KANSAS CITY, Kan.—Matthew Vines (23), a Wichita native who grew up attending a conservative Presbyterian church is making news for his because of his belief that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality, and this weekend around 50 people gather together in Prairie Village, from around the nation to attend his three-day conference to focus more on his belief.
Vines’, believes that the Bible does not actually condemn homosexuality as a sexual orientation as a sin which is contrary to the beliefs of many Christians. Although he acknowledges that more liberal and ‘modern’ churches are becoming more accepting of gay, lesbian, and transgender couples; Vines hopes that his message will help bring change to the more conservative churches that stand firm on their ‘older traditional’ beliefs.
Vines’ chose 50 people out of the 100 that applied for the conference, which kicked off Wednesday and ended Saturday. Of the conference, the 23-year-old said;
"This conference is important because it really represents the next frontier of the LGBT movement, which is working to change the minds of conservative Christians about same-sex relationships. Because I'm a gay Christian who grew up in a conservative church and still have a lot of friends and family in conservative churches, I'm trying to empower people to be able to stay in their churches that are not yet supportive."
Vines’ has rallied support from straight and gay Christians from around the world and has started a non-profit organization called ‘The Reformation Project’ and has written a book called, ‘God and the Gay Christian.’
While Vines message is spreading, several pastors and theologians are rebutting his teachings as not having any Scriptural backing.
According to Dr. Robert Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and considered the foremost expert on the Bible and homosexuality says that Vines’ arguments have all been refuted and have no Biblical standing. [Source: Christian Post]
"Every one of these rehashed arguments I have refuted in previous work, of which Vines shows not the slightest awareness," said Gagnon.
Terry Todd, associate professor of American religious studies at Drew University in Madison, N.J. isn’t sure that Vines’ message is going to be received in the churches he’s targeting;
“I think Matt’s arguments are unlikely to change many minds, especially among the leadership in the conservative Christian communities to which they are addressed.”
Vines, has a much more positive attitude especially after his hour-long lecture from a church in Wichita, posted on YouTube and has seen more than 600,000 hits and 15,000 responses. "A lot of conservative Christians are willing to listen, but they don't want to do it with someone who isn't educated about Scripture."
The Christian Post asked several evangelical theologians to respond to some of Vines’ arguments, at which several jumped at, which can be read in a post by Lillian Kwon/ Christian Post Reporter.
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What do you think about Matthew Vines’ message?
Do you think Vine’s ‘Homosexuality Is Not a Sin’ message will find acceptance in conservative churches?
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