I am perplexed. Baffled. Puzzled. Bewildered. Confounded. Utterly confused. I can’t seem to figure something out that is taking place in perceived Christianity.
I have been a champion for always being wary of what you are consuming, especially when it comes to the entertainment that you allow to enter your mind and affect you to the core. (See Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here and here. I have been aware of the namesake for the band Gungor’s recent remarks about his views against Biblical accuracy. I did not, however, look into exactly what his remarks were until today.
I first starting reading an article about Ken Ham, of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, which he was addressing Gungor’s stance against Biblical accounts of creation and publicly calling Gungor to repent. I stopped reading shortly into the article because I wanted to read Michael Gungor’s actual words first, without having an opinion formed about what Gungor said, without reading what Gungor said. (Here is a post directly from Ken Ham)
Having never listened to Gungor, the only opinion I had formed about Gungor was based on people expressing how “great” the music was that the band had been producing. I have never heard a Gungor song, I have never heard Gungor talk even. I had a fresh slate, no kind of preconceived notions of what this man believes. As I read Michael Gungor’s words I began getting the feeling that the term “fundamentalist” was being used derogatorily and that Mr. Gungor harbored some animosity for those that might actually believe what the Bible says.
Gungor’s arguments seemed to match up with the world outside of perceived Christianity. From belittling those that believe the Biblical accounts of creation and Adam and Eve to be factual to likening the Bible’s account of Noah and the ark to an episode of Star Trek I was seeing that Gungor has been heavily influenced by this world’s lack of understanding of Scripture. (Original Gungor post - Followup post)
I will stop short of calling Michael Gungor a non-Christian, but I think that may be a real likely thing. Why is that? Can’t someone believe science trumps scripture and still be a Christian? Sure they can. How is that? Because there are a lot of Baby Christians out there who do not have the proper understanding of scripture and do not understand the Bible’s true nature. It is The Word of God. Period. The Bible is not simply a narrative of events, a collection of nifty stories or an outdated list of rules as Gungor and others would try to persuade. It is a reflection of the Nature of God. And with that statement I end up firmly on Gungor’s naughty list of Biblical Fundies.
I am praying that the Gungors take Ken Ham up on his invitation to visit the Creation Museum and to learn what the Biblical narrative really is. The scientists at the Creation Museum have volunteered to meet with the Gungors and show them how a ship could fit all of the animals that scripture says it did. They will be able to see where the water came from, the paths that it carved as it receded, the fossil beds that its aftermath left. If Michael Gungor visits the museum and is a Christian he certainly must change his understanding of what the Bible says and change his perceptions of Scripture as true and stop ridiculing those that actually believe what the Bible says.
Saying all of this I come to the real point of this post, the reason I am confused. Many a true believer have held the wrong understanding of the Biblical accounts as Michael Gungor holds. I would even venture to say that there are probably other mainstream CCM musicians that hold the same beliefs. What I find perplexing is the castigation of Gungor in light of this, the night and day perception of Gungor without actually trying to have a straight forward and heart to heart discussion with and to Michael Gungor. Michael Gungor has been accursed by a lot of people for his views and his words (rightfully so?). So why is that perplexing to me? Because other musical groups that blatantly and obviously believe and teach heretical doctrine are openly welcomed in Christian circles.
It is a sad state that a wrong view of the Bible, maybe caused by a lack of study or discipleship, sets someone outside the camp with folks washing their hands clean of Gungor while groups like Philips, Craig and Dean are defended, praised and lifted up as “brothers” when their view of God is blatantly heretical. PC&D not only believe heresy they also teach the heresy of Modalism with a kicker of a Prosperity gospel in the “churches” that they “pastor”.
Discernment is a rare commodity these days. False teachers/ prophets abound in our world today, smiling and telling you that your best life is now, that you can speak things into existence. False religions are being held as acceptable simply because the popular adherents hold the same political views as most Conservative Christians do (Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney). The ones that must be named get a free pass, while Gungor gets tied to the stake in mainstream circles. Rather ironic, I must say.
So, what to do? My suggestion is to see how Michael Gungor reacts to Ken Ham’s invitation. No preconceived narratives from me on what “might” happen or what Mr. Gungor “might” say or do with the invitation. I am fairly confident though, that if Michael Gungor accepts the invitation, sees the Christian view of Creation, with the scientific backing of Christian scientists, with PHDs, that he will change his view of Scripture and become a radical fundie, just like me.
What this boils down to, in my view, is that people are too heavily influenced by the musicians they like. Entertainment, music, musicians, movies, etc. are all chosen with what the flesh seems to enjoy. That is an alright thing, but that definitely doesn't trump Biblical accuracy and doing a little research into a band that catches your ear. We are to test all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21) and I am really certain that music, which impacts your mind and spirit, must be investigated before "liking" it and adding it to your MP3 player. Christians must be diligent to always look beyond what their foot taps to and see what theology has laid the foundation for what you are consuming. If you know a band or singer has some questionable theology then you would be wise to avoid them at all costs. If the TV preacher teaches contrary to scripture then you must mark them as anathema and avoid them, not "chew up the meat and spit out the bones".
Discernment is lacking greatly in all areas of Christianity. How is that remedied? By knowing what the Bible says, by studying scripture, by taking God at His Word and applying it to your life and letting it shape you (Romans 12:2, Philippians 2:5). Simply follow Christ and God's Word. Let God be your guide and not what is popular in the world or within Christian circles.