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Gungor Calls for Unity Following Controversial Comments Concerning Literacy Of Old Testament

( [email protected] ) Oct 27, 2014 12:09 PM EDT

Michael Gungor and wife Lisa
Michael Gungor and wife Lisa (Photo: Courtesy of Shore Fire Media)

Dove award winning artist Michael Gungor recently called for unity among believers after receiving significant criticism from Christian groups for not holding to a literal interpretation of Genesis.

Gungor, whose songs "Beautiful Things" and "Dry Bones" are sung in churches around the world, was condemned by many as a "heretic" and a "blasphemer" after announcing earlier this year that he and his wife Lisa don't literally believe the Old Testament stories concerning Creation and the flood.

In a recent op-ed published in Relevent Magazine and titled "Wrestling With Faith and Doubt," Gungor explained that while all Christians may not agree with his views concerning the Old Testament, the Bible nevertheless calls for unity within the body of Christ.

"I do not have a problem with Christians disagreeing with me about how I read Genesis. I don't even have a problem with them getting angry and passionate about their opinion. The real problem begins when we start throwing around words that are intended to break unity, loaded words like "apostate," "heretic," "false teacher," and so on," he wrote.

"In modern Christendom, I'm afraid we too often let our friction veer into blatant and hateful division. In the last few months, I personally have been called a heretic, a blasphemer, a twofold son of hell and a fool that is leading thousands to hell, in which I happen to have a special spot reserved for me."

"Why? Essentially because I (like a lot of Christians) believe evolution is the means by which God created us. And I'm certainly not the first or the only Christian to receive the brunt of this sort of evangelical fervor for saying so."

The singer goes on to urge Christians to honor the body of Christ by remaining united despite theological differences.

"Many of us would say our endgame is to draw people to Jesus. However, some might respond to that with questions about "which Jesus, exactly" or "what specifically about Jesus" do we hold as the most important endgame?" he asks.

"So what if we let Jesus tell us what the greatest endgame should be as people who want to follow Him? "What," we might ask Jesus, "is the ultimate goal for the Christian? What does every piece of Scripture-every command, prophecy, story, history, parable and piece of tradition hang on?"

Gungor concludes:

"We can find Jesus' answer in Matthew 26: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."