There are celebrations in Munchkinland right now. Ding, dong, the witch is dead.
Exodus International, the world's largest and most prestigious "ex-gay ministry" and proponent of "reparative therapy" has announced they are shutting down. Their president is publicly apologizing to the LGBT community.
This gay man says, Apology accepted. If you finally want to engage in real Christian ministry, I will consider it a privilege to serve by your side.
I personally don't believe Exodus International (or any of the other "ex-gay" groups -- the Mormon analog being Evergreen International) were "evil." Exodus was not the Wicked Witch of the East, and Evergreen is not the Wicked Witch of the West.
The reparative therapy movement was part of a process of trying to figure things out. It came out of a genuine belief that homosexuality was wrong and that it was amenable to change. The Exodus International web site is still using the word "change," but now they are applying it to their own attitudes.
Exodus and other similar ministries were and are the source of much pain. Many lives were damaged by what they did. Some people committed suicide -- damage that can't be fixed. By their own admission.
But many of those who participated in these ministries were gay men and lesbians who themselves believed they were broken in their sexual orientation and needed to be fixed. Those who eventually turned away broken-hearted had learned from experience that reparative therapy was wrong. I never tried reparative therapy, but my process of figuring out what it meant to be gay was similar. I made similar mistakes until I finally figured it out.
It took many years of such experiences for the organization, collectively, to figure it out. The end of Exodus is proof that collectively and organizationally we do learn. We do, eventually, repent of our mistakes.
It is further proof to me that the Holy Spirit is in process with all of us. It is capable of teaching us, if we are willing to learn. There's a lot in me that still needs to change, and I pray for the wisdom to know what that is and to work on it.
But today, I take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief and give thanks.
Hallelujah! Literally, praise God.