The Exodus International ex-gay scandal is receiving mixed reactions Christian evangelical leaders.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, current Exodus International President Alan Chambers announced the closing of Exodus International yesterday.
Exodus International closing down was apparently expected by many Evangelical Christian leaders. Early last year in 2012, Alan Chambers announced, “We’re Christians, all of us,” at a gathering of the Gay Christian Network. Even before then, Exodus International was seeing a mass exodus of Christian ministries due to the leadership’s changing stance on ex-gay reparative therapy. Many leaders within Exodus International also began leaving once they realized the direction the organization was heading.
Robert Gagnon, an associate professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, called for Alan Chambers’ resignation from Exodus International at the time:
“Alan [Chamber]’s approach of providing assurances of salvation to those actively engaged in sexually immoral intercourse is a very different approach than Jesus’ and Paul’s warnings that immoral sexual behavior, among other offenses, can get one excluded from the kingdom of God and thrown into hell.” Gagnon believed that the actions of Exodus International would “leave such persons deceived by giving them a message of ‘peace and security’ when instead danger hangs over them.”
A day after the Exodus International closing, the ex-gay scandal has many Christian evangelical leaders respond. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says the closing of Exodus International is “something like a surrender to the cultural currents of the day.” While he agrees with Alan Chambers on some points, Mohler says those in the LGBT community “will be further confused by the capitulation of Exodus International.” Andrew Comiskey, board member for the Restored Hope Network, tweeted, “How merciful of God to shut down Exodus, which under Alan Chambers leadership had completely veered off the course of its mission.”
Andrew Marin, president and founder of The Marin Foundation, actually celebrated Exodus International’s closing, saying:
“Over the past thirty-plus years Exodus had successfully permeated the Christian cultural consciousness that sexual orientation could be changed. This message has caused immeasurable harm to well intentioned LGBT Christians, as well as their parents, families and friends–all working under the illusion that with enough prayer, submission to the Lord’s will, reparative therapy or continual attendance to Exodus’ programs that same-sex attractions can be ‘fixed.’ … I could not have been more happy to see … Alan’s apology, and then bold and courageous decision to announce last night that Exodus International will shut down.”
Some of the responses were more contemplative. Mark Yarhouse, director of Regent University’s Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity, asks whether “there room in a diverse and pluralistic culture for a Christian ministry to retain its beliefs and values about sexuality and marriage while moving away from the expectation of change?” Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, says, “We shouldn’t be offering cures or quick fixes, but Gospel.” Christopher Yuan, author of Out of A Far Country, apparently agrees with this stance since he claims Exodus International suffered from “a lack of emphasis upon biblical singleness, resulting in an over emphasis upon heterosexual marriage.”
What do you think about Exodus International closing and the ex-gay scandal?