As a Christian blogger, Exodus International was one of the key links on my website directing people struggling with same-sex attraction attractions to visit for information on how to be healed from this type of sexual sin. So with great interest I’ve been following all the controversy related to his “I’m Sorry” letter to the gay community and the eventual shutting down of the organization. I’ve posted parts of it throughout this page but it can be seen here in its entirety as long as Exodus International keeps their site up.
I’ve had many mixed emotions upon hearing from Alan Chambers’ apologies and why he was shutting it down. And with his announcement that Exodus Int. is closing, it was promptly taken off my website. But maybe it should have been taken down long ago with reasons I’ll explain later.
Still believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman (or does he)
What is most troubling about his apologies are the scores of people who may be hurt even worse because of it. Much confusion from the gay community in that many believe Alan is actually apologizing for calling their sexual lives a sin. He did make it clear at the end of his apology that he is NOT apologizing for his stance on what he believes the bible teaches about marriage and clarified in an interview with The Christian Post:
CP: In your written apology that you posted online you said that you can’t apologize for your belief in biblical sexual boundaries, but you did say that you will “exercise my beliefs with great care and respect for those who do not share them.” So can you please describe what those biblical sexual boundaries are, and also how your approach to those who disagree with you has changed?
Chambers: My beliefs about sex and sexuality and sexual expression are that God created, His original created intent was sexual expression between one man and one woman for one lifetime in the bonds of marriage, and that is the truth I live by.
Warning! “The truth I live by”… so if someone else has another “truth” is he going to accept it – as truth? How will Alan be able to now minister to gays who are practicing the sin of homosexuality – does he still recognize it as sin and that is sin for all of mankind, not just for those who believe it is sin?
Confusing apologies and confusing stance on sexual orientation
So what is he apologizing for? A glimpse into answers to that question can be found here in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper:
He apologizes for his and his leaders’ rhetoric that has caused hurt, anxiety, trauma and shame. How much of that is Exodus and how much is scripture isn’t made plain here. Much talk about feeling bad that people are traumatized for being led to believe they can change and Alan says that they can’t. I take it that Alan is making the distinction between sexual orientation and sexual acts. He claims he still has same-sex attraction but loves his wife. Very confusing stuff here but more on that later in the post.
Here are a few passages from his letter of apology that caught my attention:
“But if the Church is a body, with many members being connected to the whole, then I believe that what one of us does right we all do right, and what one of us does wrong we all do wrong. We have done wrong, and I stand with many others who now recognize the need to offer apologies and make things right.”
I disagree here with Alan that if one does right/wrong then we all do. No, Exodus International participated in some questionable practices that truly did hurt many people. If what Alan is saying here is that we are all one – then must all churches that teach against homosexuality be shut down as Exodus Int.? So no we are separate organizations in one family of believers and that’s what Alan probably meant. All believers don’t have to seek apologies for what Exodus International has been guilty of doing.
Many have been hurt by questionable practices (not just calling it sin)
Some more from Alan here:
“Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced.
Alan is not clear here on what ways the gay community has been hurt. Many are hurt just hearing that the bible says homosexuality is a sin. But there have been other ways they have been hurt such as calling them demon possessed, name calling – sodomites, unnecessary questions about their sex lives, (from the ex-gays who confronted Alan on Lisa Ling’s report on the Oprah Network):
I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents.
Alan Chambers used to teach that one’s sexual orientation could be changed. A stance that understandably confused Anderson Cooper in the video above when he asked Alan about not being able to change sexual orientation while married to a woman. Anderson asked Alan point blank was he gay which Alan never did offer an emphatic yes or no. Alan Chambers has done nothing more than create further confusion.
Alan is whitewashing sin
I believe that Alan is sincerely trying to right some of the true wrongs of Exodus International but he’s appearing to now be very timid when it comes to scripture and when it comes to sin. An example of this timidity is when he said the following in his letter of apology:
“Our beliefs do not center on “sin” because “sin” isn’t at the center of our faith.”
With statements like that then perhaps it is best that Exodus International shuts down. If one doesn’t understand that Christ is the center of our faith and that His dying on the cross was for our SINS which makes SIN very central to the Christian faith, then Exodus has lost it’s entire focus of our Lord. Alan is crucifying our Lord all over again!
Past hints that something was wrong
There were some hints from the past that all is not well with Alan. My first clue that something was amiss was when in January 2012, Alan was an unplanned guest on a panel at the Gay Christian Network Conference in Orlando, Florida. This is a conference of gays who practice homosexuality with a few who were practicing celibacy. Alan addressed them as “brothers and sisters in Christ.” Those of us who believe God’s word that homosexuality is a sin, know that those who rebel against God and persist in sin are not recognized as Children of God. (See my post Can you be a Christian AND a homosexual?)
The second clue at the same conference is when he said 99.9% of the people he knew had not changed their sexual orientation. A major hint that perhaps Alan was becoming disillusioned at his whole work at Exodus.
Praying for Alan Chambers – and his wife!
It’s tough to call someone a brother when he doesn’t seem to understand Christ’s death on the cross and how sin IS in the center of one’s life when Christ is on the throne! And how can he be called a believer if now what he believes is just “his” truth? Does he even believe that homosexuality is a sin anymore? And if he does, does he love the sinner enough to tell them the truth? Or now is he bowing down to the god of this world and bought the lie that one can practice homosexuality because Jesus loves them just as they are without change? And what about his wife, is she in danger of losing her husband to his lust for other men? I am hoping and praying that Alan breaks out of this snare and make the necessary changes he needs to make without further diluting of God’s word. I can see a more compassionate godly organization that will be a home to those seeking a change. But the leader himself must be grounded and that’s what I’m praying for in Alan.
Thank God there are organizations that are already faithful and bold in proclaiming God’s word, and that don’t depend on psycho-therapeutic means of seeking change in people but only through the blood of Jesus Christ! (See a list of ex-gay advocates and organizations on my blog and some listed in the articles below – with more to come!)
More articles on Alan Chambers’ Apology (articles will be updated as more come in)
Alan Chambers Follows Hypergrace Movement Back to Egypt – by Scott Lively on CharismaNews
After Exodus: Evangelicals React as Ex-Gay Ministry Starts Over – by Melissa Steffan on Christianity Today
6 Lessons From the Collapse of Exodus International – by Michael Brown on CharismaNews
Sorry Exodus, Homosexuals Can COMPLETELY Change – Stephen Bennett – Ex-gay and founder of SBM Worldwide, Inc.