Response to Mr. Vines' conclusion on the Bible and Homosexuality

by Matt Slick

Mr. Vines says, "The Bible never directly addresses, and it certainly does not condemn, loving, committed same-sex relationships. There is no biblical teaching about sexual orientation, nor is there any call to lifelong celibacy for gay people."

The way Mr. Vines has phrased the issue is in favor of his conclusion, but the Bible does discuss the issue of homosexuality and clearly condemns it.  Mr. Vines has admitted so in his examination of Leviticus 18:22, which he mistakenly says is not applicable to Christians today.  He says there is no biblical teaching about the topic of "sexual orientation."  However, the Bible addresses "sin orientation" and condemns it.  Homosexuality is a sinful orientation.

Mr. Vines says, "if the remedy against sexual sin for straight Christians is marriage, why should the remedy for gay Christians not be the same"?

The reason that those who call themselves "gay Christians" are not to marry is that the Bible condemns homosexuality and always describes marriage as being between a man and woman--never between a man and a man or a woman and a woman.  Are we to conclude that God was unaware of today's homosexual issues regarding "sexual orientation," and that he allowed the heterosexual dominance of the culture to overwrite inspired love and tolerance that God really advocates?  It seems that Mr. Vines and others who call themselves "gay Christians" are inadvertently (or deliberately as in the case of the Queen James Bible) missing the point about God's omniscience.  He is most certainly aware of all peoples' sins, and the modern homosexual is not an exception.  The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality, and it cannot be a biblical mandate to allow it only in the case of a "committed loving relationship."  To say this is the case and it allows biblical homosexual marriage is to say that God failed to mention this kind of issue, which the modern homosexual is privileged to point out.  It is, in fact, accusing God of not being clear enough. 

Mr. Vines says, "Is it right for a man to marry another man? Or for a woman to marry another woman? Well, it doesn’t seem right. That isn’t how God designed us. He made men for women, and women for men. That is His design---His definition of marriage--and it’s not for us to tamper with or change. But these arguments are always made by people who are themselves heterosexual, who have always fit in, who haven’t endured years of internal torment and agony because they have a different sexual orientation than their friends, than their parents, than seemingly everyone else in the world."

My heart goes out to anyone who is trapped in any sin and is suffering because of it but since when does a person's personal emotional discomfort trump the word of God?  Are we to reinterpret Scripture in order to suit our personal preferences, so that we don't have to be uncomfortable for long or short periods of time?  Mr. Vines is obviously examining the word of God through the lens of his emotional discomfort--drawing conclusions in order to relieve his "internal torment."  In doing so, he has made basic fundamental interpretive errors (which I've already pointed out). Furthermore, whether or not the arguments made against homosexuality are made by heterosexuals is irrelevant.  It is not proper to dismiss an argument based on who makes it.  This is called the genetic fallacy and is a mistake that Mr. Vines clearly makes.

Mr. Vines says, "It’s still commonplace for straight Christians to say, 'Yes, I believe that homosexuality is a sin, but don’t blame me--I’m just reading the Bible. That’s just what it says.' Well, first of all, no, you are not just reading the Bible. You are taking a few verses out of context and extracting from them an absolute condemnation that was never intended. But you are also striking to the very core of another human being and gutting them of their sense of dignity and of self-worth. You are reinforcing the message that gay people have heard for centuries: You will always be alone. You come from a family, but you’ll never form one of your own. You are uniquely unworthy of loving and being loved by another person, and all because you’re different, because you’re gay."

Mr. Vines begs the question.  He assumes his position is the correct one and then argues from that perspective.  I have shown by examining his exegesis that his conclusions are not correct.  He says that heterosexual Christians are not reading the Bible correctly, but of course he is.  Does he really think that through all the centuries of Christian theology, examining the languages of both Hebrew and Greek (in which the Bible was written), that he and modern pro-homosexual society has discovered what so many before failed to see?  Are we to believe that his objectivity is superior to the objectivity of thousands and thousands of Christians in the centuries preceding him?  Is his examination of Scripture the right one?  Let the reader answer those questions.

Notice what he does, that he appeals to the emotions by saying " . . . you will always be alone. You come from a family, but you'll never form one of your own."  He brings out the emotional card and plays it well.  His argument is designed to win the heart and through winning the heart to change the mind.  Sure, he has attempted to use his mind in examining the Scriptures that relate to homosexual issues; but, as I've said before, he's failed to make his case.  Emotional arguments can sometimes be valid, and again I want to say that I sympathize with his discomfort.  Still, I cannot submit the word of God to my feelings--nor should he submit the word of God to his.  The Bible does condemn homosexuality.  That is simply a fact, and Mr. Vines, as uncomfortable as it may be, needs to accept that fact.

Mr. Vines says, "Being different is no crime. Being gay is not a sin. And for a gay person to desire and pursue love and marriage and family is no more selfish or sinful than when a straight person desires and pursues the very same things. The Song of Songs tells us that King Solomon’s wedding day was “the day his heart rejoiced.” To deny to a small minority of people, not just a wedding day, but a lifetime of love and commitment and family is to inflict on them a devastating level of hurt and anguish. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates that Christians are called to perpetuate that kind of pain in other people’s lives rather than work to alleviate it, especially when the problem is so easy to fix. All it takes is acceptance. The Bible is not opposed to the acceptance of gay Christians, or to the possibility of loving relationships for them. And if you are uncomfortable with the idea of two men or two women in love, if you are dead-set against that idea, then I am asking you to try to see things differently for my sake, even if it makes you uncomfortable . . . Gay people should be a treasured part of our families and our communities, and the truly Christian response to them is acceptance, support, and love. Thank you, and thank you to everyone for coming tonight."

This is not an issue of "being different."  I'm different from my wife in that I am taller and stronger.  Of course, that is not a crime.  Homosexuality is a sin because the Scriptures say so (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27).  Mr. Vines is entitled to his opinion, but sadly he has mistakenly attempted to get Scripture to agree with his perspective.  If he wants to claim the name of Christian, then he needs to abide by what the Bible says and not appeal to emotional arguments and political correctness.  He needs to stop subjecting the word of God to his personal "trauma."  Rather, he must subject everything he is to the word of God.  He should not misrepresent the Scriptures by saying "the Bible is not opposed to the acceptance of gay Christians, or to the possibility of loving relationships for them."  After all, God has condemned homosexuality in the word of God and no emotional appeal, exegetical error, or logical fallacies can change that fact.  Mr. Vines is simply wrong.  He needs to repent.

 

 

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