For years, ex-gay activists have waged a self-declared “culture war” against the clear and simple meaning of Luke 4:9-13:
4:9 The devil also took him into Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. He said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.
4:10 For it is written, ‘God will put his angels in charge of you to watch over you carefully.
4:11 With their hands they will hold you up, so that you will never hit your foot against a rock.’”
4:12 Jesus answered him, “It has been said, ‘You must not tempt the Lord your God.’”
4:13 After the devil had finished tempting Jesus in every possible way, he left him until another time.
All too often, leaders of Exodus — from its executive offices down to local member “ministries” — encourage struggling gay individuals to reject Jesus’ admonition and commit a form of blackmail against God. They advise counselees — would-be ex-gays — to make outlandish proclamations of heterosexuality in the so-called “hope” that God will be forced to make good on the believer’s premature claim of “change” by performing a miracle — either instantly or gradually — to make that phony pretense of heterosexuality become real. Some evangelicals refer to such miracle-baiting with the phrase, “Name it and claim it.”
When counselees dare to cite Luke 4:9-13 or who otherwise refuse to tempt God, Exodus accuses them of lacking “faith.”
Nevertheless, with the passage of time, some counselees eventually assert conscientious sexual honesty — namely:
- that they are gay,
- that their attractions are not changing significantly,
- that it’s obviously not God’s will for those attractions to change significantly,
- that they possess personal responsibility to make sound and healthy behavioral choices, independent of the labels and stereotypes that are employed by ex-gay scam operators, and
- that there is no particular “gay lifestyle” or “gay-identified life”
These honest souls are ostracized by Exodus, by its affiliated churches, and tragically by family members who have bought the “name it and claim it” heresy and used it to divide and destroy their own families.
What drives churches and families to promote this fraud?
Are churches and families gradually wising up to this scam, or is this scam spreading?
Who among ex-gays are most guilty of this fraud, and who among ex-gays — if anyone — is less dishonest?