In the first definite sign of an organized Exodus International splinter group, former Exodus affliate First Stone Ministries is advertising a conference of the “Restored Hope Network.”
Nowhere does the transforming power of Jesus Christ have more relevance then in our sexuality. Broken sexuality takes life; Jesus through His body restores hope for the integrity of our intimate relationships.
Break ground with us for the first gathering of the Restored Hope Network! The conference will lay a Biblical framework for sexual wholeness through worship, teaching, testimonies and healing opportunities.
Evangelical biblical scholar Gagnon recently wrote a 35-page screed against Exodus President Alan Chambers, denouncing his rejection of reparative therapy and his teaching of “once saved always saved,” and calling publicly for his resignation. Earlier this year Comiskey, a “former homosexual” who leads Desert Stream Ministries, was the first ex-gay leader to take Chambers to task for his new outlook. Then, when First Stone Ministries formally announced it would be leaving Exodus (along with several other ministries), it cited both in its support.
Expect to see many more signs of conflict as hardcore ex-gay activists disassociate themselves from Exodus International’s new stance against reparative therapy.
On Friday, for example, conservative Christian magazine Charisma updated and republished a 2004 article by Alan Chambers, in which he compared gay activists to Hitler and Marx, and called on Christians to resist the “morphing” of America into a “homosexual haven.” It was quickly removed when Chambers objected, but not before it did its job of embarrassing Exodus and its leadership. There is undoubtedly more where that came from.
(Hat-tip to Ex-Gay Watch reader Burke for this story.)
UPDATE: Joe Dallas and Anne Paulk are listed as founding members of the Restored Hope Network committee on the group’s Facebook page (H/T to Michael Bussee):
Restored Hope is a membership governed network dedicated to restoring hope to those broken by sexual and relational sin, especially those impacted by homosexuality. … With the election of the forming committee in early May, the work to begin this new network began. The forming committee consists of Frank Worthen, Anne Paulk, Andy and Annette Comiskey, Dr. Robert Gagnon, Joe Dallas, Stephen Black, David Kyle Foster, and Michael Newman.
Dallas is a former Exodus president and board member. Anne Paulk is also a former Exodus activist who, with her husband John Paulk, was prominently featured in a now-infamous Exodus billboard campaign; his claim to be healed from homosexuality was challenged when he was caught and photographed in a Washington gay bar in 2000. More recently, there have been claims that John and Anne Paulk have separated.
The Restored Hope Network’s Conference Participation Agreement and Code of Conduct was edited by R Dallas, according to the document properties, which is likely Renee Dallas, wife of Joe.