Exodus International yesterday announced a merger with Transforming Congregations, an ex-gay ministry affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and OneByOne, a similar outreach affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Transforming Congregations and OneByOne work to stigmatize gay Christians within their denominations and to promote the unscientific myth that sexual orientation is determined by parenting and abuse. The three organizations claim that the ex-gay myth is “Biblically orthodox” even though there is no Biblical support whatsoever for ex-gay reparative therapy, a practice that traces its origins to mistaken conjecture by 19th-century psychotherapist Sigmund Freud.
The three organizations also continue to shun thousands of former ex-gays who have passed through their ministries with their sexual orientation unchanged.
According to Charisma News Online, the organizations all but admit that the merger is in retaliation against the growing influence of spiritually and emotionally mature gay Christians:
In recent decades, both denominations have seen increasingly vocal segments of their memberships lean toward a more liberal theology that embraces homosexuality. But Exodus leaders say the merger could help the ministry better reach those groups with more effective resources that promote a biblically orthodox view of sexuality.
Transforming Congregations and One by One will function essentially as departments within Exodus’ church-equipping ministry.
Exodus lobbyist Randy Thomas sidesteps the failure of the organizations’ ex-gay ministries to change anyone’s sexual orientation, and further sidesteps the damage done to former ex-gays’ spiritual and emotional lives by Exodus’ fundamentalist rhetoric and ostracism against gay Christians.
“While the culture war has taken us into a polarization of either condemning the sin or condoning the behavior, Exodus and these groups are speaking into it redemptively and we’re saying we can hold on to truth but at the same time have compassion, have grace, have mercy and have resources available to those who do want to overcome homosexuality,” he told Charisma.
The three organizations glamorize or reject the Bible’s inconsistent and sometimes murderous messages regarding homosexuality:
Exodus leaders say navigating the fine line between loving homosexuals and communicating to them the truth of Scripture is the real challenge facing Christians.
And the organizations expose their ultimate goal: The destruction of healthy gay couples, with antigay marriage laws that deny the religious freedom of gay and gay-affirming people of faith.
Complicating that even further are concerns that with six states now allowing same-sex marriage, gay rights will one day trump religious liberty, leading to laws that punish those who preach that homosexual practice is sinful.
Instead of defending religious liberty for all regardless of orientation, Exodus and its partners claim that their freedom includes a supposed right to take away the religious liberty of others.
Speakers at Exodus’ anti-freedom press conference included representatives of the three ministries as well as Ron Dennis, founding board member of Exodus International and now current Board Member of Transforming Congregations, and Bob Stith, the Southern Baptist Convention’s “national strategist” for “gender issues” which, not coincidentally, consist of antigay activism and efforts to repeal women’s equality.