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FW: Exodus N.A. Encourages ELCA Bishop!

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  • Anthony Venn-Brown
    FYI Comments welcome Anthony Moderator http://www.yahoo.com/group/Exex-gay There is the illusion that homosexuals only
    Message 1 of 1 , May 6, 2002



      Comments welcome





      "There is the illusion that homosexuals only have sex and heterosexuals fall in love..  Boy George"


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Exodus - North America [mailto:Exodus - North America]
      Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 5:04 AM
      To: ExodusListMembers@...
      Subject: Exodus N.A. Encourages ELCA Bishop!



      Exodus N.A. Encourages ELCA Bishop!

      *** For Immediate Release ***

      Dated: May 6, 2002

      The Rev. Mark S. Hanson
      Presiding Bishop
      Office of the Bishop
      Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

      Dear Rev. Hanson:

      Greetings from the Exodus North American Headquarters in Orlando, Florida.

      As of late, I have been following the ongoing talks within the ELCA as related to homosexuality. I first became aware of the conversations via a colleague who serves on the board of a large Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod). Yet, for the past week I have been receiving news emails and updates from Lutheran men and women from within my organization, Exodus International, North America.

      You may not be familiar with the work of Exodus. Briefly, Exodus, founded in 1976, is an interdenominational and biblically based organization providing an umbrella for over 135 ministries across North America that reach out to those struggling with unwanted homosexuality. Quite frankly, we are in the business of changed lives as tens of thousands of men and women, with the help of Exodus, have left homosexuality successfully and gone on to lead Godly, moral lives free of the bondages of homosexual behaviors and identities. More information is available on our website: www.exodusnorthamerica.org.

      I myself grew up believing that I had been born gay. Society told me that I was destined to be gay and that there was no alternative. However, my Southern Baptist Church adhered to scripture, teaching me that though I might be gay, there was a way out. I Corinthians 6:11 says, "but such were some of you...” two thousand year old evidence that homosexuals can change.

      Rev. Hanson, had it not been for my biblically sound church and upbringing I could be lost in a desperate and desolate community of people who need as much truth as they need grace. I believe that it isn't merciful at all to tell someone that homosexuality is a legitimate lifestyle. In fact, had I never heard that change was possible I might have taken my own life. No homosexual wants to be gay; they simply find no other alternatives.

      As an ordained and licensed pastor with a heart for gay people, I urge you to have Christ's compassion towards those involved in the sin of homosexuality while upholding the only biblical message that homosexuality is a sin like any other sin and changeable like any other lifestyle.

      Please find attached the Statement on Homosexuality** that I put together for the church of which I am a member, Calvary Assembly of God. And, know that I am available to answer any questions that you might have concerning how to approach this issue in a balanced and biblical fashion. I know that you are a mighty man of God and that with His direction and wisdom you will lead the ELCA in a direction that provides true freedom for those trapped in bondage.

      Serving With You,

      Alan Chambers
      Executive Director
      Exodus North America
      P.O. Box 540119
      Orlando, Florida 32854
      407.599.0011 (fax)

      **Calvary Assembly of God of Orlando, Inc.
      Statement on Homosexuality

      Calvary Assembly believes that the following scriptures are fundamental to this issue: Genesis: 13:13; Isaiah 3:8-9; Luke 17:29; Romans 6:19-23; I Corinthians 6:9-11; Colossians 3:5-10; Jude 7-25; 2 Peter 2:4-10; Romans 1:24-28.

      Calvary Assembly believes that all expressions of sexual intimacy outside the bonds of heterosexual marriage are both unbiblical and immoral. Therefore, Calvary Assembly does not believe that homosexuality is deserving of greater disapproval than any other sexual sin (I Corinthians 6:9-11). Neither are those involved in homosexuality deserving of special condemnation; as the Bible states, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” More importantly, we believe that Jesus did not come to condemn anyone, but to redeem and free all people from the particular forms of bondage in which they find themselves.

      Calvary Assembly recognizes the important distinction between persons and policies. While echoing the Biblical message of compassion, forgiveness and redemption for individuals, we nonetheless stand firm in our opposition to social policies that have the effect of legitimizing homosexual behavior. We believe that the legitimization of homosexuality through such matters as the redefinition of the family, the legalization of same-sex marriages, and the instruction of children and youth that homosexuality and bisexuality are morally equivalent to heterosexuality is not only unbiblical, but harmful.

      From the perspective of the Biblical witness, which is of fundamental importance for Calvary Assembly, homosexuality is just one form in which the brokeness of humanity reveals itself, along with greed, hatred, fear, dishonesty and intemperance, etc. What people with homosexual desires need above all else is restoration through Christ, truth, compassion and an atmosphere of acceptance as they journey toward wholeness and change.

      Calvary Assembly stands against any form of evil, including prejudice, bigotry and violence. We believe that moral opposition is not a license to engage in any form of slander or harassment against those with whom we disagree. Morally and legally speaking, we believe that a crime against a homosexual is no less a crime against humanity, and deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

      Calvary Assembly cites homosexuality as one of many disorders that beset fallen humanity. Choosing to reconcile such desires through homosexual behavior, taking on a homosexual identity or a homosexual lifestyle is considered a distortion of God’s intent for an individual and is thus sinful.

      Yet, Calvary Assembly respects the complexity and depth of struggle that men and women must endure when faced with their homosexuality; no less is Calvary’s desire to walk beside them on their sojourn. Indeed, there is a growing witness of many men and women who have abandoned their homosexual condition and testify that they can surrender to God who is able to change them. Christ offers a healing alternative to those with homosexual desires. Calvary Assembly upholds such redemption for the homosexual person as a process whereby sin’s power is broken, God’s all-encompassing grace is realized and the individual is freed to know and experience their true identity as discovered in Christ and His Church. That process entails the freedom to grow into heterosexuality.

      Central to this redemption is Calvary’s desire to encourage and assist the Church to be engaged in this healing process. Calvary seeks to inform Christians who respond to homosexual men and women with animosity and fear, influence those who mistakenly uphold homosexuality as a valid, Christ-centered lifestyle and convey to the homosexual the fullness of redemption found in Christ Jesus Our Savior and Lord.

      (Derived from Exodus International North America’s and Focus on the Family’s statements on Homosexuality)

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