Rosaria Butterfield Retraction on Reparative Therapy

Rosaria has retracted a previous statement on Reparative Therapy.


I’m glad for her repentance. A dollar late and a dollar short as far as the fight against the trojan horse of anti-conversion therapy.


I was about to say I can’t believe she’s advocating for the ACBC, when they still say what she’s finally rejecting. But I see that is connected to a single practice of somebody affiliated with IABC, as opposed to the which is the site of the ACBC. Oh, and the Biblical Counseling Coaltion, which… who knows what that is?

The Biblical Counseling ™ movement is such a mess…

Regardless, I’d say this is a very confused and confusing retraction. She’s retracting the claim she made that Reparative Therapy is a heresy (ie terribly bad.) But one of the first things she says to explain why she was wrong is, “I falsely believed that Reparative Therapy and Conversion Therapy were the same things.” In footnote 4, she also says, “Wikipedia lumps all change-allowing therapies
under the ‘conversion therapy’ umbrella, but this isn’t accurate.”

So the immediate implication is that she’s now finally distinguishing between the two because one is bad and the other good. Since Reparative Therapy (RT) is the one she formerly (but no longer) claimed is bad, this means that Conversion Therapy (CT) must be the one that is actually bad. But the rest of her text doesn’t explain why CT is bad, and in fact, she goes on to defend CT, making me think that I misunderstood and she still thinks RT is bad, but CT is ok?

I’m honestly not sure what she’s trying to say with regard to the difference between CT and RT.

Regardless, she hits the most important point in footnote 5: “Bill C-4 defines Conversion
Therapy in a way that includes the biblical witness against sexual sin and the gospel hope of grace.” She hits the same point again in the main text when she says, “‘anti-conversion therapy’
—the moniker for anti-biblical Christianity—is coming to the US.” Not sure where’s she’s been living though. It’s not “coming” to the US. It’s already here. It’s a bit late to come to this realization, but I’m glad she has.


I don’t disagree with your assessments. It’s infuriating to me that it took English-speaking Reformed-ish Christianity nearly a decade to accept the conclusion that homosexual desire is itself inherently sinful (yes I know the battle still rages in certain quarters). Far too much time was wasted, far too many books had to be written, and far too much ground was lost in the meantime - for a conclusion that every Christian until the late 20th century knew intuitively.

But isn’t that how the church often works? Even as far back as Galatians or 1 Corinthians. How much ground was lost so quickly in the history of the church that a book like Galatians was even necessary - and that while the Apostles were still living! And look at the mess in the church at Corinth. Even in Hebrews the author complains that more and deeper teaching was so needed, yet his audience wasn’t ready for it yet.

So I read a public retraction like this with a mixed heart, but my own response is largely thankfulness. Praise God a public figure was willing to make a public statement like this, whatever its flaws.

And may God give me the grace to do likewise when necessary.

Maybe, just maybe, this is a cloud the size of a man’s hand signalling other and others’ repentance is soon to follow. I pray so.


Yes, a public retraction is extremely praiseworthy. May we all have such humility.