Home Christian News J.D. Greear Addresses Listing Pronouns, Clarifies 2019 Comments on Sexual Sin

J.D. Greear Addresses Listing Pronouns, Clarifies 2019 Comments on Sexual Sin

j.d. greear
J.D. Greear delivers the message, "How the Fall Affects Us All" on January 27, 2019. Screenshot from YouTube / @Summit RDU

In the latest episode of his “Ask Me Anything” podcast, former Southern Baptist Convention president J.D. Greear elaborates on the controversy of listing one’s pronouns. The pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, addressed the topic back in November 2019. But since then, he says, his thinking has “crystallized” and even “matured.”

Greear also apologizes for “any confusion” caused by his word choice about sexual sins during a January 2019 sermon.

J.D. Greear on Pronouns: ‘There Can Be No Ambiguity in Our Testimony’

While discussing pronouns in 2019, Greear used phrases such as “generosity of spirit” (citing Andrew Walker) and “pronoun hospitality” (citing Preston Sprinkle). Now he clarifies that Christians must “be honest about what the Bible says,” noting, “There can be no ambiguity in our testimony to the world.” Yet believers must balance our defense of truth with our call to “win people” to faith, he adds.

If someone transitions to another gender and wants to switch pronouns, should Christians comply? In response, Greear uses a phrase from Walker: “The answer to that question begins and ends with ‘no.’” He also cites 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Romans 1, saying the issue is “non-negotiable.”

Dynamics at play in the pronoun debate include truth, relationships, and balancing how to “fight the battle at the right location,” Greear says. If you use someone’s preferred pronouns during a conversation, he adds, that isn’t necessarily “capitulation or compromise of truth.” But you shouldn’t do that “in a way that implies acceptance or affirmation, even for a second.” One solution, he says, is to use the person’s name, rather than pronouns, even though that can become awkward.

A listener asks Greear how to respond to an increasingly hostile employer who wants people to list pronouns on nametags. He says even though listing his own pronouns as he/him would be “a true statement,” he’d resist doing so “because I don’t want to normalize the gender confusion or recognize this as a legitimate question.” If a job or government requires you to list pronouns, Greear says, “you’d have to discern what is best for witness and truth and your calling to be somewhere.”

‘I Regret the Word Choice,’ J.D. Greear Says of Controversial Sermon

In a 2019 sermon titled “How the Fall Affects Us All,” Greear used a “comparison by analogy” that he says got taken out of context. About Romans 1:24-32, he said, “In comparison to how Jesus talks about the sins of religious pride and greed, it’s as if God whispers about sexual sin while he screams about pride and greed.”