RELIGION
06/21/2013 08:16 am ET

Exodus International President: 'We Failed' By Being Too Religious, Too Rules-Oriented (VIDEO)

After announcing the closure of Exodus International this week, the organization's president Alan Chambers admitted to its failures in a discussion with HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps. Criticized for preaching a "cure" to homosexuality, the Christian ministry shut its doors this week after four decades of existence.

While maintaining that "good stories" have come out of Exodus, Chambers said that contrary to the ministry's initial mission "to be different than the religious paradigm" at the time -- "to be a safe place ... to be a place of hope and help" -- it evolved into an "institution."

"Thinking of the parable of the Prodigal Son," Chambers continued, "we failed to be the father and we became the religious, rules-oriented older brother."

Sean Sala, an ex-gay survivor who endured a damaging experience with Exodus, confronted Chambers over his approach to "repenting," telling him, "You cannot just say 'I'm sorry' and walk away from 40 years of damage."

Chambers said his work is not over despite the ministry's closing. He said his new mission is "to right wrongs and to do something good is what I have in mind."

"Moving forward, really our desire is to reduce fear, to create an opportunity for peace," he added.

Watch the full segment below:

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