Identity pt 1: An Introduction (A Case of the Microphone and the Fly Swatter).
Let me begin with a disclaimer, so no assumptions are made as you read this. God commands all believers, to love everybody, and I do. Nothing that I write here today should be taken as hate, as I do not hate anybody. I disagree with people whose ideas are different from what the Bible prescribes as the standard for everyone. So regardless of the walk of life you come from, if you have a non-biblical worldview and you disagree with biblical prescriptions, then I disagree with your non-biblical worldview and the ideas that emanate from it. Having said all that, it is important for "believers and followers" of Jesus Christ to remember Ephesians 6:12, which says that our fight is not with people (we are to love people because God loves people) but
rather our fight is against evil, that is the spiritual wickedness behind those who spew ungodly rhetoric. It is important that I say this, according to the bible, we have all been found guilty of sin (Romans 3:23) before the Almighty God. Despite this, it is not God's "will" that anyone should perish (2 Peter 3:9); instead, because He loves us, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in everyone's place (John 3:16) so that the world through Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made can be saved. This is the good news; this is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But the death of Jesus Christ only covers those who accept the biblical God as God; those who accept Jesus Christ as God, and as such, repent from their old ways to embrace Christ as Lord. These people must live in a reverential relationship with Jesus Christ, who first gave all for us, in order to get all from us. In Christ, we are new beings; old things have passed away, and everything has become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are, as a result, the children of God (John 1:12-13), and that is our new and permanent identity. Our identity prior to salvation is one of an image-bearer of God trapped in sin and condemned to an eternity without God. In today's world, the issue of identity has become a central topic affecting everyone because there is a demand placed on people to accept the plethora of new identities that they constantly encounter. On the gender identity front, it has reached a point where multiple sources claim that there are 300 plus genders; and the burden to recognize all "new" 300 plus genders is placed on you. According to them, this is not up for debate, and if you don't accept the existence of these new gender identities, you are a bigot. Now there is also the issue of putting a "pause" on your reality, in which there are two genders as created by God, to live in their "reality," which you do not believe in. When realities clash, who decides the outcome of the clash, and how is this clash resolved? The argument for the claim of more than two genders is absurd because it does not make any sense. The strongest proponents for this claim argue that people can identify as whatever they feel like. I believe it was Ben Shapiro who made the statement, "Facts don't care about your feelings," and this is true. The truth is the truth regardless of how people feel. Having said that, as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, I do care about the way people feel, but it cannot be the determining factor for how society is built. The reason for this is because, on any one topic, many people will feel many different ways about that topic. Amos 3:3 highlights the reality that progress among people is only achievable when there is agreement. If individuals disagree on the principles that they create to unite themselves, then there must be a higher power capable of providing guidance that everyone can accept. This model is evident in societies worldwide, as it removes individual selfishness from the equation. "You shall not murder" is a moral truth that most people concur with, and if that is the case, then it serves as evidence of a higher truth stemming from a higher power above us all. This notion brings us back to the issue of identity.
The identity of a thing comes from the creator of that thing. It makes sense that this is the case. A microphone is a microphone because the creator of the microphone envisioned a microphone and made it such. The microphone does not self-identify as a fly swatter. Humans are the only entities that attempt to do this, except also possibly the powers behind those who engage in this behavior. I say this to emphasize that whenever one self-identifies, they typically identify as something other than what they were created to be. Based on your new identification, you adopt a new purpose, one other than the purpose you were created and equipped for. Whenever anything is used for a purpose other than what it was created for, it ends up in the abuse of the thing; even if that thing temporarily "satisfies" the new purpose that has been attached to it. So, if a microphone is used as a fly swatter, it may successfully swat the fly or the insect being swatted, but the microphone most likely is destroyed in the process, even though it may have temporarily been successful in swatting the fly. The reason for the destruction of the microphone is because it was used for a purpose other than what it was created for. The microphone self-identified as a fly swatter, was used as a fly swatter but was not equipped as a fly swatter. The microphone will never be a successful fly swatter because it was not created to be a fly swatter, regardless of how it identifies. The microphone excels in being a microphone because it was identified as such by its creator, and he designed and created it to do what it does as a microphone. The purpose of a thing is in the identity of that thing, and the identity of a thing comes from the creator of that thing. God made us; only He can identify us. It is in a reverential relationship with God that we get to know who we were made to be in Him, and what we were meant to do in Him. Knowing God and Jesus Christ (John 17) is the only way to experience who we are and what we are meant to do. Any other path leads to ruin eventually (Proverbs 14:12). We were created in the image of God, and as such, we are His image bearers. We were created by God to be like God, but we are not God and will never be God. We do not get to self-identify as anything other than what God created us to be. In the fallen world we live in, there will be situations where, through no fault of some people, they find themselves in situations they did not create. This is not grounds to say, "it is what it is" and I am sticking to this. Rather, it is an opportunity to ask, "what is God's best for me" and with the help of God, arrive at a working solution that is optimal for you and is in alignment with God. This topic of identity is for everybody and every situation and how they align with the almighty God. While I may write about the LGBTQ+ agenda on identity, I will do so because it is the prominent example in society today, but it is only a piece of the larger topic of identity.
The issue of identity, while seemingly straightforward, can quickly become incredibly complex. This matter has evolved into a hotbed of controversy that has seeped into every aspect of our lives and society. As a result, many Christians do what we have always done: we cede our responsibility and then watch as things spiral out of control. The pervasive nature of this issue makes our homes a prime target. They infiltrate our homes through television, books children bring back from school, and more. The moment anyone attempts to speak up against this, they are immediately attacked by the full force of the powers behind this identity crisis. The ultimate goal is to make you bend the knee, even if you don't agree or conform to this crisis. We see this phenomenon when otherwise reasonable people buy into this agenda. They may not want to be bothered, may want to avoid the attacks that come from opposing it, or, in the name of liberalism (the willingness to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one's own; openness to new ideas), they agree to let everyone do as they please. However, this line of thinking is flawed and contradicts the Bible, which teaches that although we are free to do all things, not all things we are free to do are good for us (1 Corinthians 10:23). “Do what thou wilt” has become the mantra for modern Western society today, with the goal of erasing the biblical God: no Yahweh, no Yeshua, no Ruach Hakodesh. The light is taken away, and we are no longer image bearers of the Almighty God. What is a believer to do, and how do we combat this in society? Proverbs 3:5-8 gives us some advice on how to approach life, even in these times. We are to trust in the Lord; we are not to get carried away by our own intellect; rather, we are to acknowledge God and see Him direct our paths. On the path of God, on the highway of holiness, healing and strength will fill our lives. Never forget that the Lord is always with us (Matthew 28:20); for he orders the steps of all those who trust in Him.
As believers, we need to be equipped to engage in conversations about identity and stand firm in our beliefs, without compromising the love and compassion that Jesus exemplified. This does not mean we need to be confrontational or combative, but rather, we must be willing to engage in respectful dialogue, share our perspective, and listen to others, for we may yet find how we can help them when they speak. We need to be prepared to defend our faith and the biblical worldview on identity, while still extending grace and love to those who may disagree with us. In conclusion, the issue of identity is a simple but complex and multifaceted one that has deeply permeated our society. As believers, we must remember that our identity comes from our Creator, and we are called to live according to His design and purpose. This involves not only understanding our own identity in Christ but also engaging with others in a loving and respectful manner. We must be prepared to stand firm in our beliefs while extending grace to those who may hold different views. By doing so, we can begin to bridge the divide on this challenging issue and bear witness to the transformative power of Jesus Christ.
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