The new law banning ‘conversion therapy’ which was passed in Parliament this evening will criminalise certain expressions of parental love, prayer, personal choice and preaching.
Unfortunately, we may never know for sure what they are exactly until some parent, faith-leader or school is investigated. But the law will have a chilling effect on families, freewill, and faith-based communities.
It is important to remember, however, that nothing has changed in terms of truth, biology and faith-based sexual morality, even if that was the underlying target of this new law.
My message is simple. Keep going.
IF YOU’RE A PARENT
* Keep going
* Keep instilling your family’s values into your children. Explain why values matter.
* Talk with your children during dinner and other family mealtimes, as well as one-on-one conversations. Make sure they know you have their best interests at heart, and that your love for them is unconditional.
* Explain why biology matters, that there are only two genders, and affirm them in the body they were born in.
* Continue to encourage your children to see marriage as one man and one woman, joined together for life. God’s design is perfect – even if we humans don’t always get it right.
* Monitor what’s being taught at the schools your children attend. Withdraw your children from ‘sexuality & gender education’ programmes if you as a parent aren’t allowed to see the material in advance. ‘Conversion therapy’ will still be happening in New Zealand – that is, the ushering of children and young people towards LGBT lifestyles – through the indoctrination of sexuality and gender-identity ideology in schools, in the health system, and even in workplaces. Be alert.
* Attend a church or faith-centre which teaches sexual morality without compromise, but with both truth and grace.
* Remember, ultimately it’s your responsibility to raise your children, not the Government’s.
IF YOU’RE A COUNSELLOR, TEACHER OR YOUTHWORKER
* Keep going.
* Continue to journey with children, young people and clients in a respectful, non-coercive and open way, but never compromising the truth when given the opportunity and their permission to speak into their lives (John 17:17).
* Answer their questions as honestly as you can.
IF YOU ARE SEEKING COUNSELLING FOR UNWANTED SEXUALITY AND/OR GENDER ISSUES
* Keep going.
* Find someone who will journey with you respectfully, through gentle non-coercive advice, prayer, support and open discussions regarding sexuality and/or gender.
* Continue to seek inner freedom and healing from unwanted sexuality and/or gender issues, to align your sexuality with the teachings and values of your faith if that is your desire.
IF YOU’RE A PASTOR OR FAITH LEADER
* Keep going.
* When you’re told not to preach or teach certain parts of the Bible or Quran (or any other faith-based Scripture) on topics such as marriage or morality, because you may be accused of ‘conversion therapy’ or ‘hate speech’ or some form of ‘phobia’, don’t comply. Speak the truth always, seasoned with love and grace (Eph 4:15).
* Pray with anyone who requests prayer from you for sexuality or gender issues. Always pray with both truth and grace (John 8:32, 1 Cor 13:6).
* Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong (1 Cor 16:13).
KEEP GOING, ‘EVEN IF….’
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV)
The law may have changed under the hand of a majority of politicians in our Parliament – but Truth has not.
It is the same yesterday, today and forever.
WHO VOTED AGAINST THE BILL?
While ALL members of Labour, Greens, Maori and ACT Party (yes – that liberal / freedom party that raised significant concerns about the proposed law that were never fixed in the legislation!!) and most of the National Party voted for the bill, there were just 8 MPs who voted against it – and deserve our honour and thanks.
Please take a moment to let them know your appreciation because, sadly, I suspect that they will be getting hammered by the other side – if the last vote on this bill was anything to go by.
Simon Bridges, Simeon Brown, Melissa Lee, Todd McClay, Simon O’Connor, Chris Penk, Shane Reti, and Michael Woodhouse. (Louise Upston changed her vote to yes. Chris Penk and Todd McLay changed their vote to no.)