Christian writer J Lee Grady says that homosexuals can alter their sexual orientation, and points to Exodus President Alan Chambers as evidence of ex-gay change.
In a column published online last month, the Charisma magazine contributing editor urged Christians to “learn the argument” when it comes to homosexuality and gay rights. “Sorry, but timidity on this issue is not an option,” he wrote, before depicting sexual orientation as a sinful inclination that could be altered:
Many “gay Christian” advocates insist that some people are born homosexuals and therefore they have no hope of altering their orientation. But this is a lame argument since we all are born with a propensity toward certain sins. … Just because you are born with an inclination toward adultery, alcoholism, shoplifting or pride doesn’t mean you have to stay that way.
Grady speaks unmistakably of actual orientation change here, not merely acknowledging one’s orientation while resisting temptation. No surprise — Grady is a Pentecostal who no doubt would maintain the possibility of miraculous healing from homosexuality, even if he admitted the scientific possibility of change through, say, therapy were slim. What is surprising is that he holds up Alan Chambers as evidence of change:
The more strident voices in the gay community hate when Christians speak about homosexuals being healed or reformed. … They choose to ignore the fact that thousands of people have left homosexuality after coming to faith in Christ. … My friend Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, came out of the gay lifestyle many years ago and now has a great marriage with his wife, Leslie, plus two beautiful children.
Alan Chambers promoted the article on his Twitter feed without comment.
Yet this is the same Alan Chambers who says he still struggles daily with his attraction to men. His fundamental orientation is unchanged. This is what he said of his “same-sex attractions” in 2008:
And so every single morning — this is a ritual for me — I wake up and I say, “Dear Lord, I can’t make it today without You. I choose to deny what comes naturally to me. I choose to submit my will to the Lordship of your Son, Jesus Christ. And I choose better. I choose to follow You, I choose to allow Your Holy Spirit to walk before me, to guide me, to speak for me.”
Grady goes on to speak of self-denial, castigating Georgia Pentecostal pastor Jim Swilley for coming out gay to his congregation last year. He caricatures “gay Christians” (scare quotes his), saying “many … insist that if you are gay, it’s fine to go out and have all the sex you want.” Their message, he says, is simply to “go ahead and indulge.”
So once again we hear the familiar anti-gay, ex-gay narrative: Gays are just licentious hedonists, lacking in morality, while Alan Chambers is cured of his homosexuality, and his “great marriage … plus two beautiful children” is proof positive. And Chambers, the hero of Grady’s myth and so eager to show God’s grace to the “homosexual next door,” does nothing to correct Grady’s prejudiced perception.