Willow Creek has ended its formal relationship with Exodus International.
According to a write-up at Christianity today, the two sides are saying two different things:
WILLOW CREEK Elder Scott Vaudrey says the decision was not intended as a social or political statement. Â In fact, it was the result of “a season of reviewing and clarifying some of our affiliations with outside organizations.”
EXODUS president Alan Chambers thinks differently though: Â “The choice to end our partnership is definitely something that shines a light on a disappointing trend within parts of the Christian community, which is that there are Christians who believe like one another who aren’t willing to stand with one another, simply because they’re afraid of the backlash people will direct their way if they are seen with somebody who might not be politically correct…Biblical truth is unpopular, and when you’re supporting unpopular truth, you are unpopular too; which means, some days, getting upwards of 10,000 phone calls and emails, and it can be overwhelming.”
Hmmm… which to believe??
I think Mark Yarhouse from Regent University gives a better understanding to this trend in general:
“Churches are realizing that while there is a small contingent of the gay community responding to language like ‘freedom from homosexuality’ or ‘freedom is possible,’ the vast majority strongly disagree. They’re angry and they believe it’s impossible to change, and to hear this is so offensive that they will have nothing to do with Christians. So I think churches, in response to that vast majority who say, ‘We’re not interested,’ have decided to look at other approaches in an attempt to connect with the gay community on at least some level. That doesn’t mean that churches disagree with the language of ‘freedom from homosexuality’ doctrinally; they’ve just found that it doesn’t work on a social level.”
I think Mark’s right.
Was there more to Willow’s severing the relationship than just shuffling around their partners? Â Could be. Â I think Mark may have hit the nail on the head though. Â The church may just not have been comfortable with Exodus’ delivery methods. Â But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve changed their views on the core subject of homosexuality. Â If that’s the case, it’d be good to clarify.
And for Exodus’ point of view: Â just because someone doesn’t partner with you doesn’t mean that churches are going to hell in a handbasket, or that no one will stand for truth anymore. Â That’s a pretty stark message. Â Oh wait…
What do you think?