How a therapy ban could affect churches

How a therapy ban could affect churches

How a therapy ban could affect churches

The church's effort to help homosexuals could be hampered if a ban on so-called conversion therapy is implemented in the United Kingdom.

Simon Calvert of Christian Concern says there have been conflicting reports from England. Though Prime Minister Boris Johnson advises against moving forward on such a ban, the government is pressing toward getting one implemented. Calvert says proponents of the ban falsely claim therapists use shock treatments and other unsavory methods to convince homosexuals to change orientation.

Calvert, Simon (Christian Concern) Calvert

"The problem is that there are many activists who are exploiting the revulsion that we all rightly feel at those things and using it to try and argue for a law which would go much wider and which would reach into the daily life of evangelical churches," he explains.

The proposal, he says, is so broad that it could forbid churches to teach and preach against homosexuality or pray for a homosexual, even if he or she requests intercession. Meanwhile, research does not support the claim that properly counseling a person dealing with unwanted homosexual attraction does him or her any harm.

"In terms of research, there isn't any -- certainly nothing that proves that you need to criminalize evangelical churches teaching the Christian sexual ethic," Calvert insists. "But that's where we're in danger of getting to if these people get their way."

Earlier this month, plans suggesting that the government was no longer going to legislate a ban were leaked. Paul Brand, a prominent campaigner on the topic, revealed photographs of government documents suggesting that it had changed its mind and would not pursue legislation to ban conversion therapy.

But after pro-ban campaigners and MPs responded furiously, the government revealed it is once again pursuing legislation to ban therapy relating to sexual orientation, but not gender identity.

Calvert says this issue is a gospel one, as the Bible clearly explains that turning to Christ washes away a person's sin, including homosexuality.