I suppose we can be grateful at least that Alan Chambers is nailing his colours firmly to the mast. In a column for Charisma today, the Exodus President revealed that his problem with homosexuality goes beyond the physical act of sex. His problem is with same-sex love and commitment.
According to Chambers, “sexless committed relationships between members of the same gender” are “sinful.” Asked what is wrong with two women living a committed life together in the same house, but in separate bedrooms, he replies, “Everything.”
He has the audacity to claim this is a “fairly cut and dry biblical position.” There will always be debate over the nature of Ruth and Naomi’s relationship, or whether David and Jonathan physically consummated their unusually intimate (and covenant-sealed) friendship. But what can never be doubted is that these are two scriptural examples of committed, loving, same-gender relationships. Chambers calls this “living outside God’s best.” He must either deny the love that existed between Ruth and Naomi, and David and Jonathan, or make such relationships the exclusive domain of heterosexuals.
Once again demonstrating that the idolization of heterosexual marriage is the great shibboleth of the ex-gay movement, Chambers robs his fellow ex-gays of their one hope for fulfilment and happiness by denouncing committed, celibate same-sex relationships as “selling God short” and doubting God’s ability to “supply all your needs.” Is he determined to make life as miserable as possible for the ex-gays under his wing? Effectively the message he gives them is that heterosexual marriage is God’s way to be fulfilled, and anything less is sinful. Doubtless he still wonders why anyone would get the impression that Exodus is all about turning gays straight.
Chambers makes little attempt to justify this denunciation of celibate, same-sex commitment. He resurrects two classic evangelical canards – “abstain from all appearance of evil” (it could look bad, even if you’re not actually sinning, so, um, best not) and “flee from temptation” (you could end up having sex, so don’t live together at all) – but avoids any serious engagement with the Scriptures.
In the course of the article, Chambers makes no bones about being “being active and outspoken on political and social issues that encompass homosexuality,” despite his by-now-infamous promise that Exodus would be steering clear of political involvement. Towards the end of the article he hints that he will continue to fight against same-sex marriage on the grounds that “God’s plan for marriage transcends our human interpretation of fairness and affection.”
Chambers is right to recognize that there is more to homosexuality than just sex. And at least he is being up-front, instead of dodging the issues. He has now made it explicitly clear that he is the enemy not only of gay sex, but of gay love and commitment.