Minnesota Pastor/Ex-Gay Leader Charged with Sexual Misconduct
November 9th, 2012
Last Sunday night, police arrested Ryan Jay Muehlhauser, pastor of Lakeside Christina Church in Cambridge, Minnesota about 45 miles north of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and charged him with eight felony counts of criminal misconduct over allegations that he sexually assaulted two men at least eight times while counseling them to change their sexual orientation. KSDK television describes the allegations:
Victim ABC said in counseling sessions Muehlhauser “blessed” him by cupping his genitals outside of his clothing several times and that Muehlhauser asked the victim to arouse himself in front of him and called it, the victim said, “spiritual strength.”
The victim also reported that Muehlhauser would have him strip naked for more “spiritual guidance” and have him masturbate while Muehlhauser prayed over him.
According to Isanti County News, Muehlhauser appeared before a judge on Tuesday, where he was released on $50,000 bail with restrictions on his movements and conduct. The paper reported that the specific charges relate to incidents which took place on several days in 2012. One victim said that he had met Muehlhauser through another victim at Muehlhauser’s home in March, where he was conducting a retreat with six young men from the Minneapolis-based ex-gay organization Outpost Ministries:
At this time, the victim noticed that Muehlhauser was extremely physical with both him and the other victim. He said Muehlhauser would constantly put his hand on his shoulder, thigh and give hugs to the victims.
On at least one occasion, Muehlhauser said he didn’t want people to see them because they wouldn’t understand. Muehlhauser also said he would “lose everything” if anyone found out what they were doing together.
The victim said he went along with the acts because Muehlhauser was his minister and spiritual advisor.
Both victims are unnamed. The other victim who came forward said that he met Muehlhouser two years ago at an event held by Outpost Ministries. According to their web site, “Outpost Ministries exists to help the sexually and relationally broken find healing and restoration through relationship with Jesus Christ.” Outpost claims membership in the Restored Hope Network, which formed earlier this year when ex-gay ministries began defecting from Exodus International over changes in Exodus’s messaging. Outpost says it left Exodus due to “due to theological differences, specifically regarding salvation and sanctification,” a statement that appears to refer to Alan Chamber’s recent comments that he believes that gay people who are saved, are saved no matter what, and that God places no greater burden on gay people than he does on any other “sinners.”
Not only does Outpost claim membership in Restored Hope Network, but Restored Hope also returns the favor. In a September 7 post on Restored Hope’s Facebook page, they wrote:
Another invaluable ministry available in Minneapolis is Outpost Ministries, headed up by Nate Oyloe. Outpost is one of the long standing ministries in the US in assisting individuals, families and churches in dealing with issues of sexual and relational brokenness. They also have a thriving prayer ministry and youth ministry. To find out more click the picture or link below.
This arrest is the first public scandal involving a ministry associated with Restored Hope.