“It would have been too easy to misinterpret,” she said. “Our concern was that proverbial law of unintended consequences and what could happen to our patients.”
I wrote the original version of this on August 19, 2012, the day after the Fox News article. As I make updates, I’ll put them in text like this so you can see what’s new.
Before getting into it though, I want to make one thing clear. As adults, I believe God gives us the free will to make whatever choices we want. I also believes that there are consequences – from God – for some of those choices when they go against His word – His law. As our creator, I believe God most certainly has the right to do all those things.
Having said that – I also need to put in a reminder and be sure it’s clear – the consequences are coming from God, and should not come from people – and especially not from His people. After all, we read, and are supposed to believe and follow things like this –
From Deuteronomy, in the Old Testament –
Dt 32:36 The LORD will judge his people
and have compassion on his servants
when he sees their strength is gone
and no one is left, slave or free.
Dt 32:37 He will say: “Now where are their gods,
the rock they took refuge in,
Dt 32:38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let them rise up to help you!
Let them give you shelter!
Dt 32:39 “See now that I myself am He!
There is no god besides me.
I put to death and I bring to life,
I have wounded and I will heal,
and no one can deliver out of my hand.
Dt 32:40 I lift my hand to heaven and declare:
As surely as I live forever,
Dt 32:41 when I sharpen my flashing sword
and my hand grasps it in judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
and repay those who hate me.
Yes – God can take care of Himself. And He will collect the penalties for the things we do against Him and His word. We learn, as Christians, that whether that penalty is paid by us or by Jesus, depends on the individual and their relationship with Jesus – if any. Bottom line – it’s not for us to take vengeance in God’s name.
And there are these words from Jesus –
Love for Enemies
Mt 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
No – I am not saying that people with alternate lifestyles are enemies. What I am saying is that if we, as Christians, are supposed to love even our enemies – where do we get the idea that God sanctions hatred toward anyone? BTW – by hatred I mean the kind of “hate” described in the Bible – not what the government describes as “hate speech”. The sad reality these says is that way to much of what is “loving” in the Bible as far as people following God’s word is now considered “hate speech”.
In the end, literally, we’ll find out who’s right. From my perspective – advantage Satan right now. Just like Jesus said.
The Parable of the Weeds
Mt 13:24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
Mt 13:27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
Mt 13:28 “ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
Mt 13:29 “ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ ”
The Parable of the Weeds Explained
Mt 13:36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
Mt 13:37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Mt 13:40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
Yes. We will find out in the end. When it’s too late to change your mind and too late to be forgiven.
And that’s why these are intended as words of love – to everyone – no matter which side of this issue yo happen to be on.
This quote is from the third to last paragraph of a news item from FoxNews.com titled California law barring parents from “curing” gay children moves through legislature“.
Some of the unintended consequences mentioned in the article include charges that
“[The law] unconstitutionally prohibits speech…violates privacy and personal autonomy rights, intermeddles in theological disputes, clashes with other laws and creates significant unintended consequences,” according to the Pacific Justice Institute.
Some proponents of the bill look at it as solving a health issue. They cite things like
“We pass laws saying minors can’t buy tobacco products; anyone under 21 can’t legally drink alcohol and we force parents to put their very young children into car seats while they’re driving”.
But then – what about another unintended consequence?
Before Jesus sent His disciples out to preach to the world, He gave them a number of instructions and reminders.
The entire list is most interesting.
It’s in Matthew Chapter 10.
For purposes of this article –
let’s look at two of them.
Mt 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Mt 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”
While it may not be popular or politically correct to look at life this way –
it is important to live life the way God intended –
it is important to follow His commands –
because ultimately –
He is going to decide where we go after we die –
after our time in this life is over.
Not that smoking isn’t bad for your health –
but smoking – in and of itself –
isn’t going to send one to Hell.
It isn’t really taking care of your body as God’s Temple –
but I don’t know anywhere it says smoking will prevent entrance into Heaven.
As Christians – we are told to take care of God’s Temple – our bodies –
so we probably really shouldn’t smoke.
Drinking alcohol under the age of 21 is interesting.
Drinking alcohol – at any age – to excess is a problem.
If one drinks too much – there are plenty of instances in the Bible where it warns about the dangers of what that can lead to. However – there are also plenty of examples where drinking wine was a normal and acceptable part of life. After all – Jesus would not have turned water into wine if drinking that wine was automatically a sin.
Again – as Christians – there are things we shouldn’t do – and drinking to excess is likely to make us more inclined to do some of those things –
so we shouldn’t do that either.
The car seat – I don’t know that’s a health issue – maybe more likely a legal one.
If you were alive long enough, you remember when seat belts were first put in cars – and finally required.
It was to keep people from being thrown from cars in an accident and being killed. These same seat belts weren’t doing enough to protect little kids – and could cause even more harm.
Sort of a health issue I guess – maybe.
Certainly a life and death issue.
Again though – as Christians –
we should be taking care of the people in our families –
or others who are relying on us to take care of their kids if we are driving them –
so seat belts and car seats are things that we should be doing.
The issue with this particular law though –
barring parents from “curing” gay children –
one of the unintended consequences –
is that it leads to a conflict between what the law says –
versus what we – as Christians – are told by God.
I don’t even know about kids deciding they are gay.
Is it that they really decide and “know” that –
or is it because there’s so much stuff on TV where they are told it’s not only OK –
but it’s something to embrace –
and in the case of one new TV show – it’s the New Normal.
We are taught – going back to even the early parts of the Old Testament –
that there are all sorts of sins related to sex –
one of them being engaging in sex with someone of the same gender.
Of course –
there’s also the part about pre-marital sex –
which is a issue here as well –
because two people of the same sex cannot be married –
at least not as God defines marriage.
One of the comments on the FoxNews.com site when I read this said that the person knows that God loves homosexuals – so leave them alone.
No argument there about whether God loves homosexuals – He does.
However – He also says it’s wrong.
Jesus died so that we may confess our sins – repent – sin no more – and live with God again.
The Parable of the Two Sons
Mt 21:28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
Mt 21:29 “ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
Mt 21:30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
Mt 21:31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
Essentially – Jesus is saying it’s the actions – not the words – that count.
When we say that we’ll accept Jesus –
His teachings –
His commands –
that we will follow Him –
and then we don’t –
that’s a problem.
When we say that God loves homosexuals –
that’s absolutely true.
He loves everyone –
why wouldn’t He love them too?
He loves even the worst people that ever lived.
I dare say – if even Judas had asked forgiveness from Jesus –
he would have received it.
The problem comes when we say that God loves people who sin –
but that they don’t have to change.
He does love them –
He loves all of us –
even though we all sin.
He loves us –
all of us –
too much to leave us the way we are.
He doesn’t want any of us to stay the way we are.
We are all so far from living the life that Jesus did –
we all commit sins –
we all must ask forgiveness –
we all must move towards living a life centered by Jesus.
No one is exempted from this.
Some would say that Christians hate homosexuals –
even some Christians would say this.
If they do –
then they are not following what Jesus says.
They are like the son who said he would go work in the vineyard –
but then didn’t.
They said they would follow what Jesus taught –
they said they would move towards life as He wanted –
but they didn’t.
Some would say that there’s nothing wrong with being homosexual –
even some Christians would say this.
If they do –
They also are not following what Jesus says.
They are like the son who said he would go work in the vineyard –
but then didn’t.
They said they would follow what Jesus taught –
they said they would move towards life as He wanted –
but they didn’t.
The ultimate example of how we’re supposed to live comes in a scene where the Jewish Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who was caught in an act of adultery.
Jn 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
Jn 8:9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
Jn 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
And there we have it –
we are not to condemn people ourselves –
and the one who has violated one of God’s laws –
that person will be forgiven –
and that person is commanded to leave their life of sin.
No more –
While Satan would be most delighted with this new law –
the people who are in favor of it are bringing about what I can only hope are unintended consequences.
With a law like this –
parents would be breaking a state law when trying to follow God’s law to protect their children from His commands.
mental health professionals could be breaking a state law by even discussing this with their clients – even if the client brings it up.
Christian based health professionals could be breaking a state law on both of the above counts.
In the end –
the other laws referenced as health concerns essentially served two purposes –
they did result in presumably healthier (or just simply still living) people who could have suffered grave consequences with their earthly / carbon based bodies.
they also were in line with God’s commands to us as His people.
True enough – the reason for doing these “healthy” things should be because it’s His desire for us to do them – not because the state makes us do it.
So – the motivating factor isn’t the one that God would want from us –
but at least they aren’t in conflict.
With this proposed law –
the state law is in direct conflict with God’s law.
This reminds me of Jesus’ warning to the Church in Pergamum – from Revelation –
To the Church in Pergamum
Rev 2:12 “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:
These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city—where Satan lives.
Rev 2:14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Sometimes I feel like I’m living in Pergamum.
The comfort to those of us who live here and truly try to follow what God tells us –
that comes at the end of the Letter to the Church in Pergamum –
Rev 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
So – here’s where things are with this law. It did pass. It went through the court system, of course.
The Summary of the majority opinion from the U S Court Of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco is available here at the U S Courts web site.
An injunction had been granted, and this case lifted it – meaning it was an active law that so called conversion therapy could not be used with children.,
The panel affirmed the district court’s judgment on the pleadings, entered in favor of the State of California, on remand from a preliminary injunction appeal, in an action challenging California’s Senate Bill 1172, which prohibits state-licensed mental health providers from engaging in “sexual orientation change efforts” with minor patients.
It went on to say this –
The panel rejected plaintiffs’ assertion that Senate Bill 1172 has the principal or primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion because some minors who seek sexual orientation change efforts have religious motivations. The panel held that the prohibition against sexual change efforts applies without regard to the nature of the minor’s motivation for seeking treatment. The panel concluded that the operative provisions of SB 1172 were fully consistent with the secular purpose of preventing harm to minors and the evidence fell far short of demonstrating that the primary intended effect of SB 1172 was to inhibit religion.
Here is where it starts to get interesting.
For instance, this phrase –
principal or primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion
where, by qualifying it with the words “principal” and “primary”, there is a tacit admission that even the liberal 9th circuit recognizes that there will be some people who are seeking the therapy for religious reasons.
That admission goes fully explicit with the following phrase –
because some minors who seek sexual orientation change efforts have religious motivations
Therefore, the conclusion is –
The panel concluded that the operative provisions of SB 1172 were fully consistent with the secular purpose of preventing harm to minors
and the religious overtones of the decision are brought out yet again, by stating that this decision is fully consistent with the secular purpose of “preventing harm to minors”.
And – for those familiar with the Bible – this should be very familiar.
For instance – this from Paul –
Ro 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
And so here we are, telling parents that they even if they feel that their child’s body is being used in a way that isn’t pleasing to God – they cannot do anything about it. In a world where it’s hard to get away from alternative lifestyles being pushed as appropriate for everyone – including children – even though a fraction of people actually engage in them – the parents can do nothing.
The pattern of the world is literally only lived out by a small minority of the world – and yet the whole world must sit idly by rather than try to have their children live the way most of the world does.
Further – this under the guise of living in a country that supposedly values religious freedom – while in fact is becoming more and more valuing freedom from religion.
BTW – for those who think Paul said something about how Christians should react / treat what he calls “sexually immoral” people – here it is –
1Co 5:9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
1Co 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
Oh. That’s a tough one isn’t it?
What Paul wrote was about people within the church. Those who claimed to be Christian, but weren’t living according to God’s rules.
And – he goes on to say – What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?
Question – what would happen if both sides of this issue treated each other as Paul said?
Christians judge Christians.
God judges everyone.
Also – Paul has these words –
Made Alive in Christ
Eph 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This is a message Christians should have for everyone – including as a reminder for ourselves.
However – Jesus tells us what to do when this message is rejected –
Mt 10:11 “Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
So – I can’t help but wonder –
what if both sides lived like this?
Christians – deliver our message – and then wipe the dust off our feet when it’s rejected, rather than get into some of the kinds of fights we do now, where it’s hard to tell who’s the Christian and who isn’t – because both are acting out the ways of the world.
Everyone – truly be more tolerant – including those who seem to hate Christians so much – be tolerant of us.
Realizing, of course, that is isn’t going to happen.
Because – Satan’s not going to allow it.
He’s going to keep managing to get both sides riled up against the other.
Eventually, it comes down to something else Paul wrote –
God’s Wrath Against Mankind
Ro 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
Ro 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Ro 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Ro 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Ro 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
The thing is – these verses aren’t just a condemnation. They are also a way to avoid condemnation. So if you see yourself on the wrong side of anything said above, there is a way to avoid the condemnation that comes with that lifestyle – get to know God.
Now – having said all of that –
There’s one more issue to deal with – children
Really, all of this is over minor children. It says that parents can’t engage in conversion therapy for their minor children (for who, again, the parents have responsibility – to both the government and God). However, when that minor child turns 18, they are free to get conversion therapy on their own.
This is – first and foremost – a law that targets innocent children.
Jesus has words for those people –
The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
Mt 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Mt 18:2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mt 18:5 “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.
Mt 18:7 “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!”
If any of this was about you – it’s time to reconsider those parts that keep you separated from God.
Otherwise, the end you will come to is what’s described above.
Of course – if you believe there’s no such thing as God – that’s also your right. God gives you the free will to do that. However, He also still reserves the right to judge you.
Time will tell who’s correct.
I pray that you’re on the right side of all this – before it’s too late.