Christianity is Loving People Where They are

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Christianity is Loving People Where They are

The results of such fan­ci­ful hatred are often most dis­ap­point­ing, and of all humans the Eng­lish are in this respect the most deplorable milk­sops. They are crea­tures of that mis­er­able sort who loudly pro­claim that tor­ture is too good for their ene­mies and then give tea and cig­a­rettes to the first wounded Ger­man pilot who turns up at the back door.

Do what you will, there is going to be some benev­o­lence, as well as some mal­ice, in your patient’s soul. The great thing is to direct the mal­ice to his imme­di­ate neigh­bours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benev­o­lence out to the remote cir­cum­fer­ence, to peo­ple he does not know.

C. S. Lewis, the Screw­tape let­ters #6

In sev­eral pieces I’ve talked about defend­ing both free speech in gen­eral and Meghan Mur­phy in par­tic­u­lar. This is an impor­tant prin­ci­ple to remem­ber and follow.

In doing so it’s also impor­tant, if one claims Chris­tian­ity, to recall a 2nd prin­ci­ple. To love your neigh­bor as yourself.

This leads me to a basic ques­tion: How does one treat a per­son who is “Trans­gen­der” that you know, or that due to work you asso­ciate with?

The answer is very easy and thus very hard: The same you would treat any friend, acquain­tance or co-​worker with a men­tal ill­ness, with love and respect on a per­sonal level and pro­fes­sion­ally on a pro­fes­sional level.

Think of it this way. If you had a friend or co-​worker who had MS, you wouldn’t con­stantly remind them they had MS in con­ser­va­tion or while deal­ing with them, or if you had a friend who was para­noid you would not con­stantly remind them or scold them over such para­noia, the same is true of Transgenderism.

At the same time you don’t have to com­pro­mise truth nor should you. For exam­ple if you have a per­son who is prepar­ing to “tran­si­tion” and folks are full of encour­age­ment on the sub­ject you have no busi­ness join­ing in. In fact it’s an act of Chris­t­ian love to dis­cour­age self destruc­tive behav­ior. Your options, depend­ing on your rela­tion­ship with the per­son is to avoid the sub­ject unless asked directly or to approach the per­son pri­vately to sug­gest that this is a bad idea. There is some risk involved in the lat­ter course, par­tic­u­larly in a state like Mass­a­chu­setts but it will ful­fill the warn­ing to the prophet Ezekiel con­cern­ing the watch­man. This is where being openly Chris­t­ian makes a big difference.

Once the per­son in ques­tion has the surgery the dynamic changes. Your best course is to move on from the sub­ject. If a per­son makes a stu­pid mis­take in their life the last thing they need is to be con­stantly reminded or berated for it and if the end result works out as bad as it might, said per­son will need some­one hon­est that they can talk to who wasn’t sugar coat­ing the side effects on this non­sense. That’s when such a per­son will need Chris­t­ian love and under­stand­ing even more.

The pri­mary duty of a Chris­t­ian are to love God and Love your neigh­bor, that com­mand doesn’t pro­vide a list of excep­tions if there is some­thing about your neigh­bor that you don’t care for. To make those excep­tions is a trap laid for us, it’s up to us as Chris­tians to avoid it.

The results of such fanciful hatred are often most disappointing, and of all humans the English are in this respect the most deplorable milksops. They are creatures of that miserable sort who loudly proclaim that torture is too good for their enemies and then give tea and cigarettes to the first wounded German pilot who turns up at the back door.

Do what you will, there is going to be some benevolence, as well as some malice, in your patient’s soul. The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know.

C. S. Lewis, the Screwtape letters #6

In several pieces I’ve talked about defending both free speech in general and Meghan Murphy in particular.  This is an important principle to remember and follow.

In doing so it’s also important, if one claims Christianity, to recall a 2nd principle.  To love your neighbor as yourself.

This leads me to a basic question:  How does one treat a person who is “Transgender” that you know, or that due to work you associate with?

The answer is very easy and thus very hard:  The same you would treat any friend, acquaintance or co-worker with a mental illness, with love and respect on a personal level and professionally on a professional level.

Think of it this way.  If you had a friend or co-worker who had MS, you wouldn’t constantly remind them they had MS in conservation or while dealing with them, or if you had a friend who was paranoid you would not constantly remind them or scold them over such paranoia, the same is true of Transgenderism.

At the same time you don’t  have to compromise truth nor should you.  For example if you have a person who is preparing to “transition” and folks are full of encouragement on the subject you have no business joining in.  In fact it’s an act of Christian love to discourage self destructive behavior.  Your options, depending on your relationship with the person is to avoid the subject unless asked directly or to approach the person privately to suggest that this is a bad idea.  There is some risk involved in the latter course, particularly in a state like Massachusetts but it will fulfill the warning to the prophet Ezekiel concerning the watchman.  This is where being openly Christian makes a big difference.

Once the person in question has the surgery the dynamic changes.  Your best course is to move on from the subject.  If a person makes a stupid mistake in their life the last thing they need is to be constantly reminded or berated for it and if the end result works out as bad as it might, said person will need someone honest that they can talk to who wasn’t sugar coating the side effects on this nonsense.  That’s when such a person will need Christian love and understanding even more.

The primary duty of a Christian are to love God and Love your neighbor, that command doesn’t provide a list of exceptions if there is something about your neighbor that you don’t care for.  To make those exceptions is a trap laid for us, it’s up to us as Christians to avoid it.