Sexual orientation can rarely, if ever, be made to change. Labels can change. Exodus International announces that “change is possible,” but they know that most people hear “sexual orientation change is possible,” while what they really mean is “changing labels is possible.”
It’s a classic ex-gay bait-and-switch. As long as ex-gays talk publicly of “healing,” “transformation” and “change,” while resisting clearer definitions, their audience will hear that they can be cured of their same-sex attractions. Exodus International does little to correct it.
Yesterday, for example, we reported on the Charisma magazine article that held up Exodus President Alan Chambers, his marriage and his family as an example of sexual orientation change. Yet, as we saw, Alan himself has stated that he has to ask God every single day for strength to “deny what comes naturally” to him — his own words.
Now Alan Chambers has added his voice to the homosexuality-themed July issue of Charisma. Following a tiresome retread of arguments exposing the “gay agenda,” by Religious Right leader Louis J Sheldon, Chambers writes a short piece titled, “Identity Matters.” (Scroll down past Sheldon’s screed to see it.) In it, he denounces Christians who accept a “gay identity” while remaining celibate:
Celibacy is the godly option for all single men and women. Yet today, while many Christians with same-sex attractions are choosing celibacy, they’re also opting to keep the gay identity/label. This falls short of God’s best because identity matters. … Twenty years ago when I began my journey out of the gay lifestyle toward holiness, I could’ve simply worked on my sexual urges and opted not to deal with the deeper issues that fueled my desire for sex. I could’ve called myself a celibate gay man and left it at that. But that wouldn’t have taken me far.
Another ubiquitous Exodus tactic — portraying destructive sexual behavior and gay identity/orientation as one and the same.
Chambers, in common with many ex-gays, lived a “gay lifestyle” that was all about sex — promiscuous, risky, anonymous sex. He had problems controlling his own behavior, and now he projects that experience onto all gay men. He imagines that by dealing with the emotions that led to his own unhealthy sexual behavior, he has dealt with his homosexuality. On analysis, however, he hasn’t left behind same-sex attractions. He simply changed the label and is advising others to do the same.
It’s a semantic game that Exodus International and like-minded ex-gay organizations have been playing for the past decade or so, ever since they realized society was moving on and they could no longer claim sexual orientation change outright. Unfortunately for the gay Christians duped into mistaking the fuzzy language for a promise that their fundamental sexual attractions will be reversed, they’ll only discover this long after they’ve taken the bait.