An e-mail that hints at the direction of Exodus International’s successor organizations was leaked yesterday.
The message was authored by Richard Holloman of The Sight Ministry, an ex-gay ministry based in Nashville, Tenn. San Diego Gay & Lesbian News points out that The Sight Ministry website “appears to be a work in progress with some sections incomplete.” The ministry’s vision statement calls sexual minorities — the organization’s target audience — “spiritually blind” and “broken”:
“The Lord has given us a vision for a ministry to individuals struggling with sexual brokenness and/or sexual identity issues. This ministry is called ‘Sight Ministry.’ Several scriptures refer to Jesus giving “sight to the blind”. We believe this is our calling to help those who are spiritually blind in order that they may see. “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind received sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.” Luke 7:22
When will ex-gays learn that you don’t win friends or influence people by hating your audience, communicating like egotists, and remaking God in one’s own image?
Here is the leaked e-mail which details how Exodus’ successors might repackage the movement’s past false piety and condescension:
Date: June 22, 2013, 2:33:02 AM EDT
To: Richard Holloman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: News About Exodus & Sight Ministry
Hello Fellow Sight Ministry Partners & Friends:
Some of you may have heard the news that Exodus International is shutting down after the current conference that I’m attending. I wanted to send out a very short note to assure you guys we’re doing well.
Please do not believe everything you may be hearing and reading in the new media. I have spent countless hours with Alan Chambers (Exodus President) and several of the board members to have a clear understanding of where they are with all of this and how they believe the LORD is leading them.
I can assure you, Alan, the board and other leaders affiliated with Exodus have NOT changed their/our views about gay issues. We still believe ANY sexual expression outside of marriage between a husband (man) and a wife (woman) is sinful & contrary to GOD’s plan for human sexuality. We continue to believe that gay marriage is NOT GOD’s plan.
What has changed is how we are going about reaching out to those who are gay and to those who battle against SSA issues. We refuse to enter into legalism and a works mentality. We will not continue focusing on behavior modification techniques but rather we will focus on discipleship and taking people deeper in their relationship with our Heavenly Father. This is what Sight Ministry has been doing from the very beginning (January 2000).
We will be more intentional in trying to cultivate relationships for dialogue with gay-identified individuals because we believe the “Gospel of JESUS is the power of GOD unto salvation to all who believe” (Romans 1:16) We feel that speaking in judgment and condemnation against them is not going to reach them for Christ. This does not mean we are compromising what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. It simply means we are going to make a concerted effort to respond to all people as JESUS modeled for us. The only people JESUS spoke harshly to were the self-righteous religious leaders of His day.
This is a complex issue and we will be walking on a very fine line. It will be important for you to pray for us and for you to trust us.
After I get home from the conference I will begin posting blog articles consistently dealing with all of these issues. It will be difficult to communicate but I want us to enter into dialogue. Based on where our culture is and where the church is in America what we have been doing has not been working; look at the state of our culture and look at the state of many churches. It is time to step into the prophetic and to call GOD’s people to confession and repentance.
I believe I will be misunderstood by some and that I will be attacked by some. But I feel extremely passionate about this new season and I am willing to enter into suffering for JESUS’ sake and for the sake of the authentic gospel of JESUS.
Please pray for us.
The Sight Ministry
PO Box 140808
Nashville, TN 37214
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” – John Piper
SDGLN reports that the e-mail was shared between former Exodus ministry leader John Smid and Exodus co-founder and critic Michael Bussee, who then forwarded the message to gay activist Sean Sala.
If the ex-Exodus organizations continue striving to break sexual minorities in spirit and sexuality — as this one ministry suggests — and equate their own will with that of their god, then they may find few partners in dialogue.
Ex-gay activists’ root problems have long included binary (black/white) thinking, in which ex-gays equate their own egocentrism with God’s will; ignore their own wrongdoing against church and society; and project their own personal “brokenness” onto a supposed “enemy”: sexually honest LGBT people as a class.
I believe some leaders of Exodus are sincere about becoming inclusive and humble. And Alan Chambers may be among those leaders.
But Chambers has a history of telling audiences what they want to hear, thus reinforcing ex-gay ministries’ mistakes instead of correcting them. This appears to have happened again, quite recently.
Is Chambers, then, the best person to lead ex-gay ministries away from self-deception, impenitence, and egocentrism?