Tag Archives: Conversion Therapy

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture
Disappearing Kansas City Counseling Ban

Disappearing?

I met Carol a year or so ago at a coffee joint; she possessed a cool style and looked at me with piercing, indigo blue eyes. She was also gradually concealing her womanhood in an attempt to ‘transition.’ I felt intuitively her years of torment and sought to reinforce kindly the beauty I beheld in her.

As weeks went on, she disappeared behind men’s clothes and facial hair. I saw her last week as ‘Kevin’. My mind went blank and I looked haplessly in those eyes. Her voice squeaked a greeting as if she (approx. 30-years-old) was going through puberty.

I am seeking God and wise counsel as to how to best care for her in the little ways and moments we interact. I pray for her family who may well have agreed confusedly with Carol’s way of resolving her gender-identity conflict. The logic? ‘Better for Carol to disappear than for Carol to kill herself.’ I agree. I rejoice in her life and respect her right to choose how to resolve a longstanding gender conflict.

Her ‘cure’ is costly: on her own body (toxic hormones and invasive surgeries) and social network (disassembling old bonds, seeking tenuous new ones). Was she given a choice to explore the option of becoming reconciled to her biological self?

Kansas City’s Mayor and Council will vote this Thursday to deny her or anyone that choice. My city has initiated a push to ban ‘conversion therapy’—code word for any minor in conflict who seeks help to make peace with one’s birth gender. The bill highlights ‘Gender Pathways’, a local treatment center that offers every freedom to dysphoric youth except resolving the psychological reasons as to why one is rejecting his or her birthright.

The powers-that-be have tried to hide their counseling ban agenda from public view. They announced the bill and their near slam-dunk victory only after protest from us and others. It seems they know what they want, and they are going after it. We have become an inconvenient truth for Kansas City. They want us to disappear. No way.

We cannot disappear. We must tell the truth of how faith and sound process enabled us to overcome homosexual and transgender identities. We will make known our stories at City Hall this Wednesday. Come pray beforehand with us at 930am on the city steps or just join us at 1030am in the Council chambers. (Will keep you posted if this changes as it often does in politics.) Pray for us!

Pray that we might convey reasonably and lovingly an alternate path to healing. Pray also that we would line up good legal counsel to fight the city in case the ban passes. (The Council could vote as early as the 31st.) This is not a good time for Kansas City to make such a ban, as recent rulings in Tampa, Fla. (Vazzo v. Tampa) and New York City (Schwartz v. City of New York) have demonstrated.

A strange power has darkened the understanding of well-meaning big shots. We must break that power by telling persons the whole truth. Give each person a choice–but give them one to make! Kids grow up fast these days and don’t need condescension; they need choice. Kansas City wants to take away that choice. We won’t let them. Rather than disappear, we will shine through the confusion.

‘We have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. Rather, by speaking the truth plainly, we commend ourselves to every person’s conscience in the sight of God’ (2 Cor. 4:2).

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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open letter to mayor quinton lucas of kansas city teen conversion therapy ban

Open Letter to Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City

Bless and thank you for your good service of our city. I voted for you because I respect your story. Please hear mine and many whom I represent.

I know you are leading the City Council to vote on a citywide measure that would ban any counseling for minors who are seeking to overcome same-sex attraction and/or to be reconciled to their birth gender. You are following the example of nearby Columbia MO; its City Council instituted a ban last Monday on what was framed without opposition as coercive and dangerous efforts to change people.

Mayor Lucas, no-one advocates for manipulative charlatans who harm young people by engaging them against their will and employ techniques that guilt or shock the ‘gay away.’ These abusers should lose their licenses. Period.

We are simply asking that in sexual matters–this profound and turbulent area of young lives—teens be given a range of clinical options as to how they choose to identify and relate to others.

As a ‘gay’-identified teenager in Los Angeles, I was told ‘once gay always gay.’ It was fun until it wasn’t. I became a Christian and began to realize that I had options beyond homosexuality. Part of this was based on my faith decision. Another part involved facing real psychological issues in order to build non-sexual male friendships and to love women honorably. I was vulnerable, not to bad therapists, but to finding any therapist who would help me achieve my goals. I did find one, and that reinforced my commitment to marrying a fine woman.

The clinical community (in schools, hospitals, social services, and private practices) now insists that teens with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria have only one course of action—embrace the ‘gay’ self or ‘transition’ into the other gender. I determined for myself that transitory feelings would not be my destiny. Yet the clinical world insists otherwise. Teens are now given one option.

Your expressed goal, Mayor Lucas, is to make Kansas City ‘a place that is welcoming to anybody.’ Why then are you insisting on a bill that forbids teens from exploring life beyond homosexuality and gender reassignment? Don’t invoke diversity when you are legalizing only one way for teens to resolve their sexuality.
Please give youth the dignity of choice by dropping this counseling ban.

Readers, FYI: The Kansas City Council may vote on this ban as early as Thursday the 24th. Please pray that we are given an opportunity to express our stories and our respectful difference with Mayor Lucas personally before a vote is taken. For any Kansas City-area resident, I urge you to call his office at 816-513-3500 and convey your desire that this ban be dropped.

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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Collateral Damage

We as a staff opened our ministry year in prayer; Annette received a word about ‘collateral damage’, the fall-out from battle—war’s unintended impact upon others. ‘Jesus has won, the enemy knows it, so he is doing everything in his power to wreak havoc, especially in the area of human sexuality.’ I bore witness as I considered how Jesus is returning for a spotless bride, thus the enemy’s rage against all who aspire to chastity or support those who do.

Hours later I began to receive news reports from a distant colleague of mine who had come out as ‘gay’ to as many media outlets as would amplify his sleazy return to same-gender dating after claiming to have been an upstanding father and husband and an utterly significant leader of ‘conversion therapy.’ His positive significance escapes me. I refuse to mention his name as his besetting problem is narcissism, not same-sex attraction; I consider it unwise to feed the monster by giving him any more media attention.

Only in America do we give a man without much substance a platform to lead others onto ‘wholeness’ when his only ‘gift’ appears to have been a string of progressively confusing selfies—strange stream-of-consciousness commentaries posted online as quickly as he could jabber about his unraveling life. His service may well have been called ‘Me Ministries.’ The train wreck was inevitable.

If I am correct that he inflated his former contribution to Kingdom of Light, I am sure that his ‘repentance’ to the dark side will do significant collateral damage. The enemy seduces the wounded and will amplifies their rantings to further his rage against wholeness. So now our former brother apologizes for the ‘thousands’ (?!) he misled and throws down the gauntlet by insisting that he will stomp out all forms of ‘conversion therapy.’ Believe me, this man never used that language when he was in ministry. How convenient that he is now revising history in order to mouth anything that the LGBT juggernaut wants him to say.

And he will keep jabbering as long as journalists ask questions (this guy just made Time magazine, a dream come true!); uninformed people will listen and wag their tongues about coercive ‘conversionists.’ First line of damage? The dismal lack of truth in the greater culture, especially online, will grow that much darker through his ‘witness.’ This damages us all. He will reinforce the popular view that any and all efforts for persons with gender identity problems to become who God made them to be is impossible. Lord have mercy.

Second line of damage: the young people who looked to this man to help them find the narrow way. He now leads them to perdition. For the focused overcomer, apostasy sharpens the truth. Those just resuming the road to chastity may well be seduced off the path by this disturbing witness. ‘For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves to depravity…’ (2 Peter 2:18, 19a). Lord have mercy on the little ones he stumbles.

Those little ones include two children he fathered and a beautiful wife now subject to a ‘gay’-identified and dating husband. That is the third and worst collateral damage—the poisoning of those who need him most. In the battle for chastity, the enemy burns without mercy for loved ones of the fallen. Annette did not know how prophetic her words about collateral damage were, and how sharp they would be for her as she considered this man’s family. Like his wife, my wife is subject to a husband who is weak and yet strong in Jesus. When one similarly vulnerable takes his eyes off the Savior and fuses with the world, the fire singes family first and most. Please pray for her and their two children. Lord have mercy.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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conversion therapy

Nature Rebels

Nature rebelled at our Living Waters Training in Malibu Canyon last week. Charred by the Woolsey Fire just months earlier, the land struggled to absorb five days of driving rain. A stream on the property became a flood as the 20 member team prepped for the arrival of 35 participants. Upon arriving late, I called Dean Greer who calmly informed me that the team had been ordered to evacuate; as he (and Wayne, bless you man!) led the caravan out through the emergency exit, mud slid from the hills and rocks crashed down around them.

On the home front, the rebellion of human nature escalated. A ‘gay married’ actress on television railed against ‘conversion therapy’ as the reason why a young black actor (also ‘gay-identified’) was roughed up by thugs in Chicago a few days earlier. Her theatrical charms overrode any semblance of logic and the audience blew out the studio with cheers and applause. Desert Stream Ministries was pelted by requests from various media sources to weigh in on ‘conversion therapy’ as I awaited Dean’s next phone call.

I was struck by the insanity of demonizing any person who seeks to be reconciled to one’s gendered self and become fruitful. I reread an excellent article by a doctor who pointed out how supporting another’s effort to ‘change’ gender is nothing short of abuse, rendering the person infertile, mutilated, and severely depressed. I responded to one newscaster inquiring about the dangers of ‘conversion therapy’ with this paragraph:

‘As ‘conversion therapy’ has no actual meaning except to scapegoat persons who choose to grow beyond ‘gay’ and ‘trans’ identification, we at Desert Stream Ministries advocate for any person who in light of same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria seeks to become an integrated member of his or her own gender and a good gift to the opposite gender. One should be free to secure clinical and spiritual support for these goals.’

Meanwhile, Dean and team arrived safely a nearby church and kicked into high gear to ensure a warm welcome for the participants, including delegates from England, New Zealand, Kenya, China and Columbia. Through it all, we waited, unsure where the sixty of us might go the next day. 16 hours later we received the go-ahead to return to the conference site. Nature’s whiplash was no match for heaven’s intervention.

Where rebellion abounds, grace prevails for those who look to the Lamb. We followed Him more nearly due to the trials at hand. In weakness, Jesus became stronger, clearer, closer than before. We were ready for His touch. He dwelled with us throughout the week, full of grace and truth. The nations marveled as we welcomed the Creator and Redeemer as the very foundation of our selves—our freedom to offer ourselves undividedly.

‘Conversion therapy’? Yes, Jesus converts us as we humble ourselves before Him and each other, awaiting His healing presence. He’s the only therapist worthy of our complete surrender. At the beginning of the week, I received a picture of a sword hanging over us—the threat of weather, slander, even legal action for daring to profess that Jesus transforms lives. By the week’s end I could see the sword had become a gleaming Cross, shining and spinning over us and the whole of creation. As nature rebels, God prevails.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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Conversion Therapy: Six Points Worth Considering

First, ‘conversion therapy’ is the current lightning rod of contempt for anyone who refuses LGBT+ identity and destiny. And anyone who supports that decision: friends and family, churches, therapists. While celebrating every person’s right to change partners or genders, our culture demonizes those who choose to align their bodies with their obvious purpose of generating new life.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the entertainment industry. 2018 began with ‘Miseducation of Cameron Post’ and ends with ‘Boy Erased’, a small film with big stars about a young man who following his rape by a college friend attends a 12-day ‘conversion therapy’ camp where he is subject to a prison-like house of horrors marked by manipulation of every kind. The credo is coercion: Christians imposing nightmarish tactics upon otherwise well-adjusted persons with same-sex attraction who become self-hateful. The cure? A jail-break! (In this case, with the help of Mama Nicole Kidman, for whom I would gladly flee the big house.)

Nicole aside, the vibe is everywhere. I just read a detailed article entitled ’Taught to Hate Myself’ that lists drug-induced aversion therapy, electro-shock treatments and use of heterosexual porn as ‘conversion’ tricks in curing gays, resulting in failed ‘straight’ marriages, suicide, and overall wrecked lives. Surprisingly, no professional counselors are named. You know why? No therapist worth his or her salt would engage in any of these trumped up shenanigans. ‘Conversion’ therapists do not exist. And if any facsimile of the ‘conversion camp’ of ‘Boy Erased’ ever existed, we can be grateful it does no more.

Second, the term ‘conversion’ therapy never existed in any professional sense of the word. Since the beginning of psychotherapy, clinicians have understood same-sex attraction to be a ‘reparative’ drive—not the defining characteristic of one’s sexual adulthood but a symptom of something else, an unconscious effort to repair some deficit or breach. From this understanding, skilled helpers help persons ‘to read’ their sexual desires properly; that involves helping clients to recognize legitimate needs at the heart of same-sex attraction, and to face painful relationships and traumas that may have contributed to the attraction. Here therapists function as healers of actual wounds that have divided lives and made persons more vulnerable to LGBT+ self-perceptions and behaviors, as in the case of childhood sexual abuse.

My journey to wholeness was laid by Jesus. But along the way, skilled helpers helped me sort out my desires along the narrow road to life, neither condemning me for them nor limiting me to their demands. They helped me to walk through same-sex attraction, face squarely some factors that contributed to it, and grow in self-acceptance.

Third, Living Waters, Courage, and all the ministries I know in the Restored Hope Network do not practice this form of therapy. How do I know that? We are not therapists! We are lay persons who come alongside anyone who—in light of identity conflicts and sexual addictions–wants to grow in the love of Jesus Christ. We meet in groups, which are voluntary, coercion-free, and aimed at centering one’s affections and identity upon Jesus Christ. ‘Therapy’ is a meaningful term and practice that should only apply to persons who have the skill to forge a long term, in-depth relationship with a person who wants professional help for the purpose of clearing out debris from his or her path to wholeness.

Fourth, we need these therapists! Persons with gender identity problems are vulnerable, not only to conflictual sexual desires but to mental health issues like chemical addiction, personality disorders, depression, and suicidal tendencies. We lay persons must recognize our limits in the face of another’s fragility. We must learn to refer our people to skilled helpers who can help individuals navigate a range of issues, including constructive ways of facing same-sex attraction beyond merely branding them LGBT+.

Fifth, I suggest that we work with new language. I’m fine with reparative therapy, but it is now guilty by its bizarre ‘conversion’ association. How about ‘integration’ therapy, which references the goal of becoming whole, united with the good of our own gender selves by overcoming divides that bar us from chaste relating with either gender?

Sixth, the battle is raging to demonize and do away with therapeutic help for persons refusing the LGBT+ destiny. Christians around our country are drinking the cool-aid; refusing to believe there is any psychological ‘stuff’ to gender disorders, they are joining the tirade against providing such help. That was evident in our recent, temporary win against 2943 in California. Although the bill was shelved, many Christians, including the saints at Rosemead, Biola University’s clinical counseling arm, went on record (see website) to refute therapeutic ‘change’ efforts as a kind of olive branch to the LGBT+ community. This will come back to bite us. Gay activist and author of 2943, Evan Low, has announced his plan to reframe the bill in 2019 and to outlaw all such therapeutic efforts. The fight goes on, and we must wage it without throwing our clinical allies under the bus.

We are currently in a time of prayer and fasting. If you’d like to pray along with us, let us know and we can send you a book or you can get it through kindle here: https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Good-News-Andrew-Comiskey-ebook/dp/B07F95JKP5!

 

 

 

 

 

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