New Project Aims To Change Way Churches Think About Gays From Within

Is it time for a second Reformation in Christianity? Matthew Vines thinks so. Vines, who was profiled in The New York Times after his 67-minute monologue on what it meant to be gay and Christian went viral on YouTube, has started a new organization, aptly called the Reformation Project.

The project describes itself as “a Bible-based, Christian non-profit organization that seeks to reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Vines was kicked out of his church in his hometown of Wichita after trying to convince fellow believers that there was nothing wrong with being gay. Since then, he has been on a mission to change the way churches think about LGBT people.

“Right now there are thousands of churches across the world where gay Christians have no voice – where coming out means getting kicked out and losing all support from family and friends,” Vines says in the video introducing the Reformation Project. “As the Bible tells us, the stone that the builders rejected has and will become the cornerstone.”

The first step for the Reformation Project will be a leadership training conference for 50 reformers who share the Project’s vision. The Project also hopes to raise $100,000 to make the conference free to all the participants.

Vines clearly has his work cut out for him. But he can take some comfort from the last Reformation. That one took over 100 years to run its course. Let’s hope this one goes a lot faster.

Check out Vines’ announcement about the Reformation Project:

Photo: The Reformation Project 

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  • Caliban

    It’s a worthy goal to try to change the church from within, I suppose. It’s just a fact of life that most Americans identify themselves as Christian and most opposition to gay rights is biblically based, though many won’t admit that for political reasons (separation of church and state) and try unsuccessfully to invent other reasons.

    However, as an atheist I find it hard to take this stuff seriously. If you step back just a bit the whole thing sounds, well, pretty goofy. An all-powerful being created the universe, all of reality basically, but He’s so insecure that if you don’t praise Him all the time he’s going to smite you? Kinda needy for an omnipotent deity, no? He reveals himself to a bunch of desert dwellers at the tail end of the Bronze Age but doesn’t give them any useful scientific information that might increase their life-span, He just gives them a bunch of silly-ass rules about everything from what kind of cloth to wear to planting fields.

    Then one day he decides to schtup a human woman. Where have we heard this before? Oh yeah, Zeus screwing Leda in the form of a swan and many similar ancient myths.

    Even if you assume, for the sake of argument, that there IS (or was) a “creator,” it does not at all follow that the Torah, Bible, Koran, or (especially) Book Of Mormon tells you a SINGLE true thing about that entity. That still wouldn’t make them anything but a collection of ancient tribal stories and myths.

  • 2eo

    @Caliban: Also considering this supposed god is all powerful and all knowing, surely they’d have designed the universe and their own religious rules around his complete infallibility, thus rendering the 1500 direct contradictions in the bible absolutely impossible to occur.

    god looks like a twat, and a massive proportion of his followers are also twats.

  • Billysees

    I hope that Matthew Vines and his Reformation Project are successful because his goals are important and necessary.

    I was also interested in doing such a great work as Matthew wants to do.

    It began with the discovery of a very famous book called “The Man Nobody Knows” by Bruce Barton. And the second was “The Book Nobody Knows”.

    And that led to other discoveries about Mr. Barton and his other religious books and hundreds of inspirational essays that were collected into 4 books under titles as “Better Days”, “It’s A Good Old World”, On The Up And Up, and “More Power To You”.

    Here’s a quote I read concerning Mr. Barton and his two famous books, “The Man and The Book Nobody Knows”.

    ” The welcome accorded them gave color to the often expressed conviction that an intense revival of religious feeling only awaited the appearance of the man who could apply the Bible to modern conditions and also indicated that Mr. Barton had contributed to preparing the way for clarifying the biblical material on which such a revival depends. ”

    For a while, I felt certain that the Holy Spirit wanted me to do this great work. But the more I considered it, the more I trembled at such a thought. I knew that it was over my head to do that kind of task. I was educated to do technical work and sincerely felt that was His will for my life.

    It was like the quote mysteriously came upon the wrong person.

    But I have enjoyed these last 40 years thinking everyday about doing such a needed work for “the Kingdom’s sake”.

  • Ruhlmann

    Hitching our wagon to a dying horse makes no sense.

  • Charlie in Charge

    It’s not for everyone but there are many, many religious and spiritual LGBT folks and his work will benefit those who specifically practice Christianity. Ultimately his work may benefit all of us as it will have swayed Christians to have a more open heart toward their queer neighbors. This is a good thing.

  • Merv

    They really do hate you, Matt. Take the hint and try a different religion, but try to be more selective next time.

  • Polaro

    I think what Matthew Vines is trying to do is brilliant. Christianity is not our enemy; some Christians are though. You can’t argue facts with these rabid Christians, but Matthew may be able to pry away enough Christians with their own religion to make the rabid irrelevant. I fully support what he is doing. So much so, that I put my money where my mouth is and donated.

  • yaoming

    God doesn’t hate [email protected], but christians sure do, so “reformation” seems like a tall order.

  • Charlie in Charge

    Most reformations are.

  • Badger88

    As a proud gay Christian, I say good luck to you, Matt! You will be harshly criticized by some Christians and some of your fellow gays, but don’t let it get to you. It’s time that Christianity returned to Jesus’ message of love and acceptance, and not the divise hatred spewed by too many churches today.

  • MK Ultra

    Actually, I’m 100% for highjacking christianity, appropriating it to ourselves, then using it to spew the same venom at homophobes as they did at us.
    Their own weapon used to take them down! How poetic )
    After all, if they want to interpret the bible out of context for a personal agenda, why shouldn’t we?
    If they want to abuse religious freedom, why shouldn’t we?
    Once we rip the religious carpet out from under their feet, they got NOTHIN’.

  • Polaro

    @MK Ultra: If religion is about hate it is a failure.

  • Randy

    Christianity is about controlling people. Nothing more.

  • Badger88

    @Randy: Yeah, because Jesus was all about power and control. In fact, he loved power so much that he refused an earthly throne, even though his followers were begging him to lead a revolt against Rome and become King of Israel. Quite the tyrant, indeed. *rolls eyes*

  • MK Ultra

    @Polaro: It’s not about hate, my dear Polaro.
    It’s about education. We’re simply enlightening them to the error of their ways in a manner they can understand.
    Truly we would be doing them a favor.

  • yaoming

    I don’t know what you think christianity has to do with Jesus. To anyone who’s read the bible, it’s obviously just some BS made up after he died.

  • Badger88

    @yaoming:I’d think that if Jesus was the founder of Christianity, then anything contradicting what he taught must not be Christianity. People can slap a cross on something and call it whatever they like, but that doesn’t make it so.
    I don’t know what you think the Bible has to do with Christianity. It was written by men after Jesus was gone. And while there is much wisdom and deep philosophy in there, it’s just a supplement, not the foundation.

  • Ogre Magi


  • Billysees

    @Charlie in Charge: 6

    Excellent comment.

    ” Ultimately his (Matthew Vines) work may benefit all of us as it will have swayed Christians to have a more open heart toward their queer neighbors. This is a good thing. “

  • Billysees

    Excellent commentary also from —

    No. 8 Polaro, ” I fully support what he is doing. ”

    No. 9 yaoming, more accurate if you said, ” ….but [some] christians…. ”

    No.11 Badger88, ” It’s time that Christianity returned to Jesus’ message of love and acceptance,…… ” Amen Brother………

    No. 18 Badger88, ” …the Bible …. it’s just a supplement, not the foundation. “

  • Billysees

    @Billysees: 3 and 4

    Just a final word here to continue my comments from above.

    Here’s a headline I’d like to see and I wonder if it’s possible ? —
    Homosexual starts Great Awakening
    Declares Bruce Barton Prophet of God
    Wouldn’t that be amazing ?

    Perhaps one of the most colossal events in world religious history.

  • Tom

    @2eo: and the guy in the article adds to the twattiness by claiming in his 67 minute sermon that the authors of the Bible didnt understand homosexuality.

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