Via David Roberts at Ex-Gay Watch comes word that another ministry has left the Exodus International network. Portland Fellowship, an Oregon-based ministry which had been known for its comparatively moderate image, announced (PDF: 94KB/2 pages) that it has “removed its affiliation with Exodus until changes in leadership take place and the mission is restored.”
Like many of the other ministries which have also left the Exodus network over the past several months, Portland Fellowship Executive Director Jason Thompson cites two distinct disagreements with Exodus:
The problem for many Exodus ministries, including Portland Fellowship, is the two-fold message; 1) there is no eternal reason to seek repentance for the self-identified and practicing ‘Gay Christian’; and 2) that change simply isn’t a goal or a strong reality for the majority. So what is the point of Exodus? At the recent annual Exodus conference, Alan opens the conference by answering the question with, “the answer that came to mind was the thing I was looking for was I didn’t want to be alone anymore.”
This significant shift in the historical work of Exodus, along with several other statements, theological disagreements (specifically regarding the issue of sanctification), and problems in leadership resulted in most of the strongest, longest-lasting Exodus Member ministries breaking their affiliation with Exodus International, and begin working to create a new network. [Emphasis in the original]
With that last sentence Thompson justifies his actions, partly, by citing other longstanding Exodus ministries which broke with Exodus to joing the Restored Hope Network, which announced a weekend conference in September in Sacramento, California. While Thompson doesn’t indicate whether he will join Restored Hope, this statement points to that direction. Portland Fellowship had been an Exodus member ministry since 1988.