Restored Hope Network Series | Back to Bondage and the Closet

In September 2012, I attended the inaugural conference for Restored Hope Network (RHN) at Sunrise Community Church   in Sacramento, CA. The forming committee for RHN  had been gathering for several months in response to the belief that Exodus International was straying from its roots.

When they concluded that their differences with Exodus were irreparable, several Exodus member ministries resigned and formed their own umbrella ministry claiming they had been called to go back to the roots of Exodus to do ministry work to those that identify as gay or gay Christians.

This is a complicated topic. It will be presented as several posts. In his keynote address entitled “Back to the Future”,  RHN forming committee member, Frank Worthen, framed the split from Exodus International. RHN had been birthed in an effort  to “reestablish what we thought we had established 37 years ago.”

Please read all the sections. They support one another and, together form an overview of my perspective of the dynamics of what has happened and is happening in the traditional Christian church ministry to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community.

In the series, I remain consistent to my intentions to be truthful and report what I see and sense. I took twenty-six pages of notes and spent twelve and a half hours listening and interacting. For the most part, I played the role of “observer”; I did not attend to make any statements or shift any opinions while there. I behaved honorably as I assured the conference hosts I would. I registered as myself and ministry and made no attempt to hide my identity.

Ultimately, my goals always remain the same — education, engagement and encouragement. I want to see the people of God treat “the other” with full dignity, equality and respect. The best way to know one another; I say “relationship” over and over. Until we can suffer alongside of “the other” and know better who they are, we will continue to live out of our own truth-in-a-bubble.

LGBT Christians

It is through the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and especially the Christians in my life, that I have become a more compassionate human.

Human-kind : Be both.

The series:

Back to the Start | The Real Roots of Exodus

Back to Bondage | The Restored Hope Network Exits Exodus

Back to the Closet | Restored Hope Network on Homosexuality

Back to Relationship | Gay Christians in the Church