Vines used the same verses to rebut conservative explanations
Matthew R. Vines, noted activist for queer rights and a Biblical scholar, argued for LGBTQ accepting Bible reading to a 50 person strong audience comprising of both graduate and undergraduate students on April 14.
Vines discussed six Bible verses which a few religious leaders use to berate homosexuality. He reinterpreted those same verses via the lens of “affirming” readings which places the same lines in their temporal and cultural contexts. The activist also put forward the argument that monogamous homosexual and long-term relationships came to be known only in modern times. It is natural not a single Bible verse responds in a direct way to such relationships. Vines responded to every point made by “ex-gay” speaker Jackie Hill-Perry when she gave a speech at the HCFA meeting before the group was put on probation. Students have taken well to Vines, with one student, Aidan L. Stoddart, saying that his scripture readings has created a bridge between Christians having different ideologies.Vines is a well-known speaker known for his succinct explanation of pro-gay topics in the Christianity context. He is the author of a controversial book: God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. The content of the book proved to be so contentious that WaterBrook Multnomah staff parted ways with the National Religious Broadcasters.
Vines was invited by three distinct pro-LGBT student organizations operating within the Harvard college campus. The three organizations were Faith in Differences, a religious LGBTQ undergraduate group, Queer Rights, a student group of the Harvard Divinity School, and the Office of the LGBTQ Student Life of the college. The speaking event witnessed the activist speaking on personal experiences while promoting rights of all LGBTQ Christians. Many of his tales involved him talking on the matter to his family and church members in Kansas. A few anecdotes he told the audience were taken from his experience as a conservative Christian group member while studying at Harvard University.
The event comes at a time when only about two months before the college decided to put Harvard College Faith and Action, the Christian student group, on probation. The group demoted one of its leaders because she is bisexual.