With the arrival of 2020 and as I shared on my blog a few weeks ago, the so-called gender-neutral pronoun they was selected by the dictionary Merriam-Webster as the word of the year for 2019. 2020 is considered a new decade as well,* and the American Dialect Society has chosen its Word of the Decade. Its editors selected they as well. What does this tell us?
Well, we don’t have to guess. The article reporting on this selection states,
The personal pronoun employed by “nonbinary” individuals, meaning they identify as neither male nor female, was called a “vital indicator of social trends” by language experts.
The increasing usage of they as a singular, personal pronoun is more than an indicator of “social trends.”
The increasing usage of they as a singular, personal pronoun is more than an indicator of “social trends.” It shows that our culture is quickly moving further and further away from any semblance of a worldview based on the authority of the Word of God. It’s an indicator of the growing secularization here in the West—and the sad spiritual state of the West.
As I said about they in my blog a few weeks ago,
They emphasizes how much the gender revolution has, in just a few years, built off the sexual revolution and radically changed the culture. It points to the “spiritual” climate change raging around us. I’ve described it as a swirling hurricane—you see, without the firm foundation of God’s Word, people are being blown here and there by every new thing. As a culture (and as a church!), we must have our feet firmly grounded on the only unchanging foundation for our thinking—the infallible, inerrant, unchanging Word of God.
The culture may celebrate this growing trend with announcements such as this one from the American Dialect Society. But Christians understand the underlying issue. They know that this rebellion against God and his created order—which has its root in man’s fallen, sinful heart—will only result in hurt and brokenness. Sin always does.
What people need is not more celebration of their sinful lifestyle choices. They need the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s only the message that Christ died for our sins, took our penalty of death for us, rose from the grave, defeating death, and offers the free gift of eternal life to all who will repent and trust in him that saves people and gives them true freedom. That’s the message our culture desperately needs to hear!
We must equip our young people as the secular world is increasingly bold in pushing its secularized belief system and leaving no room for dissent.
I encourage you to get equipped to share this message of hope, particularly in the context of sexuality and the sexual and gender revolution. One way to do that is by attending our upcoming Answers for Pastors conference, October 6–8, 2020, at the Answers Center at the Ark Encounter. The theme this year is “The Bible and Sexuality: Practical Answers for Today’s World.”
This conference is not just for pastors; it’s relevant to everyone. I strongly encourage parents to attend and bring their teens and college students—everyone needs to be equipped. However, >we must equip our young people as the secular world is increasingly bold in pushing its secularized belief system and leaving no room for dissent. Answers for Pastors will give practical answers and equip you to share the gospel more effectively with others. Make plans to attend today!
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
*We are aware that some people consider January 1, 2021, as the actual start of the decade. But we are using the definition from Merriam-Webster: a January 1, 2020 start.