So I’m strolling through the internet like I usually do, and I filter through all of the nonsense. I try to overlook it but there it is, another pro-gay bible article. It seems there’s been more and more of those lately so alas, I thought I’d check out the arguments to see what new silliness has come about. I read this article over at the Christian Post and watched the YouTube video featuring Matthew Vines, a 21-yr old gay man who spends a great deal of time attempting to debunk modern interpretations. His arguments, as expected, are unfounded and (dare I say) effeminate. I’ll rehash them here and point out the obvious flaws in his pro-gay theology. I suggest you watch the video before reading this.
Michael Vines starts his presentation by pointing out that he and other homosexuals have feelings too (as if that was new to the world). They have desires, they want committed relationships and they want sex. Opposition to the gay community (according to his opinion) is wrong because Matthew 7 talks about good fruit and nothing good has come from such opposition. His opening speech was nothing more than a “don’t hurt my feelings because it’s bad” argument. It made me want to puke but I had to wonder if his arguments got any deeper so I kept watching the video.
After his emotional appeal, Vines moves to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. He points out the fact that the sin condemend in Genesis 19 is not homosexuality but the failure to love their neighbours as themselves (Ez 16:49). It’s a valid point; those who argue against same sex relationships can find no basis in that narrative.
He next moves to the ‘abomination’ passages in Leviticus. I won’t spend time repeating everything he argued but you can safely sum it up by saying he rejected all Levitical arguments on the basis of Old Testament Law not being applicable to New Testament Christians. He founds it by stating that other things labeled as “abominations” (such as dietary restrictions) don’t apply to the church so therefore neither do the passages on same sex relations. It’s a cop-out argument at best but I was mildly entertained at the feeble logic. Really, I was more interested in seeing how he addressed New Testament passages such as Romans 1:26-27. Oh…and it did get interesting.
When addressing the Romans passages, Matthew Vines does some of the best twisting I’ve ever seen. In order to expound on it, let me quote the applicable bible verses:
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. (Rom 1:26-27)
Even a superficial glance would tell us that “vile affections” and the phrase “against nature” would seem obvious. Not so says Matthew Vines. He argues that here in this passage they are “vile” and “unnatural” because the individuals in question had a nature of heterosexuality and they exchanged it thus going against nature. In other words he argues, homosexuality for the people condemned in Romans 1 would have been ok if it wasn’t contrary to their “natural” disposition. His reasoning has got to be among the best hatchet jobs I’ve ever seen (but let’s move on).
He further founds his above argument by interpreting “nature” from the greek to mean “custom” as he applies it to 1 Corinthians 13. In his mind, this is justified since most of the modern day church interprets “nature” as custom in that chapter. This, in my opinion, is where he really pulls the rug out from his own feet but I digress.
He closes out his debate points with passages in First Corinthians 6 and First Timothy chapter 1. I don’t care to elaborate on these passages because I find them irrelevant in arguing for or against homosexuality. You can sum it up by saying he debates the “translation” differences in those verses.
Now, to address the arguments of Matthew Vines. Ninety percent (yes, that much) of his reasoning is based on a touchy-feely, “I have desires too” type of debate. It’s silly so I won’t comment on it. I’ll just point out his two primary points that he spent the most time on:
In many ways, the modern church helped create the justifications Matthew Vines engages in. This has been done by rejecting a literal interpretation of Scripture and I refer specifically to the passage in Corinthians he quoted. After all, if the heirarchy of male/female roles no longer applies and women can have short hair, how can it then be wrong for a man to be effiminate?
Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. (1Co 11:14-15)
Matthew takes “nature” and translates it to “custom” and thus being against homosexuality was custom. He does this to his own detriment since he has to depart from his original argument of being gay is “natural” for him. He had a better foundation, albeit very weak, had he stuck with one argument and not butchered his own logic (even further) by contradicting himself. What Vines does in Romans 1:26 is insert his own gnostic interpretation of why “vile” was vile. He does this contrary to basic hermenuetical principles and to the male-female roles that are presented throughout the Bible.
His interpretation rejects the man as the head of the woman and thus rejects Christ as the head of the church:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Eph 5:22-25)
The above Scriptures must not apply to gay marriage in his mind! Let’s not even mention the fact that, despite his shallow arguments, no where in the Bible is a homosexual relationship given in a positive light. To use his own words, “all references of same sex relationships in the bible are negative” ( a slight paraphrase but accurate). God presented a picture of himself and his relationship with us utilizing men and women as symbols that are reinforced throughout the Old and New Testaments. An acceptance of homosexuality is a destruction of that symbolism and a gross erosion of the trinity.
He closes his speech with more ‘I’m ok, you’re ok’ rhetoric and the auditorium applauds. How far has Christendom drifted! Homosexuality is not an argument of intentions. You don’t get to label sin as “ok” because you believe your sin is “natural”. Neither do you get to justify your sin by playing the victim card (which he did quite frequently by using his feelings and desires as an immolation).
Can you be gay and be a Christian? Yes, Christians can sin. However, as some would point out, ones theological perspective on salvation is quite suspect if you justify homosexuality. None the less, judging the salvation of Matthew Vines is not my intention (or right). His proclomation of sin as “normal” is my right and, even more so, a duty; not just for me but for every Christian.
Being “gay” is nothing more than the result of pride. You love yourself so much that you crave that which is most like yourself. Homosexuality is the pinnacle of pride. Sadly the modern church has missed that fundamental point by buying in to the whole ‘self-esteem’ movement. The church will continue to have a hard time doctrinally against homosexuality while it flirts with such secular psychology but I digress.
I do believe we should love our neighbors as ourselves and I do believe in treating all people with kindness. However, that love and that kindness does not equate to the acceptance of sin as an ok behavior. The intolerant abuse of heterosexuals against homosexuals is very sad but that sinful abuse does not justify homosexuality. Neither do the weak arguments of Matthew Vines.
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