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Demise of Exodus International unleashes a wave of Christian gloom and waffle

THE news this week that the world’s oldest “gay cure” outfit – Exodus International – is to shut down “with immediate effect” – has, predictably, unleashed torrents of sour comments from Christian fools who simply won’t let go of the notion that “reparative” therapy works.
Exgay

In announcing the closure of Exodus International, its President, Alan Chambers, issued a grovelling apology to the gay community, saying he was “deeply sorry” for the “pain and hurt” he, his organisation, and churches in general have inflicted on many people over the years.

This report adds that Chambers declared:

MY wife Leslie and my beliefs center around grace, the finished work of Christ on the cross and his offer of eternal relationship to any and all that believe. Our beliefs do not center on ‘sin’ because ‘sin’ isn’t at the center of our faith.

Following the announcement, a number of Christian groups expressed their disappointment with Chambers’ decision and statement, which they found to be “confusing”.

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary waffled:

While Alan Chambers is right when he insists that our beliefs do not center on ‘sin’ because ‘sin’ isn’t at the center of our faith, he seems to have lost sight of the fact that Christ came to save us from our sin. Thus, sin is inseparable from our story of salvation in Christ.

He added:

It is far better for the ministry to disband than to misrepresent the Christian community and the Gospel. The greatest tragedy is that persons experiencing same-sex attractions or involved in same-sex sexuality will be further confused by the capitulation of Exodus International.

Peter Sprigg of Family Research Council agreed.

The closing of Exodus International is probably for the best, since it had already ceased to perform its original function of offering hope for changing one’s sexual orientation. The ex-gay movement has nothing to apologize for. The message that ‘change is possible’ is a modest one. It does not mean that change is easy … But to apologize for saying ‘change is possible’ is to deny both human freedom and the transforming power of the Gospel of Christ.

But one organisation of quacks that shows no signs of collapsing (as yet … just give it time) is the Restored Hope Network headed by “ex-lesbian” Anne Paulk. RHN, which is in the second day of a conference today(Saturday) in Oklahoma City, issued a statement saying:

'Ex-lesbian' Anne Paulk

‘Ex-lesbian’ Anne Paulk

We, the Board of Restored Hope Network, grieve the decision of Alan Chambers and the board of Exodus to close down this venerable organization.It feels like the unnecessary death of a dear friend. It would have been better for them to have stepped aside and allowed others to carry on the message of hope for transformed lives.

Although the timing of the news was a surprise to many, the shutting down of Exodus is the not unexpected outcome of a cheap grace theology that severs the confession of Christ as Savior from the confession of Christ as Lord.

Anne Paulk took time off from her lesbianism to marry John Paulk, another prominent “gay cure” advocate. Things went horribly wrong earlier this year when Paulk announced:

Today, I do not consider myself ‘ex-gay’ and I no longer support or promote the movement.I know that countless people were harmed by things I said and did in the past, Parents, families, and their loved ones were negatively impacted by the notion of reparative therapy and the message of change. I am truly, truly sorry for the pain I have caused.

His now ex-wife retorted:

I will pray for him.

Pffft!

Meanwhile, Chambers is off in another direction. He wants to start a conversation with gays damaged by his and similar ministries.

25 Responses to “Demise of Exodus International unleashes a wave of Christian gloom and waffle”

  1. Daz says:

    I have a name for the occasional genuine-seeming “cured gay” who (at least apparently) happily goes on to a hetero relationship.

    “Bisexual.”

    Tune in for my next startling exposé of the bleedin’ obvious, in which I plan to reveal a strange new shade, produced by mixing black and white…

  2. Harry says:

    First sentence is a bit convoluted, to the point that it accidentally claims that reparative therapy actually does work. Might want a grammar check there.

  3. Broga says:

    “MY wife Leslie and my beliefs center around grace, the finished work of Christ on the cross and his offer of eternal relationship to any and all that believe.”

    This is a classic example of the Christian case. It is obscure to the point where it is impenetrable. But that is the point. By its very obscurity it seduces gullible believers into thinking that they understand what it means and that it is important. You can hear similar statements, often given air time by the religious obsessed BBC, every day.

    What does “centre around grace” mean? Or “the finished work of Christ on the cross”? Or “eternal relationship” with a fantasy? But that is the point. Reason, clarity and objective analysis is destructive of religious belief.

  4. PK, Newark UK says:

    Is Barry Duke saying he’s a believer in separatist therapy or just having difficulty saying what he means?

  5. Angela_K says:

    So the self-loathing bigot Chambers wants to apologise, that is rather like Hitler saying sorry I killed all those people! Both he and his vile organisation have caused untold suffering and in some cases suicides. I don’t condone violence, but in his case I’ll make an exception; I’d love to wipe that smirk from his face with my fist.

  6. tony e says:

    Now I appreciate that I may have read this wrong but this section:

    ‘he seems to have lost sight of the fact that Christ came to save us from our sin. Thus, sin is inseparable from our story of salvation in Christ.’

    Therefore it would be wrong if Jesus died for nothing, so in turn, we must sin in order for his sacrifice to be worthwhile?

    So when does the party start?

  7. Barry Duke says:

    Agreed Harry. The caffeine hadn’t quite kicked in when I wrote that into. Better now I think.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    Or the intro, even, Barry.

  9. Ian says:

    Save people from SIN?

    Fair enough, SIN is just an acronym:

    Self
    Inflicted
    Nonsense

    That seems to me to be a good aim in life.

  10. Trevor Blake says:

    God makes people gay and then God hates gay people (Romans 1:26). If God existed, it would be necessary to overthrow Him.

  11. Ryan morrigan says:

    Jesus was clearly into gay s&m with the whole crucifixion thing. I’m surprised he didn’t have a ball gag and black leather on while those burly roman men tortured him. I bet he had a huge “resur-erection” though.

  12. Barry Duke says:

    Aargh! Bloody Spanish sunshine and sangria. Turns the brain to mush …

  13. Har Davids says:

    Ryan Morrigan, there is a site where you can dress up Jesus any way you like: http://www.jesusdressup.com/bdsm.html for the ball-gag.

  14. remigius says:

    Thanks Har. I shall have hours of fun with that one :)

  15. Daz says:

    BDSM Jebus, further evidence:

    They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high;
    And they left me there on a cross to die.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtM8BRF7Bd0

  16. AgentCormac says:

    Barry – no, it’s religion that does that!!!!!

  17. Graham Martin-Royle says:

    Ex-gays? Ah, they weren’t true gays then?

  18. Barry Duke says:

    You can have even more fun, Har, by dressing up Mohammed:
    http://mohammeddressup.com/

  19. remigius says:

    Barry, but where is the nappy, the little girl, and the flying horse?

  20. barriejohn says:

    Speaking of Exodus, this programme about “high level” defectors from Scientology is being shown again on 4seven tonight, or can be viewed online:

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/scientologists-at-war

    It is quite amazing what utter bullshit people are capable of swallowing.

  21. 1859 says:

    @ Broga: what such mushy phrases mean is ‘I know something very important that you wouldn’t understand if I tried to explain it. So just close your eyes, let your rational brain fall asleep, let faith take over, and keep on dropping coins into my pocket…’ Ah shit! why do I always end up typing the bleeding obvious. Religion REQUIRES a state of unthinking and PERPETUATES it in order to survive. I’m with Daz on this one – the different shades of grey keeps faith alive and reason at bay…

  22. Marky Mark says:

    (This is a classic example of the Christian case. It is obscure to the point where it is impenetrable. But that is the point. By its very obscurity it seduces gullible believers into thinking that they understand what it means and that it is important.)

    …Kinda like a horoscope, so obscure it appeals to millions at one time.

  23. Lurker111 says:

    “Demise of Exodus International unleashes a wave of Christian gloom and waffle”

    Thanks. I needed a day-brightener.

  24. Broga says:

    1859/Marky Mark: There are examples of this mental fog in Christian theoreticians who were, the time, seen to be offering solutions to the difficulties of belief. Teilard de Chardin and John Robinson come to mind. I remember being encouraged by Christian acquaintances to read them and they would dispel my scepticism.

    I also recall Christians exchanging vague academic sounding phrases which seemed to me to be no more then mutual ego massage. The didn’t need to understand. The need was in exchanging obscurities as if they did understand and thus impressing the listeners.