The Briefing, Albert Mohler

Friday, June 16, 2023

It’s Friday, June 16, 2023.

I’m Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.

Part I

Is the Transgender Movement More Than Just Ideology? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

We often say we just run out of time for questions, so we’re going to take the entire episode of The Briefing today just to consider questions. So many good intelligent questions sent by listeners.

We’ll start out with a question from Patrick. He asked the question, he says, “When you look at the transgender movement, is it more than ideological?” He talks about some of the discussion we had on The Briefing, and he talks about the PGA story where the revenue was as involved as the moral questions. And again, it’s just a good question. Is the transgender movement about more than ideology?

Now, the reason we want to say it’s about ideology is because that’s where this starts. It is an ideological transformation, the ideological subversion of the idea of sex as being equivalent to gender, or at least biological sex establishing gender. It’s an attempt to destabilize the entire moral order, and that is driven by ideology. It can’t happen without ideology.

But Patrick’s question is there more to it? After all, the PGA’s decision, there was more to it in terms of this merger with Live Golf that’s going to create this new entity, which is under the very Saudi influence that the PGA said was immoral. Then the money comes, they say, “Well, that was yesterday. Today we’re in on the deal.” And so the money’s a big part of this.

Patrick’s question is cogent. And I have mentioned at times on The Briefing the fact that when you look at these huge issues related to the LGBTQ+ revolution, much of it actually does have a commercial application. Some of it also has the opportunity for professional income. And this is where, for example, if you go back to the transformation that took place in the early 1970s in the two big organizations, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association, both of them did a 180 on the question of homosexuality. And that meant male, male, female, female homosexuality, but primarily male, male. That was the big presenting issue here.

And so both of them just did a 180; they did a U-turn. They had said, both of them, the APA, Psychiatric Association, the APA, American Psychological Association, they both said that homosexual inclination and desire was inherently, well, disordered. And then they all of a sudden said, “No, it’s not.” And instead what’s disordered is any psychological imbalance or discomfort or inability to deal with this.

Now, what was the subtext in all of that? And Patrick, you’re wondering where in the world I’m going and where I’m going to land. The subtext in all of that was the big issue was how this diagnosis would be coded so that the therapist could receive reimbursement from insurance companies. Yeah, the money’s there.

If indeed the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association had just said, “You know what? We thought homosexuality was a psychological, psychiatric disorder, but we were wrong, never mind,” then away would go an awful lot of therapy time, away would go an awful lot of office visits, away would go an awful lot of counseling, away would go an awful lot of business and income. And it was transparent at the time, this is the early 1970s, that the psychologists and the psychiatrists, they were only willing to join the moral revolution if they could keep on billing the insurance companies. The money’s there.

When it comes to surgical and hormone treatments, when it comes to homosexuality, the transgender revolution, especially so-called gender reassignment surgeries or gender affirmation surgeries, that’s the rather propagandistic language, you’re talking about the same thing. This is real income. People are making real money. Hospitals can tell you exactly what margin they get out of a hospital bed a night. And the doctors, the operating rooms and all the rest, all the associated staff, they are dependent upon an economy that requires a constant flow of patients.

And what you’re looking at is the fact that we already know that at least some aspects of modern medicine are extremely driven by this. Just take the hormone pills. They’re produced by pharmaceutical manufacturers, and they are backed up by stockholders. And there’s an opportunity here to increase market and to increase sales and to increase return on investment. And then, of course, again, you have the professionals: you have the hospitals, you have the insurance companies. It’s this giant cycle because here you have added business.

Let me give you more evidence of this. If you go to a place like Los Angeles or the larger Los Angeles area, you’ll notice there is an imbalance there compared to the rest of the country in plastic surgeons or what are sometimes now referred to as aesthetic surgeons. And it’s because, not by coincidence around Hollywood and that Southern California culture, there’s an inordinate market for people even to fly from other parts of the country or from other countries to receive that kind of surgical treatment.

There is a commercial advantage to those who specialize in those areas because they are kept very busy, and there is a lot of income. And by the way, the reason I point to that is because very few of those surgeries are in any way medically necessary. They’re almost entirely, by definition, elective. They’re a consumer product.

You have the people doing them who, after all, are medical doctors, and you have to have them as medical doctors. You want them to be good medical doctors. But the point is, this is an elective process. It is, by and large, a consumer product. And behind it is an enormous economy. We’re not talking about thousands, we’re not talking about millions, we’re talking about billions of dollars.

Yes, that was a very long answer to a very good question. Patrick, the reality is it is important to follow the money because the money and the morality so often go hand in hand, and each reveals the other.

Part II

How Should Christians Think About Working For a Company That Hosts and Promotes LGBTQ Events? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

Next question comes from Jeremy.

This is one I haven’t heard before, but I’m not particularly surprised to hear it. He goes on to say that he works for a software tech company and the LGBTQ committee is hosting a virtual drag queen story hour in which employees are encouraged to bring their children. He says every employee gets an invitation, though it’s in no way mandatory. He says he has a serious problem with the morality of promoting this type of thing to my kids. And the question is should Christians think about being part of a company that hosts and promotes these types of events?

My first inclination, Jeremy, is to say no, but I get similar questions all the time. For example, I get a question, and it’s related to this that came in just the same day your question came in which an employee of a company was also asking, “Look, my company is now requiring us to refer to people and to list our own personnel files in terms of a preferred pronoun.” There’s one way to deal with this, and that’s by saying, “I’m offended by this, but I work for this company and I am simply filling out a form. I’m a man, so I’m going to say he/him/his because that simply is true.”

And yet at the same time, where does this go next? And what does it say when people look at my profile and see these preferred pronouns beside it? The easy thing to say to that is if it’s your elective choice, then shame on you for doing it. And by the way, I hear from people who say, “My company has sorted that for me. I didn’t even put that in my profile. It is showing up because my company now has this company policy.”

I also heard recently from someone in the military, in the military, a young man writing in to say, “Look, I am now ordered to refer to people by their preferred gender identity such that I am supposed to salute a senior officer, if presenting as a woman, by saying, “Yes, ma’am,” when I know that this is not a ma’am but a sir. Again, the Christian worldview tells us that if it is your moral agency, you are entirely responsible. The Christian worldview says that if it’s your moral decision, you’re morally responsible.

But even the New Testament doesn’t tell us exactly how Christians handled being in Caesar’s army other than to say that because Jesus Christ is Lord, the Christian soldier serving in Caesar’s army could never say that Caesar is Lord. But at the same time, Caesar probably had an awful lot of other rules that were Caesar’s responsibility and not the soldier’s responsibility.

There are clear lines we can’t go past, and one of them is we cannot get into what is morally defined as positive affirmation. That may sound like a redundancy. There’s no such thing as negative affirmation, but positive affirmation or positive acknowledgement means that you are required to take a positive step in order to make an affirmation. If you make positive affirmation on your own, guess what, the affirmation is yours. If you make positive affirmation at gunpoint or by some kind of requirement or someone does it on your behalf, then that’s not exactly your responsibility.

But figuring these things out is beyond, I think, our individual moral capacity, which is why I have to come back again and again to the fact that the New Testament model is believers being a part of Gospel Bible churches where together Christians reason through these issues together. And there have to be limitations. If the positive affirmation has to be made by you, then you can’t make that positive affirmation if it’s contrary to scripture. If, on the other hand, the positive affirmation is made by someone else and you work in the company, well, that could be a different thing. But I say could be.

The question that was asked by Jeremy has to do with, I guess, what’s a virtual drag queen story hour saying, “Number one, this is a problem.” He recognizes as a Christian it is a problem. He says it’s not mandatory, but he then goes on to say, “I have a problem with the morality of promoting this type of thing to my kids,” and he goes on to say, “What do I think about working for this company?”

Well, this is going to be a widespread problem, Jeremy, let me just give you, there’s no particular comfort in being in a crowd, but you are in a crowd on this. You look at major American corporations, whether it’s Walmart or Disney, you go down the list. Many, if not most of them, are adopting policies that at least imply compliance at the cost of Christian conscience.

I would say that it certainly makes a difference if the virtual drag queen story hour is mandatory for you and for your family. That would be a line that I think you acknowledge you simply couldn’t cross. But when it comes to working for a company that features such a thing, my goodness, we would hope not. But in a fallen world, we’re looking at the reality that a decreasing number of jobs are going to be available from companies that do not play around with this kind of nonsense.

Pushing back is very important, and that’s why, by the way, Christians, need to push back at the shareholder level, need to push back at the public business meeting level, need to push back at the consumer level and every other level if only to buy a bit of time because, actually, that’s one of the ways that civilizational change is affected, if sometimes buying time gives us an opportunity to make new arguments and to invent new mechanisms or take advantage of opportunities to turn the equation.

To all these questions, those asking about the military, those asking about employment when it comes to pronouns, again, you, as a Christian, must not do that if it is done on your behalf or for you or if the company is simply requiring it as a matter of your affirmation of who you are, and you’re doing that biblically well, it just gets very complex. The issue of agency is where Christians have understood if it is your responsibility, you are responsible for the responsibility. If it’s not, that doesn’t mean you have no responsibility, it may mean that the Christian question is can I work here anymore?

But as much as we would like one particular line that all of us can follow, I think if you just take say grocery companies, that’s the business my dad was in. I grew up in that business. You could have three or four stores in one town representing three or four chains, three or four national companies, they could have three or four sets of policies, but in reality, they might not be as different as those companies would have you to think. You look closer and you look at the direction, they might actually be closer than you would like to think.

But then you remember that it’s not just do I work for this company? It’s also do I buy eggs from this company? And do I send my kids to buy some milk from this store? Do I encourage people to work for this company? Those are huge questions. They’re not simple, which is why we need the church. And frankly, we’re going into some uncharted territory here for Christians in the modern age, and it’s going to take a biblical wisdom and fidelity with all of us thinking together, particularly at the level of the local congregation.

I just want to come back to this and say, look, I can’t tell you how many questions on this theme we receive. Here at The Briefing, we get an avalanche weekly of these questions. I am so sympathetic to so many people who are caught in workplace travail right now or in a professional conflict right now over these questions.

And I think we really need to make clear that Christians do have lines. We need to understand those lines. There are lines we can’t cross. But it is often just beyond our individual competence to see where those lines are and to know exactly when crossing that line takes place. That’s why we need congregational wisdom under the authority of the word of God, under the lordship of Jesus Christ. In a fallen world under contemporary pressures, it just is a very powerful reminder of how much we need the congregation.

Part III

Does the U.S. Intelligence Whistleblower’s Potential Confirmation of Aliens Have Implications for the Gospel of Jesus Christ? — Dr. Mohler Responds to a Letter from a 17-Year-Old Listener of The Briefing

Next, a question from Graham. Graham says he’s a 17-year-old listener to The Briefing. Graham, thanks so much for listening.

He goes on to say, “I’m wondering what your thoughts are on the news that a former US intelligence officer has potentially confirmed that the government has in their possession ships that are not of human origin and may also have the remains of their pilots. More importantly, do the implications of this news have any relevance in a religious context? That is, does the discovery of life elsewhere than this planet have implications on the gospel of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us?” Graham, great question. And I’ve been reading some of the same articles, I’ve been seeing some of the same reports.

I want to step back for a moment and just raise some questions as to how straightforwardly we should take those reports. I’m going to take your questions straightforwardly. But taking those reports, I followed the discipline I follow When I see a story like that, if I think it’s interesting but there are questions about it, I want to find out across a spectrum of news media how the story was carried. I want to source it. I want to go back and find out, okay, where does that come from? And I want to test how claims are tested within an article.

For example, you do have recent news articles, and with you I’ve been looking at them in which you have had testimony given by people who, by the way, have some very impressive credentials about the existence of these spacecraft that are supposedly alien spacecraft, often identified as UFOs, unidentified flying objects, but that’s pretty much 1950s now. The language is now UAPs for unidentified aerial phenomena. And by the way, there are other acronyms being used in that arena thought and in the mainstream media and even in the government right now.

 I’m not going to go through them all just to say we know what we’re talking about which means we have to wonder what we’re talking about because as you look at that testimony, and I went and took a closer look, Graham, when you look at that testimony, it turns out that the man giving the testimony said that he had not seen with his eyes much of this, and he could not say exactly what it was, where it came from, and what the government might have at his disposal or in its custody at any given time. And so I look at that and I say, “Well, you’ve just given away much of the store right there.”

I want to be clear, Graham, I’m in no position to say whether these things are real or not. I also want to go on to say something else that’s just very good for us to keep in mind, and that is that a government like the government of the United States of America can never be counted on to be telling the truth when it deals with these issues.

Now, am I accusing the federal government of lying? Well, to some degree, yes, that’s exactly what I’m doing. It is to some degree a matter of fact that at times our national security would require the government at least not to tell the truth about certain things. And that leads to all kinds of opportunity for speculation, for the classification of information as secret and for your eyes only. It leads to entire areas of the territory of the United States and elsewhere that might be cordoned off as special military areas that are beyond investigation. That’s why there’s so much speculation. It’s because, frankly, it’s so cool that such things exist.

You just think about the experience in the United States during the Cold War, the United States government had to keep things secret from its own citizens at times in order to keep those things away from the Soviet Union and from defense adversaries, military adversaries. You look at this and you can say, “I don’t know.” Our government might not have a motivation for telling us the truth about these things. On the other hand, it’s not clear why the government would have an ambition or a military need not to tell us about these things.

If we are talking about vehicles and we are talking about beings from some other, say, planet or solar system, it’s hard to believe that that could be kept secret for long. One of the other lessons of the 20th century is that big things like this don’t stay secret. Just think about the development of atomic weapons. That was supposed to be a safe and secure secret; not so much. That’s pretty much the rule we learned in the 20th century.

But Graham, you ask another very valid question, and that is what impact would this have? Theologically and in terms of worldview, well, let me start with worldview. In terms of worldview or world picture, it would certainly change our understanding of things if indeed there is conscious life. And that’s what’s important, not just to say life, but conscious life on other planets or similar to human life on other planets. That would be a game changer just in understanding the cosmos in which we live.

But I would have to argue that it is not a game changer when it comes to understanding the truth of, say, the Scripture and the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the truth that is revealed in God’s word. And that includes the fact that the Bible reveals in the very opening chapter of Genesis the fact that God created the heavens and the earth and all within. Whatever anyone encounters that’s real in terms of the cosmos, that is a part of the same creation story as what we find in Genesis 1.

Furthermore, in the very revelation of God in Scripture, there are extraterrestrial beings. You know there are. We often don’t think about them, but they are the angels and other spiritual beings that are revealed even within the text of Scripture. They are described as beings that have a heavenly existence, and so we actually know there are other minds, but the distinction is only human beings are made in God’s image, only human beings are given the capacity to know Him as redeemer.

Graham, again, thanks for the question. I have also been curious and looking at the same articles. I am convinced on this kind of thing that those kinds of reports are going to be followed up pretty quickly by other reports, and some of them are going to have to ask some very hard questions like, “Okay, then where’s the proof?”

And over time, it becomes decreasingly credible to argue that our government is in a conspiracy to hide this from us. From a political point of view, it might be in every way advantageous to our own government, if this would be real, to tell us about it. Such news would strengthen the importance and the power of our own government, not weaken it.

Part IV

What Will Our Bodies Be Like After the Second Coming of Christ? — Dr. Mohler Responds to a Letter from a 6-Year-Old Listener of The Briefing

Next, a question from a sweet mom. Laura writes about her daughter, Clara, telling us that Clara, who’s six is “curious about what our bodies will be like after the second coming of Christ when the forever kingdom is established,” end quote. I got to stop there for a moment. I got to say, mom, you’re a good example here.

Somehow your sweet six-year-old daughter is being exposed to biblical theology and the understanding of that forever kingdom under the Lordship of Christ and the glorification and the perfection of our bodies. My goodness, we should just be thankful for a family in which a six-year-old girl is asking questions about such things. That’s just incredibly encouraging.

It also reflects a just basic intelligence and curiosity about what this means. And the question gets really interesting, “Specifically, she wants to know if her believing grandmother, who died at age 97, will get her glorified, fully functioning, sinless, 97-year-old body. And then would a believing child get his full functioning sinless body?”

Well, there you go. There are a lot of questions here, but I will simply say that, mom, I would suggest telling sweet Clara that the reality is that in our glorification, we are made perfect as only the creator knows that perfection would be manifested. The point I want to make is that there’s no biblical evidence that the age of our death is the spot in which our glorification will be grounded. Instead, our glorification’s grounded in Christ, and we will be made perfect. And I don’t know exactly what that looks like, but I just have to assume it means that it’s more perfect than our own human fallen vision of perfect could ever mean.

I do want to tell your daughter that I believe that believers will recognize one another in heaven, and that is because our bodies are resurrected bodies, which means we will recognize one another. And the gift of personality and the gift of relationship is one of the good gifts of creation, and so we have every biblical expectation that that will not be absent in the new creation but perfected in the new creation. In order to make sure I’m answering Clara’s question, the only thing I know to say, but I do know to say this based on scripture, it is that our glorification will be accomplished perfectly exactly as God intends to bring himself greatest glory.

And so I think the other thing to say in Scripture is that a part of that glorification, a part of that perfection is that we no longer age in terms of time passing through our bodies at cost. And I’m sure right now, I can’t even imagine everything that means, I’m quite aware of that, and that by itself, Clara, is part of God’s promise. We will understand those things fully when God makes them happen.

Part V

When We Use the Term ‘Elite’ to Refer to the Moral Revolutionaries, Are We Speaking Too Highly of Them? — Dr. Mohler Responds to Letters from Listeners of The Briefing

Finally, a question from Mark. And it’s a good vocabulary question. He says, “We use the term elites to describe the individuals in our society. They’re involved in or promoting an immoral or perverse culture. It seems like we are giving them a status they do not deserve.”

Mark, very good issue to raise. I will simply say we have to be clear at times we are speaking, this is a philosophical term, we’re speaking phenomenologically. We’re speaking in terms of describing what this is without saying it’s good or bad because it’s similar to the use of the word moral. Sometimes I speak at a moral revolution, and people say, “Well, if it’s a moral revolution, it’s a good revolution.” That’s because we are somewhat accustomed to the misuse of the word moral as if moral means positive when moral can mean good morals or bad morals. Moral means that the dimension of morality is very much front and center.

Similarly, when you look at society, the use of the word elites, the way I’m using it and the way it’s used in most of the, say, sociological or theological consideration, it has to do with the fact that there are a few in control of the many. There are a few making the decisions for the many. There are a few people in Hollywood deciding what all the movies are going to be, there are a few people in politics deciding what the laws are going to be. There are very few judges, nine of them, justices sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court. There are very few people out of the total population who have tenure at Harvard University. There are very few people who control the publishing houses, the professional elites, and all the rest.

Mark, it’s a good occasion for me to say elite is not a compliment in this sense, it is a word that sometimes used, like the word moral, it’s a word that sometimes used out of context as if elite is just necessarily a good thing, as in elite sports or elite achievement. It’s good from time to time just to say, “We need to check our words.” And we need sometimes to say, “When we use this word, this is what we mean. When we use the word elite, we mean that as a sociological fact.” This is a few in control of the many.

I often mention that it’s important for Christians to reason together on so many of these things. If there’s a thought that comes out of listening to The Briefing that you think would be helpful, if there’s something that you think could be clarified, if there’s a question or even a contrary argument you want to bring to my attention, I’d love to hear from you. Glad to hear from you. Just write to

As always, thanks for listening to The Briefing.

For more information, go to my website at You can follow me on Twitter, by going to For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to For information on Boyce College, just go to

I’ll meet you again on Monday for The Briefing.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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