Main | Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Southern Baptist Leader Russell Moore Denounces "Ex-Gay" Torture Therapy

This morning Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptists’ Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, denounced "ex-gay" torture at the group's Nashville convention on sexuality.
“The utopian idea if you come to Christ and if you go through our program, you’re going to be immediately set free from attraction or anything you’re struggling with, I don’t think that’s a Christian idea,” Moore told journalists. “Faithfulness to Christ means obedience to Christ. It does not necessarily mean that someone’s attractions are going to change.” Moore said evangelicals had an “inadequate view” of what same-sex attraction looks like. “The Bible doesn’t promise us freedom from temptation,” Moore said. “The Bible promises us the power of the spirit to walk through temptation.” Moore gave similar remarks to an audience of 1,300 people at the conference. The same morning, the conference featured three speakers who once considered themselves gay or lesbian. Moore joins a chorus of psychologists and religious leaders who have departed from the once-popular therapy.
The theme of the convention seems to be that while it's impossible to "cure" people of being gay, at least they should continue to try to stop people from acting on their natural sexuality.
In his address Monday, traditional marriage advocate Sherif Girgis plugged the website Spiritual Friendship, intended for Catholics and Protestants who identify as gay and celibate. Some Christians are debating whether identifying as gay or having a same-sex orientation is itself unbiblical. Another conference speaker and Moody Bible Institute professor Christopher Yuan teaches a more traditional message of celibacy for those who, like him, are attracted to the same sex. He shuns labels, but he believes more younger Christians are self-identifying as gay and celibate. “I’m kind of label-less,” Yuan said before his address. “I think I’m a dying breed, though.”
Moore: "The idea that one is simply the sum of one’s sexual identity is something that is psychologically harmful ultimately, And I think also we have a situation where gay and lesbian people have been treated really, really badly. The response is not shunning, putting them out on the street. The answer is loving your child."

In June of this year the 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors changed its code of ethics to express opposition to "ex-gay" torture and to endorse celibacy for homosexuals. Because it's better to suffer a lifetime of untouched, unloved solitude than disobey Jesus. Or something. It remains to be seen if the full Southern Baptist Convention will adopt Moore's position, which is already being attacked on Twitter by "ex-gay" torture advocates.

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