The times they are a-changin’ was the album title of 1960’s Bob Dylan album, but might be an appropriate description of the cultural and spiritual landscape of 2013.
Most people have read or heard of the closing of Exodus International. For over thirty-seven years Exodus has been a portal through which people would find an association of ministries who sought to offer help for those seeking to walk away from homosexuality and pursue a Biblical sexual ethic for their lives. For the past twenty-four years, Living Hope has been loosely associated with Exodus. Their closing has raised many questions in peoples’ minds about the work of Living Hope Ministries. Fear not. Living Hope is not closing and our message has not changed.
Living Hope Ministries continues to proclaim God’s truth as we walk with those seeking sexual and relational wholeness through a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We continue to be a safe place for youth, men, women, and families and their loved ones who are seeking to uphold a Biblical sexual and relational ethic in their lives (Matt. 19:4-6).
- We continue to believe and proclaim that the Gospel is transformational (1 Cor. 6:9-11).
- We continue to believe the power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to all those who trust in Jesus and that power can set us free (Eph. 1:19-20; Rom. 8:9-11).
- We continue to proclaim that we are all broken humans (Rom 3:23) and in desperate need of a Savior (Rom. 6:23).
- We continue to believe that God loves every person, right where they are, just as they are, but loves them far too much to allow them to stay where they are (Jn. 3:16).
- We continue to affirm that God’s design for the family is one man and one woman married for life raising a child(ren) (Gen. 1:28; Mk. 10:6-8)
- We continue to believe that people will change when they encounter the glory of God and His love for them (2 Cor 3:17-18).
- We continue to proclaim that God’s best for humanity is for our lives to align with His revealed will disclosed in His Word (Phil. 1:19-26; 1 Jn. 1:1-7).
- We continue to believe our identity is not defined by the way we feel, but by our Creator who proclaims us male or female (Gen. 1:27; Mt 19:5; Mk 10:7; Eph. 5:31)
- We continue to believe that God’s will for all of humanity is sexual purity outlined in God’s Word (1 Thess. 4:3-7).
- We continue to believe the Word of God is God’s revelation of Himself and the only objective reality against which all of life is to be evaluated (2 Tim. 3:16).
Scripture continues to be the textbook and curriculum we use to guide all that we believe, teach and do. Even in these confusing times, the apostle Paul’s inspired words in 2 Cor. 4 gives direction and comfort as we move forward:
1Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.
13 Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
The days ahead are uncertain and with the recent decision of the Supreme Court, the decisions of the Boy Scouts of America, and the growing approval of gay marriage, our work will become more difficult. We will need your continued support and help. With the Exodus closing, people will have a more difficult time finding us. We are depending on each of you to spread the word about Living Hope to others. We will also need your continued prayer and generous financial support as we move forward.
Though we are saddened by the closing of Exodus, we are excited about the expanding ministry of Living Hope. Though we realize “the times they are a-changin,’” our God has not changed. In these times of great moral confusion, LHM will continue to stand firmly on the Rock. LHM will continue to be a lighthouse to those adrift on seas of uncertainly. Please join us as we proclaim God’s truth on this incredible journey of transformation and feel free to let us know your thoughts.