Greetings to you and yours from St. Paul Lutheran Church of Bulverde, Texas. I’m Lee Harder, the senior pastor, wishing you the warmest welcome in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you are in our area of Texas, the beautiful hill country, and looking for a church to call your own, then I invite you to St. Paul where we worship every Sunday at 8:30 and 10:45 AM. We’d love to have you consider us for your spiritual home.
Ever so often I come across something that makes me think, “Well, now I’ve seen everything.” That happens a lot with stuff inside the church as a great many Christians try to secularize the church to make it fit into the world’s image. After all, we just want to get along. When Christians started preaching and teaching that Jesus isn’t the only source of salvation, I thought, you know, that thought “I’ve seen everything.” Well, I was in error. Apparently there’s always somebody willing to step up to the plate and hit a record home run in stupidity. California just did it.
Under a new California law, those who work in health care who use the wrong gender pronoun when referring to a transgender patient could face prison time. The new law, signed last week by California Gov. Jerry Brown, will punish any health care worker who “willfully and repeatedly” does not use the “preferred name or pronouns” of transgender patients. Behind the bill is Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener who argues that no one will face criminal prosecution for using the wrong gender pronoun — even though the bill leaves the possibility open.
The bill states: It shall be unlawful for a long-term care facility or facility staff to take any of the following actions wholly or partially on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status.
The law states that violations can be punishable by a fine “not to exceed one thousand dollars” or “by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed one year,” or both.
Now as a pastor somewhat familiar with how GOD created the universe and all that exists, a student of English who has been referred to as a “wordsmith” denoting some working knowledge of the language, and someone familiar with human anatomy possessing a mirror, a wife of 47 years, three children, two girls and one boy, (oops, I suppose that might be considered gender insensitive) and 10 grandchildren of the usual mixtures, I thought I had a handle on pronouns. As of now I know otherwise.
For my blog today, I do not wish to get into the pronoun discussion on the basis of sexuality, preferred or otherwise, nor to seek debate on the basis of why about 10% of the population of the world (4.1 % in the US) can demand that their lifestyle is to be considered a norm for everyone.
Do I agree that there are shortcomings within the English language? Yes. However, these additions of gender neutral pronouns sound more like gibberish that has not been thoughtfully worked through or an agenda that seeks to establish the LGBT lifestyle as normal. It might be “normal” for the small percentage of the population that deals with it; but, it is not for the rest of the world, nor should it be used as a vehicle to teach our young, vulnerable, impressionable children seeking to create in them something they are not.
Now, if you were to ask me if LGBT persons should be treated with the same respect, love and consideration as everyone else, I would agree. As a pastor, I welcome them into the life of the church to use God’s gifts to them in furthering GOD’S PURPOSE & AGENDA in the great commission. Yet, they, too, fall under the realm of God’s rule, creation, and defining of what is right and wrong. Like for everyone else — that’s ALL PEOPLE — so there can be no doubts, I call sin for what it is sin. Sin also includes sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman, gossiping about anyone at anytime, doing anything that tears down a person’s self-worth and does not build and support them as a child of God to name but a few things that fall in the realm of sinful living. The list is quite endless because we are all guilty of sin. As I tell my students of all ages, we human beings are by nature sinful and unclean. That’s why Jesus came into the world, to pay the price of our sinfulness.
God created us, He made us male and female and placed us in this creation to be its stewards. I won’t deny that the world in its sinful nature has managed to mess things up royally, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to establish the world’s vision of what should be a reality for all. God is still the landlord in charge and those who occupy His holdings had better take it to heart.
And those are my thoughts.
God bless us, everyone.
Pastor Lee R. Harder