God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
Ever since I became a Christian LGBT ally, people have asked me how I can claim to respect the authority of scripture, while also affirming same-sex relationships. There’s no short answer to that question, one I can sum up in a sentence or two, but the closest attempt I can give is, “There is only one Bible, and one God, but there is not only one correct way to interpret scripture.”
All it takes is a visit to three separate churches to see how differently the scriptures are interpreted. Baptism, pre-destination, women’s roles, elders, deacons, saints – the list of variations in how we view God’s word are endless. Yet rarely, at least not blatantly, do people go so far as to say that if someone doesn’t share their churches view on say, the role of elders, that that person isn’t really a Christian. You don’t see leaders of huge church denominations writing 10 page diatribes on why people who sprinkle instead of dunk during baptisms are clearly trying to deceive people away from Christ, and are going to hell.
Well, at least not anymore.
What you see today, instead, are church leaders and Pastors warning their flock that there are people who seek to bring down Christianity by encouraging the acceptance of homosexuality. You have leaders of denominations warning that a “revolution” is coming, one that might split and irrevocably break evangelism, if we allow it. And who are the purveyors of this impending religious holocaust?
My friends. And myself, I guess.
Which is news to me. Seeing as how, in all the conversations, meetings, and moments with these friends that share my beliefs, the one thing we’ve all consistently agreed on is our goal – not to destroy Christianity, but redeem it.
Why would I say that Christianity needs redeeming?
Because numbers don’t lie. Because if anything is going to irrevocably break Christianity, it’s not going to be the Christians trying to welcome more people into it. It’s going to be the Christians driving the hurting and rejected away.
It is daunting to read the statistics that show that the number one reason young people are leaving the church today is because of its attitude towards homosexuality. Not because sex is something young people are unhealthy focused on, but because sex is the thing young people have seen the church care more about than anything else. When the only time the American church rallies and comes together is in order to stand up against a group of people defined by their sexuality, it’s easy for those curious about Christianity to turn and walk away.
Which is why I am so happy, excited, hopeful, and yes, a little jealous, about the release of my friend Matthew Vines book, God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. I’m happy because I believe this book can be something that can help bring people back to the church. I think it’s something that can help heal the wounds caused by years of Christians saying that, “you can’t be one of us unless you look, act, and think the way we want you too.” Matthews book says, “You don’t have to choose the Bible, or your identity. Jesus loves you for who He created you to be.”
I’m also happy because, unlike the people writing emotionally charged, panicky reviews about the book, I’ve met the author. I’ve talked to him. I’ve heard him speak about his heart for the church – not just for the LGBT people in the church, but the church as a whole. Hell, I’ve even seen him cry. I know then, in a way that you can only know when you’ve looked someone in the eye – that Matthew Vines book was not written in an attempt to deceive or hurt anything. It was written out of a love for, above all else, scripture.
That’s why I want to encourage everyone I know to purchase and read Matthew’s book, which is desperately needed today. It’s a clear, definitive answer to that question I get all the time – “how can you be a Christian, and support same-sex relationships?”
If you’ve ever wanted an answer to that question, I suggest you read Matthews book.