Our nation’s Health Ministers met recently to discuss Gay Conversion Therapy and how to ban it.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has already confirmed that the ACT Government will introduce legislation to ban Gay Conversion Therapy.
He said on the 1st November 2019: “LGBT Canberrans are not sick or unnatural and we do not need to be ‘changed’, ‘cured’, ‘converted’, ‘healed.’”
“It’s time to put an end to this. Every major medical association in Australia has publicly condemned conversion practices. However, they continue to take place outside of the Health system and often in dubious religious contexts.”
Many people would hear this and say, ‘well we have nothing to fear’, ‘Gay Conversion Therapy is an awful thing,’ ‘nobody supports that rubbish’.
However, in the conversations across the country that are currently taking place, no one is actually asking “What is Gay Conversion Therapy?”
This saying, ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ did not come from the Church nor any religion. In fact, conversion and therapy are two completely different things. Conversion talks about turning from one side to another. You often hear it in Christian circles about someone who has converted to Christianity.
In the LGBT case, it would be converted from homosexual to heterosexual. It’s radical change. It’s virtually a changed mindset that only the power of God can bring.
Therapy is something completely different; therapy is around medical treatment administered by other people. It’s not a religious or spiritual term. So basically, having conversion and therapy in the same sentence makes absolutely no sense.
This is not a term that has come from the Church, this is a term used by people outside the Church. Andrew Barr used the term ‘dubious religious contexts’.
Well you know what that is implying right? “Well of course, Christians don’t like gay people.”
When the Average Joe thinks of Conversion Therapy, they think, electric shock, boot camps. They might have seen that film Boy Erased and they hear about all this nasty stuff and think, “Churches must be doing that”. They are well known to not like gay people.
But Churches are not doing that
There is none of that sort of stuff going on this country. There is no coercion, no boot camps, no electric shock therapy. This stuff goes back decades and decades.
What it does do
But what it does do is give people reluctance to oppose it or to make people scared to oppose it. That is what this is all about. The average joe would think, “Yes, Gay Conversion Therapy is terrible and anyone that opposes it, obviously must hate gay people”.
Afterall we should ban electric shock treatments, coercion or bootcamps to try and ‘fix’ homosexuals. No one would stand up against this, but this is not what is going on in the community.
The only thing that is going on in the community around this is preaching of the Bible, prayer, religious teachings, people who want to live celibate lives and people in the community who are struggling with this who are seeking pastoral or spiritual support.
So, the activists are not targeting the horrible stuff we should ban, they are targeting what is really going on in the community.
Christian and Religious Theology
You will find in many of these reports that are forming that basis of discussion around how to ban Gay Conversion Therapy.
This topic was addressed on 60 Minutes a couple of months ago, and one of the guys they interviewed was a guy called John Smid. He used to run nasty Gay Conversion therapy camps decades ago in the USA and he has since come out as being gay and he has repented of his ways. He said, “Banning conversion therapy is not enough, there has to be a change to Christianity itself”.
Which is really what is going on.
Christianity is not anti-gay
If you are LGBTI, you are totally welcome in my Church, we are not anti-gay.
“But you teach that they are sinful.”
Yes, I teach that they are sinful, I teach we are all sinful, me and every human being, I teach that we need salvation in Jesus Christ.
I am a Christian because I believe there is something wrong with me that only Jesus can fix.
That is not an anti-gay message, it’s an anti-everyone message, we are all on a level playing field. The Apostle Paul says, “all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God” (Romans Chapter three verse 23).
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
“There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans chapter 8 verse 1)
That is the hope of salvation, you see I don’t understand: if you don’t believe the salvation, why are you worried about the condemnation?
The message of Christianity is about conversion for all people, because all people need it and all people need the power of God for salvation. That is the only thing that is going to be compromised through all this — the message of salvation, from death to life, darkness to light, the Christian message of the Gospel.
The story of new life which changes us from the inside out, it even changes our desires, that message is going to be compromised. This message will be banned, maybe even criminalised, and the message will be kept from those who need it.
God will build his Church and the gates will not prevail against, but unless the Church is awake to it, the enemy will sneak past.
We need to rise up and pray against this legislation.
Ben Kruzins is the Campus Pastor of The Hub Baptist Church in Ocean Shores on the North Coast of New South Wales. He is also a Journalism graduate who has written articles in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.