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May 8th, 2012
09:29 AM ET

New documentary examines a controversial gay 'rehab' program for teens

The new documentary, "This Is What Love in Action Looks Like," follows the story of the teenage boy Zach Stark and the controversial "refuge" program at the former "Love In Action" ministry.

The ministry, headed by John Smid from 1990-2008, preached that one could control homosexuality through Christianity.  Zach Stark's parents sent him to the "rehabilitation" program after he came out to them in 2005. Stark's secret blogs about the program sparked a nationwide protest against the ministry.

John Smid left "Love in Action" in 2008 and he has since said that he no longer believes that people can repent from homosexuality.

Today on Starting Point, Smid and Morgan Jon Fox, the director of the new documentary, sit down with Soledad O'Brien to discuss the project and to explain the ministry's history.

To find out more about the documentary, visit

Filed under: Religion
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Genevieve Morgan

    Chuck – To look at it from a logical standpoint, let's talk about stealing (because the Bible clearly says that stealing, adultery, homosexuality, etc are clearly wrong). If people came on this program and said that they steal, they like to steal, and have no intentions to stop stealing, would we still be having this same conversation? Additionally, there is no scripture whatsoever that says it's okay to lead a lifestyle of sin as long as we have an open dialogue about it. Otherwise, why not steal? Why not cheat on your spouse? Indeed, the Bible is a weapon – a weapon against evil.

    May 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Genevieve Morgan

    For those reading/viewing this who do not know the Truth, please, please do not listen to this man (John Smid). He is a false teacher who abandoned the Truth for popularity and fame. He is destined for destruction (“blackest darkness” (the deepest depths of hell) are reserved for false teachers such as Mr. Smid (2 Peter 2:17-18)) and he is now leading others down the same doomed path.

    Contrary to what is said in this interview, the Bible most certainly says that homosexuality is a sin! This is not just for the “Leviticus” times as one person said. The Bible clearly describes homosexuality as sin in the New Testament (meaning, after Jesus died for our sins!) in Jude 1:7, 1 Cor 6:9, 1 Th 4:3, 2 Peter 2:6 and also describes the homosexual lifestyle as “filthy” (2 Peter 2:7).

    It is also true that homosexuality is no more sinful than stealing, prostitution, adultery, etc. Jesus is faithful to forgive ALL our sins, but that does not give us license to live however we want! Think about it……if God was “okay” with whatever lifestyle/ behavior we choose, then why did we need a Savior? If there are no consequences for wickedness, then Jesus’ death was for nothing.

    So, some may ask why many “Christians” continue to do corrupt things if the Bible says differently. It is because most people would rather indulge their ego and selfish pleasures than stand firm in their faith. This is exactly why Jesus said that the path to destruction is broad, but the path to life is narrow (Matt 7:13).

    Sadly, it is probably too late for Mr. Smid (Hebrews 10:26-29), but for most others, there is still time to repent and receive forgiveness. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal His Truth. We all need God’s mercy and He is faithful if you seek Him for help.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Chuck Larkins

    This is probably one of the best stories about the subject I've ever seen on television. Congratulations to Soledad O'Brien and the entire Starting Point staff for producing this enlightening segment.

    When we use the Bible as a weapon to beat each other up, everyone loses. What this story illustrates is that when we take the time to sit down and actually TALK with each other, and to get to know each other and our personal stories, it can promote understanding and true change. Somehow we all must move beyond the screeching and posturing and begin a dialog. And even if we end up not changing minds, we can at least take some satisfaction that we learned something about each other, and that we don't need to demonize each other.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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