by Greg Koukl
Pronouns matter. I realize they seem like inconsequential little things—him, her, he, she. No big deal.
But if pronouns really were “inconsequential little things,” then why has so much ink been spilt—and, in some cases, livelihoods lost—for not getting them right?
Because getting particular pronouns right means getting a particular narrative right.
Obvious truth: Sex is binary. God made it clear in the beginning. “Male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27). But today, we are pressured to reject God’s truth and common sense and to affirm a false narrative of reality. Why? It’s the only way to be nice (they say).
On the pretext of being nice, the world has made pronouns the skirmish line in a broader battle of worldviews: Who defines reality, God or each one of us? This demand is not about being nice; it’s about enforcing a foreign worldview.
How do we resist the lie, live the truth, and still be nice? We take a cue from Christ and distinguish the movement from the individual.
John said Jesus was “full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). Christ’s character helps us navigate the gender minefield. We protect people’s feelings (“grace”)—within reason—but reject the narrative (“truth”).
Three separate circumstances require three different responses.
1) I think we should call people by the names they choose for themselves. Names are different from pronouns since names are personal preferences by nature. Pronouns, though, refer to sex—a fixed feature of reality, not a preference. (With your own children, though, you may insist on a name consistent with their biology.)
2) If you’re required to post your preferred pronoun, do not simply report your accurate gender. That reinforces the lie that pronouns reflect mere personal preference. Instead, post this: “I don’t have a preferred pronoun. I have a sex. I’m male [for example].”
Refuse to participate in the lie.
3) If you’re asked to use preferred pronouns when speaking of others, then graciously, but firmly, refuse. Tell them this is not your view, so it would be dishonest and inauthentic to act like it was. Don’t yield to pressure to adopt pronoun use that reflects a peculiar, controversial, and divisive political view that you do not hold.
Our goal here is modest. We do not demand others abandon their views. We only ask that we be allowed to keep our views. In the long run, we may not be able to change culture, but we can always keep culture from changing us.
STEP SAFELY THROUGH GENDER MINEFIELD
And helping you do just that—stand firm—is at the heart of STR’s mission. Because of your support, STR is able to equip you and others to safely navigate today’s gender minefield—and share truth with grace and tactical wisdom.
That’s why I need your help today to keep training Christian ambassadors like you to resist the lie, live the truth, and speak with kindness and courage.
Your much-needed donation will energize everything we do—broadcasts, podcasts, online training courses, speakers, conferences, articles, books, and more.
I’m so grateful for your friendship and your generous partnership. Thank you!
Standing with you for the truth,