Exodus Int’l President to the Gay Community: “We’re Sorry”

Cross-posted from the Exodus Blog:

Exodus Int’l President to the Gay Community: “We’re Sorry”

Leader of 37-year old ministry admits grave errors

Irvine, Calif. (June 19, 2013) — Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality, issued an apology to the gay community for years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the Church as a whole.

The apology (http://exodusinternational.org/apology) dovetails with the ministry’s 38th annual conference in Irvine, Calif. – and the Thursday, June 20, airing of the television broadcast “God & Gays” on Our America with Lisa Ling. On Ling’s program, Exodus President, Alan Chambers, sits down with gay and lesbian people hurt by the Church with the goal of reconciliation.

Holy Sexuality (Batman)!

Alan & Leslie Chambers

Recently I appeared on an episode of Our America with Lisa Ling on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).  The majority of what aired was from a past interview, but I was grateful that OWN released an unused portion of the interview online. In my opinion it was one of the best parts of my time with Lisa as it clearly portrayed my deep and unequaled love for my wife, Leslie.

Not everyone liked the interview, however.  In it Lisa asks, “So are you heterosexual?”  To that question I answer transparently, sharing that while I do experience same-sex attraction I am Leslie-sex attracted.  I state that I am not gay, which I see as an identity based around same-sex attraction that absolutely fails to describe me or speak to the majority of my feelings, desires or sexuality.  I stop short of calling myself heterosexual, though, too.  That seemed to irritate some and confuse others.

I think Christians have confused heterosexuality with holy sexuality.  As I have said for more than a decade now, the opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality (or vice-versa) it’s holiness.  I didn’t take the role I am in at Exodus to make people straight or to promote heterosexuality.  I also didn’t take on the role to tell people with same-sex attraction how inferior that struggle is in comparison to others.  I chose to serve at Exodus International to proclaim that God created us to live out biblical, sexual, holiness even amidst great trial and sacrifice.  That is my story and it is my encouragement to fellow believers and others who might be seeking.

Alan Chambers Appears on MSNBC’s “Hardball” Last Night (Video)

In my humble opinion, I thought Alan did a great job not getting pulled into saying something he didn’t believe but also standing up, clearly, for what he does believe. Check it out for yourself …

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Alan Chambers Opening Night General Session – “Made for More”

Cross-posted from the Exodus website.

I wanted to post the audio of my opening session from the 2012 Exodus Freedom “Made for More” Conference. We have received an unprecedented amount of feedback and great encouragement regarding media attention we have received.

I am posting this because a reporter, Christian or secular, is never going to have the time and space to convey the full message I want to communicate.  As always your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Play

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.

Exodus’ Official Position on Reparative or Conversion Therapy

Cross-posted from the Exodus International website.

The California House recently passed a bill outlawing reparative therapy for youth under the age of 18. The Senate is set to vote in coming days. With the media abuzz, we have had numerous calls from news reporters across the country, asking for our opinion and position. Many others have simply mischaracterized Exodus International as a reparative therapy organization. One such instance was a newscast on an ABC affiliate  in San Francisco. The reporter stated that our “members now live heterosexual lives—many with spouses and kids—because of reparative therapy”. We have written this statement to clarify our ministry objective which highlights the mission of Exodus International.

Exodus International supports an individual’s right to self-determine as they address their personal struggles related to faith, sexuality and sexual expression.  As an organization, we do not subscribe to therapies that make changing sexual orientation a main focus or goal. Our ministry’s objective is to equip the Church to become the primary place where people of faith seek support, refuge and discipleship as they make the decision to live according to Christian principles.

We believe in a “gospel-centric” view, meaning that all people, regardless of individual life struggles, can experience freedom over the power of sin through a daily relationship with Jesus Christ, a commitment to scripture, and by being a part of a vibrant, transparent and relational community of believers found in the local church.  Exodus is partnered with more than 260 churches and support-based ministries who serve individuals and families experiencing a conflict between their faith and sexuality.