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We probably all know how difficult it can be to offer an apology. No doubt that is why so many hurts remain unresolved for so long. People find it hard to apologize. Today, I am reminded that it can also be difficult to graciously accept an apology. The news media are abuzz with the announcement that Exodus International is shutting down its operations, and its president, Alan Chambers, has issued an apology to the LGBT community for all of the harm done to us by himself, Exodus International, and the Christian church.
In case there are readers who do not know - Exodus International is an “ex-gay” organization; a so-called “ministry” that claimed to “rehabilitate” and “heal” homosexual orientation. For thirty-seven years, in partnership with other similar religious organizations, Exodus Int’l. has put forth the fallacious message that homosexuality is a sin from which one can be delivered; and they have claimed that their “reparative therapy” has converted gay and lesbian Christians into heterosexuals.
Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
– Psalms 85:8
I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say, “I’m willing to do what God wants me to do. I just don’t know what that is. I’ve asked God over and over again, but God isn’t answering.” For that matter, if I had a dollar for every time I said it - back in the day - I’d be significantly better off right now.
I wish that I could give a one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “How do I hear God speak?” I just don’t think there is one. I know a few people who testify of hearing God speak in an audible voice. But most folks that I know of do not. So I think, maybe, speaking of God “speaking” may be a bit of a misnomer. The thing is that human language (at least English) falls short of fully describing God and the wondrous ways that God works and interacts with us. I think we use the word “speak” when talking about God’s communication with us because that is the best word we have; it’s the closest we can get to describing how it is that information, wisdom, insight, urges, ideas, etc., that were not present are suddenly there. It is, somewhat, like when someone speaks and we hear him or her.