Sexual Healing: Evangelicals Update Their Message to Gays – The Atlantic

Many thanks to Jennie Rothenberg and The Atlantic for an incredibly fair shake with this article. Some quotes from the introduction (they provided the linking.)

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.

Christians who consider themselves “ex-gays” have become a source of ridicule in popular culture. Although the evangelical leader Ted Haggard isn’t affiliated with Exodus, it didn’t help the cause when he was outed by a male prostitute he’d been frequenting for years — and then deemed by his pastors, after just three weeks of therapy, to be “completely heterosexual.” For many, though, these stories represent something deadly serious. The American Psychological Association warns that homosexuality is not a disorder, and that trying to “cure” it can lead to “intimacy avoidance, sexual dysfunction, depression, and suicidality.”

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.”

As mentioned, the above quotes are from the first part of the interview. The second part is a direct back and forth conversation I had with Jennie Rothenberg. We cover a wide range of topics including my testimony, Exodus’ goals, gay teens, the Bible, monogamy vs. promiscuity and even Carrie Underwood’s stand on marriage.

I enjoyed the interview and hope you find the resulting article informative.

God’s Grace for George Rekers & Jo-Vanni Roman

Cross-Posted from Exodus International Blog

It is being reported widely throughout the media that Dr. George Rekers, husband, father, NARTH Board Member, scholar, theologian and Baptist minister (to name just a few of the highlights), confirmed that he hired a 20 year-old man to accompany him on a 10-day European mission trip and extended vacation.  As it turns out, that young man happens to be a prostitute, as well.  And while there has been no allegation of sexual misconduct, Dr. Rekers actions, at best, lacked an enormous deal of discernment.  At worst, he is guilty of leading a double life, even if just in motivation.

Despite the familiar human desire to throw the stone in my hand at Dr. Rekers, I cannot. He is a human who seems to have made a mistake.  He is a Christian who seems to be guilty of practicing what he has preached against. It is that fact that alone causes the deepest feelings of anger to arise no matter what side of the debate one falls. Regardless of any sexual impropriety, his actions were not above reproach and that has hurt his, until now, excellent reputation. This fiasco has also fueled speculation and doubt about the lives of others who have chosen to pursue a life in Christ above their sexuality – people like me, and those I represent at Exodus. And while Dr. Rekers may be guilty of things beyond those he has admitted, he deserves no less grace than I or any in the gay community now reveling over what must feel like a victory beyond their wildest dreams in their campaign to prove that people affected by same-sex attraction cannot and should not do anything but embrace a narrow view of their same-sex attractions by adopting and celebrating a gay identity.

And, what about the young man, Jo-Vanni Roman, at the center of this controversy.  The carnivorous gay bloggers and their followers seem most concerned with the downfall of a man, a marriage and a movement; not to mention the titillating photos and full bodily description of this boy barely out of high school.

While I can put myself in the shoes of those who are angered by the potential hypocrisy of the Rekers’ story, I cannot understand the gay communities’ lack of regard for this 20 year-old boy who has been prostituting himself to anyone who “asks” and “pays”.  While the gay community seems hell-bent on forcing everyone to be tolerant of their “just like everyone else” lives they seem completely incapable of showing Jo-Vanni Roman any compassion or care that this kid is so desperate for love or money or care that he would stoop to dehumanizing himself with anyone who can afford to use and abuse him.  That’s no less disgusting.

Well, it’s time for the Church to rise up and show that the counterfeit really isn’t the best kind of community.  While it has been common in the Christian community to cast stones, extend the left foot of fellowship and shoot our wounded; the tide is changing. And, I for one am inclined to extend a hand to George Rekers, the man, and offer him help.  He is, after all, a husband and father.  We have seen other devastating situations in families turn around. Maybe this is the crisis that will lead George Rekers to find the healing he has been looking for, but afraid to admit he needed. 

And, Jo-Vanni, if you or anyone like you is reading this, call us.  We will listen because we care.  The one thing we absolutely know is that there is a God who loves, redeems and restores completely. Whatever the damage that has been done, people whom Christ loves and gave His life for are in need. As part of the Body of Christ, Exodus International helps those in need – no matter who they are or what they’ve done—even those who will seek to criticize us for this very offer.