Matthew Vines promotes the acceptance of “gay Christianity.” His approach includes changing Christian teaching on homosexuality by offering re-interpretations of long-standing biblical views on the subject. So how might Christians respond to Matthew Vines? How might the church love him?
First, I am aware of two thorough responses to Vines’ interpretations promoting gay Christianity. The responses are listed below and they provide great apologetic responses worthy of study to correct Vines’ agenda and interpretations.
- Matt Slick at CARM offers a written response – Matthew Vines.
- James White at Alpha and Omega Ministries offers an audio response – Gay Christianity Refuted.
Second, and maybe more importantly – how might the church love Matthew Vines?
In 1 Cor. 6, those who practice homosexuality are listed among idolaters, adulterers, thieves, drunkards, etc. In 1 Tim. 1, those who practice homosexuality are noted among liars and murders et al. and any practice “contrary to sound doctrine.”
Ironically, there are no movements pushing “drunk Christianity” or “murderer Christianity” or ‘liars Christianity” or “adulterous Christianity.” The list could go on. However, in today’s cultural climate Christians are being asked to accept “gay Christianity.” Given these Scriptural comparisons, one may see why the question of loving Matthew Vines becomes more difficult.
In talks with fellow Christians over the years, I’ve offered correctives when friends have treated homosexuality among unbelievers as a worse sin than others. At times, some spoke about homosexuals as if they were unsavable.
My corrective has been: gospel first, then transformation. Sinners are transformed by the gospel rather than first trying to transform themselves in order to then believe. Self-transformation is a losing battle. We have all lived practicing the sins listed in 1 Cor. 6 and 1 Tim. 1 prior to gospel transformation. Christians should treat unbelievers who practice those sins equally – give them the gospel without bias.
The difference with Vines is that he professes to be a Christian. Therefore, while we each unbeliever is treated equally with the gospel, regardless of the type of sin, the same goes for each professed believer. That is, Christians are called abandon practicing any of those sins listed whether homosexuality, adultery, lying, etc.
Paul writes, in 1 Cor. 5, to not even associate with sexually immoral people in the church. Immoral unbelievers are okay, but Scripture commands “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.” (1 Corinthians 5:11, ESV)
Finally, Christians should love Matthew Vines the way Jesus would by calling him to repentance. Continued appeals to the gospel and sound doctrine refuting Vines’ agenda to bring him to repentance and back into the church is the Scriptural way the church might love him.
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