20 responses

  1. Hyhybt
    February 3, 2012

    There is still benefit in putting him into situations like the GCN conference. Like a paperclip, his flexibility is of the sort that continued bending back and forth eventually causes breakage.

  2. David Roberts
    February 3, 2012

    @Hyhybt
    Chambers used the GCN conference as he saw fit, and a lot of people were hurt by it. Without turning this into another back and forth about that incident, let me just say that I disagree with your statement — there is no need to give Chambers a platform in order to show his duplicity.

    For those who are straining to impose some sort of redemption on Exodus or to see the recent events as something more than they are, please remember what we reported barely two months ago. I sincerely hope as a side effect of this rebranding that some will be spared a degree of pain and suffering, but there is nothing here that speaks to a true change of heart. And certainly there is no evidence of anyone at Exodus taking specific responsibility for years of misinformation.

    It will take a great deal of effort for Chambers to set the record straight, and he can’t do that by back-tracking after every speech.

  3. bill johnson
    February 3, 2012

    Well at least one interesting revelation here is that he has a once saved always saved position, which is its own theological debate all on its own but would explain his position on gay Christians. Basically under that doctrine once you are saved you could completely stop identifying as a Christian and you would still go to heaven because you have already been saved. So being openly gay couldn’t cost you your salvation but then again nothing could.

    Two important take always for me.
    1. Even this position that rebukes openly gay people while still allowing that they can go to heaven won’t be enough for all his constituents. As weak as this position is it does allow for gay people to go to heaven which is unacceptable for many of his anti-gay backers.

    2. We need to point out the difference between saying that a gay person can go to heaven and saying that a Gay person can be a committed Christian. This is where he waffles back and forth the most, affirming gay Christian’s commitment to Christ to their face and then questioning that same commitment when talking to his backers and followers.

  4. Hyhybt
    February 3, 2012

    @David Roberts
    I think, perhaps, you misunderstood what I meant. *Repeated and well-witnessed* turnings of this sort cost him and his organization more of what little credibility they have where they still have any to lose. Something no amount of blogging on sites his target audiences won’t read anyway will do.

  5. David Roberts
    February 3, 2012

    @Hyhybt
    In general, yes, it is good to have his waffling on record. However, there are countless such situations archived and Exodus followers tend to look past them and accept his private excuses. There is also a belief by those people that Chambers must “walk a fine line” or whatever, and so they have always given him great latitude and understanding. So while it is always good to have stunts like this on the record, they don’t normally have nearly the impact one might imagine.

    My comments about the GCN conference in particular stand apart because I don’t believe the negatives were worth whatever good might come out of it.

  6. Darlene Bogle
    February 3, 2012

    We are not just adopted…we are Joint Heirs with Jesus Christ; grafted into the root of Salvation…and by the way, I’m still looking for that verse that says we will or can lose our salvation and have our name whited out of the lambs book of life!
    I’ve been holding my breath for so many years for Alan to take responsibility for any of the harm that Exodus has done…I turned blue…but I’m still waiting!

  7. Joe
    February 4, 2012

    I agree with Hyhybt. I believe that the appearance at GCN was another important step in discrediting Chambers. His backtracking can only work so many times. I don’t think his anti-gay backers are overlooking this. That is why Exodus is in financial difficulty.

  8. David Roberts
    February 4, 2012

    @Joe

    That is why Exodus is in financial difficulty.

    I believe you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what Exodus’ biggest backers expect (or expected) for their money, and how the general change in culture has added to their irrelevance. You have only to look back over our own archives to find out how little Chamber’s waffling has effected that element in the past. You also need to factor in the fact that the GCN incident occurred barely a month after we reported that Chambers was looking for a way to make some grand pronouncement on the order of John Smid’s apology. Serving him up a platform on a platter was, in my opinion, not the smartest thing to do.

    The reason I didn’t want to get into this back and forth on the GCN incident is because Justin has already stated that it was a mistake, and has understood a lot in hindsight. That was important for him to do as a leader. But it remains that Chambers was given a platform and he used it. We can maximize his comments to the best of our ability and they may well help highlight his duplicity when combined with their waning support, but traditionally this sort of thing has not — at least not to the devoted followers and backers. And it most certainly doesn’t seem worth the damage done internally and externally to GCN.

    I do understand where you are coming from, and who knows you may be right, but I long ago learned my lesson on this. People who have already convinced themselves that being gay can be changed in spite of the facts are not so easily dissuaded by some double-talk from Chambers. If only it were so!

    I do agree, however, that the confluence of factors has made it much more likely that Exodus will soon receive some strong wrath from the far right. And if they truly try to become moderate in their stance (something I’m not convinced of at all), they will find that there is no money in the moderate middle. Either way, Exodus as a formal organization is headed out. Unfortunately, that leaves the scattered ministries and organizations, some of which hold far more drastic positions than Exodus itself.

  9. Michael Bussee
    February 4, 2012

    For what it’s worth, Alan denies that Exodus is having financial problems or that they are “rebranding”. All he’s saying at this point is that they need to be more careful about how they describe “change”.

    “These views don’t represent a change in what I believe. While there is some nuance to my answers and statements from the recent and distant past that might seem contradictory, I have been increasingly clear since 2006 about my beliefs regarding “change” and “eternal security,” which I prefer to label “sonship.” I made the statements at GCN in an effort to be plain about my beliefs. I also wanted to acknowledge that in the past Exodus has made statements about change, which have confused and, at times, unintentionally misled those who support us and those who don’t.” ~ Alan Chambers

  10. Rod
    February 5, 2012

    I applaud the GCN panel discussion with Alan Chambers; I attended the conference and was very blessed by the exchange. I think more people in the ex-gay movement should be continually likewise confronted. I believe that when the video from the conference hits the streets, it will be very difficult for Alan Chambers and others in the ex-gay movement (as was the case with John Smid, whom I met at the conference) to keep up the duplicity both publicly and personally.

  11. Joe
    February 5, 2012

    Rod, I was also at the conference and I tend to agree with you, although I do understand David Roberts’ position. David, my intuition tells me that you are right about Exodus being on the way out. I’m curious. Why do you think that?

  12. Michael Bussee
    February 5, 2012

    Alan has clarified that his “99.9% don’t change their sexual orientation” only means that they still have “some SSA”. He won’t come right out and say that 99.9% don’t become heterosexual instead.

  13. David Roberts
    February 5, 2012

    @Michael Bussee

    For what it’s worth, Alan denies that Exodus is having financial problems or that they are “rebranding”. All he’s saying at this point is that they need to be more careful about how they describe “change”.

    You’ve been around this block more than a few times. What do you expect him to say ;)

    I am very confident of our information on this.

  14. drdanfee
    February 6, 2012

    I am not all that surprised by Mr. Chambers further confusing the exact meaning of his GCN panel comments, along with his ongoing obfuscation about how many different kinds of “X” the world actually does contain or could contain or might contain, depending. The two central points that hurt deeply still remain, and it is increasingly difficult to infer that Mr. Chambers does not consciously know what he is doing when he keeps the two offenses going. A first wound stems from his long-standing Exodus habits of seeming to promise the double-sided “freedom from homosexuality” (caveat, you will still struggle to cope with same sex attractions in your daily life, for years to come); plus the second wound that stems from “conforming to heterosexuality” (caveat, you will need a colluding woman spouse to look the other way, carefully refrain from knowing what you really experience in your inner life as a same sex attracted spouse, and all that these difficult matters imply or involve for you two). Nobody much knows what this sort of pretending and lifelong role playing at so many different levels actually does for the exgay spouse pretending, the heterosexual spouse going along with it, and the children that may grow up in such a parental environment. Since a family lives together, day in and day out, people connect and affect one another at many emotional or preverbal levels, and often what is really going on in families that is not or cannot be mentioned is much more important in the long run, than what the socially or religiously conforming outward appearances were propped up to be. Meanwhile, Mr. Chambers simply cannot take any smidgen of adult responsibility for the harms exgay programs or services have caused, nor are still causing, nor are likely to cause in our near futures. This would be absurd blindness, were it not for the urgent fact that real humans are being hurt and harmed. Plastering God’s name all over this business just makes it all that much sadder and painful. Alas. Lord have mercy.

  15. Dave Rattigan
    February 6, 2012

    Michael Bussee :

    [Alan Chambers:] I also wanted to acknowledge that in the past Exodus has made statements about change, which have confused and, at times, unintentionally misled those who support us and those who don’t.

    Exodus International has deliberately promoted a message of sexual orientation change. There’s been no unintentional misleading and confusion; rather fundamental dishonesty.

  16. Michael Bussee
    February 6, 2012

    “There’s been no unintentional misleading and confusion; rather fundamental dishonesty.”

    Dave: I completely agree.

  17. Joe
    February 6, 2012

    “Yes!” to Dave Rattigan’s comment.

  18. David Roberts
    February 7, 2012

    @Michael Bussee

    I also wanted to acknowledge that in the past Exodus has made statements about change, which have confused and, at times, unintentionally misled those who support us and those who don’t.” ~ Alan Chambers

    I can’t begin to describe how anemic that statement is compared to the issue it is supposed to confront. Exodus, and Alan personally, need to mount a campaign to correct the record which is at least equal in fervor to the one they used to spread the lies in the first place. Anything less is morally unacceptable.

  19. holly
    February 17, 2012

    Personally, I think Alan brings so much of his own baggage to the table, that I can’t define the line where his baggage starts and the policies of Exodus begins. It seems like the nuances, internal homophobia, and hang-ups with himself are imposed on the organization and world… I wish he could only see that the voices are homophobia are the voices of God in his world.

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