Monday, 6 October 2008

The Camp That 'Cures' Homosexuality

There is an interesting article in the Times today on an evangelical camp that claims to cure homosexuality. The link to the article in question is above.

Every now and then you hear of a church or a camp that offers a one off salvation or cure for sin. Unfortunately they sometimes involve a manipulative and evangelical group dynamic which promises something which is unchristian, namely, the removal of the Cross that Christ has given us. As Catholics we understand that sanctity is not something achievable overnight but a life-long struggle.

To anyone who has been cured of homosexuality I have the utmost admiration and thanks be to God for the miracle, the change of heart and the furnace of love for God that now burns so bright in their heart.

However, if any Catholic priest stood in the pulpit and said what the "ex-gay" leader of this camp said he'd lose his congregation in seconds flat; "How many of you are in need of some hope here tonight? How many of you are at the end of your rope? How many are ready for an encounter with the Lord?" His speech has all the hallmarks of the leader of the Jonestown Massacre.

'Exodus is one of the ministries of the so-called “ex-gay” movement, a controversial fundamentalist Christian campaign that encourages gay people to renounce their sexuality. This, its annual conference, promises “an amazing week of breakthroughs, transformations and healings”. A Christian rock band begins to play and the 800 men and women who moments earlier seemed to have only awkwardness in common begin singing and clapping in unison. Eyes closed, they raise their hands above their heads, uplifted by the hope of being reborn.'

The great tragedy of Protestantism is its inability to deal with sin in a truly compassionate, human or even a truly holy light. Take some of the quotes from 'a handsome youth (who) with an American smile sticks “defiled” to his polo shirt. How this helps his internet porn addiction is anyone's guess, although he generously cedes that “we're all sexually broken”.'

Without wishing to sound harsh, he's probably more broken now that his pastor has humiliated him in front of the whole congregation. Our Lord receives each of us with mercy beyond even our human comprehension especially when we feel cast out because of our sin. He also told us that anyone who humiliates his brother or sister is worthy of the fires of Hell.

Here is the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Homosexuality:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,140 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."141 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

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