Regardless of whether you believe people should continue shopping at Target or not, the controversial bathroom policy gives us a window into what’s happening in the spirit realm.
As recent as five years ago, no one would have imagined gay marriage would be legal in all 50 states—let alone a corporation adopting a policy that encourages transgender people to use the bathroom or fitting room facility they feel corresponds to their gender identity. What we’re witnessing is a massive cultural shift moving at breakneck speed. What accounts for such a swift transition? This did not originate from flesh and blood; what you’re watching is a spiritual stronghold in operation.
Second Corinthians 10:5 defines a stronghold as “arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” Simply put, a stronghold is a mindset that opposes God: whatever God is for, a stronghold is automatically against. And because God is the source of all truth, one of the signs of a stronghold is that it defies logic—because you can’t oppose the God of all truth and operate in logic.
Target’s policy demonstrates the illogical nature of a stronghold: “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. …We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. …Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”
At first glance, their policy sounds inviting. Who wouldn’t want to live in that kind of world where everyone is accepted? (Sidebar: I don’t believe anyone should be denigrated—regardless of what they believe—and I am especially against gay bashing. Though I am morally opposed to homosexual practice and sex reassignment surgeries, etc., I think everyone—gay, straight, trans, or whatever—should be treated respectfully as a fellow human being made in the image of God. I am called to love everyone regardless of their choices, the same way God loves me.)
But the premise behind the Target policy is illogical: Everyone is to be accepted—except, of course, anyone who disagrees with the policy. If you happen to believe gender is sacred and that there’s something fundamentally wrong with a male using a female restroom or vice versa, there’s no inclusivity for you. But inclusivity is our core belief.
As I wrote in my first post on the intolerance of tolerance, the spirit (or stronghold) of tolerance manifests in this way: “I must approve of—and even celebrate—what you believe in order to affirm you as a person. And if I disagree with you or refuse to celebrate what you believe in—no matter how graciously I treat you—it is culturally acceptable for you to label me a bigot and publically humiliate me. How, ironically, …intolerant.”
But the real “target” behind all the controversy is the image of God. There’s a very real spirit world that influences what happens in the natural realm. And the end goal of the enemy isn’t to legalize gay marriage or normalize bathroom space for transgender people; it’s to destroy the concept of gender altogether, because our gender is sacred: “…God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). Satan hates the image of God, and he especially hates how our genders reflect God and demonstrate the good news of the gospel (more about that in a later blog). The Target bathroom controversy is only the beginning. This stronghold will continue to take root and destroy our cultural concept of gender, unless God’s people intervene.
So, how do we demolish a stronghold of the enemy? You might be surprised that the answer goes deeper than whether or not you shop at Target. That’s the topic of my next post.