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Anglican leader criticizes UK effort to ban sexual orientation change efforts

February 14, 2014 By: Tom Coy Category: Gay Politics, Religious Perspective, Sexual Orientation Change Efforts

January 9, 2014

The following excerpts are from Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream Rev. Andrew Symes’ essay on the Christian Concern website: “According to the Bible, God is in the ‘conversion’ business. Christian faith is not an emotional or intellectual construction, something we create or imagine, but a response to God who reaches out to rebels, calls them to turn around and enter into a restored relationship with him. God wants all of us to repent, to be transformed, to be born again. He has acted definitively in Jesus to change us from enemies into friends; he continues to act through his Holy Spirit to change us from within so our behaviour becomes more aligned with his agenda. This is conversion: not often instantaneous, but a process of change which follows the life-transforming realization that Jesus is Lord.”

… “This Bill [UK Parliament Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill 2013-2014] is a threat to Christian counsellors who work in this area, and to people with same sex attraction who want to access counselling that is trained and accredited. Currently anyone with same sex attraction has freedom of choice to do one of three things: to embrace ‘gay’ identity and enter into a homosexual relationship or relationships; to live with the feelings but resist the temptation to act on them and live a life of celibacy, or to seek to reduce the feelings and develop heterosexual attraction, perhaps with a view to marriage and family. The Bill seeks to deny the latter of the three choices, thus creating a major and completely unnecessary restriction on human liberty. It is also a threat to religious freedom: the right for a person not just to believe in Christ, but to seek help in following him in every area of life.”

“It is a threat to church autonomy: the Bill seeks to give the government control over what Christians may believe and teach about sexual ethics, because it would set into law the idea that to attempt to change sexual orientation is ‘harmful’. But even more seriously, it seeks to take away from God the right to bring change in a particular area of human life. It is directly contradicting God’s word.” …