Gay Theologians won’t debate those who disagree
Matthew Vines, a winsome, intelligent and popular young spokesman for “Gay Christianity” and advocate of Gay Theology, is apparently unwilling to engage in a civil, moderated debate with those who disagree with his position on homosexuality. Mr. Vines, who aggressively and publicly advocates his revisionist views in writing, in lectures and online, seems unwilling to have his publicly-promoted views rationally cross-examined in a public venue such as a moderated debate. Both Dr. Michael Brown, radio talk show host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show “The Line of Fire,” and Dr. James White, Christian apologist and Director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, have each invited Mr. Vines to dialogue and debate with them within the context of such moderated, civil debates. Mr. Vines’ response? Here is what he wrote about Dr. Brown’s invitation:
“I am happy to do dialogues, debates, etc., with anyone when I feel that the event is likely to be constructive, respectful, and relationship-building. I did a ‘debate’ with Michael Brown this summer that was largely a waste of time, because Brown is not interested in listening to and learning from LGBT people, only pontificating about them.” Source: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/45930-why-won-t-the-gay-theologians-debate
Dr. Brown’s response to Matthew Vines:
“Come again, Matthew?
“I’ve spent much of the last 10 years listening to LGBT people, amassing a large library of books simply to hear their perspective, taking every personal opportunity I have to sit with those who identify as LGBT—especially professing “gay Christians”—and specifically asking them to tell me their stories, yet I have no desire to listen?
“According to Matthew, unless I’m willing to listen and learn from LGBT people, which must mean come to agree with them, he’s not willing to debate. And we’re supposed to take this seriously?”
Dr. Brown goes on to write:
“I read Matthew’s book carefully, including every endnote, praying for greater sensitivity of heart as I read, just as I have often prayed with tears of love when interceding for the well-being of those who identify as LGBT, but that’s not enough. You’re simply not allowed to reject their arguments as baseless. If you do, there will be no debate.”
Read the full article by Dr. Brown here: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/45930-why-won-t-the-gay-theologians-debate
When I was in school being “open minded” and “tolerant” meant being willing to listen to and interact with ideas and persons with whom you disagreed, including even within the context of spirited yet civil debate. An unwillingness even to hear the other side or to interact with a different viewpoint were viewed as signs of close-mindedness, prejudice, perhaps even bigotry. By those older standards Mr. Vines would be judged as close-minded and intolerant, perhaps even as a coward for being unwilling to publicly defend his publicly-advocated views. But now, in our postmodern, subjectivist, revisionist culture where overthrowing millenia of tradition is viewed as “progress” and where demonizing those who don’t conform to the reigning paradigm of political correctness is the order of the day, what used to be considered close-mindedness is now “open mindedness,” and what used to be regarded as intolerance now flies under the banner of “tolerance.” Only in our upside-down contemporary world would someone like the youthful Matthew Vines be taken seriously as a competent spokesman for his position — a position he is not even willing to defend in the context of a public debate.
Truth exists in the light. Truth has nothing to hide, and lovers of the truth have nothing to fear. Those who are convinced of the truthfulness of their position and are competent and learned enough to defend their position, have nothing to fear from having their position cross-examined in a civil, public venue. Especially if they will have the opportunity to defend their position in the context of a carefully organized, civil, moderated debate. On the other hand, half-truths and falsehoods can only be believed and perpetuated by hiding in the shadows and shielding themselves from full public disclosure.
So what is Mr. Vines afraid of? If he is convinced his position is correct, and since he is aggressively seeking to persuade Bible-believing Christians to abandon their traditional biblical understanding of sexual ethics in favor of his more “enlightened” views, why will he not agree to such a debate? Mr. Vines, what do you have to hide?
Not only is this unwillingness to debate those with whom one disagrees a characteristic of Mr. Vines alone. Apparently other gay theologians and spokesmen for Gay Christianity are similarly unwilling to debate. As Dr. Brown states in the above-cited article:
“Ironically, on numerous occasions I have told local “gay Christians” that I’d love to sit down with them and hear their stories, also telling them I’d be glad to have a meal together just to get to know them better. In the vast majority of cases (including all instances where I’ve offered to do this with a group of people), my invitation has been declined or ignored, yet I’m the one unwilling to build relationships.”
“Why are gay theologians and their allies so unwilling to debate the relevant issues, especially when they are so aggressive in arguing against our position? Why have Dr. White and I debated top scholars and religious leaders (from Jewish to Muslim, from atheist to Catholic, even debating each other), yet these gay activists are so reluctant to debate?
“Why not put the issues on the table in full-length, moderated, civil debate?
“Why not model in public how to have serious differences without personal acrimony?
“What do these activists and theologians have to hide?”
Indeed, why not, and what do they have to hide?