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Why The Reformation Project is not Bible-based

The Reformation Project, refers to an organisation created by Matthew Vines, intended to to propagate the idea that the Bible never addresses the concept of loving same-sex relationships, and that the Bible verses that tend be cited as portraying gay sex as sinful, have nothing to do with gay relationships today. In 2013, the project involved the continued promotion of an infamous youtube sermon by Vines, various speaking engagements and activism, and a training program provided to around 50 people late in the year.

NoExcuseAccording to their Statement of Faith, “The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, Christian organization.” But the above theology is not Bible-based. As detailed on this blog and in numerous other places on the web, the reality is that the Bible illustrates homosexual sex as sinful irrespective of whether it’s done within a loving relationship and irrespective of whether those involved are LGBT. According to Matthew Vines, perceiving the Bible as not portraying such sexual activity as sinful, requires you to regard at least one Biblical author as not knowing what he was writing about, and to disregard the Old Law of the Old Testament. In other words, the organisation may be based on parts of the Bible that suit them, but not on the Bible as an authoritative whole.

The name of the organisation is somewhat ironic. The historic reformation was largely about de-prioritising the institutional church and encouraging people to access God directly. It promoted reading the Bible for yourself in your own language and not being reliant on the church for sanctification. The Reformation Project runs somewhat counter to that, by teaching that you cant trust most Bible translations and should instead rely on the Reformation Project and its allies to tell you what the Bible really means.

Never the less, the Project has supporters. One of the first on the web to support it was the webmaster of this blog, who looks to be aged around 40 but who has quoted Matthew Vines alongside photos of young men in various states of dress, including some of teenage appearance wearing only underwear, or less. An organisation of atheists, humanists and agnostics also quickly promoted it, obviously seeing it’s potential for undermining standard notions of Christianity.

And there are big plans for the future. Reportedly, another conference is planned for Washington, D.C, in November 2014, to cater to 900 people. Future conferences are also planned for February 2015 in Atlanta, and April 2015 in Kansas City.

At least some of the participants in the Project seem sure that they are doing God’s will. But this is not the first time that someone has claimed that their extra-Biblical doctrines are Bible-based, and it’s likely not to be the last.

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2 Comments on “Why The Reformation Project is not Bible-based”

  1. mike says:

    It may not be Bible-based but it seems to be working in swaying opinion among some Christians, like Steve Chalke.

    • stasisonline says:

      Well as with non-Christians, amongst those who call themselves Christians there is an increasing view that homosexual sex is not necessarily sinful. But I disagree that this is basically because of The Reformation Project, or because of the theories expressed by Matthew Vines. Steve Chalke’s theological reasoning (as described here: http://www.christianitymagazine.co.uk/sexuality/stevechalke.aspx) differs considerably from Vines, even though ultimately their conclusions almost match. In his above article in Christianity magazine, a large part of his argument is that in order to be ‘consistent’, Christians should disregard what the Bible says on the matter. There has long been those who want to call themselves Christians and yet disregard what the Bible teaches, eg John Spong. This is Christian liberalism and ultimately it doesnt make sense to me on a logical level. If they want to follow ideologies that dont match the Bible, then they should be free to do so, but why do they want to still be considered ‘Christians’ when they disagree with Christ? How far will they deviate from Christ’s teachings before they recognise that they are not in fact following him and that it’s silly to claim that they are following him?


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