When asked to add my perspective to this discussion I was pleased to do so. My purpose here is not to endorse or comment upon the stance of this website or the views it contains, rather it is simply to add my voice to the developing and important dialogue occurring around the issue of faith and sexual orientation.
I have known many sincere Christians who are also attracted to members of their own gender. Almost without exception, I have seen the very real anguish and pain that accompany this situation. Many people suffer deeply in their mental, physical and spiritual health. The result of this strain can be traumatic, debilitating and overwhelming. It is because of my genuine concern for the wellbeing of those who face this dilemma, and my very real desire that they not be unnecessarily harmed, that I have written this statement.
I have also seen many of my brothers and sisters show great courage in their choices as they seek to respond to the profoundly difficult challenge of reconciling their faith and sexuality. Many of these have managed to live a life of integrity and morality as same sex oriented individuals. I am also aware that at the end of the day all I really have to share is a little from my own unfolding story.
I was involved with Exodus ministries for nearly 20 years until my recent ‘retirement’ at the end of 2006. During this time I fulfilled a number of functions with Exodus ministries including leadership roles at local, regional (Asia Pacific) and international levels. During the last two decades my views concerning the issue of Christian faith and homosexuality have undergone considerable growth and change. This has been the result of many things: my own journey, my developing understanding of God and, as I have shared above, the experiences of friends and other courageous brothers and sisters I have met on the way.
In the past I have been ardent in my opinion that homosexual orientation was unquestioningly a result of the ‘fall’ and God’s intention was therefore always to heal the same-sex attracted believer and help them to be ‘whole’. In the past I have frequently spoken publicly in support of these views. However, my position is now somewhat different. I now believe that it is crucially important that we all learn to respect the rights and choices of gay and lesbian believers as they work through the complexities of their unique situation with God in their own way and in their own time.
Read statements and apologies of other ex-gay leaders who worked with people with ‘ unwanted same sex attraction ‘ here
Excerpt from Talking Life, a Christian talk back radio program October 2006. Christianity and Homosexuality was the discussion with Dr John Meteyard a Counsellor and Educator who at the time the Exodus Asia Pacific Chairperson & aslo a Living Waters leader. Brendan Scarce is a psychologist – Courage Australia (A Catholic organisation who view “homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved”).
Anthony Venn-Brown calls in to give another perspective. From this discussion John Meteyard and Anthony began a dialogue. John Meteyard’s above statement was an outcome of that dialogue.If you would like to listen to entire hour long show click here.
So you're the exception Anthony? haha!
Maybe Norway and Sweden aren't the ideal places to get stats from, hey?
I'm wondering how many people in long term same sex relationships actually took part in the study.
You did very well though, with the short time you had. Non-confrontational; which always works best.
I hope you are able to get together with the Exodus guy; he seems to be sincere.
Hey Sue…thanks for poppiing in. Yes I did get together with this Exodus guy John Meteyard. I followed up as promised after the show and we began a dialogue via email at first…then phone and finally face to face. John Meteyard's above statement was an outcome of that dialogue
the research that is often referred to in conservative christian circles about the length of gay relationships, the numbers of sexual partners, life span of gay men …..and on this show are frequently figures taken out of context because it is not actually what the research was designed for. For example one piece of research quoted was about STI's and taken from a select group of sexually active men living in a gay suburb. So obviously it wouldn't reflect the average as it never included suburban and rural gays living in long term relatonships and having a entirely different lifestyle (sorry I had to use the word lifestyle….hehe)