Begging for money

I suppose this is the time of year when lots of non-profits start begging for money.  One just arrived in my inbox from the Family Research Council and another arrived in the mail from Exodus–the ex-gay organization.  Yes, I put my name on their mailing list–how else am I supposed to keep up with all their ‘hard work’? 

Anyway, the Family Research Council needs money badly, since someone offered to donate $250,000 if other people also donated the same amount.  That isn’t so unusual, but the catch here is that this unnamed donor will not be giving the FRC $250,000 if people do not match his/her donation!  So what are the problems that the FRC are going to deal with with all their non-profit money?:

 

In just a few days, Congress will reconvene. Senators Clinton, Kennedy, Schumer, and Reid, Speaker Pelosi, and their well-funded allies will return with a fresh assault on pro-family policies. Everything from pro-homosexual employment to restoration of the "Fairness Doctrine" will be back on the table. Taxpayer-funded abortions, "hate crimes" legislation, reinstating partial-birth abortion and life-ending experimentation on unborn babies are just a few battles we’ll likely face in 2008.

It isn’t a big surprise that ‘homosexuals’ top their problem list–and it is pro-homosexual employment at that!  They prefer to see that gays and lesbians are fired and kept out of the work force.  What good, Christian values we find at the Family Research Council!  And they would certainly hate anything that is related to fairness.  It just isn’t fair that their brand of christianity isn’t the only legal brand!  And I won’t even go into the lies that Tony Perkins writes about with his hate crime statements (he calls them thought crimes).

And now on to the strange one–from Exodus.  Alan Chambers, the ex-gay president of Exodus, writes the opening letter to their flyer called Impact.  It is full of ‘God wants this for us’ and ‘God wants that for us.’  Here are a few examples of this weird letter:

While we continue to rely on generous givers who faithfully support the ministry, we have seen the Lord provide.  This year, it is my joy to share with you my encouragement in God’s provision.

He goes on to talk about how his wife and he were praying and "sensed that Exodus was operating under a "spirit of poverty" — failing to trust the Lord for more than mere survival.  But I knew the Lord wanted to bless Exodus.  As we prayed, the Lord impressed upon us to read from Joshua:"

Chambers then gives the passage from Joshua 6:2-5 (and I’ve pasted it below using the NRSV).  I’ve bolded the section that he left out of his letter:

6:2 The LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have handed Jericho over to you, along with its king and soldiers.6:3 You shall march around the city, all the warriors circling the city once. Thus you shall do for six days,6:4 with seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, the priests blowing the trumpets.6:5 When they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and all the people shall charge straight ahead."

 

Chambers continues:

..Leslie and I knew the Lord wanted to do three things for Exodus: break the curse of poverty, bless the upcoming conference, (that took place in 2003) and instill greater faith.  We shared this with our fellow team members and began "marching" around the conference site.  We walked every day for the first seven days, seven times on the seventh day and then every weekday until the conference.  Our staff excitedly walked and prayed for God to destroy the spiritual barriers and to bless Exodus.  It was amazing!"

So, Chambers and his merry group decided to take Joshua at his word.  Notice that Chambers and his merry band of ex-gays just "marched" around the conference center–they apparently didn’t have seven priests with them all blowing horns while they carried the Ark.  They also did not blow the ram’s horn (well, I don’t know if they didn’t do this or not–Chambers didn’t say). I also noticed that all of them did not charge ‘straight’ ahead…  🙂

Anyway, if that isn’t weird enough, Chambers and his wife actually heard the Lord speak to them.  He said:  "Give the money you have saved for adoption."  So what did they do?  In bold, Chambers writes:  "We chose to give the money to Exodus as a step towards breaking the curse and sowing a seed into the future of the ministry."

So they started a new organization, called Exodus Church Network.  Apparently it paid off since he claims Exodus paid off its $110,000 debt and "Leslie and I received all of the money we would need to adopt."

Where did they receive all this money from? 

And he goes on with the God-talk:  "God is a faithful, good and trustworthy provider.  He is a God of great blessing.  He is our sustainer and curse breaker.  He longs to give us every good gift."

He finishes:

"This Christmas season I pray you experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  May your family be richly blessed.  I pray for your encouragement, peace, grace and great hope.  Thank you for being used by the Lord to bless this ministry, to help us grow and become all that God wants us to be.  I am grateful."

("in the land of the living"???)

Of course Chambers isn’t referring to my family–only married ex-gays and straight people can have families.  He found it in his heart to travel to Washington D.C. to try and get that enshrined in the Constitution.  He also found it in his heart (and the money from Exodus) to make sure that gays and lesbians would not be safe at work or in their private lives.  No doubt that he will be behind to push to keep gays and lesbians from adopting, even though he had adopted two kids himself.

Finally, I want to know how someone with no religious schooling can call what Exodus does a ministry…  I guess anyone can set up a non-profit, call itself a Christian ministry and then sit back and wait for people with extra cash to mail it in. 

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