Defining Exodus – Letter from Alan Chambers for June 2012

Cross-posted from the Exodus International Website.

Dear Friends,

Exodus International is repeatedly accused of seeking to make gay people straight through conversion therapy and prayer. As the media and culture rage around us, drawing battle lines in the sand and seeking to fuel the debate about homosexuality, my team and I have been working diligently to clearly state the calling of this great ministry and focus solely on that work. We want to reiterate that our mission is, first and foremost, to serve, support and equip the Church in providing refuge to individuals or families impacted by same-sex attractions (SSA).  Quite simply, our goal is to make the Church famous for loving and serving people as Jesus would and pointing them to Him.

I realize this may not be new info for some of you.  Yet, I believe it is important for everyone to hear this from me, as “all sides” are seeking to define Exodus and quite frankly, no one is doing a great job.  It’s time we set the record straight.  Pun intended.

While my office seeks to serve the Church, the 260 churches, ministries and counselors here in North America and our alliance of partner ministries across the world are there to serve individuals who freely come to them for support.  People seeking this encouragement and guidance do so because they have decided to pursue an identity or life based on their relationship with Christ over their same-sex attractions. In most cases these are Christian men and women who desire to live in accordance to God’s design for sexuality, clearly defined in scripture.   Exodus also has an extensive support system for family members or friends of those who are same-sex attracted and/or gay identified.

We believe that in Christ we have been given completely new hearts and the ability to have power over the sin that remains confined to our earthly flesh.  While believers absolutely can fall to temptation, the mark of a maturing believer is finding increased victory in areas that have, at times, overwhelmed us. Exodus does not believe in a punishing or demanding God, but One who loves us as a perfect Father and desires the very best for us. For our benefit He has given us boundaries in scripture on a host of matters relating to life, including human sexuality.

We respect everyone’s right to pursue their own course as it relates to seeking resolution for struggles. No one is ever coerced, forced into therapy, nor do we seek to ‘pray away the gay’ as many have suggested.  In fact we are no longer an organization that associates with or promotes therapeutic practices that focus on changing one’s attraction.  I found the greatest amount of freedom when I stopped focusing on my sin and struggles and started focusing on the grace and peace found only in Christ and the man He created me to be.  This life isn’t most about sin management but about living daily as the sons and daughters of God.  In part, it is the peace and rest found in that identity alone that transforms us daily.

Exodus does not believe SSA is sinful.  However, sexual expression resulting from SSA is. Making such clear distinctions has been a failure of the Church that is slowly being realized and changed.  At Exodus International one of our primary missions is to communicate that we all have propensities that if indulged can lead us into sin, but those attractions or inclinations are not sinful. We believe that the ground was level at the foot of the Cross and that being transparent with all of our stories is what will compel people to seek refuge in the Communities of Christ known as the local Church.

We must all recognize that behavior resulting from SSA is not easily overcome. Many may struggle for the rest of their lives with some form of temptation or unwanted feelings. That is the nature of human experience on earth. However, we do believe God’s grace can give us the ability to live beyond the power of our temptations as we acknowledge and yield our weakness to Him.  Change is possible for every human being who has a destiny-altering encounter with Jesus Christ.  But, change isn’t the absence of struggle but rather the freedom in the midst of struggle to choose differently.

Many of us at Exodus experience same-sex attraction. We have gay friends and loved ones. We uniquely understand the marginalization they sometimes face from the Church.  In that sense we stand with them, asking the body of Christ to extend compassion and a welcoming spirit to anyone who stands at the door hungry for a relationship with God and life-giving community.  Nothing supersedes our desire at Exodus to see all people come to know Christ.

These are exciting days for the Church.  I believe it is time for all of us to move far beyond the ugly political debates over these issues and squarely focus our time, energy and attention on Christ and His heart, desire and redemption for people.  There is nothing more aggressive, more life changing and more culturally impactful than boldly loving your neighbor as you love yourself.  That is the Gospel and it remains really, really Good News.

Alan Chambers is the Chief Visionary and a Founding Partner of Speak. Love. He served as the final President of Exodus International, North America. Alan travels the globe promoting peace, reconciliation and understanding on issues surrounding the Church and the LGBT community. Alan and Leslie Chambers live in Winter Park, Florida with their kids, Isaac and Molly.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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43 thoughts on “Defining Exodus – Letter from Alan Chambers for June 2012

    • Alan, many thanks for this letter. What is coming across is a sign of real growth. And Christian maturity. I’m reminded that Exodus has been through firestorms before. (Bob Davies’ essay “The Exodus Story” about the pioneering days of the ministry gives examples of this.) I’ve just forwarded the letter to the Courage group in Chicago, with a request for prayer. Certainly, my prayers continue. In Christ, Mike

      • But really, it isn’t change at all. You are still teaching that gays aren’t worthy of God’s love if they live honest lives. The only way they can “earn” God’s love (???) is by denying themselves love and partnership. I’m sad that a group is still “necessary” to try to bind LGBT people Christianity by asking them to live a lie, and teach their families and loved ones that this lie is necessary. Jesus, I believe, would be heartbroken.

        • No, MIndy, that is NOT what I am saying and it isn’t what I believe. While I believe there is a biblical sexual ethic that is best, I know that nearly everyone falls short of it at one time (or many times) or another. I believe that God loves us all equally. I do believe in salvation and the fact that God’s free gift of it is open to anyone and when someone receives that free gift then nothing can separate them from Christ–not even falling short in one or many areas. I am living an honest life and you don’t have to like it or believe it but it doesn’t make it any less honest. Thanks for sharing your opinion.

    • Thanks, Alan, for staying faithful to God and His Word–in spite of those who refuse to accept the truth: that we are all sinners and have fallen short of God’s glory, and that God loved us and sent His Son Jesus Christ so that all who believe in Him may be saved. // As for me, I wanted to find any way possible to justify my homosexuality, but I couldn’t deny in my heart what God said about it in Scripture–believe me, I tried. The only way I found peace with God was when I yielded my stubborn will to His, and asked Jesus Christ to be the Master of my life. Yes, I still struggle with the old nature that doesn’t want to submit to God (like a spoiled child that wants its way), but I have a new nature in Christ that desires to please God. I may struggle with the old homosexual attractions (just one of many sinful desires) the rest of my life, but I am at peace with that because I know someday I will see my Savior Jesus Christ and that will be the end of all my struggles with sin. Until that glorious day, I place my trust in God’s promise to me: “If you address God as Father, the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things…but with precious blood…the blood of Christ…who through Him [you] are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God…You have in obedience to the truth purified your souls…you have been born again…through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:17-23) // Remember, Alan, as long as you stay true to God’s Word, if anyone disagrees with you, they are actually disagreeing with God–who loves them and offers them salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. // Love and and encouragement in Christ.

  1. Excellent word Alan. You have given us something to really be proud about – abiding in Christ and knowing we are free, healed and forgiven – forever.

    • Yes. Jesus loves you. As long as you aren’t you. The Jesus I know isn’t represented by these people. Funny how people can read the same Gospel and come to such radically different conclusions.

      • Yes, funny in deed. Though, I would say the two of you miss my point, or I failed to make it clear. Jesus loves us regardless but it doesn’t mean He loves all that we do or that He intended us to do all of what we do. It’s bigger than just the issue of sex and sexuality. I believe there was a creative intent for sexuality that is different than what the two of you believe. But, it isn’t my place nor within my ability to judge your salvation over those differences.

  2. - I am quoting a reply from a discussion on another website that spells things out clearly in a much better way than I am able -

    “Is it even possible for a person to honorably disagree with re-defining marriage, or must everyone who differs to any degree with the religious left on this issue be trashed as haters, ignorant, bigoted, weird, pseudo-Christians etc? ”

    I know what you think you are asking – you think you are saying “There are people with sincerely held, logically based, internally consistent, and honorably intended reasons for disapproving of same-sex marriage, but whenever they try to express them, they are labeled haters and bigots. Is it possible for them to express their valid disagreements without being attacked?”

    But the problem is that your premise is flawed. As a gay man, I’ve been closely following gay rights issues, gay marriage in particular, all my adult life, and since I’m over 50, that’s been quite a while now. I am not using hyperbole to say that in all that time I have never once found someone who opposes same-sex marriage who has a logically based, internally consistent, valid argument. I have never met anyone who opposes same-sex marriage who is willing to TRY to “debate” the issues.

    I try to avoid the word “lie” and “liars” – sometimes untruths can be sincerely held, and sometimes untruths are deliberate. But either way they are untruths.

    There isn’t a single argument against civil marriage equality for same-sex couples that isn’t either a flat-out lie or a carefully constructed misdirection or collection of half-truths. Not one.

    And now, the “debate” has gone on long enough that anyone who doesn’t know that, and still holds onto the transparent untruths about it, really has to be considered a liar. They may feel they are lying for a higher purpose, but they are still simply deliberately telling untruths.

    So how can you have a civil debate when one side simply refuses to even consider telling the truth?

    Civil marriage is not about procreation. Straight people who cannot procreate together due to age or medical reasons are allowed to marry. Gay people are not infertile, just infertile together, and the vast majority of gay people can procreate.

    Civil marriage is not about childrearing. Straight couples can marry and remain married without having or raising any children. And gay couples can have children to rear by birth, by adoption, by previous marriages, or with artificial aids to conception or surrogates.

    Civil marriage is not about responsible parenting. People who are horrible parents are allowed to marry and stay married. Convicted murderers can marry. The civil marriages of convicted child abusers are not voided. And every study that actually looks at gay couples raising kids shows that they do as well, or in some cases better than the average similarly suited straight couple. For this argument to work, the very best gay parents would have to always be worse than the very worst straight parents – and THAT is demonstrably, even laughably untrue.

    Civil marriage is not about religious tradition. Straight people can marry with no involvement from an organized religion, and many religious denominations and individual congregations and groups fully support same-sex marriage equality and would marry gay couples if they could.

    Civil marriage is not about religious liberty or preventing religious discrimination. Roman Catholics are not required to solemnize the remarriage of divorced straight Catholics. Rabbis are not required to solemnize the marriage of mixed-religion straight couples. No minister or congregation is required to perform a wedding for a straight couple who are not part of their religious tradition. The protection of religious groups from being forced to perform weddings they don’t approve of is long-settled established law, and nothing about civil marriage for gay couples changes that.

    Civil marriage is not about social approval and support of specific beneficial “lifestyles.” The US Supreme Court has affirmed the rights of convicted murderers to marry, and the rights of documented child-support deadbeats. Drunks, drug addicts, adulterers, spouse abusers, and just about every other distasteful or socially damaging “lifestyle” – no problem if you are straight. And no matter how upright and moral you are, and no matter what you contribute to society, if you are gay, it’s off limits.

    Civil marriage is no longer “something that has always been, in every society in human history” a purely heterosexual thing. More and more countries allow it, and more and more US states. Denying that there actually are, and have been, couples in same sex legal marriages is now, purely and simply, a flat out lie.

    Civil marriage equality does not materially increase the cost to society. If Adam marries Eve, and Amy marries Steve, society happily adjusts to any costs or financial benefits, but if the same four people group differently and Adam marries Steve and Amy marries Eve, the exact same costs are somehow insupportable?

    Marriage has changed, and changed dramatically, throughout history. The idea that it has always been “one man and one woman” is simply untrue. Even the Bible itself is documented evidence that it isn’t true. And recent changes like allowing women to own property and earn money, the shift from arranged marriage to a focus on love and support, and the legal changes about illegitimacy are all huge shifts.

    The biggest absurdity about “redefining marriage” of course, is that allowing same-sex couples to marry doesn’t change the tiniest detail about any straight marriage or about the process of straight people marrying. No benefits change, no eligibility changes, there is no change to the mechanism, or the consequences to straight people for marrying. Once same-sex couples marry, not a single thing about straight marriage changes.

    Saying that something that doesn’t in any way even affect straight people is a “redefinition” of marriage is as ludicrous as my claiming that if my neighbor paints their living room blue it constitutes a demolition of my home.

    And, of course, any claim that same-sex marriage equality “devalues” marriage or makes straight couples less likely to want to marry is so bigoted on the face of it that it hardly needs to be discussed.

    So, I’ll repeat your question back to you: How can people who claim not to be haters, bigots, or ignorant support even a single one of these transparently untrue arguments? As a result, the question becomes, “ARE there any honorable opponents of marriage equality?”

    In all honesty, I’ve never met a single person with an honorable argument against it. I have never met someone who doesn’t rely on at least one of these untruths as a central point to their argument, and has no answer whatsoever when they are called on it. If one’s entire side of the “debate” is based on known lies and untruths, how can they claim to be an honorable opponent?

    Can YOU name an advocate of retaining the the traditional definition of marriage who isn’t basing some or all of their argument on these untruths? And how can someone who is be called a “decent advocate”?

  3. Keep up the great work Alan! Don’t ever be discourage by comments from those that want nothing more that to see people succumb to the world and reject Gods glorious standards.

    • Ahhh…Gods Glorious Standards, without reproach, never to be questioned or compromised! Like how babies are evil and should be killed (1 Sam 15:2,3); or how it’s okay to rape a woman, as long as they disagree with you philosophically (Zechariah 14:2)…. So-called “Christians” so bent on their need for moral superiority that they absolutely miss the entire point of Christ’s teaching, LOVE…well, you all have a few things in common with snails, you both have rudimentary brains and I cannot stomach either one of you.

      And really, can you say that you are keeping up to Gods Glorious Standards? Romans 3:23 would lead me to believe that you are, in fact, NOT up to snuff. I mean, if you’re going to drag out the OT morality, shouldn’t you take it easy on the oysters…and no more tossing around the ol’ pigskin… And I’ll go ahead and call the Seventh-Day Adventists, and let them know you’ll be joining them on Saturday…

      • “…or how it’s okay to rape a woman, as long as they disagree with you philosophically (Zechariah 14:2)….”

        Wow, that is a disturbing passage, isn’t it? Guess I never really got into the book of Zechariah. Which is probably a good thing, now that I think about it.

        • Zechariah 14 is predicting that the nations of the world will attack God’s people (Jerusalem) and plunder the city and assault the women living there. It is not approving such behavior (far from it!), but saying it is going to happen. The nations who attack Israel will then be punished (as outlined in the rest of the chapter). As with all prophecy, one cannot say with certainty exactly how this will be fulfilled, but it is a mistake to say that this passage teaches that it is acceptable to rape a woman.

  4. Alan. I’m confused by this letter. Does Exodus still work to help people who want to eliminate their SSA? Or is Exodus now in the same space as Courage – only providing support for those who choose celebacy? Or are you now advocating mixed orientation marriages? Can you help me understand this letter? Thanks.

    • Thanks for the question, Geoffrey. We don’t help people eliminate their SSA. We help them live in congruence with their biblical beliefs and their faith in Christ. Many experience changed lives, a few have reported complete attraction change. Most don’t report that. I don’t think the presence of SSA in someone’s life has to be a distraction as they pursue Christ and move away from a life defined by them. I hate the term “mixed orientation marriages” as it puts emphasis on something that I don’t think is worth highlighting. I consider Leslie and myself very equally yoked and more compatible in every way than most others I know who are married having no past with SSA. And, while most single folks who come to Exodus for support will choose celibacy, I won’t ever discourage someone who is ready for marriage, in every way that someone who doesn’t have SSA is ready, from pursuing marriage. Does this answer your questions? I’m sitting here typing while kids are running around, music is blaring and Leslie is talking to me. So, if I need to clarify, just say so.

      • Thanks for the clarification. There are two more questions I have. Do you (how do you) counsel churches to encourage people who are gay to come out and admit their SSA? Do you agree with me that living a closeted life is very destructive? And I would imagine that it is more likely that someone would remain closeted in a church that does not affirm same sex relationships.

        Also, do you encourage those with SSA to openly discuss it with their would-be spouse? I disagree with you that the sexual orientation of spouses is not worth highlighting. It is a real concern and I imagine it takes a whole lot of honesty and grace to make relationships of people with opposing orientations work.

        • Geoffrey, I have always been an advocate of living the most honest life that you can live. I personally cannot imagine what my life would be like had I not chosen to be completely open with everyone I know about my story. It is who I am, after all, and I love every part of my life. Thus, I encourage churches to be places where people can share the deepest aspects of their lives honestly.

          I do not believe churches have to accept same-sex relationships in order to be the safest and most supportive communities. My church, for instance, allows anyone and everyone through the doors to enjoy community and yet, we hold to the belief that any sexual expression outside of a monogamous heterosexual marriage is sin.

          As far as disclosing your struggles to a spouse or potential spouse, it is the only way that a marriage can be built on a firm foundation. I did not mean that the information and regular communication about each others struggles (whatever they may be) are irrelevant. But, I do not think I need to broadcast every where that I go how different I may or may not be because of my SSA. My wife doesn’t do this with her issues. Sometimes people with SSA act as though that struggle or identity or issue is terminally unique and it’s just not. If I wasn’t the president of Exodus there would be little call for me to highlight this aspect of my life over any other.

  5. Thank you Alan for expressing the ministry’s focus clearly and succinctly. As far as I am concerned a “victorious Christian life” is all about deferring and submitting our self to the sovereignty of God. In that way we are honouring His call on our lives and living a life that is worthy of that call. The more I focus on the things of God the greater my maturation in Him and the less inclined I am to demand “my right” to live in response to the SSA that may linger.
    For many years I was not been happy with the gay to straight tag that has been associated with Exodus, but now I wholeheartedly support you as you seek to walk alongside those who take the costly path of celibacy in deference to the Holy Scriptures. A change in desire and attraction may happen for some but for the majority of men and women like myself an increased identity with and in Jesus far surpasses all I could have ever hoped for or imagined.
    Continue standing, Alan, in the power and authority of the Lord.

  6. I understand the need to separate from Therapy and narrow your focus to ministry. Courage made this distinction in 1980, but they have also been willing to share information and resources for those of us who really need it. Their website has a Resources tab linking to every available resource (including Exodus, Journey into Manhood, NARTH, and JONAH). I hope Exodus will consider doing the same.

    When I read this quote: “”We are no longer an organization that associates with or promotes therapeutic practices that focus on changing one’s attraction.” – I posted a message to the local Exodus group that I attend (Living Hope) that this was the last straw for me. My heart hurts for the thousands of SSA people who NEED therapeutic help, but won’t even hear about it and/or be discouraged away from it by Exodus.

    Jeremy

  7. There have been a lot of awesome advances in therapy to reduce SSA and remove the barriers to developing OSA (opposite-sex attraction). I understand that this outside the scope of Exodus’ work, but I wish they would explain that help for this IS available from other sources. I go to an Exodus ministry called “Living Hope” and they have been a great spiritual resource for me. I really DO appreciate everything Exodus does.

    For help with Reducing SSA and developing OSA (opposite-sex attraction), I have received tremendous healing through Reparative Therapy with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi as well as EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and the Journey into Manhood program I went from acting-out with others on a daily basis for 12 years to full sobriety and my SSA has been PERMANENTLY REDUCED by over 90%. I would highly recommend checking out the NARTH website to find a therapist as well as the People Can Change website: http://www.PeopleCanChange.com

  8. Alan, as a former Struggler, I’m glad that Exodus is changing. I have read positive comments and I have read some negative comments from those you used to help and mentor. I know you have a good heart. And I hope you and Exodus talk more about Jesus’ love for all His Children than focusing on what’s wrong with them. You and your organization talking about and spreading the love of Christ is simply more important than talking about the sexual sins of mankind. I’m glad your heart is open Alan to the future. Wouldn’t you rather have your legacy be about the love of Christ you shared than all the sexual sins you pointed out along the way and tried to solve? God bless you, Marcus

  9. This is all most confusing and disheartening. I will express myself here, but it is not my intention to enter into a debate. Debates are for high school students who must learn to support their positions. My heart isn’t in proving anyone wrong – it is to prove a just God in the right.

    While I in no way understand what it is like to have same-sex attractions or have a desire to leave a gay lifestyle, I do understand hidden shame from my own sin as well as struggling to overcome habitual sin. Any sin struggle can be a nightmare, and it is only by the grace and transforming work of the Holy Spirit that we overcome and are healed – in mind, body and spirit (and not necessarily all at once; it is a process.) That is not an over-simplification. It “works” the same way for everyone who has the Spirit of Christ in them – but it doesn’t “work itself out” the same way for everyone. Each of us struggles differently, yet God has the same goal for each of us – His glory and our becoming more and more like His Son. We have a most kind and merciful God, who is more patient with us than we are with Him.

    What is disheartening, if I understand this conversation correctly, is that somehow Christians are being encouraged to look past the sin of homosexuality in favor of grace toward the sinner. I agree with God as He speaks in Scripture, that we must love our neighbor as ourselves. I also agree with God that it is very unloving to not speak of sin in one another’s lives. God’s Word tells us to restore one another in a spirit of gentleness, first carefully examining ourselves, in order to be humble and speak the truth in love with a brother or sister in Christ. True love takes action. Courageous action.

    My position on all sin, and all sexual sin, is defined by God Himself in His Word. Since homosexuality is the topic here, God instructed His people, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Lev 18:22) Paul, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, wrote, “…women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts…” (Romans 1) This is likely not new information to Christians that follow Exodus. Scripture clearly says that homosexuality (and all immorality with the body) is sin. We must not be afraid of using that word – sin was brought to our attention by God. It exists. Without Christ in us, we would all sin much more frequently.

    All of this begs the question, though: Did Christ look past sin when He went to the cross? God loved the world so much to send His Son…to send His Son to deal with sin, once and for all. He was brutally tortured, beaten, abused, and crushed – He died because of sin. That’s how serious sin is to God – it requires blood in order to be forgiven. Should that not make it terribly serious to believers, as well? Not in the sense of beating ourselves up or dragging an anchor around. But are we not most definitely left with a desire to not sin? Embracing the grace without facing our sin makes a mockery of Christ’s suffering. We want to talk about how much Christ loves us…but what about our love for Christ? “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Do you talk about how much you love Christ? How much do you love Christ? It is idolatry to remain in known sin (the idolatry of self), and to encourage others that they are covered by grace in their known sin (also an idolatry of self). Only when we hold up God’s Word are we worshiping Christ and spreading the true Gospel. His definitions, His standards, His world, His rules. And like it or not, God made rules. Not in the legalistic sense, but in the loving sense – God loves us…He seriously and clearly cautions us in His Word regarding sin.

    My comments are not about the homosexual lifestyle or same sex marriage (though my beliefs all come from the same Source – rather, it is a frightening thought to me that we are to extend grace to one another who are willfully and habitually disobedient to the Word of God. If a spouse was unfaithful, would the church look past it because of God’s grace toward the cheating one? If a child was being abused by his parents, would the church look past it because of God’s grace toward the parents? All sin is harmful – to both sinners and to those around them. Man cannot take a different position on sin than Almighty God does. We can’t. It is futile – it doesn’t change a thing. It sounds like Exodus used to extend a hand to help pull someone out of a lifestyle they didn’t know how to leave on their own. Now Exodus isn’t going to do that anymore?

    Given the clarity from God in His Word, I do not understand why anyone who claims to be a Christian would not want to walk in joyful obedience to Him.

    • I agree with you Patti, and I feel that you spoke the truth in love here in a powerful way. I am waiting to read Alan’s reply to this important post.

  10. Alan, though I am not sure what I make of Gagnon and the recent controversy, overall I support your work one hundred percent and think the spirit shown here, regardless of particulars, is exemplary. Press on, brother.

  11. Patti, What do you mean by “look past sin”? If by that you think we aren’t calling sin sin then you are incorrect. However, I do believe we often over emphasize this sin over others and encourage people involved in it or tempted by it to resolve it completely—meaning any hint of temptation signals failure. At Exodus, we are encouraging the church to address this issue in the same way it addresses others and to treat people with SSA in the same way that they treat everyone else. I’d encourage you to listen to the audio of my opening night talk at the recent Exodus Conference. It is currently the featured post on my blog.

  12. Alan, I’ve never had a homosexual sin struggle. I’m not a member of Exodus. I’m a disciple of Christ called to minister the Word. I read the article in N.Y. Times about your recent speech then listened to your speech. I wanted to encourage you to continue to preach Christ and the power that He has for all disciples of Christ regardless of struggle. Please don’t be discouraged in anyway by enemies of the Christ especially those who cloth themselves in religious garb.

    He is risen

    Ian

    PS remember Mt.7:6