The theological deficiency of Exodus

16 Jul

“The truth is that homosexuality does not send people to hell. Gay people live in heaven. It’s not about fire and brimstone, it’s about an alternative option,” Chambers said.

That’s a statement Alan Chambers made to a North Carolina newspaper in defense of its annual Freedom Conference in session from July 15-20.  Read this statement backwards, forward, from the middle out and from the center in. I did,  and unfortunately I could find no biblical basis –or context– for it whatsoever.

Gay people live in heaven?

Perhaps there are reasons why Alan Chambers, as president of Exodus International would make such an irresponsible statement. Maybe the Asheville Citizen-Times misquoted him or maybe it just concocted this statement out of thin air in a brazen case of media bias against Christians. Or perhaps the paper quoted him out of context.

But more than likely none of that is true. Given the astonishing string of ignorant and unbiblical messages we have heard from Exodus leaders in the media in recent times, once again we have to say it is due to the shallow, if not nonexistent, theological maturity of its leadership. In these days and times, with the pervasiveness of false doctrine and false teachers, this can be dangerous for people attempting to come out of homosexuality. More than just “mixed messages”, this is sheer irresponsibility in handling the gospel and the ministry of freedom.

The entire article contained quotes by Exodus participants, but none offered any biblical context for being at the conference , having the conference, personally coming out of homosexuality or for others to be set free from homosexuality.

Several weeks ago, our friend Rik wrote that the Exodus message is foundationally flawed in that it “blends Freudian psychology with the Christian worldview.” We referenced that in our own commentary which questioned Exodus’ apparent lack of theological muscle.  And after reading this article and the statements made by Chambers and others therein, its become even more apparent that Exodus is caught in an infantile stage of biblical understanding. Milk is for the carnal and appropriate for the beginning stages (1 Cor 3:1), but after 33 years, Exodus should be serving a healthy dose of meat.

Chambers’ statement even shocked the political religionists at exgaywatch (for different reasons).

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4 Responses to “The theological deficiency of Exodus”

  1. Rik Fleming July 16, 2008 at 10:57 pm #

    Perhaps by “Gay” he does not mean people who have not repented of homosexual acts but rather people who have same sex attractions. There are a number of people who identify themselves with the word “gay” with the qualifier “celibate” (or they may be married to a woman) and agree that same sex acts are a sin. I have gone round and round with them in arguing why we should NOT use such a term to identify ourselves, yet they continue to do so.

    Have you asked Alan about this directly?

  2. gcmwatch July 17, 2008 at 1:54 am #

    Ahhhh, the politics of language. Why is it that those who struggle with homosexuality are the only ones of the redeemed that insist on being identified with their sinful past in such a way? I mean what is the benefit? If there are any others (smokers, liars, adulterers, murderers,etc) I would be happy to note it.

    The bigger issue with that identification is perhaps giving the impression that wrong thoughts and emotions (orientation?) don’t matter as long as we dont do anything. I may be wrong but celibacy alone isnt exactly the freedom that Christ died for.

    But isnt there enough confusion already about homosexuality without adding to it with such statements?
    Compare Chambers statement that “gay people are living in heaven” against Bishop Wrights contention that heaven is not a final destination and again…confusion.

    Rik, I have not talked directly to him about this. But we have had conversations regarding the last post. Im not at liberty to say anymore than that. My point is that if you are going to talk to the media about such a polarizing issue, shouldnt you be much more aware of what you say and how you say it?

    I would suggest email interviews only or to talk more intentionally about the biblical perspective.

  3. Rik Fleming July 17, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    I agree, such statements about “gay people are living in heaven” could lead one to think “therefore I don’t need to repent.”

    It is also misleading in another way – are there liars in heaven? Thieves in heaven? No! Perhaps ex-liars who repent of their in through faith in Jesus Christ, but they are no longer associated with their sin for they have now been completely sanctified. But even the saints here on earth do not need to constantly identify themselves with their past sin. I smoked dope for 4 years but it has been 20 years since I have done so. I don’t think of myself or identify myself as an “ex-doper.” Of course, I am no longer tempted and do not have the desire to smoke dope. But then neither are the saints in heaven tempted or have the desire to have gay sex.

    What is odd is that what Alan is saying is contradicted by other leaders in Exodus who tell people NOT to identify themselves in such a way.

  4. James July 22, 2008 at 3:55 am #

    This is silly. I have long thought that Exodus was gonna evenutally become a psychology department moreso than a theology department. I think they may be catching a hard case of the “Rick Warren flu.”

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