God and the Gay Christian — The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines

God and the Gay Christian — The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships by Matthew Vines is an important book for the Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 12.23.08 AMconservative Christian church, now. Vines presents clear and well-sequenced arguments to support a more accurate interpretation of six passages in the Bible which have been used to exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from conservative churches.

Vines was raised in a conservative Christian home in Wichita, Kansas. In his family, gay and Christian were not words that co-existed side-by-side, until Vines realized he was gay and a Christian. He began a several years’ project to make sense of the Scriptures, historical Bible teachings and his faith. God and the Gay Christian — The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships is the culmination of that work.

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Prof. Brownson & Vines

Arguments for inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in faith communities have evolved over the past 45 years.  Often, arguments for inclusion have been dismissively labeled as “pro-gay theology.” Vines presents a careful and more accurate reading of Scriptures in context, and with understanding of the culture in which they were written. The information in his book reveals insights that may be new information for many readers.

Like Vines, I did not think a person could be both gay and Christian. For over two decades in the Evangelical church, I thought the two words could not possibly coexist. Then, I met gay people who identified as Christians. How could I remain faithful to God and His Word and honor their testimony and  witness of the indwelling Spirit of God? Relationship created the impetus I needed to confront my theology. At the time, 10 years ago, there were no books that answered my questions to satisfaction.

God and the Gay Christian — The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships is the book I wish had existed then. The arguments are well researched and clearly presented. Experience tells me most Christians who do not believe that LGBT people can be Christian have not investigated the issue beyond reading words on the page. Vines walks his readers through an easily understood process of dissecting the six passages in the Bible that have been used to create a sexual ethic for those who are LGBT and wish to participate in conservative churches.

Life-long celibacy is often suggested as a requirement of inclusion by some faith communities; Vines investigates the historical and biblical support for such an option. As same-sex marriage rapidly becomes a civil rights reality in the U.S., conservative Christians need to consider deeply whether there might be biblical support for same-sex marriage. Vines offers a beautiful explanation of marriage as seen in Ephesians 5.

God and the Gay Christian — The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships is sure to create controversy. Though the topic is explosive, the book is written in an inviting tone that mirrors Vines himself. (If you want to get a sense of who he is, watch the video that was the seed of the book project.)

482312_149288585231133_1837913583_nThe movement for inclusion of LGBT people in the Christian church is not new. Forty-five years ago Rev. Troy Perry established the Metropolitan Community Church for LGBT Christians who were no longer welcome in churches once they came out. Over the past decade, the strength of the witness of LGBT Christians compels growing numbers of  Christians to ask, “Can a person be both gay and Christian?” The question is now back on the doorstep of the churches that asked LGBT people to leave 45 years ago. The question, how we engage in the process of addressing it, and what we eventually decide are crucial to the health of the conservative church going forward. It is time for thoughtful, informed, and scholarly consideration of the question.

God and the Gay Christian — The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships  is a necessary tool in helping to lead that dialogue.

Matthew Vines & Kathy Baldock

Matthew Vines & Kathy Baldock

[Matthew Vines is the founder of The Reformation Project which will host the next conference in Washington, DC on November 6 - 8, 2014. I am on the Board of TRP. We hope we will see you there!]

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Bob says:

Hi RA,
Before I answer, I trust you read the rest of the exchanges between Kathy and I to get an overall view of where I am coming from in my debate with her and Vines. . .

Believe it or not, I truly love everyone, Gay or otherwise. But as a Christian, I cannot accept deliberate sin as OK with God. I know it isn’t whether it be my sin or yours…….

Bob

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

When I type these words: “Are you done “telling” me now? Thank you and do follow Titus 3:10. You believe me to be heretic, you’ve told me, now move along. Thanks again. I am in the midst of finishing my own book. That is a better place for me to invest my time and gifts. I am not allowing any more of your comments.” I REALLY do mean them.
You are not “in a debate,” you are entangled in “telling.”
I am deleting all but you first line and maybe last. I don’t like wasting my time. And this is a waste of mine. Take it outside Bob. Thank you.

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R.A. Reply:

Ms. Baldock, sorry if I caused any issues! Sure wasn’t my intent. I’m trying to work through my ideas. I’m going through a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts right now. Didn’t mean to start anything. Again, i apologize. I hope your book is going well.

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

NO problem. I can see within 2-3 posts (generally) if the engagement is respectful and productive. If it is going down the TELLING me path – I shut it down. After over 750K words, someone telling me to make sure to read Romans 1 is a bit silly to me. If people invest time MEETING others, then I am open. Otherwise, they can waste their own time– not mine. THANK YOU, K

R.A. says:

Hey, Bob,

I hope you are well.

A lack of positive example, or silence in general for that matter, offers no ammunition for the pro or con of an argument. To suggest such is to create an argument from silence, which is not the best interpretational approach.

To offer an example, if you can give me an example of where Christ condemned homosexual intimacy, then I will admit you are right.

Can you see why this doesn’t work?

I hope Monday wasn’t too brutal for you. Mondays are always tough.

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Bob says:

Defending sin is not a fruitful way to invest your time.
Here is my challenge to you.
When you can site just one homosexual or lesbian that God lifted up and used to promote his kingdom recorded in scripture, I will willingly admit you are right and I am wrong in Bold print for the whole world to see. Sin has never been advocated by God and never will.
I suppose you and Vines think God has changed his mind on Homosexuality like you and Vines have.
This is so sad.
I cannot change you, but God can. Please be aware that the only way He will change your heart is if you truly seek him and not your own worldly and fleshly desires.
You really need prayer!
Bob

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Bob says:

No Kathy,
It’s not my pattern to tell people they are wrong, but to tell people God is right. Unlike you, what I think is not important. What God thinks is everything. I am sorry you have adopted a “World View” instead of the Biblical view you claim you once held.
Unlike you, I have never been interested in trying to make the scriptures say what I want them to. I’ve only been interested in what God’s word really says. Many times God’s word has convicted me that I was wrong and I had to adjust my behavior according to what he teaches. But at least I was strong enough to accept it as absolute truth and did not turn against the truth to suit my own desires.
The only reason you won’t intelligently debate the scriptures is because you can’t. You call it arguing, I call it obedience to his command to speak truth.
Again Kathy, you may think by adopting a worldly view that you are above satan’s attacks. Believe me, satan has destroyed the witness of many people much, much brighter than you and your hero Vines.
In my opinion, the voice you claim to be listening to is the voice of the master of all deceivers.
God’s will for your life and everyone else’s is to love people, speak truth, and to rebuke sin.
It certainly appears that you are only doing one of the three.
So, as much as you object, I love you enough to pray for you. One day you may be grateful for all of us that have prayed for you.
Bob

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Thank you for reading. I think we may be done with our exchange. Titus 3:10 — you have now told me twice. We each have ways we invest time to serve. This is not a fruitful way to invest my time. And yes, I certainly CAN do the Scriptures on this. Thank you for writing and reading.

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Bob Reply:

Kathy,
I thought you made it clear that you, Vines, and the Gay community had heard enough about scripture. You know, been there and done that. But yet you want me to read Titus 3:10 which obviously you don’t understand what Paul is saying in this verse. Well, let me decipher it for you.
Paul is clearly saying in this verse to “reject a heretic”. What is a heretic? According to Paul, one who has a peculiar or unorthodox belief. Kind of like you and Vines the ones trying to cause division amongst Christians. Paul’s teaching ALWAYS is to remain true to the Apostles doctrine. True Christians already accept homosexuals, just not their sinful lifestyle.
Do you accept adulterous behavior as good? If not, why not.

Talk about a waste of time and money. Vines needs to forget his liberal Harvard education and educate himself with the Holy scriptures. I would strongly advise you do the same and stop following a true heretic such as Vines.
satan has you and Vines right where he wants and needs you to promote his Godless agenda.
If you only would follow Christ with the same zeal, you have for Vines and other homosexuals, you could really make a positive contribution to the Christian community.

One last thought Kathy,
I know it pains you not to be able to vote for Obama for a third time, but hey, be of good cheer, you can still vote for Harry Reid.

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Are you done “telling” me now? Thank you and do follow Titus 3:10. You believe me to be heretic, you’ve told me, now move along. Thanks again. I am in the midst of finishing my own book. That is a better place for me to invest my time and gifts. I am not allowing any more of your comments.

Bob says:

Kathy,
I spent a little time today reading comments and your reply’s to them. I could not help but notice how you reply to everyone that does not share your point of view. It basically goes like this, just spend some time with gay Christians then go back and read the scriptures and see if you see them the same way you did before.
If I did not read a response similar to that from you to a commenter once, I did 10-20 times. You also strongly suggested that any commenter that was trying to get you to see and accept God’s truth is wasting there time and we should spend our time talking to people who are more open to our message.
OK, all that being said, I would like to say this.
I have a lesbian cousin who is a pastor. She is very nice, kind and loving. I have spent quite a bit of time around her in many different venues for many years. However, just because she is kind, loving, and nice has ABSOLUTELY no bearing on God’s truth or how I or anyone else should interpret God’s truth. God’s truth NEVER waivers no matter what the circumstances or situation.
To call oneself a Christian, one must know what a Christian is.
A true Christian is an ambassador of Christ which means he or she should display Christ like qualities in all areas of life, not just the areas that are easy or they chose to obey. A true Christian hungers for God’s truth no matter what they personally want to believe.
For you to get a case of the “warm and fuzzies” because someone is fun and comfortable to be around should not alter your view of the holy scriptures. Unfortunately,according to your own testimonies, it has.
Just a word to the wise Kathy. I truly believe your intentions are good, but you are NO MATCH for satan and his lies and deception. Please remember Kathy, you said in your video that you have “very high” standards for yourself. Well, yours and my very best is of filthy rags to the Lord.
It is never a waste of my time or God’s either to try and restore a wayward brother or sister.
I will be praying for you!
Bob

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Just as it is my pattern to not argue and to suggest people invest in relationship and then revisit Scriptures, I would guess it might be your pattern to tell people they are wrong. Please do pray for me — pray GOD’S will for me. Thank you for reading.

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Bob says:

WOW!! How convenient of Vines. Decides to be Gay and sets out to prove the scriptures are in his favor and his distorted way of thinking. As hard as you, Vines, and others may try, The Bible is very clear that God will not be mocked. If I were Vines, I would spend some quality time examining himself as to whether or not he is truly a born again believer. Only God knows whether he is or not but judging by his fruit, he sure doesn’t appear to be saved. Vines will not be the first or last to call himself a Christian and all the while being lost as a ball in tall grass.
Jesus is Lord!
Happy Easter

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Kathy | Canyonwalker Reply:

Well, well. Jesus IS Lord. Happy Easter indeed. He is risen.

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