Dear Exodus International:

Caught your show Friday.

Look, you and I, we’ve had some problems before with all this sound and fury.  I don’t disagree with your doing it, but I do question the company you sometimes keep while you’re doing it.  The protest, though?  Needed to be done.  Thirty years it’s been since the APA made their decision that homosexuality is not a disease and they have steadfastly refused to reconsider that research in light of additional research that’s been done into the whole “daddy wound” issue.  Hear that?  I’m behind you.  With a caveat.

I know that you, you’re as I am, solidly behind a true, scriptural basis for a restored, healthy masculinity.  Bravo.  We’re there.  We know that the damage can be done so early (and often is) and that the homosexual orientation follows so quickly after that wound, that it seems as though the child is born with the orientation.  A choice done without the knowledge or wisdom or experience to differentiate that hunger.  So one is “born gay” whether one truly is or is not.  We’re there.  Shake hands.

But.

Why is it that every single pundit masquerading as a journalist goes out and finds these guys who “specialize” in ex-gay therapy that are engaged in the most harmful, off-the-wall (and might I add, vaguely and sometimes not so vaguely homoerotic) bullshit?  Guys, guys, guys.  You can yell and scream and issue statements at the APA all you want and all you’re going to get out of them is an issued statement.  But if you want to really make a mark and extend a hand of grace to the wounded homosexuals in this country, the ones that REALLY NEED A CLEAR PICTURE OF WHO JESUS CHRIST IS AND HIS ABILITY TO CHANGE A PERSON BY THE POWER OF HIS WORK ON THE CROSS, then you would do well to:

  • Denounce violent acts being done to “scare straight” gays and suspected gays
  • Move, quickly, to denounce the people who engage in harmful, looney-tunes behavior that speaks more to the freak administering the “therapy” than it does the gay man or woman seeking change
  • Stop using violent, hateful, or otherwise disrepectful language in person or print against gays and lesbians.  By acknowledging that they are born in the image of Christ and in this have exhorbitant worth, you can encourage and seek joy in them while disagreeing with that it is they do as a “lifestyle.”  It is one thing to support a person’s lifestyle, it’s another thing to support a person’s life.  You can do the latter without the former.  If you don’t want to support their lifestyle, stop sending them lube and condoms and hanging out at gay bars.  Otherwise…

When the pro-marriage rah-rah thing came into town, our church (one of the fastest-growing in America) refused to either attend, or to promote the thing from the pulpit.  Why?  Because it was felt then, as now, that it would be unloving to the gay and lesbian community of the city we have come to love like a drunken uncle.  (You want to protect marriage?  Christians have a higher divorce rate than non-Christians.  Start there.)  This is the kind of love we can show, by getting our own house in tight theological order, by extending a right view of Christ to those seeking him, and to not judge the non-Christians by the rules set down for Christians.

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~ by WriterRand on August 16, 2006.

4 Responses to “Dear Exodus International:”

  1. Great post,

    I agree with you and I disagree I think sometimes we who have
    experinced SSA, only dwell on the healing part.

    There are at the same time political forces and spiritual that
    are working to undermine our healing, some groups even want
    such practices banned.

    It is great to wag the finger at Exdous when it needs it, but
    all together they have done a great job.

    Exdous gets bomb threats and attack daily and they never rarely
    ever mention it, the other side however will highlight any such offence.

    I strongly belive that there needs to be a seperate bipartisan political group
    advocating for ex gays issues.

    The right to pursue treatment with out hinderance
    from the APA is immoral, and I belive criminal.

    Saying that homosexuality is what one has to live with knowing
    well that the evidence does not support such a claim, is wrong,
    unethical, on illegal.

    We must take the politics out of the ministry,
    yet we must defend our voices, but do so
    wisely and effectivley.

    -Love Kathy

    http://exgayblogger.blogspot.com/

  2. Thanks, Kathy, for sharing your opinions. I appreciate them. They help me think in all the corners of this life I haven’t considered yet. Never afraid of a good idea.

    I wag a finger, maybe, a little. I don’t criticize much; they have done a great job in the face of much sound and fury from those who are afraid of such ministries.

    I’m not even saying that the political marriage between Exodus and Dobson’s ministry is an entirely bad thing. I have problems, serious problems, with Dobson’s political machinery and the fact that it seems aimed a bit towards tilting at windmills. Seriously. The APA? Waste of breath. It’s been 30 years and until we can present solid, clinical, even empirical evidence (insofar as it exists in the psychological field), they’re going to turn up their nose towards the idea that homosexual ideations may, at some level, be introduced by a father’s malignant influence or benign neglect.

    The gay political movement is aimed towards these whackjobs that eschew scripture and counseling for…um…reparative therapies of questionable effectiveness. Did you see that shameful Paula Zahn hit piece where the counselor she interviewed would sit on a couch and a businessman would crawl up on the couch and be held? Scream and beat a pillow? Says more..way, way, way more about the whackjob holding this crap out as therapy than it does the person searching for it. I’m not so sure the gay political forces are wrong asking for such people to be strongly regulated, tested, and held to accountability. If Exodus would aim towards getting guys like this out of the business…hurray.

    Above and beyond these, are politics necessary for th eex-gay movement? To what end, other than the right to pursue treatment without the APA’s interference? Where do you feel churches need to weigh in on this? Is this, perhaps, a place where the “faith-based initiatives” might actually do some good? (While insisting on the complete and utter privacy of their clients?)

    Welcome. I hope you feel welcome here. Your opinons are valued.

  3. First off, yes, I too saw that horrible display of therapy they showed on CNN. It was not only distasteful and probably ineffective therapy, but also made the whole therapy approach to overcoming homosexuality look and seem to be rediculous. If I were a struggler back before I found Exodus, and that was the first bit of therapy I ever saw, I’d probably not have searched for help on this, thinking that the whole therapy appraoch was insane and useless.

    Now, dealing with Exodus–I believe everybody makes mistakes. Even them. I read an article not long back where a man was angry with them because they wouldn’t take his picture off of their website. This was due to him changing his beliefs about their therapy and turning away from them. Now, I ask you, what would taking his picture off their site have hurt? Honestly, they should have agreed to take it off immediately. What would it have hurt? All they did, by resisting, was to further alienate this man against them and driving him away from getting the Christian help he needed. In conclusion, everbody makes mistakes.

    Having said the above, I’ll now say that finding Exodus was the best thing that has ever happened for me. I truly believe that God led me to them, and the help, hope, and encouragement that they have given me in overcoming homosexuality has been nothing short of wonderful. And they have helped me. Six months ago I was literally lost, confused, and outright depressed to the max. But, with their speaking the hard truths I needed to hear, they have helped me. I really am not the same person I use to be. So, I have to say that what they offer and do does help.

    As for the politcal concerns where Exodus is involved, I feel that they really should try to be above the worlds approach. Christians should never get into the business of name calling, put downs, guilt trippen, fear tactics, etc. We should be above that. Christ never used any of these things to convert people to him and God, and so we, trying to be ever more Christlike as we should, should never do otherwise. We should convert those who sin by showing them love, concern, compassion, hope, and offering them help in their struggles, without condemnation. Anyone remember John 3:16-17? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” We should never attempt to save the world through Christ, by condemning it. We are all sinners, and we all need the Lord in order to be saved. If you move into the political world of hate, revenge, anger, etc., you’ll convert nobody, and therefore save no one. Christians can’t do the Lord’s business using the worlds approach. I hope the good people at Exodus know this. I believe, overall, they do. But like I said before, everybody makes mistakes. Forgive them and move on in your healing. Don’t let any one/mutliple mistake on their part discourage you in your struggle.

  4. Hi Ed! Thanks for your comments.

    I think we’re more on the same page than it might appear. This isn’t a strong criticism of Exodus, but a finger-wag. (Now Dobson’s bunch on the other hand…) My concern is that we not add extra baggage to the gospel, the source of our strength, healing, and right vision of self-worth. These political struggles get so hot, and these days end up baggage that the pro-gay side loves to cast as ridiculous (without ever delving into our lives in detail and the power of God’s love in our lilves). I don’t argue that there are some political issues that we need to be part of, but I don’t see why there need to be that many.

    Congratulations on your recovery through Exodus International! I’m working on putting my story together as a permanent page here. Have you written your story down for others? If so, how have you done it?

    Welcome. Please feel at home. I look forward to your further ideas!

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