Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear said he would use a trans-identified individual’s preferred pronoun and name as a show of “pronoun hospitality,” but would also be clear on biblical truth.
The 46-year-old Greear tackled the question of transgender pronoun use on the Nov. 18 edition of his podcast “Ask Me Anything.”
“When talking with a transgender person, which pronoun should you use?” was the question posed to the senior pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina.
Greear responded with a long disclaimer that when a question about how Christians should show love to the LGBT community, it is often thought that there can only be two categories: alienation and affirmation.
“Let me just kind of lean on [Baptist ethics professor] Andrew Walker here and the book God and the Transgender Debate,” Greear said. “He points out, and I actually think this is charitable and accurate, that Christians disagree. I think they should disagree charitably about what is the right thing to do specifically with pronoun usage.”
“Some people on one side are going to say, ‘Hey, we got to tell the truth. And the truth is this person is male or female. So I would be lying if I called somebody who is female and identified as male,’” Greear added.
“There are others who would say, ‘Look, as a courtesy, you should refer to a transgender person by their preferred pronoun as sort of a ‘generosity of spirit’ kind of approach. You see evidence in the Bible of that.”
Personally, Greear said he leans “a little bit toward the generosity of spirit.”
“If a transgender person came into our church, came into my life, I think my disposition would be to refer to them by their preferred pronoun when we want to talk about gender,” Greear said. “I will be clear with him on the truth. The question is: Is that the battlefront that you want to choose?”