Exodus International President Alan Chambers apologized to a Christian radio host this week for blasting her following a heated interview.
"I owe Janet Mefferd and all of you an apology. In the heat of anger over how she has treated me on her show, once where I wasn't present and once where I was, I pulled a comment out and blasted her and asked all of you to do the same," Chambers wrote Thursday on his Facebook page. "That's fighting fire with fire and a poor reflection of who I am and what I believe. Battling with The Janet Mefferd Show isn't my desire."
Chambers, who leads the largest ministry that helps those with same-sex attraction, went on "The Janet Mefferd Show" on Wednesday to discuss his views on homosexuality and salvation. Host Mefferd had rejected Chambers' belief that active, unrepentant homosexuals could go to heaven and stated that he should resign from his position, in an earlier radio program.
While Chambers hoped to have a chance to explain his views on the show, the interview became heated and testy.
Clearly expressing her concern and disagreement with Chambers on salvation being secure for unrepentant homosexuals, Mefferd pushed the Exodus head on Scripture.
What Mefferd saw as tough questions, Chambers viewed as "a scare tactic."
Following the interview, Chambers made a post on his Facebook page – that has now been deleted – criticizing Mefferd.
The radio host responded both on Facebook and on her show, questioning Chambers' character.
"Last night, Alan Chambers sent me a few private emails after the interview as did his staff," she explained on her show Thursday. "Then he went on his personal Facebook page and lied about me and accused me of saying something during the interview that I never said and did not imply. It's made up. And then he told his followers to give me a piece of their minds basically.
"I will say this unequivocally: I asked Alan a number of tough questions but I did not insult him. I was tough but I wasn't mean and his answers, in my opinion, fell short of the biblical standard."
Mefferd also tried to make clear that they did not invite Chambers, but rather it was Chambers who contacted her to go on the show.
"We did not invite him on to do some sort of an ambushing. We were responding to him and trying to be fair," she maintained.
Chambers has served at Exodus for two decades, a decade of which he has been at the helm of the ministry. The former practicing homosexual, who affirms that homosexual behavior is a sin, is married to his wife and has two children.
Though he has gained the respect of Christians throughout the country for his life testimony and for his work, he has recently been under fire for statements he made – such as expressing his belief that salvation is secure for anyone, including an active homosexual, who has a relationship with Christ.
Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, has called for Chambers to step down as president. Mefferd agreed with Gagnon, which then prompted Chambers to go on the show.
But the interview convinced neither Mefferd nor Gagnon to recant their call. In fact, it further confirmed their concerns, they said.
"Now the issue has become, in my view, a character issue because when somebody is dishonest and acts vindictively and is sicking his buddies on a fellow Christian that makes me even more inclined to say that Alan Chambers needs to resign because he's acting at this point with the exact same tactics that are used by gay activists against Christians like me who are in the media," said Mefferd.
Chambers, meanwhile, is hoping he can continue "an actual conversation" with Mefferd "w/out talking past one another," as he tweeted.
In Chambers' apology to Mefferd, he stated: "Janet, many have said we missed each other entirely on these and other points and so I am sorry for my public criticism of something that I might have mistaken. I'd be happy to hear your clarification on that comment. I also hope you will keep reading and listening to what I am trying to communicate at Exodus. Again, I am sorry for calling you out on something that might not have been your intention."
The comment Chambers is referring to is about the biblical mandate of loving one's neighbor, which they discussed on the show.
Chambers claimed that Mefferd said the biblical command was the law and "that following Jesus and loving our neighbor couldn't both be done---if it's a gay neighbor especially."
"This is an outright lie. At NO point in the interview did I say that following Jesus and loving our neighbor could not be done, and I made NO reference to 'a gay neighbor.' I absolutely believe we should love our neighbors as ourselves, including our gay neighbors! What I took issue with was Alan's claim, in his June 19 blog post, which said: 'There is nothing more aggressive, more life changing and more culturally impactful than boldly loving your neighbor as you love yourself. That is the Gospel and it remains really, really Good News.' The command to love our neighbors as ourselves is just that: A COMMAND. It's a law. It is NOT the gospel. The gospel is what Christ did for us (I Cor. 15)."
In response to other issues raised, Chambers released a blog post on Friday, explaining his sexuality. During his time on "The Janet Mefferd Show," Mefferd had expressed confusion over Chambers' sexual identity as he had recently described himself as not being gay and not being a heterosexual either.
The blog post can be read here.