Alan Chambers, former long-time Director of Exodus International, speaks in this episode about his struggle with his own sexual orientation, a love-hate relationship with church and his eventual closure of the once-notorious “Conversion Therapy” organization.
Chambers headed the Christian-based conversion group for years, having gone through the program himself. But after much prayerful contemplation and soul-searching, he realized it was the wrong thing to do. How did he know? He knew in his own heart that he was still gay. On top of that, he had seen the damage such programs had done to individuals and families, trying largely in vain to adhere to some Christian expectation of what a “Godly person” was supposed to be like.
In his controversial and beautifully revealing book, “My Exodus: From Fear to Grace,” he talks about finding more genuine community in gay bars than in many Christian circles, the bondage of religious doctrine and his own decision to remain married to his long-time wife, despite also being openly gay.And after listening to this episode which, of course, includes tons of other CultureCast stuff too, check out his compelling video talk at his church, where he serves as an elder. In it, he talks about why it’s time for church to “grow up.” He nails religion for serving as a sort of modern-day slavery in it’s unhealthy expressions, and what we need to do about it.
Love or hate his ideas and what he has to say, you’ll admire his bravery and the risks he continues to take for what he believes in. It doesn’t undo what’s been done in the past, but if we truly believe in grace, Chambers’ call to live into it is hard to ignore.