This week's surprising decision by Exodus International to, after nearly four decades as the world's largest ministry focused on homosexuality, apologize, shut down, and start over has drawn headlines worldwide.
A new website, reducefear.org, is not yet live with details. But one thing is certain: Randy Thomas, executive vice president, told The Tennessean that the new ministry will not provide "help for people to turn from gay to straight." (Exodus, long the face of the ex-gay movement, has distanced itself from reparative therapy in recent years, losing many members as it emphasized discipleship instead. In turn, it has drawn scrutiny of its theology on sanctification.)
Here's an updated roundup of evangelical reactions, ranging from dismayed to joyful:
"Sadly, it appears that this rethinking has resulted in something like a surrender to the cultural currents of the day. … While Alan Chambers is right when he insists that our beliefs do not center on 'sin' because 'sin' isn't at the center of our faith, he seems to have lost sight of the fact that Christ came to save us from our sin. … The greatest tragedy is that persons experiencing same-sex attractions or involved in same-sex sexuality will be further confused by the capitulation of Exodus International."
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Baptist Press)
"Exodus' closing is being hailed by some as a victory and indication that Christians are abandoning long-held convictions that living with God's design for sexuality is possible through the power of Jesus Christ—that change is possible. The reality is that while Exodus will no longer ...