For years, Rosaria Butterfield would use a transgender-identified person’s “preferred pronouns.”
Now, in an essay published at reformation21, she has publicly repented of doing so.
In a humble, gracious, sober way, she is also calling for evangelicals to stop doing so out of a misguided sense of kindness and courtesy. Butterfield is serious about sin and explains the sinfulness of acquiescing to transgender dogma and language.
Before her conversion, Butterfield was a feminist English professor involved in a lesbian relationship. While researching the “Religious Right,” she began reading the Bible and became friends with a pastor and his wife who had reached out to her. She tells her story of leaving sin to follow Christ in her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith.
In that book, Butterfield describes regularly opening her “home for anyone in the gay and lesbian community to come and eat and talk about issues and needs.” She writes about a “transgendered woman, J, who lives full-time in drag,” using feminine pronouns to describe J.
Butterfield is repentant for this, and for other times she used “preferred pronouns” that differ from a person’s innate maleness or femaleness, specifically naming her sins:
My use of transgendered pronouns was not a mistake; it was sin.
Public sin requires public repentance, not course correction.
I have publicly sinned on the issue of transgender pronouns, which I have carelessly used in books and articles.
I have publicly sinned by advocating for the use of transgender pronouns in interviews and public Q&As.
She explains why this is wrong: “Using transgendered pronouns is a sin against the ninth commandment and encourages people to sin against the tenth commandment.”
The ninth commandment says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” and the tenth tells us not to covet “anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17-18, ESV). If we use female pronouns for someone who is male, we are lying, and we encourage that sexually-confused man to continue hating his masculinity and covet being a woman.
Butterfield doesn’t stop there. She explains why this is such a serious issue:
- Using transgendered pronouns is a sin against the creation ordinance.
- Using transgendered pronouns is a sin against image-bearing.
- Using transgendered pronouns discourages a believer’s progressive sanctification and falsifies the gospel.
- Using transgendered pronouns cheapens redemption, and it tramples on the blood of Christ.
- Using transgendered pronouns fails to love my neighbor as myself.
- Using transgendered pronouns fails to offer genuine Christian hospitality and instead yields the definition of hospitality to liberal communitarianism, identity politics, and “human flourishing.”
Butterfield takes to task those in the evangelical church who acquiesce to cultural demands and use opposite sex pronouns for transgender-identified individuals. She calls out influential spokesmen on this issue, writing,
They believe using transgender pronouns is respectful of someone’s chosen identity; it’s kind and courteous and necessary for continuing a relationship with a transgender person.
Butterfield then argues:
I once sinfully said all these things, too. But this position makes no Christian sense. Does any real Christian believe crafting a relationship on falsehood will give the gospel a better hearing? And is that how people are converted? By meeting God on sin’s terms and hearing nice things about themselves?
… Transgenderism is satanic. We who once promoted “pronoun hospitality” lent false credibility to a wolfish theology that fails to protect the sheep. Instead, it eats them alive.
Gender theory is founded on lies.
These include the following false beliefs:
- Being a man or a woman is a trivial “social construct.”
- People can really change from one sex to the other.
- “Gender” is separate from bodily sex.
- What’s inside a person trumps physical reality.
- There are an infinitude of “genders.”
This dogma also encourages people to steal, violating the eighth commandment. How so?
A man who claims to be a woman is stealing the reality of womanhood – including pronouns and language that should remain reserved for women. Male athletes who compete against women steal positions on teams, accomplishments, victories and female camaraderie from girls and women.
They also violate women’s privacy and safety as they intrude into sex-segregated spaces.
Christians must stand for the truth, despite what is trumpeted by media elites, social media influencers, businesses, educators, and even the Supreme Court. God created humans in His image and likeness, male and female, and marriage is the union of a husband and wife.
That’s why Christians have such high regard for men, women and children — all of life. We celebrate and honor the image of God in each person.
Male and female personhood, sexuality, relationships and marriage contain so much that’s good – and all of that goodness points back to God and reveals the goodness of His character. Our gender and sexuality were designed to lead us to joy, connection, life, growth, relationships, family, pleasure, children and marriage – not to theft, lies and covetousness.
Related articles and resources:
Focus on the Family Broadcasts with Rosaria Champagne Butterfield:
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