California has a law that “prohibits state-licensed mental health counselors, including psychologists and social workers, from offering therapy to change sexual orientation in minors.”
David Welch is a licensed family therapist in the San Diego area, and an ordained minister and counselor at a local evangelical church. He believes marriage should be between one man and one woman.
David and some fellow plaintiffs believe the California law infringes on their free exercise of religion secured by the First Amendment, so they took the State of California to court, the United States Supreme Court to be exact.
The Supreme Court upheld the California ban on conversion therapy. David and his fellow litigants lost their case, and justly so for two reasons, they got the cart before the horse legally and biblically.
Under the law the State of California has the right to license therapists as they please and regulate them as they please. As a state-licensed therapist, state law binds David. But states do not ordain ministers, and while states recognize the ordinations conferred by churches and denominational entities they cannot regulate the free exercise of religion.
Had David counseled a minor in his capacity as a minister, that homosexuality was a sin and shared with him the need to repent and trust Christ as his Savior, he would have been exercising his right to freedom of religion and would have been on firm constitutional ground.
The reason Christians so often find themselves on the losing end in court is they argue for something they do not need rather than exercising the freedom they already have. That is what happened here.
I had not investigated “gay conversion therapy” until I researched it for this article. It seems conversion therapy consists of telling the minor homosexuality is bad and something one should not do while using electrical stimulation in some instances.
This is where conversion therapy gets the cart before the horse biblically. You cannot talk and torture someone into changing his or her behavior, before there has been a change of heart.
Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, not the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God,” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
This is where Christianity in America continues to miss the boat. We seem to think if people will merely change their sinful behavior there has been a spiritual transformation and everyone will live happily ever after. But the problem is much deeper than that. We have a moral problem here in America because we have a spiritual problem here in America.
We don’t need conversion therapy, because a genuine conversion is all the therapy anyone needs.