state support for Exodus in New Zealand
The charities commission of New Zealand decided 18 Aug 2010 to deny an anti-gay Christian Group Exodus Ministries Trust Board of charity status on account that it does not provide any public benefit, and that Homosexuality is not a mental disorder and does not need changing. It is a decision that clearly emphasised the nation’s intention not to have anything to do with such destructive emotional and physiological abuse of gays or support such fringe organization directly or in-directly through giving them charity status.
The commission quoted from:-
a) American Psychiatric Association – saying that sexual orientation is not a choice and conversion is harmful.
b) The American Psychological Association states that human beings cannot choose to be straight or gay. The orientation emerges naturally without any prior sexual experience in early adolescent. Homosexuality is not a mental or emotional problem, and therapies has a harmful potential
It further stated that
a) The Homosexual Law Reform Act of 1986 decriminalized sexual relationships between men,
b) Human Rights Act of 1993 makes sexual orientation a prohibited ground for discrimination
We are reminded of John Metyard who was a Former Exodus Asia Pacific & Living Waters Leader and was on the International Advisory Board of Exodus. He was involved in Exodus for nearly 20 years until 2006. His previous position was that it was the result of the fall. Much of life appears to spent wasted in the Christian Right religious dictates, who doesn’t care about gays but only for their own theological construct for which acceptance of gays they fear would deconstruct their faith and beliefs in the bible not that gays are anymore sinful than straight people. Gays are to be sacrificed on the altar so that their own faith makes sense to them. This is sin, sacrificing others for our own religious comfort and certainty.
The increasing realization that sexual orientation is innate rather than a sin or a lifestyle is hurting Exodus badly. It is no longer a wedge issue as in the 2004 and becoming a non issue for many resulting in a drop of donations. In Aug 2010, Exodus International in Orlando announced in their facebook of layoffs due to what it says are “unexpectedly low giving season this summer coupled with much higher expenses”. In a fund raising letter, Exodus president announced a 125K shortfall. However, Exodus revenue from IRS records seem to be going down. The revenue in 2008 was $1,086,114 down half a million from 2007.
Whilst Exodus has every right to their views, that right comes with responsibilities and consequences. As great harm has been caused, they are morally liable for the sin of the harm done to others. Christian groups such as Church of Our Savior (through Choices) and City Harvest Church (through Sid Rogers) who have often aligned themselves with Exodus are equally liable.
(Isa 59:3 NKJV) For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity.
(Isa 59:4 NKJV) No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
When we as Christians lift up our hands to worship, we are offering ourselves to God for His ministry and extension of God’s kingdom and reign on earth. As Jesus is so are we. We saw Him in the Gospels reaching out with love and mercy towards those that the majority rejected. Jesus found His abode amongst the poor and the outcasts and not with the politically powerful or the rich. We have a ministry mandate to continue on the social justice aspect of His ministry.
Yet, the Christian Right has done the opposite. Like the Jews, they were not neutral bystanders when there was injustice, which I believe God will forgive. They were active participants, their hands filled with the blood of the innocent and the outcasts, for much evil and harm were committed. Do we worship God with clean hands, or do we bring before God, our hands filled with blood of the gay man and woman who had died because of the anti-gay ministry.
We claim the blood of Jesus to wash us clean but when sin is committed as a community on a large scale over a prolonged period against an innocent and defenseless group, then our sins will accumulate. Our victims cry out to God just like in Sodom where the majority of straight people abused the slaves and the nations around through sexual torture and humiliation until God hears their cries.
We worship with very loud music at the mega churches as if God is hard of hearing. He hears, the tinniest whispers of those who have suffered so much at the hands of the religious right because the name of Jesus and His righteousness is at stake. We treat our mega church Pastors as God and any criticism taken as criticism of God’s anointed who can do no wrong. If they are God’s anointed they can defend themselves and need not have 33,000 voices vouching for them.
We should fear instead abusing the innocent, the weak, and the minorities for they cannot defend themselves and God becomes their defender. As more and more States count themselves having nothing to do with anti-gay organizations and not even giving them charity status, they even though secular knew that these groups are immoral. It is time that Singapore sets a strong standard against foreign religious groups such as Exodus and Focus on the Family as not to be implicated in their harmful deeds. It is time for Exodus to return to the States whence they come from.