Earlier this week, Alive in Christ (the ministry I direct), Park Street Church (the church that hosts the ministry) and Exodus International (the organization of which Alive in Christ is a member) hosted a Boston training event for pastors, ministry leaders, seminary students, educators, and counselors on how to respond to the issue of homosexuality with biblical truth and compassion.
We knew there was a protest scheduled during the day, with well-known speakers and gay activists attending, such as Wayne Besen and Arlene Isaacson. We had several protesters come to the meeting and stand up in the middle of speaking sessions to “demonstrate”; I’ll spare you the details 🙂
One side of the room we were meeting in is completely covered in windows. Outside the windows is a historic cemetery that tourists walk through. A group of probably 20-30 protesters came up to the windows to scream loudly at us through a bullhorn and try and take pictures of the attendees. They shouted some mantras, such as “Exodus, Exodus, Quack, Quack, Quack! You can’t change gays; that’s a fact!” and “Ex-gay, no way! Don’t believe a word they say!” It’s fairly clear from those two statements that they really have no idea what we were talking about in the training or the even the mission of Exodus. That is even more clear if you watch some of the footage of the continued protest and the words of the speakers.
As I was thinking about the anti-Exodus protesters leading up to the conference, I realized they are sort of missing the point. The problem in their minds is Exodus; if they could shut Exodus down somehow, the problem is solved. But Exodus didn’t form for the sake of Exodus; Exodus was created because people all over the United States were seeking out this type of ministry. People were not satisfied with the label of “born gay” that was slapped on them.
The protesters need to realize that shutting down Exodus will not change the need – the need in people’s heart for a different answer, for a different life. They may not experience that need, but that will not change the fact that thousands of others, like myself, desired to be obedient to what we saw in God’s Word and what we felt He was calling us to do. And when we were willing to surrender that area of our lives to God, when we were willing to do whatever it would take to walk in obedience to Him, what He gave us in return was far better than anything we could ever have imagined.