For the past few weeks the Internet has been abuzz over worship artist Michael Gungor’s admission that he doesn’t take the Bible literally.
I’d classify Gungor as leaning more towards being a CCM artist since his songs aren’t really that singable, although worship hipsters do attempt to lead his most popular (and quite wonderful) song “Beautiful Things” to tongue-tied congregations.
Picking and choosing which parts of the Bible one believes is a slippery slope (and it’s nothing new – Thomas Jefferson was famous for ripping pages out of the Bible he didn’t agree with.) Why do you believe one passage and not another? Are you offended by it? Do you not understand it? I suppose it’s arbitrarily up to you, then.
I’ll bet, if pressed, Gungor would admit to not believing a lot more of the Bible than just the Genesis “allegory.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God” so I guess he wouldn’t agree? Luke 3:23-38 traces the family tree of Jesus all the way back to Adam, so since Gungor doesn’t believe in a literal Adam, that passage must also be questionable.
He declared in a recent interview that “no reasonable person takes the entire Bible completely literally.” He’d probably label me as an unreasonable, unenlightened religious hick.
Conservatives denounced him as a “heretic” and, of course, “Relevant” magazine wondered what the big fuss was all about.
Thinking about the whole thing, I’m kind of surprised by my own reaction: instead of getting angry it’s given me a sense of rededication and renewal.
As I’ve reminisced about my own life and how God has amazingly shown up and made Himself real to me and guided me, I honestly can say I unabashedly and unreasonably believe every word of the Bible. Literally. Perhaps Gungor hasn’t had that God-encounter to reinforce his beliefs. I hope one day he will.
And maybe that’s the problem with modern Christianity, and why the Church has lost influence in the culture – we really don’t believe anything anymore and have lost God’s power (or have never experienced it.) Some preachers are talking a social Gospel (and are too wrapped up in social media) – they rarely mention sin, repentance or holiness. You don’t know God’s power unless you know of sin, repentance and holiness.
Maybe it’s time for some self-reflection and rededication. Worship leader, do you really believe the Bible? Do you really believe in God’s power? This week, take a candid look into your own heart and remember those times God miraculously intervened and made a difference in your life. If you don’t remember such times, honestly examine yourself to see if you even know Him. Ask forgiveness for sin. Then let’s see if we can help make a difference in this world.