Alan Chambers, a former homosexual who heads the nation's largest evangelical referral ministry on homosexual issues, clarified recent controversial remarks that he reportedly made regarding the term "ex-gay."
The president of Exodus International said he did not say that he has never met a successful ex-gay, as a Los Angeles Times article suggested, but that he has never met anyone who has loved the term "ex-gay."
Chambers says the term is difficult to define and comes across as confusing, according to OneNewsNow.
"[W]hile I understand why people have used it over the years – it's easy to use in a soundbite – to say that someone is primarily described by the behavior that they used to be involved in I think is a disservice to the people who have found freedom from homosexuality," he said, as reported by OneNewsNow.
The Exodus head further clarified another statement he made, in which he said, "By no means would we ever say change can be sudden or complete."
Chambers explained that he was not indicating that complete freedom isn't possible or that people have not experienced "amazing transformation" from homosexuality. Instead, using words like "sudden" or "complete" when describing a person's change in overcoming homosexual desires "gives the impression that people never struggle again."
Leaving homosexuality is a difficult journey that takes time, as Bob Stith, national gender issues specialist for the Southern Baptist Convention, believed Chambers was implying.
Chambers today identifies as a straight man and is married with two kids. And he says he still struggles with same-sex attraction. However, he doesn't have the desire to be involved in homosexuality, according to The Orange County Register. "It has no power over me," he said.
Rather than being labeled as an "ex-gay," Chambers told OneNewsNow that there are more accurate labels for him. "I'm a man. I'm a Christian. I'm a husband. I'm a father. I'm a son," He said.
Exodus International will be hosting a Freedom Conference in Irvine, Calif., June 26-July 1. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend the conference which provides help for those struggling with homosexuality and those who know of someone struggling with homosexuality.
"Anyone who has undergone the life-changing process of leaving homosexuality behind will tell you that it is not an easy one," said Chambers in a statement. "However, for thousands of us, the journey has been well worth it and has resulted in lives that have been transformed and characterized by the mercy and compassion of Jesus Christ."
With protests planned around the Exodus Freedom Conference, Chambers said he welcomes dialogue on the issue.