Three Australian Ex-Gay Leaders Apologize

Jim Burroway

August 16th, 2007

Last June, we reported on three former Exodus and Exodus-affiliated leaders who apologized for their parts “in the message of broken truth we spoke on behalf of Exodus and other organizations.” Today, Beyond Ex-Gay and Soulforce have announced that three former Australian Ex-Gay leaders have issued statements of apology for their roles in ex-gay ministries.

Kim BrettKim Brett is a former Exodus associate and leader of Living Waters and Liberty, Inc. Since 2005, she grew increasingly uneasy that the things she was teaching was harmful to people. She saw her clients frustrations that “no matter how repentant, prayerful and committed we all were to living a life as an ex-gay Christian, the changes we all sought and were taught possible never really materialised for most.”

Wendy LawsonWendy Lawson is a former Exodus ministry leader. She says that she is aware of only one member who is living in a heterosexual relationship. The others, about twenty, are gay, and have abandoned their struggles. She describes her own personal sense of failure as a Christian and of not being accepted as a part of her church family.

Vonnie PittsVonnie Pitts was a heterosexual pastor at a church in New South Wales. She and two other pastors set up an ex-gay ministry based on the Living Waters program. After four months of training, they took three lesbians and two gay men through the intense six month program. When that didn’t work, they looked at other ex-gay resources for help. But over time, she learned that “anyone who claimed to be ‘cured’ had just gone into denial about his or her sexuality.” She concludes:

If I were to see any of the people that I took through the ‘Living Waters’ program again, I would say sorry. My intentions were to help you through your struggle but I acted in ignorance.

AM

August 18th, 2007

I received some of the remnants of my ex-gay days in my mailbox yesterday and while reading a denominational ministry’s newsletter on why homosexual behvavior is wrong and how it can all be healed, I came up with an interesting thought.

Much of the appeal had to do with Scripture and the traditonal interpretation along with creative intent thrown in. Nothing new there.

However, I got to thinking: Why not have support groups for lifetime celibates — those who Scripturally cannot have sex again — the “lifers” along with the gay Christians who cannot change (most of them)?

Of course, I am referring to the divorced and remarried crowd — many of whom did not have the Scriptural authority to marry.

Now, I am hypothetically suggesting this not because I believe it is necessary, myself, — this concept, but because in all this intentness to provide “help, healing, and hope” to “strugglers”, we can put some real strugglers in there, too: the straights who are now Biblically consigned to a life of celibacy.

Because the end game is where I see the fallacy of the Biblical “seriousness” in this issue:

If such groups did exist and the church used lifetime celibacy vis a vis’ support groups to restrict straight divorcees, I do believe the reality check would set in of what they are asking gays to do.

Imagine a Living Waters populated year after year with such people: straights who are required to be lifetime celibates. Probably the same tune of untenability would ring out with their stories that we have heard from gay Christians now for decades.

Ken R

August 19th, 2007

I agree with you AM. They are constantly inconsistent with their beliefs. They demand celibacy for gays without question but would never hold to those same demands for straights when it came to divorce and remarriage. You would most likely get funny looks if you demanded that they adhere to the celibacy rule. Jesus himself spoke against divorce and remarriage except in cases of adultery. And only adultery. Would you hold a battered wife that had no recourse but to divorce her husband to this same celibacy rules? You would have to if one is to take scripture literally. That wife must now live a lifetime of celibacy because leaving a spouse because of abuse is not one of the options Christ allowed for divorce and remarriage to occur. The Bible doesn’t say it is ok, so it must wrong. I can see many Christian heads spinning on this all the while they try to justify the sin.

I would love to see support groups for those divorced straights that have to remain celibate. It would be like a cold bucket of ice water in their faces when they realize that they themselves cannot possibly live up to their own religious interpretations.

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