An overview of some useful resources for Christians who are interested in gay and lesbian issues. The links are listed alphabetically by title. When the mouse pointer is over an link title, the description of that link will appear in the panel on the right of the page. (If this does not happen, you may need to upgrade to the latest version of your web browser.)
The description of each link will appear here when the mouse pointer is over the link title.
There exists a group of ministries around the world committed to helping people find ‘freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ’ available to Christian gay and lesbian people seeking help to come out of ‘a gay lifestyle’. In common with many others who share our faith in Christ, the Christians who run these ministries believe that heterosexuality has been God’s ordained natural order since creation and that therefore homosexuality is intrinsically deviant and disordered. Offering ‘healing ministry’ and encouragement to live chaste lives as Christian disciples, many of these ministries also believe (some even boldly proclaim) that they can help people find their ‘natural God-given heterosexual orientation’. These organisations are popularly known as ‘ex-gay’ ministries.
In our early years, Courage was a member of Exodus International a worldwide umbrella organisation linking ‘ex-gay’ ministries. By setting certain standards for member ministries, Exodus International provides some reassurance for those seeking help from such ministries that they have some kind of bona fide status.
Courage is no longer a member of this group because, from many years of pastoral experience, we found that the objectives proclaimed, though well-intended, are neither realistic nor helpful except possibly in providing a stepping stone to help some to accept that being gay does not in itself bar them from the Kingdom of Heaven. Although many have found a level of practical support not available in their churches, in our experience, far too many people have ended up more depressed and disillusioned. This is contrary to finding hope and faith in Jesus Christ the most important message we have to proclaim!
At Courage, we have been extremely concerned to make sure we are offering help and support that is more in line with what we consider God is saying to homosexually-orientated people. In more recent years, we have found that integrating our faith and sexuality (rather than treating our homosexuality as an enemy) is more on track with what we see God doing amongst those who truly seek Him. Therefore our approach today is more to do with seeking to honour God with our lives as Christians who happen to be also lesbian or gay accepting our sexual orientation as an integrated part of our lives in Christ.
Nevertheless, many of the Exodus ministries do provide a valuable stepping-stone for some people who have found the Church to be too hostile an environment to open up about their homosexuality. For some they are also preferable to those gay-affirming groups which may appear rather intimidating to approach. Since there are some folk seeking our help who we find are still wanting the kind of ministry such groups offer, we are including a couple of links here. The one thing Courage strongly maintains in common with Exodus groups is a belief in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.