My Response to the Closing of Exodus International

Tony Exodus

On June 19,2013, Exodus International President, Alan Chambers, published, “I Am Sorry,” a blog post on Exodus’ website apologizing to the LGBT community. Over the past month the Evangelical community has responded in many different manners. You can hear my response to the closing of Exodus International by clicking the play button on the image above.

Related: Ex-Gay No More: The End of Exodus International – by Kathy Vestal

Brave New Films

Related: Exodus International, Bending History’s Arc – by Christian Piatt

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About the Author

Tony Campolo

Tony CampoloTony Campolo is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University. Look for Tony in your area and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.View all posts by Tony Campolo →

  • doug.stratton

    I was really interested in what Tony had to say, but the audio bite closed at 5:43. Could this be reposted in it’s entirety?

    • redletterchristians

      Hi Doug – this clip is excerpted from Tony’s weekly radio show which will be available on Sunday afternoon. However, this is the full clip of Tony’s thoughts on the topic. After this he moved on to another question and subject matter.

  • Frank

    Taking Exodus International off the table does Tony believe that change is possible or not?

    • Frank

      Silence is suspect and untrustworthy.

      • John

        Or a sign that you’re a very busy person. :)

        • Frank

          Sure but I wonder if Tony will ever answer that question. He had a great opportunity to include it in his message and the fact that’s its absent is telling. I am open to correction if I am wrong.

          There are some simple questions that everyone should be able to answer:

          Is homosexual behavior a sin?
          Is change possible by the power of God?

          • JohnK

            Frank, I think that it’s important to contextualize the first question. It cannot be answered without circumstances given. For example “Is heterosexual behavior a sin?” Without specifics one would only be able to say, “Sometimes.” What homosexual behavior do you refer to? It’s questionable that the Bible taken in context of history and specific verses taken in context of surrounding verses that homosexual sex is in itself bad. The verses indicate a link between same-sex behavior and cultic worship. I believe it’s this behavior for worshipping false gods that is condemned, not necessarily gay sex itself. The bible deals only with this behavior, not orientation. The idea of homosexual relationships and gay people as we understand them today is absent from scripture.
            As to the second question, “Is change possible by the power of God?” I would say all things are possible with God, but not all things are likely or good. I believe it’s been amply demonstrated (and admitted to) by Exodus and other reparative therapy ministries that God does not change sexual orientation. Perhaps God doesn’t think being gay is bad and thus makes change unnecessary? One of my friends was in Exodus and Exodus-type programs for 20 years. He bought all the books, videos, went to the conferences, etc. Nothing changed other than a deepening shame and self-hatred of who he was. One day, in prayer, he asked, “God, why haven’t you changed me? I’ve tried to change and nothing works.” God replied, “I never asked you to change.” From that point on he felt free to be who God created him to be, a gay man.

          • Frank

            That’d a common fallacy that God did not know about homosexual behavior and its not condemned in every form. Nowhere does God condone or bless homosexual behavior in any form. Just the opposite.

            Exodus may not have changed orientation but what small god someone must have to think that God cannot. Either way its not about changing your attractions ultimately its about not surrendering to sinful behavior and trusting God.

            God does not make anyone gay, our sinful fallen world does.

    • Tom

      Frank, change is possible for everyone away from sin and towards the Lord. However nowhere in scripture does it promise that God will remove a sexual attraction that we have.

      In my experience, and the experience of other people who have a same sex attraction who I have talked to, we have not had our sexual feelings changed. I am still attracted to men. However as with any other temptation in my life I do not feel the need to give in to that temptation all the time. The Holy Spirit continues to sanctify me in this area. This is the same as many other people. Many man can be attracted to women other than their wife but they can resist the temptation to lust after those women and commit adultery.

      • Frank

        Thanks Tom I appreciate your input and I am inspired by your faith!

        • Tom

          Thanks Frank. Check out some of the things which are happening in the UK at the moment, particularly the story of Sam Allberry.
          I’m disappointed though that someone disliked my post enough to down vote it.

          • Frank

            Yes it is disappointing but understand that some people are so blinded and biased that if you say anything that doesn’t line up with their fallacious theology/beliefs they cowardly just down-vote it without a response.

            And you specifically are a threat to them.

          • Frank

            He is spot on on his post titled:

            How Can the Gospel Be Good News to Gays
            Search for it and check it out. I posted a link but RLC deleted it.

          • 22044

            Nice – let’s pursue the God as proscribed in Alberry’s post, rather than false teachings by Steve Chalke.

      • 22044

        Thanks for sharing your experience, Tom.
        I see other good or sensible posts like yours on these boards which get down votes, and I find that disappointing as well.

      • Steve in Van

        I’m happy to see testimonies like this finally coming forward. The ‘change is possible’ message was a cruel hoax, and for too long people lived in a perpetual state of denial and shame. It’s a huge relief to finally be honest about the existential reality of one’s sexual orientation. I know it was for me.

        Now that we’re finally being truthful about ourselves, the question becomes, “How should we then live?” That’s a theological question, a question on which equally biblical Christians come to differing conclusions. I respect Tom for choosing to live in accordance with his traditional belief. I disagree theologically and therefore make different choices for myself, but I recognize he’s trying to align his behavior with his belief against the direction of his heart. That’s a tough road, and I pray God’s grace for him.

        So in the spirit of I Cor.8, I give Tom a ‘thumbs down’ for his theology but a ‘thumbs up’ for his honesty and integrity. Hopefully people of the traditional persuasion can show others of us — also seeking to follow Christ — the same courtesy.

        • Frank

          Tom’s theology has unequivocal theological support. Nothing else does.

          • William Dhalgren

            You really can’t tell the difference between yourself and God. I feel sorry for you.

          • Frank

            I feel sorry for you that you ignore Gods truth and miss out.

          • William Dhalgren

            To be fair, most of my pity is reserved for the people who have to deal with you in the real world. I’m sure that your arrogant condescension has reduced more than one teenage retail clerk to tears, while you glory in your own righteousness.

          • Frank

            The people who follow Gods Will for their lives will be blessed beyond anything you can imagine. Its tragic that you have rejected it.

          • Steve in Van

            The traditional view does have a lot of support, but it’s not unequivocal. Simply looking at the history of the translation of the relevant verses shows there’s actually a great deal of confusion about what the biblical writers meant, much less how we should apply those verses today. Let’s be honest about the ambiguity.

          • Frank

            There is no ambiguity about Gods sexual ethic.

        • Tom

          “, but I recognize he’s trying to align his behavior with his belief against the direction of his heart.”

          Steve, I do not think that is a fair thing to say about me. How do you know the direction of my heart? My heart should be turned towards Christ and following Him. My actions should come out of that.

          One of the major issues in society today is that we confuse sex and love. So if someone says they choose to be celibate we say they are denying themselves love, which isn’t true! The other major issue we have is that we assume all love is romantic love.

          In the example of my original post I mentioned that a heterosexual man may be attracted to many women but that does not mean he has to have sex with them. Is he “trying to align his behavior with his belief against the direction of his heart” ? Of course not. So why does that suddenly apply to men who are sexually attracted to other men.

          As a Christian my heart is called to love Christ and love my Christian brothers and sisters. If I can not find love in the church on that basis and need a boyfriend for love than there is a major problem that needs fixing, but that problem wont be solved by me having sex.

          • Frank

            Well said Tom! We need more voices brave enough to speak out. Its not going to be easy on you and others because you will experience hatred for your views. But understand there are more people who will walk along side you than will shun you.

          • Steve in Van

            I’m sorry, Tom, you thought I was criticizing your commitment to Christ. I would never. But you mentioned homosexual “attractions,” “feelings,” and “temptations.” I thought you’d be uncomfortable with me calling that ‘sexual orientation’, so I called it the “direction of your heart” (the heart being the poetic seat of romantic emotions). I’m happy to call it whatever you like, as long as we admit it’s real.

            Of course the conflict for you, as it was for me, is that your desire for love and intimacy runs contrary to other desires of your heart, namely, your belief that following Christ prevents you from experiencing same-sex love. This experience of cognitive dissonance is a classic rock-and-hard-place situation: you’re unable to change your orientation, and you’re unwilling to change your belief. If you’re going to live with integrity you’ll need to manage the pain of that conflict. Thus my prayers for you.

            For myself, I found that my traditional belief prohibiting same-sex love was not based on scriptural bedrock. I discovered that the source of my internal conflict – the painful misalignment of my various heart desires – was not my sexual orientation or my commitment to Christ but my false belief. Maybe it is for you, too.

  • Luke

    I was a big fan of the early Red Letter Christian movement but it has become nothing more than a sounding block for the LGBT agenda. Homosexuality, beastiality and pedophilia (unordered sexual desires) were rampant in the Roman and Greek worlds of the 1st century. Did not the gospel compel society to reject things that go against human flourishing? Why are Christians supporting and encouraging unordered behavior that threatens the sustainability of society?

    Don’t get me wrong, in terms of the civil law, everyone must be treated equal. If the goal is to enjoy all of the legal benefits of marriage then lets give same-sex couples a status that affords them that but lets not call it marriage.

    Thinking of stop reading RLC!

    • John

      The 2nd paragraph I can understand. I think there are legal implications to same sex marriage which need examining, And if you object to the use of the term marriage from a scriptural standpoint, I can respect that.

      The 1st paragraph seems a bit more overwrought. RLC posts lots of articles which have nothing to do with LGBT issues. The vast majority, I would hazard to guess. So your lead sentence seems, through hyperbole, to undermine your later statements.

      In terms of the sustainability of society, we are multiplying far too quickly at the moment, so a drop in birth rate isn’t necessarily the best argument against sustainability. Unless I’m not taking your meaning correctly.

      • jamaica leesa

        Actually, most of RLC’s publications have at least one article on the same sex love fest taking place in this so-called Christian movement.

        Second, we are speaking about the ethos of RLC. To even single out the so-called “red letters” shows very poor theology.

        • John

          I just meant the day-to-day posting of articles. The vast majority of them aren’t about LGBT issues. I honestly can’t speak to publications, and will humbly take your word for it, though I can’t say I’ve ever felt part of an online love fest.

          I think the question as to whether you do or do not take the Gospels in a different way from the rest of scripture is a value judgment. Whether or not that results in very poor theology, I think, is a complicated issue, but to presume someone placing special value on Jesus’ earthly teaching and its witness is a poor theologian seems unfair. Not to mention that it tars a host of people with vastly different theologies with a single brush.

          • Frank

            Whenever we disregard or give more worth to some parts of scriptures than to others we open ourselves up to not only fallacious theology but to evil. If you think about it every act of evil done by Christians is because they have ignored some parts of scripture while paying attention to other parts.

          • John

            I can’t help but read Matthew 6:9-13 with a sense of reverence I don’t get from the recently mentioned 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Ephesians 6:5 absolutely gives me chills for the horrors it was used to defend. And I think in the end you have to give more worth to particular parts of scripture. The vast majority of Christians are not universalists, but there are verses which point strongly to a universality theology. So, you have to devalue those verses, or else bend them to an interpretation which isn’t universalist. That’s just a for instance. There are other theological battle grounds which have similar verse conflicts, justification by faith or works being an obvious one.

            And I have to imagine that a lot of evil done by Christians was done by ignoring Scripture altogether.

          • Frank

            Well your last statement is certainly true.

            And yes you have reiterated my point but I disagree with your conclusions. Its the elevating some parts over others that creates problems. We need all of scripture to properly understand any part of scripture. We all have our scriptural bias’ but they should make us extremely uncomfortable.

          • John

            I am uncomfortable with parts of scripture, and yes that discomfort discomforts me. But I increasingly wonder if, rather than try to fit it all neatly into a box, I should hold onto the tension between the opposition to understand something more there.

          • Frank

            Well I think what we NEED to know is fairly clear but that’s not all there is to know. And sometimes these other parts are not as easily understood. Which is why we must take the whole because its only in the whole will we find the whole truth.

          • John

            If there’s one thing I feel sure of, it’s that the whole truth is wholly beyond our feeble comprehension.

          • Frank

            I agree but the whole truth of what we need is found in scripture.

          • John

            Is that scriptural?

          • Frank

            Sure is.

          • John

            I was hoping for something a bit more specific. :)

          • Frank

            So you want me to do your work for you? Look up the scriptural support for Sola Scripture.

          • John

            Isn’t it true that the famous Timothy verse about scripture is only about the Old Testament, and that nowhere does scripture define itself canonically, apart from in Peter where Paul’s writing is given “scriptural” status? Leaving us to wonder what “the truth” was for the first 300 years of Christian history? I don’t mean that to sound glib. Is scripture scriptural and how do we know? I think it’s a difficult question.

          • Frank

            Its likely that Paul was consciously unaware that his writings would become scripture but God knew and guided his writings. Timothy is only one scriptural support for Sola Scripture.

            If you look at history we know there were many cults formed around “Jesus” so we know exactly what happened when humanity did not have the full scripture to discover Gods truth.

            Humanity is an expert at complicating simple revealed truths.

          • John

            Well, I certainly agree with the last statement. :)

            I think the early church “heresies” are an interesting topic. Far too big a can of worms for here and now. But I’m not sure I would say that the course of the church was more Christ-like in the 1000 years following Athanasius’ Easter letter than it was before.

          • Frank

            I never said it was. But we have to begin and end with truth. And for that to happen we have to know what is true and what is not true. If we base our life on a falsehood then we are truly lost.

    • jamaica leesa

      Dr. Campolo has backtracked on his views of homosexual sex (Note: the difference between having same sex attraction and giving into same sex sex). I’ve lost almost all of my respect for Dr. Campolo.

      Sorry, RLC does not represent the Evangelical Church. This publication and your “ermergent church” movement, in my view, is trying to infiltrate the Church. The fact that you even use the term “Red Letter Christians” demonstrates that you do not believe and uphold the Word of God; the ENTIRE Word of God, not just the so-called “Red Letters.”

      You have no sound theology from which to learn. And in fact, you are liberals from secular society masquerading as Christians to tear the church apart from within.

      • JohnK

        Jamaica – If you are so keen to believe and uphold the ENTIRE Word of God, kindly observe 1 Timothy 2:11 and 12.: “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

        • John

          I don’t think Jesus wants Scripture to be used as a weapon like this. I take your point, but it’s a bit of an agape-free moment, isn’t it?

          • William Dhalgren

            Live by the sword, die by the sword.

          • John

            Yes, you might 😉

          • William Dhalgren

            I’m not the one living by the sword.

          • John

            Do you think we should all live according to 1 Timothy 2:11-12?

          • William Dhalgren

            I think people who believe we should live according to one part of the bible should believe that we should live according to the whole thing. Funny how this “Jamaica” person thinks she gets to pick what parts I have to live by, but gets to ignore parts she finds inconvenient for herself. One might think she’s a raving hypocrite, but then one would have to care what she thinks about anything to begin with.

          • JohnK

            Thank you William. That was exactly the point I was making.

            John – I didn’t intend to use the scripture as a weapon (okay…maybe a little), but instead show how absolutely silly it is to use it’s social concepts surrounding gender and sexuality as a standard for how we should live today. Last time I checked we didn’t live in a nomadic pre-industrial tribal culture where such archaic concepts may have had limited pertinence. And in regards to poor little Jamaica, frankly, if she chooses to say things that are pointedly intended to offend, she should expect a little reaction. You play with matches, you get burned.

        • Steve in Van

          One would think those who support the leadership role of women in the church — contrary to this verse — would understand the need to interpret the Bible in light of it’s historical and literary context. That’s all gay-supporters are asking for.

          • Frank

            The bible in light of its historical and literary context still tells us that homosexual behavior is a sin and that marriage is between a man and a woman. These eternal truths will never change.

          • JohnK

            Frank, could you let me know where the Bible tells in its historical and literary context that homosexual behavior is a sin? Where does it say that marriage is between a man and a woman? I just don’t buy the “eternal truths will never change” argument. The world isn’t flat and the earth is not the center of the solar system…and yet these were “eternal truths” taught before science disproved them. Why isn’t there room for other “eternal truths” to change? Neither marriage nor homosexual behavior are integral to Christian doctrine. Why do these stir up so much opposition?

          • Frank

            By definition an eternal truth doesn’t change but I know what you are asking.

            God created them male and female be fruitful and multiply. This is affirmed by Jesus. Every mention of marriage is husband and wife, male and female, including how it mirrors Jesus’ relationship with his church. Every instance of homosexual behavior is condemned. No where is anything positive said about homosexual behavior.

            This gives us a clear answer to the question of sexuality and marriage.

            I am happy to debate the instances where people have misread the bible regarding science or where people have misinterpreting scripture to suit their own needs but that’s a separate issue.

            To answer your last question I think that its stirs things up because the bible is so clear on the issue but some people don’t like that and wish it said something else or they dismiss it entirely. The only people who are stirring things up are those that wish to say the bible says something it does not or doesn’t say something it does. For me I would not even be talking about this if there weren’t people who are deceived and/or trying to deceive others by saying something that is contrary to Gods Word. Truthfully I am so over this issue but I cannot in good conscience stand still and let people be deceived.

          • Steve in Van

            Frank, I share your commitment to the Scriptures and your passion for pursuing Truth. I also disagree with your biblical interpretation on this point. Where do you suggest we go from here? How do we move on?

          • Frank

            Well that’s a great question. I see no alternative but to live in the tension of disagreement. Otherwise we end up with a more fractured church.

            What scriptural support do you have for your opinion?

          • Steve in Van

            Several hours later and my earlier reply hasn’t yet been moderated and posted. You can find my essay on the topic, “Challenging Conventional Wisdom,” by seaching the title and my name, Steve Schuh. Blessings!

          • Frank

            Thanks Steve! I am pretty sure I have read that before in my studies. You have put a lot of work into that but unfortunately it just doesn’t hold up. In many ways its a classic case study in eisegesis. Every one of your arguments have been efficiently dismantled by people like Robert Gagnon.

          • Steve in Van

            Frank, ‘eisegesis’ is an easy criticism given you offer no supporting evidence. The first clue that an interpretation might be eisegesis — a ‘reading into the text’ rather than ‘reading out of’ — is that the interpreter ignores the historical context. My whole argument is based on the history, which Gagnon confirms, that the only experience the Hebrew people had of homosexuality is male cult prostitution. The NT examples also allude to this history. This is the exact cultural history traditionalists ignore. If anyone is suspectible to the eisegesis criticism, it is traditionalists who read their current understandings into the text.

          • Frank

            Steve its not an easy criticism but its correct in regard to your paper. You want to believe something so you go to the text trying to prove what you want to believe rather than whats there. Don’t feel bad, people do that all the time.

            Of course context is king. Gay marriage existed in Ancient Rome and China and there is some evidence in Africa. So Paul knew exactly what he was saying.

            Trust me it would be a lot easier if what you believe was actually true but its not.

      • John

        Shouldn’t the goal be for no one to represent the Evangelical church, but for all of us to represent Jesus to the best of our understanding and ability?

        How does one infiltrate an organisation which, by its very nature, is open to all believers?

  • l

    This recording isn’t all there–it stops at 6:44.

  • Daniel Olson

    I have always had a decent relationship with my father.. nothing out of the ordinary, only the usual teenage power battles common in may families. My brother’s and i recall, with grateful hearts, that we probably had the least dysfunctional family on the block. He was not only physically present, but emotionally available. He showed emotion, wasnt afraid to cry or tell us he loved us. I remember him tucking me in at night well into my teens. Hugs and PDAs were never an issue. Even though its been almost 45 years since my first sense of SGA, my father, now in his 70s, has always supported me and we are closer now than ever. We talk weekly.

    My relationship with my peers was not so rosy. I expect this affected my relating with men way more than my few paternal issues. OR… Perhaps my same gender attraction was the source of my early difficulties.This could be a real life example of “which came first. the chicken or the egg?”.

  • Ryan Kingston

    Dr Campolo first of all I would like to say thank you for being often a sole voice in the Evangelical community that has showed any type of compassion and understanding about those in the LGBT community. I grew up in the church in very conservative evangelical churches. I for years struggled with reconciling my faith and sexuality and spent many years being in extreme agonizing isolation about the issue and from the moment I realized I was gay at approx age 14 I was convinced I had to choose between my faith and my sexuality. Although I was never directly involved with Exodus I read their literature and sought out many pastors and even a few counselors to try and get answers. I often wanted to give up on my faith and eventually became absolutely disgusted at how the church was handling this and many other issues. Your sensibility about this and many other topics were often the only thing that gave me hope and kept me connected to my faith.Although now being in my mid 40’s I have come to accept myself as who I believe God has made me to be and oppose anyone who says I cannot be gay and be a Christian. I also appreciate Mrs Campolo for standing up in her views and fighting for the gay community.

    There is much I could say about this issue. I am hopeful things are changing in the church but still not soon enough. I guess my biggest problem is just the total lack of compassion and understanding which many in the church approach this issue. To be very blunt it is many times just plain arrogance and ignorance that I see and hear. I am just amazed that people somehow fail to recognize at the end of the day this is peoples lives we are talking about here. It is not simply just some theological or moral issue. It has real affects and repairitive therapy has probably been the cause of not only the cause of great mental anguish, depression and even at times abusive practices. But for some it meant taking their own lives. When does the Christian community especially those who led Exodus take responsibility for those peoples lives. Especially the kids we have watched kill themselves. And the many kids we have living on the streets because upon the admission they were gay have been kicked out of their homes or felt so threatened they had to run away. The church needs to grow a much bigger conscience about this. When we have people not committing suicide over this issue then we can have a comfortable theological discussion about it. And to that end I really get tired of Christians whining about how their beliefs are being attacked. NO Christian has ever taken their own life or suffered any type of real harm because of something a gay person said.

  • Ryan Kingston

    Hi Dr Campolo. I first of all want to say thank you to you because growing up in the Evangelical Church and being gay yours was the first and often the sole voice that I heard that talked about LGBT issues with any sense of real understanding or compassion. Yours was often the only voice that kept me connected to my faith. I realized I was gay at approximately the age of 14 years old and spent many years trying to reconcile my faith and sexuality. It was many years of pain, extreme anxiety, depression and isolation. From almost the first discovery and admission to myself that I was gay I told myself I could not be because I was a Christian. i often describe it as a “confession I did not even want God to hear”.

    I sought out many pastors and even a few counselors including contacting Joseph Nicolsi after reading his book. (Could not afford his rates).. I was never directly involved with Exodus but read their literature and any other books i could find. I insisted that my counselors try and counsel me from the repairitive therapy perspective although a couple of them questioned me why I wanted to do that. I assure you it only added to my confusion, loneliness and deep mental anguish. And there is no doubt that this type of therapy does not work but it is causes more damage.

    Now in my mid 40’s I am just coming to a place in my life where I have some peace about this issue and have come to accept myself. It was not easy after all the years of pain and isolation. I am simply amazed and quite disgusted at how many people in the church have come to this issue with absolutely no compassion or true understanding of this issue. It is mind boggling how the church does not understand at the end of the day this is peoples lives we are talking about. It is not simply a theological or moral debate. When we get to the point when we do not have children killing themselves then we can have a debate.

    The church needs to grow a conscience about this issue and realize and accept the fact that people in the LGBT community have suffered great mental anguish because the message the church has sent. Not only the message they are not welcome in the church. But the ways LGBT people have been literally robbed of their faith. For the isolation and pain to both them and their families. Parents who have literally ostracized their children because they thought it was the “righteous” thing to do. Approximately 40% of the 1.2 million kids who run away each year in this country identify as LGBT and often cite it as the reason they left home or worse were literally kicked out. Which should be treated as a crime and those parents should have their parental rights stripped in my opinion. If I were Alan Chambers I honestly do not know how I would sleep at night knowing that people may have literally taken their own lives because of the damage Exodus has done. But I should not single out Mr Chambers . The church as a whole needs to repent and accept the responsibility of the pain, anguish and the literal blood that is on our hand of those who have taken their own lives. We cannot let this go on. These people are creations of the Almighty God if you disagree I will take you to a funeral next time it happens. You can explain it to their family and loved ones.

    • John

      Thanks for your witness, Ryan. I hope you continue to find forgiveness from within and without.

  • Guest

    Dear Dr Campolo

    Thank you so much for speaking out. Yours and Peggy’s views on homosexuality were instrumental in helping me come to grips with my own struggle reconciling my faith and sexuality. I have been in reparative therapy and deliverance, on and off, for over 20 years, and have suffered abuse (emotional, spiritual, and sexual) at the hands of those who claimed to want to ‘re-orientate’ me. And because I have bought into Exodus’ fallacious theory about dysfunctional parent-child bonding being the cause of my homosexuality, I grew up with tremendous resentment towards my own parents, in addition to the self-loathing I have had to deal with.

    Over the past few years, I have listened to yours and Peggy’s recording on homosexuality numerous times. It brought so much comfort and reassurance to hear a compassionate, rational, and Christ-like witness from leaders such as yourselves.

    Thank you for your courageous witness for what is true, lovely, and honourable.

  • Frank

    Many churches reacted horribly to those who experience SSA and those churches need to repent of those wrongs. Repenting however does not and should not lead to a man made change to Gods created sexual morality. Gods eternal standard for sexuality and marriage bring about the best for humanity. Encouraging anything else is nothing short of an act of hate or even worse apathy.

    • DrewTwoFish

      Encouraging God’s standard? That usually means means telling people that god says “no” and then walking away. Many are eager to “encourage God’s standard”, i.e. tell people something they already know while failing to step into the gap, for as long as it takes – a lifetime if necessary. Now THAT is hate and apathy.

      • Frank

        My point is that the church needs to repent of the walking away part. What the church cannot do and remain the church is deny Gods created order, standards, morality and truth. We all fall short of them but they must be the standard, the ideal and what we fix our eyes on.

  • Frank

    To those that keep reassuring us that churches will not be forced to marry gay couples and that churches wont face legal actions take note:

    Gay Couple Set to Sue Church of England Over Refusal to Offer Same–Sex Nuptials

    Aug.. 2,, 2013 1:50pm Billy Hallowell

    With Britain’’s legalization of same–sex marriage will likely also come a legal battle for the Church of England.. Following the queen’’s blessing of gay nuptials,, one couple is going to challenge at least one religious denomination that refuses to marry homosexuals..

    With the Church of England and the Catholic Church refusing to opt–in to officiating same–sex marriages,, Barrie Drewitt–Barlow,, a well–known gay advocate,, told the Essex Chronicle he is planning to challenge the former institution in court..

    Barrie,, who joined into a civil partnership with a man named Tony in 2006,, says he’’s a practicing Christian who is less–than–content with the churches’’ views.. The couple has five children..

    ““It is like someone giving me a sweetie with the wrapper on and telling me to suck it,,”” he said.. ““We are happy for gay marriage to be recognized —in that sense it is a big step.. But it is actually a small step because it is something we still cannot actually do..””

    Watch the couple talk about their relationship and parenthood below:

    Barrie wants to convince the church that recognizing gay marriages is the right thing to do.. Since he says he’’s a Christian and that his kids,, as a

    result,, are also practicing believers,, churches,, in his view,, should acknowledge his union..

    ““I want to go into my church and marry my husband,,”” he added.. ““The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church..””

    Barrie said that it would be a shame to take Christians to court and that he doesn’’t want to force anyone to allow him to marry.. Still,, he seemed open to using the courts to accomplish this goal..

    The Gay Star News reported the couple has hired lawyers to potentially battle the Church of England in court.. The government,, however,, claims

    that churches are protected from being forced to marry same–sex couples.. Still,, Barrie and Tony plan to forge on,, as they told GSN:

    ““[It] is a matter of opinion.. There are legal pathways to go down and before we make a conclusive step forward we have to explore every avenue.. We have been speaking to very senior legal advisors with Cannon Law experience who feel that there actually may be a case to answer..What the outcome maybe,, is another question.. We shall have to wait and see,, but at the end of the day,, the pressure will be highly visible and the church will be in the spot light again for discrimination against the same–sex community..””

    So,, based on these media accounts,, a lawsuit may soon be afoot..

    (H/T: Essex Chronicle)

    All information © 2013 TheBlaze Inc

  • CLarosa

    Dear Mr. Campolo, I don’t plan to post a long message here, but I did want to tell you how much I appreciate your support and perspective and the vitriol you’ve endured because of it. My story, ironically, is essentially identical to the guest entry a few posts down (2 months ago). Raised in church, realized I was gay as a teen, stuffed it down to fit in (and survive), attended countless “reparative therapy” groups and conferences, got married (in my case) out of fear and wishful thinking I’d change, had kids, and then a complete meltdown 20 years later when I realized what I had done. Now an uncloseted believer who loves Jesus, and suffering through a sad divorce I never intended to impose upon my poor wife who was just as naive as i was. God never changed me. Because God doesn’t need me to change. I’m not broken – at least not anymore. How tragic I gave into the “unwanted SSA” krap and believed the lies God was disgusted with me and required I change my God-given sexual orientation. How sad there are countless men and women just like me that are having to pick up the pieces of a shattered life and perform damage control daily with their kids. All because we read our own bigotry into scripture and made it doctrine. I could go on but I won’t. Thank you Holy Spirit for opening my eyes. I pray that many of your opponents will surrender their pride and bigotry and see as well. God bless you.

  • Brandon Miller

    *ATTENTION LGBT CHRISTIANS & NONBELIEVERS: I DO NOT INTEND TO DIMINISH YOU OR JUDGE YOU. BUT MAY I CHALLENGE YOU, AS A CHRISTIAN, TO PLEASE CONSIDER THE WHOLE GOSPEL WHICH MANY ARE UNAWARE OF? … We are each called by God to be supernaturally “TRANSFORMED” (Rom 12) into a “NEW CREATION” (2 Cor 5:17) who is “NEITHER MALE NOR FEMALE” (IN CHRIST) (Gal 3:28) and experience a NEW and MORE FULFILLING inner life!… (EVEN IF our fleshly desires have yet to change). When someone is TRULY “BORN AGAIN OR BORN OF THE SPIRIT” (as in John chapter 3) they receive not only a “NEW spirit, as well as a “NEW heart” (Ezekiel 36:26), and “THE MIND OF CHRIST” (1 Cor 2:16), but the promise of a NEW and glorified BODY when CHRIST returns (Rom 8:23) is available too! So, one’s sexual orientation SHOULD NOT DETER ANYONE from receiving Christ and “ALL HIS BENEFITS” (Psalms 103:2). Did Jesus only call heterosexuals (?) to lay down their lives FOR HIM (Matt 10 &16, “HE WHO LOSES HIS LIFE FOR MY SAKE WITH GAIN IT”)? NO. FOR JESUS TOUGHT THAT ANYONE WHO FOLLOWS HIM MUST QUOTE,”DENY THEMSELVES” by taking up a cross on a daily basis (Luke 9:23). HE SURLY DOES NOT LIMIT HIS TEACHING (or His call to grace-empowered-holiness) to heterosexuals. Therefore, unashamedly PRACTICING ANY SINFUL THING while serving Christ (even if it’s something which has always been there), is certainly a DOUBLE STANDARD, simply because one is taking more liberties than Scripture permits. “FOR THE FLESH SETS ITS DESIRE AGINST THE SPIRIT (OF GOD), AND THE SPIRIT AGAINST THE FLESH; FOR THESE ARE IN OPPOSITION TO ONE ANOTHER, SO THAT YOU MAY NOT DO THE THINGS THAT YOU PLEASE” (Gal 5:17) (such as pleasing Christ), yet… “WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE (Matt 19:26).” I am not necessarily suggesting ‘reparative therapy’ (though we all could use at least some type of therapy now and again) BUT RATHER, THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT WE ALL (ME INCLUDED) SHOULD SEEK GOD FOR HIS WILL IN OUR LIVES, not our own. For Christ said, “FATHER, NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS BE DONE”(Luke 22:42). Are you up for it? Do you think that He is big enough to lead us towards something greater than living for ourselves? I hope so. God Bless-

    *** Also, here is an honest and straight forward NEW TESTAMENT passage…

    Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator,who is blessed forever! Amen.

    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” –

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