God Provides Power to Change

Marcus Bachmann and his clinic was recently the focus of an expose by Brian Ross of ABC news. Ross played a video of an undercover interview with Bachmann clinic staff recorded by a gay man who posed as a person requesting help in changing his sexual preference. 

Interviews with gay advocates claimed that attempts to change sexual orientation were “ineffective” at best and potentially “harmful.”  The tactics that were specifically derided were the use of the Bible and prayer as tools to accomplish this change in sexual orientation. This entire exercise appears to be an attempt to embarrass and question the credibility of Michelle Bachmann who is a U.S. presidential candidate.

Perhaps the unintended result is to question the power of God and His ability to change humans. Those who believe in the creative ability of God know that there are no limits on God’s ability to transform human life. 

There are alcoholics who love to drink and who will always remain alcoholics and who don’t ever want to change. These people are perfectly free in our society to remain alcoholics. 

On the other hand there are alcoholics who want to give up alcohol. Alcoholics Anonymous, the most effective agency in rehabilitating alcoholics, place the key to their success in a “higher power.” God can cure alcoholism. To deny that alcoholics can change is to deny the power of God. 

There are obese people who love to eat and who are perfectly comfortable being obese and who don’t ever want to change. These people are perfectly free in our society to remain obese. 

On the other hand there are obese people who want to be thin.  There are many behavioral and surgical approaches to help people achieve a more ideal weight.  There are highly effective weight management programs that are based on the fact that God can and will help those who are overweight to control their apetite.  To say that people can’t achieve an ideal weight with God’s help, is to deny the power of God. 

There are gay, bisexual, and transgendered people who were born with those desires. They are perfectly comfortable with their sexuality and don’t ever want to change. These people are free in our society to retain these tendencies. 

On the other hand there are gay, bisexual, and transgendered people who want to be heterosexual. God, the creator, can recreate his children. 

Sexual orientation, dietary patterns that lead to obesity, and alcoholism are all behaviors that have a hereditary component. They affect people who are not satisfied with their assigned orientation.  

Since people are made that way, it is perfectly appropriate to consult God, the maker, and ask for a change. To say that seeking God’s help with these or any other issues is “ineffective” or “harmful” is a thinly disguised attack on God and limits His power to change human lives. 

The transformation Christ brings in the life includes both hereditary and environmentally acquired behaviors. The Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

This thought is seconded by Ellen White a 19th century health reformer who said, “Those who put their trust in Christ are not to be enslaved by any hereditary or cultivated habit or tendency. Instead of being held in bondage to the lower nature, they are to rule every appetite and passion. God has not left us to battle with evil in our own finite strength. Whatever may be our inherited or cultivated tendencies to wrong, we can overcome through the power that He is ready to impart.” (Counsels on Health, 440)