Cross-dressing Words: When Being a Man Means Being a Woman

Valarie Hobbs 

Published January 15, 2018

By Shawn Mathis - Posted at Pastor Mathis: A Protestant in post-Christian America:

Something was nagging at the back of my mind while researching the growing acceptance of gay Christians among conservative and Reformed communities. The stories, the books, the argumentation, but especially the sentimentality, was too, well, effeminate.

Now we live in such an age that these opening words may likely turn off half my audience. If only I made the proper caveats such as “when I use effeminate, I do not mean to impugn wide-swaths of women.” Certainly, while I was growing up and expanding my vocabulary to include effeminate, that definition never came with a caveat.

The caveat is demanded because more and more Christians seem uncomfortable with the sex that God made them. Now, that does not mean that Evangelical men will be buying skirts any time soon. Nor will Reformed women start wearing combat boots (well, not most).

Cross-dressing, presumably, is still wrong.

But cross-dressing words not so much.

In an article surprisingly published in the Aquila Report, the author, one Dr. Valerie Hobbs, has valiantly donned her gear to purge the church and society of “toxic masculinity.”

Her zeal in eradicating this amorphous, ubiquitous and invisible toxin has brought her to recast how we today might hear a familiar passage (1 Corinthians 16:13):

“Consider therefore how Paul’s metaphor might translate to all our ears today: ‘Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like women, be strong’ ” (emphasis original).

Why would someone write that? What is wrong with “act like a man”—a common and acceptable translation of the Greek word behind it?

What is wrong with it is that it is not egalitarian enough. Hobbs’ stated goal in this fiery essay is replacement of toxic masculinity with “equality and fraternity.”

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