Leaders Ministering to Homosexuals React to Media Coverage

Major American media outlets have recently covered the ex-homosexual ministry as an alternative perspective on the controversial issue of whether one is born gay.

Secular society is mixed in its understanding of what some call "the gay gene.” According to a Barna report released in July 2001, about half of all adults believe that homosexuality is a result of the environment. One third of Americans believe people are born gay, and 17 percent are not sure.

However, among Evangelical Christians, general opinion is quite clear: 85 percent of them believe a person is not gay from birth.

This may explain why most ex-homosexual ministries are run in a church setting by Christian leaders.

The most famous and largest ex-homosexual ministry, for example, is headed by Alan Chambers - a Christian and a former homosexual.

Chambers, president of Exodus International, who is often quoted or interviewed by the secular media, says he is grateful for the chance to air the often mitigated Christian perspective on the topic.

"Regardless of whether someone agrees with us, they are getting a different picture once they talk to us. They might not agree with us, but they can no longer think that what we're doing is dangerous or unproductive," he said. What the reporters are seeing is 'hey, you know what, the people who are taking part in this is legitimate and their stories are valid.' "

He is especially grateful because it gives the "good news of Jesus" to people who want to change themselves.

"Whether they criticize us or not, the great thing is we get to proclaim the good news about freedom in Jesus Christ," said Chambers. "Every time that we are talked about, written about, or appear on a television broadcast, people call. People who want this alternative, call, and they get the good news that people can change."

Another Christian leader, Stephen Bennett, head of an ex-gay ministry based in Huntington, Conn., said sometimes the Biblical perspective receives no attention, which results in an unbalanced story.

Criticizing a recent article by The Washington Post Bennett said, "I was basically just shocked at the one-sidedness of the article - how it was stating that no one can change."

For over a year now, the homosexual issue has remained on the nation's front page as a result of the debate over legalizing marriage between same-sex couples. The debate has also traveled to the school - the site where the nation's youths are educated.

Chambers believes that "anyone who's smart these days would focus on the young because the truth is those who influence the young influence the future."

This is why Chambers plans to launch a nationwide campaign to educate the young, their parents, and youth workers through distributing literature on campuses, and by having three sets of conferences: one for the youth, one for their parents and youth workers, and one for pastors.

"Our nation's young people should understand what is healthy sexuality, understand why homosexuality isn't healthy for them," said Chambers, "and at the same time, understand what's good about sex."