New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:
New Warhorn Media post by Tim Bayly:
ACBC says right in their statement that homosexuality is sin and can be repented of and homosexuals can change. Are you sure they haven’t rejected a certain method of conversion therapy?
Yes. Quite sure. The fact that they talk out of both sides of their mouths and contradict themselves doesn’t absolve them of the fact that they give their implicit support to these laws by attacking reparative therapy.
They are making use of the fact that “reparative therapy” has multiple meanings to allow Christians such as yourself to assume they are talking about a very particular secular form of counseling on the one hand, and on the other hand protect themselves from persecution from the world that has come to hate those who call homosexuals to repentance.
That is why when the homosexual lobby was protesting their conference, their response was to say that they oppose “reparative therapy.”
Then when a similar law was being passed here in Cincinnati, their followers and certified counselors refused to speak in opposition to it because they believe that “reparative therapy” is problematic. Never mind the fact that the law didn’t prohibit some specific form of reparative therapy but any attempt by a professional—including biblical Christian counseling—that attempted to help those who were in bondage to sexual sin and confusion. These men were in favor of letting the law be passed.
As the original article mentions, “If you don’t know the history behind this, read The Grace of Shame .”
If you don’t believe us, ask ACBC to publicly denounce this law and others like it and see what happens.
Without appealing to a vacuum, do you have specific instances where ACBC made public statements denouncing the practice of biblical counseling against homosexuality? I’m going through the certification process now and my training thus far would wholly contradict that statement, but if there is an instance worth reviewing please cite your source.
Get the book and read it. You will be greatly helped.
I plan to. I did listen to both seasons of The World We Made and bought and read Daddy Tried. I don’t think I’m in disagreement. I’m questioning the claim that ACBC somehow is against counseling homosexuals about their sin. I’m unfamiliar with those instances. And I’d rather avoid discussing Al Mohler altogether. But help me see where institutionally they have it wrong.
Ok so reading through the article I dug up the link to the AP article about protest at an ACBC conference at SBTS. Heath Lambert’s statement, even if taken only in part, still does not imply that ACBC does not counsel against the sin of homosexuality. ACBC however is against any kind of humanistic therapy or psychology. From his statements, I see him clearly speaking out against those forms of counseling. Anyways, I’m no fan of Al Mohler, and he doesn’t speak for ACBC, nor does Heath Lambert any longer, but I’m not concerned about his public statements. The training very clearly teaches us to counsel against all sin, admonishing and pleading with the unrepentant. So I’m not so sure I can even trust the AP as a good source for ACBC official positions.
“Even though it is profoundly controversial to assert that change is possible, that is precisely what the church of Jesus Christ must say. The church cannot only argue that homosexuality is sinful. We must also know how to help people turn away from a life of sexual sin to one of sexual purity.” - Heath Lambert
Another explanation of what kind of therapy they oppose and why…
Yes, here’s the progression:
- Those articles you linked to one of which was written in 2014 as a lead-up to the 2015 conference.
- 2015 ACBC & SBTS conference on biblical counseling for homosexuals and transgenders arrives
- Homosexualists protest the conference because it is advocating “harmful conversion therapy.”
- ACBC & SBTS hold a joint press conference and blur the lines of what kind of counseling they oppose (speaking of Reparative Therapy, but attacking pastors, not professional secular counselors) in an attempt to deflect the intense criticism and conflict the protest is generating. In it they also posit that repentance and Christian faithfulness can look like something besides embracing our God-given heterosexuality: “We don’t call people to embrace heterosexuality,” Lambert said. “We call people to embrace Christian faithfulness.” If you don’t understand the problem with such statements (some of which are also in the articles you linked above) try comparing them to other sins. “We don’t call adulterers to be content with their wife. We call them to embrace Christian faithfulness.” “We don’t call feminist women to be workers at home, we call them to embrace Christian faithfulness.”
- Close conference with Sam Allberry who teaches that it’s enough to simply not act on our sinful desires (celibacy), without any need to change our desires themselves.
One careful thinking friend of mine who supports ACBC—and whose pastor told me that my post opposing the law here in Cincinnati did not “proclaim Christ or advance His kingdom” (our church’s public mission statement)—my friend after reading the book and talking with me was still unwilling to acknowledge the problems with what ACBC has been saying. However, his only means of escape was to claim that repentance for homosexuals could look like them becoming asexual.
Chapter 6 of The Grace of Shame is "The ‘Godliness Is Not Heterosexuality’ Error.” It will do the lion’s share of the work explaining what is so problematic about this tack that ACBC has taken.
As much as I want to see your point I simply can not agree with your analysis of what ACBC is saying and practices. In fact some of your statements, which even if true would be ungracious at least, but since there is so much evidence to the contrary I fear that you are wandering into slander. I don’t know if your incorrect analysis is out of ignorance of the ACBC foundations or if it is something else. Have you gone through the 30 hours of didactic instruction? How can you call a ban on all Counseling of homosexuals the fruit of ACBC’s criticism of an unbiblical psychologically based therapy. I’m gonna sign off of this discussion but I hope that my comments will spur you toward a more gracious tone toward those that would actually equip the church to counsel people into repenting of their homosexual sins.
Brother, I linked directly to their press release. I quoted from it directly. It is a simple matter fact that they had Sam Allberry as the closing plenary speaker at their conference. It was this very article you linked to that a local pastor posted to FB to justify not saying a word against the local law banning counselors from doing the very biblical counseling you are in support of.
You can say that I’m being uncharitable, but the fact that you can come up with contradictory statements by the man I’m quoting doesn’t change the fact that he said the things I quoted.
Dear Ken, sorry I’ve been out of the loop this afternoon. Let me jump in and say Joseph is quite right: there is no slander. Mohler, Burke, Moore, ACBC etc. are hypocrites on this, precisely as the Apostle Peter and Barnabas were and then properly rebuked by the Apostle Paul. Joseph has explained clearly and even suggested the only way to prove I am wrong in what I have written in the book and referred to here: let Mohler and Burke and Moore and ACBC fight against this legislation around the country. Let them issue press releases saying they lied and now retract that lie when they comforted the picketing gays by saying they agreed with their signs “Conversion therapy kills.” Let them make stands of conscience by calling the authorities in Denver and informing them they are about to break the law with a teenager in their church and they want to be fined and arrested, and will wait to counsel the teenager until authorities arrive so the evidence will be easy to collect on a recorder. Then, with the authorities present and listening, have them tell the gay teenager to repent of his gayness and study how to live in a masculine way. Have them tell the teenager clearly and soberly that God says gayness is an abomination; that gay lust is “degrading passions” in the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 1; let them warn him that no effeminate man will inherit the kingdom of God as the Apostle Paul says in 1Corinthians 6;9; etc.
Dear brother, this is reallty so ver simple. If you want to continue to defend your ACBC’s hypocrisy on this, I understand, I think. But having put years into writing and having asked you to read what we wrote, I think it best Joseph and I simply say, please read the book. It’s been clear to those who have and we have not had one single person (out of about 3500 who have gotten a copy) ever contact us to ask us to correct us or say we are wrong in what we say there on this subject.
When men move across the potluck in order to appear as if they are not in agreement with the teaching of the Word of God (as the Apostle Peter did in Antioch) and they do so in an area that is controverted in which the strong and powerful are allayed against God’s Word and Truth, that is hypocrisy. And that is precisely what Mohler et al did. Love,
Pastor @tbbayly , as I have not read your book on The Grace of Shame (and I’m not saying that I won’t) are you identifying your particular approach to Reparative Therapy as in conjunction with or through the vain of Joseph Nicolosi? Is this what you see as hostile to what your book advocates?
Aside from that one friend I mentioned above who was forced to say that repentance for a homosexual looked like becoming asexual. That was the only way he could make the ACBC statements of belief in change for homosexuals jive with their denial of repentance having anything to do with heterosexuality.
But who is your friend? Why the anonymous reference? Is he representative of ACBC, and if not, what does his FB post have to do with anything. It would be merely anecdotal evidence of supposed fall out. My ACBC instructors, I certain would not ascribe to an external compliance only. I know this because the topic came up in our training.
Dear Ken, your questions miss the point. We’re not talking about your therapy or ACBC’s therapy or our therapy or Freud’s therapy or Russ or Al or Denny’s therapy. Please read the book. Finis. Love,
I plan to get it…and read it.
Thanks; maybe then we can resume this argument with some progress in mutual understanding. Love,
I agree that Mohler and Lambert et al have implicitly supported these laws by leaving reparative therapy out to dry, but the original post muddies the connection.
The stuff I’ve read and critiqued (critiques that are now offline, but with Ken’s obvious buy-in to the ABCB position on reparative therapy may be worth re-posting to add another voice) tells me that these guys see reparative therapy as a greater enemy than secular legislation outlawing “change efforts”. So while they say they don’t think people should be legally stopped from accessing reparative therapy, they think reparative therapy is so dangerous that they won’t speak up to stop it being outlawed, all the while thinking they can differentiate their own therapy from it.
Yes, they believe homosexuality should be repented of, but their bold line separation between homosexual acts and temptations, effeminacy, heterosexuality and gender creates a false narrative (see, I speaka da lingo) and introduces an unrealistic sacred/secular divide.
So, yes, Mohler etc have contributed to this state of affairs, even though they say people should repent of homosexuality.
And Ken, I thank God for the good done through ABCB, but reparative therapy, while ripe for critique itself, is presented very poorly by them.
Here’s the most revealing statement in the U. S. News article:
The [Denver] mayor’s office is unaware of any conversion therapists practicing in Denver, The Associated Press reported.
Why would the city bother to ban a practice which no therapist in the entire city of Denver practices? Here’s the reasoning:
But in a statement, Hancock said the vote signals the city “will never allow our LGBTQ+ youth to be the targets of these dubious practices, and that we are here to support them.”
You can feel the tension of the need to justify the absurdity of the legislation with that tiny word, “but.” No one is practicing this “therapy,” “but” we need to “support” “our” “LGBTQ+ youth.”
And therein lies the problem with applauding this type of legislation. Its stated purpose is to “signal” the embracing of the LGBTQ+ness of our youth and to “support them.” Support them in what? Their ability to pursue God? No. The legislation signals a moral approval of sexual perversion.
It has nothing to do with busting mysterious quacks who practice shock therapy. It exists to cast general shame on anyone who believes that homosexuals should change at all, by any means. The shock therapists are a safe boogeyman for the state to oppose, and we Christians are quick to jump on the bandwagon.
The problem is, Christian counselors who are in favor of these laws are shooting themselves in the foot. And they’re doing so either because they’re naive, or because they don’t really believe in such counseling anyways. The point is, it won’t matter what the curriculum says if the curriculum becomes illegal. And if it does, Christians will have no way of standing against its prohibition, because they will have been some of the loudest voices in paving the way.
No, neither the post nor our book muddles the issue. The muddling has been done by Mohler et al. What is missing each time men want to discuss this is the context of Mohler/Burke/ACBC’s reversal on reparative therapy. Mohler had previously defended reparative therapy, but bring an out-and-loud group of gays to his seminary protesting right as ACBC is meeting there, then have those protestors wearing signs “Conversion therapy kills!”; it is precisely at that moment that Mohler/Burke/ACBC issue their press release denouncing reparative or conversion counseling—and that counseling done by pastors, for pity’s sake. Then add in the brew Al reversing himself on gay orientation calling it a real deal; his Gospel Coalition saying godliness is not heterosexuality and promoting the UK gays “LivingOut” loud. The hypocrisy is as clear as the Apostle Peter’s was in Antioch when he left the Gentiles to sit with the Jews.
Much as we might want to given our former working alongside Mohler and his men like Burke and Moore, it’s impossible to deny their hypocrisy on this matter as well as that hypocrisy’s wicked fruit across the country now as any call to obey one’s sex made to minors is outlawed everywhere. We cannot merely take this and that discrete thing these men have said here and there and try to deal with their positions one by one. Arguments have to be viewed coherently. Scripture and Mohler must be read in context.
Take the mess as a whole over the last four years and it is so very clear. Which is why we didn’t stop with blog posts, but wrote a book on it puting the full hypocrisy on a plasma display.
Joseph has been patient with those who have continued to argue that Mohler/Burke/ACBC are not hypocritical on this, but his/our interlocutors have carefully avoided his points.
Now Alex steps in and does a splendid job furthering Joseph’s work. Thank you, Alex.
Those who want to hold on to the Apostle Peter’s best motives, please read the book. Also ruminate on this astounding statement by the Apostle Paul, noting particularly the words “fearing,” “party of,” “not straightforward,” and “hypocrisy”—the hypocrisy both of Peter and that son of encouragement, Barnabas. Love,
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all…" (Galatians 2:11-14).
Yes, and his biblical words in 1 & 2 Peter…
Just as Jesus said concerning the Pharisees, so it was with Peter, and so it is with these men today. Do what they say, not what they do.