The Tragedy of Bruce Jenner

Posted on June 2, 2016


By David Ettinger

Taken Aback
bruce jennerAs I turned on my computer and looked at the headline from the conservative online news site The Daily Caller, I was taken aback. The headline read: “Caitlyn Jenner Celebrates His First Year as a Woman.” Besides noting the strange coupling of the words “his” and “woman,” I sighed.

You see, Bruce Jenner was one of the heroes of my youth. I was 18 years old when he won the decathlon gold medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal. I still remember him being interrupted by a fan as he was running his victory lap, but the fan meant no offense. Rather, he handed Jenner a small American flag, which Jenner held aloft as he finished his victory trot. At the time, Jenner seemed to me the embodiment of what a hero should be: a great athlete, tall, good looking, polite, and married to a beautiful woman. He was soon featured on Wheaties boxes, and I made sure to purchase one the day it hit the supermarket shelf.

But now, Bruce is no longer Bruce; he calls himself Caitlyn and insists on being recognized as a woman. It has been a year since he infamously “came out” as Caitlyn, trumpeting his new persona on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine. That pronouncement, I believe, served as a tragic reflection of western society’s estrangement from God.

Humanity’s Rebellion
Ever since creation, the human race has been in rebellion against God, seeking to usurp His authority and be the sole determiner of its fate. The Psalmist nailed it when he wrote: “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up fistand the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, ‘Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles’” (Psalm 2:1-3).

This was the case back in the days of antiquity, and it is the case today. Jenner is not the first man to identify himself as a woman; such behavior has been occurring for millennia. However, he has done more to “glamorize” such behavior than any of his predecessors. In so doing, he broke the chains which connected him with God.

How did Jenner do this? He did this by making a mockery of God’s role in the creation of every human being. Psalm 139:14 tells us that all people are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are wonderfully made because each of us is a miracle of God’s creative power. We are also “fearfully” made. The Hebrew word here used for “fearfully” is better interpreted as “reverently.” We are to regard God’s creative process reverently ­– with awe – because of the exactness of His creation and the precise care He puts into every human being.

At the time he was conceived, Bruce Jenner was wonderfully and reverently made, and God knew exactly what he was doing. However, Jenner was dissatisfied with the way God made him and, in essence, told God: “Nice try, but I’ve got a better plan. I’ll take it from here.” Jenner chose his will over God’s.

Humanity’s Acquiescence
Though millions of westerners lamented Jenner’s decision, multitudes more lauded his “courage,” caving in to political correctness, but even worse, celebrating this further rupturing of the human race from God’s sovereignty. In so doing, men and women perfectly comfortable with the way they were created, committed the sin of Romans 1:32. Though they will never follow Jenner’s and others’ examples, they are guilty in that they “approve of those who practice them.”

jenner wheaties 2In roundly accepting Jenner’s “conversion,” rebellious western society continues to contribute to a world spiraling recklessly out of control, drifting ever further from the God who so lovingly created it. Condescending and acquiescing humanity continues to contribute to a topsy-turvy, “Isaiah 5:20” world where evil is called good, and good is called evil; darkness replaces light, and light replaces darkness; and where bitter is called sweet, and sweet is called bitter.

Too many Christians are getting it wrong. The issue is not the possible danger of men dressed in drag using women’s bathrooms, but of the human race rejecting God’s ordered and ordained plan for planet Earth, molding it after its own fallen image. Jenner is not evil incarnate; rather, he is a very visible representative of sinful humanity wallowing in the muck of its self-inflicted demise.

Not Giving Up on Bruce
I still have enough of a soft spot in my heart for Bruce Jenner, my hero from 40 years past, to care about him. I pray that this conflicted individual will recognize his wretched condition, repent, and seek God’s forgiveness. So long as Jenner breathes, he can be saved. I pray that the tragedy of Bruce Jenner will be turned into his victory of salvation in Jesus Christ.