Thursday, June 28, 2007
In part it says:
"The former leaders of the interdenominational Christian organization Exodus International said Wednesday they had all, over time, become disillusioned with the group's ideas and concerned about what they described as the wrenching human toll of such gay conversion efforts."
"Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families," the three, including former Exodus co-founder Michael Bussee, said in a joint written statement presented at a news conference in Hollywood. "Although we acted in good faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame, fear and loss of faith that this message creates." '
"Exodus' president, Alan Chambers, said he disagreed with its critics and the ministry's methods have helped many people, including him."
"Exodus is here for people who want an alternative to homosexuality,"
Chambers said by phone.
"There are thousands of people like me who have overcome this. I think there's room for more than one opinion on this subject, and giving people options isn't dangerous."
"Bussee left Exodus in 1979 after he fell in love with a man who was a fellow ex-gay counselor with the group. He speaks out frequently against ex-gay therapies."
"Chambers, who is married and has children, said he and other current Exodus officials are careful to warn those who seek help that such a path is not easy.Sexual orientation, he said, "isn't a light switch that you can switch on and off."
The first thing that went through my mind is how sick and twisted this is, but also how much this "apology" sounds like the one Richard Mouw of Fuller Theological Cemetary gave to the LDS leaders in Salt Lake City a few years ago:
"Let me state it clearly. We evangelicals have sinned against you," Mouw said, noting a tendency among some Christians to distort the truth about the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "We have told you what you believe without making a sincere effort first of all to ask you what you believe." Mouw went on to explain that "we have even on occasion demonized you, weaving conspiracy theories about what the LDS community is 'really' trying to accomplish in the world. And even at our best, we have — and this is true of both of our communities — we have talked past each other, setting forth oversimplified and distorted accounts of what the other group believes." Latter-day Saints have often responded in kind to such actions, he said, lamenting, "Friendship with each other has not come easily for our two communities." - The Desert News.
Interestingly Apologetics Index has an email discussion of Keith Walker of Evidence Ministries with Mouw on this very thing, and someone made the observation that his (Mouw's) apology to the Mormons sounded like the one at the Promise Keeper's conference where the white folks apologized to the black folks for slavery. And on it goes...unjustified guilt for a sin one did not committ by an ecumenical group. Keith Walker makes some very good counterpoints to Richard Mouw's erroneous thinking.
Obviously the question is: why are so many people apologizing to those who hate God for declaring the Truth? Do we see this in Scripture? Did Paul apologize to the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill? Did Peter apologize to the Jews on Pentecost? Did Jesus apologize to the Pharisees? Did John the Baptist?
Here are my observations regarding the news article on the ex-Exodus leader's comments and that of the current leader:
#1 Interesting this has come out (pardon the pun) after Al Mohler said, " The discovery of a biological basis for homosexuality would be of great pastoral significance, allowing for a greater understanding of why certain persons struggle with these particular sexual temptations," back in March 2007.
Well Romans 1 gives us the exact reason why. See the passage of Scripture below. Mohler and these others seem to be man-centered, thus looking to man for answers to a spiritual issue which may be exactly why the former leaders of Exodus International as well as the current leadership want to ease off the offense of calling men (and women) to repent of their wicked ways. Yes, God considers homosexuality and any sexual immorality (just to name a few) wicked, sinful, and God-hating (see Romans 3 for the descripture of Man outside of Christ).
#2 We ARE to repent of our sin, including homosexuality. The former Exodus men in this article are saying basically, in other words, that repentance from homosexuality brings harm. God says its part of salvation through Christ. How is that harmful? They are perhaps looking at the persecution of a saint maybe, but human harm for the sake of Christ is GOOD.
Mat 3:2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Act 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because He has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead."
Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.
Mat 11:20 Then He began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.
Separation from the world? You bet! Look:
1Pe 4:3 The time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Joh 15:18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Look at the context though--fruit of the Spirit with loving the brothers as one of them: Joh 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
#3 "Bussee left Exodus in 1979 after he fell in love with a man who was a fellow ex-gay counselor with the group. " Well, I saw this one coming. He is under God's judgment per Rom. 1 and 2 Cor. 6 and 1Tim 1. This is truly a spiritual issue.
Rom 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
1Co 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
2Pe 2:21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: "The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire."
#4 "Sexual orientation, he said, "isn't a light switch that you can switch on and off." '
1) We can say "no" to ungodliness through Him who gives us grace, 2) we ARE to "put OFF the old man" and "put ON the New Man". None of this IS possible really, without the Person of the Holy Spirit working in us to will AND to do HIS good pleasure.
Rom 13:13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
Eph 4:19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!-- 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
Phi 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
1Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Scripture is clear: we ARE to say "no" to ungodliness and to put OFF the old Self and put ON the new Self which is created in and by Christ Jesus to HIS glory. This putting off includes ALL sin. This IS a battle. We need the Amour of God which Eph. 6 describes. How utterly pitiful that any Christian, let alone one that seeks to help homosexuals, would disregard such clear Scripture. If God has commanded this, then He will give us the grace and power to do it.
Perhaps both sides of this issue re: Exodus, should consider this:
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
Quit riding the fence, Christians. God is black and white on this issue. Fear HIM rather than Man.