CHARLOTTE — WORLD, a Christian magazine based in the Queen City, has named Alan Chambers, the leader of the “ex-gay” Exodus International organization, its “Daniel of the Year,” a reference to the Hebrew prophet Daniel known to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike for his imprisonment and later safe delivery from a lions’ den.
The magazine made the announcement early this week and Chambers appears on the cover of the publication’s Dec. 17 issue.
Associate Publisher Warren Smith described the honor as a recognition of “one Christian from the millions around the world who have put their faith in God and gained the strength to stand up against ungodly trends.”
Chambers has become a lightening rod among LGBT people and activists for his work with Exodus International, a group that supports so-called reparative therapies and leads gay people to believe that they can become heterosexual.
The group’s track record of gay-to-straight conversion is unknown and activists have accused the group of lying to and misleading vulnerable LGBT people. Chambers himself has admitted that “ex-gay” conversion isn’t always likely.
“The opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality. It’s holiness,” Chambers famously wrote in his 2009 book, “Leaving Homosexuality.”
Chambers’ ministry has previously partnered with the anti-gay Focus on the Family. In 2009, Exodus and Focus on the Family hosted one of their several “Love Won Out” conferences in Charlotte.
Exodus has 10 affiliated churches and ministries in North Carolina, including four in the Charlotte-metro area.
WORLD‘s full profile of Chambers includes an in-depth interview with the “ex-gay” leader and his thoughts on his movement.