Megachurch Separates From “Ex-Gay” Organization

Willow Creek Community Church, a suburgan megachurch near Chicago, recently revealed a decision finalized in 2009 to break ties with Exodus International, an organization that encourages homosexuals to reject their sexual preferences and “grow into heterosexuality” through Jesus.

According to the Huffington Post, “church officials described the move as a shift in approach rather than a change in belief.” The recent publicity surrounding suicidal gay youth and the bullying many homosexual students suffer at their hands of their peers has brought criticism upon churches with programs that target gays as being in defiance of God and the Bible.

In March, Apple removed an iPhone app developed by Exodus International from its App Store after more than a hundred thousand people signed a petition against it. The app was intended to use biblical passages to “help” gay people overcome their homosexuality. The app was found to violate Apple’s hate speech guidelines.

Exodus International disputed the claims on their website, saying that their company and iPhone app had been “grossly misrepresented.”

Losing affiliation with the large Willow Creek community seems to be another blow for the controversial organization.

As gay marriage becomes legal in more states and the realization that gay people should have the same rights as everyone else becomes more entrenched in our society, it is clear that organizations like Exodus International will face increasing opposition. Perhaps Willow Creek has set a precedent that other evangelical churches will be soon to follow.

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Glen P.
Glen P.4 years ago

It's good news, though simply an example at the ever morphing nature of the Christian religion, and the means by which it's dogma will survive for many more decades, or even centuries, into the future. (And yet remarkably they hold on to the vile passages of the that resulted in their long history of crimes against humanity).

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

As long as we're being bullied, beaten, fired, imprisoned, executed, ridiculed, discriminated against, there will be necessary for gays to express pride in being gay. So for all 44 that voted Yes in the cure poll and for those who've posted about that gays should keep it in the bedrooms, I say: We're here, We're queer, get used to it! And we can't be cured!
Because being gay is NOT a disease, it is NOT a lifestyle, it is NOT a choice!
I was BORN this way!

Paul W.
Paul Wilson4 years ago

I always respond to the "We can change your gayness" people with "I'm balding -- can you change that, too? Sign me up." (For the record, I'm straight but not narrow.)

Treesa Math
tia Math4 years ago

@sharon and monica r - great comments and post

Michael C.
Michael C.4 years ago

My own experiences with WIllow Creek tell me this is an issue that they want to manipulate. They still see homosexuality as wrong, and they still sway people from other churches with pressure.

David Walters
David Walters4 years ago

Everyone must STILL beware of Willow Creek! They may still be "evangelical" in their beliefs; and "evangelicals" I have seen over a GREAT MANY YEARS are ALWAYS judgemental, etc. Only time will tell about this "church".

clara H.
Clara Hamill4 years ago

At least they are staying away from a hate group. They are acting more christian than some groups.

Carol Fyfewilson

Claire - think about it-- would you choose a lifestyle that caused you so much discrimination and persecution?
Sexual orientation is not a choice, it is a predisposition. It is not a disease that can be cured.

Samuel B.
Samuel B.4 years ago

I'm glad to see a church, especially an evangelical church, opening their eyes and hearts and realizing that God does not want them to promote hate. Too many evangelicals claim to believe that God is love but in their next breath spew hate for anyone different from themselves, whether that be gays, Mulisms, Jews, etc.

I never thought I would say something like this, but kudos to Willow Creek Community Church. Here's hoping your example may be a light for others to follow.

Mark W.
m W.4 years ago

One’s sexuality is akin to ones own nature. To believe that one can be cured of ones own nature is simply insane.