In response to the UK’s governments announcement concerning the banning of gay “conversion therapy,” Steve takes some time to reflect on this barbaric and troubling practice.
This is very in-line with recent discussions around the cross and God’s anger. It’s our understanding, or rather misunderstanding, of these issues, Steve says, “that shape our theological and pastoral responses to each other. And there’s probably no issue on how wrong we can get that than the issue of conversion therapy.”
Steve argues that although the government’s announcement is important, we are still in danger of missing the heart of the issue. The majority of churches’ response to LGBT people is responsible for deep psychological trauma. It doesn’t have to come in the shape of a formal conversion therapy program. From informal prayer, to damaging messages in the pulpit, to refusing leadership or even volunteer positions to LGBT persons in churches, the church has a deeply shameful track-record when it comes to its relationship with these people. And all this arises from a drastic misreading of the bible.
Whatever the outcome and whichever side of the debate we find ourselves on, my hope is that as Christians we face what I think is the central issue – what does real, Christ-like, inclusion look like?
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