We chose to recast the Daniel Plan as a set of tools within a larger framework that we are calling Life raft. When I tell people about the Daniel Plan their mind jumps straight to dieting. Worse, they imagine a diet of vegetables, or worse, they imagine a vegan diet. And this is usually enough to turn off their listening.

We each hear through filters that come out of who we are at the time. This sculpting comes from our family, our ancestors, our community and society. And we are also shaped by whatever religious beliefs we adopt from those around us.

Our next subject for book club also comes with loads of context. When we hear the word “homosexual” our responses are conditioned by our sculpting. For the next few weeks, we will explore the sculpting, unraveling, and re-weaving of a family living in Wichita, Kansas.

Matthew Vines learned the Bible from his parents and from the church that shaped his view of God. His views of sexual identity and sexual orientation were shaped by how he learned to interpret words translated from ancient texts. Matthew never questioned what he knew to be as divine truth. That is, until he decided to tell his family that he is gay.

Matthew shares that he later learned that his father would describe the day that Matthew came out of the closet as the “worst day of his life.” This news broke during the year after his dad’s sister died. And this was his worst day?

Matthew was like a lot of young adults. He had a lot of the same hopes of other people his age. Matthew wanted to be loved for who he is. He imagined that someday he would meet someone to share his life with, and raise children. But when Matthew realized he was gay, his hopes were called into question.

The Bible, that Matthew knew condemned gay relationships. His dad’s worse day became a starting point for both of them to first come unraveled as the indisputable truths they both knew shattered.

Matthew chose to devote years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. And in his book, God and the Gay Christian, he takes explores answers to these and other questions:

  • Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not?
  • How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate?
  • Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen?
  • What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations?

No doubt, this book, when it was released, sparked heated debate. Fortunately, this book also initiated sincere soul search­ing, and changes in attitude towards what it means to be a faithful, gay Christian.

We plan to finish our current book that describes the Daniel Plan in detail next week. In a couple of weeks we begin another book study.

I encourage you to come to our Wednesday gatherings. Our small group is a diverse group and we are delighted when new persons join us. I hope that you will join in on our discussion. We meet each Wednesday at Noon. There are still books available. While we appreciate donations to help with the cost of purchasing books, your participation is what matters the most. Please accept a copy of this book as a gift.

You can contact our office with questions, by phone or simply type your question on our website’s homepage — FlintAsbury.org.

Come join us for a light lunch, fellowship and discussion. Our food selections have been fantastic and we always have plenty to share. And we are always on the lookout for our next book, video lesson or topic. Your participation and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

2 Vines, Matthew. God and the Gay Christian. New York: Convergent, 2014.