Andrew Comiskey Doesn’t Believe In Apologies

Jim Burroway

June 19th, 2013

Exodus International’s annual “Freedom Conference” begins tonight at Concordia University in Irvine, California. The rival, hard-core Restored Hope Network network will begin what it bills as its second annual conference  at Cherokee Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City on Friday, with leadership meetings taking place today and tomorrow. Oklahoma City is home to Stephen Black’s First Stone ministries, which had been one of the founding ministries of Exodus International in 1976, and is also one of the founding ministries of RHN after leaving Exodus over disagreements with Exodus moving away from the “change” model.

Andrew Comiskey, who fired the first salvo against Exodus’ change in direction and is now RHN’s board chairman, is still furious, over a lot of things really — Kinky Boots getting a bunch of Tony Awards, the lesbian-themed film La Vie d’Adele getting top honors at Cannes (he calls it “a lesbian porn film”), and Exodus president Alan Chambers’s upcoming apology to former ex-gay ministry members who were harmed by their experience:

Yet the most disturbing deception for me was not played out on a 36-foot screen or on a Broadway stage or even in the fracturing of the Boy Scouts. It occurred in a church basement in Los Angeles, where Exodus head Alan Chambers gathered with a group of ‘ex-ex-gays’ to apologize to them for hurting them. With doubtless good intention that has now exposed itself as the deception that it is, Alan has sought to placate them for the last couple years.

I am troubled by Christians who now claim that God made them gay and cry victim at anyone who believes otherwise. Doubtless some have been treated heavy-handedly by churches or promised quick cures by homely, uninformed ministries. But instead of submitting their wounds to God and trustworthy healers, these ones allow bitterness to transform them into the most virulent proponents of gay identity and practice. And in Jesus’ Name and Authority! The wounded become deceived then deceivers.

These ones do not want friendship with Alan or Exodus; they want the demise of any ministry that claims transformation of persons with unwanted same-sex attraction. The sneak preview of Lisa Ling’s taping of the whole ridiculous affair demonstrated this beyond a doubt. One ex-ex-gay blasted Alan: “Exodus needs to be shut down—not tweaked, not improved, but shut down!” His demonized plea is becoming true as Exodus staggers along the untenable path of seeking to reconcile good with evil.

It’s important to remember that Comiskey, despite professing himself as a Christian, doesn’t believe in apologies. Several years ago, when Comiskey learned that a staffer at his Desert Stream Ministries had sexually abused at least one teenager under their “care,” Comiskey’s reaction was to complain about how horrible the entire affair was — to him. He griped about the police investigations and tangles with his liability insurance providers, but thanked his God that not a word of the sad affair leaked to the press. Comiskey has since converted to Catholicism, which knows a thing or two about sweeping sexual abuse scandals under the rug and dismissing its victims.

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