Pastors Learn to Speak Biblical Truth About Homosexuality Through PFOX’s Safe Exit Program
For Immediate Release
October 12, 2015
Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak, 610.584.1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com
RICHMOND, Va.—Since this summer’s controversial Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation, several large church denominations, Christian colleges and well-known faith leaders have publicly validated homosexual marriage, and by extension, a homosexual lifestyle.
But Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX, www.pfox.org), the nation’s leading advocacy organization that offers love and support to families and friends of individuals with unwanted same-sex attractions and gender confusion, says churches and pastors must speak biblical truth about homosexuality now more than ever before.
PFOX’s Safe Exit program offers resources and expert speakers and helps churches open their doors to those struggling with same sex attractions and gender identity confusion, as well as to families whose lives have been affected by a homosexual loved one. The church needs to recognize and promote the ex-gay community as the living proof that change is possible and provide hope to its membership.
“Pastors in American culture today are in a very difficult position,” said PFOX Executive Director Regina Griggs. “On the one hand, they worry that if they show too much compassion, they risk sending a message that seems too charitable toward homosexual behavior—a behavior that God and scripture call sin. On the other hand, they’re concerned if they come across too harsh, they risk making the struggler or seeker feel unworthy and unwelcome. It’s a delicate balance, but it’s one of the most important callings on churches and ministries today. That’s where PFOX’s Safe Exit program can help.”
Griggs says that the varied parishioners in congregations today include both strugglers and seekers:
- The Struggler: Someone wrestling with unwanted feelings of sexual attraction for the same sex. This person is struggling to understand what it all means, but often feels that no one will understand them or their struggle. They also believe—and have even experienced—that anyone who learns about their struggle looks upon them with shame and rejection.
- The Seeker: Someone who has been or is currently on the journey of overcoming unwanted same-sex attraction. They are the “ex-gay”—the person who at one time perhaps publicly identified as homosexual, but made a decision to change their life. This person seeks a church home where they can share their story of God’s redemption and healing without fear, stigma or suspicion.
PFOX highlights the stories of those who are either ex-gay or have been affected by transgender, homosexual and other sexual identity issues in their family on its web site at www.pfox.org/personal-stories and www.pfox.org/safe-exit. Some of those featured in the videos now serve as guest speakers at churches for the Safe Exit program.
One featured in a video, Tara, an ex-lesbian, said she was not presented with the truth about homosexuality in church.
“Based on my experience when I was in college … the pastor never told me that homosexuality is a sin,” she said. “He would give me homework assignments and let me search out the scriptures but he never told me the truth. I would encourage pastors to speak the truth in love—to stand by the truth and be firm. There’s a lot of Christians that think being gay is OK, but I just want to encourage people to stand by the word of God and the truth of the scriptures—that it is a sin and that people can be delivered and that there’s hope.”
For more information on the Safe Exit program for churches, or to request more information on how to invite a guest speaker to a church, visit www.pfox.org/safe-exit.
PFOX is a national non-profit organization that supports families and educates the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX supports an inclusive environment for the ex-gay community and works to eliminate negative perceptions and discrimination against former homosexuals by conducting public education and outreach to further individual self-determination and respect for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation.
PFOX believes that every person seeking positive life change needs the love and support of family, friends, the community and the church, and strives to offer a place for help, a place for truth, and a place for ex-gays to participate in the conversation about same-sex attraction. PFOX families love their homosexual children unconditionally, believing that unconditional love between them and their child is based on treating each other with kindness and respect. Each year, men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to seek help in overcoming a homosexual identity through gender-affirming programs, including counseling, support groups, faith-based ministries and other non-judgmental environments.
Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit organization with a mission to support families and educate the public on sexual orientation and the ex-gay community. PFOX is committed to supporting parents and friends of homosexuals who want help, hope and community, and exists to provide education and resources. PFOX works toward understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community.
To interview a representative from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Jen Wozniak at 610-584-1096, ext. 100, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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