Joanne Rowling, better known as the bestselling author and outspoken culture watcher “J.K. Rowling,” knows a lot about the importance of guts and gumption.

After finishing her first Harry Potter manuscript back in 1995, Rowling and her agent suffered through dozens of publisher rejections. Some were turned off by the setting of a boarding school in the book, others found the storytelling inferior – or just too long.

When Bloomsbury Publishing finally signed the fledgling author, they agreed to print just 500 copies – and three hundred of them were donated to libraries.

Some Christian parents have strong opinions about the book’s theme, but there’s no doubt that Rowling’s tenacity helped turn the project into a worldwide publishing phenomenon.

But the quest to birth a book pales in comparison to the British author’s latest battle – to actually call a girl a girl and a boy a boy.

Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, last week, Rowling shared a photo of a billboard that read: “REPEAT AFTER US: TRANSWOMEN ARE WOMEN.”

Rowling responded, “No.”

It’s not the first time the popular author has stepped into the gender melee. She’s been highly critical of claims that gender and biological sex are changeable, warning that, “It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

Most recently, Rowling has declared if Great Britain chooses to criminalize so-called “misgendering” people, she will refuse to comply – even if it means going to jail.

“I’ll happily do two years if the alternative is compelled speech and forced denial of the reality of importance and sex. Bring on the court case, I say. It will be more fun than I’ve ever had on a red carpet.”

J.K. Rowling has guts and gumption – something everyone is going to need more of going forward.

“Gumption” is a term that dates to the 1700s. It’s evolved over the years from initially referring to “common sense” to now meaning someone who is appropriately aggressive, resourceful, and courageous.

It takes gumption to be a culturally engaged Christian in the world today. A “go along to get along” philosophy has led to the deterioration of American institutions – including churches, schools, and government – many of which were founded by people of faith.

When people of faith stand down, evil and wicked actors and policies stand up and dig in.

It takes gumption to attend and confront public school boards and officials who are determined to drive a wedge between parents and children. It takes courage to speak out against the expansion of abortion. It takes energy and aggressiveness to campaign for pro-life and pro-family initiatives. It takes boldness and confidence to volunteer at a pregnancy resource center.

When it comes to the rising levels of sexual confusion, it might be tempting to lay low and say little. In today’s culture, the gender debate is a “third rail” – type issue given so many people’s sensitivity and broad acceptance of the depraved. But to say nothing may well enable mutilation of children and a lifetime of regret for many.

Christians with guts and gumption may be labeled bigots or bullies – when the exact opposite is true. Stepping in to preserve and promote God’s beautiful and unique design is the loving thing to do. It’s the real bullies who want to thwart the boldness, because it threatens their lies.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden,” Jesus taught (Matthew 5:14). During that same sermon, He urged His followers to not hide their light but shine it, “so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

We need Christians with guts and gumption.


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