Statement on Homosexuality
Hope for Wholeness is a Christian organization dedicated to equipping and uniting agencies and individuals to effectively communicate the message of freedom from homosexuality, as well as how to effectively convey support and understanding to individuals facing the reality of a homosexual loved one.
Hope for Wholeness upholds heterosexuality as God's creative intent for humanity, and subsequently views homosexual expression as outside of God's will. Hope for Wholeness cite homosexual tendencies as one of many disorders that beset fallen humanity. Choosing to resolve these tendencies through homosexual behavior, taking on a homosexual identity, and involvement in the homosexual lifestyle is considered destructive, as it distorts God's intent for the individual and is thus sinful.
Instead, Christ offers a healing alternative to those with homosexual tendencies. Hope for Wholeness upholds redemption for the homosexual person as the process whereby sin's power is broken, and the individual is freed to know and experience true identity as discovered in Christ and His Church. That process entails the freedom to grow into heterosexuality.
Central to this redemption is Hope for Wholeness's desire to unite and equip the church to carry out the healing process. Hope for Wholeness bridges the gap between Christians who respond to homosexual men and women with ignorance and fear, and those who uphold homosexuality as a valid, Christ-centered lifestyle. Both extremes fail to convey to the homosexual the fullness of redemption found in Christ--He who embodies grace and truth, and invites us to partake of Him.
The "Gay Gene" Theory
To date, there is no scientific evidence towards a "Gay Gene." All such studies have been refuted by further study. Hope for Wholeness believes that homosexuality is not God's intent for human sexuality. We believe homosexuality and/or same-sex attraction is a multi-causal, developmental disorder, and that an individual can experience transformation through the healing power of Jesus Christ.
Hope for Wholeness believes that the health of individuals, children and our culture is intimately linked to the well being of natural marriage and its biblical intention - a sacred, legal, and social union ordained by God to be a life-long, sexually exclusive relationship between one man and one woman.
Change, Freedom, Healing, and Reparative Therapy
Hope for Wholeness affirms that change is possible, though share that physical attractions may likely stay unchanged. The healing process begins with motivation and self-determination, based upon a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We assist through mentoring relationships, cirriculum, affiliate ministries, other established networks and the Church. The key outcome of this is measured by a growing capacity to turn away from temptations, a reconciling of one's identity with Jesus Christ, being transformed into His image. This enables growth towards Godly heterosexuality. Hope for Wholeness recognizes that a lifelong and healthy marriage as well as a Godly single life are good indicators of this transformation.
Hope for Wholeness is a group of individuals seeking to live lives that are consistent with the teachings of the Bible, which encompass issues surrounding our sexuality. Hope for Wholeness members choose to change their sexual behavior to align with biblical teaching on sexuality and may experience a shift in sexual attractions; others may not. We are motivated not by a shift in attraction, but by the desire to live a life consistent with our faith.
Hope for Wholeness support(s) an individual’s right to self-determine as they address their personal struggles related to faith, sexuality and sexual expression. As an organization, we do not subscribe to therapies that make changing attractions a main focus. Hope for Wholeness's objective is to equip the Church to become the primary place where people of faith seek support, refuge and discipleship as they make the decision to live according to Christian principles.
We believe in a “gospel-centric” view, meaning that all people, regardless of individual life struggles, can experience freedom over the power of sin through a daily relationship with Jesus Christ, a commitment to scripture, and by being a part of a vibrant, transparent and relational community of believers found in the local church.
There are practices considered by Hope for Wholeness as “fringe” that may work and may be successful for some, however, Hope for Wholeness is a Christian organization first and foremost. No member can participate in, facilitate, or recommend any form of counseling technique, retreat, or organization that contradicts Biblical principles.
EMDR: The use of pornography or suggestion of pornographic mental images with EMDR has reportedly been used by some “conversion therapists.” EMDR was specifically designed for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). HFW considers the use of EMDR in attempts to alter attractions, specifically utilizing pornography or mental images, to be inappropriate and unbiblical.
Nudity: A practice of having clients undress and stand in front of a mirror partially or fully nude has reportedly been used by some “conversion therapists” in their offices. HFW considers this practice to be inappropriate and unbiblical.
Holding or Touch Therapy: A practice of the client being held by a counselor, leader, or participant in either a long-held hug or sitting in the lap has reportedly been used to “heal” childhood wounds. HFW considers any form of Holding or Touch Therapy, utilizing a counselor, leader, or participant, to be inappropriate.
Hope for Wholeness does not endorse any individual or organization that utilizes fringe techniques to attempt to alter someone’s attractions. Changing attractions or conversion therapy is not a focus of Hope for Wholeness or its Affiliates. Lessening, altering, or shifting attractions, may very well take place for some of its participants, but this should not be the focus or goal. Rather, learning to walk life out with God, family and friends, according to God’s design and plan is the primary focus.
Same-Sex Parenting & Adoption
Hope for Wholeness believes that the biblical design for the family and the best environment for raising a biological or adoptive child is one in which the child's mother and father are married to one another and are present in the home. While legitimate and difficult circumstances often prevent this, the intentional deprivation of a mother or father through same-sex parenting and adoption, is not in the best interest of children. As such, social policy and adoption law should be governed by a desire to ensure the health and well being of future generations.
Hope for Wholeness affirms that gay-identified individuals and those who struggle with same-sex attraction are persons for whom Jesus Christ died and loves equally. Therefore, we strongly oppose bullying, name calling and acts of aggression against any individual or group of individuals for any reason. These actions have no place in our society and we must, instead, affirm behavior that validates the personal worth and dignity God bestows upon every human being.
In addition, every individual deserves equal protection and every offender should receive equal punishment. We call upon other organizations concerned with preserving the essential equality of all individuals to exhibit impartiality in their policies, rather than singling out some for special treatment.
Exorcisms Used as a Means to Address Unwanted Same-Sex Attraction
Hope for Wholeness does not advocate the practice of exorcism as a means of addressing same-sex attraction in an individual's life. We believe same-sex attraction to be a complex issue shaped by a variety of dynamics that often include relational brokenness. One of the greatest needs we as human beings have is to connect with one another in authentic, transparent relationships and to participate in a life-giving community. As such, we believe that we, as the Christian church, must make a commitment to befriend and walk alongside those who struggle with this issue. While we are, of course, spiritual beings and know, according to Scripture, that there are spiritual influences in our world today, we seek to encourage understanding towards hurting individuals in need of unwavering encouragement and compassion.
Grace and Eternal Security
We are not a denominationally-focused organization, and intentionally do not take a strong stand on these two issues, because we believe that people of Biblical and Christian principals and faith should be allowed to study the scriptures for themselves to determine their own beliefs.
Hope for Wholeness does not promise eternal security to an unrepentant person practicing any form of sinful behavior or lifestyle, nor do we tell someone who has had a conversion experience but is unable, and quite possibly unwilling to leave sinful behavior that they will absolutely go to Hell. We believe that this is arrogant and playing God. Scripture tells us that each man or woman will be held accountable for their life before a Holy God. We believe that this is first and foremost focused on and ensured through a commitment and relationship with Jesus Christ. We encourage anyone to search the scriptures, to seek His truth, His way, and His life, without which no one can come to the Father. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). We encourage everyone to seek out a Bible believing and teaching church, and seek godly counsel to help them along their journey.
There is a growing movement of men and women, young and old, who choose to identify themselves in this way. While we do not agree with this terminology and believe that the two are contradictory in nature, we attempt to seek relationship first, second seek understanding, and if given an opportunity, aid in correction. We do not believe that it is Biblical for a person to follow Christ and pursue a sinful lifestyle or identity. Many that identify themselves in this way hold to a Biblical framework, believing that homosexuality, including sexual thoughts, is not God’s plan and do not give allowance for such. They choose to use the term “gay” because they believe it is honest and communicates best to our modern society that understands “gay” as being same-sex attracted.
While we understand, we would highly discourage this, because this same world does not understand denying one’s self from an inclination but would say that it is of utmost importance to “be true to who you are.”
Matthew 16:24-25, “Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”
We believe that holding to a Biblical framework should follow with terminology that does not set up ones identity or inclinations towards sin as a priority or focus. We would encourage someone to rather identify themselves simply as a Christian, willing, in an intimate sharing opportunity, to share ones story and devotion to Christ along with past and current issues related to struggles and temptations.
Political Statements or Stands, for or against homosexuality
Hope for Wholeness is a Christian organization that is ministerial in nature and not a political organization. We do not get involved in national or international laws that may protect or be considered as persecutonial in nature towards homosexuals or even former homosexuals.
Interviews with Hope for Wholeness
Individuals seeking interviews or content for educational purposes must first send a brief proposal of their thesis as well as a statement from a faculty advisor on official letterhead indicating approval of the project.
Treatment of Counselees
Hope for Wholeness Governing Board Policy 2.1
- With respect to Counselees or potential counselees, the Executive Director shall not cause or allow conditions, procedures, or decisions which are unsafe, undignified, unnecessarily intrusive, unbiblical, which fail to provide appropriate confidentiality or privacy or which fail to hold them accountable.
- Use methods of collecting, reviewing, transmitting, or storing client information that fail to protect against improper access to the material elicited.
- Fail to provide appropriate accessibility and privacy for meetings.
- Fail to establish with counselees a clear understanding of what may be expected and what may not be expected from the service offered.
- Fail to inform counselees of this policy, or to provide a way for persons to be heard who believe they have not been accorded a reasonable interpretation of their protections under this policy.