It’s like the Out 100, but there’s only one, and it’s for closet cases. WORLD Magazine has given Alan Chambers their [coveted?] “Daniel of the Year” award:
ORLANDO—Alan Chambers is in denial.
It’s a charge his critics level against him on a regular basis. They say that Chambers—a former homosexual who helps others struggling with same-sex attraction—is denying what comes naturally to him. Chambers wholeheartedly agrees.
Well, I guess our work is done.
“For Christians, every day we’re called to a life of biblical self-denial,” he says. “We take up our cross and follow Christ, and we deny what comes naturally.” But he says denial isn’t without reward: “Those who reject the concept of self-denial haven’t reaped the joys that come with it.”
Christians? Help me out here. Because I used to be an Evangelical Christian, and nowhere in those years of brainwashing do I remember anyone else besides gay people being told that they needed to deny an inherent part of their beings. Alan, you’re simply telling yourself things to make yourself feel better.
Self-denial isn’t a new concept to Chambers.
Not at all.
The 39-year-old president of Exodus International—a Christian ministry that helps people struggling with homosexuality—grew up in a Christian home but embraced homosexuality as a teenager. But through years of an active gay lifestyle, Chambers couldn’t shake the biblical conviction that what came naturally to him was also sinful. He didn’t want to be gay.
Eventually, he embraced the biblical teaching that Christ could change his heart, and his sinful patterns, including homosexuality. It didn’t happen quickly. “I didn’t get a magic wand or a lightening bolt,” says Chambers. “I got a very difficult, painful, blood-sweat-and-tears journey—and a Jesus who never left me along the way.”
“And I’m still into dudes like WHOA.”
Part of Chambers’ work involves treading into the lion’s den of mainstream media outlets that scorn the notion that homosexuality is wrong. Critics have called him a bigot, a homophobe, and a spiritual terrorist. An online petition to ban an Exodus application from Apple’s iTunes store earlier this year drew more than 150,000 signatures. Apple dropped the Exodus app, saying it offended large groups of people.
But there’s something that angers Chambers’ opponents as much as his belief that homosexuality is wrong: His message that homosexuals can change.
Reality-based people tend to be angered by outright lies, yes.
If Chambers leads a nationwide ministry, you wouldn’t know it by standing outside the Orlando headquarters where he works. After a handful of security threats from opponents in recent years, the Exodus staffers don’t post a sign on the front door. They don’t publicize their address. They usually lock the doors.
Well yeah, and when the foreclosure fairy comes a-callin’ to reclaim that building, they want to be warned by at least a knock at the door.
Was this award ginned up behind the scenes as part of Exodus’s Hail Mary, Save Our Asses campaign? Just curious.
Chambers takes homemade cards from his children and wife when he travels for work and displays them on the dresser in his hotel room. But he doesn’t offer the cards or pictures as proof that he’s not gay anymore. “My wife isn’t my diploma,” he says. Instead, he says he pursued marriage and children after his homosexual desires changed.
Wait, when did his “homosexual desires change”? Because just above, Alan is admitting that he denies his natural desires for men, men and more men, and moreover, he’s admitted that many times before. He’s not “changed.”
Websites like Truth Wins Out and Ex-Gay Watch have whole sections devoted to condemning Chambers and other ministries to homosexuals. They note that some prominent former leaders of Exodus have returned to homosexuality. Chambers acknowledges that many people do return to homosexuality, but he says that doesn’t negate the validity of Exodus’ message.
Um, it’s less that “some leaders have returned,” and more that it’s a veritable game of whack-a-mole keeping track of which “ex-gay” leaders are currently being paid by “ex-gay” companies to be spokesmodels, which “ex-gay” leaders have fallen off the wagon into a pile of men, and which are both.
Anyway, the rest of the piece is pretty annoying and long-winded, and I have no desire to spend any more time on Alan’s biography, so I’ll just quote this one last piece, where Alan is playing victim as usual, make a joke, and then finish this up:
Chambers says he’s received a handful of threatening calls, including a message saying he should be killed for what he’s doing. He maintains a substantial security system at his home and calls his wife when he’s traveling to go over a security checklist at night. “I don’t live my life in fear, but we’re careful,” he says.
Glad they use protection when they’re apart.
I’ll be here all night, folks.