Exodus press release:
Alan Chambers on LIFE Today with James & Betty Robison
October 29, 2007
Orlando, FL- Today, Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, will join LIFE Today hosts, James and Betty Robison, to discuss his new book God's Grace & the Homosexual Next Door. LIFE Today is an innovative Christian television broadcast sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people all over the United States, Canada and Australia. Please check local listings to view the show.
Tuesday, October 30
Hosts: James and Betty Robison
Topic: Ministry of Giving special
Webcast: Quicktime, Flash, MP3, Download, Transcript
Emproph-Changes made for easier readability:
-spacing of dialogue
-emboldening of names
Beyond that, the following is as transcribed:
Narrator: Next on LIFE Today --
>> You're never going to find what God really intended them to have in the arms of another person of the same sex.
Narrator: Alan Chambers shares God's grace and the homosexual next door.
>> When in fact, the opposite of homosexuality is holiness. Heterosexuality won't fix someone but the best choice that I made was that I chose to leave homosexuality behind.
Narrator: Exposing the myths about homosexuality next.
James: Thank you very much. Thank all of you here and thank you for letting us come into your home. I'm James Robison. Betty is not with me. She's had foot surgery. I've tried to let you know that it is not serious but it is serious in the sense that they did some pretty serious reshaping of a foot and they're going to do the other one. So there will be the first time ever that Betty has not been with me unless I just had to come in and catch someone going through town like going to the airport or coming from the airport headed somewhere else and I wanted you to hear them. But Betty is always here. I appreciate the fact that you love her. Now you know that we deal with issues that are very, very important that are of a serious nature. We're talking about same sex attraction in this program. We're talking about what is referred to as homosexuality and we're going to discuss whether or not it is a choice or whether it is just something that happens, the result of birth and D.N.A. and so forth. We're going to talk to someone who understands firsthand the battle with the homosexual or same sex attraction because he was caught in that in that practice. And now then he is the head of a ministry called Exodus, which is helping churches and caring people know how to reach out and love others who differ in their practices or even their beliefs and love them into what might be a more appropriate lifestyle and practice. I want you to welcome, I believe a very courageous man who talks about his own battle, Alan Chambers. And I want you to see the book, "God's Grace and the Homosexual Next Door." Look at this subheading, "Reaching the heart of the gay men and women in your world" -- "Reaching the heart of the gay men and women." We're going to ask, does that mean that you agree, you approve, you ordain them as leaders in the church and make them ministers? Or do you say that this is something that the Bible seems to indicate is not of a moral nature, not best but out of line. What do you say? Well, let's welcome someone who is open and willing to talk about it. Would you welcome Alan Chambers to LIFE Today? Alan, thank you for being here.
Alan: Thanks. My pleasure.
James: Let me just say right up front, I appreciate your openness. I appreciate the fact you're willing to talk openly and I also appreciate the fact that you're willing to go into a community, into a church or any setting where people say, we want to do something other than disagree with, criticize, stone throw, hurt, damage; we don't want that to happen but we happen to believe that help could and should be offered. So you're willing to go into any place and try to help when you talk about reaching the heart of gay men and women, you mean that. When you talk about "God's Grace and the Homosexual Next Door," you mean it. Let me open by saying something that I shared before with our audience and many of them, perhaps didn't hear. I was talking about loving everybody with a large group of men in front of me, very successful businessmen in this particular setting. When I concluded, one of the men said, "May I say something?" And I talked about loving people who may live differently than we do and I'd even referred to loving people who may struggle in areas that we don't understand like homosexuality and having love. And this man said, very successful -- he said, "If you have trouble loving a homosexual, you probably need one in your family." He had just found out days before that his son was a practicing homosexual and was now a homosexual activist and promoting it, and he loved his son. He felt somehow encouraged that he would hear someone visible say we need to love. There is no condemning. He said thank you for that. I thought he made a pretty good statement there. If you can't love them, you probably need one real close by so you understand the importance of it. Would you agree with that?
Alan: I absolutely agree. A number of years ago I was sitting in a pastors' conference, I was on staff at a large church and I went to this pastors’ conference. The pastor who was speaking wasn't even speaking about the issue of homosexuality but he all of the sudden said what I believe the Holy Spirit just dropped into his heart. And he said, "I believe that God is in love with the homosexual." He didn't stay there, he didn't qualify it. He didn't say anything more than that. We all knew what he meant. But I was sitting in that audience as someone who had struggled with that and was just reduced to a weeping mess thinking --
James: God's in love with everybody! He is in love with sinners but he doesn't love the sin that would hold them captive, agree? There is a difference. We really do come across -- I think when we don't understand something and I don't understand the homosexual attraction. I don't -- but I do understand that it is very real to the people who are in it. Agree?
Alan: Absolutely, it is very real. It is so similar whether we're talking about heterosexual attraction or homosexual attraction, it boils down to one thing, sexuality is a relational issue. The truth is that it is not about sex. For me it wasn't about sex, it was about the fact that I was devoid of what I felt I needed -- this craving for male affirmation, for acceptance, for camaraderie, for just someone to love me. At a very early age, things went awry and I began to struggling with same sex attraction. But it was really -- what I came to understand was an illegitimate way to meet a legitimate need. A need that God had given me to be met that wasn't met and I went seeking it in a way that was not the way that he intended.
James: Was just getting married the solution to somebody that is battling in that area?
Alan: No, in fact, that only complicates the issue. For so many people, they think the opposite of homosexuality is heterosexuality. If we just fill it with another lust or if we date the opposite sex or look at pornographic images of the opposite sex or get married. When in fact, the opposite of homosexuality is holiness. Heterosexuality won't fix someone. Heterosexuality is a by-product of someone who --
James: Heterosexual problems have to have the same fix.
Alan: Absolutely, it is holiness. We are not called to switch lusts. We are not called to adopt another addiction. We're called to pursue the Lord and to be holy like he is holy and that's the focus.
James: Do you think because we tend -- it's the hand in the cookie jar deal. It's something exciting about doing something and then if you get caught then it becomes secretive but still an impulse. Do you think that the fact that society and the quote pro-family world so frowns on this act that it drives people away from help and into a more secretive lifestyle until then finally they come out blatantly bold in defense of it? Do you think all these things are happening inside the person that's battling?
Alan: I do. I think that our churches are filled with people who are struggling with these and other types of issues. And because we talk about them most, we say that they are the worst sins of all, or we make it sound like they're the worst sins of all people are sitting there in shame and secrecy thinking, I can't share this with my pastor, I can't share this with my friend, I can't share this with anyone because it is so condemned, so hated, so awful that I've just got to get it fixed and we try to fix ourselves when God didn't create us to do this by ourselves. So many people find themselves acting out because of that shame.
James: And not ever going for help because they would be shamed. Right?
Alan: That's right.
James: I'm really wondering if one of the things that feeds the tendency, that makes it stronger is the fear of what others will do if they knew. It is almost like it might harden you in it. It contributes to the problem, I think.
Alan: Sure, I think that fear keeps you bound and sin loves secrecy, it loves darkness and it thrives there. And because we
can't be honest in church, the very place where we should be able to to be honest, then I think we go other places and meet that need ourselves or try to fix ourselves and it doesn't work.
James: Then don't you find companionship and compatibility in somebody else with the same problem who then would agree with you and comfort one another in the situation, then that adds to the fire, that kindles it.
Alan: Sure, I think that can certainly happen. But you know the other thing, we find comfort -- at times, my very best friends were my fantasies. They were the only place that I could go and be who I thought I was.
James: And by fantasies do you mean just in your mind or you went to somebody and acted it out?
Alan: Well, in my mind but that did take me to acting out. It took me -- because I couldn't get enough in my mind any longer. Pornography wasn't enough. Fantasy wasn't enough. I had to go find someone to see if I could meet that need.
James: So were you looking for something beyond sex though? You were looking for relationship, which is why a lot of people who are in the pro-gay marriage commitment situation is saying, what we really want is we want approval of a relationship we're trying to have. This thing is bigger than just the fact that we have a sexual attraction, we want a relationship. Is that what they're in a sense saying?
Alan: Yeah, I think that's part of it but I believe so much that the gay community and those who are fighting for those rights really are looking for legitimacy. They're looking for someone to finally help them feel even better about themselves. Because what I know as somebody who struggled with this issue was I couldn't feel good about myself. I think those who are out there fighting for rights, they are looking for society to say, this is good and therefore they'll feel maybe I am okay.
James: Do you think they would feel better about themselves then?
Alan: No, I don't because what I know is they're looking for something that they're never going to find. They're looking for something in a relationship they're never going to find. They're never going to find what God really intended them to have in the arms of another person of the same sex or in a relationship with a person of the same sex. It is a counterfeit. It is something that meets a need for a while. And if you know anything about counterfeit money, I worked in a bank for a period of time; really good counterfeit spends for years. I think that's really the essence of the homosexual lifestyle. The many homosexual lifestyles that are out there are really a good counterfeit. And people who don't know any better, who haven't experienced the real thing, who haven't experienced that real true intimacy and love relationship, they're not going to know the difference; they're not going to know there is something better. I knew the difference. I knew there was something better and I went searching for it.
James: And you found that in a relationship with God.
Alan: I found that in a relationship with Christ.
James: And with caring people who really did care about you?
Alan: The church -- the best thing that I found was through the ministry that I went to for help is they pointed me to the church at every turn and I found people who were there who said, my sin's no different than your sin.
James: When you found some deliverance and freedom, did you find these things could come back at you and you had to have a process of growing in strength?
Alan: Absolutely. I found that for me -- there were portions of my struggle -- the emotional struggle for instance, after a couple of years I felt like I had found complete deliverance from the emotional aspect of homosexuality. I couldn't explain it. I still don't understand it today but one day I was emotionally addicted to relationships with men and the next day I wasn't. But physically, that was a process; even getting to the point of being delivered emotionally, that was a process. And it is something that I've realized --
James: And mental images too? Pictures?
Alan: Sure, those things have been resident in there for decades.
James: And did people help the healing process, their contribution by their compassion?
Alan: Most definitely. It was the work of the church, the people who were there; my counselor, my family, my friends. They helped me in every way.
James: All right, when you say homosexuality is the worst of all sins that is a myth. How do you say it is a myth?
Alan: I speak in churches and groups all over the world and I never get to a place where I don't hear someone insinuate or say overtly homosexuality is worse than what I've dealt with. Or they'll bring up homosexuality as an abomination. If you go to Proverbs 6:16 through 19 and you see there that there is more than just homosexuality, in fact, homosexuality isn't mentioned in that verse. There are things like haughty eyes, men that stir up dissension among brothers, feet that are quick to rush into evil, all of those things. I think that the ground was level at the foot of the cross. It is not just homosexuality, it is Jesus died for all of us or he died for none of us.
James: The Galatians passage talks the fruit of the spirit and the fruit of the flesh deals more with attitude problems even than moral problems; the dissension, the hostility, the animosity, the hatred, the slander, all these things are despicable. That's what is keeping Christians apart. That's what's keeping the church -- it's what keeping our nation apart. Even our houses of congress, they can't talk to each other; they're unreasoning, unreasonable. We need healing. The myth that homosexuality is a choice.
Alan: I think this is one of the things that we as Christians talk about most. We'll say, if they would just choose this or just choose not to be gay or they just chose to feel this way. When the truth is, I would have never in a million years woken up one morning and chosen to have same sex attractions. Those things for me, that wasn't a choice, I didn't choose to feel gay. But at the same time, I did choose my behavior. I chose what I got involved in. And based upon the feelings that I had and the circumstances that were before me I chose to be involved in homosexuality. But the best choice that I made was that I chose to leave homosexuality behind, despite the fact that I had these feelings, despite the fact that I had these attractions. The world says you can't do it, that you shouldn't do it but what I knew was that God created me for something far different. He hold me himself that he created me for something different than the way I was living and I chose in that moment to do everything I could to leave homosexuality behind and that was 15 years ago.
James: So it is not something that is a choice that is imposed upon you beyond your ability to choose a different direction. I'm sitting here, my mind racing. I'm thinking about boys and girls coming into puberty, boys and girls beginning to date and they get too close and with all of the feelings of sensuality they get really hot for each other sexually and pretty soon they want to feed it so they have a choice. They didn't choose to get stirred the first time they got close and embraced and things began to emotionally race inside of them that they didn't even understand was there. They didn't choose this, it is happening. They don't understand it. If they haven't had wise counsel and good oversight and guiding in their life, they will likely make the wrong choice with what to do with these desires and appetites. That's the point I hear you making. Really, we have to make those choices all the way through because we're going to find ourselves getting stirred. When David looked on Bathsheba he was stirred but he had to make a choice. He didn't choose for her to go out there and take a bath out where he could see her from the balcony. He didn't make that choice. There it was. He noticed and suddenly he made a choice, the wrong choice. Is this what you're saying?
Alan: Absolutely. The truth is that once we get into situations that are very difficult to get out of, making the right choice becomes even more difficult. That's where we have to choose from the very beginning, I'm not going to think that, I'm not going to go to this movie, I'm not going to look at this magazine. Sometimes it is thrust upon us in a way that we can't choose better but we've got to make that --
James: And we need help to make the better choices and we don't need to get beat up when we made the wrong one or when we failed or when the truck hit us and knocked us flat or when the monkey on our back became a gorilla that pulled us down. We need somebody to say, I'll help get this off of you. I will help lift the load. I will help lift your eyes. I will help pick you up. That's what I hear you saying in the book. That's what you're saying when you teach. You're trying to help the church learn how to lift people out of the pit, not heap dirt on them while they're in the pit. Do you want to say thanks to Alan Chambers for what he is doing? For what God has done in his life? Let me just say, if you watch LIFE Today, you're not going to find any qualified stone throwers here. We're not throwing darts at people that fail or people who are different. I struggle. I've been defeated. I understand what it is like to be defeated and be afraid to tell anybody. I know what it is like when you find somebody, if you tell them, they lift the load instead of heaping a load on your shoulders. Religion can do that, unkind people can do it. We want to lift the burden and wherever you are -- you may want somebody to pray with you. That's a number paid for by love. It's an 800 number, love pays for that. Love will respond. We want to help you and you may -- sometimes homosexual people say I don't want help! Let me tell you something, only God can deliver us. Only God can help us and we can enter into a relationship like Alan is talking about. So I don't care where you are. I don't care what you struggle with, God loves you. He's not mad at you. We're not mad at you. We just want you to know that he is extending a nail-pierced hand to you to pick you up and hold you close to his heart forever and to love you, no matter where you are. Alan wants to help us learn how to love the people we may not understand. He wants us to understand a love that can lift us all out of a pit and we need to learn to share that more effectively. We've got a lot to learn. Once again, you want to say thanks to Alan? I really appreciate you. God bless you. Get the book, it’s in the bookstores. If you want Alan to come sometime to your community and help the churches, he'll be glad to do that. Alan, you're going to like what we're doing to help others because it is sharing the heart of God. We're trying to meet physical needs so that we can see spiritual needs met too. Watch closely. You're going to like this. You're going to have a part.
Beth: James and Betty, to our viewers this may just look like a field that could be anywhere here in Southern Africa but you know this particular field and how differently it looks today than when you were here 15 years ago.
James: It rips at your heart to see children who are hungry, who are hurting, who have lost their smile. But these are children who have just died. They've just been buried since we were here asking for help. Beth: You have told us about the time that you were here in this war torn country when famine and starvation had killed so many children.
James: I'm in the midst of a thousand children's graves. Most of them didn't have to die. They died like this little kid here who didn't have the nutrition; mother too malnourished to feed them. We're told that millions face death right now in Southern Africa where I'm kneeling in the midst of children's graves, fresh dug graves in the distance. We can stop it.
Beth: We have great celebration today because we're not standing in lines to bury children -- not right now, not in this graveyard. Now listen, there are children still dying. I just left a malnutrition clinic just moments ago and then I saw children that we've already got names of that we're going to be checking on tomorrow and the next day, have they lived through the night? Have they lived through the next 48 hours? Will they live at all? The heartbreak and devastation is indescribable. We still have so many millions of children starving in Africa but I want you to know something, we have made a beginning and it is changing. And James and Betty, I want to join with the two of you thanking our viewers. Your giving makes a difference! Some of you have made huge sacrifices and we want you to know that it has not been in vain -- it is going into the stomachs of hungry children so that this kind of thing doesn't happen. So that it is the kind of thing that is in the past and not the present. So that we can remember, yes, but remember, and not have something that we see today in open graves with something that just leaves us feeling hopeless.
James: Oh, boy! Beth, I'm so glad you were able to give a positive report. I looked out over a field of grass. There was a movie called "Field of Dreams." That's a field of memories and most of the parents and family members can only remember that their children were buried in that field. They are no longer digging up in that area because it was in that area that we established solid feeding lines. As a matter of fact, they were so effective that in one of the settings, years ago after we had stabilized the kids and they were singing praise songs in a little church, the pastor saw us leaving and he thought we would never come back. The children were just getting healthy but he was depending on the food. He followed us to the car and he said, "I guess you won't come back any more because the children are better, but if we don't keep feeding them they will get worse." And we told him, "We're coming back. We didn't come to just look in and leave, we're coming back." Betty commented many times as we were leaving areas of crisis that the people would wonder, did you just come and look and you won't come back? That's what Beth was saying. She was rejoicing in the fact that in that area they're not burying the children. That's because of the miracle in the bowl. That's because of what the nourishment in food that love provides has done. But in the other areas, like the malnutrition clinic where she had just left and all the other remote areas, the children are hungry, the missionaries are in place, the relief workers are there. They risk their lives in areas like the Sudan. All they're asking us to do is provide the resources necessary so they can feed those they have located who are in desperate need. They're willing to place their life there but we have to give them the ability to share life, not just look and be bewildered or concerned but to make a difference, to see the miracles like baby Matthew, like stopping the death cycle in that area where they were burying children by the scores every day. Would you dial the telephone number there right now, please? Would you take your bankcard and use it like a check. Please do it. Go ahead and move right now. You've been moved, now I've asking you to move to make the difference. Go to the telephone, dial that number, become an answer to prayer. Use your bankcard, make the best gift you can whether it is $30, $50, or $100 and I'll always encourage you to give $100 to feed ten children for the next months. But $50 will care for five, and $30 for three and those three are important so there is no gift too small or too large. $1,000 will enable us to care for 100 children. You may be able to do that and if you can do it, I think you'll want to do it. But please, right now take your bankcard, make that call. If you want to write a check, make it to LIFE. You can go online, lifetoday.org and make a gift. Would you do it right now please? We have some special gifts for you, a wonderful volume two of the great hymns that we all love, instrumental. It is absolutely tremendous. And the book about the hymns and how they originated, how they were inspired. You are going to cherish these gifts and you're going to make a difference in the lives of many children. Your love never fails when you release it by making that call, by making that gift. Thank you for going to the phone. Thank you for making the gift. God bless you and he will and he blesses through you.
Narrator: In remote areas of Southern Africa people are suffering, facing death by starvation and those hit the hardest are children. Life's mission feeding program is in place ready to feed and care for over 400,000 children in Angola, Mozambique, and famine areas of Sudan. Yet to meet the children's needs, we urgently need your support. Previous food reserves are gone and we desperately need to replenish our supplies for the feeding programs as soon as possible. Your life-saving gift of $30, $50, or $100 will help feed and care for three, five, or ten children for the next four months. With your gift of any amount we'll send you, "Then Sings My Soul" volume two. This new edition of LIFE's popular instrumental CD collection features 30 classic hymns beautifully performed by some of today's most gifted musicians. With your gift of $125 or more to help feed ten children we would also like to send you volume two of "Then Sings My Soul," 150 of the world's greatest hymn stories. Beautifully bound in leather, this newest volume of our popular collector's edition records the stories behind the great hymns of the church making these a perfect gift for friends and family. Finally, as a special challenge please prayerfully consider a gift of $1,000 or more to help save the lives of 100 children and you may also request the beautiful bronze sculpture titled, "As the Deer." Please call, write, or make your gift online today.
James: Well, we really do need to hear from you. I'm asking you to make the call. We depend on you. You need to make that call right now. Thanks for your help. Let me remind you, "God's Grace and the Homosexual Next Door," well stated -- Alan Chambers. There is his web site if you want him to come and help in your community, your church, or some of the people from Exodus. Say the web site out loud.
Alan: Www.Exodus.TO or Exodusyouth.net.
James: All right, there it is. That's a mouthful, isn't it? I praise God for what you're doing. Thank you for watching. Again, say thanks to Alan. I appreciate what you're doing at Exodus. It's a great ministry to help people find the way out and the way up. Thanks for watching. Thanks for your help.
Narrator: Join us tomorrow as James and Betty share their story.
James: I was only five years old when I literally put everything I had in this suitcase, Betty.