True Freedom Trust is a religious organization encouraging celibacy among gays and lesbians, based in Wirral, United Kingdom. As a form of Christian ministry to the LGBT community, it promotes the view that homosexual behavior (but not orientation) is sinful.
History & beliefs Edit
True Freedom Trust was founded in 1977 by Anglican clergyman Canon L. Roy Barker and Martin Hallett, a homosexual who had been "involved in a homosexual lifestyle" for nine years. Canon Barker died in 2004, and the organization has since been led by Martin Hallett.
TFT was a founding member of Exodus International, the international arm of the world's largest ex-gay organization, but resigned its membership in 2000 because of Exodus's rhetoric, which they believed tended to "set people up for disillusionment" by promising change of orientation. TFT does not generally encourage gay Christians to expect to be healed of their orientation, although it says that change is possible. Therefore, although because of its historical affiliations and its stance against homosexual behavior, it is often considered to be a part of the ex-gay movement, this is actually no longer the case.
In 2001, when UK ex-gay ministry Courage UK announced it was now gay-affirming, TFT director Martin Hallett reassured supporters that TFT would not be following suit, and that it retained the belief that homosexual "genital activity" was always wrong.
True Freedom Trust claims to have 1200 supporters and 13 support groups for gay men and lesbians and their families in Britain and Ireland.
TFT generally works on a referral basis, where struggling gay Christians are put in touch with the main office, assessed, and advised what to do next. Their "struggle" is deemed to be a result of their homosexuality, rather than a result of their interpretation of Christianity. Often this involves one-to-one support, referral to a Christian counselor, and usually referral to a "Barnabas" group. The Barnabas groups are informal meetings designed for Christians (in theory, both gay and straight) to offer one another support and encouragement. There are several nationwide.
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