Pronoun usage in English is based on the male-female binary. We use the pronoun "he" when referring to a male in the third person. We use the pronoun "she" when referring to a female in the third person. This binary distinction reminds us of God's good designs for humans as male and female.
According to the Trump Administration's new memo, teachers and students will soon be in hot water if they refuse to use students' "preferred pronouns". Decisions to use the traditional binary pronouns, "he" and "she", based on a person's biological sex, as opposed to "preferred pronouns" (he, she, zie, sie, ey, ve, tey, e, etc.), based on subjective desires, may get teachers fired and students punished in the very near future.
Unfortunately, this precedent is not the first of its kind in North America. Just last month Canada passed a similar piece of legislation that makes it illegal to use wrong gender pronouns. Canadians who refuse to use others’ preferred pronouns (often inconsistent with biological realities) could face criminal charges from now on.
Although the Trump Administration’s memo only applies to schools, it signals a shift towards policies like Canada’s. Christians must prepare themselves. They will need to carefully consider whether it is ever loving to use someone's "preferred pronouns" when they contradict that person's biological sex. If it signals affirmation of someone's subjective "gender identity", is such speech true?
Last year, Pastor John Piper, founder and leader of Desiring God Ministries, released a podcast addressing this question for his listeners and congregation. Last week, Family Policy Alliance published an assessment of the Trump memo. Groups like The Gospel Coalition did the same. Following their example, many Christian leaders, pastors, and organizations will have to reach a conclusion on this issue and take a stand.
Due to religious convictions, some will be unable to use "preferred pronouns" in good conscience and will need to be prepared to winsomely speak in accordance with their conscience rather than cave to political correctness. How will you live out Ephesians 4:15 by “speaking the truth in love”?