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MEANWHILE IN CANADA: Eugene Peterson Shows His Cards…Oops…Doesn’t Show His Cards?

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Eighty-four (84) years old and you still don’t know what you believe about Gay Marriage?

We’re talking about a guy who paraphrased a whole bible into something that is a street level book for those needing some less difficult words.

Eugene Peterson, please admit succumbing to dementia or confess to the sin of lying, but don’t pretend affirming Gay Marriage was a slip of the tongue.

Let’s face it, Eugene Peterson is my elder and I know the Bible tells me to treat him as my elder, with the respect I may give a father. This is a critique, not an assassination. So I say this, with the respect due a father, but with the critique of a Pastor chastising a rogue theologian:

Eugene Peterson has probably thought this way for a long time.

What we are witnessing here was an ‘admittal’ that probably wasn’t meant to make it to the public forum. Chances are that EP thought that the man who interviewed him was of like mind.

We are not talking the same kind of confessions attached to infamous John Spong; who after a succession upwards to the position of Bishop in the Episcopalian Church, and then after retirement, finally admitted to being more an atheist than Christian, evident in his twelve theses. What we are talking about though, resembles more the western parable of the frog placed in a cold pot of water only to be boiled to death when the heat gradually ascended. I’m sure Eugene Peterson started off well, but somewhere along the way got slow boiled, in the pot of liberal theology.

By rubbing shoulders with guys like Rob Bell (now a Hell-denying relationship expert for Oprah Winfrey) or Brian McLaren (a champion for anything gay in the modern church) or booze-swizzling-gay-marriage-affirming-super-cusser U2 rocker “Bono” (who almost all churches have sainted because of his super-star status and Christian confession), I believe “EP” has unwarily morphed into that of a postmodernist of the most liberal sort.

Peterson’s recent reversal of his public stance on supporting Gay Marriage is an

EP:  I like hot-dogs!

The Church: Whoa! We don’t like hot-dogs!

EP: Oh! You don’t like hotdogs?

Well, now that I think about it, I don’t like hot-dogs either!

Can we still be friends?

sort of scenario.

You would think after authoring over thirty books and paraphrasing the Holy Bible, that the guy would have it down on the “biggies” such as Gay Marriage. And Homosexual Marriage is different than alcoholism, murder and prostitution, because those who take part in such sins are not pressing The Church to rewrite the bible in a way that makes them holy and accepted by Christ, in a coordinated attempt. Unfortunately homosexuals are hammering The Church to deny the infallible truth of The Creator. Culture should not change Christianity, but Christianity should definitely most definitely effect culture.

So what the heck happened? Was Eugene Peterson unaware, that what he said to a reporter (of all people), would make it’s way to John Q Public? Possibly, but I doubt it.

Listen to this portion of the interview:

“I’ve never performed a same-sex wedding. I’ve never been asked and, frankly, I hope I never am asked.

“This reporter, however, asked a hypothetical question: if I were pastoring today and if a gay couple were Christians of good faith and if they asked me to perform their wedding ceremony—if, if, if. Pastors don’t have the luxury of indulging in hypotheticals,” said Peterson. “And to be honest, no is not a word I typically use.”

When put on the spot by this particular interviewer, I said yes in the moment. But on further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that. That’s not something I would do out of respect to the congregation, the larger church body, and the historic biblical Christian view and teaching on marriage. That said, I would still love such a couple as their pastor.

A number of things come to mind when I read EP’s retraction:

When EP said:

“I’ve never performed a same-sex wedding. I’ve never been asked and, frankly, I hope I never am asked.”

Why would this be such a problem to deny something unbiblical to a gay couple. We know active homosexuality is a sin. What if an addict came to him and asked him to rubber hose his arm in order for the person to shoot up? Would Mr Peterson not want someone to ask him that as well in order to not offend them?

If done in love (which is rarely warm and fuzzy) shouldn’t it be Eugene’s privilege to relay to that Gay couple God’s Word? Why does EP hope he’s never put in that position?

“Pastors don’t have the luxury of indulging in hypotheticals”.

Eugene Peterson acts like life should be scripted. Doesn’t the very Bible itself contain multiple lists of hypotheticals? If you murder: you are in sin. If you are an adulterer, you are in sin. If you invest in your flesh: you will die.

As a pastor myself, as a steward of Christ, part of my job is to present hypotheticals to my congregation

“And to be honest, no is not a word I typically use.”

Here we see the post modernist mindset dribble out into the interview.

“no is not a word I typically use.”

This made me queezy.

It’s the “God is big enough, for me to put my friends happiness ahead of obeying Him” attitude.

Yet another Christian who believes the word “yes” is the best way to show love. No matter what.

I have reminded my congregation repeatedly, that the true Christian definition of love is pushing their neighbour towards Jesus, gently. Many times this means saying no. Many times. Leviticus 19 tells us not to hate our brother by not confronting their sin. It then goes on to say (my turn to paraphrase) that those who are cowards, and do not do so, will share in the responsibility for their brother’s sin before God. Is it fair to say that someone that has a problem saying “no” to their congregation, spends much of their time saying “yes” (even by way of omission) to people’s sin in order not to offend?

“When put on the spot by this particular interviewer, I said yes in the moment. But on further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that. That’s not something I would do out of respect to the congregation, the larger church body, and the historic biblical Christian view and teaching on marriage.”

Did you catch that?

“Out of respect to the congregation, the larger church body, and the historic biblical Christian view and teaching on marriage.”

Where is the mention of Christ?

We have the Presbyterians, other denominations, as well as the historic biblical Christian view and teaching on marriage. He wishes to recant because of his respect for all those bodies and yet Christ isn’t mentioned.

This tells me that Eugene Peterson believes that the historic ecclesiastical teaching on marriage, is just that, historical teaching, not God breathed instruction. Because he left Christ and His bible out of declaration of respect, I’d surmise that he does not really believe the historic church was right on it’s teaching of “one man-one woman”.

“That said, I would still love such a couple as their pastor.”

It is only fitting that Eugene Peterson finishes well by affirming two gay people as a couple and that he’d be comfortable pastoring them like any other couple.

There is a difference between the sinner who comes to God and says “I really, really, really struggle with this” compared to a sinner who comes to God and says “You are going to affirm the sin I struggle with and make it acceptable and Christian.”

Hopefully like any grace giving pastor (or retired pastor), yes Eugene, I would expect that you see the gay “couple” as human at the very least. After all, the bible teaches that they are sinners, and I doubt that you would snub the alcoholics in the congregation because they struggle with the sin of debauchery. As a pastor we encourage them, and pray for them to be free from the chains of bondage.

On the other hand, if you have a couple of supposed Christ-confessing Christians (and I’m not talking about those not having church-membership, not being in ministry or finding themselves occasional visitors) that have decided to eisegete the Holy Bible into a pro-homosexuality book, then your first job is to defend scripture (out of respect for God), and like Leviticus 19 says, we should not hate them by not confronting them. This would mean loving them by not ignoring the fact that they are in sin, and warning them of the dire consequences of trying to spiritually acquiesce a lifestyle that God through His Word promises will land them in Hell. This is where I believe EP has stood at the podium with his fly wide open and exposed what really lies beneath.

I’m sorry Mr Peterson, you have given us plenty of reasons to believe your first confession, on your approval of homosexual unions. We will pray for your repentance.



 

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