RICHMOND, Va.—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 also supports the ex-gay community, has launched a new program to educate churches and pastors in how to welcome and help individuals struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions.
Safe Exit is a new program that helps those on a journey to overcome unwanted same-sex attractions and helps churches remain a place for truth while also becoming a “safe exit” out of the homosexual lifestyle. According to a testimony featured on the Safe Exit video on the PFOX web site, churches must develop an environment that says that God loves us just where we are, but He also loves us enough not to leave us where we are.
There are many struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction who sit in church pews all over the country,” said Regina Griggs, PFOX executive director. “They may ask pastors or church leaders for help, and often those leaders just don’t have the answers. Safe Exit is a ministry for the ex-gay journey, and we can help provide those answers to churches facing these complicated and difficult questions.
PFOX believes that homosexual behavior and same-sex attraction are complicated, which is why the organization is helping pastors and churches balance grace and truth to create an atmosphere of safety for those impacted by homosexuality.
PFOX research shows that two types of people may visit a church when dealing with same-sex attraction. The “Struggler” is someone who is wrestling with unwanted feelings of sexual attraction for the same sex. This person is struggling to understand what it all means, but often feels no one will understand them or their struggle. They also believe—and have even experienced—that anyone who learns about their struggle will look upon them with shame and rejection.
The “Seeker” is someone who is currently on the journey of overcoming unwanted same-sex attraction.
The “Ex-Gay” is someone who has at one time, perhaps even publicly, identified as gay yet made a decision to give up a gay identity and pursue overcoming unwanted same-sex attractions to identify as heterosexual. This person seeks a church home where they can share their story of God’s redemption and healing without fear, stigma or suspicion.
Both the “Struggler” and the “Seeker” have different needs in the church, and the Safe Exit ministry can provide help, support and answers for both.
Pastors in American culture today are in a tough spot,” Griggs said. “On the one hand, they worry about being compassionate and understanding while at the same time they are concerned about upholding biblical truths about homosexual behavior. Balancing compassion with truth and offering hope for change through ministering to those with unwanted same-sex attraction through resources and support is the goal of the Safe Exit program. It’s a delicate balance, but it’s one of the most important callings on churches and ministries today. That’s where Safe Exit can help.
Churches interested in finding out more about Safe Exit can 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 and deserves the love and support of friends, family, 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 child unconditionally, believing that true love is granted in spite of our differences by treating each other with kindness and respect. Each year, thousands of men and women with unwanted same-sex attractions make the personal decision to leave a gay 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 helping ex-gays and parents and friends of gays who want help, hope and community, and exists to educate, support, and advocate for individuals and parents on the issue of same-sex attraction, and increase others’ understanding and acceptance of the ex-gay community.
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