CARM Takes on Matthew Vines

CARMIf you are not familiar with Matthew Vines, he is a pro homosexual activist who spoke at College Hill United Methodist Church in Kansas. During that speech, Mr. Vines advocated that the Bible does not condemn same sex monogamous relationships. Mr. Vines went to great lengths to redefine the very meaning of scripture as he attempted to explain what God actually meant, by his own assessment, when He inspired the writers of the Bible to pen the words we read today. Unlike many who have taken Christians to task on this issue, Mr. Vines presents himself as a kind and polite person, one with whom you would like to sit down and have a conversation with. He does not attempt to make the vitriolic speech that many who have advocated “gay rights” have used. His demeanor makes his redefining of scripture more acceptable in the eyes of those who have not made the effort to understand what God has truly said on the matter of homosexuality. As a result, Mr. Vines, and the views he espouses, are more easily received, even by those to claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.

Last year I posted an article titled “Christians Are We Ready” where I referenced a series of audio messages prepared by Dr. James White addressing this very speech by Matthew Vines. I continue to heartily recommend those messages to every Christian as they directly dismantle the very arguments made by Mr. Vines. Now I would like to refer our readers to yet another resource that will further equip us. CARM has prepared a section on their apologetics site that continues to expound on this issue. Homosexuality is one of the defining arguments of our day. Christians must be prepared to answer the challenges presented by those who would promote their belief that sexual immorality is acceptable in the eyes of God. Therefore, I ask you to visit the following link at CARM and become equipped to answer when people ask you why you believe homosexuality is a sin. Let us be fully prepared, not so we can prove ourselves morally better, but so that we can graciously and compassionately warn those of the judgment to come for their sin, and that there is yet salvation in Jesus Christ.

http://carm.org/matthew-vines

“What Would I Do If My Daughter Told Me She Was Gay” by Stephen Altrogge

Stephen Altrogge has posted an article at his blog, The Blazing Center, about how he, as a Christian father, would respond if his daughter came to him and said she was gay. This is one of the most gospel centered, compassionate responses I have ever read. I ask that you read this article and consider, how would you respond if you found yourself in this situation?

“My oldest daughter, Charis, is four, so hopefully we’re a little while away from having any sort of sex talk. But at some point in the future I’m sure I’ll be talking to Charis, along with the rest of my kids, about sexuality, and there’s the possibility that one of my kids will experience homosexual attraction.

What would I do if Charis told me that she was experiencing homosexual attractions?

The first thing I’d do is give her a giant hug and tell her that nothing, nothing, nothing can ever change my love for her. She’s my precious little girl, and nothing is ever going to change that. I’d thank her for telling me about her feelings and tell her that she can always tell me anything, no matter how big or small. I want my kids to feel comfortable telling me anything, and to know that I won’t get angry with them no matter what they tell me.”

Read the remainder of the article here.

Homosexuals and Hypocrites

Jeremiah, a man who claims to be a homosexual Christian, left a comment on my blog making his case for why homosexuality is not a sin. I’ve recently learned quite a bit from reading Same Sex Controversy by James White and Jeffrey D. Niell. Without a doubt, the Bible calls homosexuality a bona fide sin.

Jeremiah had two main points:

  • The Bible is vague in regard to homosexuality. Jeremiah reviewed six passages that discuss homosexuality in the NIV. I like the NIV, but it was translated by humans, leaving room for error. There are some odd word choices in a couple verses. For example, most translations use the word “homosexual” in 1 Timothy 1:8­–10, but the NIV uses the word “perverts.” In 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, the same Greek word as in 1 Timothy 1:8–10 is used, but the NIV translates it as “homosexual offender.”Using the NIV, Jeremiah ignored 1 Timothy 1:8–10 (since it doesn’t contain the word “homosexual”), and made the argument that 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 is referring to the older men who pay young, pagan, male prostitutes for sex. His point was that the Bible isn’t clear enough on this point to call a loving monogamous homosexual relationship sin.

    However, a look at the original biblical lanaguage gives us a different interpretation. The Greek word “arsenokoites” is the word in question in both 1 Timothy 1:8–10 and 1 Corinthians 6:9–10. Paul is the first person to use this word in writing. It is possible that Paul coined this term. We can know exactly what it means and where it came from by examining the text. Paul used the Greek Old Testament (aka the LXX or Septuagint), as he was the apostle to the gentiles, and Greek was the language of the day.

    In the LXX, Leviticus 20:13 reads: hos an koimethe meta arsenos koiten gunaikos.

    In English, Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

    There is no ambiguity in Leviticus 20:13. It calls homosexuality a sin regardless of whether it is in a monogamous, loving relationship or not.

    The word “arsenokoites” is simply a contraction of “arsenos” and “koiten.” “Arsenos” means man, and “koiten” means intercourse or to lie with sexually. When Paul uses the word “arsenokoites,” he is referring to men who lie together sexually, or homosexuals. He is referencing the passages in Leviticus that clearly condemn homosexuality.

    That is especially clear in 1 Timothy 1:8–10 as it is a discussion of the proper use of the law. What law could Paul be referring to other than the Old Testament law? The proper use of the law was to convict homosexuals of their sin in the hope that they would be humbled and prepared to hear the gospel.

    Jeremiah’s principal tactic is to obscure the plain teaching of these verses just enough to cause us to doubt our interpretation, and therefore, render us unable to boldly call homosexuality a sin. But these verses simply aren’t vague. They are crystal clear in calling homosexuality a sin.

  • Christians are willing to ignore many verses rather than change their lifestyles. We shouldn’t be so eager to enforce the letter of the law against homosexuals, Jeremiah says, when we’re willing to compromise for our pet sins. He used divorce as an example. Jesus was very much against divorce, yet Jeremiah knows of Christians who are willing to overlook that sin.I think we can all take Jeremiah’s observation as an encouragement to examine ourselves and make sure that our words and deeds line up with even the most difficult teachings of Jesus.

    However, I think he completely misses the point. All our sins are ultimately between each of us individually and God, who is perfectly just. The homosexual cannot point to the hypocrisy of others as justification for his own sin. Neither can the thief, the liar, the heterosexual adulterer, the murderer or anyone else. True Christians are marked by humble repentance. Only a proud unbeliever could go on living in unrepentant rebellion after being confronted with sin.

    It is clear that Jeremiah is unwilling to repent of his homosexuality. He doesn’t like it when people claim to be Christians but make excuses for being disobedient to the Bible, but that is exactly what he’s doing with his sexual sin. To me, it seems as though he’s offering to wink and nod at the sin of others if they’re willing to wink and nod at his.

    I would remind him that Jesus said that if our eye causes us to sin, we should pluck it out. If our hand causes us to sin, we should cut it off. It is better to go to heaven maimed than to go to hell intact. I would advise Jeremiah to pay whatever price is necessary to leave his homosexuality behind. There is forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

You can check out Jeremiah’s comment on my blog.  (He copied and pasted it from his blog, which I wouldn’t recommend as there are some inappropriate pictures.)