"Go and make disciples…and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matt 28:19-20)

Courage is not Bruce Jenner


This article was found at this web address: http://theveritasnetwork.org/2015/06/02/courage-is-not-bruce-jenner/#more-10022

I wanted to share it here, on this blog.  Read on:


 

Courage is not Bruce Jenner

June 2, 2015 by Greg Gibson

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the media onslaught of the Bruce Jenner (now Caitlyn Jenner) cover story in Vanity Fair.

This has been a media storm in the making for the past few weeks; however, it was just released yesterday that ESPN would jump on the sails of this storm and make Jenner the headline of their upcoming annual ESPY Awards.  I’m not trying to add to the onslaught, or be an evangelical voice gagging in the wind of this news.  No.  Not my intention at all.

I want to challenge ESPN, and everyone who will listen, on what courage actually is.

FIRST, DON’T FORGET THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE.

I first heard the news yesterday as my family was preparing for dinner.  SportCenter was on in the background, and I heard the news that Jenner would receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for the courage “to be herself” and change her identity.  I immediately had two responses:  Shock and speechlessness.

I was, first of all, shocked that ESPN would be reporting this on SportCenter—a family friendly television program.  This announcement from ESPN is coming directly into my home, directly into the ears of my family and children, and directly into our living room.  What I think would be family-friendly sports became a classic case of the medium becoming the message.  ESPN is jumping on the bandwagon of using every medium to host this conversation.  Just the other day, I’m watching a Harry Potter movie marathon on ABC Family (because HP is awesome), and a commercial comes on for a new show about a transgender dad and how this family is now coping with the gender change of the family’s patriarch.  Again, this is on ABC family.  I’m shocked.  I can’t even watch good ol’ Harry without seeing the medium becoming the message.

I was speechless at this announcement because of the use of the word “courage” to define this person’s actions.  This is one thing with which I have no words.  Farewell ESPN.  Farewell any respect from true sports fans.  Farewell any allegiance to your brand.  Farewell.

I’m not saying this to be the Christian who boycotts anything and everything gender related when I don’t see eye to eye with the announcement.  And I’m sure I’ll watch ESPN all of the time.  I mean, seriously, they are hosting the NBA Finals in a few days.  But when it comes to respectable sports journalism, farewell brothers and sisters—if you had anything left in that world, you don’t anymore.

Your definition of “courage” has left me speechless.

For ESPN, the medium truly has become the message.  As I sit and listen to SportsCenter, and attempt to be entertained by the athletic prowess of athletes (male and female alike), I bombarded with their attempt to bring in a message that has nothing to do with sports.

COURAGE IS SELFLESS, NOT SELF-FOCUSED.

As ESPN has now defined “courage” as a man’s decision to become a female, my heart continually sinks into my chest.  I want to weep for our country, but I can’t.  I’m still in shock.  I want to plead with people to see the sin and depravity in this type of thing, but my flesh wants to fight… and defend the truth of the imago Dei.  I want to act like Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane.  I’m ready to fight, but the Spirit reminds me to pray.

The imago Dei is a latin phrase which means “image of God.”  This is, at its core, an attack on God’s greatest and most prized possession—humanity itself.

May we remember that courage is not self-focused, as the world news and ESPN wants us to believe.  “Oh, how brave it was for her to truly be herself,” they say.  Even the first tweet by Caitlyn Jenner was self-focused, talking more about how this gender transformation has made her “feel.”  Friends, this is not courage.  This is a far cry from it.  This is self-exaltation masked in the rhetoric of a popular magazine cover story, and ESPN is jumping on the bandwagon coining it as “courage.”  This is far from true courage.

[True] Courage is selfless, not self-centered.  Not self-focused.  Not self-exalting.

[True] Courage is not Bruce Jenner; courage is a young family moving across the world to become missionaries so the nations might know Him.

[True] Courage is not Bruce Jenner; courage is someone **standing outside of an abortion clinic pleading with people for life.

 ** my comments added here.: (-This can be done in a peaceful way, but I must admit there have been times when protesters outside of abortion clinics have been less than civil and less than  Christian in their behavior…  just pointing out the truth.)  ** my comments added here.

[True] Courage is not Bruce Jenner; courage is Jim Elliot and 4 other missionary friends giving their lives to take the gospel to the Auca Indian tribe of Ecuador.

[True] Courage is not Bruce Jenner; courage is a mom who forgoes a career to stay at home with her children.

[True] Courage is not Bruce Jenner; courage is a young dad who forgoes his hobbies to be home every night he can to be emotionally, spiritually, and physically present in his home.

[True] Courage is not Bruce Jenner; courage is a young barista standing up for Truth in her coffee shop.

[True] Courage is not Bruce Jenner; courage is a young high school student standing up for Truth in his biology class.

[True] Courage is not Bruce Jenner; courage is a mom and dad attempting to parent their teenager to pursue dating, sex, and marriage differently—to date different.

[True] Courage is not Bruce Jenner; courage is a young couple standing against the tide of culture and intentionally pursuing marriage at a young age.

[True] Courage is many things, but it’s not Bruce Jenner.  What is often veiled in a post-Genesis 3 world, is glorious in eternity.  May we remind of ourselves of that truth.

[True] Courage is not self-focused, self-centered, or self-exalting.

REMEMBER, PURSUE TRUE COURAGE, AND PRAY FOR THE CONFUSED.

True courage is personified in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Where Adam failed in the Garden of Eden (and where the rest of humanity fails), Jesus flourished.  But it wasn’t a selfish act, or a self-exalting act.  It was a selfless act.  He died for the sin of humanity.  He gave his life for His Bride—the Church.  This is true courage.

Never forget the source, the wellspring, from which true courage pours like a summer storm.  It is only found in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then it bleeds into our lives as we abide in Him.

As we remind ourselves that there are brothers and sisters serving all over the world for the sake of the gospel, may we pray and become heartbroken for those who are confused.

My prayer is that the Church would not verbally dry-heave at this announcement.  My prayer is that She would be heartbroken.  May we not consume ourselves with the messages of this world.  May we not confuse the attempted symbiotic relationship of the message and medium with the True message.  Jesus is the hope of the world.  May we live this way.  May we pray towards that end.

And may we never forget what true “courage” is and what it isn’t.

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