Leslie and I decided many months ago we were done watching people fight on the news and got rid of cable. Now when we sit down to watch TV we pick a feel good movie off of Netflix. It’s glorious. If it weren’t for the emails that came into Exodus we would have completely missed that the Supreme Court was deliberating on gay marriage. Part of me wishes I could have opted out of having to watch, listen and read all that is being said and written by people presumably on “my side” who fail to convey my heart and beliefs as a Christian.
I have become unwilling to speak out against gay marriage personally and have decided with my leaders to keep Exodus International out of the policy discussion, as well. That fact has confused some of our supporters and friends and cost us financial support because people think we are caving in to pressure from gay activists. There have been people who have criticized my relationship with Christ and others who have placed bets on how long it will be before I “come out” and leave my family. The sting of criticism is palpable. I am sad that Christianity, at least in America, has been boiled down to where one stands on the issue of homosexuality. The truth I live by, and the truth that has been a part of Exodus since its foundation, has not changed. How we choose to share that truth has.
Recently I have tried to highlight that Exodus has a mission we are daily seeking to fulfill:
- We desire to encourage and support the Church to become first responders to people in crisis related to their struggles with sex and sexuality. The Church, historically, has been first to criticize and first to ostracize. Thankfully that is changing. At Exodus, we want to help continue the forward motion.
- Our local partners, whether counselors, churches or local ministries, are positioned in communities to offer specialized support to any and all who seek their help. Whether that is a gay or lesbian person researching biblical answers or someone who wants to surrender their sexuality to the Lordship of Christ or a loved one grappling with how they can respond, our partners are their to walk alongside.
- At Exodus, we probably interface with more gay and lesbian people than any other church or ministry. I absolutely believe it is our mission to be in a sincere and committed relationship with people with whom we disagree and who disagree with us. We live in a pluralistic society and until Jesus returns we need to figure out how to live alongside our very diverse neighbors.
Because of point #3, we will not battle people. When I think of what I need to “do” personally about marriage, I am reminded that I need to focus on the amazing one I am in. I am reminded to pray for the people I know who are married. When I think of “saving” marriage I think of the ones that are being lost on “our side” as we scream at hyper pitch about “those people” who are seeking to “destroy” marriage. We have done quite a bit to destroy it ourselves.
In all of this I am reminded that my God is BIGGER. He cares about all of this and He has THE answer that none of us know in whole. There are too many other things that demand our attention. At Exodus, we choose to focus on the 3 points above. We choose to focus on the people who come to us with horror stories of the lives they have lived and the obstacles they have faced. We choose to live a life that includes loving all people and putting political agendas out to pasture.
Join us as we live our faith and share our lives. Life in Christ is our foundation and the core of who we are. He compels us to love our neighbor, every neighbor, as we love ourselves. The leadership at Exodus is excited about a new opportunity to love and serve people, as Christ would, and lead many into the Kingdom!