Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An Open Letter from Nancy Alcorn

An Open Letter from Nancy Alcorn, Founder and President of Mercy Ministries

When I started Mercy Ministries over a quarter century ago, God laid a powerful verse on my heart that has become foundational to our work: “For judgment will be merciless to one who shows no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13). Ever since then, that verse has reminded everyone who passes though our doors that Mercy Ministries is a safe place where all are loved unconditionally.
I have been so blessed by the amazing work God has done through Mercy Ministries during these years and I am humbled by the part He has given me to play in seeing thousands of young women transformed by the power of Christ. At every step, God has honored our commitment to reach hurting young women at no cost, while never accepting money with strings attached and tithing 10 percent to other ministries.
Mercy Ministries, and I personally, have faced many trials, big and small, over the years, and thanks to God’s grace and the prayerful support of our partners and friends in the ministry, we have overcome them. Recently however, we were faced with a new challenge, and after careful consideration and a lot of prayer, I’ve decided to confront this trial in a way that won’t surprise any of you who know me well: head on.
In 2008, a Nashville alternative-weekly newspaper published an article asserting, among other things, that I have led a homosexual lifestyle. Even though these personal attacks took place in a single article, they have been perpetuated by a handful of Internet blogs. My initial thought was to not dignify these attacks with a response, but I’m taking this opportunity to settle the issue once and for all. While those who know me well instantly saw these allegations for the slander that they were and are, I want to make it clear that I am not gay, nor have I ever engaged in a homosexual lifestyle.

These attacks have been deeply hurtful for me personally, but what frustrates me even more is that they are so clearly the enemy’s effort to distract from the amazing work going on at Mercy Ministries, and that is why I have chosen to respond. Last year we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Mercy Ministries and closed out what I see as the first chapter of Mercy’s amazing story and our message that true freedom is possible through Christ.
Since then, we have reorganized the governing structure of Mercy Ministries to bring new levels of oversight and accountability, have increased our fundraising efforts, and are in the process of opening two new homes—one in California, one in North Carolina—over the next two years. We are also now certified by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and have attained the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator. Mercy is ready for the next chapter, one in which I believe God is going to use us to reach even more hurting young women with His love and compassion in new ways.
In light of God’s love and compassion, I want to make something very clear: while Mercy Ministries has always adhered to the traditional biblical view of sexuality and marriage, we believe God’s love is unconditional and applies equally to those living a homosexual lifestyle and those living a heterosexual lifestyle. The mandate God gave Mercy Ministries those 25 years ago has not changed: we are not a place of judgment, but a place of love and compassion where the power of God’s mercy transforms hurting young women.