In an article at Christianpost.com, Jeff Schapiro reports that, Exodus International, the 37-year-old ministry devoted to helping people deal with unwanted same-sex attraction, is to be shut down.
According to Schapiro, the Exodus board of directors unanimously voted to shut down the ministry after a year of prayer and dialogue, a press release states. Local groups that were affiliated with the ministry will continue, though they will no longer be under the umbrella of Exodus.
The announcement was made just one day after Chambers issued an apology to the gay community for the "trauma" he and the organization might have caused them.
The 38th annual Exodus Freedom conference, going on now at Concordia University Irvine in California, will be the ministry's last.
While the board of directors decided to close down one ministry, it also unanimously voted to start a new one. "This is a new season of ministry, to a new generation," said Chambers. "Our goals are to reduce fear (reducefear.org), and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming, and mutually transforming communities."
What are we to make of this? My reaction is three-fold.
First, it is a tragic end to a ministry that once stood on firm biblical grounds and offered hope to those struggling with same-sex attraction. I’m deeply saddened that Chambers and the leaders of Exodus have capitulated to the prevailing winds of our culture and have apparently lost confidence in the redemptive power of Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Second, if Exodus has indeed abandoned their original mandate, I’m glad they are shutting down. They have lost their capacity to bring hope and change to those broken by sexual sin.
Third, and most important of all, I’m excited about the emergence of the Restored Hope Network that is devoted to a biblical stance on human sexuality and relational brokenness. Comprised of many who were formerly affiliated with Exodus, this new ministry is hosting its first national conference this weekend (June 21-22) here in Oklahoma City. I encourage you to visit their website (www.restoredhopenetwork.com) and give serious consideration to directing your financial support to their efforts.
Here is their Mission Statement: “Restored Hope is a membership governed network dedicated to restoring hope to those broken by sexual and relational sin, especially those impacted by homosexuality. We proclaim that Jesus Christ has life-changing power for all who submit to Christ as Lord; we also seek to equip His church to impart that transformation.”