by Matt Slick
Matthew Vines is a young homosexual who, on March 8, 2012, spoke at College Hill United Methodist Church in Kansas in defense of biblical support for homosexuality. He taught from scripture in a church. His Youtube video of the event has, as of June 2012, received over 500,000 views. On his website at http://matthewvines.tumblr.com is a complete transcript of that speech (9,876 words or about 21, 8.5" x 11" pages). I emailed Mr. Vines asking for permission to reprint it and interject comments into it for an article here on CARM. As far as I know, I received no reply. Therefore, I've written articles in response to his arguments where I have quoted him and addressed his basic assertions.
Please understand I have no ill will towards Mr. Vines. I am sure he's a nice guy. I am not homophobic--nor a bigot. I just disagree with homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle. As a Christian, I believe that homosexuality is a sin. Therefore, my prayer is that Mr. Vines comes to find Christ in the biblical way, enjoys true repentance, and that he is freed from his homosexuality. My concern is not about him as a person (except, as with all people, that he finds repentance in Christ). Instead, it is about how he has approached the Bible and, to the best of my knowledge, how he has mistakenly interpreted it.
I've quoted him with indented quotes, so you can easily see what he says. Please check the context by going to his website. I do not want to misrepresent Mr. Vines in any way. If you think I have, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, so I can reassess any particular points. Furthermore, I have no problem with his expressing his opinions. I have a problem with his using emotional rather than rational arguments and misrepresenting Scripture in the process. My attempt here is not to bring ridicule upon him. I am simply responding to his video.
Matthew Vines Sets the Stage
Mr. Vines says, " . . . everyone has a sexual orientation--and it isn’t just about sex. Straight people are never really forced to think about their sexual orientation as a distinctive characteristic, but it’s still a part of them, and it affects an enormous amount of their lives. What sexual orientation is for straight people is their capacity for romantic love and self-giving. It’s not just about sexual attraction and behavior. It’s because we have a sexual orientation that we’re able to fall in love with someone."
This is, of course, a setup aimed at providing a platform for his later arguments. I must ask, what gives him the right to define what sexual orientation is for heterosexuals, and why does he say it is merely the "capacity for romantic love and self-giving"? He is entitled to his opinion, but that is all it is: his opinion.
Mr. Vines says, "I am gay. I didn't choose to be gay."
Whether or not someone is born gay (CARM does not concede that homosexuals are born that way), it is still a weak excuse for a sinful behavior.1 People don't choose to be selfish. They are born that way as is evidenced by the fact that it is a universal practice of people of all ages. Does that make it okay? Of course not. People are born with the propensity to lie. Does being born that way make it okay? Again, of course not. Matthew Vines' implication is that homosexuals who are "born that way" have no real choice in the matter, and that it should be okay to pursue their orientation. However, this is a dangerous philosophy. What do we do with people who say they are born with various propensities such as lying, coveting, selfishness, lust, pedophilia, etc.? Do we allow them to act in a manner consistent with their "orientation"? If not, why does "homosexual orientation" get a pass?
Mr. Vines says, "I may well find someone I grow to love and would like to spend the rest of my life with. But if that were to happen, following the traditional interpretation, if I were to fall in love with someone, and if those feelings were reciprocated, my only choice would be to walk away, to break my heart, and retreat into isolation, alone. And this wouldn't be just a one-time heartbreak. It would continue throughout my entire life."
Mr. Vines offers an emotional argument. He appeals to subjective feelings. This is weak and is designed to elicit an emotional response--not a rational one. What do we do with someone who is in love with a person he's not married to, and his feelings are reciprocated by the other person in another marriage? Should we then encourage both parties to pursue their emotional involvement lest they suffer heartache? Or, are there greater responsibilities to the fidelity of marriage and the family unit? Is marriage just based on who we "love"? Emotional appeals should not govern moral responsibility, and his criteria about the freedom to have reciprocated love as a means of judging emotional/physical liaisons is simply a bad one because it is not cogent.
- Matthew Vines
- Matthew Vines on Genesis 2:18
- Matthew Vines on Genesis 19 and Sodom and Gomorrah
- Matthew Vines on Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and Christians not being under the Law
- Matthew Vines on Romans 1:26-27
- Matthew Vines on 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
- Matthew Vines on 1 Timothy 1:10
- Response to Mr. Vines' conclusion on the Bible and homosexuality