This is the first of five video interviews Alan did with RELEVANT Magazine. The other videos will be posted here throughout this week.
This article by Eddie Kaufholz is from RELEVEANT Magazine Issue 65: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 as well as their podcast. Here is the intro:
“Change is possible!”
That was Exodus International’s slogan, an unapologetic answer to the dicey “are people born gay?” question. Often described as the largest “ex-gay” ministry in the U.S., Exodus worked with Christians who dealt with same-sex attraction for 37 years. That all changed in June, when Exodus International’s president Alan Chambers stunned the world by apologizing for his ministry and shutting its doors for good.
Chambers sat down with RELEVANT Podcast castmember Eddie Kaufholz (who happens to also be a pastor) to discuss that apology, tell his stories and give his vision for the future.
From the article “The Man Behind The Historic Implosion Of The Ex-Gay Movement” by David Peisner:
… Chambers not only closed Exodus in sudden and dramatic fashion, but acknowledged the ineffectiveness of gay-to-straight reparative therapy and offered a remarkable mea culpa that apologized for his organization’s many missteps. He’s now founding a new organization focused on bringing Christians and homosexuals together, called Speak. Love. Many in the LGBT community hailed Exodus’ demise as a victory in the culture wars but were disappointed Chambers hadn’t gone further in his support of gay rights or his renouncement of the religious underpinnings of the ex-gay theology. To many evangelicals, the man who had not only been a leader of the ex-gay movement but also a living example of its successes was now a lost sheep, or worse, a heretic.
“There are times when I feel like I don’t have a country,” Chambers says, not far from a wall of photos that include shots of him with his wife, with his kids, and with Mike Huckabee. “There are people who have been invested in this fight for years on both sides. It’s the vocal minority on either side that gets the microphone. What I believe is there are far more people in the middle.”
It’s this middle group that he’s hoping to represent and talk to. The question is, will he have the chance? At the moment, he’s working on defining specific plans for the new organization and raising money to keep the lights on. But in order to succeed, he’ll need to convince people that his divisive past has indeed passed, and that his own personal struggle won’t get in the way of his public mission.
This article is worth the read. Please check it out. If inclined, come and let us know what you think after reading the article.
This has been a busy summer for Alan in many ways, including media. Here is a list of some of the highlights over the past few months:
Special Report: God & Gays – Lisa Ling, Our America
‘Ex-gay’ group Exodus International shuts down – BBC World News
Exclusive: ‘Gay cure’ advocate apologizes – Anderson Cooper 360 (Three part video interview available online at link)
Some Christians shift on gays: Column – by Tom Krattenmaker, USA Today
Exodus International: Let the Recycling Begin! – by Brandan Robertson, Revangelical Blog
Homosexuality & The Question of Christian Unity – by Brandan Robertson, Revangelical Blog
Why I’ll Accept Your Imperfect Apology – by Laura Ortberg Turner, Christianity Today
Exodus international: bending history’s arc – by Christian Piatt, Red Letter Christians
My Response to the Closing of Exodus International – by Tony Campolo, Red Letter Christians
Can Christianity Learn to Say, “I’m Sorry”? – by Stephen Mattson, Red Letter Christians
Watermark interviews former Exodus figurehead Alan Chambers – by Susan Clary, Watermark
Alan Chambers, Exodus International’s Former President, On Sexual Labels, ‘Ex-Gay’ Therapy – by Michelangelo Signorile (Includes audio of Alan’s interview on Signorile’s Sirius OutQ Radio program The Gist.)
Exodus to Speak Love – article by Erik Guzman and audio is included of Alan’s interview on Steve Brown Etc.
Tune into OWN television on June 20 at 10pm EST for Alan & Leslie Chambers interview with Lisa Ling on the Our America special “Gods & Gays.” This is a new program and not a repeat of their previous shows. Check out the show intro video below:
Last Sunday Alan gave a powerful and practical sermon at Grace Church Orlando titled Evangelism Overhaul: Practical Grace. You can listen to the sermon through the player instance at the end of this page. Here are the notes for his sermon if you would like to follow along.
Evangelism Overhaul – Practical Grace by Alan Chambers
August 26th, 2012
A. Repent of our own immorality and recommit to holiness.
1. Samson Story
B. Repent of Hostility and Recommit to Bold Love
1. Jonah Syndrome
2. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35)
John 13:35 (NASB) – 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
1. Anger vs. Hostility
Brilliantly simple Op-Ed in Christianity Today by Alan. Here is a quote from the introduction of the two page article:
Everyone is clamoring for the No. 1 spot in the great gay Christian debate. For some, it isn’t enough that people hold to a traditional, conservative, and biblical sexual ethic; they also want to emphasize that homosexual sexual expression is more egregious than other sexual sins and deserves greater judgment and eternal consequence.
Others demand that there are no scriptural mandates limiting homosexual sexual expression for believers. While most of us would never even question heterosexual sexual ethics, some seem fine with making special exceptions for the gay or lesbian person.
I find the arguments above exhausting. They are never-ending, one-dimensional, and somewhat pointless in the grand scheme of things. In the words of my 7-year-old, “That argument is so last year.” Out of the mouths of babes.