Reparative Therapy: To Cure or Not to Cure
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Exodus International is taking a controversial stand. From the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

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Exodus International, a ministry that reaches out to same-sex-attracted people with the love of Christ, announced last week that it is backing away from reparative therapy. Reparative therapy claims same-sex attracted people can be “cured” of their desires.

Exodus will take heat for this, but they are helping us talk more clearly sexuality. The Scriptures do not promise sinful inclinations will go away, but that in the power of Christ we can live above them and seek better ones. Being “cured” from stealing means we don’t steal, not necessarily that the temptation to steal goes away.

With this change, Exodus helps clarify that we are more than our desires and urges. The lie that same-sex attraction determines homosexual identity victimizes an entire segment of the population. I pray Exodus will continue to proclaim redemption and hope loud and clear it’s far better than being “cured.” For ThePointRadio.org, I’m John Stonestreet.



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Further Reading

Christian group backs away from ex-gay therapy
Patrick Condon | Associated Press | June 26, 2012

The Journal: The Good of Marriage
Summit Ministries | February 2012



Comments:

A good thing?
While I agree that the Bible does not promise all wrong desires will be eliminated, I don't see this new approach as a particularly positive development.

This is a perfect opportunity for the pro-homosexuality side to take this as a victory. They will now happily shout, "See? We were right! Homosexuality is inborn and cannot ever be changed!

(I am only now coming to this story, so this may already be happening. I'm sure there is also more to all of this than I know at present. This is simply a first reaction to the news.)
CURE
While Reparative Therapy may not always be presented as a cure, there are some therapists and ministry leaders who do claim to cure homosexuality using RT. In fact, that the implication of Jeremy's statement that RT is "the ONE resource that actually helps people overcome homosexuality." In fact, the ONE source of overcoming anything is the power of Jesus Christ.
Jeremy, thanks for the link and all thanks for chiming in.
I think if we allow either having attractions/ inclinations or not having them to be what determines our identities is the problem. That's what (I think) Exodus is attempting to avoid, and I agree.
I think real freedom is knowing that I am, in Christ, more than my temptations/feelings/inclinations.
Discipleship
I want to discuss Christian discipleship, not reparative therapy. Let's give no importance to impulses, and discuss that which is volitional. Let's discuss how God goes about filling up those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Let's discuss how to walk out the gift of salvation we have so freely received. Let's talk about the noble and pure impulses that come from God's Holy Spirit. Let's talk about why our natural impulses are so sorrowful to us, and why dying to them is so joyful. Let's talk about why we must give up anything (or anyone) that (or who) tempts us to involve in the impulses of the natural person. If we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, those impulses will dissipate as we work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Alan Chambers has incorrectly stated that practicing homosexuals may enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The Bible says no to that...no matter how lovely and immeasurably valuable those people may be. Just like everyone else Jesus died for, they will only enter if they repent, believe and receive...I had to repent, and everyone has to repent to get into God's grace so freely given. There are no exceptions.
Postive steps
I do appreciate the positive steps Exodus is taking. Shifting the focus away from measuring one's relationship to Christ in terms of being "cured" is a very positive step.

I don't know if separating from Reparative Therapy was necessary in order to change peoples perceptions or not. I can appreciate that from a pastoral perspective.

I agree with Alan though that SSA (Same-Sex Attraction) should not be the focus or test of one's faith. Reparative Therapy is very complementary though for continued emotional healing and growth in the proper perspective and context.
"Change" vs "Cure"
On my FIRST session with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi (one of the founders of Reparative Therapy), he directed me to this link "What We Mean by Change."
I think the Reparative Therapy message is not much different from Exodus: http://peoplecanchange.com/change/whatwemean.php
Reparative Therapy didn't claim to "Cure"
I can appreciate many of the changes at Exodus, but I CANNOT understand their recent rampage against Reparative Therapy - the ONE resource that actually helps people overcome homosexuality.

This is like a Cancer Ministry suddenly deciding to condemn Oncology because they don't have "cure" for all types of cancer. (I'm not comparing the issue to cancer - just an analogy).

Reparative Therapy never claimed to have a "Cure" but it DOES help a lot of people in healing the underlying wounds that drive homosexuality. I personally experienced significant healing from Reparative Therapy and I really wish EVERYONE who struggles with homosexuality would at least give it a chance.
Exodus International
Thanks for your comment on this, Elizabeth Sunshine. I appreciate your thoughts. And, I appreciate John sharing his thoughts on all of this, too.

Alan Chambers, president Exodus International
When I first heard that Exodus was abandoning reparative therapy, I got worried that they were giving up on their mission. But after hearing what they are actually saying, I realized that this is actually a truer and more hopeful message. Imagine the despair someone struggling with homosexuality must feel if they are told their therapy will get rid of the desires and it doesn't, especially if this therapy is identified as a means God uses to heal them. If I were them, I would much rather be told I would continue to struggle with temptation than think that my faith is too weak or that God has failed me.