From Fox News – Thousands of churches raise alarm about scope of new Canadian ‘conversion therapy’ ban

            This was the title of an email recently sent to me. It was based on a Fox News headline of January 16, 2022 which said in part, “An initiative begun by Liberty Coalition Canada and promulgated in the United States by Pastor John MacArthur of Los Angeles secured the support of more than 4,000 Christian pastors who publicly expressed their willingness to protest from the pulpit regarding” this. Here is my response below. If you attend Bible Class, and the sender of this email does, you’ve heard my answer to this many, many times.

            Well, most Christian churches, including Lutheran and Confessional ones, needed no law to stop them from preaching first about divorce, than about abortion, then about living together, then about homosexuality, then about gay marriage, and finally about transgenderism. They were silent all by themselves.

            In all these issues, however, the Reformed approach is wrong and not helpful. On all these matters we don’t expect the government to do what is Biblically correct but what Natural Law knows: there must be a law above men that norms laws men make up. Without this concept, the Nuremberg war criminals couldn’t have been prosecuted because they were following the laws of their government at the time.

            Luther said a people get the government they deserve. Our silence, our being co-opted in all the above mentioned matters by friends, neighbors, relatives and our own sinfulness are now reaping what we have sowed.

            Here are the two flashpoints: As I said in the case of the Colorado cake people, what shut their business was not homosexuals, but the former customers who didn’t want to cross the protests. This is what will happen here. When Stop Patriarchy Now, an Austin group, stumbles upon our website, or, one of the many LGBTQ groups find one of my newsletter articles or sermons on these topics. they will be outside picketing. How many will choose to attend another church then? I have witnessed how men in particular actually cower in the face of a shrill, screaming woman. 

            The second flash point is going to be lit by guys like John MacArthur. In the First Gulf War, the active duty Army chaplains preached our certain victory in this religious crusade for Christianity. That was no different than the Imam’s preaching jihad or their holy war. The truth is all of God’s enemies were defeated on the cross. The truth is, men can start war, famine, pestilence, and anarchy, but they can stop none of them. Enflaming people religiously will lead to anarchy. 

            In many ways, this is exactly how the Evangelicals deal with prayer in public schools. They want it. Confessional Lutherans never have. We don’t want the State in charge of praying. If we argue the above issues on Biblical grounds with those who do not recognize the Bible as an authority, they will haul out their holy books. There is after all a Church of Satan, the Metropolitan Church, and Liberal churches. These have their sources saying we’re wrong.

            So we will continue to hold those in Christ to the only rule and authority, Holy Scripture, and preach and teach accordingly. We will tell civil authorities that going against Natural Law is neither safe nor wise. The one thing we won’t do is stop preaching the truth about these issues.

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.
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