Soulforce’s letter to Alan Chambers and Exodus International Outlining Steps for Accountability and Steps Toward Reconciliation
I want to thank you for your individual and corporate apology to our community for the damaging effects of Exodus International over the last 40 years. I know what that feels like. My brother was one of the individuals hurt by Exodus programs and therefore all of our family. As a result, I have dedicated the last decade of my life to ministry to end oppression of LGBT people by the church and by programs like those of Exodus International.
The Board of Directors of Soulforce and I welcome the closure of Exodus International. We recognize the potential personal and collective sacrifice this ending represents. At the same time, those of us who are called by Jesus Christ are accountable for the harm we bring into the world. Our purpose is to bring down the barriers between people in the Body of Christ, not create barriers (Ephesians 2:14). The Board of Directors of Exodus and you have a corporate responsibility and liability for the damage you have caused in the world.
It is time for Exodus to take the next step. We have some practical recommendations to share with you that will help the LGBT community worldwide as well as the Body of Christ in reconciling the past harm that Exodus has created. We have included these in this letter. We invited people around the world to send us their suggestions and then consolidated those for your review.
We hope you will:
• Continue to tell the world that reparative therapy/ex-gay therapy/Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (SOCE) do not work.
• Continue to tell the world that people cannot and do not need to change their sexual orientation; God loves us exactly as we are.
• Ensure that any new organization born out of the membership, leadership or assets of Exodus International is not simply a “rebranding” and rebirth of the former work of Exodus.
• Resign from any committee, membership group, affiliation, board of directors, employment or volunteer activity that promotes ex-gay, reparative, or SOCE beliefs, policies or practices.
• Join us in a study of relentless nonviolent resistance to oppression. This study and practice has revolutionized my life; I would love to study it with you.
• Work toward the closure of every ex-gay ministry in the world.
• Stop any support of exportation of ex-gay therapy outside the United States.
• Remove any ex-gay, reparative or SOCE curriculum from your web site and derive on income from the creation, licensing, distribution of these materials around the world.
• Stop suggesting that if people get right with Jesus, they will change their orientation. This is not biblical or true.
I hope to hear from you regarding the recommended steps towards restoration and reconciliation and look forward to discussing how we can work together on this. Please call me at __-__-____ to discuss all this personally.
Rev. Dr. Cindi Love