A Christian ministry that led the so-called ex-gay movement, which professes to rid people of their homosexuality, has announced that it will shut down, and its leader apologized extensively to gays for causing “pain and hurt.”
The ministry, Exodus International, was founded in 1976 and claims more than 200 branches, churches and counselors in the United States and Canada. It had insisted that people could overcome same-sex attraction through prayer and therapy.
Mainstream psychiatric and medical groups have said that the movement, also known as reparative therapy, is unfounded in science and can be harmful. The American Psychiatric Association said 15 years ago that it could cause depression, anxiety and self-depressive behavior in patients.
The president of Exodus, Alan Chambers, said late Wednesday on the ministry’s website that he had “conveniently omitted my ongoing same-sex attractions” but now accepts them “as parts of my life that will like always be there.”
Addressing gays, Chambers, who is married to a woman, wrote: “You have never been my enemy. I am very sorry that I have been yours.”
There are members of my family that are gay. They are of course thrilled by this development. The whole “anti-gay” position of the Catholic Church is a tough thing to come to grips with.
Does anyone have any advice on how to respond to my loved ones that happen to be gay when they want to have a debate with me on the morality of homosexuality? My initial reaction is that we have crafted the world around us starting from a fallen state, and therefore it is no wonder that certain sinful behaviors have become commonplace and “politically correct”. But that doesn’t mean that they are acceptable behaviors. It just is further evidence of our need to repent.
The biggest problem with the gay lifestyle, in my opinion, is not the sin. The sin is no greater than my sins, like lying, cheating, failing at charity, etc…
The biggest problem is the refusal to repent. Which has now become a chip on the shoulder of the gay rights advocates.
Whereas my sins I am ashamed of, their sins they embrace. And they expect us to embrace them, too.
What you need to remember is that those you see as ‘refusing to repent’ do not see themselves as having done anything requiring them to repent. They hold a different moral viewpoint from you and for them to perceive themselves being condemned for what they understand of themselves to be natural and appropriate is for them to feel attacked and demeaned.
What you understand as immoral isn’t their understanding. They aren’t “embracing a sin” in the way you put it because they don’t perceive what they are doing is sinful.
If you were told that going to Church on a Sunday was a sin, say by a Seventh Day Adventist who believes it should be a Saturday that’s the Sabbath, and that you were going to Hell for it, you would feel especially aggrieved wouldn’t you? Especially if you were in a minority. If all you ever heard was the call to repent from those fundamentalists around you, you’d be feeling put upon for doing something you considered to be honourable and right.
This isn’t to say that they are right and you are wrong: it’s simply to illustrate that if we go around talking about other people’s refusal to quit their sinning, we’re bound to fail in our attempts to be heard. People will shut down or shout us down. We get nowhere by causing people pain.
I go to a Catholic church with a GLBT ministry. There are books like: What the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality… In a nutshell books like this state that homosexuality in the Bible address rape, sex between men and boys an other wicked practices of the time not two consenting gay adults having sex inside a marriage or relationship. The Catholic church position is that gays are born gay. The problem is the church position on sex is sex to produce children. My advice to those with gay relatives pray with them, research other point of view. Churches in general have not always interpreted scripture correctly. At least continue to love and accept gay people. We will not always agree or understand everything.
I think what this really comes down to, is whether or not they think the sexual acts of homosexuality is moral and ought to be advocated for society. It’s whether or not people think that the sexual acts of homosexuality are equivalent to the sexual act of heterosexuals that’s targeted towards procreation.
We must remember that Same sex marriage doesn’t legalise a homosexual union, it publicly recognises it as equivalent to a heterosexual union, which it obviously isn’t. To think that would mean to ignore the basic human anatomy of men and women and their sexual compatibility and complementarity with one another.
I have nothing against homosexuals, I’m simply against the sexual acts of homosexuality being an “encouraged” and “normalised” variant of sexuality with same sex marriage.
mojo321 if they are Christian and supporting same sex marriage, you could point them to these references.
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
I brought up Leviticus because Jesus didn’t come to do away with the OT, but to give it it’s full meaning, for example -
This was also said about Adultery in Leviticus -
16 “‘Do not have sexual relations with your brother’s wife; that would dishonor your brother.
10 “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.
When they brought in the Adulterer to Jesus in order to stone her, Jesus said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” than he said “Go and sin no more.” He didn’t say that Adultery was now moral because the way it was dealt with was immoral in Leviticus.
The exact same goes for homosexuality in Leviticus -
22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
It doesn’t mean that homosexuality is moral because the way it was dealt with in Leviticus was immoral, so when they try to discredit Leviticus calling such acts immoral, just remind them of what it say’s about Adultery and the full meaning that Jesus gave it when the adulterer was brought in front of him to be stoned. He didn’t say Adultery was now moral he didn’t “do away” with Leviticus and the same goes for homosexuality.
I would also like to say that I think the people we need to reach most of all are Christians, because Christians are apparently the largest supporters of same sex marriage and It is thoroughly ahistorical to imagine that Jesus approved of homosexuality (and yet that revolutionary statement never made it into the NT, even though the radical-enough discussion of Gentile circumcision did). It conflicts with the history, anthropology, and cuture of the time. Anyone who manipulates the text to arrive at the “conclusion” that Christ would see nothing wrong with same sex marriage is being disingenuous, or eisegetical for personal or political reasons.
When debating same sex marriage, people will continually try to make you come up with a secular argument for them to debunk, but there is no such thing as secular morality.
Without God, morality is subjective and than it is nothing but subjective opinion, thus will never work. I think the best way would probably be to humbly preach the gospels to Christians who are supporting same sex marriage, to let them know that what they are really supporting is sexual immorality.
CCC 2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
Superficially same sex marriage looks like the Christian thing to advocate, because it’s in a severe misunderstanding of Christian “Love.” Fundamentally it is the work of the father of all lies to deceive children of good will and spread sexual immorality amongst us like never before.
Fornication and promiscuity are advocated through the same reasoning as the sexual acts of homosexuality are, which is “If both consent to it and it’s not hurting anyone else than what’s wrong with it?”
Thus the father of all lies convinces people that sexual immorality is no longer immoral and the truth is rejected and our lust is embraced.
Love of Agape: Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter,” 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial love. Agape is also used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse, and it was also used to refer to a love feast. It can also be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard. Agape was used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God.
Love of Eros: is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing.
It is the “Love of Eros” acted on between homosexuals that is disordered and immoral and it is not Christian love and love is not all the same either.
Note: these are the arguments I have been using to oppose same sex marriage, I hope they will help you.
Actually, since they are re-starting as a new ministry, in a way they are not really shutting down.
They had to shut it down as Exodus, from what I have read elsewhere, because they had recently begun saying they now believed that homosexual PRACTICE does not necessarily impact one’s salvation, and thus they had strayed so far from what most Protestants believe about homosexuality, that they decided to call it quits as Exodus and “re-brand” as a new ministry, rather than “get back on course” as some more traditional Protestants had wanted. These more traditional Protestant people, who had contributed money over many years to help build the organization and pay Alan Chambers’ salary, got screwed in the end.
Excuse me for a moment, but I find this funny, in a strange way. I mean, think of the name:
So what, Moses led the people across the Red Sea, looked at the food in the desert, and said, “On second thought, let’s not go to Canaan. Tis a silly place!” So they went back to Egypt and sodomized each other.
(Please, don’t anyone take that as a slur. I just thought it was the funniest way to put it.)
On a more serious note, as a person with same-sex attraction myself, I’ve always felt these “make you straight” ministries were doomed and rather dangerous. They often get individuals who are put there by their homophobic relatives. These people don’t want to change. So, um, why are we trying to force them?
The order of operations is all wrong. First you need to make a man fully converted to the Lord’s will, just really deeply in love with God. And then, oops, he realizes that he’s attracted to men. OK, big deal. He’s in love with God. And the Christian God is pretty clear about this attraction, both in the way He made nature and the way He arranged the Scriptures. There’s nothing horribly awful with a man being attracted to men; it’s just a temptation. We can resist temptations. So our fellow – in love with God – receives grace to resist temptation.
Now does he need to eradicate the desire? I suppose it would be nice. But it’s not worth going in a room where they zap you whenever you see a picture of an attractive man. :o
I absolutely agree with you, because there is not one person who doesn’t suffer from immoral desires. Instead of trying to remove all our immoral desires (That would be impossible), they should be trying to teach people temperance. Teach people how to control and resist their immoral desires. Jesus was tested with his desires, especially when he starved himself for forty days and forty nights, if he didn’t naturally desire food, than it wouldn’t have been much of a test, fasting wouldn’t really mean anything at all. The same goes for Chastity, we all must strive for chastity, I don’t see people trying to remove all sexual desires, instead they teach us how to control them, temperance. So we can’t remove all our desires in order not to be tested, if we could than temperance would be meaningless.
Christ didn’t go through re-orientation therapy in order to become a masochist, so that he would enjoy the pain on the cross. If he did, than the cross wouldn’t have meant much, nor would it have been much of a sacrifice.
Yes, the first thing is to “love God with all your heart and soul”, then the rest follows.
Also I just want to say that I have actually been in reparative therapy. They do not “zap you” that is kind of a reference to early attempts at therapy done I don’t even know how long ago. The therapy now has evolved and (if it is not outlawed) will continue to evolve, to build upon the desire to turn toward whatever heterosexual functionality a person has (most even gay men have some) and learn creative and even pleasant ways of turning away from same-sex fantasies, and making that turning away from evil a sort of routine habit that becomes “second nature”. I have heard the analogy of ruts in a dirt road applied. The more you drive through the rut with porn or even homosexual fantasy that you voluntarily stick with and daydream about, the deeper the rut gets. But if you learn to turn away from that “rut” and stay out of it as much as possible, God can and will fill in those ruts to some extent. It is different for everyone. Some have a sort of bisexuality, others have deep-seated homosexuality to the point where they are repulsed by heterosexuality. But avoiding inappropriate sexual thoughts and filling our minds with scripture and other good thoughts is key.
Lastly I just want to say that despite all God did for them, some of the Israelites ACTUALLY DID want to return to Egypt! It’s a great lesson for us.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that the reparative therapy people were still zapping people. I wonder, though, what was their attitude toward shame? This seems central to me. Were people encouraged to be ashamed of their actions? Of their attractions?
I confess that I find the entire discussion here a little bit odd. Can we not just say that homosexuality is a grave sin—a disordered expression of human sexuality—and go from there, to the confessional or wherever it is that we need to go to keep from falling into that dangerous sin? I’ve never understood the excessive emphasis that so many gay rights advocates place on sexuality, as though being gay was a crucial part of a person’s identity. I’m a married man attracted to other women. Does having adulterous temptations form the core of my personality and human identity? I sure hope not. That might seem a little simplistic, especially to a man or woman struggling with same-sex attraction. But at the core of it all, homosexuality is not an identity marker, but rather a serious stumbling block and temptation that must be vigorously resisted in the same way that I, a married, heterosexual man, must avoid adultery. Homosexuality will ruin your life, your soul, your family, and it has done a good bit of harm to society, too. Why, therefore, should we not be doing every conceivable thing we can to help folks avoid it?
The Catholic Church does interpret Scripture correctly. That is pretty much at the foundation of our Catholic faith. That should be why we are Catholic, among other reasons. When the Church says that homosexuality is gravely disordered, that’s not one of the many offerings at the a la carte Buffet de Truth. It simply is the truth.