Yes, that’s right, I am going to see Gungor when he, his wife Lisa and their band come to Pittsburgh on September 13. Yes, Gungor, the guy that has caused all the controversy in the evangelical world over the past month.
In case you missed it, early in August guitarist, songwriter Michael Gungor outlined his evolving faith and belief system in two blog posts (you can read them here and here). In response World Magazine published the post “Gungor Drifts from Biblical Orthodoxy” and the Christian Post outlined the controversy with the article, “Gungor Rattles Christian World with Revelation That They Don’t Believe the Bible Literally.”
In the post, “I Am With You,” Gungor writes:
“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.”
The heart of the matter for Gungor is that he no longer reads the Bible literally. And in his own particular snarky way, he calls out people who do. And this has caused great consternation and conversation about whether Gungor is still in the fold of orthodoxy or not.
So in the midst of the firestorm, why am I going to see Gungor? Here are three reasons:
1) Gungor Makes Beautiful Music
Gungor is a magnificent artist. He and his band create a sonic canvas that points me toward the good, beautiful and true; more importantly, his music points me to the One who is the source of the good, beautiful and true.
2) Faith is a Journey
My experience is that faith is all about the journey. My belief system has evolved or more accurately, been formed over the past thirty years. While it may sound strange to some, I can state with certainty that I believe certain things with less certainty today than I did 5, 10 or 20 years ago; yet I would boldly proclaim that my faith today is stronger and deeper than ever before.
Gungor has been extremely open about his journey. It is evolving and being formed. He has chosen to be honest and vulnerable about his beliefs, perhaps too honest for some. My prayer is that his journey continues and that he will pursue God’s wisdom and truth in every dimension of life.
3) Christ is at the Center
As far as I can discern, Gungor still has Jesus at the center of his faith.
In 2007 Michael and Lisa were instrumental in starting a church in Denver called Bloom, a faith community that describes its mission as “cultivating gardens of resurrection in Denver.” As far as I know they are still a part of that church. This is how Bloom describes its beliefs:
“Bloom Church is a group of people in Denver Colorado who love Jesus. We’re not so big on some of the things that are often done in Jesus’ name, but Jesus… we think that he is the hope of the world. Our quest is to take Jesus – his life, his teaching, his death, his resurrection – more seriously than we take any other thing. That’s pretty much how we understand what the word ‘Christian’ means… At Bloom we have tied ourselves to the story of God found in Jesus, which makes us decidedly Christian, but we gladly welcome anybody among us regardless of gender, creed, race, sexual orientation, or any other division that we humans like to divide ourselves into. Our hope is that everyone who wanders into our community will taste the Kingdom and come to love and embrace Jesus and his story too.”
I don’t know about you, but that’s something I can get behind.
What do you think about Gungor? Would you purchase a ticket to one of his concerts? Have you removed Gungor’s music from your personal playlist or church’s setlist? Why or why not?