‘Nothing to Heal’? (Rien A Guerir?)
Or so goes the tagline for France’s new law that bans ‘conversion therapies’ and authorizes jail time and fines for persons who accompany clients seeking to redirect their sexual energies.
So much for fraternity, equality, and liberty. Apparently, the French government knows better than her citizens whose faith, sexual traumas, and addictions have led them to explore new ways of relating.
‘Freedom’ in secular France now means binding up the Christian conscience.
I discovered word on the final vote (a slam dunk, 142-0) while perusing for the first time the French translation of the newly revised Living Waters guidebook. Having yet to read it in English, I frankly delighted in this ‘map’ for seekers seeking a new way of understanding themselves, their relationships, and Merciful Jesus. I thought about all my friends—smart, sensitive servants who accompany diverse strugglers in churches throughout France. And I pray along with you that this renewed guide will renew their efforts.
Torrents de Vie (Living Waters) in France has flowed with humble dignity for over 25 years. It quenches the thirst of all persons (including persons with sexual identity conflicts—for them, there is something to heal) seeking wholeness in Jesus. And they have been hounded for the last couple decades by a handful of LGBTQ+ activists, dishonest journalists, and politicians hell-bent on ridiculing, if not stopping, their efforts.
To do so, the French government claims that they are weeding out coercive and abusive ‘interventions.’ Yet these techniques neither exist in France nor in any western nation, let alone in Torrents de Vie. In truth, the government is imposing a sexual philosophy, and themselves as the ‘big brother’ who insists on its trajectory. Or else!
This new national ban applies only to clinicians, not lay pastoral helpers, and so Torrents de Vie is not directly endangered. Yet the law casts a dark net over all French Christians whose conscience directs them to take another way.
No government should impose itself upon that conscience. Each citizen should have the right to determine how he views himself, his sexuality, and his relational future. And to secure support in route.
Sexual matters involve the most personal movements and convictions of the heart. Persons, not parliaments, determine what needs to be healed. As the French government already champions LGBTQ+ everything, why not advocate for persons whose convictions guide them to identify differently?
In passing this law, the French government mocks equality, liberty, and fraternity.
Nothing to heal? Not for a faithful few. Nothing can stop Torrents de Vie. May resistance strengthen them.
‘Wherever the river flows, everything will live’ (Ez. 47:9).