This letter template can be used by Baptist Minister’s to personalise and send to your own local MP
I am a minister of a Baptist Church. I now write to you about a matter that has caused me some personal anxiety in my role as a Christian minister, and if what I fear is realised will cause great suffering through the persecution of many in our country who hold to the same persuasion as myself, and to many who are not Christian, but also have the same persuasion on the issues in question. Namely the belief that marriage is only between one man and one woman- a belief still held by millions of people in the UK, including ethnic minority groups. A belief worthy of respect, not the threat of prosecution under a conversion therapy ban.
I cannot quite believe we have got to this point in our society that there are those seriously wanting to punish people like myself for what I and many others believe. We have very good reasons for what we believe, unlike those who would persecute us.
I understand the Government is considering a ban on so-called conversion therapy. It wants to ban coercive pseudo-medical practices and violence which claim “to turn gay people straight”. If the Government restricts itself to that aim alone in its ban then I am in full accord.
However, my concern is that LGBT activists want to go much further. They want LGBT theology to be imposed upon churches and faith communities using the criminal law. They have even targeted pastoral care and sermons. The MP for Rutland and Melton Alicia Kearns has alleged that attempts to stop someone expressing their chosen agenda identity or sexual orientation ‘range from ‘therapy’ and prayer sessions, to abusive treatments…’ Jayne Ozanne leads a multi faith group calling on the Government to ban all churches engaging in prayer, private conversation and teaching which does not affirm LGBT lifestyles, and that these should “face the full force of the law.”
This is a dangerous movement.
The old and true meaning of ‘tolerance’ was for people of differing values/beliefs to tolerate one another even though they disagreed. This was hammered out in the Toleration Act (1689) where Parliament granted freedom of worship to Nonconformists rather than face punishment/persecution for having differing beliefs from the Established church. The Toleration Act means that no man or woman should be punished/persecuted because they are acting in accordance with their conscience.
So, this true understanding of tolerance MUST be upheld in a liberal democratic society, where freedom of speech is a vital corollary and robust discussion allowed even when it offends some groups in society. As a Christian I am happy to enter into debate with those opposed to my beliefs, but I would not wish to punish them through the force of law for ‘offending’ me. The pursuit of truth is important, and no ‘would- be elite’ that seeks to ‘condition’ the majority should be allowed to silence dissenting voices through coercion/fear of punishment/persecution. The history of the twentieth century and up to the present day should teach us to be very wary of such:
Secularism in the form of Darwinism/Naturalism is very prone to allowing atheist elites into power who take hold of certain aspects of God’s Moral Law1 and make these into absolutes at the expense of other aspects of that same Moral Law e.g. Communism. In Communism the secularist is attracted to those parts of the Moral Law that recommend reward for the worker’s own labour and the ideology has an impulse towards equality (e.g. everyone has equal material possessions/wealth.) However, by setting the communism ‘ethic’ as supreme then you transgress against other aspects of the Moral Law. That is by forcing people to go along with it by forcible redistribution of wealth (punishing people if they do not agree). Communism also breaks God’s Moral Law by encouraging coveting of other people’s possessions (breaking the tenth commandment), this is why it is called ‘the politics of envy’.
In our increasingly secular country this homing in on one or two aspects of the Moral Law at the expense of its other aspects is now happening with single issues on gender, ethnicity and sexuality.
This blinkered outlook is very real today. Pastoral advice and prayer which upholds the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics was recently branded as ‘conversion therapy’ and outlawed in Victoria, Australia. The state’s attorney General has said religious educators, teachers and ministers will be ‘re-educated’ by the Government to prevent them breaking the law. How chilling is that! Exactly the same as the Old Marxist ‘compulsory re-education’ into ‘scientific atheism’ of those who disagree with communism.
The new meaning of ‘tolerance’ has become the absolute adherence to these ideas that must be tolerated, and to disagree is to face punishment. This new tendency has been described as the ‘intolerance of tolerance’.
So today it’s not enough in the secularist mind to now respect and tolerate others as people even though you may disagree with their position (which should be the way) Today if you don’t say you believe in homosexuality or transsexuality per se, then you will be punished, your job will be taken away from you etc. This is essentially hypocrisy. A failure to do unto others as you would be done by- the LGBT community didn’t want to be punished for what they stand for- fair enough, but that should work both ways. If you do not believe LGBT ideology that now means your full rights as a British citizen can be taken away. This is actually happening in this country. Christian Concern states in 2020 the Christian legal centre helped with at least 900 legal queries ranging from simple advice and support to court cases (The Ambassador Magazine. January 2021). LGBT awareness days have replaced the Christian Calendar in state schools, and a ‘black lives matter’ focus has completely distorted the teaching of the history syllabus. Teachers I know do not say anything for fear of losing their jobs.
Amy Orr- Ewing writes “It is important to draw a distinction between ‘homophobia’- an irrational hatred or hostility towards homosexual people- and a disapproval of homosexual practice for confessing Christians on biblical grounds. The Evangelical Alliance writes: ‘we cannot however accept that to disapprove of homosexual practice on biblical grounds is in itself irrational, hateful or hostile’ The tendency of the gay lobby is to brand anyone who disagrees with their position as ‘homophobic’ is regrettable because it fails to consider the nuances of biblical interpretation and the consciences of believers.”¹
Criminalised for teaching what the Bible says about homosexuality?
The Roman Catholic Church has recently affirmed that homosexuality is a sin, and cannot be endorsed because that practice would be inconsistent with Creation. The same can be said of transgenderism. God designed men and women to complement one another physically and sexually- Jesus affirms this in His teaching when he says “Haven’t you read that at the beginning God made them male and female? (Matthew 19: 4; Mark 10:6, quoting Genesis 1:27). From these verses Jesus goes on to teach marriage is between one man and one woman for life.
There are very clear biblical passages that uphold this foundational doctrine and speak against homosexuality as a distortion of that created design and an expression of rebellion against God. Here is a key one:
“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 people are without excuse. 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. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1: 20-27)
Not only is this orthodox Christianity on this position, but also a true exposition of this and other relevant passages. There have been attempts made to reinterpret the clear meanings of such references, but they are ‘post- modern, reader-response’ attempts and are inaccurate. I am familiar with such attempts having an English Degree and having worked for seven years as an English teacher before entering the Christian Ministry. The ESV Study Bible has an excellent article that helpfully goes through all the references pertaining to homosexuality and compares the orthodox understanding with the attempts to reinterpret and clearly shows the latter are fallacious and inconsistent with the biblical world view.
So if all Christians were forced to endorse LGBT theology then all Catholic Priests and most other Christian Ministers (I am a Baptist Minister), would be criminalised. The heart of Christian teaching is the proclamation of the Gospel. This foundational teaching means conversion to Christ. This requires calling people to faith in Christ accompanied by repentance from sin. If in certain cases it becomes illegal to call people to repentance, then in those cases the Gospel becomes illegal. So everyday church life would be beset by the risk of prosecution. All Christian ministers are duty bound to preach Christ and His Gospel, not to pedal their own ideas. They are called to respect the authority of the State and submit to it (Romans 13:1-7), however their obedience to God is first, so if the State prevents us from preaching the Gospel or forces us to accept something that is immoral we have to obey God first (Luke 20:25; Acts 5:27-32)
A catch-all conversion therapy law would turn church ministers like myself into criminals for teaching about the Christian view of marriage.
Confusing conversion therapy with legitimate Christian conversion
We show various films at the church where I am minister- mostly Christian biography and presentations showing evidence that can be scientifically observed in the present which confirms the Bible’s description of Origins. I have a DVD presentation I would like to show publicly entitled ‘Homosexuality. Finding Hope in the Gospel’. This is a presentation by Dr Rosaria Butterfield. Formerly a tenured professor of English and Women’s Studies, author of a book in feminist theory and articles in queer theory, partnered to another lesbian woman, and a proponent of LGBT civil rights. Rosaria describes her conversion to Christ, this ‘did not come easily’ and she lost ‘everything but the dog’ but her turning from homosexuality and former lifestyle to Christ left her ‘clear headed about God’s authority and holiness and the integrity of His Word.’ She describes how she then learned why God demands sexual purity and the purpose of sexuality. She is now married to a man.
Similarly Matthew Grech is a former member of the LGBT community and one of the founders of X-Out-Loud, an initiative of Core Issues Trust. X-Out-Loud exists to give a voice to those who have left the LGBT community and defends their right to tell their stories. (p40. The Ambassador Magazine, Christian Concern. January 2021).
LGBT interpretation of ‘ending conversion therapy’ confuses conversion therapy with legitimate Christian conversion such as that experienced by Dr Butterfield and Matthew Grech. It would also restrict my freedom to show the Butterfield film and criminalise me for doing so.
Ordinary Christian ministry would become a minefield
What if a married man who wants to remain faithful to his wife seeks help from me as his church minister? If he is tempted to commit adultery with someone of the same sex, that conversation would become unlawful.
Similarly those demanding a ban who want to outlaw praying with people who have asked for prayer would make my ordinary church ministry illegal.
Are there any other reasons for why the LGBT community can insist that everyone adhere to their beliefs in an absolute sense or lose their own human rights in return – loss of job, criminalisation for not believing in homosexuality/transgenderism per se?
Competing world views
Somehow faith in the Darwinism/Naturalism worldview has become widespread instead of the Christian worldview in the UK. So much so that even reference to ‘Creation’ ‘sin’ or ‘Moral Law’ does not speak of reality to minds schooled in the belief that only what is physically natural or material is real. Unquestionably this assumption is in our education system and promoted via the media, and many of our young people, having been deprived of the alternative, are brainwashed into believing it to be reality.
However there are many highly intelligent and well qualified scientists who see through this worldview and show that materialism is incapable of explaining our origins and indeed all we are as human beings. Dr Francis Collins won the 2020 Templeton Prize (worth UK £1.1 million) awarded annually for work in the intersection of science and religion. Collins led the human Genome Project, which sequenced the 3.1 billion DNA letters in the human genome in 2003. In his book ‘The Language of God. A Scientist presents evidence for belief’ he writes that ‘humans are unique in ways that defy evolutionary explanation and point to our spiritual nature. This includes the existence of the Moral Law and the search for God that characterises all human cultures throughout history (p200).²
Collins is a theistic evolutionist who wants to say that God used some aspects of evolution within His Creation. However we also have the likes of Professor Stuart Burgess (Professor of Engineering, Bristol University) who argue that the evolutionary story of ‘gue to you’ is fiction and contradicts observable science. Burgess in his book ‘The Design and Origin of Man’ deals with the question of similarities between humans and apes in Part 1 and shows that common features can be fully explained in terms of a common Designer. Part 2 of the book describes the unique design of man. He writes ‘the purposeful over- design of humans is a huge problem for evolution because evolution by definition cannot produce something beyond what is needed for survival.’ Part 3 of the book describes how the human body has a unique and fine beauty that sets man apart from all the other creatures in creation. Part 4 of the book presents historical evidence to show that the archaeological and fossil records clearly support the creation of man. This part also reveals how the archaeological record shows that there is no such thing as primitive humans. The final chapter shows how the term ‘missing link’ is as relevant today as it has always been. Professor Andrew Sims, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Leeds writes of this book “ Stuart Burgess is to be congratulated in marshalling this large body of evidence demonstrating that man could only be here in this world through deliberate design…This tour de force instils reverence and great admiration for God’s creation. It is a thought provoking and powerfully argued book.”³
Burgess’s observations are in keeping with biblical insights that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14).
Observable human biology does not help the homosexual or transgender cause:
Homosexuality is presented in our culture in the same way that skin colour is; intrinsic to a person’s being. While this is true for skin colour the same is not true of homosexuality. Men and women’s bodies are observably designed to complement one another sexually. Neither can people in a homosexual relationship reproduce biologically, so they have no supposed ‘homosexual gene’ to pass on. Any attempt to find one has met with outright failure, principally because of this law of nature.⁴
The transgender cause does not even attempt to justify itself biologically. The very definition of our biological sex is binary- either male or female- and this fact is encoded into every single one of our trillions of DNA- containing cells.⁵ People who believe they are transgender recognise they are born male or female biologically, but their feelings about their gender don’t fit with their biological sex.⁶
Transgender is not the same as Intersex (the I in LGBTI). Intersex is a physical condition affecting a minute percentage of people whose chromosomes, genitals or gonads do not allow them to be distinctively identified as male or female. The great percentage of these do not identify as transgender, but either as male or female.⁶ The Bible teaches that we live in a Post- Fall world, many things- like Intersex- are now out of line with our Creator’s original intentions (Genesis 3; 6:11-12; Romans 5:12, 18; 8:18-23; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 26)
So are there any other reasons why the LGBT community can insist that everyone adhere to their beliefs in an absolute sense or lose their own human rights in return – loss of job, criminalisation for not believing in homosexuality/transgenderism per se? No. Not biologically. Does every body have to sign up to agree with these concepts because of the way small minorities feel about themselves? Surely not. From a Christian perspective Jesus taught the reality of the sinful nature- that all human beings have inherited from our first parents Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12ff). Jesus taught ‘For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.’ (Matthew 15:19), so just because a person desires something it does not make that desire morally right. Certainly not something that everyone has to affirm or they lose their civil rights in return. Homosexuality and transgenderism are not intrinsic to the person but rather chosen beliefs/activities.
While those who are homosexual or transgender are free to be so in our society- and this is in accord with the true meaning of tolerance in a liberal society, many do not want the chosen activities of these people foisted on themselves or their families, since the vast majority follow the norm of heterosexuality. This is the norm by any measure: theological, biological and numerical. As a Christian I really do believe I have found the truth in Christ, but mine is a chosen belief/activity. Others would be rightly annoyed if I then campaigned that all non- Christians should lose their jobs or ‘face the full force of the law’ if they also did not agree with Christianity. And yet I have more evidence for my beliefs than LGBT have for theirs.
So in summary, and in light of what I have written here I would call on the Government to be very clear in restricting itself to a ban on coercive pseudo medical practices or violence of any kind ‘to turn gay people straight’ However, the Government should avoid couching ‘an end to conversion therapy’ in vague terms that would open the door for criminal law to be used to persecute Christians and many others into endorsing LGBT theology. I do not think this is what the Government intends. But if you are not careful, you could inadvertently criminalise part of my work as a church leader.
I would encourage you wherever possible to make decisions/legislate in keeping with what has long been considered this country’s moral compass:
When our present King Charles III was crowned in Westminster Abbey there came a moment that would have been recognised by Christians throughout the watching world as the most memorable in the service. The moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland handed her a Bible with these words: “Here is the most valuable thing this world affords.” What an incredible claim for any book- more valuable than the gold deposits of South Africa or America’s technology, or the plays of Shakespeare or the paintings of Michelangelo. The Moderator then added: “This is the royal law.” This book in other words, is the law for Rulers. The King and his Parliament make the laws of Britain, but God makes laws for him!
“Here is the most valuable thing this world affords”- Western Civilisation has been influenced more by the Bible than any other book. The Bible presents the highest ideals known to man- intellectual, moral and spiritual- ideals that have moulded civilisation.
Jesus said “I am the Light of the World” (John 8:12).
Thank you for your attention to this letter.
- ‘Why trust the Bible? (p120)
- Based on biblical references like John 1: 9 the Word (Christ) ‘who was with God and was God’ He was ‘The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the 8 world.’ Similarly Romans 2:15 where Paul describes how the requirements of God’s Moral Law are written on the hearts of the Gentiles ‘their consciences also bearing witness.’ Such verses illustrate that all people have moral awareness and this comes from God, whether they believe in Him or not. See also ‘Mere Christianity’ by C S Lewis. The first chapter deals with the Moral Law. Lewis has also written a short book called ‘The Abolition of Man’ which is all about the Moral Law (evidence of God because human beings have moral awareness). This realisation was a turning point for Francis Collins. After reading Lewis he wrote that ‘Faith in God now seemed more rational than unbelief’ (p30 ‘The language of God. A scientist presents evidence for belief’).
- For further evidences of Creation see excellent overview on our origins: Ken Ham’s “Science Confirms the Bible” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74UIt8uHQPs or I can send you a copy of “Creation & Evolution. Why it matters what you believe” by Colin Garner (Professor of Applied Thermodynamics at Loughborough University). For detailed information on specific issues visit Answers in Genesis and Creation.Com websites. It’s worth noting that the Naturalistic worldview cannot explain the key evidence for the Christian Faith, namely the Resurrection of Christ from the dead. Lee Strobel’s book ‘The Case for Christ’ describes how he as an investigative journalist set out to disprove the Resurrection but was converted to Christ because having tried every naturalistic explanation, the evidence could only point towards its reality. He is one of a number who have been so converted. Naturalism cannot by definition say anything about miracle and God is not bound by His creation. Similarly He is not bound by materialistic theories of Origins. Miracle informs Origins, Christ’s Resurrection and the establishment of a future New Heaven and Earth (Isaiah 65:17, Revelation 21).
- https://arkencounter.com/blog/2019/10/31/uncover-lies-we-believe-with-dr-georgiapurdom/ Dr Georgia Purdom is a geneticist and makes the essential point at 37.51- 38.45, the section looking at whether human homosexuality is valid because it is seen in the animal kingdom and studies conducted looking for a homosexual gene are surveyed from 34.15- 57.25. Dr Georgia Purdom also looks at whether there is a biological basis for transgenderism earlier in the presentation.
- ‘Binary coded human beings’ Ari Takku, MSc. (Tech) Creation.Com magazine Vol.43 No 2 2021
- ‘Transgender’ Vaughan Roberts