WICHITA — A homosexual advocacy group is recruiting volunteers to influence churches nationwide to embrace homosexuality.
The Reformation Project describes itself as “a Bible-based, Christian non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity.” Based in Wichita, Kansas, the organization aims to “accelerate the acceptance of LGBT people in the Church.”
Matthew Vines, 23, leads the effort, and organized a conference last month for 50 selected volunteers who will go into their churches and work to convince their congregations that homosexuality is not sinful.
“The Bible is not anti-gay. It never addresses the issues of same-sex orientation or loving same-sex relationships, and the few verses that some cite to oppose those relationships have nothing to do with LGBT people,” Vines asserts on the Reformation Project website. “Careful, persistent arguments about those passages have the power to change every Christian church worldwide, no matter how conservative its theology.”
Over 100 people applied to volunteer as what Vines calls “reformers” and attend this year’s conference in Kansas, but only 50 were selected for the effort. The individuals were sent training materials prior to the event, which was held at the Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village. Vines described the conference as a type of boot camp on the subject of homosexuality.
“There, we will equip them with the tools and training they need to go back to their communities and make lasting changes to beliefs and interpretations that marginalize lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people,” he outlines. “Once they go back, we will continue to offer them personal, financial, and infrastructural support for months and years to come.”
The majority of those that were selected to attend the conference are members of evangelical churches. Alabama, California, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Massachusetts and numerous other states are represented by the chosen “reformers.”
Vines, a homosexual, had raised funds for the project earlier this year, generating over $100,000 in under two months. He has been recognized for a YouTube video in which Vines delivered a message explaining his contention that homosexuality and Christianity are compatible.
However, some have expressed strong disagreement with Vines and assert that he is twisting Scripture to suit his lifestyle. James White of Alpha Omega Ministries recorded a five-hour broadcast in response to Vines’ message, refuting his teaching line by line.
“What Matthew Vines has done in his rebellion against God [is] he has chosen to rebel against God’s created order, and then to blame everybody else for the result of pain and suffering that his own capitulation to his sexual desires has brought into his life,” he stated.
White explained that in the beginning, God specifically created a helpmate for the man–the woman. He noted that in the New Testament, Jesus pointed back to the Scriptures in Genesis and reiterated this specific design–which He created.
“One of the biggest themes in all Scripture is the reality that God is creator of all things, and therefore, He determines what is natural and right for all things,” he stated. “What needs to be said clearly and forcefully is that Christian teaching on marriage found in the Christian Scriptures, in the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is one man and one woman together–becoming one flesh. That is the only relationship that God has ordained, and it is the only relationship that He will bless.”
“You may complain about that. You may wish to change God’s views, but don’t call that Christianity,” White asserted. “Call it whatever you want to call it, [but] don’t call it reflective of Jesus’ teaching, because isn’t.”