I’ve had several people ask my opinion on today’s press release from Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International.
In it, Alan makes the following statement:
“It is strange to be someone who has both been hurt by the Church’s treatment of the LGBTQ community, and also to be someone who must apologize for being part of the very system of ignorance that perpetuated that hurt,” said Chambers. “Today it is as if I’ve just woken up to a greater sense of how painful it is to be a sinner in the hands of an angry church.”
I have watched the changes in the last year in Exodus International very closely. In 2005, when I first sought hope and healing concerning my lifelong unwanted same sex attractions, I found both in an Exodus affiliated ministry. I worked for that same ministry for a brief time, attended Exodus Freedom conferences, served at Love Won Out events, and even spoke at the Freedom Conference held at Ridgecrest two years ago.
I have a deep love and appreciation for the courage and compassion of those who serve with Exodus and whom I consider to be friends and fellow workers in an extremely isolated and challenging area of ministry.
Because of that, I have remained relatively quiet about all of the changes taking place, but I’m beginning to think a response to these latest comments may be in order. Please pray for wisdom and grace as I process through Alan’s statement and seek to see his heart while still clinging tightly to truth AND love of Christ as found in His Word.
Honestly, I haven’t digested all of Alan’s statement quite yet, and I would like to listen to his message from the Freedom Conference tonight before fully commenting.
However, my initial thought applies to us all.
As believers, we need to be VERY careful both asking for and offering forgiveness on a corporate level, both from a group of people and to a group of people.
If we are to forgive like Jesus, we do so individually and specifically, not generally and corporately.
To apologize with “we” statements concerning the Church borders dangerously on universalism, and I would respectfully ask fellow believers to refrain from apologizing on behalf of the Church to an individual or to another corporate body of people.
As a priesthood of believers, not a single one of us speaks on behalf of the whole.
If you want to apologize, do so for yourself, but not on behalf of the entire Body.
To read Alan’s statement, click here.