Here is a small excerpt.
In my work as a pastoral psychotherapist and spiritual director I often
work with people who are struggling to understand their sexuality in light of
their faith. Regardless of orientation, faithful human beings want to grow in
spiritual discernment. They also want to name the truth about who they are, and
to know that their love and their sexual expression of it is blessed by God, and
that they can live as whole beings in a committed, spiritually grounded
partnership. We all have much to learn about sexuality and spirituality but this
is a process that requires prayer and discernment, not ideology. For Exodus
International, ideology trumps discernment and “Exodus” becomes enslavement to
the views of those who presume to speak for God.
Of the many powerful narratives in Scripture, the Exodus story is perhaps
one of the richest in its imagery of the journey from enslavement to freedom. As
such it offers unlimited possibilities for spiritual practice. It is truly a
sacred narrative precisely because it comes alive again and again whenever
someone turns to God in prayer. It is therefore a sacrilege, literally a theft
of the sacred, to force this narrative into the service of an ideology. That
which is holy is desecrated, abused and distorted when we reduce God to the
measure of our fears. Inviting others to participate in such desecration,
offering “healing” in the name of ideology, and standing as gatekeeper to the
sacred, is to distort the spiritual journey and to use sacred narrative as bait
for entrapment. It is, frankly, abusive.
Like other forms of abuse, spiritual abuse is often delivered with warmth,
kindness and in the name of love. Exodus International will offer hugs,
celebration, Eucharist. There will be pastoral prayers, hymns and the joyful
embrace of community. Nor will any of this be offered with any evil intent.
Indeed, it will be offered in all innocence, with the best of intentions and
good will, with heartfelt conviction and genuine desire — all in the name of
ideology. However innocently offered, it is still spiritual abuse.
Daniel O. Snyder, PhD, is in clinical practice in Black Mountain, and is
an active member of Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting (Quaker). He lives in Black
published July 11, 2008 in the Asheville Citizen-Times