Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Exodus Or Not

Hundreds have gathered at Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana from across the country for a conference dubbed the Freedom Conference and hosted by the controversial Exodus International organization. The group claims it can cure a person from "unwanted homosexual feelings." The Marion Chronicle-Tribune reports:

"Our mission is to share that freedom from homosexuality is available through Jesus Christ," Mike Goeke said (the group's executive vice president). "... We don't recruit, we offer something for people who are looking for help."

Goeke said about 800 people will attended this year's Freedom Conference, which runs through Sunday at IWU. Goeke also said Exodus acts as a referral service to connect those people seeking help with the aid and counseling they desire.

He also said a multitude of people would attend the conference.

"We have men who struggle with unwanted homosexual feelings, women who struggle with unwanted homosexual feelings, friends, family and parents of people dealing with homosexuals, and we have pastors and ministers who want to learn how to teach people in their own congregations," Goeke said.

This really is whacky stuff. The medical community has long since concluded that a person's sexual orientation is biologically determined. Protestors from the Gay Liberation Network gathered outside the conference to voice their disapproval of the group's work. "We consider the Exodus network and other so called 'ex-gay' ministries dangerous, particularly to gay youths," said Bob Schwartz, a member of the GLN coordination committee. "They're taking the focus off of adults, where they've had one abysmal failure after another, and are moving toward youths, and we consider this child abuse."


Travis LeMaster said...

Remember, just because the medical community has declared something to be fact, doesn't make it so. It was not too long ago that homosexuality was classified as a mental illness.

Science is constantly changing its' position on nearly everything. A report today declaring something to be a 'fact' can be refuted by another study the next day.

God's word never changes. Homosexuality is a choice - it is a sin like any other, that can be overcome by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Exodus International may seem 'whacky' to you, but many have been helped to find freedom from the bondage of homosexuality through Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Travis: As one who was raised by a Republican evangelical family, I can attest that God's Word does indeed change. The God of the Old Testament isn't the God of the New, and neither is the God of Revelation. I went to a Christian college here in Indiana and studied Bible, so if you want to debate theology we can have at it for hours and no one will win the debate.

As for living in bondage, the only bondage I've felt in my life was the lie I was living by pretending I was a straight man and lying about my sexuality to my family and friends. I knew I was gay in elementary school. No one molested me, no one recruited me, and no one taught me to be gay; I just knew what I was deep inside. I know bondage well, and living a lie is one of the worst kinds of it.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Travis--It wasn't all that long ago that Christian fundamentalist insisted that the Bible approved of slavery and treating women as second-class citizens. You're right, God's word never changes--just those telling us what his word means.

Travis LeMaster said...

Jay : You are right, we could debate all day, but that's not my job. My job is just to point out the truth, it's the Holy Spirit's job to convict your heart.

The God of the Old & New Testaments are the same God, or have you forgotten what Christ claimed in John 10:30?

The reason you don't recognize the bondage of homosexuality can be found in John 3:19.

I will continue to pray for you.

Anonymous said...

Travis: Really, I don't want your prayers since you'd have me live a lie.
So a 2nd grade boy loved the darkness and was evil, Travis? Interesting.
I suppose since we're cherry-picking you might consider this: Matthew 7:1-5.
I know I'm not perfect and my sexuality isn't the reason. I don't spend my time telling others they aren't perfect either.

Marla R. Stevens said...

If by God's word Travis means the Bible, the notion that it hasn't changed is ludicrous. It's a document that's positively evolutionary, responding to such things as the order of readings in the Jewish temple calendar of the time as, for instance, a reading of the various Gospels' stories of the Easter story will show when they're laid out in the order in which they were written.

Anonymous said...

The groups who promote this 'healing' cannot deliver the goods promised. People still have these same sex feelings reactions but they have been able to not act on them to one degree or another. That is not healing or anything else.

Homosexuality is not a "choice". To act on the sexual impulse or not is a "choice" of every human being. The impulse is not a choice. Who people make love with have sex with is a choice. The impulse to have sex is not a choice.

Now whether the person decides he doesn't want to go to a gay bar or an "addiction to porn" and that could be straight porn, maybe turned around but the sexual impulse is fundamental to a person.

Travis as a Christian you say it is 'wrong' for people to have impulses not heterosexual, but I assure you not all homosexual people were molested as children, and in that not all children who are molested as children grow up to molest others.

Not all men who have older brothers turn out to be gay. Some never had older brother and still turn out to be gay.

Not all homosexual people had ovverbearing mothers or distant fathers as some of your people believe.

It is not like a house where you can point to obvious reasons why the foundation rotted away. Or termite ate the wood supporting it. Or moisture which crept in because it wasn't insulated better from leaking external moisture.

Did you 'choose' your sexuality? Did you 'choose' to lose your hair on your head? I don't think so. They were predetermined biologically. You didn't think about it. No homosexual person thinks about that either. They find out in interacting with others what they are just like heterosexual people do.

If there is such "freedom" in Exodus, why is it that some of the people freed by Exodus and other groups of this kind go back to their sexual identities later on, menaing that they go back to a same sex identity? IS this 'cure' permanent or a ruse to get people to think that there is a 'cure' for something that an ideology says is sinful? If it is true that homosexuality is a'choice" then I put it to you that God whom you claim to eschew homosexuality is the being who created the sexual impulse in the first place.

This impulse is not some 'new' phenomenon. The term homosexual is rather new having been coined in the late 1800's. Men and women have had same sex partners for a long time. Some civilizations supported it, some frowned on it. Religions took up the banner as they came into being.

Anonymous said...

besides having in common our evangelical, republican families, I too had my first feelings towards other boys while in the second grade. You at least knew what was going on. I didn't. I can't tell you what a psychological toll trying to be something you're not, takes on a person. I was a miserable person for YEARS. I was constantly praying to God for a girlfriend. I wanted to be straight so bad. But in my head I wanted to be straight. In my heart was another story.

The first time I fell in love it was with one of my best straight friends. Once again, I didn't even realize it myself until a co-worker confronted me about being gay and told me it was obvious to everyone around me and it was obvious I was in love with said friend. She was right. I was head over heels.

That was the first step in a LONG process of self acceptance. I can't begin to tell you how much different and happier I am than I was before.

People need to realize that its not just about sex, its also about love and real emotions you feel towards someone. Didn't two of the founders of Exodus leave because they feel in love with each other and started a life together?

Considering that I felt feelings towards the same sex at the age of 7 and I prayed to God for change and a girlfriend that didn't materialize and considering how much happier and better person I am now, yet I am still an abomination in God's eyes....then he truly does move in mysterious ways.

Anonymous said...

For information on the subject from a reputable and knowledgable source - try the following link:

You can obtain further information here:

CACE Resources on Homosexuality -- NEW -


"A Study Guide and Response to: Mel White's What the Bible Says-and Doesn't Say-About Homosexuality" by Dr. Stanton L. Jones (pdf) Also read Dr. Jones' summary of the booklet featured in our March eJournal.

Understanding Homosexuality by Bilezikian, Jones, Workman, Willard, Karlsen Free Booklet (pdf)

"Science and the Ecclesiastical Homosexuality Debates"
by Jones and Yarhouse (pdf)