My response to Matthew Vines´gay theology
I’ve decided to take matters somewhat into my own hands and offer a rebuttal of Matthew Vines’ 40 questions.
08 AUGUST 2015 · 22:10 CET
It was over a year ago that Matthew Vines’ pro-homosexual book God and the Gay Christian came out. In April 2014, days before the book was published, I wrote an article predicting that Vines was about to “shoot into international stardom”. My forecast came true. Who doesn’t know Vines now in the Western world?
Then, little over a month ago, Vines followed up his book by publishing 40 questions in response to Kevin DeYoung’s article ‘40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags’. Vines’ questions were directed toward all Christians who oppose marriage quality.
Some prominent biblical scholars in the United States such as Michael Brown and James White have since taken Vines to task over his 40 questions. But as of yet there has been no European response. Nor does one appear to be forthcoming.
Therefore I’ve decided to take matters somewhat into my own hands and offer a rebuttal of Matthew Vines’ 40 questions. I hope it blesses all of you Christian preachers, theologians and believers here in Europe. If you want to check out a short video I did for pro-homosexual Christians, just click here.
I’ll quote each of Vines’ questions and offer a short response to each one. Remember: Vines wants Christians to endorse a homosexual lifestyle in general and gay marriage in particular.
1.- Do you accept that sexual orientation is not a choice?
If you mean that I don’t actively choose to feel sexually attracted to other men then my answer would be yes. I don’t choose to feel that way. But that justifies nothing. I must take up my cross and fight these sinful desires. I certainly mustn’t give into them. I don’t choose to feel anger or hatred or lust or violence in my heart. That’s the fruit of my fallen nature.
But what I refuse to do is give those desires free course. To quote you a well-known saying: “You can’t stop the birds from flying over your hard but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair”. If you feel same-sex attracted Michael, fight those birds off! Take up your cross! Act like a Christian! Don’t give in! He won’t let you be tempted beyond that which you are able to stand (1 Corinthians 10:13).
2.- Do you accept that sexual orientation is highly resistant to attempts to change it?
Yes, but so what? It’s hard to get a thief to stop robbing or an adulterer to stop sleeping about Does that make such actions acceptable? In Christ, however, all things are possible (Philippians 4:13).
3.- How many meaningful relationships with lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people do you have?
Well, if being LGBT is just about feeling same-sex attracted, I’m sure almost all of my friends have felt that temptation at some point in their lives. So I’d say all of my friends are potentially LGBT. They just don’t give into those sinful desires they feel. They fight those birds off!
4.- How many openly LGBT people would say you are one of their closest friends?
If my answer is zero or ten million it changes nothing. If all my closest friends are rapists, does that make rape ok? If all my closest friends are drug dealers, does that make drug trafficking ok? Of course not!
5.- How much time have you spent in one-on-one conversation with LGBT Christians about their faith and sexuality?
Let me just stop you there, Matthew. I notice how you’ve subtly let an oxymoron slip into the conversation. What on earth is an “LGBT Christian”? If LGBT just means feeling same-sex attracted at some point, then I’m sure all my friends are LGBT in some sense and hence, all of my time is spent with them.
But if LGBT Christian means someone who gives into homoerotic acts and promotes gay activity, then I would never consider such a person a Christian. Is it possible to talk about a devil-worshipping Christian or an orgy-indulging Christian? Of course not! So why then should we talk about an “LGBT Christian”?
6.- Do you accept that heterosexual marriage is not a realistic option for most gay people?
So what? Does that change what God says about marriage? Does God have to rewrite the Bible to accept the whims of sinners? Whatever ‘gay people’ want or don’t want, God’s word remains.
7.- Do you accept that lifelong celibacy is the only valid option for most gay people if all same-sex relationships are sinful?
If by celibacy you mean abstinence from gay activity, of course! Why, do you not accept that lifelong celibacy is the only valid option for most paedophiles?
8.- How many gay brothers and sisters have you walked with on the path of mandatory celibacy and for how long?
Again, if my answer is zero or ten million it changes nothing. You don’t win Christian arguments by majority vote but by the revealed will of God.
9.- What is your answer for gay Christians who struggled for years to live out a celibacy mandate but were driven to suicidal despair in the process?
First of all, there’s another oxymoron: “gay Christian”. No such thing! I won’t let you away with that. Now, let’s see if I follow your reasoning: “I really want to have gay sex and since I don’t get it I’ll commit suicide? Therefore let’s all institutionalize homosexual activity”. So we should let people sin freely because if they don’t get what they want they’ll kill themselves? Ok, let’s be consistent. Let’s institutionalize robbery, murder and bestiality.
After all, we don’t want any robbers, assassins or animal-rapists talking their lives, do why? My word of encouragement for people who reason like that is very simple: fight the good fight! Deny yourself! Take up the cross! Be a soldier for Christ’s sake!
10.- Has the mandatory celibacy produced good fruit in the lives of most gay Christians you know?
Oxymoron alert number 3: “gay Christian”. Abstinence from any form of sin is a good fruit.
11.- How many same-sex couples do you know?
For the third time, if my answer is zero or ten million, it will not change the revelation of God concerning marriage.
12.- Do you believe that same-sex couples’ relationships can show the fruit of the Spirit?
They can be nice people (humanly speaking). But in no way can they be Spirit-led if they are living in open disobedience to the word of God. The first sign of the Spirit’s work in them would be if they forsook their shameful activity.
13.- Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support same-sex marriage in the church?
It is possible for Christians to walk in ignorance but once they are taught from the Word of God, they will abandon their erroneous beliefs.
14.- Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support slavery?
I repeat: it is possible for Christians to walk in ignorance. But I’d like to ask what type of slavery you are referring to: the vicious African Slave Trade of the more recent centuries or the humane form of slavery as practised by the Israelites which saved the poor from socio-economical annihilation and guaranteed them freedom?
15.- If not, do you believe that Martin Luther, John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards were not actually Christians because they supported slavery?
I repeat yet again: it is possible for Christians to walk in ignorance. At any rate, the faith of a Christian is not based upon Luther, Calvin or Edwards but upon the Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t oppose homosexuality because the aforementioned trio did; I do so because the God does.
16.- Do you think supporting same-sex marriage is a more serious problem than supporting slavery?
Do you think that telling lies is a more serious problem than gossiping? Do you think that murder is a more serious problem than rape? They’re all evil. They’re all sins. They’re all condemnable. Condemning one as more serious than the other doesn’t make the lesser evil somehow alright in God’s sight.
17.- Did you spend any time studying the Bible’s passages about slavery before you felt comfortable that slavery is wrong?
Yes, I did. I realized that the Old Testament slave texts had nothing to do with the brutal African Slave Trade.
18.- Does it cause you any concern that Christians throughout most of church history would have disagreed with you?
Ah, now I see where you’re going with all the slavery questions. So gay is the new slavery, that’s it? I wrote an article back in August 2014 dispelling this myth called ‘Is Homosexuality the New Slavery?’ To cut a long story (or article) short, I showed that neither homosexuality nor slavery had a place in Eden therefore they both went against God’s original design for humankind.
And whereas God curtailed Hebrew slavery as to make it more humane, He never accepted homosexual behaviour at any point in salvation history. Never! Homosexuality and slavery are not on the same footing. Plus, if I’m a slave, I’m not in sin. But if I engage in homosexual activity, you bet your bottom dollar I am.
19.- Did you know that, for most of church history, Christians believed that the Bible taught the earth stood still at the centre of the universe?
Since when did the earth’s position become a moral/ ethical issue?
20.- Does it cause you any concern that you disagree with their interpretation of the Bible?
Not at all! Why should it? The Bible nowhere addresses the question of the earth’s position in the cosmos in literal terms (only poetical). But it does speak clearly, directly and explicitly regarding homosexuality.
21.- Did you spend any time studying the Bible’s verses on the topic before you felt comfortable believing that the earth revolves around the sun?
No. I don’t follow your logic. The constitution of the cosmos and the ethics of human sexuality are two entirely different philosophical questions. One is a question of how things are; the other is a question of how things ought to be.
22.- Do you know of any Christian writers before the 20th century who acknowledged that gay people must be celibate for life due to the church’s rejection of same-sex relationships?
No, because before the twentieth century it was unthinkable –yea, nigh on blasphemous- to even contemplate the idea of a “gay Christian”. The great church writers have always exalted holiness of life, the discipleship of Christ and taking up one’s church to follow the Lord.
23.- If not, might it be fair to say that mandating celibacy for gay Christians is not a traditional position?
Oxymoron alert number 4: “gay Christians”. It would be a traditional position given that abstinence from sin has always been emphasized by the leading church writers throughout the Christian centuries.
They’ve just never had to emphasize “gay celibacy” because the contradictory concept of a “gay Christian” was foreign to them. People weren’t as shamefaced and as open in their sin back then. And much less did they venture to request their sin be institutionalized or the Bible to be rewritten to justify their fallen demeanour.
24.- Do you believe that the Bible explicitly teaches that all gay Christians must be single and celibate for life?
Oxymoron alert number 5: “gay Christians”. As I said at the beginning, a Christian who feels tempted must fight those birds off no matter what species they are: lust, murder, hatred, gossip, lies or bestiality, etc. So yes, a Christian who faces gay temptations must take up his/ her cross and deny those sinful desires. Under no circumstances should he/ she marry another man/ woman.
25.- If not, do you feel comfortable affirming something that is not explicitly affirmed in the Bible?
Does the Bible not say: “Be ye holy as I am holy”? Does the Bible not say: “Sin not” and “Sin no more”? Does the Bible not say: “Take up your cross, deny yourself and follow me?”
26.- Do you believe that the moral distinction between lust and love matters for LGBT people’s romantic relationships?
It depends on your definition of love. I don’t take mine from 21st century sentimental, soppy, slushy, syrupy, Hollywood-following Western society but from the Bible. Love, biblically defined, is obedience to God. Love does not rejoice in iniquity. Therefore no LGBT relationship can ever be loving in God’s eyes given that it violates His sovereign purpose in creation.
27.- Do you think that loving same-sex relationships should be assessed in the same way as the same-sex behaviour Paul explicitly describes as lustful in Romans 1?
Oxymoron alert number 6: “loving same-sex relationship”. Walking contrary to God’s will is not love. And yes, when Will Graham and Matthew Vines are both dead and buried, Romans 1 will continue being God’s very word. Every act of same-sex behaviour is a violation of God’s creative wisdom. It is to be denounced, condemned and rejected in the clearest of terms.
28.- Do you believe that Paul’s use of the terms “shameful” and “unnatural” in Romans 1:26-27 means that all same-sex relationships are sinful?
I sure do. But I don’t need Romans 1. I’ve got the rest of the Bible to back me up on that point.
29.- Would you say the same about Paul’s description of long hair in men as “shameful” and “against nature” in 1 Corinthians 11:14 or would you say he was describing cultural norms of his time?
Just look at the two different contexts of those chapters. Firstly, Romans 1 refers to creation; 1 Corinthians 11 to culture. Secondly, Romans 1 refers to the universal wrath of God and reprobation; 1 Corinthians 11 to how to behave in public worship.
Just because the same semantic code is used in each chapter doesn’t mean they refer to the same reality. Take the term ‘crane’. I can say: “Look at that lovely bird. It’s a crane!” or “They used a crane to lift the crashed car”. The context reveals the correct meaning of the word. We’ve just got to study the Bible a little bit harder.
30.- Do you believe that capacity for procreation is essentially to marriage?
Don’t ask me. Ask the Almighty. He said: “Go forth, be fruitful and increase! Fill the whole earth!” Check it out in Genesis 1:28. Do you own a Bible?
31.- If so, what does that mean for infertile heterosexual couples?
It’s sad. There are biblical examples of infertile couples. But they weren’t in sin for being infertile. It is a sin, however, to engage in homosexual activity.
32.- How much time have you spent engaging with the writing of LGBT-affirming Christians like Justin Lee, James Brownson and Rachel Murr?
I’m only familiar with Justin Lee first hand although I have read thorough criticisms of their works. But to use your earlier example, just as Luther, Calvin and Edwards aren’t the basis of my faith; neither should Lee, Brownson and Ruth be the foundation of yours. We are called to be faithful to God’s word whatever the opinions of contemporary thinkers may be.
33.- What relationship rights short of marriage do you support for some sex-couples?
34.- What are you doing to advocate for those rights?
I’ve done nothing for them; I’m doing nothing for them; and I will continue to do nothing for them. I don’t believe in promoting sin.
35.- Do you know who Tyler Clementi, Leelah Alcorn and Blake Brockington are, and did your church offer any kind of prayer for them when their deaths made national news?
I’ll abstain from answering that as I write to you from continental Europe. That question is for believers in the States.
36.- Do you know that LGBT youth whose families reject them are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than LGBT youth whose families support them?
Christian families should love, protect and discipline their children in the Lord. Therefore they should not reject their kids but they should denounce their wicked acts. Christian parents aren’t the problem. Destructive sin is! Anyhow, even if you compare the stats between active gays who have been affirmed by their families and heterosexuals as a whole, your jaw will drop.
Self-professed homosexuals are far more promiscuous, have far shorter relationship-spans, have far more problems related to alcohol abuse, drug abuse and depression and are far more likely to commit suicide when compared to heterosexuals.
Does that sound like God’s blessing to you? That’s not to mention all of the STDS, anal warts, shorter life-spans and AIDS that go hand in hand with the ‘homosexual’ community. I want to save people from this plague! Loving Christian parents are right to save their children from such a curse of a life.
37.- Have you vocally objected when church leaders and other Christians have compared same-sex relationships to things like bestiality, incest and paedophilia?
No, why would I? That’s exactly what Moses does in Leviticus.
38.- How certain are you that God’s will for all gay Christians is lifelong celibacy?
Oxymoron alert number 7: “gay Christians”. I am certain –absolutely 100% certain- that God’s word condemns homosexual activity therefore I am certain –absolutely 100% certain- that homosexual birds must be fought off when they come to nest.
39.- What do you think the result would be if we told all straight teenagers in the church that if they ever dated someone they liked, held someone’s hand, kissed someone or got married, they would be rebelling against God?
It is good, correct and wholesome for a man to desire a woman (and vice versa). Marriage is a gift from God therefore I would never downplay heterosexual love (unless, of course, it was outside of biblical parameters like fornication or adultery). Heterosexual love is God-given. Homosexuality, however, is a rank perversion.
40.- Are you willing to be in fellowship with Christians who disagree with you on this topic?
If that Christian is walking in ignorance and hasn’t yet been exposed to the will of God regarding this matter, I would be merciful and patient. But, if after a time of study together and a clear exposition of what God says about the matter that Christian continued to conscientiously oppose what God had stipulated, then I could have no fellowship with such a person because they are purposefully and deliberately rejecting the Almighty.
What fellowship has light with darkness? And I certainly would not have fellowship with someone who twists the word of God in order to actively promote homosexual activity. Woe to the wolves who distort Scripture for popular applause! Woe to the vines which bring forth corrupt fruit!