Rik at Journal of a Battling Christian succintly analyzes the major problem with Exodus International, the nation’s largest organization focusing on homosexuality from a Christian perspective. But has Exodus become a “name only” organization?
The word exodus, biblically evokes imagery of millions of slaves being led out of bondage into freedom by Moses. But after a series of ,media appearances, books and magazine articles, one wonders whether Exodus is just another Christian oriented psychology club or is it one truly leading people out of homosexuality to a balanced life of pursuing holiness. Given its public presentations, its hard to distinguish.
After reading Rik’s post The weakness of Exodus International, I couldn’t help but wholeheartedly agree. Exodus is theologically deficient, if not starving altogether.
I left Exodus International because its foundation is flawed as it blends Freudian psychology with the Christian worldview. This is especially so in their avocation of Reparative Therapy. But the church in general offers little or no alternative and so many uneducated struggling Christians are running to the MCC for a false gospel.
Exodus’ theology is muddy in part because of its association with Christian socio-political groups like Focus on the Family and non Christian mental health groups like the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). It fails to assert clear, biblical theology because of a growing sentiment to be more “tolerant” of homosexual critics of the organization without fully comprehending the demonic undercurrent. Compromise is a killer of truth. While the organization has a brief doctrinal statement, it rarely is communicated effectively to the doubtful public it often engages.
Internally, the failure to define itself and its goals biblically is resulting in a type of theological wind drift. In February, a ministry leader, Wendy Gritter did a guest column on the website of Exgaywatch, one of Exodus’ chief critics. The column followed her address to the Exodus conference where she seeded the same confusing ideology. The column was largely applauded, but only because it contained language palatable to homosexual activists who refuse to accept any idea that homosexuality is a sin which one needs to repent of.
Exodus President Alan Chambers acknowleged that he was “processing” Gritter’s ideas.
In the second post, she ventures out more at the urging of gay activists to admit “she could be wrong” about the Exodus message. While some balked at her assertions, she seems to be more inclined to give up her/Exodus’ beliefs in exchange for “common ground”.
Is gaining “common ground” with gay activists really worth selling out biblical truths about sin and sexuality? What would one get in exchange? A vicarious relationship held together only by muzzling truth? Gritter’s stance (and Exodus’ failure to publicly repudiate it) is more evidence of its theological immaturity. It is a serious doctrinal error to call someone who embraces, teaches others and publicly proclaims a sexually immoral lifestyle as a “brother or sister” in Christ.
“Truth be told”, she wrote, “I have had my ambivalence about maintaining an affiliation with Exodus because there can be such negative perceptions about them. There is a part of me that would want to take distance from that. On the other hand, I have sensed God leading me to stay and seek to engage positively and offer input towards a more “bridge building Exodus”. It will be interesting to see how things develop over the next year or so. I have made it clear that the time may come when New Direction may move beyond a formal relationship with Exodus.”
What is disturbing about the Gritter affair with Exodus is the voiced sentiment that her proposed new direction is shared by many in Exodus field ministries.
Regrettably, we no longer endorse nor support Exodus until it can grow up theologically and be the leader it claims to be in its name. We encourage other pastors and churches not to refer people to this network until it can heal itself.