To Alan Chambers–Be a Doer of the Word

Last week I blogged about Alan Chambers and his announcement that Exodus was moving away from politics. Through Ex-Gay Watch Alan Chambers asserted

that after listening to friends and critics alike — but mostly the Lord — we decided to back out of policy issues and our Director of Government Affairs took a position with another organization.

Today David Roberts at Ex-Gay Watch reports that Exodus continues to maintain ties with a politically active conservative group.

After XGW discovered information indicating that Exodus International is a member of the prominent religious conservative political organization, The Arlington Group (AG), we asked President Alan Chambers to respond on the record. He replied that Exodus was indeed a member, and they planned on maintaining that membership.

Publicly Alan stated that he was willing to take a leap of faith. He suggested that the Lord was behind this decision to back out of policy issues.

The author of James asks the critical question,

But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? James 2:20

For years Exodus member ministry leaders petitioned Exodus to get out of the business of politics. Ex-gay survivors also have raised the question, “If the vast majority of us do not end up living an ex-gay life and instead embrace another way that we feel is more healthy for us, why does Exodus seek to punish us by denying us rights and privileges afforded to heterosexuals?”

Perhaps Alan spoke too soon and did not count the cost of stepping out of the political arena. Perhaps certain politically active funders and supporters will disdain a non-political Exodus and throw their money and support to groups that care less about people and more about politics.

Wendy Gritter modeled leadership for the Exodus leaders when she gave her keynote address and again in the article she posted here at XGW. She stressed,

We have been distracted by the politics around homosexuality.

Of her own ministry she promises,

We are pastorally-focused, not politically driven.

Alan has heard from friends and critics, but according to him—mostly the Lord—that Exodus should move out of policy work. Quoting from James again,

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

This post has 4 Comments

  1. Anthony Venn-Brown on March 12, 2008 at 12:24 pm Reply

    For those of us outside of North America who have been involved in ex-gay ministries there has always been an uncomfortableness, even opposition to being involved in politics. It’s a North American phenomenon, because you have such an active, well funded religious right. An unfortunate product of your culture I’m afraid. When the leadership of Exodus started going down that track the rest of the ex-gay world didn’t publicly say anything for fear of being viewed subversive or not supportive of the cause. The power and history was in the US.

    Here in Australia the ex-gay movement has only been involved politically once and that was a disaster as the ex-gay leader testified of his paedophile tendencies as a teacher. That hasn’t stopped the obsessive, extreme right wing Christian activists groups regularly making claims that 1000’s has left the ‘homosexual lifestyle’ though. To date though, not one has come forward publicly to declare his or her new found heterosexuality. I think you’ll find that ex-gay ministries out of the US have declined, plateaued or gone a different direction. Look at Courage in the UK. My guess is that eventually sanity will prevail and you guys will have the same experience.

    Telling our stories, engaging people in an informed, intelligent respectful dialogue will eventually deconstruct the myth. Unfortunately in the mean time people get damaged and waste their lives hating themselves instead of loving themselves.

  2. Peterson Toscano on March 12, 2008 at 1:19 pm Reply

    Anthony, you make an important point and one that I had not thought about. I think that in addition to Jeremy Mark’s changing Courage from ex-gay to pro-gay, the other European ministries defected from Exodus in large part because of all the political posturing in the US.

    Seems Exodus has been engaged in a form of political Evangelical imperialism. It’s muddied the waters and resulted in the break away of some non-US Exodus ministries.

  3. Joe G. on March 12, 2008 at 4:55 pm Reply

    A lot of the political posturing by ex-gay groups in the U.S. is just one more way of trying to get the world to conform to the fundamentalist world view – a lot of protesting oh so too much.

  4. Sunny Dee on March 18, 2008 at 10:29 am Reply

    “For years Exodus member ministry leaders petitioned Exodus to get out of the business of politics. Ex-gay survivors also have raised the question, “If the vast majority of us do not end up living an ex-gay life and instead embrace another way that we feel is more healthy for us, why does Exodus seek to punish us by denying us rights and privileges afforded to heterosexuals?””
    Is this a pity poor gay rights statement? Why is it no one in the gay community can give an answer as to what will be concretely gained when everything gay is ok’d by law makers? As a gay I personally don’t want special laws since it’s obvious that my lifestyle and that of heterosexuals have zero in common. How are you going to legislate monogamy for gay relationships? Not to mention the additional increased cost in health care coverage due to all the “spouses” with HIV who now demand expensive drugs for a disease they could have prevented from catching all together? I think that all this gay rights crap is not for gays at all and that the gay agenda is being pushed so hard onto gays that I get death threats because I do not believe that gay rights is a worthwhile endeavor. The only laws that affect ME in MY Life are anti-discrimination laws which are for more than just us gays. I’m not interested in wasting tons of time and effort just to set a historical president that won’t make my life or the lives of the hundreds of LGBT’s I council. This is Not a rare opinion in the gay community, it’s just not given the equal treatment that all the gay right propaganda receives.

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