By Bob Wilkin
Last year Alan Chambers, President of Exodus Inter
national, angered many of the donors to Exodus International when he said th
at he believes that there is no cure for homosexuality. One third of the donors quit supporting.
Last week Chambers apologized to the Gay and Lesbian community and indicated that Exodus International is shutting down.
In articles about the closure there is no statement of what Exodus International believed a person had to do to be born again. However, on their website we found this:
We believe that faith alone in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord frees us from the mastery of sin, and its consequences of death and eternal damnation. He assumed the penalty of death Himself, and enables us to live out of His resurrected life unto eternity. We believe the Holy Spirit carries out this work of renewal in our live
s, empowering us to grow in loving union with our Heavenly Father and to walk in obedience to His will. We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is formed of all those who know Him as their Savior and Lord, regardless of denominational beliefs.
That is far from clear. The part about faith alone in Jesus Christ is super. But what follows is muddy. Why say “as Lord and Savior”? This sounds like Lordship Salvation. Why speak of “freeing us from the mastery of sin, and its consequences of death and eternal damnation”? That sounds like we must change our behavior in order to escape eternal damnation.
There is nothing here about the fact that a person who believes in Jesus has everlasting life and will never be condemned. There is nothing about eternal security. The impression is that one must turn from his sins and keep on living righteously to make it into the kingdom. F
or a ministry to gays, that sounds like they must give up their homosexuality to be born again, and must continue to avoid it to stay born again.
It appears that the reason they are closing is because Chambers no longer believes that it helpful to try to get homosexuals to stop practicing homosexuality.
However, under “About us/mission and doctrine” they say,
We do believe that any sexual expression outside of a monogamous marriage between one man and one woman falls outside of God’s creative intent for human sexual expression and is sinful. Homosexuality is no greater or less a sin than any ot
her and is not the determining factor for a relationship with Jesus Christ.
What do they mean when they say that homosexuality “is not the determining factor for a relationship with Jesus Christ”? Do they mean that unrepentant homosexuals can be born again by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for everlasting life? If so, fine, as long as they also teach the consequences of believers living in willful sin. Yet that is far from clear from that statement or the doctrinal statement. What is the condition “for a relationship with Jesus Christ”? They do not say.
Christianity Today put an article on its website in July of last year indicating that Chambers was being criticized for preaching antinomianism and cheap grace. In the article Chambers is quoted as saying that homosexuality will not undo the new birth: “My personal belief is…while behavior matters, those things don’t interrupt someone’s relationship with Christ.” Fine. But there is no clear statement in the article about what he thinks a homosexual, or anyone else, must do to be born again in the first place.
Chambers is quoting as responding to the cheap grace charge with these vague words, “If someone tells me that they have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ—in the way I understand it and have experienced it—they still know Jesus regardless of what types of behavior they’ve chosen to be involved in.”
Better, but still not clear on what one must do to be born again, is this statement by Chambers: “I don’t know how anyone could call [it] grace cheap when it cost Jesus everything. I find it disheartening that we [evangelicals] are so inconsistent and over-focused on one group of people over another. We aren’t talking about this in any other subculture of people except this one [the LGBTQ community].”
It appears that Exodus International has slipped doctrinally over the past year or more. It is possible that Chambers believes in pluralism, that people can get into the kingdom who are from religions other than Christianity. He seems more concerned with societal trends than the Bible.
Since Chambers actually apologized to homosexuals and has now shut down Exodus International, he must feel that Exodus International hurt people in their efforts to get them not to practice homosexuality. I find it disturbing that Chambers apologized to the homosexual community and shut down Exodus International. However, I do rejoice that someone is saying that no sin, including homosexuality, is outside the blood of Christ. I simply wish that Chambers and Exodus International were clear that everlasting life is for all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:24; 6:28-29).
 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/20/exodus-international-shuts-down_n_3470911.html. See also http://abcnews.go.com/US/exodus-international-gay-cure-group-leader-shutting-ministry/story?id=19446752#.UcS7N5zQ6IQ. Accessed June 21, 2013.
 See http://exodusinternational.org/about-us/mission-doctrine/. Accessed June 21, 2013.