A new Sydney based 'ex-gay' ministry emerges and long running 'Liberty Christian Ministries' set sights on expansion

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Youth Coordinator
Joined in 2008
June 16, 2010, 15:30

Hey all,

So as you probably know I tend to keep a close eye on the Ex-gay movement around Australia but particularly in Sydney. So far I found some interesting information in relation to two Sydney ex-gay ministries – Liberty Christian Ministries and Beyond Egypt.

Liberty Christian Ministries is a non-denominational (but essentially Anglican) ‘ex-gay’ ministry based in Sydney which “offers support, hope and education to Christian men and women who struggle with unwanted homosexual feelings” (Liberty, 2010).

Beyond Egypt – A new Sydney ex-gay ministry??

After over a year of no updates, Liberty Christian Ministries have updated their website (dated 27 May 2010). This includes some minor changes to their ‘beliefs’ and ‘who we are’ sections but more interestingly under their ‘Other contacts’ section is a reference to a similar ‘partner’ ministry called ‘Beyond Egypt’ which is “a Christian support group for people struggling with unwanted same sex attraction, sexual addiction and/or emotional dependancy” (Liberty, 2010).

This ministry is also listed online as “‘Beyond Egypt is a 15 week support group for men and women struggling with sexual and relational brokenness (including unwanted same-sex attraction, pornography, masturbation and sexual promiscuity). It is a ministry of St Paul’s Anglican Church Carlingford and is held at a confidential location in the Central West of Sydney. New in 2009, the Beyond Egypt support group will include time for men and women to separate for gender-specific teaching, discussion and accountability” (St John’s 2009).

Liberty Christian Ministries – New Structure and Support

The new structure of Liberty is stated on the website

  • “We are seeking to establish a committee of working members. I am pleased to welcome many new people. Dr Andrew Ford and I are from the original committee, but now we have Dr David Peterson, who was one of the founders of this ministry; Francis Chalwell, who is minster at St Michaels Surry Hills; Jane Tooher, who works at Moore College; and Emma Binns, who has extensive experience in this ministry with her involvement with Beyond Egypt. We also have Graeme Watkins , who works at Wesley Mission and Kate Hagar. This committee is energetic and thoughtful in their approach to this ministry” (Liberty, 2010).

Liberty Christian Ministries – Plans for expansion

After the exit of Simon Riches from Liberty in mid 2009, the future of the ex-gay ministry did not look bright, however according to their website they are seeking to expand and grow.

  • The aim continues to be to minister to people with unwanted same-sex attraction and to expand the work by getting more people involved. I am excited by this development, since it means that more people will be able to be seen and supported. Eventually, when we are in a stronger financial situation, we would like to employ a pastoral worker for the ministry, but we will continue to have a group who are ministering rather than just one worker (Liberty, 2010).”

  • So with Liberty expanding and Beyond Egypt also holding groups… are things really changing in the so called world of ‘ex-gay ministries’? Are they really loosing their foothold?

    Ben Gresham, 2010

    Joined in 2007
    June 16, 2010, 16:34

    i got an email from beyond egypt 2 days ago!

    totally outta the blue. was a little taken aback..

    they sent me their brochure and some guy wanted to see if i wanted to meet up n chat to see if i was appropriate for the group :~

    Joined in 2007
    June 16, 2010, 16:35

    Here’s some stuff from that:

    “I’ve attached a brochure which might help you to know more about what we offer. I can guess that you find yourself sexually attracted to other men, and you don’t want to, or that you don’t feel like you can live in the role of a man, and that living as a woman may be better, although you don’t want that either.

    If either (or both) of those are true, then yes, absolutely, our support group will be able to help.

    Each week we watch a sermon/talk/presentation on DVD, discuss it, have some food, sing, pray, teach some extra material (usually on a whiteboard), discuss it, and then have accountability, which involves talking about how things are going in each person’s struggles, and praying for each other.”

    I am almost tempted by promises of food :sushi: , but otherwise- what the?!

    I didn’t get in contact with them, so thats a bit of a weird email to be getting hey.. hmmmm.

    Joined in 2008
    June 18, 2010, 01:42

    Any group that gets homosexuality confused with transgenderism clearly has no idea what it’s talking about and is therefore not worth listening to. Goodness…

    Joined in 2009
    June 18, 2010, 09:17


    Any idea about how they may have got your email address? We should be very worried if they are recruiting by trawling through web-based sources.


    Joined in 2007
    June 18, 2010, 10:21

    I think I may have contacted liberty ministries (and living waters for that matter) back in 2007, trying to get answers. They could have put me on a mailing list..? Also, a lot of people I know go to the church that this ministry runs out of, so it could be someone there. I highly doubt the email address they sent it to would be connected with homosexuality on any web-based source at any rate.

    I have since emailed back to try and work out what is going on, and have informed my leadership back at Church that I’m getting.. ‘innapropriate’.. emails from them. I think we have it under control. I am hopeful that their trawling days are numbered 🙂 .

    Joined in 2010
    June 18, 2010, 14:35

    Legally, If you contact them requesting that they do not contact you further, they have to oblige.

    I read a case somewhere, the company got in a whole lotta doodie because it is then classified as spam.

    Youth Coordinator
    Joined in 2008
    June 20, 2010, 03:10

    Hey Scott,

    I still get emails from exodus all the time. It’s almost like they just don’t wanna give up. I find it strange how this ‘beyond egypt’ group is so private and isolated. It’s creating an environment of shame. Shame only adds to the internalised homophobia of people that go through any form of ‘ex-gay’ therapy.

    ‘Beyond egypt’ is really close to where I live and are connected to churches all around North West Sydney. I am gonna try and get more info from them. Just to find out exactly what they intend to acheive.

    If only these groups would stop trying to change people from gay to straight and instead accept people as gay and try to help them live as a Christian in a very challenging and sinful world.

    Joined in 2009
    June 25, 2010, 04:09

    I think with overwhelming proof of its failure past will put these so called “ex-gay” ministries out of action in the near future, they have cause too much harm, too much misery, and death as well!!. I don’t think any organisation that have caused harm will continue to function once people know its true nature.

    Anthony Venn-Brown
    Joined in 2005
    June 28, 2010, 01:14

    Whilst some ex-gay ministries in Australia might seek to expand…..doesn’t necessarily mean they can or will. It’s becoming an increasingly irrelevant message. Let me give you a brief history.

    In the 70’s, when ex-gay ministries commenced, they offered a miraculous cure from homosexuality to heterosexuality. It became evident pretty quickly that God did no such thing no matter how much prayer, how anointed the ministry, how many fasts, how many demons were cast out. Emotional changes may have happened to some but orientation remained the same. Many made claims of healing only to eventually realise that prayer doesn’t make the gay go away.

    The next phase introduced various forms of therapy that were based on now defunct theories about the causes of homosexuality such as a dominant mother and emotionally distant father and also sexual abuse as the reason people turn our gay or lesbian. Mental health professionals moved on but the Christian ministries didn’t. Prayer, inner healing, masculinising men and feminising women, same sex ‘healthy’ bonding etc etc promised that eventually the same sex attraction would diminish and a person’s ‘true’ heterosexuality would come to the surface. Then the person could marry or getting married along the journey that would be a part of their healing. Destroyed marriages and lives have been the result along with mental health issues and the most tragic of all….suicide.

    A more recent development has been the acknowledgement that possibly the gay will never go away (still stated on the Liberty Christian Ministries website ) and that the person will spend their lives ‘struggling’ even if they enter a heterosexual marriage.

    Another option that has more recently been proposed is celibacy and suppressing ones same sex orientation. This is not a healthy acceptance of one’s sexuality as we know it but is more about denial and self hatred. Both of these states are unhealthy for a person’s emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. For the ‘ex-gay’ there is no release of the sense of shame and condemnation or the sense of empowerment that we have experienced. A life of celibacy is for them, a sentence inflicted on them because of a fallen creation. They are still sick….still broken.

    5 Reasons why ex-gay ministries have changed over the last four decades?

    1. Too many failures……even the supposed ‘success’ stories getting caught out.

    2. False claims of genuine change have never been verified scientifically.

    3. The emergence of the Gay Christian movement ( the Rainbow Revival)

    4. Former ex-gays telling their stories of how damaging the time in ‘therapy’ was and that they found peace and resolution through acceptance of self not rejection.

    5. Ex-gay leaders apologising for their previous ignorance about sexual orientation and the damage that may have caused people in the past.

    The opening paragraph in the recent Living Waters Oz newsletter began (another Sydney based ex-gay ministry).

    ‘There has been a real shift in society lately. We have detected this through responses to Living Waters offerings, We cancelled a conference recently because only a handful of registered. This year we have fewer Living Waters groups and fewer people in those groups. Our leadership training week at Collaroy appears to be hugely undersubscribed’.

    The next paragraph begins……’we are not discouraged’………but I was greatly encouraged as it seems our strategy is working. The enemy is ignorance and we seek to inform, educate and enlighten. Sites like Freedom 2 b[e] where people tell their stories is having an impact.

    Eventually ex-gay ministries will cease to exist here in Australia. this has been my goal for the last 6 years now. They will seek to exist, not because we have attacked people or organisation but because we have spoken the truth.

    Young people like Scotty , Ben and others have managed to sort this out within a few years instead of the many decades it took for us from previous generations. This is a sign of our future. Eventually it will be non issue.

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