Secular Therapy's Pro-Gay Bias
This article, written by Dan Hitz, Executive Director of Reconciliation Ministries, was first published in August, 2009.
The events during August in the secular therapeutic world, and culture in general, underscore the importance of ministries like Reconciliation Ministries which provide answers and hope to those unwilling to embrace their unwanted homosexual feelings. In the beginning of August, the American Psychological Association’s governing counsel of representatives “passed a resolution… urging mental health professionals not to recommend to their clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or any other methods.” 1 This came after a six-member APA task force released a review of studies on sexual orientation at the group’s annual convention in Toronto.
The APA’s response came in direct contradiction to a study released in 2007 by Stanton Jones, Ph.D. and Mark Yarhouse, Psy.D. and supported by former APA president, Nicholas A. Cummings, Ph.D., Sc.D., which found that “religiously mediated sexual orientation change is possible for some individuals and does not cause psychological harm to the patient, on average.”2 This year, Jones and Yahouse presented updated results for their study at a symposium during the same APA convention showing that “sexual orientation change is not only possible, but sustainable… The findings directly contradict commonly expressed views of the mental health establishment that say this option is impossible and that the attempt to change is likely to produce harm.”3
Exodus Internaitonal issued a press release in response to the APA’s resolution. “While Exodus does not fully agree with the APA's criticisms of clinical techniques such as reparative therapy and its view of sexual orientation change, the report does recognize that some choose to live their lives in congruence with religious values. The report also encourages therapists to avoid imposing a specific outcome on clients.”4
There are many of us who have successfully undergone a transformation in our sexual orientation and are now living a more emotionally healthy and fulfilling life in congruence with our religious faith. I for one am glad that I have had to opportunity to deal with my unwanted same-sex attraction and have found healing and hope through Christ. If I would have followed the APA’s recommendations, and the recommendations of many in the secular mental health community, I would have devastated my wife and children by leaving them and embracing what many secular therapists would perceive to be my true identity – that of a gay-identified man. Instead, I followed the advice of the Lord Jesus Christ and found healing and freedom from my unwanted attractions and have become a much better husband to my wife and a better father to my children.
Now, more than ever, it is important to uphold Scriptural values as we face opposition from those who choose man’s ways over God’s ways. Please pray for this ministry and the participants that we will be strengthen to answer God’s calling, and to continue to walk in obedience to Him with Biblical sexual and relational integrity.