Why such animus towards organizations that reach out to those who sincerely desire to exit homosexuality? Because in doing so they help to expose the lie behind the “once gay always gay” notion that has become a tenet of faith for those pushing to normalize their perverse lifestyle. Worse yet, their efforts plant seeds of hope in untold thousands of individuals trapped in that lifestyle — a hope that perhaps they too can break free and be made whole.
So when Exodus International, the world’s largest and most successful outreach to those desiring to leave homosexuality, announced the launch of its new iPhone app in mid-March, an army of angry “gays” and lesbians were quickly deployed to do what they are famous for — throw tantrums and make demands, in this case that Apple would ban the offending application from its online iPhone app store.
The free smart phone application, launched on March 8, connects interested individuals to Exodus resources — such as frequently asked questions, fact sheets and information on homosexuality, stories from people helped by the group, and Facebook and Twitter links. While the app earned a “four-plus” rating from Apple — reserved for apps that contain no objectionable material — when homosexual activists learned about the launch, they immediately began a negative petition drive aimed at forcing Apple to ban the app. The assault, led by the group “Truth Wins Out” (a play on Exodus International’s highly successful Love Won Out conferences), garnered some 2,500 signatures in three days, as homosexuals around the nation told their friends, family members, co-workers, and others to hammer Apple with the insistence that the iPhone app was “hateful and bigoted.”
“They claim to offer ‘freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ’ and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes, and distortions of LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] life to recruit clients,” reads the petition. It goes on to charge that Exodus endorses “the use of so-called ‘reparative therapy’ to ‘change’ the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of ‘therapy’ has been rejected by every major professional medical organization, including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association.”
That charge conveniently ignores the larger numbers of psychologists, physicians, and counselors who strongly disagree with the decisions of their professional organizations to cave in to political pressure from the homosexual lobby, and who continue to help thousands of individuals permanently leave the homosexual lifestyle.
Finally, the petition lamely attempts to compare Exodus’ desire to help those struggling with homosexuality to ethnic and racial prejudice, making the nonsensical argument that because “Apple doesn’t allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store,” it also shouldn’t allow an app that might ultimately help someone voluntarily leave a destructive lifestyle.
Playing off an earlier success by homosexual activists, the attack was posted on the online liberal activist conduit change.org, which in November 2010 hosted a similar petition drive aimed at forcing Apple to remove an iPhone app that contained the text of a Christian document known as the Manhattan Declaration, Among other things, that document commits the sin of affirming the sanctity of life, the scriptural view of traditional marriage, and the importance of religious liberty. That app had also received the coveted “four-plus” approval from Apple, but after the company received nearly 8,000 petitions demanding removal of the application, Apple officials acquiesced, explaining to the public that they had changed their minds and were now convinced that the Manhattan Declaration app violated “our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”
Jeff Buchanan (pictured above), senior director of Church Equipping and Student Ministries at Exodus International, explained that the goal of his group’s app is to “create resources that are easily accessible and helpful for those looking for answers to their questions about sexuality and faith.” After Exodus sent out an initial press release on March 8 announcing the new app, it was forced to quickly follow up with another warning that the all-out assault from homosexual activists could force Apple to remove the resource. “We saw the app as another opportunity to reach the world — to reach a larger demographic with our message,” Buchanan told Baptist Press News. “And based on a small group of activists being very vocal about their disagreement with Exodus and its message, we fear that Apple will censor our ability to be able to get our message out.”
Three days into the assault, the popularity rating for the app was just two out of five stars, with one reviewer labeling Exodus a “fanatical group” and another insisting that its efforts are “as dangerous to Christianity as al-Qaeda is to Islam.” Buchanan said it was important for Exodus to make it known “that there is an organized bias that is slanting the rating on the application, and by no means does it reflect the quality or the content that is in the app.”
He emphasized that the smart phone app is part of Exodus’ ongoing efforts to reach out to those struggling with same-sex attractions, something he once faced himself. While he became a Christian at age 13, when he began to feel same-sex attraction as a teen he kept it to himself because of the “very condemning message” he heard from his church, he recalled to Baptist Press News. “So I didn’t tell anyone. I entered into a three-year same-sex relationship in my mid-20s and really felt the conviction of the Lord to turn away from that. I began the process of walking out of that in 1991.”
Author Janet Boynes, whose book Called Out chronicles her own dramatic journey out of a lesbian lifestyle, noted that attacks like the one faced by Exodus International have become more common — and more aggressive — as more people are leaving the lifestyle. “That activist element within the homosexual community is definitely unhappy with the success we have seen in helping others confront the bondage of same-sex attraction,” she said.
Boynes said that the need for outreach efforts like hers and Exodus International is greater than ever. “It seems as if confusion is reigning supreme in just about every corner of society today,” said Boynes, who travels around the nation speaking and ministering to those struggling with same-sex attraction. “Nowhere is that more evident in how our world views sexuality. Never have there been more individuals who are uncertain of who they are—of who God created them to be — especially in the realm of their sexuality.”
Raised in a home where verbal, physical, and even sexual abuse were commonplace, Ms. Boynes lacked a stable environment of love and acceptance. Although as a young adult she lived as a Christian and was even engaged to be married, when a female co-worker enticed her into a sexual relationship, Janet ended up spending the next fourteen years living as an open lesbian.
It wasn’t until a group of Christian women took her under their care and introduced her to God’s unconditional love that she was able to break the chains of homosexuality and walk into a whole and healthy lifestyle.
“The fact that I could find victory in this area is proof that anyone can be free from the bondage of homosexuality,” said Boynes. “That message of freedom is what countless thousands of individuals and families need today — and it’s that message of freedom that homosexual activists want to silence.”
Exodus International is encouraging iPhone users to download the free app from iTunes and offer positive ratings and feedback to Apple. Supporters can also send Apple a note of appreciation for including the app by logging on to www.apple.com/support/itunes/contact.html.