Why The Reformation Project is not Bible-basedPosted: March 2, 2013
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.
According 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.