Culture,  Theology/Bible

Look What the Cat Dragged In

There are certain moments in life that you never forget–those indelible moments that fix themselves in memory, sometimes for happy reasons, and sometimes for not so happy reasons. I had such a moment in the latter category when I was in the 8th grade. A friend of mine handed me a newly-released rock-and-roll album from a band that was just making its mark on popular music. I remember right where I was standing in the schoolyard of my junior high school when he gave it to me. The album cover showed four big-haired overly made-up vixens on the front of the album, and I remember thinking: “Wow, these girls are pretty!”

As I looked closer at the picture, however, my initial impression dissolved into horror as I realized that the four pretty girls weren’t girls at all. They were the four male members of the band Poison, gussied-up to look like girls for their smash-hit LP “Look What the Cat Dragged In.” The gender-bending foursome was more than my little 8th grade psyche could handle. That event made such a negative impression on me that I loathed the hair-bands that dominated popular music for the rest of the 80’s. Everyone else was listening, but I wasn’t. What can I say? They just creeped me out.

I think the recoil that I felt in that moment was a good thing. I didn’t really understand what the Bible said about such things. I just knew at a visceral level something was wrong here. Indeed, there was something wrong, even though I couldn’t quite put my finger on it biblically. I knew that God had created human beings as male and female, but I hadn’t properly reflected on the fact that God says this distinction of the sexes is “good” (Genesis 1:26-31). My gut told me that boys should look like boys and that girls should look like girls, but I didn’t know that God had commanded such a thing (Deuteronomy 22:5). Nor did I understand how gender-bending might indicate an underlying rebellion against God’s design for human sexuality (Romans 1:26-27).

Gender-bending is not new, nor is it on its way out. In fact, it is becoming more and more a feature of our popular culture. Yet gender-bending attire is not the source of our culture’s moral degradation, but merely its symptom. We know this because there is a pervasive confusion about gender in our society that goes far deeper than external dress.

In a recent two-part sermon series at Boyce College, I explain in detail what our culture’s gender confusion is all about and how the Bible teaches us to be a counter-culture where we live. I have much more to say about this subject, and I say it in the two sermons linked below. May God grant us all the grace to live as a gospel-shaped counter-culture in the midst of our gender-confused culture.

Gender Confusion — Part 1

Gender Confusion — Part 2

P.S. Dr. Albert Mohler recently published an article on this topic, and I encourage you to check it out as well.

“NewsNote: Boys Wearing Skirts to School? What’s Going On?” — by Albert Mohler


  • Barry

    Dude, you were listening to Prince back then. He’s the king (queen?) of gender-bending.


    PS – Great messages at Boyce, though! And, don’t forget, that every rose has its thorn just like every night has its dawn. And every cowboy sings a sad, sad, song.

  • Mitch

    LOL! Barry, you are killing me! I can confirm that Denny was, indeed, a Prince listener at the time. I have to confess that I was stuck in a country music rut until he and Alan taught me to appreciate Prince (and, of course, multi-colored Converse Chuck Taylor Hi-Tops). Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I know I’m wasting space so I’ll sign off and make way for those with serious points.

  • Denny Burk

    Mitch and Barry,

    I’m gonna have to start a separate blog for people who have known me for 25 years or longer. You guys are blowing my cover!

    By the way, I was a teenager. Did you expect me to be consistent?

  • ex-preacher

    It’s your blog and you certainly have the right to set the rules of participation. However, you have my email (which essentially contains my name) and I’ll be glad to give you my full name. I have what I think are good reasons not to publicize my name here.

    Does this policy now apply to everyone who posts here, or have I been singled out? If I have been singled out, could you explain why?

  • John Holmberg

    It applies to everyone ex-preacher. It started around a year ago when discussions were getting really tense and some nasty things were being said (if you ask me, they just reflected the tone of the original post, but I digress). Denny started moderating people who didn’t give their full names.

    He’s been inconsistent about it though, sometimes ignoring it and randomly chiming in and putting it back into effect. I’d be the same way though. There’s no way he can consistently do it with his job and stuff. It’s good to remind people of it occasionally though.

    And don’t feel bad, Denny started moderating all of my posts (regardless of the fact that I have my full name) around a year ago. Sometimes it’s more than a day before what I say shows up on the board. The sad thing is, I’m a Christian & you’re not! Oh well, goes to show ya how you reserve your harshest criticism and treatment for those whom are closest to you.

  • Matthew Staton

    ex-preacher, FWIW, here is my comment to that. A while back the tone here was degenerating. TUAD and others were really getting into it. I personally got completely sick of it and quit participating. I checked in a while later and Denny had a new rule that posters should use first and last names.

    He does not always enforce it. And, if I could be so bold, I think he is more likely to enforce it against those who disagree with him. Nevertheless, it was established some time ago as a rule, apparently before you were here. In my opinion, it made a significant improvement in the tone here. I’ll admit it makes me uncomfortable because I would prefer just a little bit of anonymity. This is the only blog I post at using my name and it is because of that rule. But it is amazing how much of an impact it has when your name is attached to a comment. In my opinion it does make a positive difference.

  • Darius T

    “And, if I could be so bold, I think he is more likely to enforce it against those who disagree with him.”

    I agree, DennyReader is less likely to get called out than ex-preacher. I’ve noticed that too.

  • Denny Burk

    Thanks John and Matthew for updating everyone. That is the history.

    You all are right. I have been inconsistent about enforcing the rule, but that is because I don’t have time to read everything. My enforcement of the first and last name rule is about as consistent as my reading of the comments.

Comment here. Please use FIRST and LAST name.