Filter Blog Posts By:

Exodus International to Shut Down; Ministry President Apologizes to Gay Community

June 20, 2013 | by: Sam Storms| 18 Comments

18 Comments

Richard

Jun 25, 2013

I'm sad. Sad that we Christian's can't ever get off these merry-go-round debates. I'm sad that when Exodus International finally, after much soul-searching and prayer, determined that God was leading it to close the doors that other ministries pop up to condemn their decision and write them off as abandoning the redemptive power of Christ. I'm sad that it appears this debate is nowhere near over. I'm sad that more families will be torn apart as parents wrestle over whether to love their son or daughter unconditionally as they are or to alienate them because of their commitment to a particular way of reading the Bible. I'm sad that some of these sons and daughters will take their own lives this year (as the statistics support) because after trying to "pray away the gay" with tears in their eyes for the thousandth time, they yet find God strangely silent and their orientation unchanged. I'm sad that even though many of us know this is the reality for countless LGBT people in the Christian community, we will still continue in our zealous defense of our particular way of reading Paul, or understanding Jesus, or exegeting the OT passages - and we'll shrug at the pain, the tears, the death, and we'll just glibly say we are "standing on the truth of God's word"... So this is good news for the world?

Becca

Jun 25, 2013

@Donnie, what you said is the most important comment in this thread. It is Christ in us that is the hope of our glory! It's only the real existence and working of the Spirit of God in us that gives us power to move through these things (and ANY sin/flesh/emotional struggle)! And he does! What I have experienced (and seen in the lives of others) is that when my heart is wholly submitted, and willing, and I am caught up in the love and adoration of Jesus - he supplies ALL that is necessary to walk in holiness and righteousness. And not that temptations and even hard struggles don't come, but when we are really, really willing, with our whole heart - that's when he enables us to walk on top of those waves. And it really does feel like that.

If you're reading this and you're afraid that this ministry's closing might confirm what you fear (that there really isn't hope) PLEASE hear this - there IS hope! It is real! And scripture says that this hope "doesn't disappoint, because God's love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he gave us." I grew up in the church, utterly ashamed and utterly in hiding - and I just "knew" deep down that there wasn't hope of real freedom, real life. But my friend...hear the words of the Savior. There is hope for you. And it is real. He will give it as you become willing for it - and if you're not willing for it, just ask for willingness. May the peace of Christ and the joy of his true hope fill your heart and your mind and your entire being. Blessed be God who is able to transfer us out of darkness and into the Kingdom of Light.

Sharon

Jun 23, 2013

@John Carpenter: you're probably right about the offense that will be taken even when the gospel is shared appropriately. But it's possible that if the Church had been presenting a message of grace and transformation for the past 50 years, we wouldn't be in this situation today. (Remember the Crusades - 1000 years later the Church and the world are still paying the price for our mishandling of the gospel.)

@Jane: I agree that our choices and the way in which we act out our feelings are crucial, and homosexuals are not the only ones having to make those choices! At the same time, presenting a message to the homosexual that "you'll probably have these feelings for the rest of your life, but you'll be okay if you don't act on them. You'll be lonely and frustrated, but at least you'll go to heaven" is not adequate. There's got to be - and there IS - more to the Gospel message than that, but I'm not sure most of the Church knows how to communicate it effectively. I'm praying for God to raise up more voices that know how to speak to this issue with authority.

Sharon

Jun 23, 2013

The fundamental issue is whether Scripture is authoritative, in which case we evaluate our experience in light of what it says, OR whether we evaluate Scripture by our experience. If our experience indicates homosexuality is "impossible" to get rid of, and Scripture says that "his divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness", which do we believe?

I really appreciate Andrew Comiskey's perspective on this: "[W]e cannot expect to experience a complete absence of sexual struggles in this lifetime....What the [homosexual] struggler can reasonably expect is to become whole enough in this lifetime to sustain fulfilling, heterosexual relationships. By that I mean the capacity to relate intimately but nonerotically with the same sex, and the freedom to encounter the opposite sex as a desired counterpart--with interest, not fear or distaste." (Pursuing Sexual Wholeness, p. 188)

My impression, from what I've heard/read, is that the Exodus ministry stopped calling people to the pursuit of healthy heterosexual functioning even to the level that Comiskey describes. They started putting more stock in people's experiences than in the teaching of Scripture.

Donnie Raveling

Jun 23, 2013

Look to Jesus and worship Him. I walked away in 2011 with NO more same-sex attractions after living in the LGBT for 25 years. I know the relational brokenness that Chambers and others speak of BUT the power of moving through (NOT overcoming) the brokenness is Jesus - NOT Exodus, or Outpost or Restored Hope Network. Keep your eyes are on Him. The church does not look at homosexuality in a more horrible sin. It is the those in the church who do not obey the Lord to walk alongside those who are hurting. God put me in TRUTH speaking church in 2012 from whom I HAD to confess my sins to the Lord and then stand firm in the evil day.

Judy

Jun 23, 2013

Sam, the article is excellent and I appreciate John Carpenter's comments. I believe one can acknowledge that sexual orientation is a construct and that latent same-sex attraction can be latent within certain persons. They are not mutually exclusive. Those bent on promoting homosexuality will advance the latter with the former. At the base is a need for real love, either from a parent or within the family that is absent. Often times, it is a wrong perception, reflecting back on the individual with unmet needs of acceptance and significance. This makes the person suffering the slights, vulnerable to overt or subtle nuances. There is a definite homosexual agenda to promote the lifestyle, and recruitment is imperative to grow the movement and influence. If we truly love the homosexuals, regardless of which stripe they prefer to identify themselves, we will share the veracity of Christ's Gospel of Christ, holding biblical ground and offer help. St. Paul exhorts the early church to forgive sinners, for "as such you once were." This is to offer hope for those who repent their sin and turn toward Jesus. My brother, unfortunately, remained in his dangerous lifestyle, and died at age 42.

Jane

Jun 23, 2013

People say that sexual orientation cannot change no matter how hard they try. Whatever the case, it's all in how you act on those feelings. To feel something is one thing, to act on it is another. I don't believe it is ever wrong to LOVE, but sometimes we are required to love from a distance! For example, a heterosexual man or woman who finds themselves feeling love towards a married man or woman. It is ok to love, but to ACT on it is adultery. The same applies to acting on homosexual feelings. However, when homosexual feelings are merely comprised of lust, they are already sinful, even without the act.

Paul

Jun 22, 2013

Alan Chambers did not say in his speech or letter that homosexuality is not sin. I understand exactly what he meant, I have been a christian for 30 years and God never has completely taken the same sex attractions away. The attractions are not as powerful as they use to be. With that said, my biggest problem is the church. It still thinks and acts as if homosexuality is the biggest sin, while 70% of it's men are into Porn! God please help us...

jay

Jun 22, 2013

Exodus shutting down is a clear sign of apostasy. With its cheap grace theology and antinomian spirit they are no longer fit to minister to anybody.

Kathleen

Jun 21, 2013

Great article Mr. Storms & very insightful. And thank you too John Carpenter for pointing out the very important truth that playing the blame shifting game doesn't solve anything for the homosexual who still must stand before God & give an account for the deeds done in the body!

Randy curwen

Jun 21, 2013

You seem to miss the point. "Reparative therapy" does not work even 1% of the time. Sexual orientation is a god-given attribute.

Dan Hitz

Jun 20, 2013

Very well articulated, Sam. It is sad that Exodus has taken the path that they have. It is better for them to shut down than to remain on a path of compromise and false doctrine. However, it would have been far better for them to repent and return to Biblical truth.

Jeff

Jun 20, 2013

The real issue is about change and the message of Change. In 1998 Exodus had billboards proclaiming that these men and women had changed their identities from gay to straight. Many of those men and women who once were a part of Exodus are no longer there because they came to realize the fallacy of that statement. Alan Chambers has said and acknowledged that change does not happen to men and women with this issue. I know for a fact having dealt with this issue for over 20 plus years and done more than 99.9% of any American regarding sexuality, sexual addiction etc. One's sexual orientation does not change. Oh you can busy yourself with church work, spend tons of time in prayer, go to endless conferences even get married but one's orientation does not change.

Now I believe if one thinks that being gay is wrong or evil then you best deal with it. But there are countless of thousands of men and women who have honestly tried their very best with the grace of God only to discover that they still are attracted to members of their own sex. And what saddens me is how many men and women especially in the Bible belt are ostracized by their families and churches because they come out and say I am gay. That kind of response is wrong and downright evil but it goes on day by day. Not only them but the numerous youth that can no longer talk or even communicate with their families (some even homeless) because they are gay and all in the name of Jesus.

Until the church honestly deals with the issue and see the harm that so many in the church have done to the lgbt community the hypocrisy will continue and evil will appear as light. Jesus had so much more to say on divorce than he did about one being gay but now in the church it is not an issue you can even be a leader a pastor and be divorced. For at one time people from divorce were despised by the members of most churches, my how the times have changed.

Shawn

Jun 20, 2013

Nature abhors a vacuum.

As long as there are people who are indoctrinated from a young age to feel shame about their orientation by their families, their communities or their churches; as long as those same people are forced by their own self-hatred to pursue lifestyles full of personal loneliness and promiscuity in a futile effort to heal the entrenched "brokenness" they feel instead of spending their formative years affirmatively searching for love, a future and a family, with someone who will actually love them unconditionally for who they are in return, there will be a need for a so called "ex-gay" industry to sell their snake oil.

These groups pray on those who are already the most vulnerable in the LGBT community. They pray on any lingering doubts and entice with promises of "change", "hope", "healing" and "love", promises that are never actually delivered. In reality all theses people are left with in the short term is cult like fanaticism to religious adherence (no matter how bizzare) and long term loneliness, coupled with a much further diminished self-image in the long term...

Hopefully soon these kinds of groups, organizations and "ministries" will no longer be a necessary outcome of our rapidly changing culture. The fall of "Exodus" and the apology of it's board is a sign that very soon no one will be made to "suffer" or "struggle" simply because of the gender of the human being they hope to live their life with.

Warren Lamb

Jun 20, 2013

Summarizes my own take on the closing of Exodus. We are a member ministry of RHN and have been part of the organization from the beginning. God provided in advance for this betrayal. He did not leave people who desire freedom in Christ without help.

Adam Sandlin

Jun 20, 2013

Thanks for clearing this up! I was confused as to what exactly happened here. Also thanks for pointing us to Restored Hope. They have my support.

John Carpenter

Jun 20, 2013

Let's note the reason for the collapse of Exodus. It is a theological reason. Chambers' apology suggested that the cause of homosexuality hostility to Christians is because of the unloving way Christians have expressed themselves. While certainly some Christians have expressed themselves the wrong way, Chambers' seems to assume that if only we tell the truth more winsomely, they will accept it; the problem, he assumes, is with our presentation rather tha the heart of the sinner. In reality, the problem is that homosexuals (and their allies) regard any expression of disapproval for their sin as "hate", "intolerance", "bigotry", etc., no matter how gently it is put. I've witnessed this personally. I over-heard an elder of our church lovingly, gently share the gospel with a young homosexual man at a local college; the young man insisted on making homosexuality the issue but the elder handled it wonderfully. Our church was then banned from that campus for "harassing" because that's what the homosexual man reported. We can apologize all day long but as long as we refuse to endorse their sin, we'll be charged with being hateful. Get used to it. If you don't and make winning their acceptance your priority (as this statement appears to be doing), eventually you'll capitulate because you'll conclude capitulation to and endorsement of homosexuality is the only way to win their approval.

Barb Johnson

Jun 20, 2013

How very sad. You do a wonderful work. I believe in the Bible totally. It is God's word.

Comments for this post have been disabled.

© 2014 Sam Storms: Oklahoma City, OK

Powered by Church Plant Media