In an undated article that Exodus International promoted this week via its Exodus Youth electronic newsletter, Exodus conference director David Fountain reinforces the organization’s preoccupation with a god of war and with the promotion of “fighting” — not mere “struggle” — against one’s own sexuality.
Fountain’s rationalization of conflict starts peacefully enough: He recalls a voice — which he unwisely attributes to God — “finally answering me one night after many nights of praying for God to free me of this struggle. I heard Him gently say to me, ‘David, I’ve already given you the freedom, you just have to choose to walk in it.'”
Fountain gradually proceeds to trivialize true warfare — the Iraq variety — with exaggerations of the ex-gay struggle against temptation. For example:
Yes, we may still find ourselves weak and tempted at times to give in and give up. Let’ not forget that we are in the middle of a battlefield.
Fountain thanks the voice in his head for freeing him from a “bondage of sin” — but he declines to give the Christian God credit for freeing former ex-gays from the “bondage of sin” that was imposed upon them by dysfunctional and unprofessional Exodus programs. Instead, Fountain repeatedly succumbs to the modern evangelical temptation to believe that the voices in one’s head are God and not one’s potentially dysfunctional self.
Fountain’s internal mental warfare is directed against honesty about one’s sexuality — such honesty is attributed to Satan. Fountain encourages self-denial instead:
If you’re wounded or slightly lost, return to base and recover new strength in the One who already won this war and holds the battle plans. Satan and your flesh will fight you every step of the way. However, keep pressing through, not allowing your feelings or emotions to dictate who you are or what you do.
While serving as a soldier on this battlefield, stay alert and be aware that the enemy will charge at you with lies that you are a “struggler” and that is what you will always be. God has given you an indispensable weapon, His Word, to defeat those lies with the truth.
To support that statement, Fountain falls back upon prooftexted Bible passages — one of which relates to self-martyrdom and has nothing to do with sin — or with sexual honesty.
Fountain also shares anecdotes from presumed fellow warriors. One anonymous ex-gay implies that one cannot practice sexual honesty and remain Christian:
“Fighting this fight is worth it to me because I would have no hope of a relationship with Jesus Christ or eternal life without it. It is worth it because without fighting I cannot live with a clear conscience, without anything within me questioning whether or not I’m doing the right thing. It is only by fighting the fight that I have learned to feel loved by God. I had to realize that I am in need of grace. I tried gay Liberation Theology, but it proved to be a rationalization that diminished my need for grace. I have realized that it is through my heart’ need for grace that it realized God’ love for me, which began, in turn, to satisfy the needs for intimacy that He created within me.” — Wayne
The comment by “Wayne” is ironic:
He rejects grace — unconditional forgiveness — in order to carry the emotional and spiritual burdens of 1) Exodus’ judgment against those who are same-sex-attracted, and 2) Exodus’ battle against honesty about one’s sexual orientation.