After soft-peddling the intolerant work of Exodus International on Our America with Lisa Ling, Alan Chambers is playing to his base in a major way. He is enthusiastically throwing red meat and hawking an austere, fundamentalist version of religion. Where was the real Alan Chambers on the Oprah Winfrey Network? Anyway, here are his actual views on moderate Christians, taken from an article he wrote on his group’s website:
Unfortunately we are now seeing a pendulum shift in which some Christians have moved beyond the truth-only stance to embrace a grace-only view. This shift is affecting how homosexuality is being viewed and is just as damaging as a truth-only response. First, there are many Christians who now believe that chastity is the only answer for those with same-sex attractions. They believe that people are either gay or straight and that their identities, in that regard, are fixed. If someone is gay then the only option, according to these Christians, is celibacy. Everything else that comes with gay life, however, is acceptable. So, as long as someone remains sex-free they are able to hang out in gay bars and identify fully as gay.
Is hanging out at gay bars a real problem for Exodus’ clients?
In the last few years Exodus has seen many Christians and churches soften their truth-only response to the issue of homosexuality and instead have embraced Christ’s example of communicating with absolute truth AND grace. What God is He is fully. He isn’t 50/50 on anything. He was, is and forever will be complete in everything that He is. Completely good. Completely just. Completely truth. Completely grace. For a large segment of Christ’s Bride to become more like Him is a wonderful thing.
Chambers says that God isn’t 50/50 in anything, yet Exodus entire program is based on the notion of partial-healing. Given Chamber’s views, shouldn’t he close Exodus’ doors because God isn’t finishing the job. Here are a few quotes from Chambers showing that God has little interest in helping his clients eliminate 100% of their same-sex feelings:
“One thing we can expect as Christians is a life of denial. I don’t think we’re afraid to tell people that they may have a lifetime of struggle. Freedom isn’t the absence of struggle, but the life of struggle with joy in the process.” (Christianity Today, Sept. 13, 2007)
“By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete.” (Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2007)
Sexual orientation “isn’t a light switch that you can switch on and off.” (Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2007)
“And so every single morning – this is a ritual for me – I wake up and I say, “Dear Lord, I can’t make it today without You. I choose to deny what comes naturally to me.’” (Love Won Out, Phoenix, Feb. 10, 2007, www.boxturtlebulletin.com)
Chambers told One News Now that he had never met someone who had a “sudden or complete change when it came to homosexuality.” He told the news service that he believes that God gives people the ability to overcome on a daily basis, rather than “a complete transformation in an instant.” (One News Now, June 22, 2007)
“I don’t think change is going from gay to straight. Just saying that doesn’t sound like an accurate representation of what Exodus facilitates or proclaims.” (Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth, pg. 35, Haworth Press 2003, interview taped March 11, 2001)
“To say that Exodus is a great healer and the place for people to become straight, I would think that is not right. If there are Exodus ministries that do that, we need to change that. We need to work on that.” (Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth, pg. 35, Haworth Press 2003, interview taped March 11, 2001)
“Put me in a bathhouse, would I find people attractive or would it stir me, it probably would. I’m not a raging heterosexual where I have to worry about if a lady walks in the room and I have to turn my head, while some guys are like that.” (Anything But Straight, pg. 58, Haworth Press 2003, interview taped March 11, 2001)
Later in his article, Chambers admits that his ministry leaves people lonely and absent of the human needs of sexual fulfillment and relationship intimacy:
While some do fall into sexual sin because of a momentary temptation, the majority of individuals stay in sexual sin because it seems to satisfy a deep core, God-given need for intimacy and relationship. However, sex was never meant to be a substitute for relational intimacy with God, others, or even our spouse. Sex is a beautiful, natural and godly expression that flows out of healthy intimacy, within the confines of heterosexual marriage. As our creator, God defines the parameters for sexual expression and intimacy.
Chambers does not seem to get that his clients are not attracted to the opposite sex, so the marriages he proposes are not healthy and do not meet the intimacy requirements of his depressed clients. Furthermore, he is forcing people to make the false choice between their natural sexuality and God. While he appeared to embrace gay Christians while duping Lisa Ling, he is quite clear about his feelings in his article.
Chambers had said that God is not 50/50 in biblical healing (no one healed by Jesus was left partially blind), yet he understands his ministry is a fraud — so now he is putting a silver lining around celibacy.
Celibacy is the godly option for all single men and women. In fact, the Bible mentions that those who are unmarried are able to be more focused and single-minded in their love and devotion to God. Personally, I have heard some of the most amazing stories of God’s faithfulness from single friends who have chosen to surrender their sexuality to Him.
While this option is fine fro some people, most would find it lonely and unsatisfying — particualrly when they know they could be in a happy, same-sex relationship if they just abandoned the fake “religion” promoted by charlatans like Alan Chambers. Sadly, Chambers reiterates that his ministry is so absent of success that many fundamentalist Christians are seeing through the propaganda and realize that “change” is not possible. This, of course, makes Exodus irrelevant, so Chambers is fighting back and saying celibacy is not enough — Christians must lie about their identity.
Today many Christians with SSA are choosing celibacy, but they are also choosing to keep the gay identity/label. This falls short of God’s best because identity matters. How we view and refer to ourselves is very important.
Chambers answer is to lie about his success to scam desperate clients who beleive they need to be heterosexual to recieve love and acceptance from family, friends and God.
When it comes to the extreme changes that have occurred in my heart, mind and life it was the identity changes that fueled the transformation. I chose, in those early days, to focus most on figuring out who I was in Christ and that ultimately led to a change in how I behaved. Simply discontinuing or curbing how I expressed my same-sex attractions wasn’t enough or most important.
Extreme change? Chambers admits that he still gets excited by men and it took him 9 months to successfully have sex with his wife. Is this really “extreme change” or simply an extremist fudging the facts about his failure to become heterosexual — even as he leads a program that promises “freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ”?
At this juncture, Chambers bashes moderate, mainstream churches that stress love over the mindlessness of shallow fundamentalism:
A second outcome of the grace-only approach is that it gives license to sin. This is taking over many churches and denominations. Allowing clergy to be ordained while living in sin, heterosexually or homosexually, makes the Church irrelevant. The basis of a Christian life is that it is set apart. It is different from the world. Redeemed. Living in sin is the opposite of living redeemed. Anyone can be redeemed, but the result of redemption is a turning from what we once were through the power of repentance. In order to accommodate sin one has to ignore biblical truth or revise it to fit their life choices. Church is no longer church then, just a club for people to gather based on their common interests.
In my opinion the problem with being a gay Christian is that gay comes first and takes center stage. God won’t share His throne with anyone or anything.
The last sentence shows the incredible denial and surreal thinking of Alan Chambers. LGBT people who come out of the closet do not spend much time thinking about their sexual orientation. They grow up, move on, and often lead rich and fulfilling lives. It is “ex-gays” like Chambers who are obsessed with homosexuality and make it the centerpiece of their existence. If you’re a so-called “ex-gay” and reading this ask yourself whether you thought more or less about your sexuality since you joined Exodus or some other program. I think the answer is quite clear. Indeed, Exodus wants you to obsess about your homosexuality so much that the group created an Iphone App to ensure that you can take your fixation with you at all times.
Here, Chambers does more mainstream Christian bashing and admits that moderate churches are rejecting his bigotry disguised as Christian “love”:
A final concern of a grace-only approach is when one believes the truth of scripture but decides to say nothing for fear of losing people or being labeled homophobic. Entire churches and groups are “distancing” themselves from Exodus and any concrete position on sexual sin for fear that they will be targeted. I understand; it hurts to be misunderstood, judged and threatened. It’s tough to stand for something when our culture is all about standing for nothing. But, when you are a part of the Church you are called to stand for Christ and that usually means not everyone will like you.
We are living in trying times. Our understanding of who God is and who He created us to be, especially in light of the fallenness of humanity, is vital. Search the scriptures and you will find that God has a plan for us that was born out of the fullness of who He is and who He intends for us to be for eternity. I love that.
Actually, Mr. Chambers, speak for yourself. For those of us who are happily out of the closet, these are not “trying times”. They are happy times of fulfillment, intimacy, friendship and honesty. You, sir, are the epitome of fallen humanity — a man who lies to clients and takes away real hope for a happy existence. You ought to be proud of yourself.