At issue is an interview Michael Gungor did with Oakland Press, in which he admitted that he no longer embraced the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis’ account of the six-day creation and the global flood.
The band also has been accused of being universalist (which is the belief that everyone goes to Heaven), and recent articles also took issue with terminology used by Gungor’s other band, The Liturgists, that used a metaphor that identified God as a “mother.”
Gungor said the controversy has ballooned in recent weeks, even to the point when a Baptist Church canceled a Gungor concert.
“I tried to ignore it,” Gungor said, “but I keep getting texts and tweets… so I thought to myself, ‘Hey, what if I weighed in on the conversation about what I think about things?’”
The result of that question was a nearly 2,000-word blog post on the band’s website where Gungor said that although he doesn’t agree with the literal interpretation of Genesis, it doesn’t mean he isn’t a Christian.
Gungor plainly stated that while he believes in God, that Jesus is the Son of God, that “Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” science and rational thought keeps him from believing the creation and flood accounts.
And, he says, he isn’t alone. “[F]rom what I know of Christians, A LOT of us don’t take these things literally,” he wrote. “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!”
Gungor said that although he disagrees with those who do make that interpretation, he is OK with the difference of opinion.
“I’m for you. I really am. And I’m with you,” he said, adding that the divergent viewpoint shouldn’t be met with such contention.
“You can still love God and love people and read those early Genesis stories as myth with some important things to teach us,” he continued. “Not all of you will be ready to do that, and that’s perfectly okay," although he warned that making literalism an all or nothing choice will "rob a lot of people of some of the richness that the Bible offers, and will "create a lot more jaded, cynical people that are completely anti-religion out there."
Finally, he encouraged “fundamentalists” to “find unity within disagreement rather than turn it into a… witch hunt over something extremely peripheral to what matters.”