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16: Implications of Matthew Vine’s Theology

A one-line summary of Matthew Vines’ core message, might be that the main 6 passages in the Bible that are generally understood to portray homosexual relations as sinful, do not apply to modern homosexuals.

I wonder how far such reasoning might extend…

  • Since Vines claims that during the time when the Bible was written they did not know about homosexual orientation, maybe that means that all the Biblical references to lust are only references to straight lust? Maybe gay lust is never addressed in Scripture, and is therefore perhaps not even sinful?
  • And since Vines claims that during the time when the Bible was written they did not know about homosexual orientation, maybe that means that all the Biblical references to polygamy only apply to straight relationships? Maybe it’s never a sin for a gay people to form polygamous gay relationships?
  • And since Vines claims that during the time when the Bible was written they did not know about homosexual orientation, maybe that means that all the Biblical references to divorce only apply to straight relationships? Maybe it’s never a sin for a gay couple to divorce?

As far as Im aware (and I am fairly aware), Matthew Vines has never claimed to believe the above 3 hypotheticals. In fact his words tend to indicate that he does not believe these hypotheticals. And I think it’s quite unlikely that he would ever embrace these hypotheticals. He’s very politically aware, and knows that these hypotheticals are a bridge too far for many of the conservatives he wants to be his supporters. But logically, if you are going to take the hermeneutical position that he does, where do you draw the line? It seems quite possible to me, that some of his followers may end up embracing some or all of the above hypotheticals, either now, or in future generations. If they did, they would simply be being consistent.

This implies to me that Vines is a false teacher. It’s taken me a while to realise how much of the statements in 2 Peter 2 about false teachers, are relevant –

False Teachers and Their Destruction (NIV)

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greedthese teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, …

if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; ….

10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; …

12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish. ….

14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness. …

18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Gay and troubled? If you are in the US, you can call the Trevor Project for help, on 866-488-7386. TheTrevorProject.org
Further material: 

  • Dr Greg Bahansen’s response to similar claims from pro-gay leader John Boswell
  • Robert Gagnon speaking on relevant themes at GROK Radio
  • Bobby Conway’s 2012 1 hr loving video overview of homosexuality (incl. misleading references to immutability)
  • Dr Howard Batson’s response to similar claims from Bruce Lowe (incl. possibly inaccurate statements about St Paul’s understanding)
  • Sexegesis, an Australian Evangelical book that responds to the recent book Five Uneasy Pieces.
  • Answers to the broader questions about homosexuality, from Christopher Yuan
  • Ron Belgau’s theological analysis of homosexuality
  • William Witt’s The Hermeneutics of Same-Sex Practice: A Summary and Evaluation

Stasis Online Contents Page for Matthew Vines

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