Canada, Finland & "Conversion Therapy"
...And don't forget West Lafayette, Indiana?
The turmoil and unrest in Canada is no secret. As I write this, thousands of truckers have raised over 2 million dollars to fund a protest campaign regarding the COVID-19 mandates. These truckers are protesting because an estimated 20% of Canadian truck drivers will lose their jobs if the vaccine mandate stays in force in country. This is a tiresome global storyline. As the Chinese curse says “may [we] live in interesting times”.
But, the focus in this article is not the vaccine mandate, but a bill that passed in the midst of all this covid chaos in Canada. This bill is called “Bill C-4” and it is a federal bill that amended Canada’s criminal code. The target is to ban “conversion therapy” across the nation. And if you are curious as to what lawmakers mean by “conversion therapy” we are too. Below you will find pertinent parts of this particular bill:
Segments of Bill C-4:
“This enactment amends the Criminal Code to, among other things, create the following offences:
(a) causing another person to undergo conversion therapy;
(b) doing anything for the purpose of removing a child from Canada with the intention that the child undergo conversion therapy outside Canada;
(c) promoting or advertising conversion therapy; and
(d) receiving a financial or other material benefit from the provision of conversion therapy.
It also amends the Criminal Code to authorize courts to order that advertisements for conversion therapy be disposed of or deleted.
Whereas conversion therapy causes harm to the persons who are subjected to it;
Whereas conversion therapy causes harm to society because, among other things, it is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, including the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions;
And whereas, in light of those harms, it is important to discourage and denounce the provision of conversion therapy in order to protect the human dignity and equality of all Canadians;
Definition of conversion therapy
320.101 In sections 320.102 to 320.104, conversion therapy means a practice, treatment or service designed to
(a) change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual;
(b) change a person’s gender identity to cisgender;
(c) change a person’s gender expression so that it conforms to the sex assigned to the person at birth;
(d) repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour;
(e) repress a person’s non-cisgender gender identity; or
(f) repress or reduce a person’s gender expression that does not conform to the sex assigned to the person at birth.
For greater certainty, this definition does not include a practice, treatment or service that relates to the exploration or development of an integrated personal identity — such as a practice, treatment or service that relates to a person’s gender transition — and that is not based on an assumption that a particular sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression is to be preferred over another.
320.102 Everyone who knowingly causes another person to undergo conversion therapy — including by providing conversion therapy to that other person — is
(a) guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or
(b) guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
Promoting or advertising
320.103 Everyone who knowingly promotes or advertises conversion therapy is
(a) guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or
(b) guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
advertisement for conversion therapy means any material — including a photographic, film, video, audio or other recording, made by any means, a visual representation or any written material — that is used to promote or advertise conversion therapy
Warrant of seizure
164.1 (1) If a judge is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is material — namely, child pornography as defined in section 163.1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, or computer data as defined in subsection 342.1(2) that makes child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy available — that is stored on and made available through a computer system as defined in subsection 342.1(2)”
As you can see, “conversion therapy” is very broad not to mention it has strange bedfellows in the bill.
And just by the wording of this bill, you can see that the LGBTQ movement has long hijacked the civil rights movement. This is the fruit of a decade’s long campaign in the media, government schools, and higher education. A bill like C-4 demonstrates just how effective this movement has been in infiltrating and indoctrinating. They rightly had the long-view in mind.
Now, it is unclear to me if the phrase “conversion therapy” conjures up images of Orwell’s 1984 brainwashing for the advocates of the bill or if something else is the target—say evangelism and preaching and biblical counseling. Many Christians do not practice what would be considered “traditional” conversion therapy in which the changing of one’s sexual orientation is the telos- the end game—salvation if you will. This approach (and I do not know of any Christians personally who are proponents of it) mistakenly makes heterosexuality the goal and not Christ.
Most pastors and counselors I know see unbelief as the underlying issue behind any sin, including the sin of homosexuality. This in turn informs their counseling. The goal is to embrace the glorious, resurrected Christ. It is to turn away from creature worship toward Creator worship. In order to do that one must be born again. In order to be born again, one must repent of sin and sin is defined by the Bible alone because God alone defines what sin is (and isn’t!). Creatures don’t have the authority to do that no matter how much we kick and scream and cry.
Now, this bill became law on January 7th, and those who violate this law could face fines or up to 5 years in prison. In response to the passing of this bill, pastors all throughout Canada and in other parts of the world, preached on passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
This passage alone should remind us that this is a gospel issue. It is a battle we should be engaged in. The souls of people created in the image of God are at stake.
Now, while all this is going on with our neighbors to the north, another story is making news that began last summer but has recently popped up in headlines again.
Päivi Räsänen a Finnish member of parliament and former minister of the interior (not to mention a medical doctor and grandmother) is on trial for tweeting a Bible verse in 2019 that promoted God’s view on marriage and sexuality. She could face fines or up to 2 years in jail. She’s 62.
Now how is her crime described in the eyes of the law in Finland?
She is being accused of “ethnic agitation” which is under the section of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in the country’s criminal code. Does that seem out of place? I think so too.
She is on trial alongside of Juhana Pohjola, a Finnish Bishop who also asserted the Bible’s view on marriage and sexuality as well.
With these two events going on in Canada and Finland, you can see how the government can use broad undefined terms like “ethnic agitation” or “conversion therapy” to suppress the freedom of speech and recharacterize it as ‘hate speech’ and thereby outlaw things such as Bible verses, preaching, biblical counseling, and yes evangelism. We shouldn’t be naïve about this.
15 The simple believes everything,
but the prudent gives thought to his steps. (Proverbs 14:15)
I’ll say it again: the LGBTQ community and its advocates have highjacked the civil rights movement. And the goal of the movement is to become a god. It is to become the lord of the conscience. The aim is to reshape morality devoid of the Triune God and His standards, redefine the home (which God created), and punish any detractors that say there is a God in which all people everywhere must give an account.
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:22-25)
What is important for us to know is that those who assert that there is a God and that He created all things and that He revealed to us His will in the Bible will face trouble.
What one says on an issue related to the LGBTQ movement like Mrs. Räsänen or Juhana Pohjola will face fines, imprisonment, being maligned or they will be manipulated into submission and thus a recantation (you know, like in Orwell’s 1984).
A lot is at stake and we should be prayerfully watching. What these Finlandians (is that what we call them?) know along with these Canadian pastors is that all men are sinners. All men need Christ.
Why would they or any of us discriminate against those in the LGBTQ community by not calling them to repentance and faith? All men have particular sins that are an offense to our Holy Creator in which we must give an account and that includes the sin of homosexuality and its other brothers and sisters in the alphabet.
This is genuinely a life-or-death situation. Christians are ambassadors of Christ sent in the authority of Christ to herald the unchanging gospel of Christ which is in short form—repent and believe for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17).
The only way for any sinner to be made right with God is by repenting of their particular sins and placing their trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and reconciliation with God. Any message other than that damns one’s soul to an eternal hell.
The unloving thing to do would be to stop preaching the gospel of repentance and faith to those in the LGBTQ community.
Now, if you think this isn’t in our backyard here in the states, I’d encourage you to follow what’s going on in West Lafayette, Indiana as it relates to “conversion therapy”. Christian, pay attention and be ready.
 You can read the bill in its entirety here: https://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/44-1/bill/C-4/first-reading
 See Dr. Rosaria Butterfield a former lesbian and feminist speak about this here: