The “ex-gay” group Exodus
International on Wednesday announced that it was shutting down.
The announcement comes after its
president, Alan Chambers, issued an apology to the gay community.
“Exodus International, the oldest and
largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality
announced tonight that it's closing its doors after three-plus
decades of ministry,” Exodus wrote in a blog post. “The Board of
Directors reached a decision after a year of dialogue and prayer
about the organization's place in a changing culture.”
Chambers explained that “for quite
some time we've been imprisoned in a worldview that's neither
honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical.”
The group's undoing started last year
when Chambers began leading Exodus away from supporting therapies
aimed at “curing” gay men and lesbians of their sexual
orientation. Chambers, who at one point starred in ads for the
ministry touting “change is possible,” reversed course, saying
such therapies did not work.
The group attempted to walk a fine line
between saying that change was not possible but that acting on
same-sex attractions was wrong.
Many ministries reacted angrily and
some Christian conservatives called for Chambers to resign.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Chambers
apologized to “ex-gay” survivors, saying that he had “hurt so
many by failing to acknowledge the pain some affiliated with Exodus
International caused, and by failing to share the whole truth about
my own story.” Chambers last year admitted that his own
attractions to other men had not faded.
The announcements come ahead of an Our
America episode titled God & Gays which includes an
interview with Chambers. In a trailer for Thursday's show, Chambers
is seen being confronted by “ex-gay” survivors demanding that the
group shut down.
However, whether Exodus is closing or
merely renaming itself remains to be seen.
“This is a new season of ministry, to
a new generation,” Chambers wrote. “Our goals are to reduce
fear, and come alongside churches to become safe, welcoming, and
mutually transforming communities”
To that end, the group is already
preparing with a new site titled Reduce Fear (reducefear.org).