In the wake of an apology from Alan Chambers, leader of the prominent “ex-gay” ministry Exodus International, the organization is shutting down.
The group embraced and encouraged “conversion therapy” for homosexuals. Religion News Service reports that the group announced yesterday that it’s shutting its doors, and that “Exodus’s board unanimously agreed to close the ministry and begin a separate one, though details about the new ministry were unavailable at the time of the organization’s press release. The announcement came just after Exodus president Alan Chambers released a statement apologizing to the gay community for many actions, including the organization’s promotion of efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation.”
In an interview with the Atlantic, it’s clear that Chambers is the one who has undergone a major conversion:
What parts of Exodus’s teaching do you renounce?
What I renounce: the whole gay-to-straight process. That the goal is changing your sexual orientation, which we realized isn’t something that happens. That that’s what makes you acceptable to God. And that gay people couldn’t ever be acceptable to God.
So what changed for you that got you to this place?
Realizing that the deepest part of the Exodus narrative is really a religious church narrative has been the biggest change. We are a church that has mostly been about waging war and battle. But I believe God has called us to be a people of peace. I’ve realized he can love a gay person or a lesbian person the same as anyone. For me as a Christian, those aren’t boundaries or barriers, and I don’t believe they are barriers for God. We felt it was absolutely necessary to close the ministry of Exodus and do what people who have been hurt are asking us to do: make amends in a way that makes a difference.
See full interview here.