Article 7 Nashville Statement 2017

This article is saying is very specific so I will keep my response specific as well.

The argument that being gay or trans is a choice is an argument steeped in hate and ignorance.

The framers of this Statement attempt to side step this reality by speaking of “self-conception” instead of “self-awareness.”

Self-awareness is your conscious knowledge about yourself.

Self-conception is something different.

Self-conception is the image we have of ourselves. It is our beliefs about ourselves and is impacted by influential people in our lives.  It encompasses our personal identity, and our social identity. Congruence and incongruence measure the ways in which our self-concept align with reality. For instance, if I believe I am a great athlete but I posses no skills in any aspect of athleticism and cannot excel at sports my self-conception in this area is incongruent.

Something I find fascinating in many areas of interaction with Evangelical Fundamentalism is the public outcry against humanist psychology and the internal embracing of it when it fits the intended goal of the Fundamentalist.  Self-conception is part of the field of humanist psychology. I’m not against it, really, but I’m against misapplying it to fit an agenda.

If I’m talking with someone about their self perception as untalented in some area where they clearly possess talent, it is reasonable to suggest their self-conception is incongruous. If I’m trying to help someone brainstorm career paths and they fear talking to people but want to go into sales – again, the discussion of self-conception being incongruent may be appropriate.  When someone is invested in something for which they have clear talent and ability partnered with drive I might sit back and be impressed by how congruent their self-conception is!

It would be hateful of me, however, to suggest that being gay or trans is a matter of simply being incongruent in one’s self-conception.

This idea being expressed is that one is not gay or trans except one believes themselves to be these things.  So if someone has self awareness that they are gay they need to merely be influenced by powerful influencers in their life to see that they are not in fact gay, but are only incongruent in their self-conception.  When they accept the “true” self-conception they will understand that they were not really gay but merely not accepting the truth about themselves.

This is as the heart of conversion therapy. This is abuseive and is not from God.

God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption are not dependent on anyone having any specific self-concept except perhaps that we need God and that God loves us.