Can You Trust What You Read in the Media?

Recently I invested over five hours of airtime to rather fully discuss the claims made by Matthew Vines in a YouTube video presentation defending the concept of “gay Christianity.” His emotionally-laden presentation was not only badly imbalanced from any scholarly perspective, utterly ignoring the counter-arguments and even conflicting pro-homosexual interpretations offered on the same passages, but it was very poorly designed logically speaking, for it imported massive presuppositions solely on the basis of emotional appeal. Now, let’s consider the actual situation here. A 22 year old undergrad with a small amount of Greek training gave an emotionally based presentation in which he attempted to laden all of church history, and everyone who disagrees with his minority and idiosyncratic interpretation of texts written in two different ancient languages with mountains of guilt, demanding that his views be given precedence while everyone else must be quiet or be labeled unloving and unmerciful. I gave a response drawing from years of training, and teaching, in both Greek and Hebrew, as well as church history. I am a published author in the field, and have debated leading proponents of the position (here and here).

So what happens when someone from the mainstream media reports on Vines’ video? Well, you can see here. The reporter, Fred Mann, spends a good deal of time promoting the brilliance of Mr. Vines. And I guess, in today’s context, we should be glad he even takes the time to note some of the responses. But evidently yours truly is the subject of a single short paragraph:

One minister in Arizona has offered a three-hour rebuttal that begins cordially but evolves into a strident appeal for Vines to repent, accusing him of making arguments used to justify pedophilia.

Now, how many times did I point out that the arguments Matthew Vines used could be used by those promoting incest, “inter-generational love,” bestiality, and the like? Many times. But wasn’t the point of the comparison made very clear in the five hours of my presentation? If argument X made by person A can be used to promote position M, which person A would reject as immoral and improper, should person A use argument X? Consistency would say no. I would invite Mr. Mann, or Mr. Vines, for that matter, to explain the error in my statement. The point of the comparison, of course, is not to commit the genetic fallacy, but to show that the argument is ethically and morally bankrupt and has erred somewhere in its presuppositions. And, of course, I spent a great deal of time demonstrating where the presuppositional errors were made by Mr. Vines.

I would invite Mr. Mann to consider looking into the scholarly works produced by men like Robert Gagnon or Michael Brown on these topics, and come to understand that Mr. Vines has not added anything at all that is new or even insightful to this debate. He has simply re-tread the same, tired, worn out arguments that have been found in the works of Boswell, Scanzoni, Mollenkott, Countryman, etc., for a long time now. And it really does not take two years to read those books and repeat their arguments. I wonder, would anyone at all today dare to critique Vines’ presentation in a meaningful fashion in the media? I don’t think so. Journalism, as it once was defined, no longer exists in the “mainstream media.”