A Baptist church has canceled an upcoming concert with the worship band Gungor after learning that it no longer accepts the Genesis account of creation as literal, according to a new blog post from lead singer Michael Gungor.
As previously reported, Gungor and his wife Lisa, who in 2006 formed a congregation called “Bloom” in Denver, are known for their the Dove Award-winning and Grammy nominated worship music, such as Beautiful Things, Say So and Dry Bones. In 2013, they won an award from the Independent Music Awards for their live performance album A Creation Liturgy.
But in 2012, Michael Gungor, the son of pastor and author Ed Gungor, revealed in a blog post entitled A Worshiping Evolutionist? that he had concluded that the Genesis account is only figurative.
“I guess I’ll have to come out of the closet and admit… I don’t believe in a literal six-day creation,” he wrote. “Genesis is a poem if I’ve ever seen one.”
Earlier this year, Gungor revealed his thoughts even further, explaining in a blog post entitled What Do We Believe? that he “has no more ability to believe” in Genesis as being literal.
“I have no more ability to believe, for example, that the first people on earth were a couple named Adam and Eve that lived 6,000 years ago,” he wrote. “I have no ability to believe that there was a flood that covered all the highest mountains of the world only 4,000 years ago and that all of the animal species that exist today are here because they were carried on an ark and then somehow walked or flew all around the world from a mountain in the middle east after the water dried up.”
Recent headlines highlighted concerns over Gungor’s revelations, and the singer/songwriter wrote in a blog post on Wednesday that a Baptist church had canceled an upcoming concert because of it. He decided to create another blog post about the matter in light of the ongoing discussion about his beliefs.
“Despite our best efforts, people have assumed because we sing a lot about ‘creation,’ for example, that we must be young-earth creationists,” he wrote. “[But] Gungor is not, and has never been a fundamentalist band seeking to spread young earth, biblical literalism across the planet.”
“[I]t’s kind of weird to me that so many people seem to be talking about this, because from what I know of Christians, A LOT of us don’t take these things literally,” Gungor stated. “I would be very surprised to find a single respected and educated theologian or biblical scholar that believes that one MUST read Noah’s flood completely literally down to the last detail to be ‘orthodox.’ That’s crazy!”
He posited that no Christian takes the Bible literally in its totality.
“Why do some fundamentalists create this dichotomy where you must either BELIEVE THE BIBLE (meaning that you take everything literally no matter what science says) or say that it’s a lie?” Gungor asked (caps original). “I would contend it has very little to do with actual biblical scholarship, and far more to do with social groups. Because NO REASONABLE PERSON takes the entire Bible completely literally. It’s not possible.”
The singer/songwriter then notes examples, such as the Bible referring to God as “a rock” and referencing the “corners of the earth.” He asserted that one can still be a follower of Christ and find parts of the Bible to be metaphorical.
“[Y]ou can still love God and love people and read those early Genesis stories as myth with some important things to teach us,” Gungor stated. “[K]now that if you create these dichotomies where we force people to either fall into the camp of scientifically blind biblical literalism or a camp where they totally write off the Bible as a complete lie, you’re going to rob a lot of people of some of the richness that the Bible offers.”
But some have continued to express disappointment in Gungor, including Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis.
“Now if Genesis is myth, then the gospel is also myth, as the first time the gospel is preached is in Genesis 3:15. Not only that, but the foundation of the gospel is in Genesis, where we read about the origin of sin, death and our need for a Savior,” he wrote in a blog post on Friday. “If we can’t trust God’s word in Genesis, then why are we to trust His word in the gospels, particularly when Jesus affirmed Adam and Eve, Noah and the Flood?”