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Sola Scriptura, Boys and Girls

A worldwide diabolical attack on the family and the human person is afoot, and it draws its power in part from twisting Scripture to accomplish its ends.

Don Johnson

I was scrolling though Instagram recently when I came across a post from a Christian woman with 165,000 followers explaining how excited she and her husband were to have a “transgender” child. She detailed why they had changed their daughter’s name to Max and now referred the girl using the pronouns “they” and “them.” She also expressed joy that the child was able to live out her “God-given” identity and gave an extensive justification for her decision based on supposed “transgender” animals found in nature.

But what really caught my eye was what followed: a defense of transgenderism based on Genesis 1:26: “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.”

According to the author, the meaning of this biblical text is as follows. First, if “all things come from one Divine Being, then that being must encompass every sexuality.” Therefore, God is not male or female; the Trinity is nonbinary. Second, “God made absolutely every human being in ‘their’ image,” and since God encompasses all sexualities and uses “their” as a pronoun, humans can be nonbinary and use “their” as a personal pronoun as well. The author concludes, “If you see it differently, well . . . take your ‘concerns’ to God.” Either you “believe in the Genesis creation story” or you don’t.

It’s hard to overstate the depth of error here, or how dangerous and insidious this post is. There are two grave problems here, and they’re interconnected.

The first problem is the blatant evil of transgenderism. The transgender craze, which exploded in 2015 and is currently rampaging through our teenage girl population, is a Satanic attack on the human person, destroying hundreds of thousands of young lives. As I detail in my new film Dysconnected, the trans phenomenon is an anti-body, anti-family, anti-God movement being pushed on us by a small group of rich and powerful ideologues who want nothing less than the overthrow of the divinely created order. They hate the notion of being created, so they model themselves after the serpent in the garden of Eden, whom they see as a hero of the biblical account.

These diabolical ideas have overwhelmed the medical, counseling, and educational systems and subverted the traditional purpose of these institutions. We now face a trans industrial complex that makes billions by funneling impressionable children into a vortex of puberty-blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery, followed by a lifetime of medical treatment to deal with all the irreversible consequences and harmful side effects.

This is a sick and twisted ideology that we will look back on one day with horror, wondering why more people didn’t speak out. The author of the Instagram post is simply wrong about the trans issue, and she is subjecting her child to abuse at the hands of deceived and deceitful medical and psychiatric professionals.

The second, perhaps less obvious problem here is the twisting of Scripture. The root here is sola scriptura, the Protestant notion that “the Bible alone” is sufficient for doctrine and morals. What does this mean for us? Well, there is simply no possible way for an adherent of Bible Alone theology to authoritatively correct this woman. After all, it is her interpretation of Genesis versus everyone else’s. On what grounds could anyone choose a particular interpretation? None.

And so the Instagram mother, by quoting Genesis, tries to support “transitioning” in the name of God! She frames this issue as a holy crusade to defend, from Scripture, the “image of God” in humanity—ironically, and tragically, the exact thing the transgender machine seeks to destroy.

By supporting evil with scripture, this author increases the wickedness that will take place. Many Christian mothers and fathers will read her justification for “transitioning” and think they need to support it, too. Whereas once they might have been indifferent or silent about the trans issue (bad enough, but better than supportive), now they will enter the fray on the side of Big Trans, because the Bible tells them to. By giving the evil of transgenderism a divine mandate, she increases the movement’s power.

Unfortunately, this is how it always goes within a sola scriptura framework. As I explain in my new book Twisted Unto Destruction: How Bible Alone Theology Made the World a Worse Place, not only did the Protestant Reformation unleash doctrinal and moral relativism, but it also gave people a tool whereby they could actively support sin using Scripture! As a result, we’ve had 500 years of increased wickedness, done in the name of the word of God.

There are many examples in American history. In Twisted Unto Destruction, I focus on three: sex, money, and power.

The trajectory is always the same. First, a sin becomes a strong temptation in the culture: slavery, avarice, consumerism, contraception, abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, etc. The initial response from Protestant Christians is to preach against it, as it transgresses traditional ethics. However, soon enough, someone seeks an alternative interpretation. Does the Bible really speak about this issue? And if it does, is it actually saying what we have always thought it said? After sowing doubt about the traditional understanding, then it is time to find verses that actively support the activity we used to call a sin. This is how we end up with pro-abortion billboards claiming to follow Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

Regarding transgenderism, by 2016, the Washington Post had published an article by “bisexual Christian writer” Eliel Cruz, headlined “Where in the Bible does it say you can’t be transgender? Nowhere.” Earlier this year, an NPR headline read, “Trans religious leaders say Scripture should inspire inclusive congregations.” The Instagram post I read last week is just building on that foundation and following the same pattern. It happens every time. The Bible alone is not enough to stem the tide of evil; indeed, inevitably, a sola scriptura approach exacerbates the problem.

On the other hand, the Catholic Church is standing strong. Pope Francis affirmed that “the young need to be helped to accept their own body as it is created” (Amoris Laetitia 285), and the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education published “Male and Female He Created Them” to guide Catholic Schools in standing against transgender ideology. You’ll see the Church holding fast on cultural controversies throughout history, from slavery and racism to contraception and homosexuality. That is not to say that individual Catholics haven’t passively supported or even actively taken part in these evils; the Church is full of sinners. But the institution of the Church nonetheless provides a solid foundation and means of accountability—up to excommunication for those who promote evil—that is simply unavailable within Protestantism.

We are facing a critical time in history. Transgender ideology is a powerful diabolical attack on the family and the human person, and it is being made worse by those who twist Scripture to support it. It will be up to courageous Catholics to stop the insidious sola scriptura process we’ve become so accustomed to before it leads any more of our kids to destruction.

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