Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Eugene Peterson's Apostasy

EP: "I haven’t had a lot of experience with it [i.e., homosexuality and same-sex marriage]. But I have been in churches when I was an associate pastor where there were several women who were lesbians. They didn’t make a big deal about it. I’d go and visit them and it never came up for them. They just assumed that they were as Christian as everybody else in the church.
In my own congregation — when I left, we had about 500 people — I don’t think we ever really made a big deal out of it. When I left, the minister of music left. She’d been there ever since I had been there. There we were, looking for a new minister of music. One of the young people that had grown up under my pastorship, he was a high school teacher and a musician. 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.” 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.
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. People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church. 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."
In other words, he, and the churches in which he resides, have been in open rebellion and unrepentant sin for years by not disciplining those who claim to be Christians and are in open rebellion and unrepentant sin. It is no wonder he, and they, are given over to deception and further lawlessness.
Can you imagine if someone said this of something we actually still consider sin? "I knew of a couple serial killers in our church, and would just visit them and not make a big deal about it." Um, then you're a broken minister and should not be teaching anyone anything, much less a highly idiosyncratic paraphrase of the Bible. 

RNS: "A follow-up: If you were pastoring today and a gay couple in your church who were Christians of good faith asked you to perform their same-sex wedding ceremony, is that something you would do?"

EP: "Yes."
We are all sinners, but we do not endorse sin, our own or that of others. If we do, we are not of God, but of the adversary who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning.
I never understood why Reformed folk would interview Peterson as though he was one of us (the White Horse Inn comes to mind) when it was always very clear to me, both from the Message paraphrase and his theological leanings toward postmodern/emerging religious tendencies that his spiritual and intellectual makeup was made more out of the zeitgeist than the Heilige Geist. 
"But he is a Presbyterian," some might say. To which I would respond, "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing." This man can believe anything he wants, but he is not a Christian minister.

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