For years, Exodus International operated as the world's largest ministry devoted to "curing" homosexuals.
Now, the Orlando, Fla. organization is not only apologizing but closing its doors after 37 years of "undue judgment," according to The Atlantic
The magazine says the ministry's board of directors will begin a new spinoff called "Reduce Fear," aimed at a new generation and devoted to promoting understanding and inclusion.
The closure announcement comes less than a day after Exodus issued a wide-ranging apology to the gay community
for "years of undue judgment by the organization and the Christian Church as a whole."
"For quite some time, we've been imprisoned in a worldview that's neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical," Exodus President Alan Chambers told CNN
On the Exodus website, Chambers offers a heartfelt apology to the gay and lesbian community, noting the hurt he's caused, especially in turning many away from God. He said he could not simply move on without an apology and said he understood why he was distrusted and his group, hated.
His long letter reached out to the "LGBTQ" (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) community and said in part:
"I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn't change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized patients."
He went on to add: "I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly 'on my side' who called you names like sodomite — or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine. More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection. I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives."
He ended his note with a refocus of his life's work.
"For the rest of my life I will proclaim nothing but the whole truth of the Gospel, one of grace, mercy, and open invitation to all to enter into an inseverable relationship with almighty God."
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