Exodus is the umbrella for about 150 evangelical ministries around the world which assist persons who so desire to leave the homosexual lifestyle through the power of healing in Jesus Christ. I have been teaching at Exodus conferences since 1989 and directed Transformation Christian Ministries in the DC metro area for two and a half years.
With a few exceptions, these ministries are run by persons who have themselves come out of homosexuality. Studies are underway to assess the cure rate of such programs, one commissioned by Exodus. Information on the healing of homosexual persons can be found at www.narth.com (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality). Visit also http://www.exodusnorthamerica.org/
The conference has had in recent years approximately 1100-1200 participants. Numbers were a bit down this year due to the hesitation many have in traveling, but the Spirit of God has no such hesitation and God made Himself known in the worship and other events of the week. The conference was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, covering a whole city block in the middle of Orlando. The sanctuary would probably have seated the 11-1200 of normal attendance.
"Acts of Renewal", a husband-wife drama team which has presented at Exodus for several years, acted out skits with power and precision, illustrating the humor, tragedy, and power of God to make all things new.
Alan Chambers, the new executive director, is eagerly encouraging Exodus ministries to move into the full life of the Church, to be the Church, and to bridge the gap between ex-homosexual ministries and the public arena.
I was able to present four workshops entitled
"Man and Woman in the Image of God"
"Do Christians Have a Public Agenda? (Clue: God does)"
"What Happens when 'Gay' Agenda Meets Christian Agenda?"
"Feelings and Relations -- & Three Steps to Reversing the Power of Temptation"
The first provides the foundation on Biblical sexuality which then becomes the plumbline by which deviations and perversions of the truth can be tested. Audio tapes with this material on "Man & Woman in the Image of God" are available from Emmaus Ministries.
The second workshop outlines the Biblical agenda for Christians to go out into the public arena, reaching out to those who desire to repent of their sin and find healing for their sexual brokenness.
The third workshop provides much needed help for Christians to advance into the public arena and, with grace and truth, to confront what looks like a juggernaut, but is in fact a toothless tiger. The homosexual agenda is full of holes and can easily be dismantled if one knows their vulnerable places. But it will take courage and security provided by a healthy relation with the Lord.
The fourth workshop shows some of the ways in which persons can drift into homosexuality, and then three steps for reversing the power of temptation so that it becomes a positive force for our sex and gender nature. A good tape for anyone wrestling with sexual issues.
The seminar conducted in Lexington, Massachusetts, recently contained all this material. It has been video taped and will be available sometime in the fall of 2003.
Next year, I hope to do a workshop (the conference will be in Azuza, California) on "inner healing" or the "healing of memories", a powerful tool for emotional and spiritual healing, something badly needed by persons who have been sexually broken. By that time, I should have my book, Biblical Inner Healing, in paperback form (currently published on my copy machine) along with Homosexuality: Good & Right in the Eyes of God?
I attended a workshop by another person in which he suggested that we, both as the corporate Body of Christ and also as individuals, are to "marry" God. It seems to me that, although we are indeed to have a close relationship to God, marriage is not the right term to describe it. We have a Parent - child relationship, not a spouse relationship to God. I will eventually be pursuing that subject (among others) in a book on "Man and Woman in the Image of God" not too far down the road. Our gender and sexual nature have been too often treated by Christians as a kind of unfortunate aspect of ourselves, but that is clearly not the view of God on the matter. There are few things, the clearing up of which would benefit humanity more than the clearing up of our sexual and gender nature.
The trip home was a test of my patience and trust in the Lord.
I drove my 1983 VW Rabbit home Saturday, the 26th, from Orlando to Alexandria, Virginia, an 850 mile trip. With about 500 miles still to go, one of the cylinders began to misfunction, so that I drove the remainder of the trip on three cylinders. I was due the next morning at a church to conduct services for a pastor who was on vacation, so I told the Lord that if He wanted me to get there, He would have to keep the car running. The only thing I could do would be to point the car in the right direction and push the pedals. But making it go was HIS problem, not mine.
The three cylinders kept right on going. A bit noisy and a bit smoky, but going nevertheless. My car would cruise between 55 and 60, up to 65 with a tail wind and down hill run. But it would barely get up a hill. I can testify that I-95 between Georgia and Northern Virginia is flat as a pancake -- the largest hills being those going over another highway.
The gas mileage dropped considerably so that at one point I ran out of fuel (diesel). I had an extra gallon on board, which I poured in. But then I ran the battery down to zero trying to get it restarted. So there I was, still 100 miles from home, watching the sun set.
The Lord reminded me that we were in this together, and so I waited with surprising calmness for a police car to show up -- watching the sun set. Instead, a big flat-bed tow truck pulled up behind me. I asked for a jump, but to no avail. The engine would not catch. So he loaded my Rabbit on the back of his truck and carried me to a truck stop just north of Richmond, Virginia. But they were a TRUCK stop and would not service a mere car, not even charge the battery.
The fellow with the tow truck gave me a pull around the lot, but the engine would not catch. It looked futile. So I called AAA for a tow.
Then I decided to try my own charger with a 50 amp booster, which I always carry, along with a 100 foot electrical cord. Most service stations will not allow you to use their electricity like that, but the fellow behind the counter just pointed to an outlet across from the counter, and I was in business.
After about half an hour of charging, the starter spun the motor, which, after some wheezing and coughing, came back to life. I cancelled the AAA call, and was off again. By now it was after midnight. I did not dare go home to Alexandria since I could not be sure my car would start in the morning, and there would hardly be time to catch even a nap, as I needed to be at the church before 8 am., and I still needed to finish my sermon. The Lord reminded me again that we were in this together.
I found a motel near the church, hoping that someone could pick me up if the car did not start in the morning, went to bed at 3, arose at 5 to finish the sermon, and left for the church at 7:30 am. Not much sleep, but I felt fine. And the Lord blessed the two morning services with His presence. Then I went home, finally, and crashed.
It was a series of very unlikely events which ended well because the Lord and I were in it together. The car is at the shop, awaiting diagnosis.
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