How a New Book About Gay Christians Is Reviving Evangelical Homophobia
Two years ago, former Harvard student Matthew Vines presented an hour-long lecture in Wichita, Kansas, arguing that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality as many conservative Christians claim that it does. Several hundred thousand people watched the video of his lecture, and now Vines has released a new book, God and the Gay Christian, making his case in further detail by weaving in stories of his own coming out. Conservatives are taking his book very seriously, prompting many to attempt to refute his interpretations and in doing so, highlighting their narrow understanding of what it actually means to be gay.
Leading the charge in countering Vines is the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), produced a full ebook responding to Vines’ book, with contributions from professors at various theological institutes, including SBTS. Mohler is clear in his thesis: “Biblical Christianity can neither endorse same-sex marriage nor accept the claim that a believer can be obedient to Christ and remain or persist in same-sex behaviors.” Contrary to Vines’ pleas on behalf of people who want to be true to their sexual orientation and to their faith, Mohler concludes that one can be gay or Christian, but not both.