Escape from Reason

Fifty years ago the great Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer wrote Escape from Reason.

In it he commented on Michel Foucault’s Madness and Civilization (1961), which exposed the failure of the ‘Enlightenment project’ to answer all questions by unaided human reason. Foucault’s response, of course was not to return to an acceptance of Divine authority. It was to exalt unreason. ‘It’s a fine thing to be crazy, for then you are free’.

Fast forward to 2018, to a school in Brighton, England where trans-affirming organisations have been particularly active. 40 children in that one school identified as ‘trans’ and 36 as ‘gender fluid’ (i.e. they want to be free to change identity from day to day).

That is a denial of reality. To pander to it is not kindness. It is to play along with unreason and insanity. Douglas Murray’s latest bestselling book The Madness of Crowds describes how mass hysteria and political correctness terrify people into silence about the false claims of trans-activists.

Created male and female

After the creation of man and woman, God declared that his creation was ‘very good’. But if we reject the existence of a Creator, we also reject his creation as a ‘given’ to be respected. We demand the right to de-construct and re-construct it as we please. Gender confusion is just one symptom of this generation’s declaration of independence from our Creator. If there is no God, and we are the only point of reference, then how do we know what, or who, we are?

Of course those who are caught up in this confusion may not necessarily deny the reality of our Creator. They may not all be lobbying for transgender rights. Those who suffer must be treated with respect and compassion.

But Christians often stop there, and fail to challenge the false teaching that is causing confusion. We must not be naive. Activists for trans rights are not only wanting toleration for a small minority of troubled people. They want to enforce a false ideology on everyone else. We are told to address men as if they are women, women as men, or people who demand it as ‘non-binary’. A new faith is being imposed by force.

In 2018, a British doctor, David Mackereth, who had worked for the NHS for nearly 30 years was dismissed from his role as a health and disabilities assessor at the Department for Work and Pensions. The reason? His conviction, on moral and scientific grounds, that sex is immutable. Chillingly, the judges who dealt with his case ruled that:

“…belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity…”

These judges, on behalf of the state, claim the right to force a doctor to say things he does not believe to be scientifically or morally true.

Embracing delusion

We need to grasp the gravity of this issue. Our creation design teaches us that God has made us male and female to reflect his glory. This foundational creation reality is transcultural and atemporal. Scripture will not allow the false split between sex and so-called ‘gender’. The demand for a genderless body is to unravel the creation design and go back to chaos. And when human beings, endowed with reason by our Creator God, embrace delusion, this is an indication of his wrath (2 Thessalonians 2:11).

The theory that binary is bad and that we can construct our own gendered identity is an attack on humanity as made in the image of God, male and female. Attacking humankind made in the image of God is an attack on God himself, and an assault on the authority of his Word. That is why this is a conscience issue!

Like Francis Schaeffer, we need to hold out the glory of God’s truth in an age that seeks to deny the possibility of absolute truth. Many today seek to escape from reason. But we are to invite them back to the God who has not only created each one of them male or female, but has endowed every one of them with the priceless gift of reason.

This article first appeared on Anglican Mainstream.