I’d never heard of this guy until today. It’s long but worth the effort.
Matthew Vines’ Transcript
Posted by D.C. on September 3, 2012 in Gay Heroes
Tags: christian, christianity, gay, lgbt, matthew vines
September 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm
I know gay people. They are generally nice. And Ive read the Bible. It states all sorts of things. Some things in the Bible are unclear. But the Bible is fairly clear on whether it supports the idea of gay sex. It doesnt support it. There are quite a number of references in their about the topic. Trying to explain these away with one-sided accounts of history or obscure unbalanced interpretations of Koine Greek is only going to work short term. There are many critiques of this video available online, and eventually through debates and research, when the errors are widely revealed, those who mistakenly thought them to be truthful will be left in frustration and acrimony. The first response to this video should be to research to test whether it’s a balanced account. One place to read through is http://stasisonline.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/homosexual-marriage/
September 3, 2012 at 7:51 pm
I’m glad you know gay people and you think they are generally nice but the first thing is that gay people are just..people – who may or may not be nice irrespective of their sexual orientation. This is one of the first steps to accepting other people for themselves instead of merely tolerating them. People keep stating that homosexuals are promiscuous but I find that MEN have a tendency to be promiscuous regardless of sexual orientation. What I took from the video isn’t that Bible explicitly supports support homosexuality but whether what is said specifically condemns it and if an alternate explanation exists for those Bible verses; the truth is that a lot of meaning IS lost in translating any text from one language to the other especially if the translator isn’t an expert of the language in question (and the culture attached to it). I’m not a native English speaker and although my command of the language is at university level, there are a lot of ideas that I still have some difficulty converting to sensible English. I don’t know where you live and what the situation is for gay people but over here gay people are jailed, beaten up, ostracised by family members everyday in the name of Christianity. If you have followed the issues in Uganda and other countries in Africa, you may change your views on Christians being actively involved in persecuting gays. I was formerly in a church where members who were suspected to be gay were thrown out without being given a chance to defend themselves. I will admit that some of his arguments appear to have been one-sided and in all honesty I don’t agree with all his points but then even you admitted that you may not be so sure of some of the answers yourself. Are these verses enough to attempt to deny people of their basic human rights irrespective of their religious affiliation or sexuality? Obviously I have read your response to the video. Thank you for sharing.
September 4, 2012 at 1:50 am
You are a wise man.
It is not Christian behaviour to beat up gay people and it is not Christian behaviour to throw people out of a church merely for suspecting they are gay. Sometimes Christians are not good at following their own religion and instead they act on fear and other negative emotions rather than good reason and love as they are supposed to. Nobody is perfect. You ask “Are these verses enough to attempt to deny people of their basic human rights irrespective of their religious affiliation or sexuality?” No, all people deserve basic human rights. Matthew Vines argues that actively homosexual people should be considered fully Christian. That is quite a different argument to the question of whether actively homosexual people deserve basic human rights. It’s a Christian duty to show all people basic respect and goodwill.
September 4, 2012 at 3:43 am
You’re right: it is a different argument. I guess it’s because my challenges centre around being gay whilst keeping my job, being accepted fully by my family/friends and more importantly staying alive as opposed to being considered fully Christian or getting married. However if someone is in a faithful monogamous relationship, what stops them from being considered a full Christian? No one knows all the answers and my point really is that his argument is a reasonable alternative explanation of the verses. Personally, Christianity is between one person and God and this means that you don’t need anyone to validate your faith and hence consider you fully Christian. I am aware Matthew Vines’ argument centres around acceptance by the Church but it seems to me that the fact that there are so many different Christian denominations (around 40,000 or so) leads to the conclusion that there are a lot of very different interpretations of the Bible and how Christians are to live their lives. I was raised Catholic (and still attend church) and many Catholics still believe that Christians of other denominations will never make it to heaven are just a few steps away from being considered unbelievers.
September 4, 2012 at 8:26 am
Thank you for that. I will make a permanent link to it on my blog.
September 4, 2012 at 8:37 am
September 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm
Gosh it’s frightening to know that you fear for your life. Im sorry about that. I too am same-sex attracted and have had concerns about whether it risks my employment, but to fear for your life means you are much more at risk than me. Are there Christian voices in your geographical area, who stand up for a right to life for gay people? If there are not, Im happy to work with you to promote theological views on why gay people are not an exception to the Christian principle that all people should be treated with dignity.
The dangerous position in which you live makes the views and matters raised by Matthew Vines seem trivial. But you seem to regard them as worthy of your time, so I will respond further, since I find some of your above statements concerning. Ill quote some of these;
*”Christianity is between one person and God and this means that you don’t need anyone to validate your faith and hence consider you fully Christian.”
Yes, to a large extent that is correct; from a Christian point of view, the most important factor in determining whether someone is fully Christian, is God’s perspective on judgement day, rather than analysis from other people. But we know that the Bible indicates that God seeks full commitment from his followers (Revelation 3:16, Mark 12:30) and that includes careful checking to ensure that they understand the Bible correctly (cf Acts 17:11). I dont think He extends full sympathy to those who only partially obey the Bible, or those who interpret it in a way that is most convenient to them rather than using a reasonable interpretation.
* “there are a lot of very different interpretations of the Bible and how Christians are to live their lives.”
Yes, youre right. And not all those interpretations can be right. Many of the differences are minor though. EG some believe that baptism must be with full immersion in water. Others are happy to sprinkle water and call it baptism. Do you think God cares about examples like that? I suspect he doesnt care. Some denominations place high priority on speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4), while others believe that speaking in tongues was merely a practise of the early apostles. I suspect that God embraces both beliefs. There are some things that are unclear in the Bible and probably ultimately inconsequential. But there are other things that are repeatedly stated in the Bible and some things that are clearly stated to be key determinants in whether a person is accepted into heaven. Homosexual behaviour appears to be one of those key determinants that is repeatedly stated (eg 1 Corinthians 6:9,10).
*”if someone is in a faithful monogamous relationship, what stops them from being considered a full Christian”
Well, perhaps this is about the definition of a full Christian. When I used that phrase, I meant to refer to someone whom God would consider to be an authentic follower of Jesus. My understanding is that such a person obeys the Bible. The Bible teaches in various places as mentioned on the webpage I referred you to, that Christians do not engage in homosexual sex. It appears to me that passages such as Leviticus 18 and 20, 1 Cor. 6 and others, imply that whether the sex is in the context of a homosexual relationship or not, and whether that relationship is faithful or monogamous, is irrelevant.
*”my point really is that his argument is a reasonable alternative explanation of the verses.”
Well yes, that is the key question for most people who encounter Mr Vines. IE are his explanations of the verses reasonable? My research suggests his explanations are not reasonable. But as you have said, your religion is primarily between you and God. It’s not me that you need to satisfy. If you really think that God will agree with Matthew Vines, then I guess you can relax. But do remember that indications are that most theologians disagree with him.
September 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm
I regard this worthy of my time since I have struggled internally for a very long time with being Christian and gay at the same time and it’s interesting (and dare I say refreshing) to read about a gay Christian who doesn’t spend his days crying “woe unto me”. It’s true that God may not extend His sympathy to those who live partially by the Bible, but this would mean that 90% of Christians that I know personally are damned since they pick and choose what verses they will live by, neglecting others. I won’t claim to know the mind of God and I also would not claim to be an expert on the Bible,religious history or a theologian because I am none of these people. I am a man trying to live life fully while navigating through the challenges that I encounter both internally and externally. If your aim is to provide an alternate explanation for what the verses in question say, then congratulations. If it is however to prove that yours is by far the more reasonable one, let’s just say the jury is still out on that. Once again, thank you for sharing. Take care
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