A little over a week ago, three former Exodus leaders issued an apology “to those individuals and families who believed our message that there is something inherently wrong with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.” In response, Exodus president Alan Chambers wrote an entry in his personal blog claiming, among other things, that he forgave one of the three, Darlene Bogle, for negatively affecting him when she made the “decision to go back into homosexuality.” The post had a terse tone to it and elicited strong responses.
We wanted to dig further into his thoughts on this, so we asked Chambers to respond to some questions and he agreed to do so. The following is the result.
XGW: Your comments in general in this blog entry seem terse and almost a product of anger and frustration. Is this the case? Do you stand behind all that you said solidly or do you wish to make any modifications after a couple of days have passed?
Chambers: The post was terse. Of course I was frustrated. In my opinion the press conference and counter conference were for the purpose of hijacking our event. We don’t hold conferences that contend with conferences that the gay community holds. We don’t demonstrate at the gates of those conferences. We don’t hold press conferences that seek to interfere with pride events or the like. I found the countering of our event via these means in poor taste.
XGW: It comes through clearly that you think those who were involved in Exodus before should just go about their lives and stop talking about their experiences. What if they do not feel this is what God wants them to do? Can you allow for the possibility that they are doing just what He would have them do?
Chambers: I have been very open to dialogue with Darlene Bogle and Michael Bussee. I am interested in what they have to say. It seems that they want to discredit Exodus when they can only discredit themselves. Their stories aren’t the stories of the majority of leaders who have been a part of the ministry. They chose to leave Exodus and to pursue what they believe to be the best for themselves. God bless them. Move on.
XGW: There is a time and place for everything, do you think this was the appropriate time for you to bring up an apology that may be owed to you?
Chambers: I found it ironic that they were asking for forgiveness from everyone but those within the ministry of Exodus. Their apologies weren’t really apologies but rather statements about the ineffectiveness of Exodus as a ministry. I found their apologies hollow and self-serving. I merely played their game and turned it into an apology for the real people who were hurt: the folks they harmed by living double lives.
Chambers is on vacation so we were limited on time, but he did answer all the questions we put to him. I believe his responses were candid, though I don’t think he addressed the second question as well as he could have. What do you think? Are any of his points valid to you?