In an April 8 news release, Exodus International executive director called upon the “true Body of Christ” — fundamentalists — to sign a petition demanding that ex-gays be included on a Lutheran task force on sexuality:
Alan Chambers said:
Today there is an opportunity for Bible believing members of the Body of Christ to reach across denominational lines and ensure that the Church remains true to its foundation. It is obvious that Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) has no concept of biblical truth because he is allowing unrepentant homosexuals to influence how an entire denomination will approach the sin of homosexuality via his ELCA Human Sexuality Task Force. This Task Force is devoid of former homosexuals. Our presence would be a clear indicator that II Corinthians 6:11 is still at work in the world today. Echoing scripture, we must declare boldly that homosexuals can and have changed!
We must act now! I am calling on the true Body of Christ, especially those within the ELCA, to sign the following petition and help this wounded portion of the Body back to health. Those affected by same sex attractions need the Church to be true to the word so that they can know God loves them and that He can heal them completely.
Chambers seems to assume that anyone who disagrees with his ideology is not “Bible believing” and he also presumes to understand the “foundation” of a denomination of which he is not a member. He insults the presiding bishop by accusing him of having “no concept of biblical truth.” Chambers also insults gay Christians who are serving their church by calling them “unrepentant homosexuals” — accomplishing the reduction of same-sex-attracted children of God into nothing more than a filthy stereotype defined by presumed sexual activity. It is ironic that Exodus freely labels people “homosexuals” while condemning gay people for adopting the same or similar labels.
Chambers complains that the task force is devoid of “former homosexuals.” But, as Chambers knows, the problem is one of numbers: Dr. Robert Spitzer found only 200 long-term ex-gays in all of North America in his 2001 study, despite extensive help from Exodus in searching for “thousands” of ex-gays.
Combine Chambers’ April 8 statement with his other recent demands, and something becomes clear:
Chambers is effectively demanding that the same tiny cluster of ex-gay political activists be named not only to the Lutheran task force, but to church panels, school boards, and legislative committees all over the country. The purpose: To somehow counteract 11 million to 25 million gay people in the nation, many of them belonging to denominations such as the ELCA.
Stephen Black, head of an Exodus member ministry in Oklahoma City, was less threatening:
A wonderful opportunity and privilege has been given to those of us who have experienced God’s incredible grace and healing. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is considering recommendations to ordain practicing homosexuals and to bless same sex unions. However, ELCA needs to be informed of another side of society: the MANY who have experienced lasting freedom from unwanted same sex attractions. I am inviting those who can, to stand up and be counted and fill-out the PETITION on our web site – www.firststone.org Please prayerfully consider this wonderful opportunity and act today.
The petition is online here. It demands disproportionate representation of ex-gay activists, none of whom are likely to be Lutheran, on the Lutheran task force. And in bold print, it states, “There is no need for those signing this petition to be Lutheran” — a clear invitation for Southern Baptists and other political ultraconservatives to meddle in Lutheran affairs.
The petition asserts that the existing task force is “biased” because it includes a broad range of Lutherans but not exgays. The petition calls for the task force to be “reconstituted” with exgays. If no suitable ex-gays can be found, then it is reasonable to surmise that Exodus would want the ELCA to shut down the task force on sexuality. Was a shutdown of the task force the actual intent of the petition, from the start?