Recently, the President of Exodus International, Alan Chambers, made statements renouncing some of his organization’s beliefs, such as the ability to “cure” homosexuality by Christian prayer and psychotherapy. The recent statements made by Chambers have caused controversy within some conservative Christian groups and those who are part of the “ex-gay” movement. Erik Eckholm of the New York Times reports:
He said Exodus could no longer condone reparative therapy, which blames homosexuality on emotional scars in childhood and claims to reshape the psyche. And in a theological departure that has caused the sharpest reaction from conservative pastors, Mr. Chambers said he believed that those who persist in homosexual behavior could still be saved by Christ and go to heaven.
Only a few years ago, Mr. Chambers was featured in advertisements along with his wife, Leslie, saying, “Change is possible.” But now, he said in the interview, “Exodus needs to move beyond that slogan.”
“I believe that any sexual expression outside of heterosexual, monogamous marriage is sinful according to the Bible,” Mr. Chambers emphasized. “But we’ve been asking people with same-sex attractions to overcome something in a way that we don’t ask of anyone else,” he said, noting that Christians with other sins, whether heterosexual lust, pornography, pride or gluttony, do not receive the same blanket condemnations.
Mr. Chambers’s comments come at a time of widening acceptance of homosexuality and denunciation of reparative therapy by professional societies that say it is based on faulty science and potentially harmful.
A bill to outlaw “conversion therapy” for minors has passed the California Senate and is now before the State Assembly. Earlier this year, a prominent psychiatrist, Dr. Robert L. Spitzer, apologized for publishing what he now calls an invalid study, which said many patients had largely or totally switched their sexual orientation.
Defenders of the therapy say that it can bring deep changes in sexual orientation and that the attacks are politically motivated.
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