Highlighting that a Baptist church recently canceled one their events due to a swirling controversy over their views on the Bible, Christian couple Michael and Lisa Gungor of the Grammy nominated, Dove award-winning band Gungor affirmed their faith in God Wednesday and insisted that "NO REASONABLE PERSON takes the entire Bible completely literally."
In their most recent explanation of their theological position, Gungor tweeted late Wednesday night: "For those who heard rumblings of apostasy or scandal, we'd like to clear the air. Fundamentalists, 'I'm with you.'"
Included with the tweet was a link to a blog post, titled "I'm With You," from Michael Gungor addressing the ballooning controversy and apologizing to fans who may have been under the impression that they were 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.
"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 said he felt compelled to address the controversy after a Baptist church pulled the plug on one of their events slated for next month. An increasing number of people had also been tackling him about his views on certain portions of the Bible like the story of Noah and the Ark, which he argues should not be taken literally.
"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.
He then explained:
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 ripped the idea that the story of Noah and the Ark could have ever been an actual historical event to shreds.
"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.
He then raised a few pointed arguments asserting 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 argued that the literal interpretation of the Bible has more to do with culture than anything else.
"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.
"The Bible says God is a rock. Do you take that literally? The Bible talks consistently about the corners of the earth. The people that wrote the Bible thought the earth was flat. When they envisioned 'the earth,' they envisioned it with edges and corners, not as a spherical planet. But not too many people today are going around arguing that God is a geologic entity that lives in the sky that created a flat square of land surrounded by ocean with heaven above us and Sheol below us… Why not? BECAUSE SCIENCE SHOWED US THAT THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE. So we rightfully re-read and re-interpret the Bible, just as people have done for thousands of years," he explained.
He then warned that the defensive reactions from fundamentalists to his views will only serve to rob people of the richness the Bible has to offer.
"But listen, huddle people… I'm for you. I really am. And I'm with you. I was raised in the huddle. Some of the best people I know are in the huddle. But you don't need to be so afraid. You don't need to repress your intellectual ability to ask questions and seek truth in order to stay in the shadow of the huddle. Because, let me tell you something, there is light outside," said Gungor.
"In fact, God is both inside and outside of your huddle. And you can still love God and love people and read those early Genesis stories as myth with some important things to teach us. Not all of you will be ready to do that, and that's perfectly ok. But know that if you create these dichotomies where we force people to either fall into the camp of scientifically blind biblical literalism or a camp where they totally write off the Bible as a complete lie, you're going to rob a lot of people of some of the richness that the Bible offers," he noted.