False ‘Message Bible’ Creator Changes Mind on Homosexuality, Says He Would Officiate ‘Gay Wedding’

Photo Credit: Clappstar/Wikipedia

Eugene Peterson, the creator of the 2002 “Message Bible” modern paraphrase, states that he has changed his mind on the issue of homosexuality and would be willing to officiate a same-sex ceremony if he were pastoring a church today.

“I wouldn’t have said this 20 years ago, but now I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do. I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over,” he told Jonathan Merritt of Religion News Service, who published an interview with Peterson on Wednesday.

Peterson, who led Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Maryland for nearly 30 years before his retirement in 1991, had been asked if his views on homosexuality have changed over time and what his beliefs are on the morality of the issue. He explained that he never made “a big deal” about homosexuality in his congregation, and that he was pleased at how his members never questioned the allowance of an openly homosexual man to serve as music director.

The man had applied for the position as the former worship leader left her post at the same time Peterson retired.

“When he found out about the opening, he showed up in church one day and stood up and said, ‘I’d like to apply for the job of music director here, and I’m gay,'” Peterson recalled. “We didn’t have any gay people in the whole congregation. Well, some of them weren’t openly gay. But I was so pleased with the congregation. Nobody made any questions about it. And he was a really good musician.”

He said that he thinks that the Church is in a “transition for the best” on the issue, and doesn’t see it as a matter of right and wrong.

“People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church,” Peterson stated. “So we’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. I don’t think it’s something that you can parade, but it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.”

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When asked if he would be willing to officiate a same-sex ceremony for “Christians of good faith” if he were pastoring today, Peterson replied in the affirmative.

Release of the interview has troubled a number of Christians, including Owen Strachan, an associate professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. He especially lamented Peterson’s remarks that homosexuality is “not a right or wrong thing.”

“These are not sound words. We are called not merely to abstain from sin, but to avoid giving approval to those who indulge in it (see the implication of Romans 1:32),” Strachan wrote in a response on Wednesday. “None who practice homosexuality, and who take it as their identity, will inherit the kingdom of Heaven (Romans 6:9-11). We recall Paul’s strong words: without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).”

He noted that there is a difference between those who repent of their sins, and those who willingly and flagrantly violate God’s law and make their sin their very life.

“There is a great gap of a difference between people who sin and then repent, and people who sin and do not repent and even make it a positive part of their identity,” he noted. “Those who brazenly sin against God are those who must face church discipline and be warned that they are in danger of nothing less than eternal judgment (1 Cor. 5).”


Strachan urged Christians to pray for Peterson and not to lose heart in a world where many professing evangelicals are turning away from the truth.

“[L]et us pray for Eugene Peterson, that he may return to the old paths,” he exhorted, “and let us instruct the younger generation of Christians, for the pressure upon them is great, and there is only one way to God: the way of repentant faithfulness.”

Peterson’s “Message Bible” does not specifically mention homosexuality, but instead reads as its paraphrase for 1 Corinthians 6:9, “Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in His kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom.”

But even the American Bible Society’s New International Version, which reportedly included a lesbian as a stylistic consultant, reads, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who have sex with men, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

The King James Version reads, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

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  • FoJC

    Apparently this man’s spiritual life is full of lies, and dead. False Christianity always cowers to the lies of the Devil. Rather than trust in people who appear to be “leaders of the Church”, people who want to be saved from their Sin and enter into the Kingdom of God need to follow Jesus by Faith, being led by the Holy Spirit.

    No coat tail riding into Heaven.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      Eugene Peterson Retracts Same-Sex Marriage Statement

      • FoJC

        Confused spiritual life? Sounds like a politician making certain he says the “right thing to the right people”.

  • Reason2012

    “I wouldn’t have said this 20 years ago, but now I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do.

    No, he may have desires for women, but: he doesn’t ACT on them or dwell in lust on them if he has “a good spiritual life”. He would no more teach the lie that a person who dwells in lust and acts on them is living a “good spiritual life”. And likewise while some may be convinced they have no control of having homosexual “desires”, that doesn’t mean they have to dwell in lust on them, or act on them either. To do so is to NOT have a “good spiritual life”, but one of disobedience.

    This guy is in effect teaching the anti-God lie that people can dwell in lust and act upon certain sexual_desires, in this case homosexual, which is completely false.

    I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over,

    It’s only over in those who reject what God says. It’s not over where God is concerned, judgment will still hit home on those who do such things, that dwell in lust on such things, thinking God’s just fine with it – that it’s not a sin anymore. And judgment will hit harder on those who teach that lie and cause others to live in such sin. Jesus warned those who cause others to sin:

    “[Jesus said] Woe unto the world because of offences [sins]! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”
    Matthew 18:7

    A person who feels like they have sinful desires of any kind – the desires are not a sin, it’s acting on them and dwelling in lust on them that is. So even IF it was genetic (it’s not), such a person can still be saved if they denounce such behavior and lust and turn away from it, just like any other sinful desires.

    This also shows yet again how we have to believe God when He promised to preserve His Word, instead of believing the lie He didn’t, and that the textus receptus is the preserved Greek, which the KJV is based off of, and the modern versions are not, which are “translated” from the corrupted Greek texts that attack the deity of Christ, salvation, the trinity and so much more.

    • Robert

      Peterson first navel gazes than he applies his navel gazing to homosexuals to so he can justify Marring them. A classic case of being a Schwimer . looking to one self rather than what the bible says. Its based on ones own feelings rather than Gods word.

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    “the message” is not a bible translation …… it is a paraphrase ….. and a stinking rotten one at that …. and i am SHOCKED by this revelation ……. not really ….. /SMH ….. FYI mr. peterson ……. having “as good a spiritual life as I do” ….. DOES NOT get you to heaven ….. nor does mouthing words about Christ and then living a life that calls Him a liar ………….

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    1Cor 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

    the operative tense of the verb is WERE ………………. PAST TENSE not PRESENT TENSE ………….

  • Trilemma

    What I see happening is that people who truly seek God end up being accused of apostasy by those who use the Bible to shield themselves from God.

    • Bob Johnson

      Orthodoxy, heterodoxy, heresy – This has been the way of it all the way back to Moses.

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        and even before that …… men are fallen and do not seek God ……. never have and never will …………..

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      men do not seek God …………. they never have ….. they never will ……… false premise ….. and if they are chosen BY God and drawn to the Son Christ …. it will make no difference ….. God is sovereign ……….

  • BuckeyePhysicist

    I’m glad I learned the gospel in other languages besides English first!

    • calduncan

      The Message is the least of his problems at this point. The simple fact is, the man is old and for some reason wishes to be seen as cool and hip, so he’s conforming to the secular culture.

      • BuckeyePhysicist

        Terrific point. We see in Romans 12:2 where St. Paul specifically said NOT to conform to this world.

        • Robert

          Let’s all of us Christians go over to his house and beat the old Gizzer up!

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    Three People Shocked As Eugene Peterson Comes Out In Favor Of Same-Sex Relationships
    July 12, 2017

    U.S.—According to sources from around the nation, exactly three people were “completely blindsided” by a recent interview in which pastor and author of The Message Eugene Peterson publicly came out in favor of same-sex marriage.

    The three people have been identified as a man who lives in rural Idaho and hadn’t kept up with Peterson in the past couple decades, a LifeWay bookstore manager in Kentucky who is a big fan of The Message, and an elderly lady who momentarily confused Eugene Peterson with John Piper.

  • Stanley Wicks

    I applaud his stand, along with many other evangelicals, who have finally come to a better understanding of the biblical passages that people use against same-sex love, which none of them have anything to do with. It is a great time to live when we can move forward on this and many other social justice issues that Jesus admonished the Jewish leaders on. I think you are seeing this play out in the healthcare insurance issue in our own country. Most human beings realize that the poor deserve our care and love, just as other formerly disparaged minority groups.

    • InTheChurch

      Please read the famous Leviticus 18, verses 1-5 only and then read that last 5 verses of the chapter. Please tell me who God is referring to and what will be the consequence.

      • Stanley Wicks

        sorry, that does not refer to a committed, loving same-sex relationship. Read it again with that context and I challenge you to say it does. Even if it did (which it doesn’t) read the entirety of Leviticus and understand the context by which it was written and you would find yourself tangled in a bunch of inconsistent, maybe even contradictory, half truths.

        • Amos Moses – He>i

          so spreading more of the lies of the homosexual …. it does not mention “committed” for good reason ….. because ….. IT IS NOT RELEVANT ……….. you are trying to make an argument from silence …… FAIL ……………

          • Stanley Wicks

            I’m sorry you don’t understand, but that’s fine. I’m not worried about it.

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            you do not understand what you are talking about and so you are just here spreading lies you have been told …… it is not hard to see …………

          • Stanley Wicks

            I’m so sorry.

        • InTheChurch

          18 Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give the following instructions to the people of Israel. I am the Lord your God. 3 So do not act like the people in Egypt, where you used to live, or like the people of Canaan, where I am taking you. You must not imitate their way of life. 4 You must obey all my regulations and be careful to obey my decrees, for I am the Lord your God. 5 If you obey my decrees and my regulations, you will find life through them. I am the Lord.

          You missed my point completely. Verse 3 God tells the people, us, to not imitate their ways. He is telling the Christians to not be secular or be heathens like the Egyptians and Canaanites. The same applies today. The Christians can not imitate the world, secular American world. We are to be different and obey God’s decrees. We can not have a church that is split in two, followers and imitators. Which one are you?
          Gay marriage is fine in the secular world but not in the church. Loving same sex marriages can blossom in a secular world but not under God.
          Now read the end of the chapter, if the church imitates the world, he will vomit us from his blessings. He is not blessing the secular only the followers. The heathens are already outside of his blessings.
          This is about the church and only the church. The heathens are free to do what they please. The church has a standard set by God. This guy in the article wants both. Can’t happen.

          • Stanley Wicks

            I did not miss the point at all. It also boggles my mind that evangelical Christianity would “dance with the devil” in electing someone as un-Christian (un-Jesus like) in the last election. To me, this is the greater folly.

          • InTheChurch

            This Christian did not vote for this president. I voted third party because I knew the GOP sold out for Trump. The once Godly party sold out for Trump to prevent Hilary. They did this to themselves.
            Jimmy is as confused as this guy in the article. He does not understand scriptures. Going to back to my scripture post, Jimmy is that fake christian that wants to be part of the world and church. Are you in the church or outside of the church like Jimmy, Trump and this guy?

          • Stanley Wicks

            I actually am an employee of the church. Jimmy didn’t make a great president but he has certainly made one fine Christian (follower of Jesus).

          • InTheChurch

            Let’s agree to disagree. Jimmy supports abortion and gay marriage. He might pray, read the bible and be a great church member but his fruits don’t match.

          • Stanley Wicks

            well, I would say the true mark of a Christian is following the teaching of Jesus by helping the least of these. Habit for Humanity is an organization that puts faith into practice. He not only believes, he practices. I don’t think it matters which side of the abortion or gay marriage one is on. These issues are such a distraction to building God’s kingdom on earth.

          • InTheChurch

            Sorry, but again, let’s agree to disagree.
            Excusing sin is not Christ like. Building a church for a community is great but then turn around and say there is no sin from that pulpit. How can that be Godly?

          • Stanley Wicks

            I certainly disagree but respect your opinion as nothing changes when Christians don’t agree on how to understand/interpret the Scriptures, which goes way back before Jesus’ time. No one (not one Christian) is perfect but I lift Jimmy Carter up there with Mother Teresa in terms of living out the Christian life so much more than the fundamentalists (Pharisees of our day)

          • Amos Moses – He>i

            CNN Report: Millions Of American Voters May Have Colluded To Elect Trump
            July 13, 2017

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      “the biblical passages that people use against same-sex love”

      13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

      homosexuals DO harm …. to themselves and to their partners ………. on so many levels ….. so it is NOT love …… it is some thing they call love but is NOT ….. and they lie to themselves and then to others ….. and now they want to enforce that lie on everyone ….. this has happened before ……… it is not going to turn in their favor ……………..

    • Bob

      you may applaud to your hearts content, but remember the following:
      “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it (Jeremiah 17:9)?”
      “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27)”.
      “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries (Hebrews 10:26-27)”.

      There still is hope, “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death (2 Corinthians 7:10)”.

      • Stanley Wicks

        I think those passages would apply to anyone, so not sure why you would focus in on certain viewpoints. Blessings to you.

    • Amos Moses – He>i

      Eugene Peterson Retracts Same-Sex Marriage Statement
      4:29PM EDT 7/13/2017

  • Bob

    “they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do”, that doesn’t say much about Peterson who is denying the very Word of God.

    • InTheChurch

      the dead all hang out together

      • Amos Moses – He>i

        all heresies eventually converge ………..

    • Robert

      Feelings come and feelings go and feelings are deceiving naught else but the word of God is worth believing. _ Martin Luther

  • InTheChurch

    Another book that will not be purchased.

  • calduncan

    So Peterson knows the will of God, but the apostle Paul did not?

    Sorry, not buying it.

    • WM1

      Apostasy is no respecter of persons. Cultural compromise is making mockery of our faith, and the Head of the Church, our Lord Himself, will judge it. Should you doubt me, re-read Chapters 2 and 3 of the Revelation.

      Retired, or not, if he were a member of a Bible-believing church he’d face Church discipline.

    • Robert

      Did you notice also Peterson basis his love and feelings for people on how good he thinks they are. The real truth is . God loves the ungodly and forgives the ungodly. No matter what your feelings say you can not top Gods love for people its not love to pretend homosexuality is OK and let that person die in their sins. God wants people to know that nothing Tops his love for them . Romans 5: 6-8

  • R.C. Gerber

    Now, what was that reason that I never read “The Message”? Hmm..

  • Vaughn D

    You cannot have a community without standards. It’s 2017, thankfully we don’t execute or physically harm false teachers, but we should call them out for what they are. Christians are getting a lot of flack for taking a stand for morality in an immoral world. Apparently this man feared the flack more than he fears God.

  • Amos Moses – He>i

    Eugene Peterson Retracts Same-Sex Marriage Statement
    4:29PM EDT 7/13/2017 JESSILYN JUSTICE

  • KonCern

    I said it once before, it is time to consider the Church as a business and social club and start to make them all pay taxes.
    The God of creation will NEVER let His work come to a standstill . But those frauds and apostate preachers and pastors will have to suffer.
    If God be for us, who can be against us? Do we need Politicians and lobbyist money to keep the work of God going? I think not.

  • Robert

    Its Schweimer (enthusiasts) thinking. Is what it is. Its roots are in Zickwau Germany. Here this Peterson guy applies it to excuse homosexual behavior.

  • Robert

    Its a case of letting ones heart and love for people be guided by ones own feelings rather than what God says. If you don’t want to end up loving people all the way to hell don’t do that.

  • Chet

    Gene, you can change your mind from this to that and back again, yet, God changes not… And those called of the Lord to preach His Word will do so in accordance with His Word, period, no exceptions, no excuses… It’s God’s Way or the end thereof are the ways of death…

  • The Mohicans

    Homosexuality is still wrong. I don’t care what their beliefs are it doesn’t make it right in GODS eyes.

  • Robert

    Let s explain a few things
    Tyndale German connection included Martin Luther and not
    Peterson . Peterson is on his very own in explaining how he came up with that translation of his . I wonder who or what it includes
    we will just have to Waite until Peterson tells us
    in another book how he came up with the translation called the message. There is a book in the mean time already published one can read (“Luther’s English connection and the reformation ” ) Here you will find guys like Tyndale and if your a KJV fan you will want this book

  • Robert Radford

    Do not be fooled God cannot be mocked this man and his satanic bible THE MESSAGE will burn in hell if he does not repent.