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Exodus Measures Dialogue in Win/Lose Terms

Jim Burroway

June 29th, 2007

During the Friday morning session of the Exodus Freedom Conference, Randy Thomas made several general announcements — please turn off the cell phones, a car is parked in a no parking zone, if you lost your room key please check with Lost and Found, general stuff like that.

And then he had another announcement. A group of “homosexual activists” invited several Exodus leaders to dinner for Friday evening for dialogue. He said that they didn’t know who all received the invitation, or whether activists might have “infiltrated” the hall to distribute more (As far as I know, they hadn’t). But if anyone had received an invitation, they were to meet with Alan Chambers.

Throughout the week of the Exodus Freedom Conference, several of the speakers spoke movingly of the need for dialogue, repentance and reconciliation because of how some Christian leaders have adversely interacted with gays and lesbians. They even denounced what they see as the false polarities of the culture war, recognizing that Americans are tired of the constant bickering. They appear to be acutely aware that many of those in that very hall who are struggling with their sexuality have been victims of the culture war along with the rest of us who aren’t struggling.

But when an opportunity comes along to engage in dialogue with those who were among their brothers and sisters, it seems Exodus is not ready to talk. At least one ex-gay ministry leader indicated that there is tremendous pressure being placed on them not to attend the dialogue. And anther Exodus leader defended that decision saying, “If we go, they win. And if we don’t go, they win.”

Win or lose. That is the calculus of a culture war. It’s unfortunate that Exodus choses to value dialogue according to who wins or loses. Such calculations merely perpetuate the culture wars. And when that happens everybody loses.



July 1st, 2007 | LINK

Blessed are the peace makers.

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