Exodus Int'l: Churches Shying from Controversy

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Another church has decided to cut ties with Exodus International, a ministry well-known for its efforts to help homosexuals.

Willow Creek Community Church made the decision to split from the group as early as 2009, although news that the megachurch had left Exodus International's network did not surface until late last month.

Willow Creek director of pastoral care Scott Vaudrey said the decision came during "a season of reviewing and clarifying some of our affiliations with outside organizations."

Watch CBN News Reporter Mark Martin's report, including interviews with Exodus President Alan Chambers and Regent psychology professor Mark Yarhouse.

But Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International, said Willow Creek's departure is evidence of a "disappointing trend" in the Christian community, with churches and other groups shying away from controversial issues -- like homosexual outreach.

"There are Christians who believe like one another who aren't willing to stand with one another, simply because they're afraid of the backlash people will direct their way if they are seen with somebody who might not be politically correct," Chambers charged.

Willow Creek is a Chicago-based megachurch with 24,000 members in satellite locations around the country. Polls have also named Willow Creek the most influential church in America.

Exodus International has seen several departures over the years.

Last year, the Canadian ministry New Direction decided to part from Exodus, saying leaders were "uncomfortable with some of the messages expressed in a variety of ways through the very diverse Exodus network."

In 2008, Where Grace Abounds -- one of the oldest and largest Exodus-affiliated ministries -- also left.

Exodus International is the world's largest ministry that reaches out to homosexuals. The group is often criticized for its attempts to convert homosexuals and, among other events, holds an annual conference for former gays and lesbians.

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