The Reformation Project Raises $100,000 In Record Launch To End Christian Opposition to Gays
Pro-Gay Christian Initiative Promotes Greater Gay Tolerance In Churches And Attracts Wide Controversy And Support
By: The Reformation Project
The Reformation Project surpassed its initial fundraising goal by raising $104,067 through popular crowdfunding site Indiegogo in just two months. More than 600 donors from more than a dozen countries contributed to the campaign, based largely on their support for a stirring speech given last year by the group's leader, Matthew Vines (www.matthewvines.com).
The New York Times profiled Matthew Vines last fall after a speech he gave on the Bible, homosexuality, and the need for greater tolerance went viral online. The speech, which has since been viewed more than half a million times online, received an outpouring both of support and criticism from within the Christian community.
With the initial seed money he has now raised to support his objectives, Matthew Vines aims to train more Christians to advocate a Bible-based message of acceptance in the church through his newly launched group, The Reformation Project. The Reformation Project plans to use the money it receives to train 50 Christians in an intensive leadership program commencing in Kansas City this September.
The Reformation Project will announce the names of its first class of reformers at the end of May. The 50 applicants selected will undertake rigorous research about the Bible and homosexuality during the summer, pursuing studies “equivalent to a semester-long undergraduate or seminary course.”
“Right now, there are thousands of churches all over the world where gay people have no voice,” Vines says. “But things don’t have to remain this way, and we’re going to change them.”
Canadian poker star Daniel Negreanu donated $10,000 to The Reformation Project’s campaign. He said, “I am a Christian who also has very close gay friends and I’ve always felt like the traditional view of the Bible was alienating so many people, both straight and gay, from the church. I watched Matthew Vines’ sermon on the topic and thought it was both extremely important and powerful.”
Andrew Dykstra, a 62-year old Toronto man, said, “Matthew’s clear, concise, heart-felt presentation can safely be shared with anyone—straight or gay, conservative or liberal. That is why I contributed.”
British college student Josh Creek wrote, “The information to be imparted by The Reformation Project has completely changed my view of Christianity and the views of those I have shared it with.”
“It is incredibly encouraging to see the outpouring of support for gay Christians and their allies,” Vines observed. “Thanks to the generosity of our early backers, we will be able to host a first-rate conference and introduce 50 phenomenal, pro-gay Christian leaders to the world.” Following the conference, Vines plans to expand The Reformation Project’s advocacy model at a fast rate.
“I’ve already heard from gay Christians as far away as Japan, Panama, and Namibia who want to be working with us in their countries,” Vines said. “I can’t wait to expand our operations once we build our pilot program this fall.”
Vines has been signed by publishing power house Random House to write a book about the Bible and homosexuality, which the publishing giant will publish in early 2014.
From September 18th-21st, The Reformation Project will meet at Asbury United Methodist Church in Prairie Village, Kansas. There, participants will undergo what Vines calls a “Bible boot camp,” learning from the likes of Jim Brownson, a professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Michigan. Brownson’s recent book Bible, Gender, Sexuality has generated significant discussion in the Reformed Church in America and other Christian circles. Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams will also attend the conference to screen his new film God Loves Uganda for the group. The film, which premiered at Sundance this year, focuses on the impact of biblical interpretation on the LGBT community in Uganda.
To see a video and learn more about The Reformation Project, visit: http://www.youtube.com/
To learn more about Matthew Vines, visit: www.matthewvines.com
To learn more about The Reformation Project, visit: www.reformationproject.org
The Reformation Project
P.O. Box 20927
Wichita, KS 67208
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Page Updated Last on: May 06, 2013