On the Oprah Winfrey Network’s “Our America” program last week, host Lisa Ling praised Alan Chambers for a soundbite in which the Exodus International president — addressing whether gay Christians go to heaven — said that all “Christians” go to heaven.
Chambers likely knew that Ling, like many previous naïve journalists, would misunderstand his carefully parsed words and inaccurately state to a non-evangelical audience that Exodus includes LGBT people within the domain of Christian salvation.
Chambers also knew that Exodus’ behind-the-scenes decisionmakers — its Christian Right investors and specific local “ministry” leaders who favor bullying, imprisonment, and involuntary brainwashing to scare youths straight — would demand a reiteration of Exodus’ spiritual judgment against political incorrectness.
That’s exactly what happened.
Today on the official Exodus blog, Chambers reminded his conservative audience that Exodus rejects the Christian salvation of people who demonstrate same-sex behavior, same-sex attraction, honest same-sex celibacy, or same-sex “identity.“
In short, nothing has changed at Exodus at all: The organization demands as a condition of salvation that “ex-gay” or “post-gay” people reject chastity that is honest about sexual orientation. Exodus further demands that people lie to the public about their orientation, and claim an artificial heterosexual “identity” when in fact they remain as gay as ever. Anyone who dares to be sexually honest is ostracized and damned to hell.
Chambers states that sexual honesty “gives license to sin.” He falsely states that, for Christians who are honest about their orientation, “gay comes first and takes center stage. God won’t share His throne with anyone or anything.“
Even if one disregards Chambers’ previous statement that homosexuality is the opposite of holiness, this new statement makes absolutely clear that under no circumstance will Exodus share its Heaven with homosexuals.
We are reminded that Exodus’ view of God lacks grace; it is chained to a conformity which demands the daily practice of denial, antagonism against those who choose sexual honesty, and ostracism toward religious dissidents.
Chambers complains: “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.”
What chutzpah, given a culture of moral relativism, judgment, and mischaracterization that we have found at Exodus’ antigay conferences and in the organization’s efforts to silence antiviolence campaigns that are inclusive of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Professional journalists should know better than to accept such deceit at face value, and to parrot the deceptions despite warnings from those whose families and friends have been destroyed by Exodus.
Please sign our petition and demand that the Oprah Winfrey Network retract its documentary. OWN owes airtime to the survivors of Exodus International and to the mental-health professionals who were denied a voice in the documentary.