim to the entire cosmos, and he wants to do it by hijacking the language. God made the world through the Word, and so if man wants to steal the world, he must first attempt to steal all the words. You can’t get into the box without the keys, and the words are the keys. Thus far they reason correctly, but they are about to find out that getting into the box and determining the contents of the box are not the same thing.

So what is our duty? Let us begin by appealing to Orwell. “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

What I want to do here is anticipate a temptation that will come upon the Christian world, and it will appear to have come from nowhere. In reality, the temptation will have been long in the making. We will be tempted to think that a good testimony before the world will consist in adapting ourselves to their way of speaking. We will think that it is a sin to give offense to Bruno by calling him a he instead of a zot. and we will not think it is a sin to give offense to God by joining in with their revolt against all that is decent, wholesome, and good. In short, our temptation will be to fear man, and not to fear God.

The secularist prigs set these pronouns in front of us, and demand conformity. Nobody demands conformity like a liberal. They are already rolling out proposed fines for those who refuse to anoint their gender delusions with delusional pronouns. Liberals love liberty the way Stalin loved Jeffersonian democracy. Liberals love liberty the way rabbis love ham sandwiches.

There is no way to deal with this appropriately except by a straight up collision. We need valor in our midst, and it has to stop being the kind of valor found in Ambrose Bierce’s telling illustration.

‘Why have you halted?’ roared the commander of a division at Chickamauga, who had ordered a charge: ‘move forward, sir, at once.’

‘General,’ said the commander of the delinquent brigade, ‘I am persuaded that any further display of valor by my troops will bring them into collision with the enemy.’”

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Rob Steele
Rob Steele
6 years ago

I propose a compromise. Let’s use the all gender inclusive contraction of “she”, “he”, and “it”. In that order.

CCW
CCW
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

At first I was like, “What…?” And then I was like, “Hahahaha!”

I see what you did there. Well played, good sir.

Evan
Evan
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

ohiseewhatyoudidthere

lloyd
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

Took me a minute :)

Bike bubba
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

My wife used to work with a…transgender person, and we decided that since the person wasn’t really a she, or a he, or an it, we’d combine the three pronouns in exactly that way. Worked especially well with a touch of a southern drawl, IMO. Emphasis on the third syllable.

It also strikes me that if a person’s name is completely misrepresentative of names chosen when that person was born–say a 65 year old person calling themself “Caitlyn”–you just might be dealing with a transgender person.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  Bike bubba

I like that last point. :-)

Kevin Bratcher
6 years ago

Classic expansion of oppression: First they came for the business owners, and individual Christians said nothing. Now, they come for the individual Christians and try to force each of us to blaspheme against God and hate our neighbors. How many prominent ministers will counsel us to this blasphemy in the name of love?

Seems the wicked are being given an extra length of leash to tear up the yard and expose some weeds. Of course, it’s also just enough rope for them to hang themselves…

Nathan Brunaugh
Nathan Brunaugh
6 years ago

Didn’t Christians start all of this 10+ years ago with the “gender-neutral” Bible translations?:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Today%27s_New_International_Version

Kevin Bratcher
6 years ago

Certainly those were a few of the first loosened rocks in the landslide

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago

At issue = legitimacy of the claim that rights & privileges connect to gender.

Why is it that a woman can’t have authority over her husband, or speak in church?

Since when did being male connect to identity of the Father-leader?

Why did being created first give Adam power over Eve?

Let us Christians (and Jews too) answer these questions forthrightly & bravely, with explanation.

David R
David R
6 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Do you know the answer or are you asking? Male and female, more specifically, husband and wife, is a picture of Christ and His Church. The reason the male is the head of the wife, is because Christ is the Head of the Church. Eve was Adam’s help-meet because the Church is Christ’s help-meet. The reason wives are to submit to their husbands is because the Church submits to Christ. The reason husbands are to love their wives, is because Christ loved the Church, even to the point of death on the Cross. Ephesians 5:32 – “This mystery is great;… Read more »

David R
David R
6 years ago
Reply to  David R

That should say: “The reason the husband* is the head of the wife”

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago
Reply to  David R

David R, You are identifying a connectedness between female & wife & then Church and it’s submission to Christ — and then you say that connection is “a picture” which the husband/wife displays. Is this connection a necessary one? Why? Is it required to be maintained in our laws & practices? Is it observable in the world & nature without your special revelation texts? What happens when it gets distorted, or not represented along this paradigm? (For example, women become pastors; produce a gender-“neutral” Bible)? I.e., what happens when we take the basic Christian scheme and demolish some of these… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

In what sense is “God said it should be this way” any less necessary of a connection than any other?

I’m not being snarky, I’m just thinking that “God said it would be so” is every bit as much of the ontological character of something, as anything we could discover by analysis. You can’t really drill down past the Creator’s declarations of reality.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Can’t drill down under & past His words which convey the Truth, true.
But that vein or reservoir is not the only place which hold those Truths.
All of nature testifies infallibly to the same God and pours forth His same message.
Therefore “God’s nature says it should be this way” too — and we need not limit the knowledge of this Truth to Scripture alone, or even require an acceptance of Scripture as criteria for demanding folks for their own good to heed the testimony of nature.

RFB
RFB
6 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I do not think that insisting upon the preeminence of the Word of God is limiting knowledge in any sense. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago
Reply to  RFB

RFB — if by the Word you single out Scripture over Christ, Bible over what He said and says elsewhere, then insisting on that type of preeminence is close to idolatry that both nature and Scripture contradict.

RFB
RFB
6 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I do not “single out Scripture over Christ; I cannot because He comes in the volume of the book. Scripture is the Word of God; it is the sole and final and more sure word. Scripture cannot be broken. These are not dry words on drier pages; these are the Word(s) of God, living and active, breathed out by Him. It is how we abide in Him.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago
Reply to  RFB

Jesus is the Word of God. Scripture is a record of His words — words that are helpful in teaching, rebuking, etc. But Scripture is not Jesus. Nor is Scripture theoretically a necessity for abiding in Him. Hearing Jesus is a necessity. So if you want to call anything Jesus has said = Scripture, then what He says via the moon = Scripture. Those lights were a sign — His sign, come by His Word. Righteous Abel had the evidence of that Word — or are you saying he necessarily had to have Scripture? Did Melchizidek or Job have those… Read more »

RFB
RFB
6 years ago
Reply to  RFB

They DO NOT want the truth, in any manner that it is presented: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago
Reply to  RFB

Nobody wants that truth — unless …

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I’m not sure I see the purpose of advocating that people act on the light of nature without also advocating that they bow the knee, or of communicating or implying that doing the former without the latter is actually substantially beneficial.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Would you advocate that folks acknowledge the Light which nature reveals, and so, with righteous Abel, bow the knee and offer an acceptable sacrifice?

RFB
RFB
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

It seems as if any Christian who falls for this idiocy (the instant issue) is just being another willing victim of subtlety.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said…”

Professing themselves to be wise…

David R
David R
6 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Is this connection a necessary one? Yes, because that is what is revealed in Scripture.

Is it required to be maintained in our laws & practices? It is required to be maintained in the Church and its practices. It OUGHT to be maintained in our society and culture, seeing as it was the design of God.

What happens when it gets distorted? It causes confusion, which can lead to pain, sin and suffering. Many marriages and families fall apart by not following these paradigms.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago
Reply to  David R

David R (Would you be surprised if nature revealed the necessary connection of female/wife/church (and created being), and you therefore do not need to rely so heavily on Scriptural revelation? would it help your apologetic if you could appeal to what folks know without Bible being a necessary advocate?) Anywho … you are exactly right — but in this brave counter-cultural position you advocate, would you please clearly tell us what you’d tell your gay neighbor if he asks what your position is, when he just wants to not be dictated any longer by the oppressive fundamentalist neonazzi patriarchalists who… Read more »

David R
David R
6 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

“Would you be surprised if nature revealed the necessary connection of female/wife/church (and created being), and you therefore do not need to rely so heavily on Scriptural revelation?” I would not be surprised, because nature testifies to the glory and nature of God :)

I dont understand your main question. Are you saying how would I answer my gay neighbor asking me about women priests and gender neutral Bibles? Or how I would answer about this gender topic in general?

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago
Reply to  David R

Either. It’s a plus if he asks anything of you, assuming he knows something of your religion.

The question is: How is gender identity malleability harmful to those engaged in such play? Example, How does it hurt a queer to put up an all-inclusive restroom sign?

Bro. Steve
Bro. Steve
6 years ago

When liberals want to destroy something, they first thing they do is take over the dictionary.

(Hey! The edit function works. Super!)

Victoria West
Victoria West
6 years ago

I must admit when writing about the “unknown” third person, I favor s/he.

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  Victoria West

Admission is the first step toward recovery… ;-)

RFB
RFB
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

This has always been a problem with mankind.

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  Victoria West

I have often wondered how really gendered European languages have coped with this. For example, “girl” in a neutral noun in German, neither masculine nor feminine. Do people go around protesting this or do they take it in their stride?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Actually, in German, this is coped with by the non-specific pronoun “man.” “Man” is roughly, but not quite, equivalent to “one” — it functions the same way, but lacks the awkwardness of always using “one” in English (e.g., “one doesn’t know which pronoun to use in this situation.).

Otherwise, in gendered languages, people understand that there is little association between gender and sex. But in English, the only real function of gender is to delineate sex, so it has to be approached differently.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

But it is interesting to learn why & how the specific gendered words came about — and not entirely unrelated in association to the discussion at hand.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

It’s very mixed. Some gender distinctions seem to be related to sex; others are more obscure, and probably derive from the fact that language genders can have other referents than sex (for example, some languages have a “gender” for broad, flat objects, and a different one for long, thin ones.) It would be ill-judged to hang a lot of weight on the idea of female forks, male spoons, and neuter knives.,

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I have wasted a lot of time wondering about that. Why is war feminine in French and masculine in German? Why is peace feminine in French and masculine in German? Why do the French call morning masculine and night feminine? Why do we drive in parkways and park in driveways? Why do fools fall in love?

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

But we do know why hurricanes are feminine… ;-)

Evan
Evan
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

“But we do know why hurricanes are feminine..”

Oh no you diint!

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
6 years ago
Reply to  Victoria West

I’m afraid that construction unfairly excludes the differently gendered. Try “s/he/it”.

Nord357
Nord357
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

Coffee up the nose on that one. Happy Thursday :)

ashv
ashv
6 years ago

I identify as a trans-Napoleon, and my pronouns are “His Majesty” and “His Majesty”.

timothy
timothy
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

No royal ‘we’ ?

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I would not lightly bandy words with the Exile of Elba, but I think “Your Glorious Majesty” has a better ring to it.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

He styled himself emperor, so “Imperial Majesty” would fit, too.

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

But not his “Lofty Majesty.”

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I identify as a trans-feline and my prefurred appellation is “O Mistress Cat.”

Kevin Bratcher
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Perhaps if Ted Cruz identifies as President we can just forego the election and start the new government today!

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago

I wonder how this translates into practical advice for real life situations. I am no longer in the workplace, but what does a Christian do when confronted with a corporate policy stating that transgender identifications must be respected? What does one do in a social situation (for example, a homeowners’ meeting or a PTA lunch) when Bob, whom you have known for years, tells you he now is Brenda?

Tom Gee
Tom Gee
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I’ve already run into this one indirectly (Facebook). I still call the person “Richard”, and not “Alexandra.” My friend who is a Christian teacher in a public high school was faced with a girl who claimed to be a boy. She chose a non-gendered name like “Cory”, so he was comfortable referring to her only by that name, and never using a pronoun. I felt that was a reasonable compromise, but one that is not available should the person’s chosen name be clearly gendered (like “Alexandra.”)

gerv
gerv
6 years ago
Reply to  Tom Gee

Myself, I’m much more at ease with using someone’s chosen name whether it’s gendered or not than with bending their pronouns – because people call themselves all sorts of silly things, and the gender connotations of particular names vary from time to time and culture to culture anyway. “Anne”, for example, is a man’s name in Holland. Not using the name someone wants to be known by seems to me to be impolite. I do think there’s a line between this and pronouns.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  gerv

A name is also an objective thing — it’s what you’re legally called. It’s not merely a signifier of your sex, it is the name attached to the person. I would have been ill-judged to name my youngest daughter Nathaniel, but had I done so, it would really have been her name, just as the legally changed name of a transgendered person is really that name. A pronoun, OTOH, is designated only by the sex of the person being referred to. A different case would be someone who just one day decided to do the transgendered thing and started asking… Read more »

Moor_the_Merrier
Moor_the_Merrier
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

This is exactly my approach. People can, and do, legally change their names. Prince once went by a symbol. But pronouns are fixed, and so I will happily call him Caitlyn Jenner.

ashv
ashv
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

How would you politely treat anyone with a severe delusion? There’s a difference between humouring someone for the sake of not causing a scene, and actually believing their version of reality. (In particular I wouldn’t show respect for anyone else believing the mentally-ill person’s version of reality.)

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I think you make a good distinction. I am all for politeness and kindness for the deluded one. But I still find it hard to know what to say.

timothy
timothy
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I find in-you-face rebellion and confrontation to be most effective. The looks on their faces when they realize they cannot cow you is irreplaceable. Yes, I have quit at least two corporate jobs over just this sort of nonsense.

jillybean
jillybean
6 years ago
Reply to  timothy

Do you make a distinction between those people who are delusional and those who are accommodating them? I think that the first group should be treated with gentleness.

timothy
timothy
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Always. The “Refugees from the World, Apostles of It” distinction is relevant here.

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

It’s unfortunate that this is even a question…
I think the answer is to ignore Bob’s demands for obfuscation and continue to speak with confidence about reality, which he has chosen to deny. This can be done with all manner of kindness, as in, “Good morning, Bob. How are you doing today, Bob?”
“My name is Brenda.”
“I know, Bob. Thank you for reminding me, Bob.”

Tom Gee
Tom Gee
6 years ago

I actually think this one will indeed become a fiery wall of persecution. I’ve worked with homosexual colleagues for decades, even a “married” one, and although they knew my basic stance there wasn’t too much friction in our day-to-day dealings. I would never call the person “married” or refer to their “spouse”, but that had little effect in a normal working relationship. But when it comes to the “transgendered,” every single encounter, every single reference will be a test of faith, since pronouns are gendered in English. Since I refuse to join that individual in rebellion against their Creator, I… Read more »

andrewlohr
andrewlohr
6 years ago

If they list 57 gender options, are we to need 57 pronouns? Since the U(niversity of) T(ennessee) diversity office put out such a list, let’s just use “ut” for all of them. Or “uk”. (Pronounced as a word, not as two letter names.)

gerv
gerv
6 years ago

So what do you do in the situation where e.g. someone introduces you to “Jill”, and refers to that person as “she”, but you suspect that in fact that person is male, but you aren’t sure?

Malachi
Malachi
6 years ago
Reply to  gerv

Lift up the skirt…

gerv
gerv
6 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

Clearly you’ve been reading “How To Win Friends and Influence People”…

Tom Gee
Tom Gee
6 years ago
Reply to  gerv

I think you can in good conscience say “she.” It’s only in cases where you know for certain that the person claims a different gender than their birth gender where it is not right to affirm their rebel claim.

BDash76
BDash76
6 years ago

most christian men anyways pretend to be the wife in most marriages, so getting used to these pronouns should be no big deal for you servant leaders…

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

That is an unfortunate mischaracterization of what it means to be a servant leader.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

BDash pops in here occasionally to say essentially the same things, while appearing to display little interest in accuracy. Apparently if you really really really care about biblical manhood, things like truth and slander aren’t important.

BDash76
BDash76
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

really?
actually very accurate
you guys like to hide your double standards, just like TGC pretended to ignore that Jared Wilson was a house husband…

BDash76
BDash76
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

show me one sermon where servant leader is described as being a man and fulfilling the duties of a husband…

all of them basically tell men how to be good titus 2 wives…

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

Why, so you can play No True Scotsman?

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Probably completely irrelevant to the discussion, but I married No True Scotsman. Best decision I ever made. I’m chuckling here, but his never ending attempts to retain an unreasoned assertion have actually been rather charming. It just goes to show you that God is good and there really is someone for everyone. ;)

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

Hey, that’s great! That means there’s probably someone out there for my youngest son (aka Mr. “Arguing? I’m not arguing!” ;-)

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

Well for starters, being a man generally does not involve demanding a woman go forth and find you a proper sermon on servant leadership.

BDash76
BDash76
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

there is not one
TGC Acts 29 etc are all full of sermons demanding and teaching men domestic skills
it is cute…

BDash76
BDash76
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

no from most practical examples of being a servant leader I see homemaking etc
it is never
providing, protecting, teaching

it is always run the household so your wife can work or sit on facebook for endless hours…

ME
ME
6 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

I am sorry you have experienced that. Perhaps that speaks more to a need to expand your own understanding, rather than to the faultiness of the entire idea of servant leadership. There is something to be said for not tossing the baby out with the bath water.

BDash76
BDash76
6 years ago
Reply to  ME

does it though?
akk TGC teachers teach homemaking
Macarthur etc as well.

meh I see a man fulfilling his role as servant leading
not pretending to be a woman…