Exodus International closes up shop, leader apologizes to LGBT community
Tags: Alan Chamber, Board of directors, BuzzFeed, Chambers,Exodus International, John Paulk, LGBT, Oprah Winfrey Network
From The God Discussion 20 June 2013 -
Exodus International closes up shop, leader apologizes to LGBT community. Anyone who has been active in the LGBT community on both sides of the issue has at least heard of ‘Exodus International.’
For the past thirty years it has been exercising a concerted effort at discriminating against the LGBT community on several fronts, the most damaging being it’s ‘reparative therapy’ efforts to ‘cure homosexuality’ through various nefarious and scientifically debunked methods.
Over the previous three decades, several high profile stories have been reported that have brought dire consequences to the LGBT community, as well as the friends and family of those who have been affected by the efforts of what was, at one point, the worst of the worst in anti-gay Christian ministries.
That has all apparently come to an end, as Alan Chambers, the head of Exodus International has not only issued what appears to be a sincere, genuine apology to the LGBT community, but the whole operation is being shuttered.
The God Discussion’s Dakota O’Leary ran a story on 29 April 2013on former Exodus Internationsl Chairman, John Paulk, who had been infamous for his positions on reparative therapy. In that story, Paulk formally recanted his position and apologized through a letter distributing to numerous gay publications.
In spite of this, the news of Chambers apology and the closing of Exodus International can aptly be described as one of those ‘didn’t see that coming‘ moments.
According to a story in BuzzFeed, Chambers wrote a letter that stated, in part,
“Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living, breathing organism,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus. “For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”
“I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced.”
The Board of Directors held a meeting on 19 June 2013, where they agreed the best thing to do was to go beyond the apology issued by Chambers, and voted to cease operations.
An official statement read, in part,
“Exodus International, the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality announced tonight that it’s closing its doors after three-plus decades of ministry.
“This is a new season of ministry, to a new generation,” said Chambers. “Our goals are to reduce fear (reducefear.org), and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming, and mutually transforming communities.”
The catalyst for the events leading up to Chambers apology and the closure of the organization is tonight’s upcoming broadcast of a program the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) called ‘Our America with Lisa Ling.’ Tonight’s episode is titled ‘God & Gays,’ and includes an interview with Chambers.
Go HERE for the full context of Chambers apology, plus a clip from the upcoming program to air tonight on the Oprah Winfrey Network:
Dad's Homosexuality Blamed for Son's Death
Jerry battled against his homosexuality for over twenty years and was part of an "ex-gay" fellowship in his home town. After coming out as a gay man seven years ago, Jerry suddenly lost his epileptic son to a seizure. In midst of this loss, a member of Exodus International blamed Jerry for the tragedy. Jerry recounts "he said, 'Well, the Lord took his hand of protection off of your family because you chose the homosexual lifestyle.'" Hear how this crushing accusation hurt Jerry and if he felt this loss was his own doing. To view a scrolling, historical timeline of events since the first Our America episode of "Pray the Gay Away?" click here.
A Room of Ex-Gay Survivors Reacts to Alan Chambers' Apology
After Alan Chambers reads his apology (watch the full, uncut apology here) on behalf of the former "conversion" and "reparative" therapies that Exodus International ministries preached with him at it's helm, some ex-gay survivors are less than enthused. Watch as they question his message, his motives, and ask the ultimate question: where does his apology and announcement leave Exodus now? To view a scrolling, historical timeline of events since the first Our America episode of "Pray the Gay Away?" click here.