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Exodus board member responds to Robert Gagnon

August 27, 2012 By: Tom Coy Category: Ex-gay News, Religious Perspective

August 16, 2012

Following are some selected excerpts from Exodus board member John Warren’s article “Should Exodus International Fire Alan Chambers?”

… “However, Mr. Chambers, as well thought out and prepared as he is for each of his public speaking opportunities on these complex and sensitive matters, does not enjoy the luxury of writing 35 page articles which are researched, edited, and strategically circulated in an effort to discredit the subject. Mr. Chambers is a minister of the Gospel of our Lord, and he is in the trenches day after day and week after week serving a diverse and complex constituency to that end. Surely Dr. Gagnon must be able to see the heart of this man and this ministry.”

“Dr. Gagnon expresses concern that Mr. Chambers is condoning sin, and thereby giving a false sense of security to those who by the evidence of egregious sin in their lives are either not genuinely converted Christians or have fallen away. This concern is based on quotes of answers to questions and extemporaneous comments to various audiences. He goes on to critique Clark Whitten and his book, Pure Grace, similarly claiming that both Mr. Whitten and Mr. Chambers teach a doctrine that condones sin or at least makes salvation seem too easy and the Christian life one that can be lived without regard for sin or walking in a manner that is consistent with God’s truth. Contrary to our natural tendency to think that the grace of God would allow us to be soft on sin, Romans 2:4 and a number of other references make clear that ‘the goodness of God leads (us) to repentance.’ …”

… “Further, Dr. Gagnon cites scripture claiming that the security of the believer is tenuous at best. He makes the erroneous and inconsistent argument that salvation occurs by faith alone in Christ alone, but he states that, ‘Persistent and unrepentant sin of an egregious sort, I believe, can get one excluded from eternal life.’ To his credit, Dr. Gagnon then points out that no man can make this judgment call regarding another person. Dr. Gagnon rightly states that these are difficult matters; even stating that he once held the position that the believer is eternally secure in Jesus Christ. He goes on to list ‘texts that make the point clear’ that the believer who comes to Christ by faith alone may fall away or lose the salvation that Christ’s finished work on the cross provided. I find it difficult to believe that the learned Dr. Gagnon would have held to an erroneous view previously if texts make the point clear.’”

… “Clearly Dr. Gagnon’s position on eternal security in Christ differs sharply from the views of Alan, Clark, and many others of us who believe that we are kept by the same grace of God that saves us. This doctrinal difference is important, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker or a reason to separate. The propagation of heresy is a reason to separate, and neither Alan nor Dr. Gagnon is guilty of espousing heretical positions of essential matters of the Christian faith. Dr. Gagnon is right to hate sin as God does. He is right to warn that the habitual, unrepentant practice of egregious sin is indicative of an unregenerate soul. But he is wrong in his accusation that Alan Chambers and Clark Whitten treat sin lightly or even excuse it because of their recent references to the beauty of God’s grace. For some reason he has decided to attempt to publicly call out these two men because he feels that they are soft on sin and its impact. I know these men personally, I have read Clark Whitten’s books, and I have listened carefully to Alan Chamber’s talks. I can assure Dr. Gagnon and anyone who shares his concerns that these men have a biblical view of sin and repentance, and they have each invested many years teaching a hurting world to turn from their sin in humble trust of Jesus Christ our Lord for salvation.”