Sex And Gender

Sex And Gender

Friday’s Column: Brent’s Bent

Brent Pollard

It used to be so simple, that question of what a man or woman is. Now the water is unnecessarily muddied. One born with the genitalia of one sex can consider themselves another gender and find societal acceptance. Yet, biology is objective. It provides evidence one cannot dispute. You either have the chromosomes making you male or female. Of course, there is an infinitesimal chance that one can be born “intersex,” possessing the reproductive organs of both males and females. But this is not a difficulty most people will face. Thus, there is no valid rationale for a separate concept of gender. 

I realize that the average person likely still uses sex and gender synonymously. Still, the Oxford English Dictionary documented the divergence of meaning from 1945.1 There, beneath the third entry for gender, the OEM cites the American Journal of Psychology, saying that gender is the “socialized obverse of sex.” In other words, it is what society perceives as male or female, independent of biology. As such, we immediately take note of the fact that gender is subjective. Societal perceptions do change from year to year and country to county.  

I often cite Elizabethan-era men as an example. Have you ever seen a portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh? He was an influential figure in the colonization of America, exploring what would become North Carolina. North Carolina’s citizens named their capital city for him. Artist Nicholas Hilliard painted the only contemporary portrait we have of Raleigh. In old U.S. Southern parlance, Raleigh appears to be a popinjay. That means he dressed ostentatiously. He sports quite the large frilly lace collar, something we would not expect the twenty-first-century man to wear. One source said that it took Raleigh one and ½ hours to dress for Queen Elizabeth’s court!2 

Even today, what constitutes “manliness” is subject to varying cultural concepts around the globe. In South Korea, for example, men are more likely to use cosmetics than men elsewhere in the world. And in Scotland, men might wear a kilt. It looks like a “skirt” to Americans, but we understand it is culturally appropriate apparel for Scottish men. It certainly does not detract from their virility, either, as we’ve likely seen kilt-wearing gentlemen at U.S. Scottish festivals toss 150-pound cabers!  

The problem with gender is that it fails to account for variety within specimens sharing the same chromosomal pairing. For example, I cite myself. I have an XY chromosomal pairing but am unlike my brother, who likewise has an XY chromosomal pairing. While he always pursued athletics, I was a homebody. Fortunately, we are not alike spiritually, but we share this variability with another pair of brothers mentioned in the Bible. If you recall, Esau was the manly hunter. However, his brother Jacob preferred the peaceful living found within the tent (Genesis 25.27). Furthermore, Jacob was a “momma’s boy.” Esau was his father’s favorite and delighted in eating the game his son hunted (Genesis 27.1-4). But was either Jacob or Esau lacking in what it meant to be male? No. And though he preferred the easy life, Jacob proved quite adept at hard work too when he needed to secure his future happiness by laboring for his wives and livestock for twenty years.  

So, depending upon whom you asked, I am more “feminine.” Yet, I know this about myself and embrace it as a part of my identity. I have never once thought that this means that I am biologically male but am gendered female. And this is not because Christian parents have brainwashed me to reject “the truth.” Instead, they allowed me to be a “free-range” child who may have, for example, played with the toys readily at my disposal, whether for boys or girls. My parents even indulged my idolization of Little Orphan Annie, buying me the record album of the movie’s soundtrack. I don’t necessarily recall wanting to be Annie, but I may well have pretended to be her in my play.  

Youth can be a confusing time, and little ones do not yet understand their biology, let alone grasp a concept like being gendered, but activists claim that children as young as two can begin showing signs of transgenderism. Likewise, these activists have successfully pressured the psychological community into renaming “gender identity disorder” as gender dysphoria, removing the stigma that it is a mental illness requiring psychotherapy.  

From my experience, I note one boy who expressed his desire to be a girl because he felt his parents treated his sisters better. For example, his sisters would receive new clothes while his parents made him get by with what he already had. Unfortunately, this disparity caused the boy to think that being female was preferable since his sisters got his craved love and attention. Fortunately, this boy grew into manhood because he overcame those juvenile conclusions. I can only imagine how he would have turned out had he been influenced by those telling him that what he felt was his incongruity with his biology, that he was gendered female.  

The reality is that it is nurture that creates transgenderism, not nature. If not, Florida would not have had to pass a law to prevent teachers from telling their five-year-old pupils that their gender can differ from their biology! And what happened to common sense on this issue? How is it that our new Supreme Court Justice could not answer the question, “Can you provide a definition for the word ‘woman’?”3 How is it possible that a witness before a House Congressional hearing about “abortion rights” can say, with a straight face, that men can become pregnant and have abortions?4 It seems there must be a vested interest in destroying what it means to be a man or woman to achieve a goal, likely the destruction of the traditionally structured family. For example, Black Lives Matter, which is ostensibly about campaigning against violence and systemic racism towards black people, concerns itself with trans acceptance5 and eliminating the nuclear home.Why? 

From the Christian worldview, it is clear. Genesis 1.27 says God made us male and female. And God assigned only a few sex-specific roles: 1) Women give birth to children and desire their husbands, and 2) Men provide spiritual leadership for the household and work (Genesis 3.16-19). However, even with these roles, there is no commentary about gender. For example, is it true that women cannot wear trousers? Can men not have long hair? Can a woman work outside the home? 

Before someone does not rightly divide the Word of Truth and seeks to claim that Moses forbade women from wearing men’s clothing and vice versa (Deuteronomy 22.5), one needs to understand the context. One rabbinical tradition suggests the prohibition is from wearing the dress of the opposite sex to prevent them from mingling with them to fornicate.7 In ancient sexually segregated societies, men and women did not intermingle. So, a libertine man might dress as a woman to infiltrate the woman’s societal sphere.   

Another rabbinical tradition states that the meaning of prohibiting women from men’s dress was to prevent women from putting on the armor of war or priestly garbs, symbols of the responsibilities given to men.8 We would also do well to note that, just as with the “squaring of the beard” (Leviticus 19.28), God’s people were not to mimic the practices of the surrounding heathen nations. For example, men worshipping Ishtar (aka Venus) would cross-dress during their pagan rituals.9 So then, God forbade using the accouterments of men and women to sin, not the practice of women wearing trousers or Scotsmen wearing skirts, I mean kilts. Men were not sinful for having Fabio’s flowing locks. And the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 was quite the worker, even beyond her domestic responsibilities. 

In conclusion, sex is biology, the way God made you. But man uses the notion of gender to allow behaviors and preferences incongruent with the identity assigned by God. It may be that we will encounter those uncomfortable in their skin. To these, we owe compassion. Befriend them and demonstrate by your example what a man and woman are (Titus 2.1ff). Ultimately, those who are confused are won by grace, not rebuke. 

Sources Cited 

1 “Gender, N.” Gender, n. : Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Mar. 2022,

2 “English, 18th Century (Nicholas Hilliard Tradition, 1547-1619).” Daniel Hunt Fine Art, Daniel Hunt Fine Art, 2 Oct. 2019,

3 King, Alveda. “Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee Doesn’t Define ‘Woman,’ and Devalues Them All.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 5 Apr. 2022,

4 Chasmar, Jessica. “Dem Witness Tells House Committee Men Can Get Pregnant, Have Abortions.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 18 May 2022,

5 Salzman, Sony. “From the Start, Black Lives Matter Has Been about LGBTQ Lives.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 21 June 2020,

6 Wulfsohn, Joseph A. “Black Lives Matter Removes ‘What We Believe’ Website Page Calling to ‘Disrupt … Nuclear Family Structure’.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 21 Sept. 2020,

7 Lipka, Hilary. “The Prohibition of Cross-Dressing.”, Project TABS, 2018,

8 ibid 

9 ibid   

Pixabay creative common
The Tale Of Two Women

The Tale Of Two Women

Friday’s Column: Brent’s Bent

Brent Pollard

“O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” (1 Samuel 1.11 NASB1995) 

These are Hannah’s words uttered approximately 3,100 years ago. Barren, she cried to the Lord for a son. Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, loved her dearly. But Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah, would oppress Hannah because she had born children for Elkanah while Hannah had not. Moreover, Peninnah was jealous of Hannah because she knew Elkanah loved Hannah more despite her barrenness.  

The priest, Eli, mistook Hannah for a drunkard and rebuked her. Hannah assured Eli she was not drunk but earnest in her pleas to the Lord. She said she was pouring out her soul before the Lord. Eli told her to depart in peace, that the Lord would grant her petition. And Hannah went her way, no longer sorrowful but filled with faith. 

In a short time, Hannah became pregnant and bore Samuel, so named because the boy resulted from the request she made of the Lord. True to her vow, Hannah took her son Samuel to the Tabernacle in Shiloh after weaning him. He would be given to Eli to live his life in service to God.  

Fast forward now to the twenty-first century. A worldly woman stumbles upon an article written by Politico. She laments when she hears about a leak from the Supreme Court regarding a possible decision about Mississippi’s abortion law banning abortion after fifteen weeks. The leaked document suggests that the Supreme Court upholds the abortion restriction and overturns the precedents of both Roe and Casey

“They are overturning Roe,” she screams. “How can they do that? Abortion is my right! Why do these politicians, these men, think they can tell me what I can do with my body? How can they intrude on my liberty?” The woman, whose name is unknown to us, calls her Representative and her Senator voicing her displeasure. “It is time to pack the Supreme Court! Limit the tenures of the Justices! The Supreme Court should not hold so much power.” She confers with her like-minded friends, some of whom are biological men who self-identify as women, and goes to the park to protest even though there has been no official pronouncement. Yet, the rumor of this decision has aroused her ire, and she will not rest until obtaining her justice.     

I cannot help but think of all of the world’s Hannahs when I turn on the news and watch recent events. Though I wish that this was abortion’s end, I know not to get my hopes up. The second woman marching in the streets has nothing she must worry about. If the leak is accurate, the Supreme Court is only giving the power regarding abortion back to the States and the people. Nothing more. It seems evident that those States expanding abortion to the third trimester, like New York, will not be limiting the procedure. And I can foresee a booming “abortion tourism” conveying those poor, subjugated women in “backward States” to bastions of “progressiveness,” where doctors will kill the unborn infants even a day before they would otherwise be born.  

Meanwhile, hundreds of Hannahs cry out to God for just one child. One child to love, nurture, and give back to God. There are hundreds of Hannahs filled with natural affection, but who will never have that opportunity to extend those deep-seated feelings because of disease or circumstance. I grieve because hundreds of Hannahs are barren, while the unnamed woman can slaughter a perfectly healthy child growing in her womb in the name of her so-called healthcare and feel no guilt.  

This Sunday is Mother’s Day, not “womb-possessing person’s day.” It is a day to celebrate the women who stepped up and made a lasting difference. I am thankful to God for having my own Hannah. She reared my siblings and me to love the Lord and serve Him during all the days of our lives. Moreover, she is our embodiment of King Lemuel’s mother (cf. Proverbs 31). We call her blessed! It may be that you feel the same for your mother too. If so, rejoice and celebrate her godly influence. 

According to UN statistics, we live in a world comprised of roughly 49.6 percent females. So, undoubtedly, you will encounter at least one woman today. I hope she is like Hannah and not the alternative. But even if she is not, love her with the kind of love modeled before you by your own Hannah. Pray that God will soften her heart and open her eyes so that she may see the truth about His wondrous creation, no matter how small (Psalm 139.13-16).  

How To Unite In A Culture Of Division

How To Unite In A Culture Of Division

Neal Pollard

It’s no news flash to observe that our culture seems hopelessly divided along political lines. That seems to impact race, gender, and other lines, too. The most tragic consequence of this is that it has not left the church unaffected. Social media is often a barometer for how emotional and passionate brethren on both sides of this divide can become when discussing some specific aspect of this. We cannot hope that social media will provide the answer. Who your friends are and what their leanings are on political issues influence what shows up on your homepage as they share politically or socially charged blogs, videos, and the like. Pundits have, for a few years, theorized and analyzed the reality of a “political social media bubble.” Barton Swaim, in an August 1 article on The Weekly Standard online, said, “more than any other social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter are avenues for the kind of acrimony that has embittered our politics and poisoned reasonable dialog” ( It’s not just conservative publications making that observation. Google the term “political social media bubble” and conservative, moderate, and liberal outlets can at least agree about its existence (a trip to The Guardian, New York Times, National Review, et al finds plenty of material if written from different points of view drawing different conclusions).  Too often, God’s people get drawn into this hurtful, messy arena and turn on each other like gladiators in the Roman Colosseum. The God of heaven must certainly weep.

This weekend, I visited the Lord’s church in Chesapeake, Virginia, a state that is often a political cauldron boiling hotter than many other places. I’m not sure how many congregations were represented, but we had to have had close to half white and half black people attending (with various Asian and Hispanic visitors there, too). Politics were mentioned a few times, but only in the sense that they have too often become a stumbling block and distraction in the Lord’s church and that they cannot solve our nation’s problems. But I was beholding the answer without it having to be pointed out. Those in attendance had a thirst for a “thus saith the Lord.” People of different colors lovingly, naturally worshipped, fellowshipped, visited, laughed with, and enjoyed each other throughout the weekend. It was genuine. It was deep. It was powerful. And it was neither contrived nor manipulated. Its glue and bond was the blood and body of God’s Son. Christ is the great uniter. As we unite on His terms and His way, we destroy barriers. That’s by design.

What Paul says to Jew and Gentile in Ephesians 2:14-18 can have application between black and white, Republican and Democrat, rich and poor, male and female, or however our country wants to erect barriers. Christ is our peace and can break down the barrier of any dividing wall. He helps us view each other as “fellow citizens” and “family” (2:19) who are “together” (2:21,22). When we get ahold of that, nothing can keep us apart!

At yesterday’s PM worship services at the Chesapeake church of Christ

Jane Roe/Norma McCorvey

Jane Roe/Norma McCorvey

Neal Pollard

She was used by pro-abortion and pro-life groups, but in fairness nobody outdid Norma McCorvey at trying to use others for personal advantage. Her effort to abort her third child, in Texas in 1970, was the case used to go to the Supreme Court. By the time the appeals process wound up in legalizing abortion at the federal level, her baby was almost three years old and in the home of adoptive parents. She was the product of neglect and horrible abuse, was promiscuous, bisexual—though mostly lesbian, and was known to try to make her way by hook or crook for most of her life. She tried to leverage her infamy into financial advantage or at least a living wage.

It’s wonderful to see that this tormented woman publicly changed her position regarding the right and sanctity of the unborn, but her home life and adult life symbolize the growing immorality stemming from a breakdown in the home. A father fairly well abandoned his role in the home. Alcohol and drugs complicated and clouded the decisions and thinking within the home. Sexual immorality created multiple problems. Sin was perpetuated from poor examples there (The Washington Post, Emily Langer, 2/18/17).

Pew Research found that 46% of “U.S. kids younger than 18 years of age are living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage. This is a marked change from 1960, when 73% of children fit this description, and 1980, when 61% did” (Gretchen Livingston, 12/22/14). This is only part of the story. I know of several scripturally divorced and remarried couples, with blended families, who have raised righteous, believing children. But, the general breakdown of the home is at the heart of so many of society’s woes.

The foregoing is far from revelatory. Sermons, articles, and Bible classes have trumpeted it for years. What I see in our broken society is endless opportunity. It will require patience, time, and lots of love, but homes like the one McCorvey grew up in and the one she attempted herself are craving what only Christ can supply—fulfillment, joy, peace, and direction. That is where you and I come in. Let us remember what we’ve been told by God: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). Let’s be shining!


Remarkable Statements, In Historical Context

Remarkable Statements, In Historical Context

Neal Pollard

AD 30—Tiberius, who became cruel and mad, was the Roman Emperor when the church was established. Under his reign, right around the time of Pentecost, Rome was filled with terror after the murder of his once trusted advisor turned traitor, Sejanus ( Sanderson Beck comments that he was “preoccupied with sexual and sadistic perversions” the last several years of his life (he is believed to have been murdered)( Jerusalem was directly governed by Rome. Acts, though probably written in the 60s, begins its historical chronicle around AD 30.

  • Acts 2:41—“So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.”
  • Acts 4:4—“But many of those who had heard the message believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand.”
  • Acts 5:14—“And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number.”
  • Acts 6:7—“The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.”
  • See also Acts 12:24 and Acts 19:20,

AD 62-63—Nero, described as licentious, cruel, tyrannical, murderous, criminal, arson, vain,  perverse ( and, by historian Donald Wesson as a “cross-dressing exhibitionist” (, spearheaded the first organized persecution of Christians (N.S. Gill, Tacitus says he blamed the Christians for his own burning of Rome. Many are the accounts of the cruel ways Nero put them to death ( Eusebius reports that Nero put both Paul and Peter to death (Church History, Book 2, Ch. 25). Before his death, Paul would report of such rapid growth throughout Nero’s reign. Peter’s outlook could not have been brighter.

  • Colossians 1:23—“if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.”
  • 1 Peter 1:3—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

AD 90s—Domitian, best remembered as “the evil emperor who murdered thousands of Christians” (, reigned when John wrote his epistles and the book of Revelation. He was notorious for his cruelty and detachment from reality. John writes Revelation in large part to steady the Christians to withstand the onslaught of persecution caused by Domitian. His message to the Christians during the reign of Domitian was consistent:

  • 1 John 4:4—“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
  • 1 John 5:4—“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”
  • Revelation 1:6-7—“He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.”

How bad did things look, from an earthly perspective, during the reigns of evil rulers like Tiberius, Nero, and Domitian? The thing is, the early Christians did not look at things from an earthly perspective. As those trying to walk in the footsteps of New Testament Christians, will we imitate their faith and that perspective?




Neal Pollard

Matthew 19:1-12 records an incident where, because the Pharisees are trying to test Jesus (vs. 3), He has occasion to reveal His will about marriage.  As we analyze this text, we find several notable facts about marriage. These verses show us the mind and will of God on an institution that is increasingly under assault. Consider four facts about this great passage of Scripture.

This is from the Christ. One of the more common arguments made even by supposed biblical scholars is that Jesus never condemns homosexuality. But what does He do? He defines marriage (4-5). The law of exclusion says that what God doesn’t authorize in His Word is forbidden in doctrine and practice. The Lord has authorized marriage as an institution between man and woman. He did not have to say, “…but not between a man and two or more women” and “not between a man and an animal” and “not between two people of the same gender.” He makes clear what He sees marriage as being.

This is from the creation. Other passages tell us Christ is actually the Creator (John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:2). So not only does He, as Deity, designate what marriage is—He designed it in the first place. Jesus reaches behind changes made to God’s marriage law under the Law of Moses and cites how God designed it “from the beginning” (4). Anything that does not conform to His pattern in this text runs counter to God’s original intent. You may not that this excludes more than same-sex marriage. It excludes adulterous marriage (vs. 9) as well as sex outside of marriage (this is implied here: “joined to his wife,” not “girlfriend”; of course, “fornication” or “sexual immorality” is dealt with explicitly in many other New Testament passages). Jesus goes back to the creation to state the pattern for marriage as being one man and one woman for life.

This is a command. It is not a command that you have to be married, but if you do get married you must conform to Christ’s will concerning it. We see this in the force of Jesus’ “but I say unto you.” He is exerting His right of authority, even showing His law trumps the Law of Moses. A person who is looking to be married must make sure their relationship conforms to His command.

This is controversial.  It is not just the homosexual community who balk at Jesus’ words here. I have close family members (and so do you, probably) whose marriages are at odds with what Jesus commands in this context. Jesus Himself forewarns that this is a difficult and narrow teaching (10), a rejected teaching (11), and a teaching that calls for extreme sacrifice (12). I dare say there is as much blowback from the heterosexual community as the homosexual community where this passage is clearly taught. In either case, it comes down to whether we will follow the command of the Christ, the Creator. Our submission or rebellion cannot change the immutable (i.e., unchangeable) nature of Divine truth.

Marriage is a beautiful gift given by a loving God. Though society may corrupt it and seek to redefine it, but the will of God stands forever. May we have the courage, humility, and strength to take Him at His word and conform our lives to it—on this and every subject.

Should We Let The Devil Make The Rules Of Engagement?

Should We Let The Devil Make The Rules Of Engagement?

Neal Pollard

Thanks to the hospitality of my good friend, Jason Jackson, I had the opportunity to visit beautiful AT&T Park in San Francisco, witnessing a rarity (a Rockies win) against his beloved Giants.  It was LGBT Night at the old ballpark, an annual sponsorship of “SF Pride.” It was also the day of the historic Supreme Court decision mandating the recognition of same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The crowd was enthusiastic about that event in Washington, D.C., cheering when it was proclaimed over the P.A.  The videoboard featured gay and lesbian couples for its “kiss cam.”  While San Francisco is renowned for its “sexual progressiveness,” the city of Denver has earned a reputation for similar liberality of thought regarding homosexuality. In a growing number of places in our nation and especially among those under a certain age, there is welcoming, sanctioning language for homosexuality and vehement intolerance for the least word of condemnation of the behavior as sinfulness.  Even among those professing to be Christians, there is a changing posture in how or if it is dealt with.  Understanding that no sin is worse than any other, that it is not right to display an ungodly attitude in addressing any sin, and that there should not be an inordinate amount of time, attention, and energy given to any sin to the exclusion of the other, I wonder if even some of our Christian brothers and sisters have become unwitting pawns of the prince of this world regarding this matter.  The devil is at war against the Word and will of God, and he is at war against anyone loyal to such (Rom. 13:12; 2 Cor. 10:3-6; Eph. 6:10ff; etc.).  He wants his cause, the ultimate end of which is the spiritual destruction of all men, to succeed, and he wants the cause of Christ to be overthrown.  We know that his mission will ultimately fail, with there being those who are welcomed by our Lord to heaven (1 Cor. 15:24; Mat. 25:34-39). Yet, most will follow him to everlasting punishment and destruction (Mat. 25:41-46).  He has the bulk of the resources and influence of this world, as he almost always has had in every generation. He has powerfully allies and mouthpieces from Washington to Hollywood and most media and education outlets in between.

  • Who is behind the idea that we are not loving the sinner when we speak of homosexuality as sin?
  • Who would have us believe that we are mean-spirited or unrighteous if we use terms like “unnatural” (Rom. 1:26), “exceedingly grave sin” (Gen. 18:20), “ungodly” (2 Pet. 2:6), “gross immorality” and “going after strange flesh” (Jude 7) to describe homosexual behavior?
  • Who would sell us on the idea that loving the homosexual means keeping quiet about their practice of it, failing to warn them to repent (Ezek. 33:8)?
  • Who would seek to equate a behavioral choice (1 Cor. 6:9) with one’s race or skin color (Acts 17:26; Acts 10:34-35)?

What happened in our nation’s highest court last Friday may have been necessary to shake the church out of its general lethargy and indifference regarding evangelism.  What happened there will ultimately be overruled in the highest court there is (Mat. 25:31ff).  What happened there should not become our obsession, but neither are we wrong to take note of how this is a significant societal erosion.  Jesus implies how intolerable it would be for Sodom and Gomorrah at the Judgment (Mat. 10:15). The Lord overthrew them in “in His anger and in His wrath” (Deut. 29:23). Homosexuality is not the only sin there is nor is it the chief sin, but may we not be intimidated away from calling it what it is—“sin.”

What Makes “In Jesus’ Name” So Offensive?

What Makes “In Jesus’ Name” So Offensive?

Neal Pollard

At Planet Fitness this morning I caught a glimpse of an old “Fresh Prince” episode, where Will Smith’s character was getting married.  During the ceremony, the preacher prayed, beginning “Dear Heavenly Father” but ending “in Your Name, Amen.”  With the recent controversy about the omission of Jesus’ name in prayers by the Robertsons on the very popular “Duck Dynasty” series, I was surprised that this trend goes back at least a few years.  In an interview on YouTube, Phil Robertson talked to producers who surmised that editors in Hollywood thought the name of Jesus, in prayer, would offend some viewers.  Certainly, judging from court cases, from the ACLU’s lawsuit against government bodies in North Carolina praying in Jesus’ name at their meetings to Freedom From Religion’s bullying Kanawha County, West Virginia, into ceasing prayer in Jesus’ name before its High School football games.  As Annie Laurie Gaynor, co-president of FFR, contended, “We are not a Christian nation, this is not a Christian school district, football games…are not Christian football games” (Dave Boucher, Charleston Daily-Mail, 9/24/12).

Certainly, we understand that we live in a climate of political correctness.  That seems to mean that any attempt to honor and glorify Christ in any public way is offensive.  Yet, why is such so offensive in certain circles?

  • In His name is salvation (Mt. 1:21; Ac. 4:10-12).
  • In His name is life (Jn. 20:31).
  • In His name is remission of sins (Ac. 2:38).
  • In His name is healing (Ac. 3:6).
  • In His name is true unity (1 Co. 1:10).
  • In His name is justification from sins (1 Co. 6:11).
  • In His name is supremacy (Ph. 2:10).
  • In His name is authority (Co. 3:17).

Truly, as the songwriter says, “Jesus, name above all names. Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord. Emmanuel, God is with us, blessed Redeemer, living word.”  There is something about that name!  It is the sweetest name on the tongues of those who know Him.  It symbolizes judgment, unwanted accountability, objective standards, and exclusivity for those who refuse to know Him.  Rebellion is as old as mankind, but what they are missing who reject His name in life.  Some day, at that very name, everyone will be compelled to bow (Ph. 2:10-11).  To do so then will be too late.  To do so now opens the door to joy here and eternally.