Torrix, a website hosting business based in England, recently suspended the Stanley Road Baptist Church website.
The Church wrote a letter of concern regarding the government’s recent ban on gay conversion therapy, the Lancaster Guardian reported.
Pastor Steve Hewitt was one of over 2,500 Christian ministers who signed the letter to Liz Truss, the government minister responsible for the potential ban of conversion therapy.
“We see in these proposals a clear possibility that our duty as ministers, of proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and calling people to find life in him, which includes living by his laws, will be criminalised,” the letter reads. “We also believe it could be used against Christian parents who could equally be criminalised for loving advice and teaching given to their own children.”
Christian Today reported: “The Ministers’ Consultation Response expressed concerns that the legislation is so badly drafted that biblically orthodox ministers could go to jail for teaching the traditional Christian sexual ethic to individuals in their pastoral care.”
According to Torrix owner Matt Fletcher, the Church’s letter shows their perpetuation of “the abuse of LGBT and/or non-binary people.”
“Therefore, I have decided to withdraw my hosting provision for this website with immediate effect,” Fletcher wrote.
Pastor Hewitt responded to the permanent suspension of his church’s site: “I am saddened at this development, but I am grateful for all the help that Matthew has given the church previously, often voluntarily.”
Those who signed the letter also released a joint statement:
We signed the letter, alongside more than 2,500 ministers, in a personal capacity because of our concerns for this proposed law’s potential impact.
As the letter says, we would join with Christians across the country in describing some historic practices in this area as abuse so it is misleading to say we are against a ban on conversion therapy.
However, it is vitally important that the Government is clear on what is to be defined as ‘conversion therapy.’ We are concerned it may be interpreted to include the teaching of traditional, orthodox Christian beliefs on marriage and relationships.
This could have a significant impact on our day-to-day ministry of teaching the good news of Jesus Christ as outlined in the Bible, which we think is both wonderful but also challenges every person.
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