Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sexual orientation therapy for minors outlawed in California: it does not matter! Update

UPdate see below-
It does not matter that California Governor Brown has signed into law a bill banning all “therapy practices that attempt to change the sexual orientation of minors.” As the SFGate states:

California has become the first state in the country to ban controversial therapy practices that attempt to change the sexual orientation of minors after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to outlaw them Saturday.

The bill, SB 1172 by Sen. Ted Lieu, D—Torrance (Los Angeles County), bars mental health practitioners from performing so-called reparative therapy, which professional psychological organizations have said may cause harm. Gay rights groups have labeled them dangerous and abusive.

It does not matter because Jesus Christ, the Lord of the church, will continue to be Lord. God loves those who are trapped in the homosexual lifestyle and will not cease to move on their behalf. He is open to the cry of those who repent of their sins no matter the sin. He will either change the LGBT person by transforming their orientation or by giving them the power to live a celibate life. This does not mean that people won’t fall and need to be picked up again—we are all sinners after all.
We must simply acknowledge that God is greater than any Governor, Legislator or law. Our churches are and must be a place of recovery for all sinners—all of us—but we must provide the love and care that is now outlawed in California.

“’Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and our redemption.’ (1 Cor. 1:30)

As Jesus Christ is God’s assurance of the forgiveness of all our sins, so in the same way and with the same seriousness is he also God’s mighty claim upon our whole life. Through him befalls us a joyful deliverance from the godless fetters of this world for a free, grateful service to his creatures.

We reject the false doctrine, as though there were areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ, but to other lords—areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him.” (The Theological Declaration of Barmen 8.13-8.15)

Update-Lawsuit filed over California gay teen therapy law


Jeff Winter said...

I trust the local church in CA and the church across America would assume its rightful role to be THE place that will help bring hope and healing to those who struggle with SSA. For too long the church has done a poor job of ministering to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex affections, especially with our youth. It doesn't matter what Jerry Brown signed into law. The church is to be about the business of bringing the life-changing message and ministry of Jesus Christ to all who struggle with sin. Maybe what Brown has done will be a wake-up call to the local church.
Thank you Viola for informing us of what happened in California.

Anonymous said...

Are Christians in California going to challenge this law? If a Christian counselor has someone come to them for help in this area and responds according to his / her Christian beliefs to help them overcome this area of brokenness isn't that protected by "freedom of religion" in our constitution?
If a Christian counselor cannot minister to someone who comes to them for help in this area, then what is next in California? Outlawing someone teaching same gender sexual acts are sin?
Matt Ferguson
Hillsboro, IL

Reformed Catholic said...

There is a group that is going to challenge the law. I forget exactly the name (caught it in passing on TV) but it appears to be some professional mental health association. They're going after it on the grounds of unwarranted, legislative intrusion on mental health care.

Dave Moody said...

Great reminder of what Barmen says, Vi. One wishes Barth were as clear and concise in all he wrote. Perhaps it as the cigar? ;-)

I wish I would have remembered this passage for yesterday's sermon.

God's blessings to you! And thanks.

Viola Larson said...

Matt & Reformed Catholic, Hans has up an article today about a group that will challenge it, although I have now forgotten their name too. Anyway I am glad someone is, this is as much about religious freedom as anything is.

Viola Larson said...

Jeff, I am hoping that what Brown has done will be a wake up call to many in the church in all of the country.

Viola Larson said...

Dave, someone once said it was his translators-- but I don't think so. But Barmen is very clear.

Anonymous said...

I have helped to many people who survived this "therapy", so I am entirely right to celebrate this.

God is in charge! And has been opening the minds and hearts of his children in their churches and seminaries, where they train, straight and gay, to serve him!

Its not a trap to be gay Viola. It is just how God made some of us... though people like you make life painful and hard for us and our families when you work so hard to take away and prevent us getting the same rights and protections you and your family take for granted.

Our grandkids will look back on our actions Jack Haberer correctly pointed out, like it or not.

"rev" Winter, you invited the leader of a group listed with the KKK and the Aryan Nation as a hate group to address your group at the GA.

If you think the vast majority of GLBT people and their familes are not being made aware of this...and being influenced by it, you are very mistaken. Not to mention the church as a whole, where I am always pleasantly surprised by the number of people who are aware of this, many of whom might otherwise have been sympathetic to considering your view.
Not now.

But you are in agreement about gay rights with the Klan and Louis Farahkhan. Just a fact...but it says a lot
Please Don't say I am being "rude" Viola. Not a word I said is not easily verifiable by checking the Layman, SPLC, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, proper reading of the Bible, or constitution of the PCUSA. The truth is the truth, not rudeness.

this can all be re entered.

Matt, the most loving and gracious of Christians are the ones who helped get this passed.

Reformed Catholic, let them challenge it. The state has a long and established history of protecting children from medical decisions that would hurt them on the part of their parents, and of not allowing discredited "therapies"

It's the woefully misnamed "Liberty Counsel" that will challenge this law by the way.

And if anyone is curious, this alread IS inspiring many people in other states. To follow suit.


Viola Larson said...

Here is my answer to all that you have said to anyone here. Anyone who bullies or physically hurts another person is sinning horrifically—they are in fact in many cases committing a crime. Any church or Christian who states that they hate LGBT people or anyone else for that matter does not know Jesus. Now having said that, I believe everyone who has written here loves LGBT people and want nothing but the good for them. And the good for any sinner—and we all are—is that we find grace in Christ and his death and life. That comes through repentance and following Christ. It is in Jesus we are made righteous with his righteousness. God’s word has authority in our lives and it is God’s word that tells us that same gender sex is sin. You can say what ever you will, call people names, etc., etc. but it does not matter, it is Christ and his word that we follow not what you or the world may say.
Religious freedom is at stake here—but God is greater than anything that the world or Satan can throw at the church.

Anonymous said...


Their is not right to "religious freedom" to let children handle snakes in a pentecostal travesty of worship and belief.

The courts regularly tell Christian Scientists that "no, your child WILL receive the life saving treatment your faith would demand they be denied"

Jehovas Witness children are given blood transfusions after bad car accidents.

The freedom to withhold needed aid, or to do harm, does NOT exist.

And "reparative therapy" is rightly put in the same group as those things listed above.

Love? Please.
Winters words, all over the net, show otherwise. If they did not, he might have had more success (in the sense of convincing others they needed "help"). This may surprise you Viola, but I detect no love in you. No grace. No true care for me or other gay people.

your choice of words...your syntax, the condescending way you address issues...well...they have one affect. I send people who say conservatives do nto have gay people for a reason Viola.
And one has read here and had a "change of heart"...only sad confirmation.

I ask.

There is need for us all to repent of their sin.
Being gay is not a sin. Any more than a woman speaking in church, or eating lobster. We are not a denomination of literalists, or we would still in the southern old part of the church support slavery...and you, well, you would have to be silent in church.

That said, young people will not be hurt in California, and in time all of the states. Those called to serve as clergy by God Himself will not be denied in the PCUSA, and our families will not be hurt just because you have YOUR interpretation of what is sin written into law.

An interpretation that is wrong, and will be treated as such, in your own Church, and in the society you live in. I regularly pray that God forgives you your cruelty to me and others. I do want you to know that. But Viola, some kid, or adult, presbyterian or otherwise, might come across this site. And he or she will, over and over and over read that God, the denomination, and in this particular situation every one from God to the American academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association points out you are in the wrong.

religious freedom to do harm, does not exist.

No one, regardless of how deeply they hold their homophobia, gets to damage kids minds with quackery passing itself as science.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for continuing to speak the truth in love.

Bruce Byrne
Concord, California

Viola Larson said...

I am not sure why you are spending so much time here and why it is important to keep repeating your self. If you think the denomination has already won, and that our society has too, why is it so important that I agree with you?

Have you considered that you might be arguing with God rather than with me? I won’t as you know go on and on with you, but have you considered:

“Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator; who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the women and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (Romans 1: 24-27)

Paul goes on from there to list all kinds of sins that humanity commits. But the good news is that while we are all guilty we can be forgiven in Jesus Christ. “But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him.” (5:8-9)

Paul goes on to ask if we should keep sinning and says, “May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? He goes on to state that we were saved to walk in newness of life.

So you see same gender sex is sin, but Jesus died to save the sinner and give them new life.

Anonymous said...

I wrote it out plain and simple earlier Viola.
This site is often linked to the Layman. Other people might read it.

My own journey began when I read one (very unpopular at the time) opinion writen in response to an article. It was the first time I thoght "wow..I had no idea other people in the church felt this way...maybe I am not alone...and, maybe, I am not an abomination".

I know the damage someone who is struggleing after years being told they need "fixing" and "repair" because they are GLBT can receive.

I am not arguing with God.
You seem both strangly upset by the changes, yet, to bound to your own comfortbaly (for you) held positions that you have not yet realized the obvious; You are wrong, and it is God who is opeing our eyes. Have you ever wondered if it is you who is arguing with God?

Jack Haberer was right you know. And you have family, and those you love whom you will follow you and look back. How will they look back at you and what you did?

You quote convenient. I will again, and correctly, point out that the vast majority of the Church that would agree with approaching this subjec this way, from my associates who are PCA to the Southern Baptists To the Roman Catholics CORRECTLY are smiling...the same "it says it here black and white" approach prevents you from being an elder.
"Let the women be silent in Church" 1 Corinthians 14:4
lets be really literal..."if a man sell his daughter to be a maid sevant..." Exodus 21: 20-21
Leviticus 19 27 makes it clear that we men can't cut our hair (conservative rabbi pointed that one out to be..if you read this, thanks Al).

saying "No, thats Different!" does not hold any water when your approach of "for me. not for thee" conveniently helps you, and not me.

The overall message of the Gospel, of love and grace, overcomes these prejudices. It overcomes the prejudies aginst ordaining a person with your talents (even if the vast majority of Christians worldwide from the Orthodox to the Catholics to the Baptists don't have the sense to realize this yet), overcomes the literalist approach held by those who mistakenly use said approach to affirm their own discomfort with GLBT people, oppress us, prevent our service when so called to God, and hurt the strength of our families, and the individuals in it them, who do NOT need "repair" or need to beg forgiveness from God or man for being gay. for our sins, yes. but not for being gay. We surely do not need medical quackery masquarading as therapy when we are kids either, as as earlier explained, the law and predecent and medical science and most importantly God are on our side on this.

THAT is why I write. For the GLBT person, raised in an environment that makes him or her think the are in need of "repair"...and, for you. Yes Viola, for you. And, for the denomination. Yeah, it has changed and grown. But any attempt to set back the clock will be met by the same determination that has brought us to where we are. Sometimes people need to be reminded of that.


Viola Larson said...

If writing about it is so important to you and you want others to read what you write why don't you get your own blog? Why are you using mine?

Dave Moody said...

Gene, at the risk of throwing another cat among the pigions, might I suggest you pick up a copy of Gordon Fee and Doug Stewarts classic, "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth?"

It really helps to understand the topography of biblical hermeneutics, the continuities that run through out both OT and NT AND the discontinuities- that which was for Israel alone, or that which stopped at the NT.

reading this might help you to understand how classical Christians go about interpreting scripture, and you'll see that the prohibition against eating lobster, hair cutting stuff really are different categories than sexual activity. And its a lack of understanding of the OT that confuses us gentile's who've been grafted in.

Its a healthy sign of an open mind to read those with whom one disagrees.

I wish you the best,
ps: here's the link to Fee's book:

Anonymous said...

Viola, for the reasons I stated in the the last post I wrote here.

There are still (an ever decreasing number thankfully) GLBT people, and their families, who when realizing their own orientation, or that their loved ones are gay, go looking for information. What if they are raised Presbyterian, or just read the layman, and have seen its links to stories on this site? Or just find this site doing a search?

Our denomination is welcoming of them. In the sense of their being GLBT, we are welcoming AS THEY ARE.
They do not need "repair", and they might not read sites that list the actual positions of the medical community, psychologial community, psychiatric community etc.
They are not damaged, and need to know that, as well as to know that there are denominations that are a welcoming church home for them, as they are and as God made understanding some conservatively raised people still don't grasp. Like the letter to the editor I refered to in my own case, I hope to be that lifeline to them.

If a parent reads all the posts in this thread, they will at least know that others in the church disagree, and that the medical and scientific commuities disagree with the conservative position also. And, it might be the first time they read that the denomination ordains GLBT people...people like their kids, who, if thats the case, maybe are not in need or "reparative therapy".

Most kids or parents looking into what to do when they realize they are gay are either cool with it, or if questioning, go online to the vast majority of sites that will give them
1) accurate medical information
2) accurate psychological information
3) no claims that quackery that is useless and potentially hurtful is a religious right

But if a site does present what is wonderful news for GLBT kids and their families as a bad thing, and an impingement of religious rights, of course I will comment on it.

I am not so much worried that the read what I write.

I just want them to know that what you have written, and in this case, what the other posters here (Winter, with his "healing" if being gay is some disease, or we belonged to a Church that does not ordain openly gay people and bless our realtionships in Holy Union ceremonies) is not the only side of the story, and that it is in fact, incorrect, and fails to show the changes in our denominations and the medical communities understanding of what is right and good.

your other posts these last few days had no information that could be hurtful to GLBT people, and please note I did not write one word.


Anonymous said...

No thanks Dave. I appreciate the offer, and I suspect you mean it well, but, after discussing Christian Doctrine with the late (and great) Shirley Guthrie, reading and re reading Bruggermans 'Theology of the Old Testament, and doing a lot of coursework on the work of Schleiermacher and his influence on the development of higher criticism in hermeneutics, I am more than well versed in the correct manner to read and understand the Scriptures...and realize that the references I made, and the way I used them, are totally correct.

In any case, the works of giants like Bruggerman, Guthrie and of course, Schleiermacher most certainly hold more value than a book written by a pastor of the Assemblies of God. ( I have broused it in the past. Just from a pedagogical standpoint, it was poor work)


Anonymous said...

"Gene's" reference to Gordon Fee is typically tendentious and not really honest.

Fee is, in fact, a world-class scholar ... (Editor of the New International Commentary on the New Testament, for example). He is not "only" a pastor in the Assemblies of God (my goodness, the condescension from Gene is almost comical ... I can see "Gene" picking up a glass of sherry and sneering as he writes the words "Assemblies of God."

And simply covering one's ears to any orthodox teaching and repeating "la! la! la! I can't hear you" is not very convincing to any impartial observer. Guthrie, Brueggemann and Schleiermacher are not the be all and end all of Chrstian thought and Biblical interpretation.

And finally, tossing around references to the Klan and Louis Farrakhan is nothing more than trolling. Viola has been more than gracious and patient in letting a rather vicious and obsessive individual continually hijack these threads.

John Erthein
DeFuniak Springs, FL

Anonymous said...


Gene is hijacking your blog.

On many occasions I have considered responding to Gene, but the sheer number of false statements he presents as fact in his comments makes this problematic.

I know that many of your readers are capable of responding to Gene, but simply don't have the time. And, in any event, it wouldn't matter, because Gene, in my opinion, isn't interested in debate, but proclamation. When Gene assets seventeen half truths or outright falsehoods and you respond to only two of them, it seems like you're conceding the other fifteen. Then, Gene merely responds by reasserting all seventeen. And so it goes.

Bruce Byrne
Concord, California

PS: Yes, yes, I hear the wails of indignation coming from Gene and am prepared for a lengthy analysis of my lack of charity, fair play, and so forth.

Viola Larson said...

About ten to fifteen years ago my husband and I attended a pastor’s conference at Regent College in Vancouver Canada. The speakers were Gordon Fee and N.T. Wright. It was marvelous-and they worked so well together-you have no idea about the abundant scholarship of Fee-you are just throwing out words that only show how little you know about theological scholarship.
And Schleiermacher, he only believed in the Fatherhood of God, he did not believe in the deity of Jesus. Is that your theological outlook? Because if it is we have far more important things to talk about then same gender sex. Where do you stand on the deity of Jesus?
Sure Schleiermacher is the theologian who began the idea that the Bible scholar starts from experience, but Karl Barth took that all apart pointing instead to the transcendence of God. It is God who reveals himself, not our experience. It is God who through Jesus shows himself to us—not we who explain God. And it is God through the Holy Spirit who opens the word.
I would suggest that you listen to what Dave and John are telling you. Their advice is very good advice.

Viola Larson said...

I know you are right, I am simply giving Gene a chance to change his commenting habits before I completely shut him down for good.

Anonymous said...
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Viola Larson said...

Don't comment again on my blog, I have tried to have a fair conversation with you but it is impossible. I will pray for you but you are attempting to take over the content and that is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...


I suggest you enable comment moderation.

Bless you,

John Erthein
DeFuniak Springs, FL

Anonymous said...
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