Saturday, August 20, 2005

update: Exodus Canceled Jay Bakker's editor, David Moore, posted a follow-up regarding Jay Bakker's canceled Exodus conference appearance. As Moore and Bakker had suspected would happen as a result of their interview, Exodus canceled Bakker's scheduled appearance at its annual conference:
"I was asked not to speak because of what I had said in Q-Notes," Bakker confirmed. "They weren't very happy about it. "They never asked me what my thoughts or feelings on homosexuality actually were. So when they asked me after the fact, 'do you think it's a sin?" I had to tell them what I felt. I told them I was leaning towards no on that and we apparently didn't see things from the same perspective." (1)
Miller contacted Exodus which confirmed that they canceled Bakker:
"Upon learning of some theological differences regarding the issue of homosexuality, we have chosen to pursue other speaker options at our national conference and Youth Day event," [Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International] wrote. (1)
Exodus' Bakker uninvite seems to be a major oversight on its part that raises several questions:
  • Why would Exodus invite a speaker to its conference without verifying he shared its same theology?
  • Why didn't Bakker's initial refusal to sign Exodus' speaker agreement raise red flags to conference organizers?
  • Why were conference organizers so insistant on having Bakker appear at this particular conference that featured Jerry Falwell -- a man the Bakker family would seem to have a bitter history with?
Either Exodus conference organizers were incompetent or there was some other agenda in bringing Bakker to the conference. Although Bakker has granted interviews with Miller, he doesn't seem to want to draw attention to the rejection. When Exodus canceled his appearance, his ministry's website simply stated "canceled" without attributing cause (for whatever reason, Exodus stills lists Bakker as a conference speaker on the conference's website(2)). It seems Bakker doesn't want the incident to overshadow his ministry. (1) (2)

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