Restored Hope Network – The Dementia of the Radical Right

Exodus_International_logoIn the Spring of 2012, a new hate group emerged after breaking away from Exodous International (a non-profit, ex-gay, Christian organization that seeks to limit homosexual desires). According to Wikipedia: “Focus on the Family reaches out to persons with homosexual desires in cooperation with Exodus International through the Love Won Out Conference. Love Won Out maintains that “[t]he sin of homosexual behavior, like all sins, can be forgiven and healed by the grace revealed in the life and death of Christ. All sexual sin affects the human personality like no other sin, for sexual issues run deep into our character, and change is slow and uphill-but is possible nonetheless.” Exodus International aims to facilitate that change in accordance with the Love Won Out Conference.”

Back in 2009, Exodus International became involved in the Ugandan “Kill the Gays” effort, an effort they would later apologize for. Last year, Alan Chambers, President of Exodous International signaled a shift in the organizations previous policies stating that conversion therapy is potentially harmful to those participating and that it does not work. We can only speculate that the splintering occurred because of this shift and that the new group was unhappy with Chambers and his statements.

Calling themselves “Restored Hope Network,” the list of those who are Board members or endorsers according to Ex-Gay Watch reads like a list of Who’s Who, “not of the Christian Right (which would include Focus on the Family and the ethics wing of the Southern Baptist Convention), but of a Dominionist wing of Christianity that seeks to imprison or execute sexual minorities, suppress religious minorities, and replace the U.S. Constitution with its own harsh interpretation of the Bible.”

After reading the list, we concur. Understanding the Dominionist quest for power and subjugation of the American populace, gives us a reason for pause and caution regarding this group. Giving further credence to our speculation as to why the split from Exodus International is Chairman of the Board for RHN, Andrew Comiskey’s statement about the rebranding that Alan Chambers is striving for. (Rebranding is a trademark of Dominionists. When they find themselves under fire, they attempt to distance themselves from their critics while continuing their pursuits.)

“We at DSM are only indebted to the good of reparative therapy and its underpinnings in developmental psychology. How else would we understand how we become disintegrated in our gender identities, as well as gain objective markers en route to wholeness?

“We cannot afford to distance ourselves from the whole healing community, which must involve solid reparative therapists. They can do what we cannot in our ministries, and vice-versa. We need them!”

Andrew ComiskeyAndrew Comiskey founded Desert Stream Ministry in 1980. According to their Mission Statement: “Based on the biblical foundation of compassion, integrity, and dependence on God, Desert Stream Ministries proclaims to the world the transforming power of Jesus Christ. We equip the body of Christ to minister healing to the sexually and relationally broken through healing groups and leadership training for the local church.”

He claims to have been gay and came to the church as one of the “broken ones.” That term seems to be one that this group is quite fond of. Throughout their literature, homosexuals are referred to as “broken.”

In March of 2010, Desert Streams Ministry found itself embroiled in a scandal surrounding the sexual abuse of a young boy by a longstanding staff member. According to Truth Wins Out:

On March 8, Comiskey wrote a blog post entitled “Falling Mercies” where he says DSM had been, “cast out of our home church”, Vineyard Anaheim, as a result of “a darker strain of sin in our own ranks.” He goes onto reveal that this sin was, “a longstanding staff person from Desert Stream had sexually abused at least one teenager who had sought help from us.”

Comiskey alleges that he was a victim of seven-figure blackmail from the relative of one of the abused boys. This led to, “a scourging of our entire ministry through police interrogations, the naked bulb of insurance agents and their lawyers, and Vineyard elders who for good reason wanted to know what was really going on in Desert Stream Ministries.”

As a result of the investigation, Comiskey says DSM was “torn in two” and that “we the righteous became the scum of the earth–not only the defender of victims, but the predators.”

In his post, Comiskey seemed to care little for those harmed by DSM and tried to come across as a victim saying, “News of our tragedy, now official on police and court records, attracted our accusers like vultures: “Do they change homosexuals or create them?’”

Comiskey claims that, “At the end of 3 years, the case was settled. Our insurance covered most of the costs.” He rightfully thanks the media for not covering the story and allowing his ministry to continue. “Not one story was printed about the tragedy,” writes Comiskey. “God spared us. His mercy leveled and sustained DSM.”

“Comiskey is mocking the mainstream media for not serving as the public’ trusted watchdog,” said Besen. “I hope news outlets understand that inaction has allowed this ministry to continue its operations. Given these revelations, it would be an optimum time for the media to investigate this story.”

For reasons possibly related to this scandal, Comiskey moved Desert Stream from Anaheim to Kansas City, Mo., several years ago, where it currently remains in operation.

This is not the first time Desert Stream has been in trouble. In 1998, The Los Angeles Times reported that one family sued Desert Stream alleging that a minister had sexually abused a teenager while the youth was undergoing therapy to turn him heterosexual. Besen’ book, “Anything But Straight”, discusses a newsletter that says:

“At the end of 2000, we faced an unusual number of Desert Stream-related leaders who fell into sexual sin, or who at least demonstrated a colossal lack of wisdom in their social choices…several were placed on different plans of discipline and restoration.”

In February 2008, Truth Wins Out produced a video featuring “ex-gay’ survivor Jaylen Braiden, who claims an Exodus team leader at Desert Stream took him advantage of him.

Comiskey is one of the most influential ex-gay activists and groups use his curriculum, “Living Waters”, across the globe. Comiskey is the author of “” and calls homosexuality “spiritual disfigurement.” His book also indulges in “spiritual warfare”, calling homosexuality satanic.

“Satan delights in homosexual perversion because it not only exists outside of marriage, but it also defiles God’ very image reflected as male and female….Another related source of demonization is the homosexual relationship itself….that attachment and communion are indeed inspired, but the source is demonic.”

Stephen BlackVice Chairman Steven Black, also claiming to be previously gay, has been with First Stone Ministries since 1993. First Stone Ministries specializes in helping people who struggle with unwanted same sex attractions, homosexuality and all forms of sexual and relational brokenness to finding freedom in Jesus Christ. First Stone Ministries is dedicated to the healing of the homosexual, and otherwise sexually-broken, and wounded.

According to Truth Wins Out: “Black patches together numerous Bible verses that have nothing to do with sexual orientation; falsifies statistics about “ex-gay” success rates; presents a series of unsupported strawman arguments which he says represent a monolithic and evil gay ideology; and presents his own misguided gossip and incompetent Biblical scholarship as God’s true word.”

Ron SmithSecretary Ron Smith joined the ex-gay movement in 2001. He reportedly lived as a gay man with the same partner for 18 years. After spending two and a half years in New Hope Ministries “Step Out Program,” Smith was supposedly “cured of his homosexual lifestyle.” He makes the following claim:

 “All along the way, I’ve been seeking Christ to transform me into the man he has called me to be. My life verse is I Corinthians 16:13-14: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”

 

Treasurer Jason Thompson is, of course, another “cured” homosexual.

Jason ThompsonAccording to his RHN biography:

In 1989, at the age of 19, Jason Thompson approached a crossroads in his young life — what to do with his unwanted homosexual feelings. Relying on his Christian upbringing, he made the difficult decision to follow God’s word and sought help to overcome his struggle and walk in freedom. His search led him to Portland Fellowship, a Christ-centered ministry to those who desire change from sexual brokenness. Through biblical counseling, and loving support, Jason overcame his homosexuality and now serves as Executive Director for Portland Fellowship.

Jason graduated from Multnomah Bible College in Portland Oregon and holds a Masters Degree in Counseling from Western Seminary and is an ordained minister through the church. He and his wife Amy had Abigail, who passed away at 3 1/2 months due to a heart defect. Jason and Amy are raising two boys, Trevor and Cody.

Jason has counseled numerous adults and youth and has spoken to many church groups, colleges (including Moody Bible Institute and Multnomah Bible College, Concorida, Linfield, George Fox, and Western Seminary), and retreat centers. His story has been published in several magazines and booklets. Jason made appearances on local and national Christian and secular television programs and has been interviewed on several local and national radio programs.

Jason has also produced the “The Map”, and interactive CD ROM for youth and in 2008 produced and launched www.reachtruth.com, an online support program and in 2012, produced www.takingbackground.com.

In August of 2012, Thompson announced that his Portland Fellowship had left Exodus International. In his newsletter he listed two reasons for the spilt:

The problem for many Exodus ministries, including Portland Fellowship, is the two-fold message; 1) there is no eternal reason to seek repentance for the self-identified and practicing ‘Gay Christian’; and 2) that change simply isn’t a goal or a strong reality for the majority. So what is the point of Exodus? At the recent annual Exodus conference, Alan opens the conference by answering the question with, “the answer that came to mind was the thing I was looking for was I didn’t want to be alone anymore.”

Robert GagnonBoard Member Dr. Robert Gagnon is another piece of work. In his own words:

On extending domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples:

“[T]he supposition of extending some benefits to homosexual relationships underestimates the degree to which such relationships are offensive to God and are repulsively contrary to nature. Homosexual relationships are far worse than polyamory, worse even than adultery (isn’t it unfair not to allow health benefits and inheritance laws to extend to one’s mistress?), and comparable to, or more likely worse than, the worst forms of adult-incest (e.g., a man and his mother). The state should not in any way want to be accommodating to homosexual unions. It should do everything it can in terms of persuasion (short of violence and incarceration, of course) to discourage such unions.”

From a theological perspective, the core problem with any attempted homosexual bond is not merely that it is structurally incongruous. It is also, by definition, sexually narcissistic or at least sexually self-deceptive. As one ancient text put it, in a critique of male homosexual practice: “One nature [rather than two] came together in one bed. But seeing themselves in one another, they were ashamed neither of what they were doing, nor of what they were having done to them.” Or, as St. Paul put it: “males… were inflamed with their yearning for one another, males with males…” If one is conscious of being strongly aroused by the distinctive features of one’s own sex, it is a case of sexual narcissism. If one is not conscious of this sameness but thinks instead of a same-sex partner as completing what is lacking in one’s own sex (probably the more common scenario), then it is a case of sexual self-deception. A self-perception of gender deficit, expressed in a desire to merge with someone of the same sex, is consistent with scientific research regarding (1) high rates of gender nonconformity among homosexual males and (2) preferences on the part of most adult homosexual males for very “masculine” men..”

Love is about recovering people for the kingdom of God, not consigning them to hell. The irony is here it’s actually those who are tolerating the serial unrepentant sexual immorality that are consigning the individual to hell. And no matter what they feel affectively in themselves, functionally it turns out to be hate. If a person has two young children and those children want to touch a hot stove, and the parent says “there there, knock yourself out, go ahead and explore,” those parents are not considered loving. In fact, state social services takes the children out of the home and the parents go to prison. So clearly tolerance is not always loving. The issue that has to be faced here with regard to homosexual practice is first a truth question. Are people genuinely at risk in their relationship to God through serial unrepentant behavior?”

Gagnon was offended and enraged by Alan Chambers statements and issued a 34 page rant attempting to rebut Chambers’ statements.

Anne PaulkBoard member and Network Coordinator, Anne Paulk is pretty well known among the Dominionists seeking to cure homosexuality as she purports to be a recipient of their healing powers. Additionally, she married the poster boy for these charlatans, John Paulk who fell from grace and dumped her.

She is the author of Restoring Sexual Identity: Hope for Women Who Struggle with Same-Sex Attraction, and has been on numerous radio and TV programs promoting the cause. From an article by Wayne Besen on Truth Wins Out from December of last year, we get the real story behind the Paulk charade:

(BE SURE AND CHECK OUT THE VIDEO)

John and Anne Paulk were the king and queen of the so-called “ex-gay” industry. Anne had appeared in the Religious Right’s 1998 “Truth in Love” campaign with a full page ad in the New York Times headlined, “I’m living proof that Truth can set you free.” She was on the cover of Newsweek with her husband, John, who was the founder of Focus on the Family’s Love Won Out program and the Chairman of Exodus International. John had also appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, and 60 Minutes, dissembling about how he prayed away the gay and married his “ex-lesbian” wife, Anne.

On Sept. 19, 2000 the lie abruptly ended when I photographed John in Mr. P’s, a Washington, DC gay bar.

Well, we thought the fraud had ended.

Paulk was interviewed by James Dobson on Focus on the Family radio, where the group claimed that Paulk had simply “slipped” into temporary sin. On the show, John plead for forgiveness and claimed that he had made a mistake by walking into “Satan’s Trap.”

A couple of years later, the Paulk family moved to Portland, Oregon where John started a new life as a chef and opened Mezzaluna Catering, which featured a staff of highly attractive male models. For years, the Paulks were left alone to move on with their lives.

However, they never really did move on. John spoke at a 2010 Evergreen “ex-gay” conference. Anne continued peddling the lie that one can “pray away the gay.”

Earlier this year, I debated Focus on the Family’s Timothy Dailey on a radio program. During the show, Dailey claimed that despite the Mr. P’s incident, the Paulk family was an example of an “ex-gay” success story and that John had returned to heterosexuality. This was odd, because people had contacted Truth Wins Out claiming that John Paulk was part of the gay night scene, with a special affinity for Silverado, a gay strip club.

In Sept. 2012, Anne Paulk helped found the Restored Hope Network, a group of “ex-gay” ministries that were defecting from Exodus because its leader, Alan Chambers, claimed that Exodus did not successfully convert homosexuals into heterosexuals. While speaking at the inaugural Restored Hope Network meeting, Anne misled the crowd by exploiting her crumbling marriage from the stage:

“I never thought I would be married and the mother of three sons,” she told the eager crowd mixed with anti-gay extremists and the hurting parents of gay children.

Anne’s version of their marriage was bizarre, because several people in Portland had told me they had recently split up.

Tired of the continuing lies, Truth Wins Out contacted John and asked him to come out with dignity, so his tale of change could no longer be used to justify anti-gay discrimination or promote “ex-gay” programs. We asked John to contact Focus on the Family and tell them the truth — that he was a gay man — so they would no longer promote his story.

John refused several offers to publicly tell the truth about his life on his own terms.

From Wikipedia:

“In April 2013, Paulk disavowed his belief in gay reparative therapy, announcing that while he remains a devout Christian he also identifies as a gay (not formerly gay) man and believes that reparative therapy is both futile and harmful. He announced that his marriage is ending and he issued a formal apology for his role as an advocate of the movement.”

Denise ShickAnother Board member, Denise Shick is the Founder and Director of Help 4 Families Ministry. She is the author of My Daddy’s Secret and When Hope Seems Lost.

Help 4 Families Ministry poses as an outreach ministry for family members dealing with the torment of homosexuality. Denise welcomes everyone with this message:

“Now, as an adult who has received much insight and healing of my own, I’m at a place to offer a helping hand to others caught in similar circumstance, primarily having to do with Gender Identity Disorders. Help 4 Families is designed to give you the encouragement, loving support, and open-handed approach towards your own restoration; the kind of help I longed to experience as a youngster. If you are searching for a listening ear and/or basic information for yourself, your minister and others, or basic help in locating a Christian counselor, as well as others who are ready and eager to help on-line, you have now found your helping hand.”

But, these “Board Members” are just the tip of the iceberg in this list of Dominionist cretins. The newly announced Board of Reference is where we must turn our attention at this juncture.

Randy AlcornRandy Alcorn – the Founder and Director of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM) and award winning author. In November 2009, Alcorn signed an ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on Evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox not to comply with rules and laws permitting abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences.

Alcorn was arrested several times in 1989, for blocking the doors to several abortion clinics. One of those clinics sued him and others and won a judgment. Randy refused to pay. Prior to the suit, he had placed all of the family assests in the name of his wife and gave away or sold all of the copyrights to his books. Claiming that he had no assests, the court garnished his wages. Consequently he resigned his position with the church. Later he would establish the Eternal Perspectives Ministries – a Dominionist outfit seeking to convert the “unreached, unfed, unborn, uneducated, unreconciled, and unsupported people around the world.”

Matt BarberMatt Barber – a Constitutional Law Attorney and Associate Dean for Career and Professional Development as well as Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Liberty University, which in and of itself deserves a post all of its own. He lists as his areas of interests and teaching: Pro-family public policy and cultural advocacy; Judicial and Constitutional integrity, Strategic Career Guidance and Counseling; and Sexual Behavior and the Law.

No newcomer to the ultra-right-wing conservative ideology, Barber previously served as Policy Director for Beverly LaHaye’s Concerned Women For America. According to his biography he proudly proclaims:

As a published freelance writer, many newspapers and online publications run his columns, including the Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Insight magazine, WorldNetDaily.com, TownHall.com, and others. Dean Barber frequently appears on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN, and is a regular guest on dozens of talk radio programs and networks, including Michael Savage, G. Gordon Liddy, Michael Medved, Janet Parshall, Michael Reagan, and Dennis Prager.

The Liberty Counsel hosts the Faith and Freedom show that is seen on approximately 90 channels. Today, as I was writing this article, Matt Barber appeared on that program and proffered the idea that homosexuals are buying children as if they were pets.



In his own words:

“Just because two people want to play house and pretend that they’re a married couple, a man and a man or a woman and a woman, guess what, they still have to bring in a third party, whether it’s two lesbians with artificial insemination or two homosexual males through having to adopt from somebody who naturally had children. It’s an assault on truth, it’s an attack on truth and it’s rebellion against God.”

In March of 2012, Barber stated that he opposed “violence against people who engage in these aberrant sexual behaviors,” but he also opposes efforts to investigate and prevent such violence and discrimination. On the Faith and Freedom show, Matt Barber reiterated his support of countries that outlaw homosexuality and warned that anti-violence measures are a “Trojan Horse to repress the church and anyone who holds traditional values.” (Right Wing Watch)

Steve BergerSteve Berger – founding pastor of Grace Chapel – a transformational Dominionist church. Steve is also the founder of CalvaryChapelPomonaValley in Southern California.

 

 

Michael BrownDr. Michael Brown – the founder and president of FIRESchool of Ministry in Concord, North   Carolina. He is the Director of the Coalition of Conscience, and the host of the daily syndicated talk show, “In the Line of Fire.”

According to his biography, “Since coming to faith in 1971 as a 16 year-old, heroin-shooting Jewish rock drummer, Dr. Michael Brown has devoted his life to fostering awakening in the Church, sparking moral and cultural revolution in the society, raising up gospel laborers for the nations, and reaching out to his own Jewish people. He is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio broadcast, the president of FIRE School of Ministry, and a professor of Bible and Hebrew studies at several leading seminaries. He has preached in more than 25 nations and is the author of 22 books and numerous scholarly and popular articles. Dr. Brown has debated Jewish rabbis, agnostic professors, and gay activists on radio, TV, and college campuses, and he is widely considered to be the world’s foremost Messianic Jewish apologist.”

Last year, the Southern Poverty Law Center listed Michael Brown as one of their 30 New Activists Heading up the Religious Right. They had this to offer on Brown:

Michael Brown is not typical of most who push the idea that a cabal of liberal media elites have orchestrated a so-called “homosexual agenda” to indoctrinate children into a lifestyle that makes a mockery of Christian values.

The founder of the FIRE School in Ministry in Concord, N.C., and host of the daily, nationally syndicated talk-radio show “The Line of Fire,” Brown frequently discusses his conversion to Christianity “as a sixteen-year-old, heroin-shooting, LSD-using Jewish rock drummer.” With a doctorate in Near Eastern languages and literatures, he considers himself the world’s “foremost Messianic Jewish apologist” and has taught, he says, at seven theological seminaries.

But in recent years, Brown has ventured beyond seminary walls to take on a new, activist anti-LGBT project, selling himself as an expert speaker on the issue of “cultural revolution.” He has appeared on television and radio talk shows and last year delivered a keynote presentation at the annual conference for the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), the pre-eminent source of junk science aimed at “curing” gay people.

“Speak now,” he says frequently when discussing homosexuality, “or forever hold your peace.”

Unlike many other voices on the religious right, Brown generally has avoided the kind of slashing rhetoric that often devolves into rank defamation. His work is heavily footnoted and avoids the blanket pronouncements that have gotten others in trouble. But he still can sound conspiratorial.

“When it comes to denying the existence of a gay agenda, there is ‘immense unity’ in the gay community. Why? It is because the denial of that agenda is part of the agenda. … That is the necessary piece of the puzzle,” Brown wrote in A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been, a 691-page critique of homosexuality he self-published in 2011.

“[I]t is not good that homosexual behavior is presented as just another alternative to heterosexual behavior, that bisexuality is celebrated, that transgenderism [sic] is normalized, that sex-change surgery is presented as the thing to do, that ex-gays are ridiculed and their very existence denied,” Brown wrote.

Brown has also been known to make spurious claims linking homosexuality and pedophilia. In a 2011 essay, he suggested that Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach who sexually abused a number of children, was a gay man. “Could it be,” Brown asked, “that the [Penn State] sex abuse scandal involved a man allegedly abusing boys, meaning that the acts were homosexual in nature?”

Researchers, however, established long ago that chronic pedophiles like Sandusky have no sexual interest in any adult and can’t be considered homosexual or heterosexual. The American Psychological Association, contrary to Brown’s insinuations, has officially concluded “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men.”

Donald CarsonDonald Arthur Carson – a Canadian born evangelical minister. He is a research professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. In 2007, he, along with Tim Keller, a Presbyterian minister out of New York, started the Gospel Coalition. The Gospel Coalition is a Reformed Evangelical Christian Organization. According to their website they are unhappy with mainstream Christianity:

“We are a fellowship of evangelical churches deeply committed to renewing our faith in the gospel of Christ and to reforming our ministry practices to conform fully to the Scriptures. We have become deeply concerned about some movements within traditional evangelicalism that seem to be diminishing the church’s life and leading us away from our historic beliefs and practices. On the one hand, we are troubled by the idolatry of personal con- sumerism and the politicization of faith; on the other hand, we are distressed by the unchallenged acceptance of theological and moral relativism. These movements have led to the easy abandonment of both biblical truth and the transformed living mandated by our historic faith. We not only hear of these influences, we see their effects. We have committed ourselves to invigorating churches with new hope and compelling joy based on the promises received by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.”

Accordingly, they incorporate the decidedly Dominionist Statement of Faith into their description as well as promoting anti-gay literature on their website.

Father Paul CheckFather Paul Check – Director of the Courage apostolate. Yes, he is Catholic and yes, Catholics CAN be Dominionists. The Courage Apostolate is a Catholic organization dedicated to “curing” homosexuals. From their Website:

Courage, an apostolate of the Catholic Church, ministers to persons with same-sex attractions and their loved ones. We have been endorsed by the Pontifical Council for the Family and our beloved John Paul II said of this ministry, “COURAGE is doing the work of God!” We also have an outreach called EnCourage which ministers to relatives, spouses, and friends of persons with same-sex attractions.

They host a “Christian Manhood Men’s Retreat,” as well as a variety of conferences. They list Five Goals of Courage which are:

To live chaste lives in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality. ( Chastity )

To dedicate our entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. (Prayer and Dedication)

To foster a spirit of fellowship in which we may share with one another our thoughts and experiences, and so ensure that no one will have to face the problems of homosexuality alone. (Fellowship)

To be mindful of the truth that chaste friendships are not only possible but necessary in a chaste Christian life; and to encourage one another in forming and sustaining these friendships. (Support)

To live lives that may serve as good examples to others. (Good Example/Role Model)

And based upon the Twelve Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous, they list the Twelve Steps of Courage:

We admitted that we were powerless over homosexuality and our lives had become unmanageable.

We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

We made a decision to turn our will and our lives to the care of God as we understood Him.

We made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves.

We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects in our character.

We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make direct amends to them all.

We made the direct amends to such people wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.

We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

We sought through prayer and meditation improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for the knowledge of God’s Will for us and the power to carry it out.

Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Jim GarlowJim Garlow – the pastor of the SkylineChurch in La   Mesa, California. Garlow is credited with being a leader in the Pulpit Freedom Movement which insists that pastors should be free to carry out political advocacy from the pulpit and still maintain their tax-exempt status.

Back in 2008, Garlow and his Skyline church took the lead in organizing Christian groups in an all out effort to support California’s Propostition 8 which banned same-se marriage. In 2010, he was appointed to head up the Renewing American Leadership Foundation started by Dominionist Presidential Candidate, Newt Gingrich.

June HuntJune Hunt – (From Wikipedia)  CEO http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Hunt and CSO (Chief Servant Officer) of Hope For The Heart, the nonprofit ministry she founded in 1986. She is the author of the Biblical Counseling Library, a 100-volume collection of topical, biblical counseling manuals, that serves as the foundation for Hope For The Heart’s international broadcasts, training, publishing, teaching and biblical counseling ministry. Hunt’s two radio broadcasts—Hope In The Night, a live 2-hour call-in counseling program, and Hope For The Heart, a half-hour teaching program—air on approximately 900 radio outlets worldwide.

Between 1989 and 1992, she developed and taught Counseling Through The Bible, a scripturally-based counseling course addressing 100 topics in categories such as marriage and family, rocky relationships, emotional entrapments, Christian apologetics, as well as addictions and abuse. Since then, the coursework has been continuously refined to form the basis for the Biblical Counseling Library, composed of 100 topical training manuals, each called Biblical Counseling Keys.

Hunt is the founder and CEO of The Hope Center in Plano, Texas, a permanent home for nearly 50 nonprofit Christian ministries that share common space, a technology backbone, and amenities under one roof. Hope For The Heart is the Center’s anchor tenant and offers walk-in counseling by appointment at the Center.

Hunt, who holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Criswell College, has been a regular guest professor at colleges and seminaries. She trains peers annually at the American Association of Christian Counselor’s conference and speaks at numerous other national and international conferences, as well as religious and broadcasting events each year on topics such as forgiveness, anger, fear, childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Juan MartinezDr. Juan Martinez – (From his biography) – Juan Martínez is associate provost for diversity and international programs and associate professor of Hispanic studies and pastoral leadership. Since coming to Fuller in 2001, Dr. Martínez has also served as director of the Center for the Study of Hispanic Church and Community. Among other topics, his current research focuses on the history of Latino Protestantism, Latino Protestant identity, ministry in Latino Protestant churches, Latino and Latin American Anabaptists, and transnational mission among US Latinos.

Martínez joined Fuller from the Latin American Anabaptist Seminary in Guatemala City, Guatemala, where he served as rector for nine years. A Mennonite Brethren pastor, Martínez also has experience in church planting and teaching in both religious and secular venues. He served as director of Hispanic Ministries for the Pacific District Conference of the Mennonite Brethren Church and of Instituto Bíblico del Pacífico, a Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute.

Joseph NicolosiJoseph Nicolosi – (From Wikipedia) an American clinical psychologist, founder and director of the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, California, and a founder and former president of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).Nicolosi has advocated and practiced reparative therapy, a practice that he claims can help people overcome or mitigate their homosexual desires and replace them with heterosexual ones.

Nicolosi has described his theories in Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality: A New Clinical Approach and three other books. Nicolosi proposes that homosexuality is often the product of a condition he describes as gender-identity deficit caused by an alienation from, and perceived rejection by, individuals of the subject’s gender. He holds a Ph.D. from the California School of Professional Psychology.

Ray OrtlandRay Ortland – (From Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_C._Ortlund,_Jr.  Pastor at Immanuel Church in Nashville, TN. He also serves as President of Renewal Ministries, Regional Director in the Acts 29 Network, and Council Member of The Gospel Coalition (Don Carson’s outfit). Ortlund is perhaps most well known for his contribution to the ESV Study Bible, his expositional commentary on Isaiah, and his blog “Christ is Deeper Still.”

The Acts 29 Network is a church networking organization dedicated to the activity of church planting (i.e. establishing new local congregations).. It derives its name from the Book of Acts in the New Testament, which has 28 chapters, making Acts 29 the “next chapter” in the history of the church.[1] A number of other Christian organisations also use the phrase “Acts 29″ in their name.[

Ortlund is known for passionate expositional preaching, Christocentric exegesis, and a strong emphasis on gospel grace over bible-belt legalism.

Janet ParshallJanet Parshall – (From her Biography) http://www.restoredhopenetwork.com/index.php/who-we-are/board-of-reference  Janet has been consistently profiled as one of the top 100 "talkers" in Talkers magazine, the leading trade publication of the talk industry. In 2011 and 2008, Janet was awarded the National Religious Broadcasters On-Air Personality of the Year. Janet was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Religious Broadcasters in 1998, and has served on its Executive Board since 2001. She is the recipient of the Excellence in Communications award from Women in Christian Media. Janet was also elected to Sigma Delta Omega for high attainments in the field of broadcasting.

Throughout her career, Janet has been a devoted advocate of the principles and policies that strengthen the family. In February 2005, Parshall was selected by President George W. Bush to represent the White House as public delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. As a radio and television commentator, author, and advocate for the family, Janet speaks nationwide on public policy issues that impact family preservation and promotion.

Leanne PayneLeanne Payne – A leader the Healing Prayer Movement. She is the Founder and President of Pastoral Care Ministries. Now, Janet might just be certifiably insane. At one point she claimed that God told her that she was pregnant by creating a baby shaped cloud.

In her book, “The Broken Image,” she compares homosexuals to cannibals. Accordint to Truth Wins Out:

“…she opines that homosexuals are not truly interested in having intercourse with same-sex partners. Much like how a cannibal eats victims to ingest their traits, gay men only have sex to ingest the masculinity of partners. She believes that gay men are promiscuous because they keep trying in vain to become masculine through sex — when only praying to Jesus can accomplish this.”

But that isn’t the end of this woman’s madness. Janet doesn’t believe in masturbation and she has created a prayer specifically to help others stop this practice – I kid you not! Here it is:

“In the name of Jesus Christ I say that this creative energy from now on shall flow in its normal channel, and it shall not overflow anymore to the right hand or to the left hand. I build high dikes on the right hand and on the left hand and in Jesus’ Name I command that it shall not overflow to the left hand or the right hand, but it shall flow quietly in its normal channel.”

Georgene RiceGeorgene Rice – (From her biography) Georgene has been a talk show host with KPDQ for more than 20 years and has traveled internationally as a station correspondent. In 2003 Georgene served as the chief spokesman and debater for the Defense of Marriage Coalition, which successfully amended Oregon’s constitution. She has lectured on university campuses and is a frequent speaker and worship leader at Christian conferences and retreats. Georgene has served on several Boards and regularly volunteers for charitable organizations. A musician Georgene and husband Dan have traveled around the world teaching and performing Gospel music.

StaverMatt Staver - the Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and also serves as Vice President of Liberty University, Dean and Professor of Law at Liberty University School of Law, and Chairman of Liberty Counsel Action. He has the highest AV rating given to attorneys by Martindale-Hubbell and is board certified in Appellate Practice.

Matt produces and hosts Faith & Freedom, a 15-minute daily radio program, and Freedom’s Call, a 90-second daily radio program, focusing on topics of cultural and political interest from a Christian worldview. He serves on the Board of Reference of The Christian Film & Television Commission. As a former pastor and one of the nation’s preeminent constitutional attorneys, he frequently appears as a guest on national network and cable TV and radio programs and also appears in several thousand print articles each year.

(From Wikipedia) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathew_Staver He authored nine books, including Faith and Freedom: A Complete Handbook for Defending Your Religious Rights, Religion and the Future of America; Religious Expression in Public Schools; Judicial Tyranny; Political Activity of Nonprofit Organizations, Union Membership and its Constitutional Implications, Take Back America, and Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk, to be released in September, 2004. He has also authored law review and journal articles on a variety of topics, including Disestablishmentarianism Collides With the First Amendment: The Ghost of Thomas Jefferson Still Haunts Churches, and Lifting the Veil: An Expose' on the American Bar Association's Arbitrary and Capricious Accreditation Process. Staver is a constitutional litigator and conducts hundreds of media interviews each year.

From GLAAD- In his own words:

http://www.glaad.org/cap/mat-staver

Suggested marriage equality should lead opponents to rise up and fight “another American Revolution.

-- Or a civil war, perhaps: "[The marriage fight] is the thing that revolutions literally are made of. This would be more devastating to our freedom, to our religious freedom, to the rights of pastors and their duty to be able to speak and to Christians around the country, then anything that the revolutionaries during the American Revolution even dreamed of facing. This would be the thing that revolutions are made of. This could split the country right in two. This could cause another civil war. I’m not talking about just people protesting in the streets, this could be that level because what would ultimately happen is a direct collision would immediately happen with pastors, with churches, with Christians, with Christian ministries, with other businesses, it would be an avalanche that would go across the country.” “

– On the repeal of the discriminatory Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: “We believe they’ve slapped the military in the face and have betrayed the men and women in the service by using the military to push the homosexual agenda. We will ask the House to refuse to fund the repeal, which will take millions of dollars to fund.”

– Claims that children with gay parents will end up “behind bars for committing violent crimes.” (0:00 – 0:56)

– “It may sound crass, but take a fan for example, and instead of having the male plug, have the female plug, and try to see if you can make it work. You’re not going to be able to plug it into a wall. The fact is nature teaches you — you don’t have to have anything — that’s why a five-year-old can understand that this is against nature. That’s why it’s been called a crime against nature. (0:00 – 0:27)

Sam StormsDr. Sam Storms – (From his Biography) Sam Storms is the Lead Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bridgeway Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the President of Enjoying God Ministries (www.samstorms.com). He has authored or edited 22 books and has published numerous journal articles and book reviews. He is a graduate of The University of Oklahoma (BA), Dallas Theological Seminary (ThM), and The University of Texas at Dallas (PhD). He and his wife Ann have been married for 41 years and are the parents of two grown daughters and have four grandchildren.

http://www.restoredhopenetwork.com/index.php/who-we-are/board-of-reference

Christopher WestChristorpher West – a Catholic Theologian. (From Wikipedia) West has been delivering lectures since 1997, mostly on topics such as Christian anthropology, the Creed, morality, sacraments, marriage, sexuality, and family life. He has also spoken on national radio and on television. He is one of the main educators in the Theology of the Body Institute, which offers graduate level courses and other training programs on the Theology of the Body.

Theology of the Body is the topic of a series of 129 lectures given by Pope John Paul II during his Wednesday audiences in St. Peter’s Square and the Pope Paul VI Hall between September 1979 and November 1984. It was the first major teaching of his pontificate. The complete addresses were later compiled and expanded upon in many of John Paul’s encyclicals, letters, and exhortations.

The Anti-Gay Movement has many such “organizations.” Most are equally as strident in their message and their actions. This group, however, has managed to pull in some of the most vociferous and egregiously hateful activists that the Movement has to offer. They have been in the process of scheduling numerous regional events for the Summer and are planning more in the Fall.

 

6 responses to “Restored Hope Network – The Dementia of the Radical Right

  1. There seem to be an abundance of leaders in this movement, but do they really have that many followers? Or are they speaking mostly to the same “choir”? I am amused at the percentage of their “ex-gays” who fall off the wagon. You’d think they’d get the picture.

  2. Rev Dr Steve Wayles

    good grief. Shallow Scripture interpretation. Shallow Theology. Shallow Psychology. Shallow understanding of history. … Do we see an underlying theme here??

  3. Rev Dr Steve Wayles

    It is tragic the licenses of these charlatans cannot be pulled. Those of us in parish ministry always have to pick up the pieces of their pretend “cures” – that is when we’re lucky enough that their clients (victims!) don’t succeed at suicide. Shame on the X gay movement for failing to see God’s handiwork in the variety of creation. Shame on the X gay movement for the idolatry trying to remake people in their own sick image!

  4. I have wondered about what the suicide or attempted suicide rate is among their victims, Rev. Wayles. There are so many of these groups, but they all seem to be related to each other. I am absolutely repulsed by their arrogance and their Biblical cherry-picking.

    • Rev Dr Steve Wayles

      The suicide attempt rate of gay, young people is high. Most of us ministering in progressive churches have dealt with people who have been in the Exodus movement or been through “exorcisms” to pray away the gay, and when it didn’t work they have tried to kill themselves. A good book about this is “Prayers for Bobby,” who alas succeeded. They all say they didn’t attempt suicide because of their gay feelings, but because of the religious judgment they get from their churches and families. Most responsible scientists insist that sexuality is not a choice, but something with which we are born. So theologically, sexuality would fall in the same category with our other gifts with which we are born, and which we discover as we grow. We know spiritually when we are “at home” with a job or course of study or the person or the sexuality that God gave us. People don’t decide to be gay. They discover that they ARE gay.

  5. Thank you for that, Steve. I spent 30 years working with troubled teens, several who were gay, so I know what you say to be true. One of the toughest things for them to deal with was, of course, peer pressure and the judgment that was passed on them. I can only imagine how that kind of judgment from the church could damage the psyche of those who are struggling with their sexuality. Discovering their homosexuality and embracing it as the that “gift” of which you speak is certainly a freeing of the spirit.

    These charlatans who call themselves “Christians,” do so much harm to so many people on so many levels.

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