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Another Ex-Gay Ministry Attempts Stealth Mode

Jim Burroway

February 6th, 2012

A South African affiliate of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation is the latest ex-gay ministry to attempt a “pro-gay” cover to hide its real anti-gay agenda. Last week, International Healing Foundation (SA) sent the following announcement out to its email list:

New Living Way Ministry is a Non Profit Company and an interdenominational Christian organization that serves and reaches out in love to the gay community and their loved ones. Our vision is to have a care centre from where we will serve those suffering with HIV and AIDS, and where a residential program will cater for people with unwanted same-sex attraction. Temporary accommodation is envisioned for men and woman who are homeless and destitute due to a variety of circumstances, and those involved in prostitution are also close to our hearts to be reached out to. A chapel on the premises will enable us to meet some of the spiritual needs of those we are serving. We believe in serving a person as a whole – spirit, soul and body and will provide the necessary means to do so.

Being also an educational and counselling organization, we endeavour to empower men, women, and children to heal from past and present wounds, releasing them to live a powerful life, and to fulfil their destiny. We also aim at educating the religious and secular communities about same-sex attraction and early intervention. We work to promote healthy individuals and relationships, healing communities, families, and churches.

We value the right of individuals to live life as they desire, and love and accept them just as they are. We will accompany everyone on their journey to wholeness and affirm their right of self-determination, self-acceptance, and self-discovery, while respecting their faith and values and how it might impact their choices.

Not being ignorant of the fact that some terms like “homosexual,” “homosexual community,” “homosexual lifestyle” or “he is a homosexual,” etc. might be offensive to some readers, I want to highlight that it is not our intention to offend anybody, should such terms be found on this website. Because our articles are obtained from many different sources, it’s not always possible to avoid these terms. However, please know that it is not used with malicious intent.

As followers of Christ, it is appropriate for us at New Living way Ministry to repent and ask the gay community for forgiveness for the way individual Christians and Christian organizations have often treated you. We publicly apologize to those of you within the Gay community for the hate you have felt and experienced from the Christian community. That has been our sin against you, and we ask for your forgiveness. We want you to know that you matter to us and you matter to God. God loves you, He cares about you, and He has a plan for your life.

Nice words, although the third paragraph is puzzling. It’s obviously written by someone who has no idea how to actually talk to the gay community. The nice words however fall apart with just a couple of easy clicks on New Living Way’s newly announced web site. The site’s sidebar is loaded with anti-gay propaganda, including NARTH co-founder Charles Socarides’s myopic “Removal of Homosexuality from the DSM III,” an unsigned “Homosexuality and Psychiatry: Homosexuality is Very Abnormal Behaviour!“, the typical anti-gay treatment of “The Kirk & Madsen Manifesto – After the Ball“, and the list of “Other Resources” which firmly shows where New Living Way Ministry is headed.

Last October, Richard Cohen tried a similar stunt here in the U.S. where he tried a similarly cynical “apology” with an announcement of a supposedly new face for his International Healing Foundation. As with New Living Way Ministry, Cohen couldn’t be bothered to do much to update his website to reflect his supposedly newfound “gay-supportive” stance.  Just a few clicks around his web site – now at comingoutloved.com — shows that he is still peddling his unique brand of ex-gay messages, including his 2007 book Gay Children, Straight Parents which includes a twelve-step cure-the-gay program – complete with his controversial hugging therapy – to supposedly turn gay children straight.

Comments

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Snowman
February 6th, 2012 | LINK

I’m sorry but if people have been (often repeatedly) hurt by Christians why would they think “God loves you and has a plan for your life” would be any kind of good or supportive statement??

In my experience “God loves you and has a plan for your life” is code for “We have plans for you and want to manipulate you into following us again.”
No. Thank. You.

Soren456
February 6th, 2012 | LINK

Forgiveness is for the forgiven. It’s a matter of handing the problem back to an offender so that honest change can be made, and it is not complete until change is complete.

But requests for it are cheap, as proven here, and the concept is essentially without meaning outside the context of how these people think.

Priya Lynn
February 6th, 2012 | LINK

They said “As followers of Christ, it is appropriate for us at New Living way Ministry to repent and ask the gay community for forgiveness for the way individual Christians and Christian organizations have often treated you.”.

I noticed all these so-called apologies start with this approach talking about how the wrong was done by “chrisitians and christian organizations” with the implication being “wrong was done by christians other than us.”. That’s no apology, its a ploy to sucker people into trusting those who will later attempt to ease the victims into anti-gay ideology.

Timothy Kincaid
February 6th, 2012 | LINK

I’ve heard a few apologies for “wrong done by Christians” which were sincere. They are usually very obvious because they include ways in which they commit to correcting the harm (i.e. full inclusion, working for social change, supporting legal equality).

I’ve heard some that were completely cynical like those noted above.

But I think there are some apologies that are not accompanied by substantive reversal, but do at least have some value. They may not change their theology, but they promise to tone down the rhetoric, stop propagating lies, etc. It’s not exactly praise worthy, but it does show an improved perspective and should be encouraged.

If New Living Way Ministry is anything other than pure BS, they will revise their website and get rid of the lies and myths. However, I suspect that their epiphany was limited to this self-congratulatory press release.

Reed Boyer
February 7th, 2012 | LINK

“After the Ball.” Loved it. Still do. Although it has been brandished by anti-gays as “the Manifesto,” it remains one of my favorites. Its adverts and approach to educating the larger population have very much informed the progress of the last 30 years (exponentially the last5-10, it seems).

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