Rev. Mark Creech on the Problem with ‘Sexual Orientation’: Exodus International Flees the Promised Land

The institutional failure of Exodus International -- under the tragically unbiblical leadership of Alan Chambers (above) -- has nothing to do with God not being able to help homosexuals change. A new Christian umbrella group for people overcoming homosexuality -- Restored Hope Network -- has risen up to take Exodus' place.

The institutional failure of Exodus International — under the tragically unbiblical leadership of Alan Chambers (above) — has nothing to do with God not being able to help homosexuals (like all sinners) change. A new Christian umbrella group for people overcoming homosexuality, sexual sin and gender confusion — Restored Hope Network – has risen up to take Exodus’ place. Several former Exodus ministry leaders have already joined Restored Hope.

“The point is that the language of ‘sexual orientation’ is an imposition today on much of what the Bible says about sexuality.” — Rev. Mark Creech

OKLAHOMA CITY — The following is a long excerpt from an outstanding column by Rev. Mark Creech, published June 22 by Renew America. Some of my comments on Exodus International’s stunning collapse are quoted in the piece. Exodus imploded because its Executive Director, Alan Chambers, and his staff succumbed — in a very cult-like way — to bad theology (see Prof. Rob Gagnon’s report critiquing Chambers’ “cheap grace” errors HERE). Chambers was talking and acting more and more like a pro-homosexuality activist — odd behavior for a supposed Christian leader. But what Creech’s article alludes to is that the modern semantics surrounding the “homosexuality debate” — sexual orientation, gay, homophobia, gender identity, marriage equality, etc. – are built on worldly concepts that run contrary to Scripture.

In future posts I will describe my wonderful and moving experience here in the great state of Oklahoma attending the annual conference of Restored Hope Network (RHN) — which God raised up to do the noble, life changing ministry work that Exodus once did. (Several Exodus-affiliated “ex-gay” ministries already have joined Restored Hope, and others soon will follow.) Know this: Exodus’ and Chambers’ downfall — though a momentary propaganda boon for deceitful, often vicious, homosexual militants like Wayne Besen [he "applauds" Alan HERE]– is only an institutional failure, driven by foolish pride. The timely rise in its stead of Restored Hope shows that Jesus Christ is still very much in the business of redeeming and radically transforming sinners – and of course that includes men, women and young people caught up in the sin of homosexual behavior.

May we all pray that the Lord will bless Restored Hope Network abundantly. You can find out more about them HERE and financially support RHN HERE. Rev. Creech’s full column can be found HERE. – Peter LaBarbera, AFTAH

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Exodus International Flees the Promised Land

By Rev. Mark H. Creech

It is considered a landmark announcement, proof that the cultural winds are shifting in favor of the acceptance of homosexuality by the evangelical community. Exodus International, a ministry devoted to helping people overcome same-sex attractions is shutting down. Alan Chambers, the ministry’s president, is apologizing for much of the hurt he believes the ministry has caused the LGBT community.

Chambers, who now rejects the view that sexual orientation can be changed through the Gospel, wrote that he believes there is a sense in which his apology is for the whole church. “[I]f the church is a body, with many members being connected to the whole, then I believe that when one of us does right we all do right, and when one of us does wrong we all do wrong,” he said. “We have done wrong, and I stand with many others who now recognize the need to offer apologies and make things right.” [1]

But Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention takes umbrage with Chambers’ apology, arguing: “I think there is a tendency to see Exodus folding as a parable of Christian capitulation and ethic. That is not what is happening. Instead what you have is an organization that has some confusion about its mission and purpose…What is not happening here, is an evangelical revision of a biblical sexual ethic.” [2]

Peter LaBarbera, who leads Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, would agree with Moore. When OneNewsNow recently asked LaBarbera about Exodus shutting down, he said, “I think Alan Chambers, who basically ruined the organization, had no choice because the affiliates were leaving. All the people who support the truth that homosexuals can change and overcome this perversion through Jesus Christ were leaving Exodus.” [3]

LaBarbera, who called Exodus’ closing one of the greatest tragedies he had witnessed in the pro-family movement, also shared where he believes the ministry made its fatal mistake. He said, “Homosexuality is about behavior, and behaviors can be changed with the help of God and through Christ…That’s what Exodus used to be about. But once they started talking about so called ‘gay sexual orientation,’ as if this is the inherent state of somebody’s being, they got in trouble.” [4]

LaBarbera makes a critical point that raises a fundamental question: Is the concept of “sexual orientation” biblical? It is my contention that this expression, which finds its source in modern psychology and is so easily bandied about, doesn’t have a biblical leg to stand on.

The Scriptures say, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis. 1:27). When Jesus spoke to the religious leaders of his day about marriage and divorce, a passage certainly related to human sexuality, Jesus referenced the same Genesis passage repeating, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’” (Mark. 10:6).

The point is that the language of “sexual orientation” is an imposition today on much of what the Bible says about sexuality. According to the Bible no one was born heterosexual or homosexual, each was born ether a male or a female biologically. Heterosexual or homosexual behaviors are sexual acts, with heterosexual acts blessed and sanctified in some cases and condemned in others, while homosexual acts are condemned one hundred percent of the time.

It’s interesting that the concept of “sexual orientation” is based strongly upon one’s feelings. How does one know that one is gay? Conventional wisdom says because of the way one feels. Numerous are the individuals who have said, “I’ve felt that I was gay since I was a child.” But if one felt that he or she was a squirrel, would that qualify as proof that one was justified in risking life and limb by climbing trees and eating only nuts? The entire concept is nuts and symptomatic of a postmodernist relativity out of control.

The Bible often speaks about feelings, thoughts, and urges. And what are such but emotions and processes of the intellect that 2 Corinthians 10:5 commands must be brought in subjection to Christ’s Lordship.

Jesus said, “From within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean,’” (Mark. 7:20-23). Here Jesus describes a “sinful orientation” that is the inner nature of every person and demonstrates itself in outward behaviors unacceptable with God – acts that estrange a person from God….   [column continues HERE].

To read the full Renew America column by Rev. Mark Creech, go HERE.

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Rev. Mark H. Creech is Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc. He was a pastor for twenty years before taking this position, having served five different Southern Baptist churches in North Carolina and one Independent Baptist in upstate New York.

Source links:

[1] “The Expanded Public Apology from Alan Chambers,” KansasCity.com, 20 June 2013 http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/20/4303773/the- expanded-public-apology-from.html

[2] Anh Do, Kate Mather, Joe Mozingo, “‘Gay Cure’ Ministry Exodus International to Close,” latimes.com, 20 June 2013 http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me- 0621-exodus-international-gays-20130621,0,1731583.story

[3] Charlie Butts, “Supporters Flight from Exodus Cited as Reason for Shutdown,”OneNewsNow.com, 20 June 2013,http://www.onenewsnow.com/culture/2013/06/20/supporters%E2%80%99-flight-from-exodus-cited-as-reason-for- shutdown#.UcS6HZzm1I0

[4] Ibid

[5] “The Expanded Public Apology from Alan Chambers,” KansasCity.com, 20 June 2013 http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/20/4303773/the- expanded-public-apology-from.html

 


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