Following a lengthy apology from its head Alan Chambers, tonight the world’s largest “ex-gay” organization, Exodus International, announced that it will shut down. Founded in 1976, at its peak Exodus had over 100 chapters in the United States and over 150 affiliates worldwide. From the group’s website:
“Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we’ve ceased to be a living, breathing organism,” said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus. “For quite some time we’ve been imprisoned in a worldview that’s neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”
Chambers continued: “From a Judeo-Christian perspective, gay, straight or otherwise, we’re all prodigal sons and daughters. Exodus International is the prodigal’s older brother, trying to impose its will on God’s promises, and make judgments on who’s worthy of His Kingdom. God is calling us to be the Father – to welcome everyone, to love unhindered.”
For these reasons, the Board of Directors unanimously voted to close Exodus International and begin a separate ministry. “This is a new season of ministry, to a new generation,” said Chambers. “Our goals are to reduce fear (reducefear.org), and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming, and mutually transforming communities.”
Truth Wins Out reacts:
Alan stated in his talk tonight that he doesn’t want to see another “ex-gay” organization fill the void left by Exodus’s closing, but called on the Church to actually become a safe place for gays and lesbians. Of course, the Restored Hope Network is having their conference in Oklahoma City, featuring the biggest quacks in the “ex-gay” industry, so they’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure that Alan’s vision of the Church being a loving place will never come to pass. Thus, our work must continue. Exodus was a large pillar in the “ex-gay” world, but this fight is far from over. We wish Alan Chambers all our best and look forward to a day when we can truly consider him an ally.
You can expect celebratory messages from anti-gay groups as Exodus has become one of their most hated enemies ever since Chambers began making conciliatory gestures towards the LBGT community that he so horribly hurt. It remains to be seen what this new “Reduce Fear” group is going to really be about.