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It seems that homosexual rights advocates continue to ramp up their opposition to biblical beliefs to higher and higher levels. Of course, it is obvious why they do that. They are determined to justify their beliefs at all costs. But it doesn’t change reality.
One of the latest attacks comes from research done by Timothy W. Jones and Jennifer Power. These are Australian academics who interviewed 35 "survivors of LGBTQA+ conversion practices, and 18 mental health practitioners” (obviously a massive research project). From their research, they concluded that religion-based LGBTQA+ conversion practices are more severe than previously thought. They concluded that, “People who have been harmed by attempts to change or suppress their sexuality or gender identity are often left with chronic, complex trauma and face a long journey of recovery.”
Perhaps you have read of attempts by varying governing jurisdictions to ban this kind of conversion therapy altogether. There have been numerous attempts, even here in the U.S., to do just that. The impetus for the opposition is based on the same rationale that prompted Jones and Powers’ “research” – the claim that it harms people psychologically. They claim that people who undergo this kind of therapy end up needing help in recovering from grief, loss, and religious trauma, improving self care, correcting misinformation about LGBTQA+ people and communities, repairing and rebuilding their social support and community networks, and in navigating their relationships with faith.
Interestingly, this research was not suggesting that the topic of faith be eliminated from the mix in helping these traumatized people recover. In fact, they hold that ignoring the faith component is part of the problem. They believe that the faith issue needs to be included.
Their suggestion for making it a part of the solution includes (depending on the individual): leaving faith altogether, finding a faith community that accepts their LGBTQA+ identity, or merely learning how to develop healthy boundaries that enable them to navigate the different communities they belong to.
But think about this for a moment. What are these people really saying?
First, they hold an underlying assumption that it really doesn’t matter what you believe as long as it makes you feel good. This is a relativistic philosophy that does not recognize the existence of objective reality, much less objective morality.
Another underlying assumption of this research is that the bottom line for human existence is to “feel good,” not to know Truth.
A third underlying assumption is that human beings are not spiritual persons made in the image of God, but are nothing more than biological animals who have particular needs because of the nature of our evolutionary development.
Now I will be the first to say that there are both good and bad approaches to “conversion therapy” designed to help gay and lesbian individuals move past unwanted homosexual feelings. The feelings they have are real, and navigating the feelings is a particularly difficult matter for many of them. Methodologies that use shame and guilt to berate people are not of God, and it is a bad look for Christianity when counselors uses methods that don’t treat others as person’s created in the image of God.
That said, sexual immorality is a sin, and people who are tempted to engage in sin should be working to eliminate it from their lives. At this point, though, I don’t want to single out homosexuals. Homosexual acts are not the only type of sexual immorality – and it is no worse than the immoral acts heterosexuals engage. Adultery, fornication, polygamy, polyandry, and any other form of sexual activity outside of the marriage of one man and one woman are equally sinful.
I have no doubt that the people who did the research on the LGBTQA+ conversion “problem” would have exactly the same thing to say about counselors who try to help heterosexuals step away from their sexual immorality. The reason is, they simply don’t see what the Bible calls sexual immorality as immoral activity at all – no matter the form.
The truth is, God is real and he has revealed to us moral reality – and it corresponds to what is taught in the Bible. They can deny it all they want, but it doesn’t change reality. Our quest, no matter our situation in life, should not be to look for ways to justify our sinful behavior, but to know the one who has the power to change our lives and help us conform, to the highest degree possible, to His image.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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