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Happy Birthday To Me!

Join me in celebrating my 43rd birthday!

Happy Birthday To Me!

Join me in celebrating my 43rd birthday!  I woke up this morning feeling so energetic and fit that I decided that is what I am—43 years old.

Never mind that I have some numbers and words written on a birth certificate that says I am in my 71st year.  Those are just scribbles on paper. I choose to self-identify myself 43 because that is what I feel.  I haven’t had any heart arrhythmia issues for 6 months, my energy levels are up and I feel great.  I am really grateful for that, so I would like everybody to join in with me to celebrate my 43rd birthday.

You may think that I am just making a feeble joke here and perhaps I am.  On the other hand I was thinking about the 69 year old who has been in the papers recently.  He is taking legal action to get his original birth date changed so that he can legally be 49 on his tinder profile, because he is not attracting young enough women to his site.  He figures if he is 49 then more younger women will read his profile.  Good luck with that, Mister!

AM I JUST BEING SILLY?

The thing is, most people read that in the newspaper or online and they think it’s silly and dismiss it.  But is it that easy?

Here is the big question: why do we not take that seriously, but we feel we must take it seriously when a person, who is male, self-identifies as female or a female identifying as male.

What is the reasonable basis for making a distinction? I am not trying to alienate anybody here; I just want to know how we, as a society based upon law, can make a distinction.  Is it because one seems frivolous, superficial and self-interested but the other must be sincere?  How can we know who is sincere and who is not.  More importantly, how can the law decide that.  How can society decide that?  What is the basis?

I am really serious about this; it is an issue of great importance to those of us who live in Western democracies.  Do we have any grounds for over-ruling feelings that are sincere and deeply held without doubt?  Why do we feel we must take gender dysphoria seriously but not age dysphoria?  On what basis do we think that?

I’M NOT INTENDING TO OFFEND

I know that writing about this is going to seem offensive for some people, but the trouble is we have been assuming feelings are more important than more objective reality for a long time.  I can say that my birthday was assigned to me by the medical profession, so it’s only a date when they say I was born.   Or I can say that my biological gender was assigned to me at birth.  But actually both my date of birth and my sex are objective realities.  There were many people who could witness that I was born a male on April 14, 1948.

Some people claim that the sex of a baby is often not clear, but that is not true.  There may be one child in 5000 where gender is not clear at birth.  Even then, the chromosomes are almost always clear one way or another.  Gender, or more accurately sex, is not assigned at birth, it is observed.

IF I AM SUFFICIENTLY SINCERE, IS IT TRUE?

Let me hasten to say that I am not suggesting here that we don’t take it seriously and compassionately when a person feels their body sexual identity does not match their feelings about their gender.  But neither can we simply agree that the greater truth will always be in their self-identity.  This purely subjective approach to truth will not work for us.  We won’t be able to live with it.  If we decide that deeply-held beliefs trump observed reality, we will unleash chaos.  Such an approach would require our courts to decide whether or not someone holds a particular belief about themselves deeply enough to let it take precedence over objective realities.  And that would be entirely unworkable.

Many humanities courses in our Universities have promoted this subjective approach to truth for several decades and now we are experiencing consequences.  It is based on the philosophical idea that objects cannot generate truth; truth “is in the eye of the beholder”.  In other words, reality is what we perceive it to be.  There is some truth in that, but by carrying that idea to the extreme we end up with an unlivable world.  When each person decides what is true for themselves, nothing is true.

HOW CAN WE KNOW?

Is there a way out of this?  Of course!  There was a time when it was assumed that all truth came only by revelation, so art and philosophy centered round revelation from God.  There is some truth in that too, but it is insufficient.

Then we gradually transitioned into a new epoch in which people decided that all reality has to be determined by the scientific method.  That is, anything that is true must be verifiable by objective means: experiments must be possible and the resulting data will prove or disprove the proposed truth. That method is also insufficient.  It can often tell us “what or how” but it cannot tell us “why”.

As a Biblical Christian, I believe in revelation and I also believe in the great value of the scientific method.  When we put those two together, we have a means of knowing what is true.  Human beings can still receive revelation from God.  As the philosopher, Dr Francis Schaeffer said in the title of one of his books, “He is There and He is Not Silent”.  We have also expanded our knowledge hugely over the past two centuries by using the scientific method.  We put those two together and we have a basis for truth that we can live with.

TRUTH IS LIVEABLE

All philosophies for life, or presuppositions, have to be evaluated by living them. Post-modern, relativistic thinking leads to chaos.  Religious tyranny springs from claims that all truth comes only by divine revelation.  The scientific method alone provides no answers to the really big issues of life.  We must regain confidence in the idea that there are universal truths and then live by them.

So am I 43? Well, on another day I might feel like I am 78, so I will just go with the numbers on my birth certificate.  I’m nearer 71 than 70 and I’m just very grateful for the health and energy I am experiencing.

Lynn Green.

27 comments on “Happy Birthday To Me!

  1. Very good, the only problem is not being able to carry on what would be a fine discussion over the topic with a great cup of coffee.

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  2. You list a lot of questions in this blog. How much work did you do to find the answers for those questions? For example, you asked “Why do we feel we must take gender dysphoria seriously but not age dysphoria? On what basis do we think that?”. Rather than put that question to others, what does your research indicate to you?

    Perhaps I need to back up here. How much research have you done on the topic? How many books and/or scientific studies have you read on these topics? Were some or any of them written from a perspective different than yours? Can you name the books?

    I ask because you make strong assertions and ask bold questions, yet you have not demonstrated that you have done the basic due diligence to answer your own questions. I am genuinely wanting to know. I look forward to your answer.

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      • Thanks for this. It is awfully expensive. Do you know where a more affordable copy might be found?

        I addition to my other answer to your question, I might add that I have continued to be in conversation with people of different views. I recently spent more than an hour with a long-standing friend who leads what is probably the highest profile “affirming” church in England. I asked questions and listened for the great majority of the time because I know him well and admire him and wanted to understand his pastoral and theological perspective. I also read the book that was developed to answer the theological questions he raised. It is entitled Pastoral and Theological Responses to Homosexuality. I am also engaged in pastoral support with a family whose lives have been deeply impacted by trans-sexual issues.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s not that expensive, Lynn. Keep in mind, it’s in Canadian currency. That said, it clearly says that you can pay what you can afford.

        That you conflate being transgender with homosexuality (by referencing that book) only further demonstrates that you have engaged deeply enough not to be speaking out of deep ignorance. I would recommend Austen Hartke’s book “Transforming” as a decent place to start.

        Be that as it may, what troubles me most is that you felt it appropriate to use (in your words) silliness to make a point on a topic that literally is contributing to self-harm and suicide. Even if you are right (and perhaps, ESPECIALLY if you are right), then you should engage this issue publicly with grace, compassion, care and intentionality, not a poorly made joke that you ripped off from a recent headline.

        As a respected Christian leader, you are looked to for wisdom and example. Is this genuinely the Christlike approach you think best represents the faith? I hope not.

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    • I have read a lot on the subject over the years, starting with “Escape From Reason” by Dr. Francis Schaeffer. Some of the highlights have been “Idols For Destruction” by Herbert Schlossberg and Truth That Transforms and The Book That Made Your World by Vishal Mangalwadi , Books I have read that take a different view, are Love Wins by Rob Bell and How [Not] To Speak About God by Peter Rollins. More recently I have learned from Lectures on Post Modernism and neo-Marxism, by Jordan Peterson and Explaining Postmodernism by Stephen Hicks. Finally, most recently, “When Harry Became Sally” by Ryan Anderson. In addition, I have watched number of debates between people of different views on the subject.

      I don’t think I really need to demonstrate that I “have done the basic due diligence” in a brief blog, But since you asked, there you have it.

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      • So, in other words, you have read or studied very little on the topic. Thank you for clarifying by referring to sources that are largely not on the topic at all or already firmly from an opposing standpoint. I appreciate that you are honest enough to acknowledge your ignorance on the topic. I trust readers will temper their opinion as a result.

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    • To Emily: It is evident that, to write “Happy Birthday to me”, objective data is already available. We do not need to go and start all over again with finding it. That is not the purpose of the article either, but to realize that we are not being consistent as societies with what is already demonstrated. Scientific organizations and reputed universities have elaborated hundreds of research papers on different topics but they are rarely used to sustain a Christian view of life, that is our mistake.

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      • Ana, that doesn’t follow at all. Lynn has compared apples with oranges. It is only out of ignorance that someone would compare these two dynamics as though they are similar. Yet their similarities are little different than the similarities between ping pong balls and marshmallows: there are surface similarities but fundamentally are completely different.

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  3. HARUNA AMINDA

    Happy birthday Lynn! You are God’s general. We celebrate you for all the Lord have done and He is doing through you! HBD!

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  4. Debbie Lundberg

    The logic of your analogy is very hard to refute….this is a popular apologetic in evangelical circles, supportting the conviction the Designer has a original design. But I wonder how beneficial this is for impacting others in our society toward change as logic often doesn’t seem to drive people’s choices or motivate. them.

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  5. You’re right. That is one of the results of the shift to a post-modern society. However, I write in this way to help believers to hold on to TRUTH very tightly. With a firm grip on truth, we can reach out to hurting and confused people with empathy and compassion. The Good News can be presented in a way that is tailored to the personal needs of each hurting person. The Gospel has always spread best from person to person with Christ-like attitudes. Millions of post-modern young people are gravitating to those who offer clear guidelines for living. Note the phenomenon of Jordan Peterson on YouTube.

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    • I just saw that you are a leader in Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Does this kind of thinking represent YWAM as an organization? Would most YWAM leaders affirm these ideas or those of Jordan Peterson?

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      • Reading this discussion has been very good and thought provoking. Emily, you ask if this kind of thinking represents YWAM as an organization? If it did, would it end the discussion? Or would we be classified in some way?

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      • Ed & Julie, it’s a genuine question. I have known YWAM for many years and would not have expected this kind of representation from a senior leader. There is no “disclaimer” on the site that differentiates this as Lynn’s personal views and not that of YWAM, so I was wanting to know how the two relate. Are you YWAM staff? Does this represent your view? Do you think it represents the wider mission?

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      • Emily, I am a long term member of YWAM. As to if this represents my view, I will not say because as I stated at the beginning of the responses I would love to have continued discussion over a cup of coffee, ( that setting affords for a fuller expression of communication of the topic and past experience in trying to discuss topics that carry such emotion and conviction via the internet have taught me that this topic as well as others are more lovingly and respectfully communicated with the aroma of coffee in the air ). As to whether it represents the wider mission: I could not speak on behalf of our mission as I do not carry that authority to do so. Sorry.

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      • Ed, so then you would agree with me that to engage on this topic in this way in this medium is not the best?

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  6. I believe you, Lynn or anyone else has a right to express themselves through whatever means they wish. I know of individuals that use blogs to stir conversation and thought which is both good and not so good. Good in that it gets people thinking, something we all need to be stirred up to do from time to time, but then to begin to try to go into a depth of conversation on topics that are at the least controversial I believe requires a cup of coffee / tea atmosphere where ones words are not only read, but heard and seen so that there can be clarity communication and a fuller understanding of ones statements.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ed and Julie and Emily. I think Emily has understood this to be about gender dysphoria but that misses the point by a mile. The point I made was that we have lived in a society, until recently, where it was widely accepted that there is such a thing as objective truth and all our social, legal and governmental order are based upon that. Now that an increasing number of people are convinced that truth varies from person to person, we do not know how to cope with the implications. Whether the issue is one of gender or age, or race or any other human variable, if we are all free to decide for ourselves what is true and what is not true, then our entire social order will unravel. Emily, this is not about people who are transgender. That is just one of the subjects that demonstrates the difficulties we are facing with this change of thinking. It happens to be one where many of our authorities (schools, prisons, universities and their sports programs) are attempting to accept the concept of self-identity and the resultant problems are in the news every week, so it makes a good illustration. Certainly, the 69-year-old man wanting to be legally recognized to be 49 years old appears to be frivolous. I intended that. It illustrates the wide variances we are now experiencing as a result of relativistic thinking. So the two expressions are meant to be contrasts rather than equivalents. So read it again with this in mind.

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      • That’s where you are wrong, Lynn. I see the points you are trying to make. I completely understand that your point is more about the social, legal, and governmental implications involved in self-identification. I have never disputed your intention. There is no need for me to reread it again (as I did several times before commenting).

        Rather, my point is that a transgender person reading your post is not going to make that distinction. They are not going to see a post about these broader implications. Instead, they are going to see it as yet another Christian leader using their complex experience as a joke to make a point. Some will even see it as an example of you making fun of them. I know that is not your intent, but these are among the vulnerable people in our society these days, so we need to recognize that.

        Again, EVEN if your are right, that is going to be their experience. You said in a comment above that you wanted to “reach out to hurting and confused people with empathy and compassion”. THIS is not the way to do that. Are you teachable enough to acknowledge that you made a mistake in how you chose to communicate your point?

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  7. This has become a very interesting conversation, are the gloves still on or have they come off? Hard to tell with only words electonically transmitted. I think i’m going to go have a cup of coffee ☕️🧐

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    • The glove are on, as far as I am concerned. I am passionate about this but not angry or combative. Several friends have tried to comment over the last few days, but they don’t seem to be getting approved, so I have also been trying to represent their perspectives too.

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      • I have not failed to approve any comments. I want to make that very clear.

        With each response, you come across as more accusative and combative, whether you mean to or not. You misrepresent what I have written and then counter it. So, this is the last of these exchanges via this medium. We need to communicate in a way that facial expressions and tone of voice can be read in addition to words. If you would like to give me contact details, I will either Skype or Zoom you.

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  8. Hi Lynn, in regards to you saying you approve all comments on your blog – feel free to not approve this one, but could you go ahead and approve my heartfelt comment and concerns with your politics of anger post from a couple months ago? Was disheartened that you approved others but not mine. Thanks, Chris.

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  9. Emily, l’m saddened by your response… I can only conclude that you intened not to discuss but to fight and shame /teach Lynn a lesson.
    Unfortunately i do not have the privelege of having the clarity that a face to face conversation with you would bring.

    upon review of the dialgue I must conclude that you not only disagreed with Lynn but your responses have a haughtiness and even disdain. You were not looking to discuss but to try and shame Lynn into a corner. When offered a clearer opportunity to discuss further you refused. I feel sad for you. Good bye

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