From Jim O'Brien
April 27, 2018

Hi Friend,

The Dehumanization of Man

Five of us were enjoying a lively conversation over coffee at Cavu Café. A girl at the table next was working on her computer, apparently absorbing most of our conversation. Finally she broke in to show us some artwork she had created. She is a graphic design student at a local college.

Her Gothic designs were not my taste but we were polite. One member of our group sitting near the computer described the artwork to a person at the end of the table. "See the book cover she made?"

"I'm not a she!" was the abrupt reply. After an embarrassed apology we continued listening to her description of the art project. Eventually she told us that she had a boyfriend and that she is "transitioning". We took this to mean that she was born female, still maintains the physical attributes, but is having medical treatment to become male. I don't think I want to know how that can happen. She showed us a picture of the two of them which had been photoshopped into one body, hers from the waist up and his from the waist down. They were sans clothing but it made no difference. One could not determine from the picture whether either was male or female.

The ill-mannered intrusion into our conversation was exacerbated by holding the floor for what seemed an interminable description of several works of her art. With a sense of sorrow we witnessed this narcissistic monologue to get attention.

She had created an android, not a human. Worse, she was turning her own body and that of someone she loved, into a robot that only vaguely resembled a human. She began the process by denying her own sexuality.

I wanted to ask, "What's wrong with being a human? What have you designed that is better than what you are? When you 'transition' what will have been achieved that is superior to the gift given you at birth?"

Something tells me our culture is failing the next generation. When children cannot appreciate a body with such potential it is because we haven't taught them right values. It reflects a failure of the family, the schools, the media and especially the church.

There is nothing in all of creation that matches the artistic and functional design of the human being. After all, we're made in the image of God.

When God created the world "[He] saw everything that He had made, and indeed, it was very good." (Gen. 1:31 NRSV) And the pinnacle of creation was man. To man was given power over every animal that dwells on earth as well as the earth itself.

Something has happened to our culture, our educational system and our values. We claim to appreciate life, but everything we do from abortion to the denial of our sexuality screams hatred for life. It also cries out that we don't respect the value of "human" life.

We don't appreciate the unique superior quality of the "spirit" God gave to humans. When a child has a behavior problem we don't expect him to exert self-control, we give him medication. If a person is depressed a doctor writes a prescription for something to take away the emotion. But in all this taking away, something far more important is lost. It is our humanity.

Humans are motivated by internal forces to change behavior. Androids are controlled externally by something to program behavior.

God offers something far more powerful to change the behavior of humans. The Day of Pentecost is evidence that the Spirit of God is the power offered to men who ask for it. We thus become what the Apostle Paul calls a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17). One of the fruits of this Spirit is self-control. (Gal. 5:23)

Every human needs to change. But dehumanizing man to become an Android isn't an improvement. The creation of man isn't complete until we connect with the Spirit of God who made us.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien