A phenomenon we have frequently noted is the clarification of the lines of battle between Belief and Unbelief. As the latter becomes more militant the powers of government are brought to bear against Christian beliefs and Christian practices. It is inevitable that this would be the case.
In a broad sense, religion shapes culture, and culture shapes politics, government and the law. The West has undergone a profound religious shift in the last 150 to 200 years. Atheism, whether of the materialistic militant sort of Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins, or of the ignorant sort of most people ("God may or may not exist, but as far as I am concerned, I will live my way") has shaped and now dominates popular culture. Next comes government and politics.
Whilst Christian vestiges remain (the National Anthem, prayer at the convocation of Parliament, for example) new laws increasingly exclude consistent Christian belief and practice. The battle lines become both drawn and clear. While the pagan Unbeliever may speak piously about civic freedoms the list of what is considered beyond the pale and subject to state proscription grows by the year.
Here is the latest example--this time from the UK. Attempts by professional counsellors to free homosexuals of their perversions will now result in being struck off from professional registers. This from the Guardian:
There are number of possible responses which Christians may consider adopting in response to this new battle line.
'Conversion therapy' for gay patients unethical, says professional body
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy formalises policy change for 30,000-strong membershipPeter Walker guardian.co.uk,
Monday 1 October 2012
Britain's biggest professional body for psychotherapists has instructed members that it is unethical for them to attempt to "convert" gay people to being heterosexual, formalising a policy change long demanded by rights groups.
The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy has written to its near-30,000 members to inform them of the new guidelines. The letter says the BACP "opposes any psychological treatment such as 'reparative' or 'conversion' therapy which is based upon the assumption that homosexuality is a mental disorder, or based on the premise that the client/patient should change his/her sexuality". The body adds that it recognises World Health Organisation policy that says such therapies can cause severe harm to an individual's mental and physical health.
The statement, drawn up by the board of governors, ends: "BACP believes that socially inclusive, non-judgmental attitudes to people who identify across the diverse range of human sexualities will have positive consequences for those individuals, as well as for the wider society in which they live. There is no scientific, rational or ethical reason to treat people who identify within a range of human sexualities any differently from those who identify solely as heterosexual."
Conversion therapies are mainly associated with evangelical Christian groups in the US. It was long presumed that the vast majority of UK counsellors and psychotherapists recognised that these were widely discredited. But a 2009 survey of 1,300 therapists, psychoanalysts and psychiatrists found more than 200 had attempted to change at least one patient's sexual orientation, with 55 saying they were still offering such a therapy.
The first is that Christians who wish to remain in the particular British professional association should disclose that they refuse to treat or help homosexuals troubled with their sexual proclivities and desires--with suitable apologies, of course. This is likely to ensure that what they do have to offer will be made more attractive to their potential clients--leading to discreet referrals to Christian pastors and counsellors who are not restricted by the secularist humanist professional associations. More homosexuals will be helped and delivered than ever.
Secondly, Christians will have already set up their own professional counselling associations: all Christians currently members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy will likely look to joining a more sane and less atheistic professional association. The drawing of battle lines can be quite helpful and useful--with good unexpected consequences.
Thirdly, bold Christian provocateurs will likely commence a publicity campaign explaining that the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy wants to ensure that its patients and clients are condemned to exclusion from the Kingdom of God and wish them consigned to Hell. They will, of course, cite biblical authority for this contention:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6: 9,10)And they will cheekily add, no doubt, that if homosexuals want deliverance, don't waste time and money going to any member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. They will be powerless to deliver from perversity. And the same advice needs to be extended to people afflicted with all types of sexual impurity, together with all superstitious idolaters, adulterers, and thieves, along with those riddled and racked with envy, anger, bitterness, and deceit.
The British Association will doubtless want to see these perversions as matters of human rights and human freedoms--you know, self-expression and self-actualisation. The last thing they want is to see someone delivered out of wickedness. They hate the idea that such people should gain acceptance into God's Kingdom and to Heaven.
And last, but not least, Christian pastors and leaders will likely take up their proper responsibilities once again to minister God's Word and Messiah's promises of redemption, cleansing, and deliverance from the captivity of the Devil. The secular pastors (that is, secular counsellors and psychotherapists) are like the false prophets that clustered around King Ahab, telling him what he wanted to hear. Both they and Ahab were condemned to Hell. The modern manifestation of the same will doubtless follow in their train.
Ah, yes, there are some good things that can result from battle lines being drawn.