Loving Matthew Vines

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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.

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.

Here I blog…

Mark



{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 LarryFarlow July 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I agree Mark. You love him by calling him to repentance and if he fails to repent by following the steps in Matthew 18, with the hope that that will lead to his eventual repentance. If, sadly, it doesn’t you’ve protected the flock from being led astray by his false teaching.

2 Ander Son July 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Jesus would sit with him or her and love them regardless. Period.

3 Mark Lamprecht July 11, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Ander Son Do you believe Jesus would have called those in open sin to repentance?

4 Ander Son July 11, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I believe that he would have called on them to see themselves truly, as the sons and daughters of God; as are you and I and everyone we meet, sinless in the eyes of God. Sit down with them, lay down your stone of condemnation, for you too are forgiven.

5 The_Thinker July 12, 2013 at 1:45 am

Well at least in the case of “drunk Christianity” and “liar Christianity” Christians tolerate this behavior and have been doing so for centuries. Every Christian knowing lies just about everyday, and millions of Christians get drunk everyday. There are no pastors or priests speaking about the evils of alcohol any more, so if Christians can evolve on some issues, why not homosexuality?

6 Even If Ministries July 12, 2013 at 3:56 am

Mark,
Our thoughts – our sense of right and wrong – really has nothing to do with it.  A short post where the text speaks for itself entitled “They have no excuse”:  http://evenifministries.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/they-have-no-excuse/

7 LarryFarlow July 12, 2013 at 7:32 am

Ander Son Why do you believe that Ander Son? Is there some passage of scripture that leads you to believe Jesus would consider an unrepentant sinner  as “sinless in the eyes of God?” He certainly did not do that with the rich young ruler in Matthew 19, Luke 18, etc. The man went away sorrowing because Jesus confronted him with is sin and he was unwilling to repent.

8 Ander Son July 12, 2013 at 8:04 am

What I read is that he called the rich man to see himself truly. You can hear condemnation all you want. That is your ego to bear.

9 Ander Son July 12, 2013 at 8:07 am

I believe it because of my relationship with Christ.

10 LarryFarlow July 12, 2013 at 8:18 am

Ander Son But again, what scriptural support do you have for the idea that someone can be unrepentantly disobedient to the commands of Christ, not just involved in sin but proud of their sin and flaunting it, and still be “sinless in the eyes of God?” You need to know the answer to that because if you are speaking peace to people when there is no peace (Jeremiah 8:11), you are condemning them to Hell, hardly a loving act.

11 Ander Son July 12, 2013 at 8:32 am

It it’s still up to you too choose to join with truth or with illusion. But remember that to choose one is to let the other go. Which one you choose you will endow with beauty and reality, because the choice depends on which you value more. The spark of beauty our veil of ugliness, the real world or the world of guilt and fear, truth our illusion, freedom our slavery–it is all the same. For you can never choose except between God and the ego. Thought systems are but true or false, and all their attributes come simply from what they are. Only the Thoughts of God are true. And all that follows from them comes from what they are, and is as true as is the holy Source from WHICH they came.
My holy Brother, I would enter into all your relationships, and step between you and your fantasies. Let my relationship to you be real to you, and let me bring reality to your perception of your brothers. They were not created to enable you to hurt yourself through them. They were created to create with you. This is the truth that I would interpose between you and your goal of madness. Be not separate from me, and let not the holy purpose of Atonement be lost to you in dreams of vengeance. Relationships in which such dreams are cherished have excluded me. Let me enter in the Name of God and bring you peace, that you may offer pave to me.

12 LarryFarlow July 12, 2013 at 8:35 am

Ander Son OK, I think we’re at a stalemate here. It’s clear your source of truth is not the Word of God but your own view of reality, which sounds more like Tibetan Buddhism than Christianity.

13 Ander Son July 12, 2013 at 9:01 am

Then you have chosen.

14 LarryFarlow July 12, 2013 at 9:10 am

Ander Son So are you saying my choice is wrong? Are you making a judgment about me?

15 clarkdunlap July 12, 2013 at 10:03 am

Ander Son SO if we disagree with all that then we need to repent? I mean if we are being judgmental then we are wrong, so we should repent I guess. And if we have to choose one and let the other go, we should let go of our judgment and trying to be more like Christ and instead be more like you?

16 shadesofkin July 12, 2013 at 10:04 am

I agree Mark, preach the Kingdom of Heaven. 
I also agree that we take a biblical stance with Vines and call him to repent but that doesn’t change our need to love him.

17 clarkdunlap July 12, 2013 at 10:08 am

Good post and reminder to love, but to love in a real way not just emotional support. But I had trouble with understanding this: “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.”

18 LarryFarlow July 12, 2013 at 11:08 am

Taking a biblical stance with Vines and calling him to repent IS loving him. They are not two different things. Saw a great definition of biblical love just today: “Biblical love isn’t necessarily feelings of affection or warmth, but actions that are directed toward another person’s long term best interests.”

19 clarkdunlap July 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm

LarryFarlow Good definition, know who said it?

20 Ander Son July 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm

This isn’t about me. This is about Christ.

21 clarkdunlap July 12, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Ander Son Yeah, I’m afraid its all about you based on what you wrote. It should be about Christ. But you have invented your own Christ, so its all about you. Sorry.  That’s really pretty tragic. I think you have been hurt badly in your life, emotionally if not physically etc. And you have constructed this ‘in the now’ philosophy that’s all about mystical understandings of things. 
When what you truly need is the The God of Scripture. Because He is the one with whom you will have to do in eternity. Being in the now is good, but being in eternity is better. That’s where God is. And only through repentance and faith in the Jesus Christ who judged sin on the cross, the Biblical Christ, who sacrificed his own flesh and blood, is there any hope for an eternity in the favor and presence of God Almighty.

22 Ander Son July 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm

We all need to let go of judgement to be the Christ.

23 LarryFarlow July 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Ander Son Is that your judgment?

24 Ander Son July 12, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Do you say that to everyone who doesn’t agree with your hate of homosexuality?

25 LarryFarlow July 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Ander Son Because you don’t want to answer the question, now you’re putting words in my mouth. So I’ll ask again, are you judging me for judging or, better yet, for having a different opinion about homosexuality than you do?

26 Ander Son July 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Allow me to start anew. Forgive me, Brothers, my sin of judgement. It is my ego to bear. I mean more to say this: sexuality and its intricacies and myriad of choices can become a veil to our relationship with God and with the Christ within us. I disagree with a common misunderstanding and focus on homosexuality as being isolated and demonized. I don’t care how much scripture you misrepresent, I think that you are missing the point. That IS my judgement. I do ask for forgiveness for my defensiveness and my attack, for I know that they do not help. I am also saying that our focus on homosexuality is a hindrance to the live that we seek to share, rather than a help. If you want to twist up my statement because I didn’t fill it with scripture, that’s your own choice.

27 LarryFarlow July 13, 2013 at 9:29 am

Ander Son No worries. I was not offended. I was simply pointing out that your stated belief was unsustainable. One cannot claim judgment is wrong in all circumstances when that very act is an act of judgment. You use the word “brothers” a lot, and I hope you are a brother in Christ. However, I must be honest and say, based on what you’ve written here, that is by no means something I’m sure of.  So, as you say, let’s do start anew. Forgetting the specific sin of homosexuality, tell me who you believe Christ to be and what you believe the gospel to be.

28 Jack Jones July 16, 2013 at 5:14 am

Here si a Christian I know thaty visits a Gay pub (as part of his ministry) Doesnt support homosexuality but supports the humans caught in that lie. He does well because after 4 years they respect him. He is consistent not waivering. God made man and woman to have children. Its that simple.
http://www.thechristiannetwork.com/category/blogs/br-andrew-francis/

29 Tomkent1 July 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Yep, the inconsistency is bad. But if drunkenness is no longer treated as sin by some, is that a matter of having evolved? If standards have been lowered in some areas, should they then be lowered in all areas to achieve consistency? Or should standards be raised in the areas in which they have fallen?

30 Bobby Capps November 6, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Aw Larry! You ditn’t. Did you just drop the, if you don’t agree with me you are rally lost card? Gees. All that other stuff you were saying sure looks silly now. #judgementcard Lighten up, Mark’s post is good. Love people, call people to repentance which IS NOT behavior change but belief change. The fruit of belief/trust is amazing. Don’t get the cart before the horse.

31 M B November 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I’m willing to bet that Ander Son doesn’t like the Apostle Paul much.

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