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The new Exodus message

Timothy Kincaid

May 25th, 2012

Over the past several of years we have seen Exodus International change from an organization that sought to turn gay people straight and who provided political cover for anti-gay activism into an organization that, well, let’s let them put in in their own words:

In the midst of the chaos and tired culture war mentality, Exodus International continues to serve a fast growing population of the Church that is ready to end the war and reach out in compassion to people who come to them for answers.

“Exodus is here to provide support to individuals with SSA who want to be faithful in their pursuit of living out a biblical sexual ethic,” said Chambers. “We encourage parents who desire to be faithful to their values to also love their gay or lesbian child unconditionally despite having differing worldviews. Finally we are here to help churches looking for ways to reach out to people in their congregations or across the divide to people in their communities.”

For some readers, that will still not be satisfactory; some will see the new language as repackaging for public consumption; some will worry about exactly what “reaching out to people” entails; and I suppose there may be a few who think that anything short of full endorsement should be silenced.

But I continue to be encouraged at the direction that Exodus has taken and while I may not agree with their interpretation of what a biblical sexual ethic may be, this position is one that I can live with.

Comments

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Steve
May 25th, 2012 | LINK

Anyone with an ounce of intelligence will realize that no matter what they say, they don’t mean ANY of it. It’s just PR for the gullible. Their actions speak different.

Stephen
May 25th, 2012 | LINK

I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.

Sachi
May 25th, 2012 | LINK

Contrary to the previous posters, I think I agree with you. Of course, actions will speak louder than words.

Baby steps!!

Sachi

TampaZeke
May 25th, 2012 | LINK

I think they can tell which way the wind is blowing and they are desperate to find a way to survive in a world that increasingly is rejecting their side of a the culture war that they were once VERY happy to participate in. I think they are still interested in fighting to make gay people and their family’s lives miserable in hopes of driving them toward their religious and political world view. They just realize that they now have to be much more covert and subtle about it.

Even still, it’s good news.

David Roberts
May 25th, 2012 | LINK

[Comment removed at the request of the commenter.]

Richard Rush
May 25th, 2012 | LINK

Maybe Alan Chambers was just responding out of fear after reading this article on BTB: Researcher Predicts Rising Unemployment Among Ex-Gay Therapists.

iDavid
May 26th, 2012 | LINK

Nothing has changed, absolutely nothing.

Exodus has no concept of “change is possible” as they prove once again when they open their manipulative lying mouths amplified through their warped and ill bred flock-shock business.

The only change we will ever see with Exodus is when outside sources I.e. financial failure shut them down. They do not have the courage nor the dignity to tell the truth nor stop the persecution. They falsely live under a Judaic god of manipulation and negative mind control. They are a cult trading dollars on guilt.

They are a disgrace to Christ and what he stood for and a disgrace to humanity which Christ serves. They only live to make Christ’s job more difficult.

Aaron
May 26th, 2012 | LINK

Thank you Timothy, but here’s my problem. YES, Exodus is repackaging themselves, BUT, it ISN’T Exodus who does the “therapy”, it’s the member ministries, and Exodus’ job is to refer people seeking help to one of thos ministries, and most of those ministries are, of course, the reparative therapy touting snake-oil salespeople that we know them to be, and THEY aren’t changing.

Any real analysis of whether Exodus is changing from an ex-gay model to a celibacy model will have to be done at the member ministry level, NOT at the umbrella level.

Regan DuCasse
May 26th, 2012 | LINK

I was reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog and there were several readers who posted their experiences from being married to a gay person.
Their marriages ended in divorce, each party bewildered and betrayed and in pain.
Each had tried to fulfill what Exodus or most other Christian communities say is their natural or God given duty to do.
Which selfishly sounds more like what the church community wants, instead of the individuals who have to be in the relationship.
It’s the denial of what kind of pressure and coercion that entails for a gay person and the costs to trust and endurance of their own commitment. Let alone to the family they created.

The irony of ironies, using the word ‘struggle’ with homosexuality, while denying the struggle to carry the burden of deceit.

What I want to see, is some real honesty about a ROUTINELY accepting society, and what that would do about truth.
A straight person not held accountable or deceived into believing they can change a gay person, and a gay person who can be free of the same burden WOULD be damn refreshing.

The veil that Exodus has been using, is growing thinner and a bit more diaphanous, but I was impatient a LONG time ago, with them using a veil at all.
I absolutely, cannot stand the indifference of religious communities, to when they become a LIABILITY to a community. Whether it’s someone who chose to be religious or not.
That is quite unforgivable, and what’s so sociopathic about some religious people.

Priya Lynn
May 26th, 2012 | LINK

Regan said “The irony of ironies, using the word ‘struggle’ with homosexuality, while denying the struggle to carry the burden of deceit.”.

That…was….profound.

TampaZeke
May 26th, 2012 | LINK

Regan NAILED it!

Reed
May 26th, 2012 | LINK

“Ready to end the war” is a good thing.

The rest seems in line with Chambers’s recent statements, with additional semantic padding.

That said, Aaron’s point is well-taken -(queer kids could wind up being farmed out to “religious counselors”).
Regan’s point (the constant lies, evasions, and compounded guilt) really struck close to the bone.

Shofixti
May 26th, 2012 | LINK

I am a little confused about how the average pastor of the average pentecostal church will read this.

I was managed out of a congregation due to their insistence that I re-undergo a reparative style therapy. Will the average church that relied on the change message from Exodus pause to re-think?

The collapse of the reparative hegemony is evident, but the culture likely moves slowly.

Mark F.
May 28th, 2012 | LINK

Celibacy does suit some people, I have no problem with that. I have at least 3 friends who are celibate by choice. I think it is a weird choice, but it’s their choice.

I just ask that these groups stop lying about gay people and stop supporting discrimination.

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