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Exodus International president Alan Chambers has, in the past week, explained the Orlando-based ministry's recent U-turn on reparative therapy to everyone from The New York Times to NPR to MSNBC's Hardball.

And while the organization's ...

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Nelson Banuchi

March 28, 2013  4:35pm

Chambers said, ""I don't know how anyone could call grace cheap when it cost Jesus everything." Grace is not cheap, we agree, because of the person who sacrificed his life to demonstrate it. However, believers cheapen it when they assert that deeds are irrelevant of deeds in the Christian life as far as one's relationship with God and their eternal destiny are concerned.

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Bob Bobo

July 16, 2012  11:40am

'I find it disheartening that we [evangelicals] are so inconsistent and over-focused on one group of people over another. I agree that many organizations have demonized gay lifestyle to the point of legalism, as if this sin is greater than other sin. But the problem with his quote is; a christian who commits adultry knows its sin. They do not look for a scriptual out,lets them carry a torch stating its not sin and God's ok with it. Being christian they struggle living a lie, feeling condemnation from there own heart and hiding their shame. I empathize with a christian who struggles with their alternative life style. But, since they can't believe how they feel could be so condemmed by a loving God, they attempt to change the scripture so they can have Jesus and their partner (s) too. I agree with Exodus's chariman that we need to love people in these situations, and let God judge. But I have more respect for gay people who reject the bible rather than change it.

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Glen Waugh

July 15, 2012  10:31am

Gentry has made too many assumptions in this article. The article is about homosexuality and modern thought, NOT homosexuality and the teaching of Scripture against it. FIRST, "antinomianism" is NOT unbiblical or dispensationally in error (See Rom. 6:14 & Acts 13:38&39). Chambers is right, but he's also wrong. In Eph. 5:25, Paul does not refer to the church's relationship to Christ as just a group of people and Christ, but he is directed to use the analogy of a "normal" husband and wife relationship. Paul presents examples of the proper way for lust to be controlled (1 Cor. 7:8-10). "shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? let it not be!" (Rom. 6:15). The homosexual relationship as an extramarital relationship is sin and even if the Scriptures didn't remind us of such, our conscience would and has been doing so for millenia.

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Dee McDonald

July 14, 2012  9:07am

I felt the first comment by Dane Gressett deserved to be re-posted: "While I applaud everyone who is trying to reach anyone with the saving grace of Christ, I feel we should avoid the equal extremes of either focusing on one type of sin or renaming it as un-sin! Chambers said, '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 equal extreme to this error occurs when an entire subculture of people has the agenda to reclassify a sinful behavior as no longer sinful. If the subculture of alcoholic had a national agenda of mainstreaming drinking too much, I expect there would be a big pushback from evangelicals. Picking one sinful behavior out to persecute is wrong. But so is an agenda to make it no longer sin."

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Dee McDonald

July 14, 2012  9:05am

Well, at least this discussion proved one thing: Boasting to the CT world that you're a Dr. or a Rev. doesn't mean much. I just hope Mr. Payne, I mean Dr. Payne, that your doctorate isn't in theology.

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William Brewer

July 14, 2012  8:28am

From a "conversional" standpoint, the mark of a Christian is subjective– a personal testimony to a salvation experience. From a confessional standpoint, the mark of a Christian is objective– most prominently, baptism. Conversional-- self-doubt prompts the desire for re-conversion. Confessional-- objective defects in a person’s confession prompts rebaptism. Conversional-- re-conversion is an individual choice and is common-- pray the prayer again. Confessional-- rebaptism is decision made by the church and is rare. Conversional-- a person easily moves in and out of Christianity based on moods of the moment. Confessional-- becoming a Christian is a once-for-all event. Conversional-- the church never really knows who is/is not a Christian. Confessional-- the church has an objective claim on who is and who is not a Christian. And on and on. Evangelicals have been sold on an inadequate "credential" for Christian identity-- inadequate even for themselves, not to mention others.

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Oun Kwon

July 14, 2012  1:43am

I don't know much about Exodus. But whether it is an organization with the purpose same as that of Exodus, or any other organization under the name of Christianity, I think Alan Chambers' time is up. Doesn't matter whether he is a Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Warren Rick, Eugene Peterson, etc., that kind of thinking is the very essence of hypocrisy which is condemned throughout in the Bible. How is he different from a case of Catholic priest who got married (yes, gay-marriage) and still a priest, I wonder? (He even wrote a book to defend homosexual life style, the kind he has been living out.) Before we call ourselves Christians or other names, why can't we be honest, for God's sake. Why we have to hold on power, position, pride, etc. while trying to hold the precious name of Christ?

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Oun Kwon

July 14, 2012  1:34am

Lily says: Born that way! Well, why not? We all ARE born sinners. Some are born left-handed and find handicapped, does this matter? I'm born short and very much handicapped socially. Some are born with criminal-tendency - genetically proven. So? Does it exonerate them? Does it justify them? The crux of matter is the pursuit of happYness and the pursuit of pleasure, which determine one's life style and behavior - the two eminent Satanic phrases.

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LILLY MUNSTER

July 13, 2012  10:45pm

Lots of misinformation, bad science, bigotry and homophobia expressed here. The facts are; Homosexuality is not chosen. It is innate, like heterosexuality or left handedness. There ARE LGBT Christians. Who are you or I to tell anyone, "no, you are not a Christian." Millions and millions of gay people havve expressed that they were born that way. Why would you dispute that, and dispute their personal experience. You and I cannot walk in their shoes. We cannot know the heartbreak of knowing lifelong scorn, namecalling, hatred, shame and abandonment...by their OWN FAMILIES. Who would "chose" to be so abused? Gays have not harmed us, they have not "defied God," nor have they "chosen sin." Sin is a choice, where there are two choices. Those who "struggle" with their sexual orientation, going to the extreme of lying, pretending and falsely posing as heterosexuals, are victimized twice. We did that to them.

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RAYMOND HOOKER

July 13, 2012  10:19pm

Alison, I do not know your situation or why you find this article so painful. I can only say that being a Christian brings hope and good news. Will it change your life? Yes, it is a matter of a personal relationship with God through Jesus and committing to obey him. That is what being a follower of Jesus means. It also means that Jesus promised that he would send God's spirit to help us in many ways. That is why people are often able to leave a life of drugs, to get free from anger and hatred, and many other things. Also knowing God can bring joy and comfort into our lives. It does mean that we commit to obey God. We can screw up and often do. God invites us to ask his forgiveness and promises that he will bring healing and cleansing when we do. The point is that we don't give up trying to follow him and obey. In this short space I can't address the issue of homosexuality, but God can bring help even there.

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Al Reynosa

July 13, 2012  9:55pm

First of all there are no gay Christians; there are however, Christians who struggle with homosexuality. Just like Christians who struggle with porn, pride, bigotry, legalism, spousal abuse, tax fraud, self righteousness, We are not saved by good works, nor are we lost by bad works-salvation is not based on our behavior. I suggest this Sunday stand at the entrance of your "Church" and keep out the sinners/Christians-you will find yourself alone in the pews-oops, I guess you won't be attending either. The gathering of the saints is to exalt the Saviorand the last time I checked He is exalted by the struggling sinner.

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samuel Shropshire

July 13, 2012  9:33pm

I congratulate Chambers and others who try to communicate this glorious message of Christ to all who are outside and inside our churches. What bothers me about this conversation is the fact that many who have commented, both here and in the article, usually desire to judge sinners who have a proclivity to heterosexual sin far less severely than those who are predisposed to homosexual sin. They tend to want to “dry clean” gay people. They want to make them perfectly straight before inviting them into the Kingdom of God by faith in Jesus Christ. To heterosexuals we proclaim the Gospel (John 3:16, Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23) indiscriminately. We don’t question them about their sexual activities, but when it comes to the gay man or woman we sometimes want all the sordid details and to watch them groan and agonize over all their many failures prior to inviting them into God’s kingdom. Then we want them to announce that they are no longer gay. We don’t expect heterosexual Christians to immediately live a perfect life, but God forbid that a gay Christian continue to be tempted. There are spiritual consequences to any kind of sexual sin (physical, mental and spiritual), and we need to warn Christian sinners, of all kinds to avoid the consequences. We also need to keep in mind that outright sexual sin is not the only sin we Christians commit today. Pornography and lust, greed, overconsumption, racism, gluttony, exorbitant living, xenophobic behavior, self-righteousness are also prevalent in our churches. I remind us that we are all equal at the foot of the cross. It all stinks the same to God.

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Douglas Quenzer

July 13, 2012  7:23pm

Alison, becoming a Christian is about repentance toward God and faith in Christ. It is about "crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires" and taking hold of Christ. It is about "putting off the old man" and "putting on the new man created in the likeness of God." Becoming a Christian is not some ritual. Jesus said, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will save it." Read the book of Revelation and see the stern words to churches continuing in sin. Jesus warns them he will remove them, and even spit them out of his mouth they so sicken him. People need to see the gravity of sin, and that righteousness is found in Christ alone through repentance and faith. Anything less is not the apostolic tradition, but a heresy and those that teach heresy are to be avoided (2 John 10,11).

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Douglas Quenzer

July 13, 2012  7:13pm

Jeffrey, then explain why Paul says that "all sins are outside the body" while sexual immorality is "against the body." (1 Corinthians 6:18) And explain why Judas had the "greater sin" when he denied Christ when it was Pilate who actually sent him to the cross. And why is it Jesus said, "It will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Sodom and Gomorrah?" (Matthew 10:15) And why is it that teachers will be judged more severely than those who aren't (James 3:1)? And why does Jesus say, "To whom much is given, much is required." (Luke 12:48) And tell me why is the sin against the Holy Spirit the unforgivable sin? (Mark 3:29) And why does Paul says that he is the "chief of sinners because he persecuted the church of God?" (1 Timothy 1:15) And why does God say that the reason he doesn't throw the Canaanites out of the land is because "the iniquity of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure."? (Genesis 15:16) Show me the texts; not the opinions.

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DR WILLIAM PAYNE

July 13, 2012  12:33pm

Alison, if this honest discussion sickens you, you would have been very sick in the presence of Paul, Apollos and other NT evangelists/missionaries/apologists as they reasoned, argued, explained, and convinced people to forsake sin and lay hold of Jesus Christ. Read the book of Acts and examine the essence of the NT encounter with the world. Additionally, when you read the epistles you will discover that the NT church disciplined Christians who lapsed into sin to include sexual immorality. Whether we like it or not, the church is tethered to its sources. We are what we are. How would you have us go forward on this issue without compromising the faith that was delivered to us?

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Rick Dalbey

July 13, 2012  11:43am

This is a great discussion. It really provokes me to search the scriptures. Alison, you have raised three excellent questions and I hope you persevere in searching out the answers. The answers are in the word of God. I think pure antinomianism is impossible for a true Christian. Real Christians make terrible sinners, they are riddled with guilt and mindless pleasure loses its charm. There are only 2 options for all of us, straight or gay. Marriage or chaste singleness, what Jesus called becoming a Eunuch for the kingdom. And Jesus defined marriage as between one woman and one man. Luke indicates 3000 were "saved" on the day of pentecost. Weeks later 5000 were saved after a healing. 12 men in Acts 19 were saved and filled with the Spirit. So obviously becoming born again is an instant, one time experience. Confessing that Jesus has raised from the dead, believing in your heart, changing your mind (repenting), accepting forgiveness results in salvation. All who call on the name of Jesus.

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Alison Swihart

July 13, 2012  10:55am

I am so sickened by this discussion and the related discussions. If this is the result of our belief system, it leaves me with three questions (at least): 1. What is Christianity? 2. How does one become a Christian? 3. Why would anybody want to?

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JEFFREY L RUDLOFF

July 13, 2012  10:10am

The whole discussion about "hierarchy" of sin seems to miss one significant point - the difference between sin's spiritual and cultural significance. If ALL sin separates us from God, then there is no difference between them, and gossip, homosexual behavior, gluttony and murder all have the same SPIRITUAL effect. Culturally, sins carry different weights, hence the difference in punishments. The death penalty for one and restitution for another is not an indication of their varying spiritual significance, but of the degree to which they effect the larger culture. "Capital" crimes - those worthy of death - impact society more severely than others, and so are punished more severely. The solution is not to downgrade our response to homosexual behavior to that of gluttony and gossip, but to upgrade our thinking on the "minor sins". It's funny, but I never see those saying we should level that playing field recommend allowing murderers to continue to murder or thieves to continue stealing.

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Geoffery Bennett

July 13, 2012  8:54am

I would encoruage CT to post an interview with Mr. Chambers. I've read all of the articles for today in CT and most deal with homosexuality and Chambers in some way. However, he's quoted only breifly and a lot can be lost in the written communication. On one hand I agree with what Chambers says, even if I only read a sentence or two. But on the other hand I agree with some of his critics. I'd like to see an in depth interview with the man before drawing conclusions. At the end of the day, a lot can be lost in the text

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DR WILLIAM PAYNE

July 13, 2012  8:16am

Douglas, share your insights with Mr. Chambers. Based on his statements in the article, he does not see it the way you do. From the beginning, Methodism has leveled the antinomian charge against Calvinist practice because it leads to the very position that Chambers articulated. It is best for people to strive to enter the kingdom of God and seek after holiness. Within the popular culture, the idea of "once saved always saved" has led to cheap grace and given many a license to sin. Determinism in all of its forms rob people of personal responsibility.

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