Imagine growing up in an evangelical Christian household, and imagine how it might feel to realize you’re gay.
For many teenagers, that realization is terrifying. They fear they will be rejected by their families and communities. The sad truth is that many homosexuals are rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation.
Matthew Vines was 19 when he realized he was gay. He was a sophomore attending Harvard and decided to take a break from school so that he could find a way to reconcile his sexual orientation with what the Bible says about homosexuality.
He didn’t want to lose his family or his faith. So, for the next four years, Vines studied Scripture – specifically what the Bible says about same-sex sexuality and the result was a book titled, God and the Gay Christian.
Vine calls his book “an open letter to modern Christians” about why they should support same-sex relationships, and what the Bible really says about homosexuality. He explains in the video (below) that after collected the information, he was able to change his father’s mind about same–sex relationships. He calls his book a blueprint for helping other Christians help affirm gay marriage while also affirming their commitment to the full authority of the Bible.
Vines, now 24 and working as a Christian speaker and LGBT activist in Wichita, Kansas, says, “My larger argument is that Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous, same-sex relationships.”
- Condemning same-sex relationships is harmful to LGBT people.
- Sexual orientation is a new concept, one the Christian tradition hasn’t addressed.
- Celibacy is a gift, not a mandate.
- Sodom and Gomorrah involved an attempted gang rape, not a loving relationship.
- The prohibitions in Leviticus don’t apply to Christians.
- Paul condemns same-sex lust, not love.
- The term “homosexual” didn’t exist until 1892.
- Marriage is about commitment.
- Human beings are relational.
- Faithful Christians are already embracing LGBT brothers and sisters.
For those interested, Vines recommends you sign up for The Reformation Project, a Bible-based, Christian non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity: http://www.reformationproject.org and be sure to register for their next big event, a regional training conference in Altanta from June 11-13, 2015: http://www.reformationproject.org/atl15.