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Religious Tolerance logo

Exodus reverses their beliefs and abandons reparative therapy!

Part 3: 2012: More appearances in the media
by Alan Chambers. Reactions to his beliefs

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay

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In this web site, "LGB" refers to lesbians, gays and bisexuals

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2012-JUL-09: More on Chambers' appearance on MSNBC's program Hardball and on National Public Radio:

On 2012-JUL-09, Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, appeared on MSNBC's program "Hardball." Unfortunately, the transcript posted on the MSNBC web site is derived from closed captioning and is somewhat scrambled. 1 Chris Matthews continued with questions of salvation and attaining Heaven after death

Matthews asked:

"Would a homosexual be precluded admission from Heaven on the basis of their sexuality according to Alan Chambers?"

Chambers replied:

"Well, thankfully, it's not according to Alan Chambers. My biblical beliefs are that no one is excluded to Heaven. i think [that] the Bible is very simple in its terms of how you come into a relationship [with Jesus]. it says ask and you shall receive. Knock and the door will be opened to you. it doesn't say anywhere there's any exclusions of people who can seek, ask and knock."

Matthews asked:

"in that age old question, genes versus environment. We agree. [It's] genes, right? It's the hand you're dealt.

Chambers replied:

"i think what we have to do is stop making it so simple. It's not simple. i think nature and nurture play a part in my life. We are genetic beings for sure, but we are certainly a product of the environment we grow up in." 1

On the same topic of salvation, National Public Radio commented that:

"Chambers also believes [that] even if you are in a gay relationship, you can still be a good Christian.

'I believe that once someone knows Christ that they have an irrevocable relationship, that if someone has a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, that God's bigger than removing something at the first sign of trouble,' Chambers says, referring to salvation." 2

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Comments on Exodus International's new policy on reparative therapy:

Comments about Alan Chambers and Exodus' new policy came from a variety of sources:

  • David H. Pickup, is a reparative therapists, and an officer of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). This is a very small mental health professional association for counselors and therapists who promote reparative therapy. They teach that homosexuality and bisexuality are curable diseases or disorders. He described how this therapy had worked for him. Pickup believes it allowed him to confront emotional wounds experienced during childhood so that his "... homosexual feelings began to dissipate and attractions for women grew." He apparently has a bisexual orientation and was able to seek out relationships with women exclusively and not act on his same-sex attraction. He believes that abandoning reparative therapy would harm individuals who are unhappy with their sexual orientation by "... making them feel that no change is possible at all." 3

  • Gregg Quinlan is a conservative lobbyist and president of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays. This is a support group apparently made up of family members and friends of bisexuals who have decided to pursue relationships only with members of the opposite-sex, and of homosexuals who have decided to lead a celibate life. The group strongly supports reparative therapy. He said:

    "I think Mr. Chambers is tired of his own personal struggles, so he’s making excuses for them by making sweeping generalizations about others." 3

  • Robert Gagnon is a prolific author of books on conservative beliefs towards homosexuality, including: "The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics" and "Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views." He is an associate professor at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He said:

    "My greatest concern has to do with Alan’s repeated assurances to homosexually active 'gay Christians' that they will be with him in heaven." 3

    Speaking to National Public Radio, Gagnon said that Exodus International's decision is "extreme." He said that conversion therapy:

    "... is not going to work for everybody. It might not even work for most people. But it will work for some people, so we're happy with anything that helps." 2

  • Jeremy Schwab posted a message in response to the article in The Christian Post 5 cited in a previous essay. He referred to:

    "... the Journey into Manhood (JiM) weekend. ... I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it for any man with unwanted SSA [same-sex attraction]. ... The experience of that weekend permanently reduced my SSA by over 50% and led me to continue experience Christ's healing in EVERY area of my life. Please share this with anyone you know who is seeking emotional healing." 4

    Webmaster's skeptical note: That must have been one powerful weekend group! Presumably attendance at two such weekends would completely eliminate his same-sex attraction (SSA) with a total investment of only four days effort.

  • "DrMatrix" posted a message to the same article, saying:

    "Exodus has finally realized the truth of what every mental health organization says about so-called reparative therapy. That it is ineffective and often harmful." 4

  • In a second posting, Jeremy Schwab claimed:

    "John Smid, who used to run the 'ex-gay' ministry Love In Action for Exodus, recently came forward and stated that in all the years he'd worked for LIA (should have been called LIE) he'd never seen any person change his/her orientation. At one time he adamantly professed that not only was change possible that he himself had changed. Not true. You can live your life pretending, but you cannot change your orientation.

  • "star2" wrote:

    "Homosexuality is a spiritual problem Those who engage in that behavior become possessed with a[n evil] spirit of homosexuality. Becoming a born-again Christian does not guarantee the Christian will not be tempted with homosexual desires. There is a reason for it and it is because they still have the spirit of homosexuality living in them.

    I knew a Southern Baptist evangelist, Mickey Bonner, who taught and practiced spiritual warfare praying. One day a homosexual who came to his office seeking help. After Mickey talked with him for awhile, he prayed for the man and cast out the spirit of homosexuality. Mickey said that the man walked in his office talking with a female voice and walked out of his office talking with a man's voice.The spirit of homosexuality was giving this man female qualities. ...

    The reason these homosexuals that become truly born-again by the spirit of God and though they do not yield to the temptation of carrying out homosexual desires is because the spirit of homosexuality still resides in them. Once they are delivered by the actual demon and it comes out of them they will no longer have homosexual temptations." 4

  • To which "billJohnson" replied:

    "Well if there is anything more unfounded then Reparative Therapy it’s the belief that homosexuality is caused by a[n evil] spirit that can be cast out of people. So really you’re going to [the] opposite of Exodus and you even manage to make reparative therapy look good by comparison. The truth is that homosexuality is a naturally occurring sexual orientation just like heterosexuality. Like heterosexuals, homosexuals can chose to abstain from having sex which is exactly what Exodus wants gay people to do but it certainly isn’t something that is caused by some kind of possession." 4

  • A program on National Public Radio discussing the policy change at Exodus concludes that:

    "Chambers compares same-sex attraction to adultery or pride. But [author] Gagnon says homosexual behavior is worse according to the Bible.

    'Homosexual practice is regarded by the writers of Scripture as a particularly severe sexual offense that's on the order of say, incest with one's parents,' Gagnon says. ..."

    "... Gagnon and other conservative Christians say groups like Exodus International are moderating core biblical beliefs — and giving people false comfort about salvation.

    'The problem is, you can't assure people that are engaged in serial, unrepentant sin of an egregious sort that they're going to be in heaven,' Gagnon says.

    Yet, increasingly, science and the evangelical community, particularly young people, are taking a more open view of homosexuality, which bodes ill for ex-gay ministries and conversion therapy." 4

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. " 'Pray away the gay' leader changes belief that homosexuality can be cured," Hardball, MSNBC, 2012-JUL-09, at:
  2. Barbara Bradley Hagerty, "Evangelicals Fight Over Therapy To 'Cure' Gays," National Public Radio, 2012-JUL-06, at:
  3. Erik Eckholm, "Rift Forms in Movement as Belief in Gay ‘Cure’ Is Renounced," New York Times, 2012-JUL-06, at:
  4. Jeff Schapiro, "Exodus International Rejects Reparative Therapy for Gays," The Christian Post, 2012-JUN-29, at:

Copyright © 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initial posting: 2012-OCT-08

Latest update: 2012-OCT-08
Author: B.A. Robinson

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