Popular Christian music band recently raised controversy after declaring that they no longer believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. On Wednesday, the duo, which consists of Michael and Lisa Gungor, affirmed their faith in God but insisted that "NO REASONABLE PERSON takes the entire Bible completely literally."
"For those who heard rumblings of apostasy or scandal, we'd like to clear the air. Fundamentalists, 'I'm with you," tweeted the Grammy-nominated, Dove-award winning band.
Included with the tweet was a link to a blog post, titled "I'm With You," in which Michael Gungor apologizes to fans who believed the group to be fundamentalist Christians.
"I am sorry to any fundamentalists that have felt confused or tricked or something by us in this issue. We have always tried to be upfront about our wrestling with doubts and questions of faith," Michael Gungor wrote in his closing statements of the post.
After the news break, WORLD Magazine journalist Jeff Koch addressed the gravity of the situation:
"Gungor is clearly still animated and inspired by the person of Jesus. But it was Jesus who upheld the authority of Scripture and whose recipe for divine connection was fairly simple: "Our Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be your name ..."
The band responded:
"Despite our best efforts, people have assumed because we sing a lot about 'creation,' for example, that we must be young-earth creationists. So, no World Magazine, Charismanews, Christian Post, and whoever else is talking about this...Gungor is not, and has never been a fundamentalist band seeking to spread young earth, biblical literalism across the planet," he added.
Gungor told readers that he decided to address the issue after a Baptist church decided to cancel the group's performance due to their questionable theological beliefs.
"My friend texted me an article that apparently has been spreading around the Internet a bit among evangelical Christians. I looked at it, and didn't think much of it, but over the last two days, I keep hearing about it from people, and then yesterday we actually had a Baptist church back out of a gig next month because of it," began Gungor in the post.
Do I believe God exists? Yes.
Do I believe Jesus is the Son of God? Yes.
Do I believe that Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness? Yes.
Do I believe that God literally drowned every living creature 5,000 years ago in a global flood except the ones who were living in a big boat? No, I don't.
Why don't I? Because of science and rational thought.
"The biblical literalist may respond to this by saying that science and rational thought show that all the miraculous events in the Bible, including Jesus' miracles are not scientifically plausible. And that is a fair point. But there is a BIG difference between individual instances and experiences of the miraculous and globally scaled matters of science and history," explained Gungor.
"You could use science to prove that people don't normally rise from the dead, but you couldn't use it to prove that no one has EVER risen from the dead," he added.
Gungor then reiterates that he does not believe the Biblical story of Noah actually ever happened.
"Even if God miraculously fed all of these species and kept them from killing each other on the boat, how big would that boat have to be? And what sort of ecological systems would have to be in place for all the species to survive? Genesis puts the ark at 300 cubits long, 50 wide, 30 high. (a cubit is approximately 45 cm) If you do the math, there is really just NO way to fit two of every kind of animal species on an ark of the dimensions that the Bible purports," he noted.
"So let's get imaginative and say that God shrunk these animals Rick Moranis style so that all the animals can fit... What happens when they land on the mountain? How do both of the koala bears get from the top of a mountain in the Middle East to Australia? Does Noah build another little boat for them and sail them across the ocean?" the artist asked.
In a final, pointed argument, Gungor argues that "NO REASONABLE PERSON" takes the Bible literally.
"It's kind of weird to me that so many people seem to be talking about this, because from what I know of Christians, A LOT of us don't take these things literally. I would be very surprised to find a single respected and educated theologian or biblical scholar that believes that one MUST read Noah's flood completely literally down to the last detail to be 'orthodox.' That's crazy!" noted Gungor.
He concludes that a literal interpretation of the Bible has more to do with "social groups" than actual truth.
"I would contend it has very little to do with actual biblical scholarship, and far more to do with social groups. Because NO REASONABLE PERSON takes the entire Bible completely literally. It's not possible," said Gungor.