Category Archives: biblical exposition
Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
After an oped by gay wunderkind Matthew Vines on the Christian Post, several theological scholars were drafted to take a serious look at his claims, assertions and the loophole type theology being used to rally the spiritually blind to his cause. GCM Watch has reported on Vines before here and here.
The conclusion (as if serious theologians were really needed to deconstruct Vine’s patently superficial arguments) left Vines looking like a foolish and petulant child who skipped Sunday School classes.
The scholars: Dr. Robert Gagnon of Pittsburgh Seminary, Dr. Evan Lenow in Fort Worth, TX and Professor Sean McDonough of Gordon-Cornwall Seminary joined in on the collaborative critique.
We’ve pulled out some of the highlights of the fairly comprehensive theological smackdown of Vines’ juvenile assertions. Although MV insisted he spent two years “studying the bible”, its evident he actually spent two years memorizing rehashed false teachings from blind teachers of religion. Vines’ rise to attention echoes his youthful predecessor, John Boswell who traveled this same path only to meet with a tragic death from AIDS at 47. But unlike Boswell, Vines has an obvious intellectual deficiency. Part of his strategy seems to be creating trite, soundbite memes like “being gay is not a sin”.
Being gay is not a sin” is the mantra that one young Harvard student is trying to promulgate. But while Matthew Vines has attracted a growing following with what some are describing as accessible, scholarly arguments, evangelical scholars don’t believe he’ll make much headway in the Christian community.
“His arguments are not new, and his predecessors failed to win the day within the Christian community,” said Dr. Evan Lenow, assistant professor of Ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. “Therefore, I doubt he will have significant impact in the long term.”
But the arguments he presents have been rehashed from the work of such scholars as Finnish Old Testament scholar Martti Nissinen, homosexual New Testament scholar Dale Martin (Yale), and homosexual church historian John Boswell [see our expose of Boswell's teachings here and here], according to Dr. Robert Gagnon, associate professor of New Testament at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, who is considered the foremost expert on the Bible and homosexuality.
Of course the scholars immediately recognize that Vines is pouring out old, sour wine from an old wineskin.
“Every one of these rehashed arguments I have refuted in previous work, of which Vines shows not the slightest awareness,” said Gagnon, who studied the issue for 15 years after completing a masters of theological studies at Harvard Divinity and a Ph.D. in New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary.
His (Vines’) take on Genesis 1 is theologically incoherent. He seems to concede the goodness of God’s creation of man and woman (which forms the basis for subsequent biblical teaching on marriage and sexuality), then claims that in the current state of things homosexual desire is natural, and therefore good, for homosexuals. But this spectacularly avoids the problem of the Fall in Genesis 3.
“One might equally argue that while peace was a desirable state for Adam and Eve in Eden, murderous envy was the ‘natural’ state of Cain, and thus he cannot be condemned for acting on his innate desires. He also suggests that the only possible way not to be alone in the world is to be in a sexual relationship. Why would this be so?”
Like most arguments in support of homosexuality, they are heavy on emotional manipulation primarily because they have no foundational truth to stand upon. That’s another cog in the wheel of trickery the scholars pointed out.
But for McDonough, Vines’ main appeal is emotional, “with a thin dusting of logic on top.”
“Vines presents himself as a sensitive, rational soul simply trying to figure out what the Bible really says. But underneath the veneer there is a pretty manipulative premise: if you disagree with me, you are by definition cruel and oppressive,” McDonough commented. “Who wants to be cruel and oppressive?”
The evangelical scholars agreed that Vines may be able to sway some believers.
“We are living in a time when many younger folks are looking for alternatives to traditional Christian views about sexuality,” said Mouw of Fuller. “Unless we do a much better job of ministering to people with their very real dilemmas, arguments like those set forth by Vines will arise, even though they are highly speculative as interpretations of biblical teaching.”
Finally, as Jesus said those who follow someone blind will fall into a ditch. Vines’ superficial theology manipulates shifting emotional instability, rehashes shallow heresies and seeks to destroy the very foundation of biblical teaching.
True of most if not all of gay christian theology is its serpentine logic. Lenow noted:
“If one were to follow Vines’ logic, that calling homosexuality a sin marginalizes homosexuals, then the church would have to approve of all things that the Bible calls sin “lest we marginalize any segment of society. This would, in effect, eliminate sin from Scripture and eliminate our need for a Savior. By doing so, we would eliminate the church and Christianity.”
Resources: A Strong Delusion: Confronting the “Gay Christian” Movement by Joe Dallas [amazon]
And that you may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; And that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses. Leviticus 10:10,11
When God charged his priests to “put a difference” between two contrasting opposites of practice, he was demanding they promote and uphold his standards. Difference means contrast and significant change in direction and outcome. By their very nature, two opposing views cannot coexist.
In Matthew 6, Jesus (the high priest of the New Covenant) echoed the same specificity that God commanded the priests of the Old Covenant. The spiritual dissonance between opposites do not attract and cannot co-exist. He explained it using God and Mammon as contrasting and irreconcilable opposites.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Cannot is a definitive word expressing incapacity, inability, denial of permission. The word opposite means contrary or radically different in nature and context. The world wants to erase the lines of difference and redraw them as all the same, but God calls us to MAKE differences in the things on which he deems worthy to place such distinctions. Without such distinctions, the option to choose is taken away. And choice is a gift God gave to man.
Remember Joshua’s powerful and stirring charge he gave to the the children of Isreal?
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 24:15
The entire coexist mantra is of the devil and should be rejected as an attempt to reduce God and his standards into a bowl of mushy gray slush. Jesus cannot coexist with any of the religious figureheads of time. His uniqueness and divinity as the only begotten Son of God distinguishes him as THE only way (an exclusive declaration), not a way to God.
Here’s what’s important to God, to choice and the need to understand that there must be a difference.
Jesus said either with him or your against him Mt 12:30
A person is either holy or unholy Lev 10:10
Jesus said you must be hot or cold Rev 3:15
When Jesus returns you will either be ready or not ready Mt 25:1-13
There are only two choices of eternal destiny: heaven or hell
There can be no fellowship of light and darkness Eph 5:11
You are either a son or a bastard Heb 12:7,8
You cannot be in the Kingdom of God if you are in the kingdom of darkness Col 1:13
And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, 1 encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 1 Thess 5:14,15
Warren Wiersbe wrote that “… without a family to protect him and provide for him, a child would suffer and die. Its in this context that the Apostle Paul writes to the “brothers and sisters” at Thessalonica. His appeals are from a family approach. Thus, he uses the word “brethren” over 20 times in the letter indicating this is a family epistle. A real leader has the responsibility to caringly admonish the flock of God.
The church of God is understood to be the family of God and just like in a natural family, a child/children need a family if he is to grow, develop his gifts, and serve God.
So these admonitions are universal to us as disciples of Christ who “follow Paul as he followed Christ”. Although the contemporary mantra which forbids judging, no such boundary is applicable in the family. Warning, judgment and discipline are how we keep ourselves in check in this crazy world. But equally important is the care of the family. To sum, Paul is saying that love and discipline are equal partners.
1. Warn people who are doing nothing for Christ, that they will be judged as lazy and cast into outer darkness. Reference the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.
2. Encourage those who feel they cant make it by reminding them of God’s promises and what happens to those who don’t endure. Remain patient if they don’t “get it together” immediately.
3. Two wrongs never make a right, so don’t give your support anyone who is in the wrong for that wrong.
4. Try you best to do good things for other members of the family. We must have a “special love” for the household of faith.
Paul also mentions warning those who are disruptive. A disciple of Christ should not have a disruptive spirit. This is opposite behavior of idleness. Whereas idleness is unproductive inactivity, disruptive behavior actively seeks to hinder or derail the work of God. When it is subversive, the bible calls it a form of sedition. That’s when a person will not openly work against leadership, but instead will go to privately to individuals under the leader’s supervision and attempt to poison their minds against a Godly leader or leadership. We are to warn people against this.
Warning and encouragement are part of our responsibilities towards each other (fellow believers) as well. To do one and neglect the other, can produce an imbalance in a person’s life.
David Kyle Foster dismantles the ludicrous logic of gay activists who use seriously flawed logic to deny healing from homosexuality and the believer’s obligation to RESIST all temptation. Resisting temptation, no matter what it is, is an act of submissive obedience to the will of God. Watch, listen and be empowered.
Pastor Mike Campagna at Heart for God blog has an incredible writeup about false teachers, false prophets and false shepherds. He explains the differences between them as well as talks about how the devil uses “photoshop” religion to deceive both unbelievers and believers alike.
How to Tell a False Prophet:
1. A false prophet can have the ability to do signs and wonders. (Mark 13:22)
2. A false prophet declares out of his own imaginations and not Christ. (Ezekiel 13:2-3)
3. A false prophet can be bought. He speaks pleasantly to those who feed him. (Micah 3:5)
4. A false prophet disguises himself as a believer while all the time he’s under the control of the devil. (Matthew 7:15-23)
How to Tell a False Teacher:
1. A false teacher portrays himself as having knowledge when he does not. (1 Timothy 1:7)
2. A false teacher offers contrary doctrine to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (1 Timothy 6:3-5)
3. A false teacher speaks what people want to hear instead of what people need to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
4. A false teacher is bound to wickedness, unconverted and destined for destruction. (2 Peter 2:1-3)
How to Tell a False Shepherd:
1. A false shepherd is only concerned for himself and not the flock. (Ezekiel 34:2-3)
2. A false shepherd leads the flock astray in word and deed. (Jeremiah 50:6)
3. A false shepherd abandons the flock when they need him the most. (John 10:12)
4. A false shepherd does not exalt the Good Shepherd. (John 10:14-15)
With all types of bizarre, weird and unseemly teachings and practices coming out from so called leaders in the Christian church, you would do yourself a big favor by reading Pastor Mike’s entire blog and get educated so you can avoid the traps set by false trisectomy.
The Senator Qheleth blog has taken time to deconstruct a great deal of the vortex of religious revision by the johnny come lately child false prophet Matthew Vines. Vines claims that he studied the bible for two entire years because he was dissatisfied that as a homosexual he wasn’t allowed to be happy and have sex with another man. Not surprisingly, his two years of bible study yeilded nothing different from the other false teachers before him.
Despite the obvious signs of a spiritual ineptitude, Vines was quickly snapped up by the religious homosexual world like he was fresh meat at a gay club. He may not be aware that he is simply a pawn to spread lies, but most his age are not. The insatiable thirst of those who spread lies about homosexuality and the bible are always looking for new faces to smooth out the deceptive poison and it looks like they hit paydirt with Vines.
According to SQ, Vines elementary argument is “so weak it would fail first year seminary. There are a tremendous number of problems with what he has said- especially his misplaced assertion that traditional interpretations of Scripture on homosexuality have done nothing but ‘damaged’ people- and I cannot deal with them all here.”
Vines’ type of shallow thinking and exegetically deficient rhetoric is what progay teachers thrive on. Consequently, the Theology-R-US approach to one of the most serious moral issues raised in our times is quite frankly disastrous. The reason they take such great pains to avoid honest exploration of the truth is because lies are always built on cleverly devised misinterpretations that produce a plethora of questions and doubt. Hath God said?
SQ does an excellent job cutting through the weeds and underbrush of Vines’ pitiful theology to show that behind the poorly crafted dog and pony show is whats behind most dog and pony shows: hype and no substance.
Vines’ position is undergirded by a feel-good theology of avoiding loneliness. Time and again throughout his talk, Vines made statements like “We’re now forcing gay men to be alone, calling what God has made to be not good … the Bible explicitly rejects forced loneliness as God’s will for human beings”. While loneliness is never an ideal state for man to be in (Prov. 18:1), neither do ends (finding a solution for loneliness) justify means (constructing whatever relationships one can to avoid being alone). Jesus Himself was a lonely, misunderstood man and not once did He complain about it: He took it to God and used it to honour God and bless others. Christian theology never sees loneliness- or, more accurately, aloneness- as an end in itself. Neither is it true that single, unmarried, ‘unhitched’ Christians are all alone and miserable (Heb. 13:5). If Vines really believe this, then he must be a troubled, insecure individual and have nothing but disdain for singles. Christ and Paul (Matt. 19:10-12, 1 Cor. 7:32) both are at odds with this, but Vines has not done the theological gruntwork through this and his theology on singlehood is on very shaky ground, and he would do well to take note that when the first man was alone that Yahweh provided a woman in a marriage covenant to alleviate the problem (Gen. 2:18,22). If a person is single and chaste, God can use them powerfully (e.g. Corrie ten Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Stott, J.I. Packer, John Chapman, Paul, and Christ).
False teachers always craft their ideology out of personal conjecture using emotionally charged issues to refute biblical truth. That may be attractive to weak, biblically illiterate individuals who are looking for an excuse to sin, but it would never pass the muster of truth that makes people free. John 8:32