Facebook Suspends Pro-Chastity Christian Ministry

News: US News
by Martina Moyski  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  October 13, 2020   

'Chilling example of viewpoint discrimination'

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Facebook is putting out a gag order for a Christian ministry dedicated to helping people suffering from unwanted same-sex attraction.

Last week, the tech giant banned the page of Restored Hope Network (RHN), an interdenominational organization that serves people seeking to live by the precepts of Christian sexual morality.

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Restored Hope Network logo

According to an Oct. 7 press release, RHN's Facebook page was removed "without notice or explanation by the social media giant."

RHN executive director Anne Paulk asserted that "Facebook's actions are a chilling example of viewpoint discrimination."

"Facebook is deciding they have the authority to silence the stories of those of us whose lives have changed," continued Paulk. "Their dismissive action — canceling our page as if it never existed, leaving a vague 'the link may be broken' message in its place — is shameful. Not even extending us the courtesy of a notification, a chance to offer our side of the very politicized story, is unconscionable."

"The last time I looked, we still live in the United States. Freedom to choose what to do with one's life — and seek help that one wants — is a dearly held value," the director noted. "People looking for change should be free to find services and resources from counselors, schools, churches and ministries like ours to help them achieve their desired goals."

Paulk further took issue with the term "conversion therapy" (which was coined by LGBT activists), to describe her work.

People looking for change should be free to find services and resources from counselors, schools, churches and ministries like ours.

"The removal of the page stems from Facebook's aggressive efforts to support the bans on so-called 'conversion therapy,'" she explained. "The problem: Conversion therapy doesn't exist. It is a deliberately and misleadingly provocative term coined by the LGBTQ activist community that does not describe any type of actual counseling assistance offered to men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction."

Testimonials of women and men helped by ministries associated with the Restored Hope Network are recorded on its website. Paulk told Church Militant on Monday that these testimonials represent "a chorus of former LGBT voices who have found Jesus to be their waymaker, redeemer from the wages and slavery to sin, and amazing grace that sets captives free."

The testimony of Paulk herself is included and speaks to the value of Christian ministries that "walked alongside" her and "encouraged" her to understand the grip homosexuality had on her life.

"I learned that the homosexual struggle is often based on wounds of the past. In confronting and praying about these dark corners of my life, I began to experience greater freedom from the source of my heart's pain, and as a result, the grip of homosexual struggle lessened," she wrote. "I found hope and freedom as I moved along this path, including the freedom to choose how to respond rightly to temptation. I found freedom to delight and enjoy being a woman."

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Core Issues Trust emblem

"I found new possibilities that I had never thought would ever happen, romantic attraction to a particular man, then marriage and a family," she expounded. "I found that God is able to finish the work He began in me and that He's able and willing to align me with His great plans that are rich, right and full of unadulterated beauty."

Another testimonial, that of Jim Venice, who is now director of Pure Heart Ministries, explained that once he "found a local 'sexual redemption ministry,'" he learned that he "had believed a lie." But he came to discover that he "was not born gay" and "that there are no gay genes and [there is] no scientific evidence that homosexuality [is] biological."

Venice discovered that he wasn't alone in his struggles. He recalls that "There were countless thousands and undocumented millions of people like myself who were having encounters with God or Jesus where He was calling them out of homosexuality or lesbianism." He considers it a travesty that experiences like his are ignored by the mainstream media, lamenting, "Unfortunately, you will not hear any of this on the five o'clock news!"

Facebook's silencing of RHN is not an isolated incident.

For example, Facebook and Instagram recently banned posts from the pages of Core Issues Trust, a British Christian organization that "supports people who voluntarily seek change in sexual preferences," claiming it promoted "conversion therapy," according to a Christianity Today article dated Oct. 9.

Christianity Today interviewed Core Issues Trust founder Mike Davidson in July, who spoke about the clear and present dangers of such censorship. Davidson stated that he thinks:

This censorship flags up the totalitarian nature of the LGBT left-wing movement. This is really another dimension of the current "cancel culture" movement, and it's going in the same direction as the "woke" mob. So I think people ought to be very concerned about this. It may seem at the moment like conversion therapy is only relevant to a few people in the country. In fact, it has great significance because, once it's banned, the Left will only go further and there will be no stopping them.

The founder called out the Church's laxity in the face of the slippery slope of censorship.

"We are effectively seeing the blossoming of cultural Marxism. It's a Marxist revolution right in front of our eyes, but this is not being discerned by the Church, which tries to blend, appease and comply — to its detriment," he added. "The same happened with divorce and abortion."

Despite the setback, Paulk said the group would continue to support the rights of individuals who struggle with sexual sin in seeking help and healing.

"We will remain here, fighting for their rights, despite Facebook's best efforts to muzzle us and disenfranchise them," she said.

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