Glad to see articles like this: Tim Keller Says Matthew Vines’ Main Points in ‘God and the Gay Christian’ Are ‘Wrong’. Vines gets style points but trots out the same false arguments that the “Christian” Left has always used.
“Vines argues that while the Levitical code forbids homosexuality (Leviticus 18:22) it also forbids eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:9-12). Yet, he says, Christians no longer regard eating shellfish as wrong — so why can’t we change our minds on homosexuality? Here Vines is rejecting the New Testament understanding that the ceremonial laws of Moses around the sacrificial system and ritual purity were fulfilled in Christ and no longer binding, but that the moral law of the Old Testament is still in force.”
The shrimp / shellfish argument is full of errors but is appealing to many because so few bother to study the passages.
The shorter version: There were different Hebrew words translated as abomination. They were used differently in the individual verses and were used very differently in broader contexts. The associated sins had radically different consequences and had 100% different treatments in the New Testament. And the claim that Christians are inconsistent if they say homosexual behavior is a sin if they don’t also avoid shellfish, mixed fibers, etc. would mean that they couldn’t complain about bestiality, child sacrifice, adultery, etc.
The longer version.
Satan uses people like Vines to attack the church from the inside and the overtly secular groups to attack it from the outside. Vines & Co. rely on biblical ignorance, poor critical thinking skills and fear of non-conformity to achieve their aims. But this doesn’t change: The Bible couldn’t be more clear. Bible-believing Christians and even two out of the three types of pro-gay people* (religious or not) can see these truths:
– 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
– 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
– 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
– 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions of any kind. There are no exceptions for “committed” relationships.
– 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to LGBT couples parenting children.
Having said that, I believe that Christians should support and encourage those who are fighting same-sex attraction. And no one needs to grandstand on the issue before getting to the Good News of the cross.
* The three general types of pro-gay theology people (Vines is in category 3):
1. “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong but it isn’t the word of God.” (Obviously non-Christians)
2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind and is only telling the theological Left.” (Only about 10 things wrong with that.)
3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it” (Uh, no, not really.)