Being different is no crime. Being gay is not a sin. And for a gay person to desire and pursue love and marriage and family is no more selfish or sinful than when a straight person desires and pursues the very same things. The Song of Songs tells us that King Solomon’s wedding day was “the day his heart rejoiced.” To deny to a small minority of people, not just a wedding day, but a lifetime of love and commitment and family is to inflict on them a devastating level of hurt and anguish. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates that Christians are called to perpetuate that kind of pain in other people’s lives rather than work to alleviate it, especially when the problem is so easy to fix. All it takes is acceptance. The Bible is not opposed to the acceptance of gay Christians, or to the possibility of loving relationships for them. And if you are uncomfortable with the idea of two men or two women in love, if you are dead-set against that idea, then I am asking you to try to see things differently for my sake, even if it makes you uncomfortable. I’m asking you to ask yourself this: How deeply do you care about your family? How deeply do you love your spouse? And how tenaciously would you fight for them if they were ever in danger or in harm’s way? That is how deeply you should care, and that is how tenaciously you should fight, for the very same things for my life, because they matter just as much to me. Gay people should be a treasured part of our families and our communities, and the truly Christian response to them is acceptance, support, and love.
Author: Matthew Vines
Matthew Vines is the founder and executive director of The Reformation Project and the author of God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. He lives in Lenexa, Kansas.
Matthew attended Harvard University from 2008 to 2010. He then took a leave of absence in order to research the Bible and same-sex relationships and work toward LGBTQ inclusion in the church. In March 2012, Matthew delivered a speech at a church in his hometown about the Bible and same-sex relationships, calling for acceptance of gay Christians and their marriage relationships. Since then, the video of the speech has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube, leading to a feature story in The New York Times that fall.
In 2013, Matthew launched The Reformation Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to training LGBTQ Christians and allies to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Reformation Project has hosted conferences in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Kansas City, and Los Angeles; the 2017 national conference will be held in Chicago from October 26-28. TRP also runs a leadership development cohort for LGBTQ Christians and allies each spring, as well as an event series at non-affirming churches called “Elevating the Dialogue on LGBTQ Inclusion in the Church.”