Recently Judge Britt Grant of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that an ordinance of Boca Raton in Palm Beach County, Florida that banned licensed counselors like Robert Otto and Julie Hamilton from sexual orientation change efforts to be “presumptively unconstitutional” because the ban infringed “on their constitutional right to speak freely with clients.”
I am opposed to “conversion therapy” that uses “therapies” such as brainwashing techniques or electric shock treatments to modify homosexual behavior in a minor or adult. Such tactics are foolish and unfruitful; they may temporarily change behavior, but they do not address the heart of the problem which is the human heart.
But I am a proponent of “conversion counseling,” that is, when a person becomes convicted that he or she is a sinner against God, a counselor should have the freedom to share the salvific message of Jesus Christ and the practical biblical steps one can take to overcome sinful practices whether or not that sin is homosexuality or some other sin. Biblically speaking homosexuality is a sin, and like all sins it is a symptom not the cause; unbelief is at the root of all sin.
In her book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, Rosaria Butterfield chronicles her journey from being a tenured English Professor at Syracuse University and a feminist activist living the lesbian lifestyle, to her conversion to faith in Jesus Christ and becoming a pastor’s wife and mother.
Rosaria said in the course of her conversion she came to realize that her great sin was not her lesbian relationship or practices; her greatest sin was her unbelief in what the Bible said.
Rosaria’s experience explodes the myth, that sexual orientation is innate and irreversible, and the idea that behavior modification leads to a lasting change. Only a changed heart leads to a changed life.
Jay Adams in his book Competent to Counsel clarifies why conversion is necessary for lasting change. Conversion gives a person the two things necessary to overcome sinful behavior that the unconverted do not possess, a changed heart and the indwelling help of the Holy Spirit to help us overcome sin.
Until a person enslaved to sin and self has a change of heart to serve Jesus Christ there will be no desire to live for and serve God, and without the guidance of the Scriptures and the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit one cannot conquer the innate sin nature.
This is what Jesus meant when He said “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” John 8:32. Truth is a person, and it is in knowing Jesus Christ that we are made free from sin, our innate sin nature, that we may serve Him in truth and holiness. Unbelief is at the root of all sin and it is our pride that fuels our unbelief; we do not want to admit that we are sinners in need of a Savior.