By Joel Hess –
Time and time again Bruce Jenner has been talking about being uncomfortable in his own skin. He felt like he was living a lie. He even believed himself to be trapped inside his body; a body that even achieved remarkable success in the Olympics! Jenner believes he is a woman but mistakenly born with a man’s body.
Sadly, many Christians foolishly dismiss Jenner’s feelings. Too quickly they just write him off as just another person trying to find an excuse to be perverted. Oddly enough, he says he is still attracted to women. So then, is that ok?
The proper Christian response is to believe and accept Jenner’s feelings, or anyone who speaks like him. It definitely sounds like he has struggled with this his whole life, a struggle he didn’t want. In other words, he isn’t lying or acting on a selfish sinful whim, per se.
Even more so, Christians more than anyone should understand and sympathize with Jenner’s struggle! We get it! For we know that we are all just like him! Sin, Adam’s sin and our sin, has messed this place up! Sin not only brought death into the world but also brought disfigurement, disease, deterioration, and confusion. Talk to any 13 year old and you will witness a confused disfunctioning soul, seemingly detached from his body, wanting to be free!
Sure we may not feel messed up in the same way Jenner does. But until we die there will be a disconnect between our soul and body, our dreams and our vocation, in our marriage, and in our body. Every repentant Christian confesses, “Something is really wrong with me!”
So, even celibate St. Paul cries out with Jenner, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
“For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 7)
Plastic surgery!? An obviously photoshopped front cover on Vanity Fair?! A new vocabulary! New laws? The Supreme Court!
Sadly as Jenner pursues freedom from his body, he is led by “yes” men into further slavery. The world is not really like the T.V. shows. Our true self will still escape us no matter what we do or who surrounds us! He will go to sleep alone with his thoughts, his past, his fears, his secret knowledge that nothing has really changed.
So then, who will rescue me from this BODY that is subject to death?
“Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25)
We have the cure for our confusion and our disconnect between body and soul. We are left between our memory of Eden, a residual yet distant memory of a perfect body and a perfect relationship to God, and our present state of sin: our soul entrapped in death.
The cure is not Dr. Oz, but the Son of God who truly did transform in the womb of Mary. Christ took on Bruce’s flesh and mine and all of the world’s, no matter how confused we all are!
He perfected our gene pool, our bodies, doing what is right in His: loving God and loving His neighbor. He reattached the Image of God to humanity in Himself! He is indeed the Son of Man, the second Adam.
In baptism we undergo a surgery of sorts, but it isn’t superficial. We are reborn in the name of Jesus. We come out of the waters as who we truly are! With a new name! We are clean, forgiven, and given life that will not decay. Yet we hold on to this promise by faith, clinging to forgiveness and hope in the future!
But, brothers and sisters and all you who feel like a stranger in your own body, a glorious day is coming! In an instant and at the snap of a finger, The Son of Man will descend. The dead will rise. You will rise. Physically. But with no disconnect or inner struggle!
Your true self. Glorious. Complete. Whole. Free. Breakfast of Champions.