The quotes below are from Alan Chambers’ comments as reported in this story. (You’ll find my responses below each quote.)
“I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly ‘on my side’ who called you names like sodomite — or worse.”
Good for you Alan. Any believer that doesn’t stand up to people (professed Christ-followers or not) who are not speaking the truth in love should repent (Proverbs 27:5-6; Colossians 4:5-6). Here is a message I gave on the topic years ago where I acknowledge and speak out against the years of failure the “church” has on its résumé in loving the LGBTQ community.
“I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents….”
I am sorry as well that “reparative therapy theories” or “stigmatizing parents” were ever the chosen methods of a ministry seeking to help people struggling with same sex attraction (or anything). The hope of God’s word is that we will be able to overcome our bondage to self through the mercy and power available in a relationship with Jesus Christ. This relationship allows us to not be conformed to this world, or our sinful desires, but rather to live in a way that is good, acceptable, perfect and free from guilt and shame (Romans 12:1-12).
“In a 2009 report, the American Psychological Association concluded that “there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.”
No new news here. God’s word has been offering that truth for thousands of years. There is, however, an abundance of evidence that Jesus offers to all men everywhere the means through which we can die to ourselves (1 Cor 10:13; Gal 2:20) and live in relationship with Him in obedience to His kindness which produces hope, joy , righteousness and peace (Proverbs 3:13-18; 21:21).
“Chambers, who is married to a woman, said in his apology that over the years, he had “conveniently omitted my ongoing same-sex attractions.”
Isolation and inauthenticity are never our friends. It is sad for him that his study of God’s word or fellowship didn’t continually teach/remind him of this. Too many men “conveniently omit” their ongoing temptations to their own destruction (Proverbs 18:1; James 5:16). Temptation (of any kind) is NOT sin (James 1:14-15). Isolation, inauthenticity and lack of confession however are.
“They brought me tremendous shame and I hid them in the hopes they would go away,” he said. “Looking back, it seems so odd that I thought I could do something to make them stop. Today, however, I accept these feelings as parts of my life that will likely always be there.”
Jesus never promises to take away our temptations. He hasn’t taken away mine either. Hiding our struggles doesn’t make them go away. Confessing our sins and seeking prayer and encouragement while living in the freedom of a grace-filled community that loves and honors the Word of God delivers us from guilt and shame and is part of the Lord’s means of grace which allows us to walk in the freedom His grace makes possible. Christ, His Spirit, His word and His people provide the grace and power to not be a slave to our temptations (whatever they are), but rather a slave to righteousness (Titus 3:3-7; Col 3:5). I accept that I am not with my King in a glorified body yet, and therefore I daily must be vigilant against my flesh, the ways of this world and the enemy who has come to steal my joy, kill my hope and character and destroy my relationship with God and others (2 Peter 3:17).
“Our goals are to reduce fear and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming and mutually transforming communities,”
I am praying for Alan. May the Lord continue His work in his life and may somehow he come to know of the joy I have living in the midst of a local church that is a safe, welcoming and transforming community free from fear or the need to isolate.
Alan….I hope this blog post makes its way to you and you can come visit us at Watermark where there are thousands of transformed and constantly tempted men and women of all sexual preferences and backgrounds that are by God’s grace abiding with Jesus and walking in freedom (1 Corinthians 6:11).
From the Reuters story on the same topic:
Exodus International’s mission statement was “mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality.”
Here is praying that this continues to be the passion of every member of the body of Christ not just to those struggling with same sex attraction, but to all and every person struggling to find life in a world impacted by sin and death. Here is praying that the way we go about ministering is consistent with the Truth of God’s Word and not the confusion that comes from ways that seem right to man but in the end are the way of death (Proverbs 14:12).