Schism at Exodus International?

Apparently, Exodus President Alan Chambers’ recent comments about change of sexual orientation have not been well received by some Exodus ministry leaders. Earlier today, Andy Comiskey posted a link on his website which called for changes at Exodus in light of his disagreements with the Exodus President.

The controversy relates to Mr. Chambers recent statements that “99.9% [of people who have tried] have not experienced a change in their orientation.” Comiskey also expressed concern over the teaching about grace from Board Chair, Clark Whitten. Comiskey writes:

Whitten insists that grace alone, simply received, covers and overcomes one’s sin and renders any human effort worldly, a work of the flesh. Like many Christian authors, he overstates his case, using Scripture selectively. He is convinced that the biggest problem facing Christians is legalism, heavy-handed religion that would be overcome simply by resting in what God has done for us. He also appears to believe that this is the Truth which will usher in a new reformation. Like many in his neo-Baptist, evangelical tradition, he believes in ‘once saved, always saved’, thus Alan’s belief in the possibility of heaven for practicing gays who are ‘saved’.

In light of these concerns, Comiskey recommends more reparative therapy:

We at DSM are only indebted to the good of reparative therapy and its underpinnings in developmental psychology. How else would we understand how we become disintegrated in our gender identities, as well as gain objective markers en route to wholeness?

We cannot afford to distance ourselves from the whole healing community, which must involve solid reparative therapists. They can do what we cannot in our ministries, and vice-versa. We need them!

Finally, in addition to suggesting an increased role for reparative therapists,  Comiskey recommends a diminished role for Mr. Chambers.

The process of distinguishing Alan’s role and that of the member ministries must be done slowly and carefully, with Alan playing a reduced role (at best) in the process.

Comiskey’s newsletter comes just days after Robert Spitzer retracted his 2003 paper on change efforts. If anything, Chambers seems to be articulating a stance more in line with where many researchers are moving, without changing his basic theological position. Perhaps, it is inevitable that tension will come between those who continue to promote change and those see Exodus as a support group for same-sex attracted evangelicals.

(Either the DSM article has been removed or there is a technical reason that it is not working).

 

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  • Lynn David

    Anyone who didn’t see something such as that coming, I have some frequently flooded swamplands in Indiana that I’d like to sell you.

    If you believe what they say they have deleted the PDF file. A Google search of his website yields no files with “Exodus” in them in the last month.

  • Michael Bussee

    “That a distinction be made between Alan’s calling and job description, and the needs of the member ministries. Alan is not equipped to handle all that he is currently trying to do. We perceive him as neither a theologian nor a healer but as an inspirer and evangelist, a bridge-builder in need of refinement. He is being chastened for making unfortunate comments. God bless him; haven’t we all? We trust that those he trusts will help him to stay low and clarify the way forward for his renewed season of service.” ~ Andrew Comiskey

    http://www.exgaywatch.com/wp/2012/04/ex-gay-leader-andrew-comiskey-fires-first-volley-in-exodus-civil-war/

  • Michael Bussee
  • Pingback: Box Turtle Bulletin » Dissention Rises WIthin Exodus International

  • StraightGrandmother

    Thanks Michael B I was going to go right over to Ex-Gay Watch right after I finished Warrens article.

    If Alan doesn’t to the hard line he is going to get fired, it is right there at the end, “We trust that those he trusts will help him to stay low and clarify the way forward for his renewed season of service.”

    If Alan wants to keep his job he is going to have to tow the party line.

    (or is is “toe” the party line?).

    I need more information on who Comiskey is. I have heard the name but don’t know anything about him.

  • Michael Bussee

    UPDATE: Several Exodus affiliates are no longer linked to the Exodus website: Frank Worthen’s ministry, Andy Comiskey’s “Desert Stream” and OUTpost. There may be others.

    OUTpost and the Worthen ministry (formerly Love In Action) were two of the founding Exodus ministries. So far, Exodus has not made a comment about why these affiliates are no longer listed.

  • Pingback: Exodus Ready to End the Culture War

  • Michael Bussee

    Restored Hope? Exodus II? Is this what is next? Notice who’s speaking…

    “Nowhere does the transforming power of Jesus Christ have more relevance then in our sexuality. Broken sexuality takes life; Jesus through His body restores hope for the integrity of our intimate relationships.

    Break ground with us for the first gathering of the Restored Hope Network! The conference will lay a Biblical framework for sexual wholeness through worship, teaching, testimonies and healing opportunities.

    Teachers include Dr. Robert Gagnon, Frank Worthen, Andrew Comiskey and others.”

    http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3914161362/efblike

  • Michael Bussee

    Here’s a link to the “Basic Beliefs” of this new coalition:

    “Looks like this is linked to “First Stone Ministries”:

    “Many of you may know that for 36 years, First Stone Ministries has been affiliated with Exodus International, a network of ministries that all proclaim freedom from homosexuality through relationship with Jesus Christ.

    Over the last several months, the leadership of First Stone Ministries has become increasingly aware of some changes in Exodus’s ideology and leadership that have resulted in us feeling we are unable to continue as an Exodus Member ministry while maintaining Biblical integrity and a clear conscience before God.

    In April, First Stone officially resigned as an Exodus Member ministry. We remain dedicated to proclaiming Biblical truth in all sexual and relational matters, and to providing a safe place for those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions to find healing and freedom in Christ and to be empowered to “go and sin no more”.

    Pray for us as we seek to remain connected with other Biblically-sound ministries and to maintain and even increase our influence to the Church and culture in Oklahoma and throughout the Midwest.”

    http://www.firststone.org/images/stories/Events/RHN2012/rhn_doctrinalsummary.pdf

    http://www.firststone.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=348:press-release-fsm-no-longer-an-exodus-ministry&catid=87:press-releases&Itemid=194


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