July 27, 2014
THE BAD NEWS AND THE GOOD NEWS
The good news is Jesus Christ has overcome the world. Also in the good new column: God says something incredible about those who believe in the saving grace and life transforming power of God: “In fact this is love for God: to obey his commands. His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” 1 John 5:3-4. So now here’s the thing…God desires to overcome the world in and through you. Still in the good news column: The truth that God can and will overcome homosexuality. Remember 1 Corinthians 6? “And such were some of you.” God has got the answer though he really doesn’t give the answer in 1 Corinthians 6. While you might find that a problem I most certainly do not. My not knowing the answer to the problem isn’t the problem. The Holy Spirit has the answer to all sin problems and I’m his house. I live with the person, the Holy Spirit, who knows how to fix, cure, save, free, deliver from sin. In other words the answer is to allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through you to love people to the freedom found only in Jesus Christ.
THE BAD NEWS:
There is a new young evangelical out there, and he’s written a really terrific book, called, God And The Gay Christian. His name is Matt Vine. Ok, it’s not a terrific book, in fact it’s completely derivative. There is nothing original at all in the book. I was reading the stuff in Vine’s book nearly 30 years ago. I do like the way he packages the book, it’s easy to read, you feel a connection to the writer though not the material. Well you might get a connection with the material, I can’t get into what Vine writes because it’s just such truly bad theology, and his conclusions are simply pulled out of his ear or the same place all bad theology comes from the broken, unwashed, deceived human heart. Vine isn’t the angry, accusing sort of gay religious type. He attempts to approach his audience with respect and kindness. He is relational, and I honestly like and appreciate the approach. He makes several dives at the Gay utopia speak. He claims that gay people can’t ever change and then as his absolute and irrefutable proof he holds up the failure of Exodus International (Gay Utopia Speak are those things gay people say about being born gay, that gays can’t change, and any attempt to change is harmful and dangerous, and etc., and etc., ad nauseum. I honestly feel sad for Matthew when he points at Exodus International and claims its failure is 100% proof gays can’t change. Exodus International was doomed, not because gay people can’t change. Exodus International failed because, “Birds of a feather flock together.” If all you know is homosexuality, and all the person you’re trying to help to freedom, from homosexuality, knows nothing but homosexuality then all that can be known is gay. Exodus International was the blind leading the blind, so where else could a bunch of blind gay people end up but in gay christian relationships??
People like Rachel Held Evans, author of, A Woman’s Year Of Living Biblically, and another young neo-feely evangelical named Brandan Robertson call Vines’, “a game changer.” I find Brandan Robertson’s claim that Vine is a game changer a bit more believable than I do Evans’, but then I don’t trust the neo-feely evangelicals, and Held Evans is a leader in that camp. Brandan claims that after having lunch with Matt Vine he realized that Vine is an evangelicals like the ones he’s known all his life.
I must admit, at first I thought Robertson had lost his mind. But as I started to think about Robertson’s assertion I realized he is dead on target. Matthew Vine isn’t any different from the lion share of evangelicals I’ve known. Vine doesn’t know what to do with homosexuality and he cherry picks the verses he likes to support his position. Vine’s arguments come from the same old sources gay theology has always been dependent on and all the other evangelicals I’ve known use the Bible as an excuse not to reach out and help homosexuals come to God for God to change them. Unfortunately I’m going to have to admit that Brandan Robertson is right about Matt Vine: Vine is an evangelical.
This is VERY VERY BAD NEWS! if evangelicals can’t see the difference between Matthew Vine and any other evangelical then there is a very strong possibility there are no vast differences to speak of. What sets the Church apart is both the words and deeds of God done in us and through us. If we can’t find the path to God for LGBT people, then have you really found the way of life? Claiming Jesus can change homosexuals is a far cry from proving it. Jesus tells us he could prove what he said, and he proved the words he spoke by doing the works Father called him to accomplish. “And such were some of you, (1 Corinthians 6:11).” If you don’t know how to minister Christ’s life to LGBT persons “such were you,” is meaningless, for at least some of the sinners mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6.
So what shall the evangelical movement do now? Here come the LGBT evangelicals, and if you think the body of Christ is polarized now, you ain’t seen nothing yet. One of the things I find most off putting about Vine’s book is that all of his arguments are the arguments of mere unwashed, untransformed man. Vine is suggesting you and I take his special theology, you know the Gay rose colored glasses and read the Bible through them, so that we see what Vine desperately wants us to see. Vine wants you and I to see the Bible, God, and Gays differently. This is where Vine’s book falters badly: The problem isn’t persuading me to read the Bible his way. Because, in and of myself, I am a mere man, and I can certainly see the value and the pull to that. The problem for Vine and every other religious homosexual is convincing God to view his Bible from there perspective. Changing my views is worthless. If God doesn’t change his thinking about homosexuality, adultery, single straights bumping uglies, and all the other “immoral” acts then Vine’s book is worthless. Vine’s book fails not because he fails to be convincing, but because no one has ever succeeded in changing God’s view of sin. The failure of Gay Theology, Feminist Theology, Fascist Theology, and every other special theology is that true believers in Jesus Christ believe the Bible because it contains the teachings of God, and those words have powerful life altering effects in our lives.
This post is long enough, so I hope you’ll come back for the next part of this series of posts. So be looking for
Lions! Tigers! and Gays! OH MY! Part 3.