Exodus International Rejects Reparative Therapy
The Christian Post is reporting that Exodus International has decided to reject Reparative Therapy
Exodus International President Alan Chambers addressed the crowd at the 37th annual Freedom Conference on Wednesday in order to share why the organization will no longer use reparative therapy to help those who struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA), and will use a model that focuses more on discipleship instead.
Chambers told The Christian Post on Thursday that reparative therapy, which seeks to “cure” SSA through activities like counseling and prayer, sets the person seeking therapy up for failure by giving him or her unrealistic expectations…more
I do have a few questions about this move. Apparently, Exodus still considers homosexual behavior sinful - a good thing - but they have rejected the assertion that homosexual temptation can be completely eradicated.
1. Do reparative therapies really claim the power to completely eradicate all homosexual temptation? That seems an almost inhuman claim to make. I thought reparative therapy sought to redirect the desires toward the opposite sex but I never understood that to mean that temptation could be wholly wiped away? Heterosexual men, for example, can come to a place where they no longer actively lust after women other than their wives and for most men that means healing and redirecting the will. But the “temptation” toward lust, I think, recurs at various times throughout a man’s life. I would imagine the same is true for women. It’s a disordered temptation (as all temptations are) but it’s mere existence is not sin unless and until the temptation is indulged and becomes action. So, if reparative therapy truly seeks to eradicate all temptation then I would agree with Exodus’ decision. Even Jesus lived through and fought off temptation - though without sin. How can we be expected to eradicate something that even Jesus, the perfect man, experienced?
2. Does this decision suggest that those who have successfully gone through reparative therapy are liars? If Exodus’ position is that reparative therapy does not work, then what does that mean for those who claim to be completely healed - many of whom with the full support of Exodus?
3. Is this in any way a denial of the power of God to break the chains of sin? I get really uncomfortable when people make pronouncements about what God can or cannot do without any biblical basis. Romans 6, to just name one example, does seem to indicate that God can indeed deliver from particular sins completely (not the temptation to sin but the actual indulgence in it via thought, word and deed). It is true that we’ll never be fully sanctified this side of eternity but the New Testament does lead one to believe that while we will always struggle with sin, God will give his people victory over particular enslaving sins. I have experienced this to be true in my own life. On what biblical basis does Exodus claim to “know” that God cannot completely heal the homosexual person in this life?
The article doesn’t address those questions but I’d love to hear Exodus do so in a coherent way.
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