A 23-year-old man is working tirelessly to promote the message
that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality.
In a video posted last year, Matthew Vines explained that he took
a two year leave from college to study the issue. The 60-minute
video has gained considerable attention with more than 620,000 views on
YouTube. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)
On Wednesday, Vines opened a three-day gathering in Prairie
Valley, Kansas to discuss the issue.
“This conference is important because it really represents the
next frontier of the LGBT movement, which is working to change the
minds of conservative Christians about same-sex relationships,”
Vines told the AP. “Because I'm a gay Christian who grew up in a
conservative church and still have a lot of friends and family in
conservative churches, I'm trying to empower people to be able to
stay in their churches that are not yet supportive.”
Vines' organization, The Reformation Project, organized the
conference whose aim is to train 50 pro-LGBT Christians from across
the country to spread the message that “being gay is not a sin.”
Evan Lenow, assistant professor of ethics at Southwestern Baptist
Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, criticized Vines'
“It seems to me he is attempting to read Scripture through his
presupposition that homosexuality is not a sin,” Lenow told the AP.
“... Every time [Scripture] speaks of homosexuality it speaks of
homosexuality in terms of sin.”
Vines' upcoming book, God and the Gay Christian, will be
published by Crown/Random House in March.