“Historically, people within the church who experienced homosexual feelings went unaddressed, creating a void. They recognized both the Biblical and cultural prohibitions against yielding to their temptations, but also realized the temptations remained. Afraid to confess and deal with them, many fell into secret homosexual sin, while others eventually “came out” as openly gay. Still others remained faithful, yet felt isolated and alienated from fellow Christians.
Ministry to same-sex attracted people became publicly available when Exodus International was formed in 1976, along with other lesser known networks. For over three decades, the organization heavily influenced the Christian population’s view of ministry to homosexuals, but was also beset from the beginning with detractors, critics, and internal struggles.
Those struggles escalated between 2005-2013, culminating in Exodus’ decision to close its doors in 2013. Conflicts within the organization, leading to its closure, had to do with the approach its leadership was taking on issues of grace, sin, proper ministry approaches to homosexuality, and a growing emphasis on harmony with the gay community at the expense of clarity regarding sexuality and scripture. With its Executive Director claiming most homosexuals couldn’t change, and that gay Christians were in fellowship with God along with other believers, a split within the organization became inevitable.
When Exodus closed, new ministries sprang up in the aftermath, and most of the ministries associated with it continue to thrive.
The ensuing controversies, though, confused many people who wandered what the options were for people wanting to repent of homosexuality.
That confusion, in turn, has opened the door to a new approach to ministry to same-sex attracted people which is causing considerable controversy and calls for Biblical examination, and examination which will be made in the second part of this series.”
This Postmodern Realities episode is the first part of a two-part series. This conversation with Journal author Joe Dallas is about his online exclusive articles Homosexuality and Modern Ministry Part 1: A History of Ministry and Missteps”.
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Other articles and Postmodern Realities podcasts featuring this author:
- Part Two of a two-part series: Homosexuality and Modern Ministry: Examining Old Approaches and Assessing New Ones Part Two: Identity, Terminology, and the Revoice Conference“.
- Episode 103 Homosexuality and Modern Ministry: Part Two
- Episode 043: Understanding Our Response to LGBT Culture
- Understanding Our Response To LGBT Culture
- Episode 028: “The Unending Bending of Gender: Helpful or Harmful?”
- The Unending Bending of Gender: Helpful or Harmful?
- Episode 126 What’s the Problem with Conversion Therapy?
- What’s the Problem with Conversion Therapy?
- Wrestling With The “Gay Christian” Label
- The (Casual) Sexual Revolution (Book Review of: American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus)
- Boy Erased Movie Review
- When Vague Is in Vogue: A New but Not Improved Approach to Homosexuality Is Growing among Evangelicals
- Episode 065: Love, Simon Film Review “When Hearts Are Young and Gay” with Joe Dallas
- The Bully Pulpit: When Gay Teens Commit Suicide, Are Preachers to Blame?
- Is “Gay Christian” an Acceptable Identity?
- Of Bathroom Bills and Basic Beliefs
- The Transsexual Dilemma
- Hath God Said? Assessing the Church’s “Change of Heart” about Homosexuality
- When Someone You Love Says, “I’m Gay”