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