Spreading the Love

UPDATE: Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight, an expose of the ex-gay movement, has released a letter from the co-founder of Love In Action, John Evans. LIA’s youth program, Refuge, is facing investigation in Tennessee right now for providing “therapy” in an unlicensed facility and forcing minors into the program against their will. Evans’ letter, which is addressed to the current director of LIA, reads in part:

Today, the subject of homosexuality is being discussed among Christians. Most Christians find the subject too uncomfortable to make a personal investigation, but rely upon the traditional Christian condemnation of homosexuality. There are more scriptures dealing with divorce than homosexuality, yet, today, Christians give each other the freedom of personal interpretation regarding divorce. I’m sure homosexuality will be added to the long list of disagreements among Christians.

In 1973, when I helped organize the “ex-gay” ministry called Love In Action, I admit I had never heard of a different view of homosexuality or made an effort to research the issue. I held to the traditional Christian condemnation that all homosexuality was sinful.

I had struggled most of my life with this matter and I would continue to try to be “ex-gay” if it were God’s will. Over the past 30 years I have studied both sides of this subject and now know it’s not my sexual orientation that’s wrong or sinful….

I just returned from the 25th annual Conference of Evangelicals Concerned, a group of gay Christians who know that it is possible to be both gay and Christian. In the past 30 years since leaving the “ex-gay” ministry I have seen nothing but shattered lives, depression and even suicide among those connected with the “ex-gay” movement.

At the E.C. conference I met gay Christians who have an even closer relationship with Jesus. The Holy Spirit seemed to hover over the entire conference. The closing communion service seemed as if Jesus Himself was there saying, “Come to me all who labor and are laden with the burden of trying to conform to the impossible conclusions of others, and I will give you rest.”

In Alabama, we all hear the religious right’s interpretation of homosexuality every day. Our pastors need to hear Mr. Evans’ views. He knows whereof he speaks.

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If you’re a member of a Christian denomination here in Birmingham, your pastor likely received this invitation from Focus on the Family:

*************************************************************
As a Ministry Leader, are you
prepared to handle the issue
of homosexuality?

Focus on the Family wants you to be!

Be our guest for a complimentary breakfast and a morning
seminar that will equip you to more effectively convey the truth
about homosexuality—compassionately without compromising…

…and learn about the upcoming Love Won Out
conference coming to Birmingham, AL
on September 17th, 2005.

Three of Love Won Out’s keynote speakers will share their
testimonies and address topics such as: how to minister to gays
and lesbians and their family members, how the Church should
respond—balancing truth and grace, debunking the “born gay”
myth, and understanding the contributing factors of male and
female homosexuality.

Date: Thursday, August 11th, 2005

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Place: Metropolitan Church of God
2800 Metropolitan Way
Birmingham, AL 35245

RSVP by August 2nd, 2005
to Linda Allison
at (719) 548-5770 or
email: linda.allison@fotf.org
*************************************************************

Focus on the Family tries to sugarcoat its anti-gay rhetoric in terms of love and healing, but what it is really advocating is reparative therapy for homosexuals. At one time, reparative therapy was supposed to turn gays straight, but most of its practitioners now admit that the best they can do is make gays feel too guilty to have sex. Reparative therapy has been discredited for decades, and no ethical psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor would ever recomend it for a client. But some of these ex-gay groups even advocate forced therapy for minors in order to “cure” them.

It would be interesting to know exactly what Dobson and crew have in mind for their conference, and I’m hoping a few progressive pastors will hold their noses and attend this breakfast. I doubt their input will be welcome, but it’s good to know the enemy.

One Response to “Spreading the Love”

  1. Otaro says:

    i googled for something completely different, but found your page… and have to say thanks. nice blog!

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