Government bans on the discredited practice of conversion therapy amount to persecution of evangelical Christians and an “attack on the word of God,” according to influential California pastor John MacArthur.
The pastor who famously defied county and state authorities to keep his church open during the COVID-19 pandemic — once declaring, “There is no pandemic” — now is calling on pastors in the United States and Canada to join in a day of simultaneous preaching on “biblical sexual morality.”
That view of what is “biblical” includes zero tolerance for same-sex attraction, same-sex relations, bisexuality or transgender identity. It also includes a firm belief that there are only two genders assigned by God at birth and that same-sex attraction is a choice that can be “cured” by therapy.
“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their [i]women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. Romans 1:26-27
In a Dec. 28 letter to other Christian pastors, MacArthur declares bans on conversion therapy “an urgent matter in which the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is under attack.”
The precipitating event is adoption of a strict ban on conversion therapy in Canada that takes effect Jan. 7. This Canadian law defines conversion therapy as any practice, treatment or service designed to change or repress a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. It makes it illegal to provide, promote and profit off conversion therapy.
According to MacArthur, this means evangelical pastors no longer can preach the Bible without the threat of fines or jail sentences.
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