God and the Gay Christian is a 2014 released book by Matthew Vines. Although I deeply disagree with the book, it makes a convincing case for the legitimacy of Homosexuality within Christianity. I am not able to spend the necessary time to deal with this book thoroughly. So, I put four different links below where you can read thorough, biblical handlings of the book.
I do want to, however, share a few of my own thoughts. Before I launch into them, let me say that Matthew Vines is loved by God. He is another person whom Jesus Christ has died for. My desire is to point people to the truth, and sometimes that means I have to go against something that is very popular. Just because I go against this, does not mean that I hate or desire pain for anybody.
In addition, it is good for any Christian leader, mentor, or teacher to read this book before they deal with this topic. If we do not understand how the pro-same-sex position is presented, then our efforts to teach, train, and mentor will be undermined because we have been cast in a certain light already by those affirming Homosexuality.
Usually, but not always, people's minds are already made up.
When people pick up a book like this, they often already have a firm opinion. Their opinion may be formed by what their preferred culture deems right, what their own personal tastes and desires are, or from a traditional view of same-sex relationships given to them by their spiritual mentors. So let's be honest with ourselves as we study this topic. What is the basis of our opinion?
Matthew Vines knows that the number one challenge is the church's traditional understanding of the Bible and human sexuality, and that is what he seeks to overturn, recast, and re-explain. That is why people who hold a traditional view of same-sex relationships given to them by their spiritual mentors are not properly equipped to handle this topic the way it is being messaged today. The only way to properly deal with this issue as a Christian is to yes know the Bible passages, but also to know what is the proper handling of Scripture.
The Use of Story Telling and Belonging
Matthew powerfully intertwines his own story and desire to belong and be affirmed by those in his life throughout this book. Who doesn't want the good feelings of being accepted and affirmed? The difficulty for any decent human being is deciding what to accept, and who gets to say what is okay and what is not okay. The human heart because of in-born sin will love the wrong things while at the same time making a case for why those things are okay. If we place the power of the story, our experience, and our desire to belong above objective truth, we will be subject to the result of our own desires instead of the result of the purity of God's glory and truth.
Creating a New Category
A key part of Matthew's premise is taking what is true about himself, his desire for a faithful union with another man, and creating a category for it that he says that Bible doesn't directly address. Therefore, he makes an argument from supposed silence on why the Bible is okay with Homosexuality. In addition, he spends a good deal of time explaining why the classic Bible passages on Homosexuality can't apply to his desire for a faithful union with another man. This leads to my next thought.
What is a high view of Scripture?
Since the Bible is the Christian's authority, Vines knows that he must deal with this topic. He seeks to prove that he still has a high view of Scripture while at the same time messing around with word meanings and very nuanced arguments so that he can have his category of Same-Sex Attraction. Whenever we take our category and seek to make room for it in Scripture, we do not have a high view of the Bible. The articles below deal with this more extensively. It is noteworthy that when we treat Scripture the way Matthew does that we are then in danger of the continual erosion of a healthy relationship with the Word of God. We will continue to explain away things and will then be on the path towards relativism and license for anything we want.
- God and the Gay Christian | The Gospel Coalition By Sam Allberry
- Why 'God and the Gay Christian' Is Wrong About the Bible and Same-Sex Relationships | By CHRISTOPHER YUAN| JUNE 9, 2014
- God, the Gospel, and the Gay Challenge—A Response to Matthew Vines | By Albert Mohler -President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- The Bible and same sex relationships: A review article | By Tim Keller