ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Vineyard minister in Michigan is claiming that he received a ‘strong nudge from Jesus’ a few years ago to announce his changing views on homosexuality—a topic that he is now discussing in a new book about embracing homosexuals in the Church.
“It’s about welcoming previously excluded groups,” Ken Wilson Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor recently told the Detroit Free Press. “That’s what it means to be evangelical—to make the good news accessible to those who haven’t had access to it. That’s my task. That’s what a church is supposed to do.”
Wilson, 62, states that he had opposed homosexuality for much of his life, including when he launched the church in the 1970’s. However, with the turn of the century, his views began to change as he discussed the matter with members whose family members were homosexual.
Wilson claims that in 2011, God told him to write a letter to his congregation to explain that he was rethinking his position on homosexuality.
“I got a strong nudge from Jesus,” he asserted.
Last month, Wilson released A Letter to my Congregation: An Evangelical Pastor’s Path to Embracing People who are Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Into the Company of Jesus. He told the Detroit Free Press that while he “take[s] the Bible very seriously,” he does not believe that it prohibits sexual relations between those of the same gender.
“There’s no real indication monogamous, gay partnerships were the aim of the Biblical texts, but there were some very clearly examples of exploitative same-sex sexuality, like temple prostitution or slave sex, masters requiring slaves to perform sexual services as part of their ownership of them,” he stated. “The Sodom and Gomorrah story is about gang rape. It’s not about anything like loving monogamous relationships. To apply that to the issue of homosexuality is a gross misuse of Scripture.”
But Pastor Matt Trewhella of Mercy Seat Christian Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin told Christian News Network that it is instead Wilson who is misusing Scripture.
“These have become tired old assertions trotted out by the pro-sodomy crowd,” he said. “Leviticus 20:13, which criminalizes homosexual acts in God’s law, is surrounded by verses which list other sexual sins, none of which have anything to do with temple prostitution, slave sex or gang rape. Of the many passages in the New Testament that condemn homosexual acts, not one of them mentions temple prostitution, or slave sex or gang rape. What is criminalized or condemned are homosexual acts themselves.”
Trewhella stated that it is “utter delusion” that Wilson received a “strong nudge from Jesus” to come out in support of homosexuality as Jesus, the Creator Himself, explained that the woman was made for the man.
“His ‘strong nudge’ contradicts everything the Bible has to say about marriage and homosexual acts, including Jesus Himself who declared in Mark 10:6-7, ‘But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,'” he outlined.
Wilson has lost a number of members over his stance, equating to a 12 percent drop in income. He says that his denomination is also unsupportive of his position.