“How do I know which bathroom to use?”

bathThe semi-official topic of our youth group discussion tonight was “How do I know what bathroom to use?” This seems to be the topic everyone is talking about, at least in all the media and social media outlets. I was genuinely curious about how our youth’s experience and how they might answer that question.

I asked how many actually knew someone at school who identified as a gender different from their physiology. One thought they knew someone, but they weren’t positive and hadn’t asked. Another knew a young man who came to school in lipstick and high heels. My followup question was, “How are those students treated?” The answer: “No one really pays that much attention.”

I learned much in preparation for our discussion today from a paper from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations on that topic. I learned a lot from our youth tonight, too, as we talked about what the Bible had to say about gender, natural law, God’s revelation and grace.

Though the Bible clearly reveals God’s plan for male and female, a fallen human nature reveals many variations that stray far from that plan. Regardless of your sin, you need to hear the law, your sin, the Gospel and God’s love. We so much want to judge and condemn others. God so much wants us to love each other. The tension is agonizing. Welcome to Christianity!

Our group tonight consisted of two high school seniors, one college freshman, a high school junior and an eighth-grader. I’m a baby-boomer who’s catching a glimpse of retirement out there on the horizon. We are learning so much from each other. My generation has our panties in a knot about the whole issue, boycotting businesses and straightening out the world. They are all about loving the unlovable like Jesus.

They give me great hope.