Quick Publish. May need edited more:
Youtube video of the debate here:
Here are some comments, thoughts, and quick notes on this debate:
Jesus raised the bar on sexual standards, not lowered it. Jesus went more conservative on sexual standards not progressive. Jesus went farther than he needed to in his response to convey details that we should not miss. He mentioned Genesis when he did not need to. Jesus mentions male and female, when he did not need to.
Experience and feeling being used to share are views. Driving us to scripture is one thing, but shaping how we see reality and truth is different.
Matthew vines mentions Exodus international closing down to prove a point that they did not "convert" any homosexuals to heterosexuals. It appears the point he is making, or at least directing listeners toward, is that sexual orientation is fixed and unchangeable. He fails to mention that many people have lived a homosexual lifestyle and then transitioned to a heterosexual lifestyle and they are glad they did.
The Exodus International case is just one case where an organization failed and imploded. To generalize about ex-gay's using only this case is to make the logical fallacy of hasty generalization. To learn more about the Exodus International situation and those who do a better job at ministering to homosexuals, read this:
Here are some other articles and organizations that deal with reaching homosexuals with truth:
* some of those links are posts from "gay" Christians who are choosing not to act on their impulses, because they care what God says on the subject.
Here is a man with same sex attraction doing exactly what Matthew vines says in unacceptable: living a single life:
Side Note: sometimes you may be asked "Did you choose to be heterosexual?". If you say "no", they are making the point that sexual orientation is not chosen. However, stories like the ones above make the counter point that some people change orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. I don't have to say "Yes" to make a counter point. I only have to prove that at least one person existed at some point in history who did. Also, I do choose to deny my impulses often, so I have personal experience with self control.
Comparing geocentric views versus sexuality. Apples and oranges or a good comparison? I think this comparison is poor. Matthew appears to be saying that because the Church was wrong about what they thought the bible said about the sun orbiting the earth, so the Church is fallible and could be wrong on homosexual topics too. This seems like a hasty generalization as well. You have to deal with issues like this on a case by case basis. The church's previous geocentric views were not explicitly in the bible (homosexual behavior is), but were deduced by humans from the text of the bible and they got it wrong.
Calling on a group of humans to be celibate for life. Calling on humans to deny their impulses for life? The bible is constantly calling on believers to deny their sinful nature and to follow God. This is not a demand being made only on a single class of believers. All believers are called to suppress their impulses when those impulses are directing them to sin. i.e. sometimes we want to: steal, or lie, or hurt someone.
What about environmental celibacy like shipwrecked on an island with only your family for life? Under the right circumstances heterosexuals are expected to be celibate for life.
I noticed that Matthew vines appears to be using different arguments then his original speech / paper. Why new arguments? I've read most of his original arguments being refuted pretty well. I will guess that is why his arguments have changed. I think this shows a few things: Matthew Vines has a goal of finding some scripture to support what he wants to be true. If some scripture he puts forward for his goal gets refuted well, he will just find more. He wants his view to be true. He appears to not be seeking what is true, but only searching for what will support the view he wants to be true.
Now I may seem harsh, but I actually understand his view. He sees all this pain, suffering, and death and wants to find a way to resolve this. This is a noble effort to help these people, but he is making some crucial flaws at the root of his quest.
1) If Christians are contributing to this pain and suffering, this does not mean the bible is wrong. Maybe it is Christians not seeking understanding and compassion. Treating people as fellow humans.
2) If God’s commands and standards cause pain, even infinite pain, does that mean his standards are wrong? If I run into a guard rail an infinite number of times and I get more hurt each time until I die, is the guard rail at fault? The guard rail is not moving. If the pain is being caused by how a Christian is behaving, then the Christian is probably not behaving properly. If the pain is being caused by an internal struggle between what a person wants and what the bible says, then the person is wrong and it is sin (sin = disobedience to God) that is causing them pain, not God. Sin is always painful, even if not at first.
Experience driving us to scripture is good, because reading God's words are always a good idea. However, if every time we hit a conflict and we go to the bible and we find a new way of reading the bible to support our desired view, then we have a problem. If we can always find what we want when we look at the bible hard enough, then we are not really trusting in the bible at all. We are trusting in our self and our views of the bible. The bible is not meant to be an easy, pleasant view. If a person reads the bible and it isn't convicting them to change some thing in their life, then they are not reading it correctly. They should take a class on proper biblical interpretation.