A scriptural, theological and historical analysis of Matthew Vines's argument for the biblical support for same-sex marriages
Hodge, Cameron Brittany
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This thesis offers a critical assessment of Matthew Vines’s views about gay marriage. Vines is one of the leading voices of our time promoting “gay Christianity.” His reasoning supporting gay Christian thought is becoming increasingly influential among Christians in the United States. Many have praised the arguments in his book entitled God and the gay Christian: The Biblical case in support of same-sex relationships, and it has become one of the tools that gay Christians use to support their views. From the perspective of a hermeneutic of congruent biblical theology, this study finds that Vines’s assertion that the Bible does not exclude loving same-sex relationships is not supported by biblical, theological and historical evidence. Vines argues that the contemporary understanding of sexual orientation did not exist in the ancient world, thus, the biblical writers had no knowledge of people who had fixed same-sex orientations. This fact, he asserts, demonstrates that the Bible’s prohibitions on homosexual practice do not apply to same-sex orientated people. He also argues that gay Christians are forced into celibacy and that forced celibacy harms gay Christians. With all of this in mind, Vines believes that the biblical passages prohibiting homosexual practice should be reinterpreted. Vines also argues that cultural patriarchy, and gender hierarchy are the reasons why the Bible prohibits same-sex relationships. This thesis established that from a biblical standpoint, his arguments fail. The prohibitions of homosexual practice are considered a violation of God’s design for sexual relations that are rooted in creation. Sexual difference is essential to biblical marriage, as men and women were designed to fulfill different roles, which are based on biological sex. The marriage union is designed to reflect Christ’s relationship with the church, and sexual union is essential to that reflection. Vines argues that two people of the same sex can fulfil the roles of Christ and the church, but this is theologically inaccurate. Biological men were uniquely designed to symbolize Christ’s sacrificial love to the church. Biological women were uniquely designed to symbolize the church’s submissiveness to Christ. These are gender roles that are specifically tied to biological sex. The Bible does not separate gender function from biological sex. The answer for gay Christians is not reinterpretation of the Bible. The answer for gay Christians, is submission the Word of God, receiving the grace that God gives every believer to live a holy life.
- Theology 
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