Editorial 32 - August 2006 - Regarding "My Life Away From Exodus"
Many people are used to reading through The Advocate articles on the internet. The Advocate is also available in a printed magazine format. The August 15, 2006 edition of The Advocate magazine has the article "My Life Away From Exodus" by David Luc Nguyen.
In the article, David Nguyen describes having a razor blade in his hand, ready to take his life. His experience with the ex-gay Christian group Exodus did not help David. Nguyen says the sessions he had "only deepened my sense of self-hatred." The article relates the experience another gay man had with the group Exodus.
There are dangers associated with ex-gay counselling. Under no conditions should pastors or parentspressure gay or bisexaul people into ex-gay counselling. Any gay or bisexual people asking about ex-gay counselling need to be warned of the dangers that are associated with ex-gay counselling.
David concludes his article "I felt like God was going to punish me if I wrote this piece and spoke out against the church." People representing the church often make mistakes. Those mistakes are often move obvious to people outside the church than they are to Christians. Many non-Christians understand Christianity is about radically inclusive grace. They immediately understand that telling gay and bisexual people God hates them is not consistent with how a loving God would act.
We actually do the cause of Christ a disservice when we are silent about mistakes and abuses in the church. People outside of Christianity see the problems too. When Christians are quiet about those problems, non-Christians wonder why nobody is speaking out against the abuses and why nobody is trying to solve the problems created by abuse. The church is a far healthier place when we can talk about mistakes Christians make and can openly work to overcome those mistakes.
Take comfort knowing you are doing the right thing David. God is pleased that you wrote the article explaining the problems created by ex-gay counselling.
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We encourage anybody contemplating suicide to get assistance. Do not fight through your feelings alone. You are not alone. There are people who care and who can help. Talk to somebody. Tell somebody how you feel. Discuss how you feel with a trusted friend of family member. Dial 911 or your local emergency phone number. Call the hospital or the police, talk to your physician, or get an appointment to talk to a counsellor.
A few resources for people who are feeling discouraged and are contemplating suicide appear below:
Suicide - Read This First.
Suicide Helplines Around The World.
YellowRibbon.org - Prevention of Teen Suicide.
Suicide Prevention - San Francisco Suicide Prevention site. Has crisis line number.
Suicide Help - University of South Dakota site with general information on suicide and links.