At the world’s largest ministry for homosexual Christians, there’s no more talk of “curing” same-sex attraction.
Thirty years ago, Alan Chambers was a Christ-loving 10-year-old with a terrible secret. He knew he was attracted to other boys. He also knew that the Bible called homosexuality an “abomination.” After nearly a decade of hiding his feelings (and his love of shopping and decorating) from family and pastors, he discovered a ministry called Exodus International. Today, Chambers is the president of Exodus and the author of the book Leaving Homosexuality. He oversees more than 260 ministries, spearheads large annual conferences, and is married to a woman.
More recently, Chambers publicly rejected reparative therapy — a school of counseling that aims to make gay people straight. At the Gay Christian Network Conference in January of this year, Chambers told the audience that “99.9 percent of [Exodus participants] have not experienced a change in their orientation.” Around the same time, he pulled all reparative therapy books from the Exodus bookstore. His actions irked a number of therapists, including one marriage counselor, improbably named David Pickup, who argued that Exodus had “failed to understand and effectively deal with the actual root causes of homosexuality.”
The question is whether Chambers’s changes will filter down through the rest of his organization. One of Exodus’s policy statements promises that the group will “stand with the LGBT community both in spirit, and when necessary, legally and physically, when violence rears its head in Uganda, Jamaica, or anywhere else in the world.” It’s no coincidence that those particular countries are mentioned. Just last month, Exodus board member Dennis Jernigan traveled to Jamaica, where homosexuality is a crime, and urged the country not to change its laws. In 2009, another board member gave a speech in Uganda that inspired a Christian campaign to make homosexuality punishable by death.
” (On Friday, the day after we spoke, Exodus sent out a press release distancing itself from Jernigan’s statements and announcing his resignation from the board.)
-full report at Atlantic
- Exodus Declares Opposition to Criminalization of Homosexuality (Religion Dispatches)
- Exodus International Cancels Ex-Gay Conference (lezgetreal)
- An Interesting Development at Exodus and a Tension for Christian Ministries (Psychology and Christianity)
- Exodus’ Official Position on Reparative or “Conversion” Therapy (Exodus Intrnational)
- National Christian Leader Speaks Out Against Conservative Organization Supporting Contemptuous Pastor (Exodus Intrnational)