Wichita author who is gay, conservative and Christian seeks to start a conversation

“My message isn’t that change is inevitable, because it’s not,” Vines said. “My message is that change is possible. I think it’s only really possible with the right biblical approach to arguments. That’s what the book is all about. But once you have that, it’s going to take a tremendous amount of persistence and effort and determination and grit for years to make that happen. But I’m convinced that it’s possible.”

Vines wants churches to transcend politics.

“I want the Christian church to be an effective, authentic witness of God’s love to the world,” he said. “That’s what most Christians want, too.”

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Gay Christians? New book rattles, angers American evangelicals

“I think the backlash has just begun,” Vines tells LGBTQ Nation. “For conservative Christians who base their opposition to LGBT equality on Scripture, it can be unnerving to have their biblical interpretation challenged and undermined by other conservative Christians.”

“Most non-affirming evangelicals aren’t prepared to have this conversation about Scripture yet, so I think a fair amount of bluster will precede actual, widespread engagement with the arguments I’m putting forward,” he says. “But at some point, the bluster will clearly fail, and even the most determined opponents will have to engage with these arguments,” adds Vines.

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God and the Gay Christian

Matthew’s book is likely to become the biggest, most talked about, Christian book of the year – and could help shatter misperceptions about the Bible’s characterizations of same-sex relationships as a sin against God. It will also, without a doubt, place this young man at the center of a raging cultural debate in America. In fact, he is stepping squarely into a debate that, if not addressed adequately among members of his faith, will radically alter Christianity’s place in America.

But he is prepared for the coming storm – as prepared as anyone can be for such a divisive topic. And if he is successful, he may just forever change the way in which gay Christians are accepted and loved – just as they are – in churches in America.

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Matthew Vines Announces ‘God and the Gay Christian;’ Claims Book Will ‘Radically Change’ Talk on Being Gay in Church

Matthew Vines has announced the release of his first book, titled God and the Gay Christian, which comes less than two years after he delivered a dissertation that he claimed “dismantle[d] every Bible-based argument against homosexuality.”

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Can the evangelical church embrace gay couples?

Vines, who took a leave of absence as an undergraduate at Harvard University in 2010, became an online sensation when he posted a video to YouTube of an hourlong presentation on the Bible and homosexuality he made to his home church in Wichita in 2012. In the video, Vines tackled the “clobber passages” one by one, building to the argument that being gay is not a sin.

Vines, who is gay and calls himself theologically conservative, now heads an organization called the Reformation Project, whose goal is to change the church from within the umbrella of evangelical theology—primarily by training interested Christians to make theologically sound arguments to their peers and church leaders. His book “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships,” will be published by a Random House imprint in May.

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Christian hopes to reform churches on homosexuality

A Kansas man whose online lecture about the Bible and same-sex relationships gained considerable attention has gathered about 50 Christians from around the country to delve into his belief that the Scriptures do not condemn homosexuality as a sexual orientation.

“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,” Vines said. “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.”

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Matthew Vines

While the movement for gay and lesbian rights has achieved important advances in recent years, it still faces enormous challenges. The work that Matthew and several Haas, Jr. Fund grantees are doing to advance the cause of LGBT equality in faith communities will be critical to overcoming these challenges and securing broad and lasting gains for gay and lesbian people across the country.

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The Reformation Project: Training Christians to Eradicate Homophobia From the Church

This month, I am launching The Reformation Project. It is a nonprofit organization designed to connect, train and empower LGBT Christians and their allies to change their churches on this issue from within. This fall, we will host our first leadership conference for 50 straight, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians who are committed to reform. From Sept. 18 to 21 at Asbury United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Kan., we will put them through a Bible boot camp.

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Matthew Vines: Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

Matthew Vines is a 22-year-old gay Christian who believes being gay is not a sin. He came to that conclusion after two years of studying Scripture and the works of dozens of biblical scholars. The Harvard University student, currently on leave of absence, is now trying to win over fellow believers not just with an emotional testimony but with what he is presenting as biblically solid arguments.

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Reforming the Gay Christian Debate

“What does the Bible say about loving, same-sex relationships?” Nothing. Not a thing. And in that absence of Biblical direction of support for or condemnation of these relationships, Christians need to follow the general principles of the Bible: love, justice and kindness. This was the point Matthew Vines wanted to emphasize at his recent presentation at Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan.

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Can you be Christian and gay? (44:00 – 50:02)

For many people, the two are totally incompatible. That was certainly what 22 year-old Matthew Vines was taught. After coming out, he decided an emotional appeal wouldn’t be enough, so Matthew took some time out from Harvard to equip himself with every bit of theological research to back up his case. The result? A YouTube video that’s now been seen nearly 400,000 times.

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Turned Away, He Turned to the Bible

One year after Matthew Vines was forced to leave the Wichita, Kan., church he had attended since birth — not because he is gay, but because he tried to convince people there was nothing wrong with that — he was sitting facing a crowd of 235 Christians, most of them gay or lesbian, at the Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

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I’m Not Saying You’re Homophobic; I’m Just Saying You’re Homophobic

For me, the final nail in the “you’re being homophobic coffin” is this video from Matthew Vines. It is a must watch. Yes, it is an hour long. Yes, it is just a guy giving a lecture — but it is so much more than that. It is brilliant. It is well-researched. It is precisely presented. It is emotional. It is personal. Everyone needs to watch this.

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Gay Christian’s video draws praise, scorn

In the video, the young man with the face of an altar boy speaks with quiet conviction for 67 minutes, looking a church congregation in the eye, glancing only occasionally at his notes, making his case that when it comes to homosexuality and the Bible, most people have it all wrong. The Bible, he contends, doesn’t say homosexuality is a sin, nor does it condemn loving gay relationships. Made March 8 at College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita, the video has been viewed more than 135,000 times on YouTube and drawn an international outpouring of praise and condemnation for the speaker.

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Don’t Blame the Bible

Vines’ speech is a masterwork of scriptural exegesis and a marvel of patient logic, slicing and dicing with surgical precision the claim that homophobia is God ordained… It is fascinating stuff, and there is not nearly enough space here to do it justice, but the salient point is this: Matthew Vines is not some godless heathen lobbing bombs at Christianity from outside its walls. No, he lives inside Christianity’s walls, still holds the faith in which he was raised. So this is not an outsider’s attack. It is an insider’s plea.

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The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality

Vines’ 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.

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The Book of Matthew

In the long run, Vines’s speech will probably create far more change on the ground than unconvincing apologetics or anti-Christian diatribes…. [H]is work serves as a beacon to those who seek a popular discourse on religion that is grounded in erudition, thoughtfulness, and dignity.

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The Bible and Homosexuality, a Biblical presentation with Matthew Vines

You cannot help but hear the scholarship with which he addresses the subject. Matthew not only educates the listener, he does so in a humble tone that will subtly cross even the most firmly constructed boundaries… This video is of such superior excellence in both scholarship and tone, it is now the resource to which I will direct Christian parents and friends of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

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