The Question Is Not ‘Can Gays Change’ but How Many Already Have?

By Peter LaBarbera

Former proud homosexual Alan Chambers now disavows the term “ex-gay,” but to those of us struggling to defend truth in a fallen world, that imperfect term is mere shorthand for the wonderful work that God can do in any life that discards worldly wisdom and trusts humbly in Jesus Christ to live by a Perfect Standard. 

alan_chembers.jpg Should we call Alan Chambers “ex gay”?

We share Steve Bennett’s disappointment with the regrettable statement to the Los Angeles Times by “ex-gay” (he now rejects that term) Alan Chambers — the president of Exodus International who has done wonderful work over the years for the pro-family cause — that “By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete.” Predictably, the anti-ex-gay folks over at the pro-homosexuality website “ExGayWatch” tipped their hat to Alan (homosexual activist Wayne Besen was harsher) and acknowledged that he’s coming their way, while opining that he did not go far enough. One homosexual activist sent us a copy of the L.A. Times story with this note:

Ex-Gay is all fake, it’s harmful to people, even Alan Chambers of Exodus International is almost admitting it. G-d loves Gays & Lesbians as they are and you should too.

Well, “ex-gay” is not all fake, but there is always a problem with words in the post-Sexual Revolution, “gay”-affirming American culture in which we live. Yes, many people’s lives have been radically changed through Christ, and some without Him, yet homosexual activists want a special pass that says their sin problem (of course, they’d never call it that) is insurmountable — hanging their hopes on the supposed innateness and immutability of their “orientation.”

Wouldn’t each of us love to take our worst sin temptation and tell God that it’s not our fault, it’s just our “orientation,” so leave me alone?!  

There is a whole homosexual activist cottage industry, led by Besen and ExGayWatch, that — like the enemy of our souls — essentially gloats over failure. This decidedly evil movement heralds the latest stories of failed “ex-gays” who return to homosexual behavior, while ignoring (or ridiculing) the obvious successes and the fact that many people who’ve overcome homosexuality don’t care to talk publicly about the sins they left behind. 

The question is not, “Can gays change?” but how many already have. Only God knows.

But the real problem lies in that pesky word “gay,” and this is where we see the greatest potential for mischief arising from media discussions like this, and the rebirth — stoked anew by evangelicals including Al Mohler and Chambers — of the possibility that people are “born gay.” (Notice how few people are discussing homosexuality as a potential birth defect.) At Americans For Truth, we focus on changeable behaviors, not supposed “orientations.” We agree with God that all same-sex erotic/sexual behavior and its advocacy is wrong. (God condemns homosexual acts in the Bible, but you also can look to Nature and the devastating consequences of homosexual practice for evidence of its wrongness.)

“Nobody has to be gay,” we say, because “gay” (or “bi” or “transgender”) identity is a modern, activist social construct. No one is forced to practice sinful behaviors. Yet fallen people “fall” into practicing perversion — heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, etc.

So let’s say that due to whatever circumstances, Alan Chambers is still tempted homosexually (it’s important to recognize that other “ex-gays” like Steve Bennett say they no longer are). So what. All of us are tempted all the time. I’d speculate that 99 percent of men struggle with (heterosexual) lust. Do we call them “Lusters,” rationalize their irresponsibility due to their “lustful orientation,” and spend millions of tax dollars studying whether men are “born lustful”? No, we don’t. We celebrate when a man overcomes deep sin resulting from indulging lust — addictions to pornography, etc. — all the while recognizing that his dreadfully “deceitful” heart, as described by God through the Old Testament Prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 17:9, NASB), could always draw him back:

The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?

There are many people — perhaps due to the “weirdness” of homosexuality (after all, this is a lifestyle whose advocates now proudly embrace the moniker “queer”) — who would have us focus incessantly on the “cause” of homosexuality and the “feelings” of homosexuals.  They have come to sympathize with people caught up in homosexuality’s embrace in a way that drives them to become de facto apologists for “gayness” — more suspicious of pro-family groups engaged in the uphill fight against homosexual activism than they are of the homosexual activists themselves. (I would put Grove City College psychology professor Dr. Warren Throckmorton, who has emerged as a “Switzerland” of sorts in the culture war over homosexuality, in that camp.)

But the far more important issue for people trapped in this sin, and especially for our nation’s youth, is that this destructive behavior can be changed and must never be defended by anyone who claims allegiance to a holy, Almighty God. We know Alan Chambers would never do that, but by stepping into this semantic morass and publicly denying “complete change” for practicing homosexuals — in the face of wonderful Christian testimonies like Steve Bennett’s, Dennis Jernigan’s, and Charlene Cothran’s — he inadvertently helped a “gay” lobby that is obsessed with defending the indefensible.

Truth is, despite his good intentions, the “gay” activists will never be Alan’s friend unless he abandons God’s moral law and throws up a rainbow flag in complete surrender.

Former proud homosexual Alan Chambers now disavows the term “ex-gay,” but to those of us struggling to defend truth in a fallen world, that imperfect term is mere shorthand for the wonderful work that God can do in any life — Alan’s, Steve’s, or the proud “gay” or “lesbian” reading this today — that discards worldly wisdom and trusts humbly in Jesus Christ to live by a Perfect Standard. Click HERE for information about how YOU can embrace the life-changing Gospel of Christ.

To view Steve Bennett’s press release responding to Alan Chambers remarks to the L.A. Times, click HERE.


This article was posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2007 at 2:27 pm and is filed under A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, B - Ex-Homosexual Testimonies, News, The Agenda: GLBTQ & Activist Groups, The Bible, Churches, & Homosexuality. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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