John Paulk, the former chairman of Exodus International, has apologized for saying religion will cure homosexuality
The leaders of Exodus International are dropping their previously held principle that most people homosexual attractions can be converted through prayer, and the president of Exodus disclosed Monday night that he still has same-sex attractions.
Alan Chambers has been one of the faces of reparative therapy and has appeared in ads for Exodus International with his wife, with whom he has two children. However, as of late, the organization has been distancing itself from saying so-called reparative therapy can work for any person with homosexual attractions.
“With regards to reparative therapy, so much of that type of technique and therapy is focused on changing attraction or changing temptation when I don’t find that there is a biblical reality that says people will necessarily change their temptations or change their struggles,” he said.
When pressed by Hardball host Michael Smerconish, filling in for Chris Matthews, Chambers said that while his attractions are specifically toward his wife, he does still feel attracted to other men. Chambers contends that saying someone can “pray the gay away,” is a lazy way of simplifying a person’s sexual orientation.
“I’m not telling someone that is happily gay identified, or gay, or lesbian that they should choose the life that I live, or that God will love them more or less depending on the decision they make,” Chambers said. “For me and for people of faith who want to choose to live through the filter of their faith and a strong biblical sexual ethic in that regard, that they have that right to do that.”
Click the link above to watch the video.
According to Ex-gay watch:
In what seems like the logical extension of the recent trend, Exodus International has decided there were not enough people interested in attending their Love Won Out conference scheduled for later this month to justify the expense. Conference attendance has been trending downward, with their last conference bringing in barely 400 people. This is down from nearly 1000 in Exodus’ headier days.
They recently sent out an email to their would-be attendees about the cancellation, which you can read at the source.
Truth Wins Out warned the LGBT community today not to be fooled by future rebranding efforts by the “ex-gay” organization Exodus International, which is
looking to retool as it stands on the precipice of collapse. The desperate state of Exodus was revealed in an exclusive story by Ex-Gay Watch today, which reported that talk of an Exodus makeover occurred during an emergency meeting that focused on the group’s solvency.
“The problem with Exodus International is that it peddles a faulty product that causes harm to its clients,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “Rebranding efforts for Exodus are no different than putting a new car body over a sputtering engine. It won’t be long before people realize it’s the same old lemon.”
The Ex-Gay Watch report, written by David Roberts, reveals a Nov. 16 secret summit in New York, where Exodus President Alan Chambers desperately plotted how to “keep Exodus International from social and financial oblivion.” The report discusses how an ill-advised real estate deal hindered Exodus’ ambitions goals to expand.
To read the complete article, click the link above.
The former leader of Exodus International’s oldest ministry says you can’t repent of homosexuality — and he now publicly admits he is homosexual himself.
John Smid, who resigned as Executive Director of Love in Action in 2008, has made his strongest statements yet disavowing the message he preached for years as the head of a ministry that promised gays they could change.
Writing on the website of his new ministry, Grace Rivers, Smid says being homosexual (he generally uses this rather clinical term rather than “gay”) is an intrinsic part of a person’s being, not a behaviour he can repent from:
One cannot repent of something that is unchangeable. I have gone through a tremendous amount of grief over the many years that I spoke of change, repentance, reorientation and such, when, barring some kind of miracle, none of this can occur with homosexuality.
He also makes a confession you won’t hear from Exodus (except Exodus President Alan Chambers in an off-guarded moment, although he later backtracked) — he’s never met a real ex-gay person:
I also want to reiterate here that the transformation for the vast majority of homosexuals will not include a change of sexual orientation. Actually I’ve never met a man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual.
Exodus International, the notorious “ex-gay” organization, has just released an iPhone app that, according to its website, is “designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders.” The Exodus website further boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains “no objectionable content.”
No objectionable content? We beg to differ. Exodus’ message is hateful and bigoted. They claim to offer “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ” and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients. They endorse the use of so-called “reparative therapy” to “change” the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of “therapy” has been rejected by every major professional medical organization including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association. But reparative therapy isn’t just bad medicine — it’s also very damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of its victims.
This new iPhone app is the latest move in Exodus’ dangerous new strategy of targeting youth. In light of the recent wave of LGBT youth suicides, this tactic is particularly galling as it creates, legitimizes, and fuels the ostracism of LGBT youth by their families. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, LGBT teens who experienced negative feedback from their family were 8 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 6 times as vulnerable to severe depression, and 3 times more likely to use drugs (Caitlin Ryan, San Francisco State University, June 2009).
Apple doesn’t allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it gives the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT youth with the message that their sexual orientation is a “sin that will make your heart sick” and a “counterfeit.” This is a double standard that has the potential for devastating consequences.
Apple needs to be told, loud and clear, that this is unacceptable. Stand with Truth Wins Out — demand that the iTunes store stop supporting homophobia and remove the Exodus app.
By Darlene Bogle
I arrived about 7 pm, was picked up by an Equality Rider and ushered off to the SoulForce life rally at Love Park in downtown Philly. The last ten hours on the plane had been filled with fine tuning my workshop on “Living your truth” and sharing your story with a sometimes hostile world.
This weekend was dedicated to telling the truth about Faith, Science, Love and Reparative Therapy. Many nationally known leaders were joining together to share their insights.
As the former director of an Exodus ministry, I have been speaking out for several years on the harm that such groups as Exodus and Narth do with their message and promise to “fix the broken and hurting people who are sent to them for help.” I had been proclaiming that same message for over ten years. I was the assistant pastor of a Foursquare Church, and a national speaker for Exodus.
That was another lifetime ago, and now I am committed to telling the truth about Reparative Therapy. “It doesn’t work” and more importantly, the harm that is done to individuals who are told there is something wrong with them for having a homosexual orientation, is toxic and leads to emotional, spiritual and physical suicide. I came to reinforce the message of God’s unconditional love for all His children and tell a message of being created just as we are, by God’s design.
Something happened to me in Love Park on Friday night. I was listening to stories of young people committed to speaking out for their “right to be” and I was changed. I listened to Ray Boltz sing his new song of “Who would Jesus love.”…and I was changed. I listened to Azariah Southworth read emails from youth who identified with his struggle, and thank him for coming out—and tears streamed down my cheeks. People, God’s people, rejected for who they are, are finding a voice! They are finding that truth does in fact set us free!
Saturday brought more listening opportunities. Jay Bakker, a straight preacher from New York reminded us that no one can afford to keep silent in this battle for the lives of the youth of the LGBT community. (and for our faith as gay Christians) Silence breeds violence and we have lost too many youth because we have not spoken out to provide a safe place.
I listened not only to the presenters at the SoulForce Symposium…but to the stories of why people gave up a weekend to seek answers for their journey, or to find out what the truth is and how they can heal from the harmful rejection by their families and faith families. As I listened, I was overwhelmed by the awareness that no matter how valid the truth that we share this weekend, it is going to take many more people speaking out to confront the harm that continues to be inflicted by Narth and Exodus.
I listened to the stories from a Transsexual who has been cut off from family and friends; a bi-sexual who is minimized and almost invisible because she has no official “place” to declare her sexuality; a gay married man who loves his wife, but longs for the freedom to embrace a man. I listened and realized I am just one of many scratching the surface of equality for all!
I was changed by this symposium, because I thought I was coming to share answers, and left knowing there are many more questions with no answers. The message I share is that God loves you as you are created, even if you have no faith at all, and you are accepted by many who have grown to know that God is larger than any box we use to contain our understanding of truth.
I listened. I spoke. I wept. But most of all my changing understanding is not limited. The truth is…God is still speaking and we must speak out when words are spoken that are not consistent with God’s nature. Who would Jesus Love? Everyone!
Darlene Bogle is a former leader in Exodus International and directed an ex-gay ministry in Hayward, California in the 1980’s and early l990’s where she was an assistant pastor in a Foursquare Church. Her story is featured in the documentary, God and GaysBridging the Gap and she has traveled throughout the country to promote reconciliation between faith and sexual orientation. Her book, A Christian Lesbian Journey was published in Feb. 2007.
Wife of an Exodus ex-gay man doesn't want you to know that most ex-gay marriages end disastrously. She boasts of her self-sacrifice to please a God who enslaves heterosexuals to ex-gay partners.
From Devastation to Beauty – Real Stories for October 2010
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From Devastation to Beauty – Stephanie Goeke
When Mike walked out on our marriage in 1996, my reality, hopes and dreams were shattered. I had grown up in a solid Christian home and had come to believe that my joy and fulfillment would be found in being married and having children. The past years have been spent experiencing God’s faithfulness – not faithfulness to my hopes and dreams but faithfulness to His purposes and plans and glory.
I had no suspicions or knowledge of what Mike had been struggling with most of his life. I was blind-sided and numb and I did what was needed to survive each day. I was desperate, along with his parents, to find any resource or person that would convince Mike to come back home. But all my efforts to get Mike home failed. God showed me through my failed efforts that He wanted to get a hold of MY heart. That He wanted to change me. When I surrendered to God and allowed Him to start changing me, I did not know what my future would be. Mike showed no signs of wanting to come back home. I had no other option but to rely on the Lord. I clung to – Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
At the same time that God was working in my life, He was working in Mike’s. I was totally unaware of the circumstances and people that God was using to reach Mike’s heart. Six months after Mike left, he asked to come back home. He was very clear about how he was feeling. He did not want kids at the time and didn’t know if he ever would. And he said that he was not attracted to me. But God had shown Mike how deep His love was for him. Mike knew God was calling him home.
God enabled me to accept him home. He enabled me to forgive. In my family I had experienced the ramifications of an unforgiving and bitter heart and I did not want that in my life. God also showed me my own sin and my own need for forgiveness-who was I not to forgive? So I chose to forgive. Trust would come later and over time.
The following weeks, months and years were not just a time for Mike to learn and grow to be the man God made him to be. I also have had to learn and grow to be the woman God made me to be.
As I humbled myself under God’s mighty hand, God worked in both of our lives. As we worked to rebuild trust in our marriage, I learned that while I could not trust Mike, I could trust God WITH Mike. As trust grew between Mike and me, trust grew between God and me exponentially. Today, Mike is the only person to whom I can entrust my heart. I learned to wait on the Lord until He put desire in Mike’s heart for me. Now, I don’t base my worth on Mike’s attraction to me, but it is a pure and beautiful blessing in my life. I learned to trust God with my hope and desire to have children and trust that God would change one of our hearts. Thankfully, God changed Mike’s. We now have 3 beautiful, smart and strong-willed children.
I have become surer of my God and am reminded through new trials in our lives, along with many blessings, that God’s mercies are new every morning. He has given me a life with Mike that is so much more than the shallow dreams I had on my wedding day. He has created something beautiful from something devastating, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
The following is another article written by Stephanie Goeke:
Forcing your bigoted religious views upon others who come to you for help is unhealthy. Forcing fellow human beings into thinking that they are worthless contributions to society because they are queer is unhealthy. Living a lie to please society is unhealthy. Casting judgment upon others less fortunate than you is unhealthy. The list goes on…
Exodus International is NOT a scientifically-backed website/group. Exodus International is NOT headed by medical or psychiatric professionals. They promote the ex-gay myth, and are a borderline hate group that feeds off of people by promoting religious homophobia and lies.
Waving posters and peace signs, dozens of gay activists gathered Saturday near Concordia University, which is hosting a Christian conference that seeks to counsel homosexuals through religion.
“We’re just making sure they’re getting a positive message on the way home,” said Alex Gorman, a Laguna Hills resident and team leader with Team Courage OC, a local progressive activist group. “They probably didn’t get it inside.”
This week, the university hosted Exodus International, which held its annual conference for worship, teaching, workshops, life stories and ministry support to become “better equipped in ministering grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality,” according to its website.
More than 160 members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community protested at the intersection of University and Ridgeline drives just outside of Concordia’s campus in Irvine. They hoped to encourage Exodus participants and families to feel like they have other alternatives.
Two antigay groups have come to the defense of George A. Rekers, more than a week after he was caught employing a young gay escort on a European trip.
The link above is a blog from the homophobic scam group EXODUS INTERNATIONAL. This particular blog is directed to George Rekers and his ‘Rent Boy’ Jo-Vanni Roman.
The amount of people condemning ex-gay therapy could fill a baseball stadium. Or rather, make that every baseball stadium in the United States, from Camden Yards to Dodger Stadium.
But perhaps the most influential voice condemning ex-gay therapy comes from one of the founders of the biggest ex-gay organization in the U.S. — Exodus International. His name? Michael Bussee, and he was one of the original gang of five that launched Exodus from the ground in 1976. Their goal? To deliver “the message of freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.”