The Law of the Land and the Gospel of the Church

One dominos causes the other domino to fall because of the law of gravity.  The law of God is a powerful force, but it can be overwhelmed by the law of the land.

New Jersey has become the latest state to ban gay conversion therapy.  It is muddy to me how this “therapy” relates to Reparative therapy, and it’s unclear to everybody exactly what is done in either of these.  My point is that any sort of therapy is a matter of the Law.  It’s a do this and that will result kind of thing.

It may be wise to ban these “therapies” because they are junk science, pseudo-science, or just more of the soft-science of psychology.  What bothers most is that the State is telling parents they may not use these therapies for their minor children.  It is tantamount to the State making the child of a Jehovah Witness get a blood transfusion.

Exodus International, the thirty year old Christian ministry to rescue homosexuals from their sins, shut its doors and apologized to the gay community. When taken with the State banning those who apparently also wanted to help deliver homosexuals, Christians who still believe the Scriptures feel the whole world is embracing the sins our Lord came to rescue us all from.

What do conversion therapy, Exodus International, and the Mormons have in common?  They are all of the law, by the law, for the law.  But why do I link the Mormons with the other two?  The Mormons, who sponsor the largest number of Boy Scouts in the nation, were the “church” most in favor of the move to include the openly gay

Conversion therapy uses principles of the law to train people to not be gay.  Exodus International, not being Lutheran would also not distinguish law from Gospel, so at best they were mixing law and Gospel meaning they too were of the law.  And the Mormons are all law all the time.  When the law of the land changed both de jure and de facto, that was too much for these law driven groups.  Their championing of the law was not strong enough to withstand the popular opinion of what the law should be on the subject of homosexuality.

Only the Gospel rescues sinners, of whom I am chief.  Only the Gospel can forgive the unforgiveable, save the unsaveable, and mercy the unmerciful.  Christ Jesus didn’t come into the world to preach the law.  No, Moses was doing a fine job of that; still does.  Christ Jesus came into the world to take real sins upon His body and soul and real sinners on His back.

When He died on the cross, it was finished.  When He rose again on the third day it was just getting started.  Now with St. Paul, we know no man after the flesh (2 Corinthians 5: 15-17).  We know them now in Christ as forgiven, restored, renewed.  Contrary to the law of Alcoholics Anonymous you don’t have to live the rest of your life constantly confessing yourself to be an alcoholic, fornicator, idolater, homosexual, or pedophile.  Just as Paul was no longer a murderer and Peter no longer a denier, so you are no longer any of those in Christ.  In Christ, you’re a sibling of the Savior and a son or daughter of the heavenly Father.


About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.