Another major ministry has left the network of Exodus International. New Direction, an Exodus member ministry led by Wendy Gritter in Canada, has just announced on their blog that they will not be renewing their membership.
At the same time, we have become uncomfortable with some of the messages expressed in a variety of ways through the very diverse Exodus network. Some of these messages run counter to the ways that we are seeking to build bridges and be part of the broader missional conversation. I am also mindful that some of the distinct emphasis of New Direction may be troublesome to other Exodus leaders – and I would not want our presence in the network to be a source of tension or disagreement.
Some may be familiar with Wendy and her decidedly different attitude on the subject of how to approach the issue of gay Christians — a concept that Exodus has barely given lip service and others staunchly deny the existence of. Wendy posted on XGW last year, leading to a wonderful thread of lively discussion.
In leaving, New Direction joins Where Grace Abounds and Mastering Life Ministries, both major, longtime members of the Exodus network that left last year. While writing about one of those departures, this writer wrote this in response to Wendy saying, “We also see the sin of self-righteousness as equally heinous in the eyes of God and those who condemn others as equally in need of redemption as any of the people they accuse.”
Why don’t we find deeply honest statements like that on the Exodus website? And one wonders how long Wendy Gritter and New Direction can hope to maintain their membership.
While it appears certain that leaving was as decision made by New Direction, it seems equally certain that the handwriting was on the wall long ago. How many more will be leaving this year?
Meanwhile, we congratulate New Direction on its …new direction.