I want to thank everyone for their prayers and encouragement for our role in the 38th Annual Exodus International Conference. I was privileged and honored to be there for the very last Exodus Freedom Conference. It was an incredible time of ministry, both on and off the platform as God gave us divine appointments. Roxie and I were part of ongoing discussions about closing the ministry and the conclusion we came to was simply to support the leadership of Exodus in whatever decision they made and to faithfully serve the ministry in their swan song event.
We have served Exodus since 2000 and have witnessed the power of God setting captives free from homosexuality. Many did not loose their same sex attraction. A few got married and one had kids. Most are free from the control of SSA and are in the process of learning how to walk in the freedom God has given to them. All are convinced that it’s God’s desire for them to live a life that is wholly devoted to Jesus. They believe that repentance is necessary for salvation and repentance includes leaving the homosexual lifestyle to pursue holiness and wholeness in Christ. How do I know this for certain? Because this is the message my friend Alan Chambers has proclaimed for as long as I can remember. Alan believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. Alan also believes that the only sexual relationship that God sanctions is between a man and a woman. All other sexual relationships outside marriage is considered sin, including homosexual sex. These are deeply held Biblical convictions that Alan has not moved from.
What Alan has done is sought to reach out to men and women who are looking for hope and freedom, but who have been so wounded by the church that they have rejected God as an option for help. His message is grace filled and the intent is not to stop helping those who have same sex attraction to pursue a life of holiness unto the Lord. The intent is to launch a new ministry that is focused on bringing the message of God’s love and grace to broken people and to give them the resources to walk in their freedom in Christ. It’s also focused on coming alongside the church to give them education and tools to help them minister to those who are sexually broken and their families who are affected by their sexual brokeness. It was the firm belief of the board of Exodus that the real answer was not to have a para-church organization doing what the church should be doing. They felt it was the right decision to close Exodus so the local church could take back their place in ministering to the sexually broken. As a local pastor, I’m very happy about this decision.
Unfortunately, there are other ex-gay networks that believe that the only person qualified to handle these kinds of issues are therapists and professional psychologists. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking has led to adopting certain practices that promise a cure, but deliver false hopes. It’s led to methods that hurt instead of heal. One of those practices that has become outlawed in California in the treatment of minors is Reparative Therapy. Although I’m not against the use of therapists, as a teacher of God’s Word I do believe that the hope for man is not found in therapy but it’s found in a relationship with Jesus Christ and God’s power to set people free from the power of sin and death in their lives. I believe there is hope and freedom from life dominating behaviors such as homosexuality through the saving power of the grace of God. I know of people who have walked out of homosexuality because they surrendered to Christ and Jesus changed them from the inside out. There is no promise of a cure. There is only the promise of freedom in Christ. That is a message that Alan Chambers has faithfully proclaimed for as long as I’ve known him.
Roxie and I have not changed our mission to reach out to broken people. We have not changed our methodologies… we simply bring people to Jesus and we let Him heal them. We have not changed our message… we preach salvation by grace through faith alone. We have not changed our commitment to walk through life with people. We are looking forward to what God as He works by His Spirit.