Matthew Vines was a 22 year-old Harvard University student from Wichita, Kansas. Raised in the Presbyterian church, Matthew, deeply religious, decided to reconcile his deeply held religious beliefs with his homosexuality. To do this, he immersed himself in a scholarly study of the bible’s teaching on homosexuality.
It All started with a six-page Paper
Matthew’s treatise on religion grew from a six-page research paper to eight pages, then fourteen, ultimately leading him to an hour-long presentation on YouTube called “The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality”
400,000 Views Later on YouTube…
Matthew has taken his message that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality on the road. He has lectured at the well-known Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan to an audience of 235 Christians, mostly gay or lesbian, as well as other Christian churches in the United States. His activism has caused him to drop out of Harvard.
Vines’s mission is to convince people to see that neither the Bible nor Christ as a whole condemn homosexual love in any way. He dissects his argument by examining three passages in the Old Testament: Genesis, Matthew, and the oft-quoted Leviticus. He also delves into the New Testament passages of Paul, Corinthians, and Romans. None of the Biblical accounts explains or details homosexual love between two partners.
Whenever homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible, it’s flanked on accounts of gang rape and lustful acts, according to Vines. Leviticus is the only passage, he argues, where it calls homosexuality an “abomination.”
Misunderstanding Started in the 13th Century
Although Vines admits that gay Christians are getting more voice in different churches, he believes that the Scriptures have been misunderstood by many mainstream churches. This misconception, he argues in his 67 minute video, arose in the 13th Century when opposition to same-sex relationships became part of the understanding of Natural Law. People are more likely to read into scriptures a worldly prejudice against a minority group. In effect, they are justifying their prejudice through Biblical passages, he theorizes.
Homosexuals Want The Same Kind of Love as Heterosexuals
Matthew points out that “loving, same-sex relationships have Christian qualities: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” He wants Christians to see how committed homosexual couples are, just as God-blessed as heterosexual ones. “What gay people are pursuing and trying to find for themselves is really the same thing as straight Christians. It just looks different because they are gay.”
“Being Gay is NOT a Sin”
Vines believes that “God didn’t create him to wallow in self-pity and to live his life alone. “Love, he says, “is a fruit of the Spirit of God, and whether it’s heterosexual or homosexual, it’s still a gift and blessing.”
“Once straight Christians put themselves into the shoes of gay Christians and walk a mile or two in their shoes,” he states, “they can learn how to apply the ‘Golden Rule,’ and attitudes can really begin to change.”
“Miles to Go Before He Sleeps…”
The road is long before Matthew Vines. But he has made a huge impact already.While his critics accuse him of “cherry picking” Bible verses to prove his point, there are others such as syndicated columnist Dan Savage who hold Matthew’s theories dear. Says Savage: “ Vines’s argument and his insights are highly relevant to gay Christians, to their families, to Christians who point to The Bible to justify their bigotry and the pain they inflict on LGBT people (including their own LGBT children ), and to anyone who happens to live in a country that is majority Christian. Watch this video: Vines is brilliant.”