Gay marriage: a contribution to the conversation

by Richard on March 12, 2012

Matthew Vines is a young gay man who makes a passionate and well-delivered contribution to the “debate” about gay marriage. He writes

I wanted to let you know about a speech that I gave at a church in Kansas last week about the Bible and homosexuality.

I grew up in a church that holds staunchly to the “traditional” view on this subject, so I am well aware of the pain and hurt that causes people. Consequently, I wanted to make a resource for gay Christians in anti-gay communities, so that they can better learn how to counter anti-gay readings of Scripture and hopefully be able to retain their faith and grow in it throughout what can be a very difficult process.

I’m glad to help. The video is over an hour long, but well worth your time

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Rob! 03.13.12 at 2:34 am

Matthew Vines is a fine speaker and a knowledgable young man and his arguments and commentry on homosexuality are the best reasoning and arguments I have heard. I wish him well and hope that one day he truely does find a partner to share his life with. God bless.

2

John 03.14.12 at 2:48 am

This Beautiful young man is Obviously being led by the Holy Spirit! What a joy to see him turn the traditional interpretation and understanding of Homosexuality as pertaining to commited loving relationships upside down! May God Bless you Matthew and continue to fill you with Understanding and Wisdom.

3

Paul 03.15.12 at 2:53 pm

Well done on this posting as it must provoke us all to think more on the realities of our humanity. Thoughtful, thoughtful, thoughful. Think it through and it makes great sense. It also makes wonderful sense of what Jesus wants us all to do - the second great commandment of loving our neighbour. We need to seek more understanding from God as we all commit to a very different future. Think God, think Jesus, think love !

4

Elizabeth 03.15.12 at 9:01 pm

As you said Richard, worth the time. I hope he finds a man with whom to share his life; his understanding of what it would mean to do so seems both very beautiful and very real. I also hope the community who raised him to be such a brave, intellegent, eloquent young man can stand behind him and his future partner and affirm and bless their union if and when the time comes. Something to pray for, perhaps.

5

Richard 03.15.12 at 10:59 pm

Amen to that.

6

Danny 04.10.12 at 4:03 pm

Yes, a nice guy, but he begins with a faulty interpretation of the Matthew 7 passage, and unfortunately follows with flawed reasoning in the remainder of the video, as detailed here: http://stasisonline.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/homosexual-marriage/

Homosexuals are generally nice people, but the reality is that the Bible does not affirm homosexual behaviour as being Christian.

7

Tony Buglass 04.15.12 at 10:35 am

Danny, the Bible condemns a number of forms of sexual behaviour, including certain types of same-sex behaviour. However, it never addresses the question of same-sex committed life-long relationship. Far too many people argue about what the Bible says without really understanding it. For a good discussion of the issues, I recommend: http://www.reluctantjourney.co.uk. Worth a little of your time, I think.

8

John Walker 04.15.12 at 9:28 pm

I, too, wish Matthew Vines all the best for the future; he is a young man of courage. I wholly agree with Tony that the Bible never addresses the question of same-sex committed relationships; indeed, the cultures of the 1st century in the eastern Mediterranean do not appear to have left evidence of any terms they may have had for same-sex relationships between equals. Whilst the Stasis Online article includes some useful discussion of the challenges of following Christ to all Christians, the writer appears to be unaware of some scholarship in relation to interpretation of the Pauline epistles. Professor Lee Jefferson’s article in The Huff at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-jefferson/bible-gay-marriage_b_886102.html gives a brief overview of an alternative position and there is a third edition of Victor Paul Furnish’s book available now. Personally, I feel that whilst discussion of these matters is interesting, we should view Paul’s statements about moral behaviour in light of the importance of distinguishing the nascent Christian church from surrounding cultures in the same way as the Jews sought to distinguish themselves from their ‘unclean’ neighbours several centuries previously.

9

Danny 04.16.12 at 3:01 am

Tony, thanks for responding, and for pointing me to George’s website. I know it’s a difficult issue, and it’s painful to admit that Christianity doesnt have answers that keep everyone happy, but I think we do need to admit this. At the end of the day, it’s inaccurate for George to claim that the Bible is silent on the matter of “faithful same-sex relationships”. Even if one explains away the anti-same-sex passages as George does, the fact is that the Bible presents only heterosexual relationships as being the Christian model. That is not silence. Jesus himself in passages such as Matthew 19, and Luke 14:26 portrays Christian relationships only as heterosexual and makes no provision for homosexual relationships. Try turning up to play football with a tennis racket, on the basis that the coach never addressed using a tennis racket to play football. If the football code of practice says that football is played using your legs (and head) then it rules out using tennis rackets!
Unfortunately, your focus on “same-sex committed life-long relationships” would cover less than 1% of homosexual relationships, based on studies detailed here: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=IS04C02
so most homosexuals are excluded.
I note the subsequent to George’s letter to the Bible Society around the year 2000 about the NIV, a newer version of the NIV has been released that is even clearer in translating homosexual sex as sinful. It seems that ultimately, the experts decided that George’s reasoning was flawed, and that the Bible does not support homosexual sex.
Best wishes.

10

Richard 04.16.12 at 11:05 am

Hi Danny. I’m not certain that the Family Research Council can be used an an objective source. This from it’s mission statement: “Family Research Council (FRC) champions marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society. FRC shapes public debate and formulates public policy that values human life and upholds the institutions of marriage and the family. Believing that God is the author of life, liberty, and the family, FRC promotes the Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free, and stable society.” But even so, isn’t it worth asking why homosexuals have found committed long-term relationships problematic? Might persecution, violence and social exclusion have something to do with that?

11

Danny 05.16.12 at 3:56 am

Hi Richard. Yes, it’s good to question these things. My guess is that persecution, violence and social exclusion would encourage homosexuals to engage in committed long-term relationships, so Im low on answers for that. If the rest of the world is persecuting you, I would think you would naturally gravitate to your partner and stick together “against the world” so to speak.

12

Richard 05.16.12 at 6:28 am

That might be true for the occasional couple, but to suggest that persecution and violence provide an environment for flourishing relationships is surely perverse.

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