Homosexuality and Religion

April 5, 2008 8:39:52 PM PDT
People gathered at a Fresno church Saturday with two differing views on religion and homosexuality. Exodus International is a ministry that offers freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ, but those attending the conference were met with demonstrators outside the church.Carlos Streeter of Visalia has struggled with S.S.A's, or same sex attractions, since puberty. "I never felt comfortable with homosexuality and my SSA's. I just felt there had to be something better," said Streeter. Through his relationship with God, and ministries like Exodus International, Streeter is working though those issues.

Alan Chambers with Exodus International believes everybody struggles with something. Chambers said, "Theres help for anybody who wants it. We serve a really big god who has a big enough heart to love us all."

Through panel discussions and music, Saturday's conference at the Bridge Evangelical Free Church offered help to those wanting to leave the homosexual lifestyle. But demonstrators gathered outside the church said there is no reason people need to change. "There's different sides of looking at this issue at homosexuality and the church. You don't need to change. We're here to make sure people know there's options out there," said Wendy Slack with Wesley Celebration.

Wesley Celebration is a ministry group at Wesley United Methodist Church. Its members say God accepts everyone as they are. "We believe god has created us all in his image. And he loves us whether we happen to be gay or straight," said Christa Lisbon with Wesley Celebration. The demonstrators said they went to the church with signs in hands there to offer conference attendees alternatives.

Both groups gathered at the church Saturday said they were trying to spread hope to others. But the group inside said they are not forcing anyone change. "We are here because we would like to see change ourselves. We would like to change. We're not being forced to do anything. We don't necessarily fell like we're an adversary to the people outside," said Streeter.


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