Government-funded attacks on Christian theology

20, October 2022

The ‘first of its kind’ Government-funded conversion therapy helpline, announced last May and run by LGBT charity Galop, is now up and running.

The group claims to offer a service for LGBT people who feel they may have been subject to ‘conversion’ practices and need support. Such activities supposedly try to force people to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Galop should be clear that conversion therapy includes only abusive or coercive behaviour, and excludes ordinary religious belief.

Yet what has Galop said on launching the service?

“your faith should never determine your sexual or romantic orientation and/or gender identity”

The obvious implication is that people’s feelings and sexual orientation must always come first, while religious beliefs take a back seat. But on what basis can they make this claim? Isn’t this a theological position they are asserting? Should the Government allow Galop to get the advantage of public funding while promoting this idea to vulnerable people seeking help?

Christians do not view identity in the same terms as many in society. For Christians, identity ‘in Christ’ is far and above the greatest calling on their lives. No matter how they feel, who they are attracted to, or how much their feelings are at odds with their bodies; their identity as a child of God is far more significant.

Galop on the one hand offers its particular view on religious belief. But on the other hand, it appears clueless about Christian thinking. It says in another document:

“Things like this are considered psychological abuse:

Someone has told you that who you are is not in line with your faith…”

This is a sign of ‘conversion therapy’, says Galop.

Yet while Christians will regularly talk of the open welcome that is available to all – ‘just as you are’ – the Bible leaves absolutely no space for a person staying the way they are. The Bible says that “all fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and that Christians “are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:2).

Christians would not describe this belief in the way Galop does. But it is clear that Galop is attacking this sort of teaching and branding it ‘abuse’. The doctrines of sin and grace are, for Christians, certainly convicting – but also gloriously liberating. But by Galop’s reckoning they are harming people.

Christians do tell people that their sexual behaviour does not align with what the Bible says. It is essential for repentance. It is central to conversion to Christ.

So what sort of ‘conversion’ is Galop being paid to provide a helpline for? For harmful and abusive conversion therapy? Perhaps.

But is this also a State-backed theology service which attacks orthodox beliefs? It seems like it might be. It’s precisely why Christians fear a ‘conversion therapy’ ban – it is really an attack on the ordinary work of churches.

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