Everyone calm down

Amazon recently pulled books about “conversion therapy” from their stores.

Conversion therapy is a behavioral modification scheme designed to “cure” homosexuality.

Denny Burk, over at dennyburk.com has warned us all that persecution of Christianity is in full swing. Soon the lions will be brought out and Christians of every stripe will be thrown into the fiery furnace.

I don’t know why we have such a persecution complex. Don’t we know that we will inherit the earth?

But that is beside the point.

Here is what we need to understand: Conversion therapy is to Christianity what iced coffee is to mole rats. Hard to find a connection? Precisely.

Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice of using behavioral modification to change someone’s sexual orientation.

Christianity is faith in our Lord Jesus, who died for our sins and gave us his righteousness so that we can stand before God as if we have never had nor ever committed any sin. From there flows sanctification, where the Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of God’s dear son, redeeming each part of us, even our sexuality.

Conversion therapy is similar to Pelagianism, and the theology of Charles Finney, but instead of the excitement of revival producing righteousness, righteousness is produced on the therapists couch.

To say that Christians are in danger because conversion therapy won’t be marketed and sold by Amazon is similar to saying that Christianity is in danger because I can’t get a Big Mac at Home Depot.

Jesus has never promised to remove every speck of sin from his children on this earth. In fact, the bible teaches in Romans 1 that we will ALWAYS struggle with this body of death until we enter into his presence.

Christianity means that there is now no more condemnation. Christianity means that we are now united to Christ and are taught by the Holy Spirit to offer the members of our bodies as members of righteousness. But we will always struggle with our lusts and our desires.

Christ has never promised to convert same-sex attracted people to hetero-attracted people. And hetero is no guarantee of purity. Hugh Hefner is not something we strive for. Christ calls us to aim higher.

So, to sum up: Conversion therapy teaches that homosexuality can be cured through behavioral modification.

Christianity teaches that we are dead in trespasses and sins unless God makes us alive.

It seems to me that Paul banned the same sort of thinking in the book of Galatians. The flesh – the bondage of the law – will always produce the same thing.

But one can’t ever pass a law against the fruit of the Spirit. “Throw those people out! They are talking about love and joy and peace!”

As a side note, Amazon is banning a dangerous and fraudulent form of therapy based on behavioral modification. They are NOT banning someone being made alive in Christ.

Christ did not die to make us heterosexual. He died to make us alive. Being alive, of course, means that we fight against sin in this life until victory is ours after this life.

As Christians, we should be against conversion therapy and support that ban. Why would we want our kids to be subjected to a false gospel and forced to submit to those whom God tells us to not submit to even for an hour? (Galatians 2:5).

By the way, whenever you hear that California has banned Christianity, or that Amazon has banned Christianity, or such like – this is usually what they mean. That the state has banned a dangerous and unbiblical practice that aims to convert our children to another gospel – one which Paul calls anathema.

That false gospel is that Christianity and outward appearance are the same, that one can be converted by the right sort of laws, and that sin is a matter of free will.

We should support that ban and calm down.

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9 Comments

Filed under homosexuality, sexuality

9 responses to “Everyone calm down

  1. Jeff Crippen

    Yes. Its a false gospel. Works of flesh instead of regeneration by the Spirit.

    When a homo- or heterosexual sinner is born again as a new creation in Christ, he/she is a new person no longer defined by the sinful flesh. But as you point out here, contrary to John Wesley, the result in this present life and body is not perfection.

    That means that a Christian who walked in sexual sin (or greed or theft etc) to one degree or another is going to have to battle those same temptations by the Spirit. None of us will be totally cured in our full man until the resurrection.

    So anything that claims, for instance, “the cure” in the sense of for instance a homosexual becoming entirely a heterosexual is a false gospel. This does not mean that we are saying its ok to be a “Christian homosexual “ or a “Christian heterosexual fornivater.” No. There is no such thing. But Regenerate people in this life still must battle temptations and the sinful flesh.

    Thank you Sam.

    • Yes, Jeff. I completely agree. Same-sex attraction is a sinful desire that a Christian may struggle with their whole life – but the cure is neither behavioral modification, nor justification of it, it is always repentance and faith. From there flows everything else.

  2. Jeff Crippen

    Thanks Sam. Good stuff.

  3. Conversion therapy is an example of what Paul was talking about in Colossian 2:23: “These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” [ESV]

  4. Jennifer Bales

    Well said

  5. Anu Riley

    I love your posts, Pastor. I have sparse knowledge about conversion therapy, enough to know that it is wretched and wrong.

    I had no idea Amazon banned those books. Well done!

    However, I WISH they would ban a man’s T-shirt I found while surfing for a gift for my spouse. It had the phrase “she beats me” with an arrow. If there is a way to lodge a complaint I will do that.

    (Correct me if I’m wrong). This “therapy” seems to only apply to same sex attraction. Is that true, and if it is—do you have any idea as to why?

    I do think you’re the FIRST pastor I’ve encountered who write or speak like this:

    “Christ has never promised to convert same-sex attracted people to hetero-attracted people. And hetero is no guarantee of purity….Christ did not die to make us heterosexual.”

    I’ve noticed that professing Christians tend to go stark raving mad over same sex marriage and abortion. I think it’s because marriage and family are considered strong foundations of Christianity, so any challenge to either or both of them REALLY rubs certain people the wrong way.

    They forget that Christianity is a about new life, not a lifestyle. When I read your post I realized that a born again believer might struggle with same sex attraction for their entire lives. They might never get married or have kids. Which is perfectly fine. Your life IS Him, not a man-made lifestyle.

    You don’t have to “prove” you’re free of that struggle by getting married. OR, worse yet—get married in the false thinking that THAT will solve it.

    You’re also incredibly good at pointing out the NON-solutions that tend to get a lot of attention and approval. They’re just as deadly as the very problems themselves.

    For example, the solution to an eating disorder is NOT lots and lots of eating. It is learning HOW to eat properly to sustain your life. But it might be a life long struggle and that it is no sin and no shame.

    I would wonder if we would have a more “mellow” reaction to adultery between a man and a woman, versus two of the same gender. The former is wrong, but the latter is unforgivable. We forget that all forms of fornication are sin, but we elevate or demean one over the other.

    Please keep writing and sharing. It’s a breath of fresh air to so many.

  6. bunkababy

    great article sam. finally someone with some sense.

  7. Sarah

    From the point of THERAPY, you have missed the boat.
    While I agree with your summation of sexuality and our relationship with Christ, that is not the issue or what is at risk with these new bans. The issue is much wider than you seem you see. Specifically the ban ties the hands of the therapist. If a client came into the office saying “I dont want to be a homosexual/feel homosexual urges any more.” The therapist must now respond with “Those feeling are great! You dont want to get rid of that!!”
    On a larger scale, the fact that we as a society are banned from calling sin,”SIN’ is injurious to all of us. Unless we can identify a deficiency, there is no cure.
    The freedoms lost in this topic will lead to more freedoms lost for everyone (homosexual and heterosexual alike). There is a larger context to this issue which your post appears to be missing.

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