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James Barnes is a motivational speaker, stress management coach, and social media influencer. But there is something actually unique about him. He was born a she, and now bills “himself” as “The Trans Coach.”
Barnes went the whole nine yards with his/her transition to include not just a name change, but hormones and even surgery. Looking at pictures, Barnes looks like a man. Additionally, he is married to a woman and the two have a child.
In a recent video, Barnes spoke of how lonely it was being a man. Having been raised as a girl and interacting with both girls and guys as a girl during his formative years, he was used to being able to have closer relationships with both women and men. He reasoned that women are just more open emotionally, and he found that now, since he looked like and was living as a man, he was not able to experience emotional connections in quite the same way as before. Both men and women now perceive him differently, and the kind of emotional experiences he used to have with people is just no longer possible. Barnes, in the video, found himself emotionally distraught over this development, and was even crying as he shared his feelings.
At the same time, he was not expressing disappointment that he had “transitioned.” He has shared how, for most of his life, he felt that he ought to be a guy, but was not willing to pull the trigger until his mid 20s. And now that he has done it, he is very happy with his life and is working diligently to learn how to live as a man. In addition to his family, he has carved out a career as a realtor, and is also on the speaking circuit to share with corporate America his take on “empathy-driven leadership,” how to “inspire positive change,” stress reduction in the workplace,” and “promoting a harmonious, thriving atmosphere.”
As a Christian, I can point to all kinds of problems with this entire scenario.
- The felt need Barnes has to deny his actual identity,
- The gay lifestyle itself,
- The bodily mutilation he went through to appear to be a man,
- The promotion of transgenderism that might influence others, and
- The attempt to normalize transgenderism in society.
But the truth is, at this point in his life, Barnes doesn’t seem to recognize any of that. In fact, according to his own testimony, he is very satisfied with his life.
It’s hard for many people to imagine that he could be happy. But think about it. Based on his worldview beliefs, he is actually convinced that the way he thinks is reality. And he is not the only one who lives a delusion like that.
- The terrorists who invaded Israel and slaughtered innocents were happy about what they did.
- Committed Atheists are happy with their faith (in the same way as people who believe other non-true faiths).
- Many gang members are happy with their gang life.
- Many criminals are happy with their life of crime
- Marxists (of all stripes) are quite satisfied with their lives.
And we could go on and on sharing examples of people who live a delusion and are quite satisfied with it. The fact that a person lives in sin does not make them automatically unhappy. In fact, most don’t know any different. They simply don’t see the problems associated with their beliefs. In order for them to see the problems and seek a change, God has to do a work in their life.
So where do we, as Christians, fit into this process? In order for us to effectively do our part and not get stressed out at our lack of effectiveness, we need to understand an important principle. Our job is not to convict people of sin. Only God is able to do that. Our job is not to save people. Only God can do that. Our job is to faithfully share with others the good news of Jesus Christ. God has allowed us to partner with Him in that way. Then they have to make their own decision.
As we interact with people in the world who have not entered into a relationship with God, no matter what their belief system might be, we need to be faithful in doing what God has given us to do, then leave the results up to Him. We should never give up on people, but also never take the burden of their sin upon ourselves.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books entitled The Truth Mirage, Rules for Christians Radicals, Liberalism vs. Conservatism, and his latest book Shattering the Truth Mirage and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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