Earlier this year, Christian author Matthew Vines published a book entitled “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.” Vines’ book so angered Religious Right leaders like Matt Barber that its publisher was pushed out of the National Religious Broadcasters. The Southern Baptist Convention rushed out an e-book: “God and the Gay Christian? A response to Matthew Vines.”
Today the Family Research Council continued the barrage against the very idea that committed, loving gay relationships might be acceptable in the sight of God. FRC welcomed anti-gay theologian and activist Robert Gagnon to discuss “Jesus, Scripture, and the Myth of New Knowledge Arguments about Homosexual Unions.”
Gagnon used his hour to dismiss efforts by some scholars and Christians to question traditional interpretations of biblical passages on sexuality – including the ones about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Gagnon is having none of it.
Gagnon insists that examination of Old and New Testament texts makes it clear that only sex in the context of a lifelong marriage between a man and a woman is acceptable to God. It all goes back to the creation of Eve from part of Adam, resulting in male and female images of God that are sexually incomplete without the other.
Gagnon says Jesus actually had more restrictive views of acceptable sexuality, closing “loopholes” in the Old Testament that, for example, made it easier for men to divorce women. He extrapolates that because some of the biblical patriarchs engaged in incest, and there’s some polygamy going on, homosexual sex is worse than either of those, the worst sexual sin apart from bestiality. And it’s no better in the context of a loving relationship.
When FRC’s own ardently anti-gay Peter Sprigg asked about the Matthew Vines book, Gagnon dismissed Vines, saying he is young, lacks expertise, and isn’t as significant as other scholars he intends to take on.
Another questioner said it is hard for Christians with gay friends who believe that being gay is their identity, and who aren’t really open to hearing that they must not give in to what Gagnon calls their “innate urges.” Gagnon responded that Christians may well have to give up those gay friends if they don’t want to hear the truth. Christians who don’t warn their friends to abstain from gay sex, he suggested, and let them go to hell for their sins, will be judged by God for failing to warn them.