Welcome to this week’s installment of “Consider This Perspective.” This series is off to a good start, introducing us to perspectives from folks all across the board on faith and sexuality.
Previous interviews have been from more progressive Christian thinkers so far, so this week, in an effort to provide some perspective from the more Conservative Christians in our mix, we want to share with you a phone interview with Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International. Exodus International is a global umbrella organization for over 260 churches, ministries, and counselors offering support and help to those experiencing same-sex attraction. Alan Chambers has served as President of Exodus International since 2001.
Exodus International has been hotly criticized by many in the LGBT community for their championing of reparative therapy and other sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE’s), which Alan here clarifies is not what they embrace or promote any longer and he apologizes for the harm they’ve done. The anger felt towards Exodus International and Alan Chambers from many in the LGBT community is significant, and rightly so, as he himself admits here.
I want to remind everyone that this series is a forum for all perspectives and that LOVEboldly does not support, endorse, or affirm any one perspective. Instead, we want to provide opportunities for you to hear from perspectives that perhaps you have never considered before. This is a “food for thought” forum, and we welcome you to share your perspective and comments below in a healthy dialogue through the comments.
Additionally, we are aware that posting a voice which has been representative of so much pain and betrayal in the LGBT community may cause many of you to ask serious questions about where LOVEboldly stands on the issue of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE’s). We want our readers and members of our community to know that we do not promote SOCE’s because we do not believe they are necessary or usually helpful (see more on that here). Further, we are very concerned and disturbed by the results we most often see from SOCE’s in our friends and fellow believers. We do, however, support a person’s right to choose to reconcile faith and sexual orientation in the way that seems best to them, while considering carefully all of the possible physical, emotional, and spiritual risks and benefits. This includes affirming the right of a person to pursue SOCE’s if one chooses to do so. We encourage folks to make careful and thoughtful decisions about how to honor God, themselves, and others as they navigate tough decisions in their spiritual and sexual lives. As an organization, LOVEboldly endeavors to be a friend, supporter, and encourager to each person, no matter where they may be in their journey or how they have chosen to reconcile religious beliefs and sexuality. Many folks have been shamed and harmed through organizations which identify as members and affiliates of Exodus International. We are sorry that this has been the over-arching witness of the church to the LGBT community. We have failed. We want to do better.
All of that being said, I am pleased to introduce you to Alan Chambers. I hope you enjoy the interview, which I will post in 3 parts over the next 3 days.
In part 1, I asked Alan to share his personal story of reconciling his faith and same-sex attractions, as well as to answer for what he’d like to say to folks who have been violated or betrayed by Exodus’ messages and techniques for attempting/promising to “heal”, “cure”, or “change” sexual orientation.
Keep the comments kind, productive, and helpful – but also feel free to express raw emotion in response to what you hear here.
At LOVEboldly we embrace controversy, dissenting opinions and even a good debate now and then. However, we also value civility, kindness, and respect. Therefore, please feel free to share your opinion, but keep it constructive, considerate, and civilized. If you choose to be rude we will delete your comment. Do so consistently and we will ban you. And yes, we do get to define the terms.
Click Here to Listen: Chambers Interview – Part 1