As I was looking through my Facebook this morning, I saw where someone was talking about Robert A.J. Gangon commenting on a post from Matthew Vines, challenging him to a debate again on whether or not the Bible is against homosexuality. As had happened nearly every time in the past, he declined it. When a joint debate between James R. White and Robert A.J. Gangon vs. Matthew Vines and James V. Brownson was proposed, that was declined as well (While Dr. White and Dr. Gangon have challenged the two many times, they have not said yes once). In this post, there was a link to an article meant to mimic Kevin DeYoung's good article asking challenging questions to those who support homosexual relations and claim to be a Christian. Such people who are in this Gay Affirming Movement include Brownson and Vines, as well as Justin Lee, Tony Campolo, Rachel Held-Evans, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Doug Pagitt, Brian McLaren, John Shelby Spong, and possibly Andy Stanley, Joel Osteen, and Pope Francis I.
My purpose in this article is to respond to those 40 questions asked in the linked article written by Matthew Vines, and then further challenge with 40 More Questions (Entirely different than the ones Kevin DeYoung asked).
1. "Do you accept that sexual orientation is not a choice?"
I believe that same-sex attractions are just as much a choice as the natural desire to lie, steal, hate, or lust. The short answer: It is not a choice. That does not make this action right. If I am naturally attracted to animals, that does not make it right to have an intimate union with them. This is called a sin nature, all men have it. Some are inclined to commit other sins, but all people have a sin nature. I, as a heterosexual male, have the natural desire to lust after women. It would still be sinful to give into that desire, and by the grace of God I have a new nature.
2. "Do you accept that sexual orientation is highly resistant to attempts to change it?"
I do believe that it is nearly impossible for man alone to kill an individual desire, and entirely impossible for him to kill a sin nature. God can change a man's nature, and give him a new heart with new desires. We must, again, note that the fact that it is hard to change does not make it right. It is hard to end a drug addiction. That does not make drug use right. Alcoholism, Pornography, Idolatry, Lying. You name it, that desire is hard to lose. That does not excuse the sin.
To read Kevin DeYoung's Original Article, Click Here
To read Matthew Vines's Original Article, Click Here
3. "How many meaningful relationships with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people do you have?"
Without giving any specifics, I have friends and family who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. I care for them and love them deeply, and I am concerned for their souls. I also know and care for Fornicators, Liars, Thieves, Drunkards, Slanderers, Gossipers, Idolaters, and Heretics. That still does not excuse the sin.
4. "How many openly LGBT people would say you are one of their closest friends?"
I don't know, honestly. I don't know each of their friends that well.
5. "How much time have you spent in one-on-one conversation with LGBT Christians about their faith and sexuality?"
Taking into account how much on Social Media said people approach me, a lot. Even offline I've had my share of encounters with Gay Professed Christians.
6. "Do you accept that heterosexual marriage is not a realistic option for most gay people?"
Maybe not with their current desires, but many experience a radical change known as being Born Again and have opposite-sex attractions afterwards. However, a marriage is not required to live. People can go their whole lives without being married. Many people never married, including Paul of Tarsus. I could turn around and ask you if you realize that being sober is not a realistic option for Alcoholics and Drug Addicts. In the same way, that still doesn't make it right.
7. "Do you accept that lifelong celibacy is the only valid option for most gay people if all same-sex relationships are sinful?"
Some, yes, but the same argument can be made for those who are attracted to small children or animals. That does not make it right.
8. "How many gay brothers and sisters in Christ have you walked with on the path of mandatory celibacy, and for how long?"
None. I have no gay brothers or sisters. I do, however, have brothers and sisters who struggle with same-sex attractions. There is a big difference there. As far as the celibacy goes, I may or may not get married in the future. That is just God's Will, and it is God's Will whether or not anyone else will get married.
9. "What is your answer for gay Christians who struggled for years to live out a celibacy mandate but were driven to suicidal despair in the process?"
For the rest of the article, let's just assume that by "gay Christians", he means "Christians who struggle with same-sex attractions".The same answer as anyone suffering from depression by any cause. I could turn around the question, "What if your answer for those driven to depression in the process of trying to remain sober?"
10. "Has mandatory celibacy produced good fruit in the lives of most gay Christians you know?"
Of the few that I have met, it seems so.
11. "How many married same-sex couples do you know?"
None. I do not know any who profess to be married, either. I do know some in relationships, though.
12. "Do you believe that same-sex couples’ relationships can show the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?"
They can show peace, patience, love, and gentleness. But the very nature of the relationship, being that it is sinful, is contrary to goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.
13. "Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support same-sex marriage in the church?"
As possible as it is to be a Christian and deny the authority of God's word, the sinfulness of man, and the work of Jesus on the cross.
14. "Do you believe that it is possible to be a Christian and support slavery?"
Yes. This is a more vague issue in the Bible.
15. "If not, do you believe that Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards were not actually Christians because they supported slavery?"
No. I would also like to take the time to point out that Jonathan Edwards was against slavery. So did Calvin. The only sort of slavery I could find Martin Luther speak on is slavery to sin and slavery to Christ (Namely in his book On the Bondage of the Will).
16. "Do you think supporting same-sex marriage is a more serious problem than supporting slavery?"
Yes. Because it is not an issue of Scriptural Interpretation, like Election vs. Free Will, but it is an issue of Scriptural Twisting, such as Original Sin vs. Sinless Perfectionism.
17. "Did you spend any time studying the Bible’s passages about slavery before you felt comfortable believing that slavery is wrong?"
18. "Does it cause you any concern that Christians throughout most of church history would have disagreed with you?"
No. Because there have also been those on the other side of the issue. Also, this is secondary, not essential. Romans 1 speaks of those who give approval to homosexuality as being Idolaters, but it does not talk about those who give approval to slavery in 1 Timothy 1 as being heretics or idolaters.
19. "Did you know that, for most of church history, Christians believed that the Bible taught the Earth stood still at the center of the universe?"
20. "Does it cause you any concern that you disagree with their interpretation of the Bible?"
They did not get this idea from the Bible. They got this idea from Claudius Ptolemy. That would make it a tertiary issue if even that. It is definitely not an issue over the Bible, as the Bible is silent on that topic.
21. "Did you spend any time studying the Bible’s verses on the topic before you felt comfortable believing that the Earth revolves around the Sun?"
No. The issue is not spoken of in Scripture at all.
22. "Do you know of any Christian writers before the 20th century who acknowledged that gay people must be celibate for life due to the church’s rejection of same-sex relationships?"
I don't know about that specifically, but many people, including Jude, Paul of Tarsus, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Irenaeus of Lyons, Athanasius of Alexandria, and Jesus himself spoke against it, so it can be inferred.
23. "If not, might it be fair to say that mandating celibacy for gay Christians is not a traditional position?"
Let's just hypothetically say that I couldn't. That doesn't mean that there weren't any. Let's hypothetically say that there weren't. Then, yes, it is not a traditional position. That doesn't make it untrue.
24. "Do you believe that the Bible explicitly teaches that all gay Christians must be single and celibate for life?"
No. They are entirely permitted to be in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. They are, however, explicitly commanded to not be in a relationship with anyone who is of the same sex. That is done many times throughout the Bible, from Genesis onward.
25. "If not, do you feel comfortable affirming something that is not explicitly affirmed in the Bible?"
The Bible does explicitly condemn relations with someone of the same sex. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-28, Jude 7, Mark 10:6-9, 1 Kings 14:24, Genesis 19:1-38, Genesis 2-3.
26. "Do you believe that the moral distinction between lust and love matters for LGBT people’s romantic relationships?"
Yes. Homosexual Lust is worse than Homosexual Romance. I use the word "Romance" because you can love in a non-romantic way, which is not sinful at all.
27. "Do you think that loving same-sex relationships should be assessed in the same way as the same-sex behavior Paul explicitly describes as lustful in Romans 1?"
Yes. You made a distinction when there is no distinction. "Loving same-sex relationships" still contain "[men having] passion for one another" and "women [exchanging] natural relations for those that are contrary to nature." Same-sex relationships, whether committed or not, are described in Romans 1.
28. "Do you believe that Paul’s use of the terms “shameful” and “unnatural” in Romans 1:26-27 means that all same-sex relationships are sinful?"
29. "Would you say the same about Paul’s description of long hair in men as “shameful” and against “nature” in 1 Corinthians 11:14, or would you say he was describing cultural norms of his time?"
No. In that case, long hair, in Roman society, was a symbol of feminine beauty. So this can instantly be turned back around on you as a lesson against being Transgender, as it was directly opposed to a symbol of feminine beauty. The equivalent today would be men cross dressing and/or self mutilating to look like woman.
30. "Do you believe that the capacity for procreation is essential to marriage?"
Not particularly. The essentials to marriage is one man and one woman as a picture of the Gospel. The man is to represent Christ, and the woman is to represent the Church. That, by extension, means that they must be compatible to be in a marital covenant, that does not mean that anyone who is unable to have Children is automatically unmarried.
31. "If so, what does that mean for infertile heterosexual couples?"
I will also leave this one alone because it does not apply to me.
32. "How much time have you spent engaging with the writings of LGBT-affirming Christians like Justin Lee, James Brownson, and Rachel Murr?"
More than the author of this article expected. I haven't found any of them holding against History or, and more importantly, Scripture. Robert Gagnon and James White and Al Mohler have all done more looking into it than me and still find these arguments falling short.
33. "What relationship recognition rights short of marriage do you support for same-sex couples?"
None. "Relationship Recognition" is not a right, but a privilege. I do support their right to life and liberty.
34. "What are you doing to advocate for those rights?"
There is nothing that needs to be done to protect privilege I disagree with. What is being done to advocate for Christian rights? Only Texas has made any moves in favor.
35. "Do you know who Tyler Clementi, Leelah Alcorn, and Blake Brockington are, and did your church offer any kind of prayer for them when their deaths made national news?"
Yes and yes. Although, I didn't learn about them until recently, I have been praying for their families and friends and I have been praying that they repented.
36. "Do you know that LGBT youth whose families reject them are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than LGBT youth whose families support them?"
Yes. Two counter questions: 1. Does that make homosexuality right? 2. Does that mean that we should support drug addicts in their addiction because of recovery depression and suicide rates?
37. "Have you vocally objected when church leaders and other Christians have compared same-sex relationships to things like bestiality, incest, and pedophilia?"
No. Quite the opposite, I agree. If you are to reject what the Bible says on homosexuality, why pay attention to what it says about other perversions? What standard do you have when you reject the Bible?
38. "How certain are you that God’s will for all gay Christians is lifelong celibacy?"
Not at all. I know that he is willing and able to grant some freedom from that temptation. If they have or gain opposite-sex attractions, then they may marry someone of the opposite-sex.
39. "What do you think the result would be if we told all straight teenagers in the church that if they ever dated someone they liked, held someone’s hand, kissed someone, or got married, they would be rebelling against God?"
A twisting of scripture. The same thing that will happen if anyone tries to affirm same-sex attractions.
40. "Are you willing to be in fellowship with Christians who disagree with you on this topic?"
That assumes that they are Christians. Romans 1, particularly verse 32, makes it clear that they aren't.
40 More Questions for Those Who Affirm Gay Marriage
About the Author
Brandon C. Hines is a young writer from somewhere in northern Alabama who writes about Theology, Polemics, and Apologetics. His beliefs are best summarized by the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
You can search for various topics I have written about by going to Google and typing in a keyword, then typing site:Learningthepath.weebly.com after it.