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).