This week I gave a couple of talks at the annual conference of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). The conference themes were transgender and homosexuality, and I gave one address on each topic. Rosaria Butterfield, Sam Allberry, Heath Lambert, Albert Mohler, Stuart Scott, Owen Strachan, and others also addressed the 2,000 people who gathered for the conference.
Several news outlets covered the meeting when about 40 people showed up to protest the conference on Monday. USA Today reports that the protesters were especially concerned that the conference promoted reparative therapy. They organized their protest to oppose reparative therapy, and they told several news outlets how harmful reparative therapy is.
But there was one problem. Neither the conference nor ACBC nor any of the speakers support reparative therapy. In fact, ACBC as an organization opposes reparative theraphy. Heath Lambert, the executive director of ACBC, wrote an extended critique of reparative therapy almost a year ago. In short, the conference had nothing to do with reparative therapy except to denounce it. Lambert explained all this at a news conference on Monday during the protest (see video above), but still it made news.
Bottom Line: About 40 people who oppose reparative therapy protested a conference that also opposes reparative therapy. The conference was sponsored by Christians on the campus of a Christian seminary, and it advocated a view of marriage and sexuality that has been held by Christians for the last 2,000 years.
I don’t think anyone could be blamed for wondering why this made headlines. Heath Lambert put it this way earlier today:
— Heath Lambert (@HeathLambert) October 8, 2015
Perhaps the publicity isn’t all bad as it gives us an opportunity to highlight the real reason we met together this week. We believe that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–gay, straight, or otherwise (1 Tim. 1:15). Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins, and he was raised to give us eternal life (Rom. 4:25). Every person on the planet is invited to receive this salvation on the same terms–through repentance and faith (Mark 1:15). And God gives everyone who follows Christ the power to walk in holiness (Phil. 2:12-13; 2 Pet. 1:3). That was why 2,000 biblical counselors gathered this week.
If the protests and publicity serve to highlight that message, then it would all be worth it.