With all that is going on in our country and world these days, it is more important than ever to be able to respond to those who creep into the church with intent to spread false gospels. Matthew Vines is one such person. Vines has written a book that attempts to twist scripture in order to prove that committed homosexual relationships are not forbidden in the Bible. He and his mentor, Dr. James Brownson have been seriously deceiving believers and need to be called out. They have repeatedly dodged challenges to public debate against Dr. James White, Dr. Robert Gagnon, and Dr. Michael Brown. Because this is such a serious issue, all true believers need to be prepared against these arguments. I’m not extremely studied, but this is my attempt at a response to these questions.
Original article: Here
Do you accept that sexual orientation is not a choice?
“Sexual orientation” is a fabrication of sinful society that is used to debase a person’s identity to their sexual preference, and such terminology should not be used by those claiming a Christian worldview. I do agree that in some cases, a person can have natural inclination toward homosexual desires, but I believe that the number of those individuals pales in comparison to the number of individuals who choose that lifestyle.
Do you accept that sexual orientation is highly resistant to attempts to change it?
I’ll ignore the continued use of the term “sexual orientation” per what I stated above, but yes, I fully agree that the sin nature is highly resistant to change. My lustful and greedy desires are extremely difficult to get rid of, no matter how much I try.
How many meaningful relationships with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people do you have?
Personally, not many. I do have many work and a few extended family relationships with such people. Contrary to what many of Vines supporters would say, I am not a “homophobe” (whatever that means). But I would not carry on a personal and meaningful relationship with someone who is unashamedly opposed to the created order of God, especially if they are in the church. In general, I do not have much desire to carry on relationships with people who are opposed to the things of God, in or outside the church.
How many openly LGBT people would say you are one of their closest friends?
See previous answer.
How much time have you spent in one-on-one conversation with LGBT Christians about their faith and sexuality?
None. As I said, I don’t know any. But if I did, I would gladly discuss faith and sexuality in a Biblical based discussion using logic, not emotion.
Do you accept that heterosexual marriage is not a realistic option for most gay people?
There are many who have come out of that lifestyle by the grace of God and carry on a Biblical marriage while still struggling with same sex desires. I have read testimonies of those who no longer experience same sex attraction through the work of the Holy Spirit. But that doesn’t fit into Vines’ worldview. But if it isn’t an option, how is that a bad thing? The apostle Paul said it was better to be single.
Do you accept that lifelong celibacy is the only valid option for most gay people if all same-sex relationships are sinful?
See previous answer.
How many gay brothers and sisters in Christ have you walked with on the path of mandatory celibacy, and for how long?
Personally I walked the path of mandatory celibacy for 23 years. Apart from a Biblical view of marriage, celibacy is mandatory by God’s law. I fail to see how that is relevant whether someone is gay or straight. The glorification of sex is something that the unbelieving world does, it is a serious error for someone claiming to be a Christian.
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?
What is your answer for those experiencing pedophilic urges who struggled for years to live out a celibacy mandate but were driven to suicidal despair in the process? Don’t debase a person’s meaning to their sexual urges.
Has mandatory celibacy produced good fruit in the lives of most gay Christians you know?
Lack of sexual activity isn’t what produces good fruit. The regeneration of the Holy Spirit produces good fruit. (Galatians 5:16-23)
How many married same-sex couples do you know?
None. Two members of the same sex can’t have a marriage. That is a natural, logical, and definitional impossibility.
Do you believe that same-sex couples’ relationships can show the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
No. As I cited in the Galatians 5 passage, the works of the flesh are drastically separated from the fruit of the Spirit.
Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support same-sex marriage in the church?
No. Why would any Christian support such blasphemy against the image of Christ and His bride?
Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support slavery?
Sure. But that depends on what you mean by slavery. The Bible lays down laws governing slavery (indentured servitude). Was God wrong by ordaining those laws? Now I’m sure Vines means American colonial chattel slavery, which is obviously condemned in scripture, and no Christian should support it.
If not, do you believe that Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards were not actually Christians because they supported slavery?
This is a ridiculous assertion. Even if any of these men supported chattel slavery, what bearing does that have? King David committed murder and adultery. Christians are still sinners and are still able to misinterpret scripture. Kind of like what Matthew Vines does.
Do you think supporting same-sex marriage is a more serious problem than supporting slavery?
Yes, because even though chattel slavery is a serious sin, it isn’t near the level of blasphemy that homosexual so-called “marriage” is.
Did you spend any time studying the Bible’s passages about slavery before you felt comfortable believing that slavery is wrong?
Are we still on this?
Does it cause you any concern that Christians throughout most of church history would have disagreed with you?
Go read more history books. Starting with Leviticus.
Did you know that, for most of church history, Christians believed that the Bible taught the earth stood still at the center of the universe?
As we covered above, “Christians” throughout history have misinterpreted many Biblical passages, that doesn’t make the Bible wrong. I’m also not aware of any Biblical text that could be used to support a geocentric system. Similar to how I am not aware of any Biblical texts that support homosexual unions.
Does it cause you any concern that you disagree with their interpretation of the Bible?
Does it cause you concern that you disagree with the Mormons’ interpretation of the Bible?
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?
Yes. Again, I fail to see how that is relevant, as scripture doesn’t explicitly state that the earth revolves around the sun. But we know that from nature, the same as we know a natural sexual union is a male and a female. But, the latter is explicitly stated in scripture.
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?
Even if they did, why would something so obviously condemned in scripture be up for discussion?
If not, might it be fair to say that mandating celibacy for gay Christians is not a traditional position?
The idea of a “gay Christian” is not a traditional position.
Do you believe that the Bible explicitly teaches that all gay Christians must be single and celibate for life?
Now we get to the heart of the emotional arguments. I would let Jesus’ words speak to how we should “feel.” Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
If not, do you feel comfortable affirming something that is not explicitly affirmed in the Bible?
The trinity isn’t explicitly affirmed in the Bible, but through a full study of the texts we affirm that doctrine. But that isn’t the case for homosexual unions.
Do you believe that the moral distinction between lust and love matters for LGBT people’s romantic relationships?
Absolutely. But I think my definition of “love” is different from that of Matthew Vines. Biblical, God honoring love is a conscious action, not a feeling that can come and go with the wind. As men, we are commanded to love our wives as Christ loved the church, sacrificially and purposefully. Of course that is extremely opposed to the concept of lust. (Ephesians 5)
Do you think that loving same-sex relationships should be assessed in the same way as the same-sex behavior Paul explicitly describes as lustful in Romans 1?
Why wouldn’t they? Paul is not describing merely an attitude, but an act. The same way it is described in Leviticus 18.
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?
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?
It is the same word, so why wouldn’t he be talking about the same nature? In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul says that a woman’s hair is her glory. Why would a man want the glory of a woman? Even though this is a subject of disagreement, it has no bearing on the Romans 1 passage. Because in Romans 1, Paul appeals to the created order itself to describe how homosexual unions are unnatural. Verse 20, For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Do you believe that the capacity for procreation is essential to marriage?
It is one important part of it, part of the ordained way to carry out God’s command to “fill the earth” with humanity. But that doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever to the natural union of male and female.
If so, what does that mean for infertile heterosexual couples?
How much time have you spent engaging with the writings of LGBT-affirming Christians like Justin Lee, James Brownson, and Rachel Murr?
I personally have not. As I stated, I am not well studied on many subjects. However, people like Dr. Gagnon, Dr. White, and Dr. Brown have engaged those writings extensively, yet Vines and his associates continue to blatantly ignore all challenges to their fallacy.
What relationship recognition rights short of marriage do you support for same-sex couples?
None. It is the government’s job to uphold what is true, right, and good. Affirmation of any sort of homosexual union would be against such a command and a government that does will be judged. (Psalm 2)
What are you doing to advocate for those rights?
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 know of those people, but why would my church discuss national news? Church is for the edification of the local body. News headlines don’t belong there. In any case, I feel sorrow that those individual’s confusion led to their deaths. That is why that kind of confusion needs to be repented of, not celebrated.
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?
An unfortunate byproduct of the lie sold by society that says that type of behavior is normal. If it was normal, why are they killing themselves? Should pedophiles also be able to fulfill their sexual desires in order to avoid their deaths?
Have you vocally objected when church leaders and other Christians have compared same-sex relationships to things like bestiality, incest, and pedophilia?
Why should I? All those sins are laid out right next to each other in Leviticus 18. The same passage that Vines supporters love to quote that says “love your neighbor as yourself.” You can’t separate the text.
How certain are you that God’s will for all gay Christians is lifelong celibacy?
I can’t even begin to act like I know what God’s will is, and neither should Matthew Vines. Christians with homosexual desires are free to marry the same as I am. Free to marry a person of the opposite sex.
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?
What an amazing logical fallacy. Why would the natural order be a rebellion against God?
Are you willing to be in fellowship with Christians who disagree with you on this topic?
Am I willing to fellowship with someone who disagrees in order to disciple them into a right understanding of the Word? Yes. Am I willing to fellowship with the likes of Matthew Vines, a wolf in sheep’s clothing of the worst kind, who blatantly teach against what God has laid down in scripture and aggressively seek to profane the image of God? Absolutely not.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”