- (Photo: The Gospel Coalition)
The "reorientation" of a homosexual is not impossible, suggests one prominent evangelical. That is, when Christ is in the mix.
Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, concedes that therapy – the secular kind – is not likely to change a person. But there is hope when a person acknowledges sin and is redeemed by Christ.
"We will hold no hope for any sinner’s ability to change his or her own heart, and we will hold little hope for any secular therapy to offer more than marginal improvement in a sinner’s life," he argued in his blog Tuesday.
"We hold full confidence in the power of the Gospel and of the reign of Christ within the life of the believer. We know that something as deeply entrenched as a pattern of sexual attraction is not easily changed, but we know that with Christ all things are possible."
Mohler is weighing in on a debate that was reignited after a pro-gay group, Truth Wins Outs, accused Bachmann & Associates of showing "great antipathy towards gay and lesbian people" by practicing reparative therapy. The Christian counseling center, owned by Michele and Marcus Bachmann, was recently visited by TWO's John Becker who posed as a Christian wanting to get rid of his homosexuality.
While Marcus Bachmann, a clinical therapist for more than 20 years, has stated that they would help patients struggling with same-sex desires if such help was requested, he highlighted that the counseling center mainly deals with issues such as depression and anxiety.
The debate over "curing gays," as some call it, is one that Christians cannot avoid, Mohler believes.
At the same time, Christians should not enter the debate "on secular terms."
"We must bring to this conversation everything we know from God’s Word about our sin and God’s provision for sinners in Christ," the preeimnent evangelical stressed.
The first thing Christians should know is that the Bible "clearly, repeatedly, consistently, and comprehensively reveals the sinfulness of all homosexual behaviors," Mohler outlined.
Of course, such belief goes against the cultural grain with much of the country looking to normalize homosexuality. A Gallup poll in June found that most Americans (56 percent) identify homosexual relations as a morally acceptable behavior.
"The normalization of homosexuality simply cannot be accepted by anyone committed to biblical Christianity," Mohler asserted
"To deny that sin is sin is to deny our need for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians cannot accept any teaching that minimizes sin, for it is the knowledge of our sin that points us to our need for atonement, salvation, and the forgiveness of that sin through the cross of Jesus Christ."
Yet the "secular consensus" is that one's pattern of sexual attraction is a given and to be considered normal; and "any effort to change an individual’s sexual orientation is essentially wrong and harmful."
The Gospel of Jesus Christ says otherwise.
"Every sinner who comes by faith to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved knows the need for the redemption of our bodies – including our sexual selves. But those whose sexual orientation is homosexual face the fact that they also need a fundamental reordering of their sexual attractions. About this the Bible is clear," Mohler argued.
But he reminded Christians that sinners are unable to redeem themselves and only able to marginally improve themselves morally. There is a fundamental need for redemption, not mere moral improvement, he underscored.
"The Bible offers no hope for any human ability to change our sinful desires," the Southern Baptist stated. "As ... even the modern secular worldview generally acknowledges, the alcoholic who stops drinking remains an alcoholic."
Mohler is challenging Christians to bring to the debate God's Word and full confidence in the power of the Gospel to change a person.