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Feature: Flaws in the Matthew Vines Video

This page replaces my original post on Matthew Vines’ video. But at this stage, the original post and comments remain as they were.

Early in 2012, a youtube video began circulating through cyberspace and then was featured in news reports (some accused of being unbalanced), claiming to demonstrate that the Bible ultimately supports homosexuality and same-sex marriage, even for Christians. The video is found in various locations, including here . Many who view the presentation, including sceptical Christians, seem to be swayed into accepting the reasoning as legitimate. The arguments within the video are apparently not new, and are very similar to previous summaries, eg from Bruce Lowe a decade earlier, and to Five Uneasy Pieces – a book released just one month before the video was made. (The presenter has subsequently been criticised for saying that his approach of promoting a theology of homosexual relations not being sinful, is new. It’s not a new). Theologians such as Robert Gagnon have reportedly said that the arguments were refuted years prior to the filming.

So is the presentation as balanced and reliable as it seems? It’s long – over an hour, so a quality refutation needs to be long too, as per the following sections of critical analysis. I conclude that there are significant flaws in the presenter’s logic and theology, and that the content of the presentation is contradicted by leading Biblical scholarship, by historical records and by modern sociology.

The illusion of knowledge

Below are my responses to the presentation, broken down into 13 sections -

1. No, this isnt Uneducated, Unchristian Hatred

2. How Matthew Vines Misrepresents Homosexuality

3. Why Matthew Vines’ Assessment of Being Alone, is Cherry-picking

4. How Matthew Vines Misinterprets the Parable of the Fruit

5. How Matthew Vines Undervalues Homosexuals

6. How Matthew Vines Oversimplifies Whether the Old Testament Laws Remain Valid

7. Something Matthew Vines Got Right

8. How Matthew Vines Misrepresents Ancient Understandings of Homosexuality

9. How Matthew Vines Misinterprets Romans 1

10. How Matthew Vines Whitewashes 1 Corinthians 6:9

11. How Matthew Vines Appears Inconsistent in his Interpretation of 1 Timothy 1:10

12. How Matthew Vines Conclusions Are Flawed

13. Responses from others, to Matthew Vines’ presentation

2 Comments on “Feature: Flaws in the Matthew Vines Video”

  1. kirksroom says:

    It amazes me that you take so much time out to tear apart the arguments of a man who has done you no harm and is only trying to justify his right to feel and act on the same feelings that any woman is allowed to under your holybook that was written so long ago it goes without seeing not everything in it can apply to the present day.

    I am a rational Agnostic, and I believe if there is any God he wouldn’t want people to judge each other for having the same romantic desires as the other sex that do not hurt anyone and contrary to your beloved Doctor’s points, if it is irrational for God to allow homosexuality to be taken as wrong in the Bible for years if he did approve of it, then surely it must be irrational for God to have allowed homosexuality to exist at all if he did not approve of it!

    You spend so much time discussing homosexuality in the Bible, but at the same time you make me (one who could never be attracted to that of my own gender) dying to punch you in the face, which surely must violate every non-violence, “love your enemies” passage.

    The one point I agree with you on is that the Bible would have said something positive about homosexual couples if God approved of them. This shows, in my opinion, that the book is simply a product of man and that too many holy-books and faiths exist throughout history to put so much stock in this individual one. If there is an afterlife it is likely nothing that has been described in man’s attempts to give the world meaning and surely has nothing to do with the Christian ideals.

    There is probably good to be found in the Bible and it can make people improve, but not the way you utilize it. From a rational, logical and humanistic perspective, such anti-homosexuality ideas in the book should be ignored and focused on more moral long-lasting messages that can be applied to our times.

    There may be little point in me commenting here since we obviously have such different opinions. Nevertheless I will not apologize for them for I feel they are infinitely more moral than yours. George Carlin said Christians have a problem with logic. This was a cruel, judgmental statement but I do believe in thinking logically, ethically, and humanistically in any case. If the Christian bible does not support that I can think of no reason why I should support it. All your arguments rely on the Bible being innately right so it would be interesting to see why I must feel so.

    • stasisonline says:

      Kirksroom, thanks for your feedback, and raising interesting questions.

      I accept that from your point of view, it may seem that Vines is doing no harm. But this is not the case from all points of view. What if you were gay and Christian, and you believed what Vines says. Maybe as a gay person you might then start a relationship with another gay person. And then some time later you come to realise that you had been mislead by Vines. If you were a real Christian, you would then have to go through the heartache of separation. That’s harmful. And from the conservative Christian point of view, following Vines’ teachings means you would be in sin. Sin brings God’s judgement. More harm. And engaging in gay sex brings a higher risk of HIV and other STIs. Yet more harm.

      I agree with you that God “wouldn’t want people to judge each other for having the same romantic desires as the other sex”. God opposes judgemental attitudes. And personally I dont think that homosexual desires are chosen so I dont think that homosexual inclinations are sinful. But I do think that homosexual sex is sinful. It’s not simple, huh. Maybe this page might better explain it:

      Im curious about why are you amazed that I have taken so much time out to refute Vines arguments, but not surprised that Vines has taken so much time out to refute the arguments of historic Christianity? Why is it okay for him, but not for me?

      You wrote “surely it must be irrational for God to have allowed homosexuality to exist at all if he did not approve of it!” I see your logic there. But then the same could be said about numerous things; violence, poverty, murder. Why does God allow things that He does not approve of. It’s a good question, to which I actually dont know the answer. Some suggest that evil exists largely because God wants us to have free will. But as far as I know, that is just a theory.

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