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Archive for July 12th, 2017

Eugene Peterson lectures at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, Wash., in May 2009. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Today’s big news in American Evangelicalism is Eugene Peterson’s “changing his mind about same-sex issues and marriage” as the headlines over at Religion News stated it.  Religionnews.com broke the news based upon an interview that Eugene Peterson did with their writer Jonathan Merritt.

Here’s the relevant portion of that interview:

RNS: You are Presbyterian, and your denomination has really been grappling with some of the hot button issues that we face as a culture. I think particularly of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Has your view on that changed over the years? What’s your position on the morality of same-sex relationships?

EP: I haven’t had a lot of experience with it. 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.

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.

As with everything in life for Christians we must be biblical and practice biblical discernment and critical thinking in our evaluation of what people have to say, even if they are a “Christian celebrity” among Evangelicalism.  Here’s my thoughts:

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GO TO PART 40

Point: Sometimes when one engage in apologetics the issue of alleged Bible contradiction comes up.  There are times when those who assert that there are contradictory verses in the Bible fail to acknowledge that words can have more than one meaning and thus a word used in one context does not mean the same thing in another context.  But if one fail to recognize there are differences of meaning of the word being used in two separate contexts, a skeptic can easily assume there’s a Bible contradiction when there are none.  Are there any examples of this error to get the point across to a skeptic of their foolish methodology and mistake?

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