Exodus International, for those of you who aren’t familiar, is the largest conservative Christian organization ministering to individuals with same-sex attractions. Founded in 1976 Exodus began as an umbrella organization providing support and resources for hundreds of ministries across the world. Exodus is known for various campaigns, conferences and programs that they have put on over the last 4 decades proclaiming that people can change from their homosexual lifestyle. Exodus promised hope, freedom from sin, and an understanding community. Conferences were frequently filled with hundreds of men and women all seeking to find hope and freedom from the shame and guilt they felt because of their same-sex attractions and history. These conferences frequently were filled with speakers who had almost perfect stories of conversion, having forsaken gay partners and a wayward life they offered testimonies of change often proudly proclaiming their heterosexual marriage and children as proof of that change. For years Exodus and many of its partner ministries used a narrative model explaining the origins of homosexuality. Based firmly in the work of Elizabeth Moberly, and Joseph Nicolosi’s later application they suggested that homosexual desires were caused by a deficient relationship with the same-sex parent and often a unhealthy relationship with the opposite sex parent. By pursuing a deeper connection with the same gender through non-sexual intimacy and fellowship, same-sex sexual feelings could diminish and an opposite sex spouse and marriage was often the positive end result. Only in the last few years has Exodus officially walked away from this model and backed off of its emphasis on sexual attractions changing and instead having a focus on celibacy and faithfulness in spite of unchanging attractions as the goal.
Thoughts on counseling that has changing same-sex sexual attractions as the goal
Warren Throckmorton’s detailed analysis of one study