A Few Thoughts On Exodus’ Ministries Exodus From Ministry

 exodus-ministry

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).

Todd

214-239-8809

www.twitter.com/wordsfromwags

pastoraloffice@watermark.org

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts On Exodus’ Ministries Exodus From Ministry

  1. Bless you, Todd. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for parsing the pull-out quotes the way you did.

    I have the privilege of serving on the board of directors for Living Hope Ministries, which has always been an Exodus referral ministry. For several years now we’ve seen the train heading for the cliff but did not withdraw from Exodus because it was through their website that we were found by the vast majority of the people seeking help for their unwanted same-sex attractions, both in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and around the world (because we have the world’s largest online support group and discussion forums for this issue).

    In Exodus’ own words: “Since 1976, Exodus has served as an organization helping men and women surrender their sexual struggles to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” Trouble came when some people lost track of the simplicity of surrender to Jesus, and spent more time talking about “flesh management” techniques. (Of course, that’s the only part that received media attention. Pointing people to Jesus is a non-issue for the world and was completely ignored.)

    I am grateful that Living Hope has never lost track of the primacy of our identity as a discipleship ministry. Our teachings are based on scripture, laced with scripture, and designed to help people apply the power of Christ’s resurrection and the wisdom of a biblical worldview to our lives, especially sexuality and identity.

    You know . . . the same way Watermark works. 🙂

    Grateful for you!

    • Bless you Sue. You are a continual and great encouragement to me. May the Lord continue to use you, Ricky and others at Living Hope to manifest the love and share the truth and grace of Christ with all His people. May the Lord do the same with both of us and all our Watermark family till He returns or calls us home.

      Every blessing friend.

  2. Friends: I recently heard from Alan and he and I are working on getting together. He was gracious, eager and kind in His response to this post. Some of my words in response to him were:
    __________________

    Alan…bless you for the humility you are exhibiting in reaching out. I’d love to meet with you and pursue the mutual encouragement God intends His children to have with one another. I know interviews are imperfect…but as you can imagine many were asking me my thoughts and so I responded to what you put out there in your interviews and appearances. I welcome the fellowship and opportunity to get together/talk……

    It would be great to be together in person but look forward to any interaction that would glorify God, serve you and grow me.

    Till then, may we both be found “mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by” anything that keeps us from the grace and life our gracious Lord provides for us in His Son.

    I look forward to our being together as the Lord permits and as I said am praying for you and yours. Peace brother.

    Numbers 6:24-26,

    Todd
    ______________________

    Join me in praying for Alan and Exodus and any time the Lord gives us together.