“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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