In a recent Gospel Coalition podcast, author and contributor Rachel Gilson answers the question of whether Christians should use people’s personal pronouns, noting that this issue “is probably one of the most difficult to answer well in a space like this, and I mean like in a digital question and answer type space.”
We do not know what is difficult about it: the answer is simple.
No. No, we should not use them.
This is true of the more benign ones like he/she/them/etc., but also the grotesque world of “nounself-pronouns” and “neo-pronouns” where people identify as “xe/xem/xyr, moon/moonself, star/starself, bee/beeself, bun/bunself, and anything else under the sun.
However, the question is a bit more complicated for Gilson, who has been smuggling unbiblical perspectives on biblical sexuality into the church for years. She previously advocated (or at the very least, gave a tacit approval) that if one partner in a “gay marriage” becomes saved, then they should not necessarily divorce their same-sex “spouse,” because “God hates divorce,” but rather continue in the marriage and remain celibate.
She’s also expressed her belief that becoming saved and having a new heart has essentially zero effect on one’s sexual orientation, and that for all intents and purposes, sexual orientation is not something that is touched by the sanctifying process of the Holy Spirit. She believes that the number of gay people who get their sexuality redeemed by Christ and oriented towards the opposite sex is a fraction of a fraction of a percent, but that this reality is “ok” because her homosexuality is a “gift” to the church.
In her podcast answer, Gilson goes straight to the scriptures which talks about the weaker versus stronger brother, and says that if people do not wish to use these [ridiculous and made up] pronouns, that is their choice, but that “you have to recognize that when you are interacting with a transgender person your inability to use their preferred name or pronoun could actually be received as very offensive by them or deeply hurtful by them.”
In contrast, she explains the “stronger brother” position, which according to her warped theology is that “others of us have no problem at all using preferred names and pronouns. We’re like, “Yes! This is a way of showing love. I’m ready to do this.” And in that case, your conversation partner is probably easily going to feel loved and accepted by you.”
Once this compromise is made, calling a boy a girl or a girl a boy, or a boy “bunself” or a girl “fairyself,” Gilson explains that this grants you “access to the heart of your friend,” which then in turn lets you talk about spiritual things with them by getting those pronouns and lies “in.”
Sadly, Gilson has it completely backwards. It is not the weaker brother who refuses to call people by their preferred pronouns, but rather the stronger one who is not willing to compromise the truth of God’s reality and break the 9th commandment despite enormous pressure from the world and once formerly reputable Christian organizations like the Gospel Coalition telling them to do so.
[Editor’s note: If you aren’t familiar with Paul’s thoughts on this, you can look the up in Romans 14. In context, weaker brothers are the ones that make up rules that they try to make “religious” and impose on everybody else. Kind of like Rachel Gilson is doing.]
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