What started out as a demand to remove my name from an ex-gay ministry resource turned into a passionate plea for my former Exodus/Ex-gay connections to walk away from toxic theology and fear-based manipulation. The below post explains.
Not to long ago I was lamenting on social media that an ex-gay ministry was still using my name and an old DVD I helped them make as “resource” for their ministry. I had asked them a long time ago to remove anything and everything I had contributed from their resources. A few weeks ago I saw that I was still listed on several of their “Hope For Wholeness” DVD packages and was quite livid about it.
I contacted the man who, last I heard, was the head of the Hope For Wholeness network. It turns out he is no longer with them and he passed along some current leadership information. I reached out to a board member who made sure that my name was removed from those pages as soon as possible. It was, and I was informed that my teaching had been removed from the package 5 years ago when we announced the closing of Exodus.
Quite the oversight leaving my name on the online shop description for five years if my teaching was no longer a part of the series for that whole time. Regardless, I choose to believe them
That stirred up the already muddy waters of past Exodus connections and friendships and I learned of more examples (not necessarily related to this situation) of ex-gay leaders finally coming to a place of at least trying to be honest, being run out of their ministries for not towing the line of “speaking faith” instead of living honestly. I learned of leaders being extorted and blackmailed to be silent. I won’t go into details of the examples I learned of because I am literally talking to those folks privately trying to get them to go hire legal counsel or at least walk away from all that with some healthy closure.
So, why am I posting this? Two reasons:
- One, I am committed to countering my previous erroneous and damaging teachings and beliefs wherever the opportunity arises.
- Two, to let any ex-gay leader who has been shunned, abused and forced into silence by the threat of contractual or social repercussions know that I will keep their confidence and provide personal/direct support (regardless of our own history.) For those that desire it, I will also help them find other applicable personal resources and legal counsel that they need.
My former Exodus and ex-gay friends, regardless of our personal history (totally willing to talk with you if you want about that) and whether you agree with me or not, you do not deserve the treatment you have suffered. You do not have to live under the curses placed on you. What happened to you is not Christian love, it is a very worldly takeover of your ministry and/or position (and budget). What happened to you is not “biblical correction” so you can work on your issues. You have worked your issues through and through. It is a sign of healing, not a failure, that you were trying to be more honest. What has happened is you were seen as a threat for simply living in honesty and transparency instead of idealistic fantasy.
Look at how harshly you were dealt with even though your core beliefs have not changed. That is not the fruit of the spirit. That is fear based toxic theology and leadership. There is much more to life than the myopic constraints that have been pinned on you.
I would say my door is always open but the more important point is that your exit door is open; walk through it. I encourage you to not allow others to force you into silence or from moving forward into your truth and honesty.
I can relate and am available. You are loved.