Big Tech censorship has advanced yet another step forward in its war on contrarian thinking. LifeSite News reports, “Amazon has removed the books of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the psychologist whom critics have dubbed ‘the father of conversion therapy.’ In other words, for claiming that change is possible for those who experience unwanted same-sex attraction, Dr. Nicolosi’s books must be banned.”
It is not politically correct to believe that people can change something so core to their personal identity as sexual orientation. American homosexual rights advocate Wayne Besen who is the founder and executive director of Truth Wins Out, the Center Against Religious Extremism and author of the book Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth summarizes this view in his declaration, “FACT: Sexual orientation is neither a choice, nor is it something that can be changed through prayer or therapy. All attempts to do so are rooted in shame, religious bigotry, political propaganda and ignorance.”
The standard mantra is, “Once gay, always gay.” In a Washington Blade editorial titled “Lock Up the ‘Ex-gays,’” Kevin Naff writes, “[T]here is no such thing as ‘ex-gay.’ There is ‘repress-my-innate-immutable-characteristics-and-deny-their existence,’ but no such condition as ‘ex-gay.’ … Right-handed people can’t choose to be lefties, those with brown skin can’t choose white and gays can’t choose to be straight.” Similarly, Eric Marcus writes in his book Is It a Choice?, “[N]o matter what anyone claims, you cannot change a person’s sexual orientation.” And Robert Goss writes in his book Jesus Acted Up, “All ecclesial attempts to change gay/lesbian sexual identities to heterosexual or demand that queers practice celibacy disembody them as human beings.”
Homosexual activists afford absolutely no possibility of change in one’s sexual orientation provided that the change is from homosexuality to heterosexuality. Beyond this, they are determined to silence all talk regarding such a possibility, but this belief is just that—a belief. It is based solely upon opinion and personal conviction. In 2009, the American Psychological Association released a two-year study that concluded there is insufficient evidence to determine whether or not conversion therapy works. Significant is the fact that the task force was comprised entirely of activists in gay causes—most of whom were themselves gay. Reporting on this shocking reality, Kathleen Melonakos warned, “Active homosexuals can hardly be objective about an addictive behavior they engage in themselves.” Amazon’s most recently censored author Dr. Joseph Nicolosi explains:
The fact that the Task Force was composed entirely of activists in gay causes, most of whom are also personally gay, goes a long way toward explaining their failure to be scientifically objective.
To be “gay-identified” means to have undergone a counter-cultural rite of passage. According to the coming out literature, when a person accepts and integrates a gay identity, he must give up the hope of ever changing his feelings and fantasies. The process is as follows: the adolescent discovers his same-sex attraction; this causes him confusion, shame and guilt. He desperately hopes that he will somehow become straight so that he will fit in with his friends and family. However, he eventually comes to believe that he is gay, and in fact can never be otherwise. Therefore, he must accept his homosexuality in the face of social rejection, and find pride in his homoerotic desires as something good, desirable, natural, and (if he is a person of faith) a gift from his creator.
The majority of the Task Force members clearly underwent this same process of abandoning the hope that they could diminish their homosexuality and develop their heterosexual potential. Coming to the Task Force from this perspective, they would be strongly invested in discouraging others from having the opportunity to change—i.e., “If it did not work for me, then it cannot work for you.”
Despite the inherent bias in favor of the homosexual position regarding whether sexual orientation can be changed, the best that this task force could do was cite insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of conversion therapy. In other words, if there were any evidence at all to suggest that conversion therapy does not work, we can be certain that this study would have concluded such. Of course, this is how the media attempted to spin the results of this study with headlines such as “APA Exposes Ex-gay Myth,” and “Psychologist Group Rejects So-called ‘Gay Therapy.’” Nevertheless, the very fact that this decidedly pro-gay study could not disprove conversion therapy essentially disproves dogmatic assertions that there can be no such thing as an ex-gay. Put another way, this study concluded that it may be possible for a person to change his sexual orientation—there simply is not enough evidence to be certain.
Not surprisingly, the findings of scientific studies such as this are consistent with the Word of God. Long before scientific task forces and psychological associations, the Holy Spirit used the Apostle Paul to teach that no person must remain enslaved by homosexual passions. First Corinthians 6:9–11 says:
[D]o you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (emphasis added)
This Corinthian congregation sounds like something we might find in any given prison, not within the walls of a church. Yet the Apostle Paul reminded this congregation that they were no longer identified by their past sins. In God’s eyes, the sexually immoral person is no longer identified by his illegitimate child, his sexually transmitted disease, or his tally of one-night stands. In God’s eyes, the idolater is no longer identified by his obsessions which consumed his time and attention. In God’s eyes, the adulterer is no longer identified by the relationships he destroyed through his infidelity. In God’s eyes, the thief is no longer identified by the objects of which he has deprived others. In God’s eyes, the greedy person is no longer identified as a workaholic, or by his stinginess. In God’s eyes, the drunkard is no longer identified by his foolish and shameful acts while under the influence of alcohol. In God’s eyes, the reviler is no longer identified by his tirades and by those he has verbally abused. In God’s eyes, the swindler is no longer identified by his victims and by ruined lives.
Regardless of the sin, and regardless of the effect of that sin on the life of the individual and the lives of others, God is both capable and willing to offer forgiveness. Therefore, it is not surprising to find within this list the sin of homosexuality. In God’s eyes, the homosexual is no longer identified by his sexual orientation. He, like the others in this church, had been forgiven of his sins. By applying the ministry of Jesus Christ on the cross to his own heart in belief and repentance, his spirit had been washed by the Holy Spirit, as Titus 3:4–7 says:
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Because of passages like 1 Corinthians chapter 6, some people accuse the Apostle Paul of being homophobic. Like Dr. Nicolosi, he would certainly be censored by today’s politically correct Big Tech if his writings were independent of the most influential and best-selling religious book of all time. But the Apostle Paul was not homophobic. Rather, he recognized the enslaving power of homosexuality and its ultimate reward of death and destruction. Having been personally enslaved by sins that haunted him throughout his life, the Apostle Paul was intimately familiar with the guilt and despair that can come from one’s past, yet he was also intimately familiar with the forgiveness and hope that can come from Jesus Christ. Because of this, he devoted his life to sharing this truth with others. It is precisely because the Apostle Paul had himself sinned beyond measure that he spoke so boldly about the sins of others—not to condemn them but to point the way to forgiveness. In 1 Timothy 3:12–17, the Apostle Paul writes:
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Scripture is filled with examples of God not only forgiving people, but of God transforming lives. The Apostle Paul is quite possibly the best example of this. God took Paul—a blasphemer and one of the most ardent persecutors of the Christian church—and transformed him into one of history’s greatest Christian missionaries who could instruct the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Moreover, God used the Apostle Paul to pen 13 books of the Bible.
Similarly, God took Jacob—a liar and a cheat who deceived his father into giving him his brother’s birthright—and transformed him into a man of faith who fathered the 12 tribes of Israel. Throughout Scripture, God refers to Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Another example would be David who not only committed adultery, but engineered the death of the woman’s husband in order to hide his sin, and yet God promised David that his lineage would reign eternally in the Millennial Kingdom and that Jesus the Messiah would come from his line. We could continue and look at Moses, a murder whom God used to free His people from slavery and lead them to the Promised Land; Gideon, a coward whom God used to defeat an oppressive army as numerous as the sand on the sea shore; Peter, a man who denied Jesus, and yet Jesus gave him the keys to the Kingdom; or any number of other examples in Scripture.
God is in the business of transforming lives. The church is filled with ex-sinners. There are ex-liars, ex-cheats, ex-addicts, ex-adulterers, ex-gays, ex-you-fill-in-the-blank. Given that man is naturally bent toward doing evil, it is probably true that none of these would have overcome their temptation in their own strength. It is only through the transformative power of the Holy Spirit that anyone is capable of overcoming his greatest temptations. It is only when a person relinquishes his sinful identity and turns to Jesus Christ in humble repentance that the power of sin is truly broken in an individual’s life. No longer must he be identified by his sin. Instead, he is identified as a child of God. This is the good news of Jesus Christ! Galatians 4:4–7 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”
Headlines such as NBC’s “Amazon Removes Controversial Books by ‘Father of Conversion Therapy’” are wide-open doors of opportunity for us to share the transformative power of the gospel with others. Such headlines practically beg the Christian to explain that our identities do not have to be based upon our sexual orientation—regardless of whether or not we were born that way. Rather, God offers us a new identity—an identity far superior. God offers us the identity of being a righteous son of God and heir to God’s throne!
To learn more about God’s perspective of homosexuality and how to use common LGBTQ+ issues to share the gospel, read Timothy Zebell’s books:
1. Brown, Michael. “Amazon Bans Books on Gay ‘Conversion Therapy.’ Is the Bible Next?” LifeSite News, July 5, 2019, 10:33 a.m., EST. https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/amazon-bans-books-on-gay-conversion-therapy-is-the-bible-next.
2. Brown, Michael. A Queer Thing Happened to America, 451. Concord: EqualTime Books, 2011.
3. Brown, 420–421.
4. Brown, 421.
5. Brown, 418.
6. Brown, 479–480.
7. Brown, 478.
8. Brown, 478.
9. Aviles, Gwen. “Amazon Removes Controversial Books by ‘Father of Conversion Therapy.’” NBC News, July 3, 2019, 5:09 p.m., EDT. https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/amazon-bans-books-on-gay-conversion-therapy-is-the-bible-next.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.