Exodus president addresses gay identity issues

This is a good one from Exodus President Alan Chambers. And its about time.  But before we get to praise for that, let’s briefly rebuke for this.

Its no secret that we have been very disappointed in some of Chamber’s previous public statements about homosexuality.

In a 2008 interview with an Asheville, NC paper Chambers said, “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 was wrong. Its unclear if Chambers retracted or responded to that incredibly confusing opinion.

And then in response to some apparent criticism about comments on the Lisa Ling slur-o-rama,  Chambers said this:

“Many have asked what I …meant about gay people who know Jesus going to Heaven. If someone has a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ I believe they will spend eternity with Him. We can’t judge the heart. Even when I was hell-bent on living a gay life I still prayed every night for freedom from what I was pursuing. God calls His people to a life of holiness, but gives grace to those who love Him & fall short.”

I’m not sure of his motivation for saying that, but it has zero biblical grounding. I cant understand why he had to make it “gay people who know Jesus….” If seems to conflict with his post about identity out today.

Gays may be seducing the church into going against the will of God, but make no mistake, except they repent their end will be disastrous. 1 Corinthians 6 says without apology,  the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. There is no equality clause in the kingdom of God, only the rule of the king.

In his just released article Identity Matters, Chambers takes some much needed, solid biblical ground and talks about the misuse of grace and truth.

[…]we are now seeing a pendulum shift in which some Christians have moved beyond the truth-only stance to embrace a grace-only view.  This shift is affecting how homosexuality is being viewed and is just as damaging as a truth-only response.

First, there are many Christians who now believe that chastity is the only answer for those with same-sex attractions.  They believe that people are either gay or straight and that their identities, in that regard, are fixed.  If someone is gay then the only option, according to these Christians, is celibacy.  Everything else that comes with gay life, however, is acceptable.  So, as long as someone remains sex-free they are able to hang out in gay bars and identify fully as gay.

Here is the problem with that line of thinking.  We are so behavior-driven as Christians that we believe as long as we keep our pants zipped and legs crossed that we are doing well.  Sexual sin is not the beginning of a problem; it is the result of one. While some do fall into sexual sin because of a momentary temptation, the majority of individuals stay in sexual sin because it seems to satisfy a deep core, God-given need for intimacy and relationship.  However, sex was never meant to be a substitute for relational intimacy with God, others, or even our spouse.  Sex is a beautiful, natural and godly expression that flows out of healthy intimacy, within the confines of heterosexual marriage.  As our creator, God defines the parameters for sexual expression and intimacy.

And then this directed at the so called gay christian movement:

Today many Christians with SSA are choosing celibacy, but they are also choosing to keep the gay identity/label.  This falls short of God’s best because identity matters.  How we view and refer to ourselves is very important.  Twenty years ago when I began my journey to holiness I could have simply chosen to work on my sexual urges and opted out of working on my identity struggles and the deeper issues that fueled my desire for sex.  I could have chosen to call myself a celibate gay man and just left it at that.  Where would that have taken me?   Not very far.  When it comes to the extreme changes that have occurred in my heart, mind and life it was the identity changes that fueled the transformation. I chose, in those early days, to focus most on figuring out who I was in Christ and that ultimately led to a change in how I behaved.  Simply discontinuing or curbing how I expressed my same-sex attractions wasn’t enough or most important.

It would have been nice to hear Mr. Chambers write that God created us not for celibacy, but for intimacy in covenant male-female marriage. However if you must choose, then celibacy AND sexual purity is the default lifestyle.  But claiming to be gay but practicing celibacy is like saying a grasshopper can bake a chocolate cake. There  is zero biblical legitimacy of claiming that celibacy allows you to claim a gay identity. Its just more of the unsightly religious vomit routinely falling out of the mouths of gay christian leaders.  The best suggestion for people like this is to pick another religion that has no barriers to their bizarre beliefs and dive in face first. But as long as the Word of God stands as the anchor of truth, their theories of sexual evolution will continue to come across as doctrines of devils.

GCM Watch has addressed the gay christian identity issue before. Read here and here and here.

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23 thoughts on “Exodus president addresses gay identity issues

  1. Nice article. I agree with the article fully. You have to leave all of the past lifestyle people, places, and things behind. Marriage is a gift from God and everyone is called either to be single or married. Not everyone is called to be married (I Cor 7:7-9) though. For some gay people, celibacy is the only option which God will accept. Again, great article.

  2. amen jysuper but I still dont get why someone would self identify as “gay” and celibate.
    The connotations only lend themselves to much more confusion on an issue thats already confusing enough. God is not the author of such confusion.

    If a person doesnt want to have homosexual sex, but still identifies with the feelings that emit from it, (and perhaps see that as justified) they are not truly representing the biblical perspective.

  3. Great point. I still struggle with the homosexual temptations myself but I don’t identify as “gay”. For a person to stop having sex but still hang around the people, places, and things associated with the lifestyle is not being honest with God and themselves. If I did that, pretty soon I would be right back “in the life”.

  4. What Alan Chambers and so many Christians fail to do is distinguish between objective and subjective judgments. If a person confesses Christ and is baptized we can call that person a Christian (Rom. 10:9-10). We are not stating anything about the reality of their faith, that would be a subjective judgment which only God can make. We can only objective statement what is true based on what they say and what Scriptures says about a person who confesses Christ, repents of their sin and is baptized. Likewise a person who claims to a Christian but continues in sin, we can objectively tell that person, based on Scripture, that they can have no genuine hope for salvation (Hebrews 10:26). Again, we can only making an objective judgment, Christ will judge their subjective state. Therefore, based upon 1 Cor. 6:9 and other texts, we, like Paul, must warn people to not be deceived, that those who continue in fornicating, idolatry, same sex acts, stealing, drunkenness etc. shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. To do otherwise is to commit a grave heresy.

  5. This guys spineless comments on Lisa Lang’s show really hit the nail in the coffin for me as far as how I view him, and what god he serves. To have a exodus ministry for homosexuals and then say that ultimately a homosexual will go to heaven is like a person opening up a daycare and they hate kids….It makes no sense. Since He is a Pastor you would think he would understand that the statements he makes will determine peoples choices.

  6. Thanks for bringing that out Pastor Eric.
    God did not leave us with nothing to work with. His word gives us criteria and wisdom, his Spirit imparts discernment and God himself at times will indeed reveal a person’s heart and the condition of it. So President Chambers needs to stay off the camera and GET INTO HIS WORD so that his words, will mirror God’s Words.

    My biggest problem with Exodus or perhaps Chambers is that he seems skittish about the bible and saying what it says without apology. He doesnt even have to add anything. But he appears to be too concerned with what gay activists who have doggedly criticized him and the organization.
    My advice: If you turned gay tomorrow and supported everything they accused you of not supporting they would still not accept you. Homosexuals (particularly the ones who are religious) are spiritual blind, groping in the darkness and attempting to tell others how to live when they have no clue other than what they are grabbing at in the darkness.
    Thats why we are supposed to be preaching light not trying to make them feel good about being trapped in a prison of sexual confusion.

    I hope that Chamber’s recent article is a sign that he is turning towards the Word of God and will anchor himself there. I agree with him we must have a balance of truth and love, but too often his comments have been just downright confusing and resembling neither.

  7. brdavision and Pastor Foster:
    I happened to see the Lisa Ling Our America segment “Pray the Gay Away?” one evening. I didn’t see all of it, but what I saw I thought was good and probably one of the best general media pieces on the subject without the hyperbole and caricatures that you usually see when news shows are done that try and address this issue. I think that the interviews with the Exodus ministries participants were honest and thoughtful and not edited to make the participants seem extreme. I also thought that the interviews with the ex-Exodus ministries participants were fair and open as well.

    I was especially impressed by what I saw as Ms. Ling’s attempt to really understand the point of view of the Exodus ministry members who were trying to overcome homosexuality and live a life that they believed would be pleasing to God. I also must say that I was impressed by the honesty with which I thought Mr. Chambers expressed himself without platitudes and cliches and the way that he understood and lived with such complex issues.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts (and anyone else’s) not so much on if you agree with everything that you heard expressed by tge participants, but what you thought of the piece from an objective journalistic point of view.

    Thanks.

  8. Lisa Ling said:

    “What I actually found in the case of the Exodus movement is while I don’t agree with them, the Exodus of today is not actively out trying to convert people. They’re basically saying if you don’t want to live a gay lifestyle, we can help you. Quite honestly, if that’s your prerogative if you fundamentally think being gay is wrong and you don’t want to live and be who you are, that’s your prerogative. My issue is when the church or anyone condemns people over what they think the Bible says or what they believe the Bible says.”

    @CICI-Lisa Ling went into this segment with a messed up mentality about the bible and homosexuality. There is nothing to discuss. She doesn’t know the bible or its author.

    For you to embrace the documentary and claim to be impressed by the “honesty” Chambers used, when he did lie, tells me a lot…..

  9. @bradavison

    I’m not quite sure what it “tells” you (and I truly hope that you don’t mean that as an insult), but l stand by my earlier statement. I found this secular documentary on a secular station to be refreshingly honest, candid, and thoughtful. I don’t expect secular journalists to have Christian/Biblical views or beliefs on subjects – I expect them to attempt to produce pieces that are thoughtful and attempt to show both sides of the subject being presented in an objective way. And while I don’t think that this piece was perfect, I didn’t see the charicatured, extreme, shallow portrayal of Christians that I normally see in these types of pieces. Lisa Lling is entitled to her opinions and beliefs as we all are and I think it’s good that she had the integrity to express them. And given the beliefs that she expressed, I think she did a good job of trying to be fair and balanced in her piece and allowing those featured to truly express themselves and their thoughts.

    In terms of the “lie” that you say Chambers told, I’m not sure what you’re referring to in this case nor do I know what you mean by “emabrace” the documentary.

  10. The problem is that the show is far from unbiased. Yes, she Lisa Ling did give people the a time to share they thoughts about the subject but her commentary was one sided.

    She seems things like being molested and living a dark sinful life are not reasons for people to turn away from sin to Christ. The young man said that he was abused and how he lived a wreckless life but she thinks he is still hurting himself by fighthing against his former life.

  11. @Paul

    I remember that segment of the show. Although, I disagree with her view point and opinion, I didn’t see her comment as being any more “biased” than yours or mine would be – it was simply an expression of her opinion.

    And as you noted in your comment, she gave all of the participants ample time to express themselves, even when she disagreed or didn’t really understand their viewpoints. And I appreciated that fact – because we all know that most secular programs that deal with any kind of “controversial” topic concerning Christians rarely do that.

  12. CiCi, I am not expressing an opinion at all. Truth is not an opinion.

    However, he opinion is what makes her biased, no matter how her intentions were well, she didnt just do a story and leave it and give the veiwer a choice to make up their mind.

    The young man at his worst was a homosexual and instead of focusing on that she focusing on the fact that it is somehow negative for him to try to change.

    She needed to be more objective.

  13. Paul,

    I suppose that we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. I’m not sure that I understand what you are saying when you say that what you are expressing is not an opinion but truth unless you are referring to your statements being based on the Bible which you and I believe to be true. Unfortunately, not everyone believes that the Bible is the ultimate source of truth. And if that is not a given in a discussion, then people will have differing “opnions” of what is true and what is good.

    However, given your definition of “bias”, you and I are biased as well. Most of us are – we have beliefs and opinions. And I don’t see how her expression of her opinion didn’t give the “viewer a chance to make up their mind” any more than the interviews where Pastor Foster has a chance to fully express his views don’t give the listeners/viewers a chance to make up their minds on whatever the topic is being discussed.

    Perhaps we just see things differently when it comes to this piece and secular journalism in general. But, please know that I respect your opinion and truly appreciate the discussion.

    May you remain faithful and blessed!

  14. Pastor Erik,

    Are you saying that we must earn our salvation? Will an alcoholic be doomed to hell? How much can we drink before being condemned for drunkenness?

  15. Good to hear that you stopped sinning completely. Apparently that’s how you judge whether people are going to Heaven or Hell. Some of us leave that up to the LORD.

    GCMW: Yes, that is good news. And it seems like you are saying being gay is a sin. If thats what you are saying, then yes I have completely stopped sinning. I am no longer gay, nor do I desire to be ever again. And I submit my life to the Lordship of Christ so that my body is disciplined not to return to the vomit of my past lifestyle. This has zero to do with going to heaven, hell or judging. Its about how you are living right now.

  16. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed
    away. Behold, all things have become new.”

    John the Baptist declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins
    of the world. The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ took away my sinful nature of
    homosexuality. I exchanged my sinful nature for His righteousness. Beauty for ashes.

    Jesus Christ came to delievered sin enslaved people from their sinful nature.
    Homosexuality is a sinful nature. We are not born gay. We are born
    into a sin filled world.

  17. Not suprised at what comes out of people’s mouths these days. We reside in an anything goes society and it has crept into the people who call themselves Saints. I think they need to examine themselves whether they be of God. Talk about delusion. I feel bad for them because they choose to believe a lie, but good has become evil and evil has become good. It is really sad that this has crept into the sanctuaries.

  18. I agree with you, Steve. Like you, I have been redeemed, and I am no longer a lesbian. This is because “I can do all things, through Him who strengthens me.”
    Like the song says, “I’ve traded my ‘shackles’ for a glorious song, and now I’m free–praise the Lord!
    I also believe that it is important to share our testimonies of deliverance from homosexuality when the Lord gives us the opportunity–even in our churches. In this way, we are strengthened, and used by God to encourage others.

  19. I am so pleased to see “identity issues” finally addressed. I lived in a homosexual lifestyle/environment for nearly forty years. I knew deep inside there were answers I had not yet realized from God. Most of my Christian youth was spent trying to figure out why I felt this way and why there wasn’t some allocation for it in God’s Word.

    It was years before I realized that while God gives us feelings, they are not an isolated tool to define or detect truth. Satan can have influence on our feelings and by doing so, lead is into temptation.

    So today, after I have responded to God’s call to be drawn to holiness and live for Him, I no longer subscribe to an identity to lump me into a group of same-sex attracted individuals who are fighting for equal rights for an unnatural and counterfeit expression of the love God set out as His perfect plan for us.

    In my opinion orientation is like a compass. It indicates the direction we are heading. We are either heading toward the cross or away from it. So to identify in something God has warned and counseled us about simply puts a barrier between us and Him. Being a “Gay Christian” or a “Homosexually oriented Christian” is much less than the “New Creation” Christ offers me in 2 Corinthians 5:17.

    Today I live my life for Him… not for self. I am heading toward the cross. This is a life of self denial, not self indulgence.

    I share my story and His plan for us publicly. I am so blessed to be a promised resident of His kingdom.

    Wayne Blakely
    http://www.knowhislove.com

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