Gay debate challenges traditional definitions of ‘evangelical’ (ANALYSIS)

Print More
Matthew Vines, founder and president of The Reformation Project, leads the opening session during The Reformation Project D.C. Conference at National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., on Friday (November 7, 2014). The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, Christian non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Photo by Rick Wood/The Reformation Project

Matthew Vines, founder and president of The Reformation Project, leads the opening session during The Reformation Project D.C. Conference at National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., on Friday (November 7, 2014). The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, Christian non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. Photo by Rick Wood/The Reformation Project

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

WASHINGTON (RNS) What can you believe about gays and still call yourself an evangelical? And who gets to decide?

  • Larry

    The idea that one can change the attitudes of conservative religious folk through nice speeches and appeals to Biblical authority are useless. It assumes religious belief and Biblical adherence is a rational, thought out, thing.

    Far from it. People of such faiths don’t act because the Bible tells them so. Its the reverse. They look to the Bible as validation for their actions. Anyone who say’s, “Its not my belief, its what the Bible tells me” is full of crap. They are just trying to shift blame for their actions and beliefs away from personal responsibility. Confirmation is the point of Biblical study for them.

  • Andrew

    That’s quite a sweeping generalization. No doubt you’ve encountered this first hand, as many people have, but do you think it’s fair to categorize literally every person of faith as you’ve laid out?

  • Ben in oakland

    Who gets to decide?

    The holier than thou’s. The Only True Christians (TM).

    Of course.

  • Ben in oakland

    “They look to the Bible as validation for their actions. ”

    Well, Larry– and I usually agree with you– YES and NO.

    Some Christians use their bibles as weapons against gay people, and justify the harm they do because it’s allegedly in their bibles. It isn’t really in their bibles, any more than any other justification for the harm they inflict on our lives is– the Sodom story is the perfect example of that– but it doesn’t matter.

    Some Christians don’t feel that way about gay people, not despite what their bibles say, but BECAUSE of what their bibles say. It’s kind of a Jesus versus the Pharisees thing, or more accurately, a Jesus versus the Pharisee Paul kind of a thing.

    It’s important to distinguish between the two kinds of Christianity present in these issues.

  • Larry

    Its quite a sweeping generalization which usually plays out as described when one sees how such people use scripture in relation to dealing with other people.

    “but do you think it’s fair to categorize literally every person of faith as you’ve laid out?”

    No, just the Christians of a conservative bent. Especially since not “every person of faith” belongs to the category of “conservative religious folk” I referenced above. Typically such groups like to consider themselves the only people of “real faith” (as you seemed to do).

    You know, the ones who claim all of their actions are guided by their alleged rigid adherence to scriptural text. (Which is pure fiction) The people who find excuses for avoiding “love thy neighbor” or use their faith as a method of self-aggrandizement (“I’m holier than you!”). The people Vines was trying to address.

    Vines is wasting his time. Such people do not despise gays because the Bible tells them to. The Bible merely gives them a socially acceptable excuse.

  • Larry

    I would say that the hatred or love such people have is already part of their makeup. Something they had in their hearts to begin with. How they learned to be with others.

    The Bible merely provides a cover for their actions. People will take from scripture what innately appeals to them. The Bible doesn’t make anyone love or hate anybody. It is merely a tool. One which can be in service for many purposes.

    There are those who find the appeal of universal love and charity speaks to them. There are those who find the appeal of rigid pronouncement of piety important to them. Both will find justification in scripture. Both are giving voice to elements of themselves.

  • ben in oakland

    Well, again, I mostly agree with you, and believe that you stated it well. I don’t think it is all quite so black and white. as with everything else when it comes to religion or homosexuality, a lot of things exist on a continuum.

    I’ve talked with a number of Christians who don’t fall into the “so-called” variety, but still believe homosexuality to be a sin. What’s interesting about them is that although they believe this, they are adamantly opposed to using the law to disadvantage us, and our families. Are they pro-gay. no. Are they antigay? No. Do I have any complaint about them if they’re not actively trying to harm my life, and don’t support those that do? No.

  • ben in oakland

    I’d have to chime in here and agree. as I have often said…

    Not all bigotry is hate, A good deal of it is one’s wholly unwarranted, always present belief in their otherwise wholly imaginary superiority…

    as a Human being, as a Christian (usually), and as a moral person.

  • Neon Genesis

    I’m going to have to disagree. Being a gay man that was raised in a conservative Christian background, I have found most Christians believe homosexuality is a sin because they actually believe what they’ve been taught is true. You might get the occasional extremist who is simply abusing religion for their own benefit, but most evangelical Christians don’t see their actions as bigotry. The issue I see is a lack of education and a lack of actual interaction with real life LGBT people but dismissing everyone on the other side as dishonest hypocrites isn’t going to help.

  • Tom Eggebeen

    Ever since Billy Graham and the founding of Christianity Today, evangelicals have scrambled to define themselves over against just about everyone else. Up until the last 5 years, the bastion of evangelical definition has remained solid, at least publicly, but like Jericho’s Walls, evangelical definitions are tumbling these days. And for a long time now, evangelicals have had plenty of heresy trials and lots of name-calling.

    I’ve joked for years: Wanna get evangelicals fighting? Ask them to define evangelicalism.

    Anyway, nothing stands pat for more than 50 years, and evangelicalism is now undergoing serious revision. The diehards will fuss and fume, and “remove from the rolls” those who fail the “evangelical tests,” which, in recent years, have moved beyond various theological tenets into social issues: gays, abortion, role of the federal government, states’ rights and even guns.

    It’s all up for grabs for now. The fighting will intensify, for sure. It’s the nature of the beast. For years, evangelicals found comfort in their solidarity on the issues and their conviction that they could do the Christian thing better than others. But what with time and change, it may just be time for evangelicals to drop the term entirely – it’s never been easy to define, and these days, if pushed, will only cause greater harm.

    We’re all just Christians, are we not? – with plenty of variety. And so it goes, even for evangelicals.

  • Doc Anthony

    Matthew Vines’ specific claims have been examined and debunked, and readers (regardless of their favorite labels), need to check it out.

    These days, it almost doesn’t matter who calls themselves a “Christian”, or an “Evangelical”, or a “Catholic”, or even an “Atheist.” Single-word, sound-bite labels don’t tell the whole story. SPECIFICS are what really counts,

    Vines will continue to label himself and his little “project” whatever he wants. The important point is that Vines’ specific claims have been demonstrated to be wrong. THAT, is the information that readers need to find out about.

    So here is that information, and yes it is free of charge.

    If you would like to read the free e-book “God and the Gay Christian? A Response to Matthew Vines” (2014, ed. by Dr. Albert Mohler), from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Press, just simply go to the SBTS page:

  • Doc Anthony

    “We’re all just Christians, are we not?…”

    Yeah, sure we are. But your question immediately raises another question: What is your definition of the term “Christian” that you’re using there?

    And how can we know (outside of the Bible) whether your definition–or another person’s–is actually right or wrong?

    Or is it time for Christians to “drop the term entirely”, to borrow your phrase? And is that move going to resolve anything?

  • Larry M

    Tom…I tend to agree with your basic analysis. Evangelicalism has been shIfting for a number of years. Hence the Emergent Church movement otherwise known as a generous orthodoxy. That is a movement from the conservative right more towards middle theological ground and much more towards an openness and dialogue with people of all faiths.

    in the end they made very well become predominant well Evan Jellicle ism fades into sidelines like fundamentalism did. I can only pray:)).

  • Larry M

    Uh…while evangelicals…that damn voice to text…you gotta love Evan jellicles!

  • Clyde Baker

    One of the things forgotten (or not known by the younger generation) is that a great part of what shores up conservative evangelicals is their ability to take older, receding social mores and make a ‘proof’ of their holiness out of them. For example, back in the fifties, the mainstream considered rough language, drinking, short skirts, long hair, rock music as being wrong (with a small ‘w’)…somewhere between bad and uncivil. Conservatives played on this prevailing attitude by grooming it to a means of showing holiness. There was an old expression, ‘I don’t drink, smoke or chew and I don’t run with the girls who do.’ Given the popular disdain towards gays in the fifties, it was natural for conservative Christians to elevate that disdain to the level of ‘sin’. And make themselves look upstanding by being ‘agin’ it. Up ’til now, they have failed to realize that this issue is not in the same category as Footloose. But now, finally, Vines and others have realized this has nothing to do with pure living and everything to do with prejudice and discrimination. It’s about time.

  • Pingback: Andy Stanley aligns with pro-LGBT Vines; Vines predicts conservative church leaders will lose hold within 10 years | Laodicean Report()

  • Frank

    It’s embarrassing that people let Vines continue with his solidly refuted opinions that have no scriptural support. Poor kid doesn’t even realize he’s being used.

  • Jack

    Why stop at the word, “evangelical?” Let’s drain all other words of common meaning, allowing as many definitions of a word as there are people.

    The results will be quite interesting. People will lose all power to understand and to be understood in anything.

  • Neon Genesis

    It’s embarrassing that Religion News Service allows wicked bigots like you post at their site, Frank.

  • Neon Genesis

    If debunk you mean, “I’m going to bury my head in the sand and ignore reality to keep pretending like my bigoted and hateful views should be the way society is run.”

  • Pingback: 美國:同性戀爭議挑戰「福音派」的傳統定義 - 信仰百川()

  • Shawnie5

    No, he means “debunk” in the sense of showing his claims to be inconsistent with scripture in light of scripture itself, ancient scriptural commentary, and history. Of course. That you don’t seem to know this indicates that it is your head in the sand.

  • Shawnie5

    Why? Should RNS be yet another echo-chamber for atheists and wishy washy pseudo-Christians? There are quite enough of those already. Exchange is what is enjoyable.

  • News flash. The corps of religious professionals is shot through with other-directed people vulnerable to fashion (e.g. twisting themselves into knots to accommodate a subculture which comprehends 2.8% of the adult population, nearly all of whom are childless and only an odd minority of whom are religiously observant).

    Regarding Matthew Vines, one does have to be inside a piece of architecture in order to undermine it. (He evidently did not want an ordinary job, either. Being one of the 99.947% of the working population not employed by religious institutions or parodies thereof was evidently unsatisfying).

  • Explain to us what is ‘wickedly bigoted’ about his remark. Is it the phrase ‘solidly refuted’, ‘no scriptural support’, or ‘being used’?

  • Larry

    Meaning inconsistent with scripture in light of other people’s interpretations and purposes. Nothing which can be considered definitive beyond what one is willing to impute to it.

  • Jack

    Larry, all communication between people, written or verbal, requires interpretation by the reader or hearer. When the original communicator is alive, we can simply ask that person to clarify the meaning. But when it comes to old communications where the person is no longer here, we have no choice but to rely on interpretation by others.

    Vines’ views have been debunked in several ways.

    They violate the plain and straightforward meaning of the text, ie what a reasonable person would infer at first glance.

    They violate the interpretation given by the Jewish people and their commentators for millennia, going back nearly three millennia.

    They violate the interpretation given by the Jewish community as a whole in ancient times, as evidenced by ancient writings remarking on Jewish opposition to homosexuality.

    They violate the views of the New Testament, starting by Paul’s inclusion of the subject in the opening chapter of his epistle to the Roman church.

    They violate the interpretations of Christian commentaries for the better part of 20 centuries.

    And they have been debunked, as Doc says, by scholarship today which has taken a second and third look at the matter.

  • Jack

    Clyde, that’s like comparing a hang nail to a heart attack. Simply on its face, fundamentalist quibbles about dancing can hardly be equated with opposition to homosexuality. Beyond that, the implication that the opposition to homosexuality began in the 1950s is embarrassingly mistaken. The Jews have deemed it a sin since Sinai and ancient Jewish opposition to it is one of the many things that distinguished the Jews from much of the ancient pagan world. And over the past 20 centuries, Christians have done likewise, not just because they took the Old Testament seriously, but because the New Testament repeats the same opposition to it, including in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, arguable the most theologically significant book of the NT.

  • Jack

    Shawnie, exchange is enjoyable only if one’s views are intellectually capable of being defended. The reason that some don’t enjoy exchange is that their views are based on emotion and not reason or the facts. They know that once we shovel away their mounds of…..ahem….rhetoric, all they have left is their emotions.

  • Jack

    Apparently, he considers factual statements that challenge emotions and empty rhetoric to be “wickedly bigoted.”

    That’s an adult way of crying, “mommy tell them to stop….their facts and logic are hurting me.”

  • Josh M

    From what I read so far, the atheists claim is that conservative evangelical Christians held the belief that homosexuality was wrong, even before they read the Bible. It’s not even enough that this is flawed logic, but even still, they don’t apply this logic consistently. For it never struck them to ask, “If conservative Christians read what they want into the scriptures, maybe liberal Christians do this too.” But no, this is not what happens. Case in point, Vines is a gay Christian, who interprets the scriptures of the Bible such that homosexual relationships are not a violation of God’s commands. The atheists never say “Hey, maybe Vines reached his interpretation of scriptures based upon his previously held belief that homosexual relationships are OK.”

    The question that has to be asked and answered is this one it seems. “Do the Biblical scriptures, as a whole, affirm or deny the claim the homosexual relations is a sin?”

    A person’s independently held belief on this issue has no bearing as to the truth of this question.

  • William

    You do not mention prayer: do you understand much about Christianity? Are you blinded by your hate of ‘conservation religious folk’??

  • Josh M

    Let’s redefine “Secular” to mean a religious system of beliefs that, above all else, hold to the doctrine emotional gratuitous truth. Which, by definition, means that a claim is only factual if believing it makes the person well fed, but rather very thirsty.

  • Josh M

    Haven’t you got the memo? “Wickedly bigoted” has been redefined to mean “A person who goes by Frank on the internet”. How dare you Frank for being wickedly bigoted!!!!

    I can’t wait until we fully and totally move into a post-modernist world. Redefining words is fun…Yeah!!

  • William

    Shawnie: Neon’s head is buried somwhere but I am not sure that even Neon knows where it is.

  • William

    Frank: Vines gives nothing Biblical to support his view. Strange logic.

  • Shawnie5

    It’s mostly without meaning, now. It loosely indicates that one speaker doesn’t like another’s views, but not much else.

  • Shawnie5


  • Shawnie5

    You nailed it, Josh. I wonder what they think is our real reason for believing homosexuality is wrong? I for one rarely ever gave it a thought before it suddenly filled up our media.

    Wonder, too, if we can just throw out the constitution along with the bible? After all, there are all kinds of different ways to look at it and anyone can use it as an excuse for acting badly toward others, and it really doesn’t help to go back and look at what it meant to its writers and those who knew the writers because everyone’s personal prejudices will color their interpretations of the interpretations…

    And why stop there? Let’s just work our way down all the way to the local municipal ordinances…

  • Shawnie5

    He offers plenty of Boswell, though.

  • Josh M

    I think you may have meant to say “Vines gives nothing BUT Biblical scripture to support his view”. This is a half-truth. I can probably explain this better by example.

    There are Christians who deny the claim that Sodom was destroyed because of their homosexuality. Instead they hold to the claim that Sodom was destroyed because the people there were inhospitable. And they point to Ezekiel 16:49 to affirm their claim. Now because of this, one may be led (or misled, as is the case) to think that they support their claim with Biblical scriptures. That is, until you realize that they are purposely ignoring other scriptures which would pose a serious threat to their original claim. For instance, the people who give Ezekiel 16:49 as their proof text will wholly ignore the very next verse, namely Ezekiel 16:50. They also ignore Genesis 13:13 and there is a verse in Jude which also gives a commentary on Sodom ‘s sin, which they ignore.

    In like manner, Vines probably does the same. I must admit that I have not read Vines or the refutation of Vines given by the Southern Baptists (Doc Antony has a link above). The question shouldn’t be whether or not Vines quotes a scripture verse, but it should be “Is Vines conclusion coherent between all the scripture as a whole” or does he simply refer to just one passage, or even worse, just one verse to base his entire conclusion on?

  • Jack


    Constitutional text, Biblical text: For political and cultural radicals, both are a threat and so both have long been fair game for subjective interpretation, ie reinterpretation.

  • Shawnie5

    “For instance, the people who give Ezekiel 16:49 as their proof text will wholly ignore the very next verse, namely Ezekiel 16:50. ”

    I saw a scoffer do exactly that right here not long ago. And even accused the quoter of manufacturing 16:50.

  • Shawnie5

    Sadly, yes.

  • Pingback: Gay debate challenges traditional definitions o...()

  • Larry

    Way to go long here. When it comes to scripture you are handicapped by a number of things.

    1. Given the passage of time, it is pretty clear that nobody is going to be able to divine the meaning of scripture in its original language to an absolute certainty. Even the best translations require a great deal of “fudging” and personal interpretation.

    Claiming a definitive ones exists is an outright (but useful) lie. Even the best scholars in ancient languages acknowledge the clear gaps in their knowledge of them due to lack of sources and lack of diversity within those existing.

    2. Just because a translation is old and accepted by a group, it doesn’t mean it was the only one that must exist or can exist. Especially when the subject is religious belief. Religious belief is not a rational thing. There are no proofs, evidence or logic in religion. It is dependent on personal faith and how it will color interpretations.

    3. Scriptural interpretation is so wildly diverse and divergent in Christianity that there are over 500 sects of difference. Again, it is only accepted to the point people are willing to impute to it personally.

    4. You can’t ask God directly. He doesn’t exactly give unambiguous answers these days.

    Vines has only been “debunked” to the degree anyone asserts scriptural authority in Christianity. Whether an audience is willing to accept it. You do not. You will find reasons not to accept it. Some Christians will find it appealing to their faith. Whether you want to consider them “Real Christians” is entirely immaterial to the matter.

    You CAN claim there is an orthodox, largely accepted interpretation by a certain group. However, nobody has to take you seriously to the notion it is the only one. All you are doing is stating how a given interpretation is personally acceptable to you. It has no objective credible value. No religious argument will. People will take the interpretation which best suits them. It is entirely subjective.

  • Larry

    Which is no more credible than any other theologian’s opinion.

  • Larry

    “or does he simply refer to just one passage, or even worse, just one verse to base his entire conclusion on?”

    Which would be different from any other conclusion on scripture, How?

    Vines is wasting his time. People who want to look for scriptural excuses to treat gays badly will ignore him regardless of any argument he makes. Those who feel differently will do the opposite. The approach is really pointless if the purpose is to create a compelling argument to an opposing view. There is no such thing as a compelling argument based on scripture. It is a rather malleable tool.

  • Shawnie5

    Then why join the discussion? RNS is an odd place for you to hang out and whittle, considering that most of its discussions are theological.

  • Larry

    So do you have a definition which would be acceptable to all self-professed Christians here? I highly doubt it.

  • Larry

    “For it never struck them to ask, “If conservative Christians read what they want into the scriptures, maybe liberal Christians do this too.””

    Untrue. I criticize them both as making useless efforts. You quoted me but missed the point. Vines is not making an argument any more compelling than the rest of the anti-gay bible thumpers here. I said he was wasting his time precisely because people accept scripture which appeals to them personally. Not on the basis of rational discussion.

    Its just that the liberal Christians are less prone to criticism from atheists for their public behavior. They are not usually not trying to force other people to follow along.

    “The question that has to be asked and answered is this one it seems. “Do the Biblical scriptures, as a whole, affirm or deny the claim the homosexual relations is a sin?””

    This article is proof positive that the answer depends on who is interpreting the scripture. You will claim one way, Vines will say otherwise. Both will claim they are right. Nobody has to give either of them credence.

  • Larry

    “Wonder, too, if we can just throw out the constitution along with the bible?”

    More honestly your view is to throw out the constitution FOR the Bible.

    The problem with Bible thumpers who have pretensions of Constitutional scholarship is that they approach both texts the exact same way. Unlike Bible study, law binds people regardless of belief. It requires interpretation from people who need to apply it to others. So we have people who have a specific job to do so.

    Any idiot can make a claim about Biblical interpretation and it will be as valid as any other idiot. There is no such thing as an objectively credible Biblical scholar. One can ignore it at will to no ill effect. Until you can have God speak to people directly and apply his wrath to those who disagree, its just spinning your weals.

    The Constitution requires one to subject their views to something beyond personal belief. Judges have the power to bind people to their opinions. Its a lot more convincing than your self-styled scriptural knowledge.

  • Larry

    Because this is not a website of pure theological discussion. This is about how religion impacts society. It would be boring if everyone was just nodding in agreement.

  • Shawnie5

    So you’re saying that the Bible can’t be interpreted correctly because no one (not yet anyway) is going to smack you with a hammer if you get it wrong?

    I say “Dominus reget me et nihil mihi deerit ” means “Kelly poured Coke on Fred’s green socks.” Nobody will smack me with a hammer if I am incorrect. Am I incorrect? If you say I am, aren’t you just spinning your “weals?”

    And really, the debate is just about that simple and easy to conclude. It’s not a matter of theological interpretation at all but of language and history. The only reason there’s any controversy is because so many people simply don’t like the result. Big deal..we all have parts of God’s word we don’t like and find hard (the disciples certainly did) but that doesn’t make them go away.

  • Dr

    You are assuming that the Bible has not disrupted conservatives own sexual desires and other appetites. You have constructed a straw man argument. Christians since the first century have always assumed they will have numerous sexual desires. These were across the map. They are not coming to the scriptures twisting then to meet conservative wishes. They have been repeatedly convicted by the scriptures and the ways they have missed the mark personally. Whether one agrees with them or not, oversimplified, dismissive arguments based on presupposed hatred are ill founded. Remember, Christians have had countercultural views about sex from the beginning. Our attempts to guilt conservative Christians into making sexual desire authoritative for ethics is troubling. When we do this who is more tolerant? Tolerance assumes disagreements. As an observer I see incredible intolerance from many liberal leaning Christians. The irony needs to be processed and has convicted me personally.

  • Shawnie5

    Few theological discussions leave everyone nodding in agreement. So your “contribution” is merely to tell everyone, from a position of near-complete ignorance of the subject matter, that all views of the Bible are equally invalid? That will go over with NO ONE except the equally oblivious.

    Not much of an impact to be made without actually doing homework, I’m afraid.

  • Frank

    We finally agree. Vines is wasting his time. He cannot change the truth of God that homosexual behavior in any form is sinful. He is a pawn that should be pitied.

  • Shawnie5

    Old does not equal indecipherable, Larry, particularly when there is an unbroken chain of rabbinic commentary on the subject from the very beginning of the Christian era through the Middle Ages and up until just a generation or so ago. And I hardly think you’re in any position to tell us what the “best scholars in ancient languages” acknowledge or not. The “best scholars in ancient languages,” as a matter of fact, are the ones who put together the Greek lexicons which ALL say….well, you already know what. The “best scholars in ancient languages,” additionally, mostly dismiss Boswell, from which Vines and all of the “gay-affirmers” take their cues.

    “Scriptural interpretation is so wildly diverse and divergent in Christianity ”

    On some matters that are particularly hard for the finite to understand, sure. This is not one of them. There has been no diverse interpretation of the Biblical prohibitions on same-sex behavior, however, for two millenia up until 1980 or so.

    “People will take the interpretation which best suits them.”

    It doesn’t suit me at all. But there is no other understanding that makes a jot of sense.

    “You can’t ask God directly. He doesn’t exactly give unambiguous answers these days.”

    LOL! Well, He DID explain homosexual behavior to His people almost exactly as my parents and most of my friends’ parents explained it to us as children, so it’s hard to accuse Him of ambiguity on this subject, at least: “It’s like a man and a woman, only it’s a man and a man.”

  • CMR

    3 For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the wholesome teaching, but according to their own desires, they will surround themselves with teachers to have their ears tickled. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give attention to false stories. – 2 Timothy 4:3-4

  • Tom

    That is so apt for the “Reformation Project”. Dr James White offered to debate them at their conference, and he says they rejected his offer. Apparently they only want speakers who agree with them.

  • Tom

    Some things are quite open to interpretation, and other things are less open to interpretation. The gay question is not very open to interpretation. Those who agree with Vines are by and large either homosexual themselves, or have close homosexual relatives, or are strongly committed to a broader worldview that holds that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. In other words, those who believe Vines, have something deep in their psyche that wants to believe that Vines is right. Not only does the Bible repeatedly state that homosexual liaisons are sinful, it even spells it out that “a man should not lie with a man as he would with a woman”. Even Vines admits that the Old Testament portrays homosexual relations as sinful, but he spins it to claim that the Old Testament doesnt apply any more. He has a raft of unlikely excuses which are only believed by those whose outlook leaves them unwilling to face what the Bible actually says.

  • Dave V

    “Growing cultural acceptance of homosexuality is leading many Christians to reconsider their historic opposition.”

    To literally sell out the Gospel for, well, money. It’s tough for a Pastor to pay his rent with no parishioners. Selling out is profitable. The Catholics know that well. Now it’s time for the Protestants to profit from pop cultural.

    Vines and his Gay Activist Ilk were spawned from a godless society. NOT one experiencing revival of Gospel truth. It is from a break down of morality and the rise of rejection of Christian life that brought about gay power. Vines is a huckster looking for the dupe-able. They are, of course, legion now.

    The little letter of Jude was written about Vines and his gay pals. Written so fantastically accurately, you could post it as an article written today.

    Let’s see:

    “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”

    – Jude

    Vines’ idea of reforming The Church, is forming it as an offshoot of the Gay Pride movement. His desire is to have the Rainbow Flag planted over the Cross in every Church he can seduce.

    The Gay Pride “reformation project” that is preached by Vines and his heretical clan, is one of licentiousness. They can seek young healthy young people that are disease free to seduce to their hearts content.

    No matter the hypnotism of Vines and his gay message, the idea that homosexuality is to be celebrated in The Church is a rejection of Jesus and the consistent message of marriage as man and woman/husband and wife.

    Vines is a liar. A false teacher with another Gospel. Though many will be seduces by his cunning ploy, c’mon now, how do you think Sodom and Gomorrah got that way?

    There, that is much more accurate.

    Or as Jude saw it too:

    “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority . . . ”

    But notice that Jude shows them IN THE CHURCH?

    “These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

    Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

    These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.”

    Nothing new under the sun right?

  • Dave V

    We no longer have to guess what time it is.

    Vines and his heresy makes that perfectly clear.

  • Shawnie5

    “Christians have had countercultural views about sex from the beginning.”

    Exactly. Only the divide was even greater. They maintained unprecedented standards of purity that put us to shame today, in the midst of a culture in many ways more licentious than our own. And what were they faulted and murdered for then? According to Tacitus, for their “hatred of mankind.”

    Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

  • Jack

    Good answers, Shawnie5. You said it better than I did.

    Larry, in response to your claims about 500 “sects” in Christendom, whether it’s 500 or not, it is certainly quite a lot. But if you compare their beliefs to each other, what’s striking is how much agreement there is in both doctrine and practice, in spite of the sheer number of sects.

    As CS Lewis pointed out in the mid-20th century, the ultimate division within Christendom is not between different sects, denominations, or communions; it’s between those who take the timeless truths of the faith seriously, and those who seek to accommodate them to whatever current fashion happens to be. Thus a traditional Baptist has a lot more in common with a traditional Episcopalian or Anglican than either has with people within their own church who seek to surrender to doctrinal or moral changes in the name of conformity to current culture.

  • Jack

    Indeed. To put it another way, there is nothing new under the sun, as Ecclesiastes says (1:9).

  • Tekakwitha Thomas

    “progressive Christians” hmmmm…..I have come to believe, when an “evangelical” is rigid in his beliefs, it means he does not know a gay personally; nor does he seem to have the desire. It is so much easier to live within one’s “comfort zone”, isn’t it? Jesus associated with the “undesirables”. Did He not? Jesus taught love and compassion. Did He not? Jesus taught not to judge. Did He not? Honestly, who knows a man’s heart? Only Jehovah God does! Honestly, who has the right to judge? Only Jesus does and shall on Judgment Day! Are there “gay Christians”? Yes, there are! It is irrelevant whether or not an “evangelical” approves. What IS important is this: does Jehovah God approve!

  • Ben in oakland

    Vines’ idea of reforming The Church, is forming it as an offshoot of the Gay Pride movement. His desire is to have the Rainbow Flag planted over the Cross in every Church he can seduce.

    The Gay Pride “reformation project” that is preached by Vines and his heretical clan, is one of licentiousness. They can seek young healthy young people that are disease free to seduce to their hearts content.”

    You’re right. There is nothing new under the sun. This statement alone is sufficient to prove thatThis is the same old homohatred, always justified as sincere religious belief, always untethered from reality, always a projection of your own dark fears on innocent others. Thank you for putting it out there for all fair minded, decent, compassionate people to see. You do so very much for our cause.

    Reviling and slandering innocent others. now where did I read that doing that would get you a first class reservation on a Barbeque pit in hell? when did the sole point of Christianity become “get the gays?”

    there are a great many Christians, ministers, churches, and whole denominations who can see this hatred for what it so clearly is. But then, they don’t presume to know that status of the relation of God with any other person on the planet.

  • Jack

    The joys of subjectivism:

    If you oppose a belief, call its supporters “rigid;” if you back it, call them “steadfast and loyal.”

  • DaveV

    Just produce ANY scripture that directly celebrates, condones, encourages, promotes or evebn agree to same gender “marriage” OR behavior is acceptable for Christians.

    You will find out yourself that Vines is not only a heretic, but is a common gay activist. He is working for the rainbow flag, NOT the Gospel. z

  • DaveV


    It is VERY telling that so many atheists support liberalism and gay activism “even” in the church.

  • DaveV

    When did gays finally get around to conquering The Church?

    Fresh young bodies and “affirmation” of their sexuality.

    Do the math.

    The LGBT pride movement is facing its licentious drooling desires towards The Church because that is where true affirmation is found.

    They can only force their demands on an unwilling Christian population. Ever notice that where gays go SCHISM results?

    This will take only few decades before the same old historical depravity of the homosexual life becomes dominant in Christian places. That isn’t homophobia or hate speaking, it is the history of humanity. What Vines preaches has been heard before. His desire for gay pride to develop a fresh young crop cannot be hidden for long.

  • DaveV

    “‘progressive Christians’ hmmmm…..I have come to believe, when an “evangelical” is rigid in his beliefs, it means he does not know a gay personally; nor does he seem to have the desire.”

    Or knows many and knows what is behind their facade.

    It is so much easier to live within one’s “comfort zone”, isn’t it? Jesus associated with the “undesirables”.

    Obviously you have NEVER been to an Evangelical Church. Where repentance is not considered hate speech.

    “Did He not? Jesus taught love and compassion. Did He not?”

    Cast the dust from your feet as a testimony against them? Jesus is not a Hippy Guru.

    “Jesus taught not to judge. Did He not?”

    In what Bible? In the historic New Testament He very much taught all about judging things and people for what they do. If you can’t understand plain words as well as parables, too bad for you.

    “Honestly, who knows a man’s heart? Only Jehovah God does! Honestly, who has the right to judge?”

    Someone plying their sexual desires and behaviors as something everyone has to “affirm” and “celebrate” is a good place to lay the word “depraved.”

    “Only Jesus does and shall on Judgment Day! Are there “gay Christians”?
    Yes, there are! It is irrelevant whether or not an “evangelical” approves. What IS important is this: does Jehovah God approve!”

    Then homosexuals and their supporters should invent their own denominations and live out their sexual desires to their hearts content.

    But there is not one word anywhere in the Bible where they can find support for their behaviors, beliefs or judgmentalism.

    Now who is judging who?

  • Ben in oakland

    And thank you for demonstrating more of thesame.

    Funny, as always, we receive the blame for your own projections. We’re not the ones demanding schism. There are not enough of us, and we have no power. It is always, thus far, the ones who say “we’d rather split this church apart than treat gay people like human beings.”

    If and when the Methodist church has another schism, it might be the Americans who initiate the schism with the homo-hating Africans and their American fellow travelers.

    But again, it won’t be us forcing anything on anyone. It will be the decent, kind, compassionate, and THINKING moderates who will have had enough of hatred masquerading as sincere religious belief.

    So again, thank you for the work you are doing.Satan–if I believed in him– would be proud of you.

  • Pingback: Flotsam and jetsam (11/14) | Everyday Theology()

  • rob

    REFORMATION PROJECT only speaks for THOSE OF THE SWISS reformation and those evangelicals..who follow Zwingli and Calvin

    Not confessional Lutherans of the German reformation which are the oldest on going evangelical Christians in the world and keep the true meaning of evangelical.
    That angels message that Jesus HAS NOW COME and is all peoples ONLY SAVOR FROM their SINs