The headlines in the liberal media are gleefully trumpeting the demise
of Exodus International, the leading icon of the ex-”gay” movement.
“From 'pray away the gay' to acceptance,” chortles the LA Times. But
this is not really a story about an organization, but only its leader
Alan Chambers and his unfortunate capitulation to the world. I invite
you to join me in prayer for him.
Those of us “in the
know” have over the past few years watched Alan slowly transform Exodus
into his own private fiefdom, while at the same time he slowly
gravitated inexorably away from recovery. By recovery I mean the state
of mind which focuses on freedom in Christ from bondage to sin as
exemplified by 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Or do you not know that the
unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived;
neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor
homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor
revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
Such were some of you; but you
were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
In anticipation of
this sad day many former Exodus member organizations broke away months
ago and formed a new organization, the Restored Hope Network. RHN will
carry on the important work of the church in helping homosexuals to
recover from same-sex attraction disorder. I applaud the courage of
these men and women to remain true to Scripture in the face of intense
hostility and persecution from the “gay” movement and its many powerful
allies. Their ministry will not be made any easier by the triumphal
gloating and attacks of their now greatly emboldened detractors.
It was this same
relentless grinding hostility that undoubtedly contributed to the fall
of Alan Chambers (few can bear it for long, just ask the Boy Scouts),
but in addition to this “stick” there was also a “carrot” that led him
astray: an insidious form of “gay” theology that misrepresents God’s
grace as a license to sin, or at least a license to embrace a personal
identity defined by a desire to indulge in homosexual sin.
Don’t get me wrong.
I am a pastor whose theology is deeply rooted in the truth of grace, and
I don’t believe that homosexual sin is any greater barrier to salvation
than any other sin. It’s one thing, however, to acknowledge that some
heaven-bound Christians may struggle with homosexual desires and even
conduct, but an entirely different matter to condone and affirm a
homosexual “orientation” as if God intended it to be one’s basis for
self-identification. The former is solidly Biblical, the latter is
dangerous heresy. God did not create people to have no choice in a
behavior He condemns as an abomination, and He wants us never to
identify with our sin nature but to strive always to overcome it. These
are fundamental tenets of Scripture.
The world today
mocks the notion that homosexuals can change, but what is truly
ridiculous, even by secular standards of logic, is the insistence that a
person cannot reorient their sexual nature to comport with their
heterosexual physiology. Normalcy is, after all, that with conforms to
its design, and all of us, even “homosexuals,” have a heterosexual
design. That fact is simply self-evident to anyone with a rational mind.
Yet Christians, among whom Alan Chambers still counts himself, are
required to hold to an even higher standard of truth: God’s Word. Under
that standard, the self-evident truth just mentioned is also the
perspective of our Omniscient, Omnipotent Creator God: “Such were
some of you.” And, of course, there are many ex-”gays” who know the
truth of that verse living among us in victory over their former
disorientation, just as there were in the early church.
For many years
Exodus International was an organization true to the Bible, adopting as
its theme the Hebrew exodus from bondage in Egypt to freedom in the
wilderness. In that story the hero is Moses who stayed true to God while
the people often grumbled and wanted to go back to Egypt where life in
slavery seemed less difficult than their struggles under freedom.
Ironically, in the Exodus International story, it is Moses Alan Chambers
who has turned back to Egypt, while the people keep pressing on toward
the Promised Land. I pray these strugglers will not be overly
discouraged by Alan’s failure. After all, here, just as in the Bible
story, the true leader wasn’t really Moses, it was and is God. And He
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