Popular Christian author and former PC (USA) pastor Eugene Peterson set off a firestorm within Christian circles this week when he said he would perform a same-sex marriage if asked to. Now, the man behind “The Message” Bible translation has retracted that statement.
Peterson made the initial comments in an interview with Religion News Service’s Jonathan Merritt.
“If you were pastoring today and a gay couple in your church who were Christians of good faith asked you to perform their same-sex wedding ceremony, is that something you would do?” asked Merritt.
Peterson simply responded “Yes,” to Merritt’s question. He also said in the interview that he knew some gay people who “seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do.”
The criticism of Peterson and his view on the controversial subject of gay marriage was swift. Now, however, Peterson has penned an article in the Washington Post retracting his stance and clarifying his viewpoint.
“When put on the spot by this particular interviewer, I said yes in the moment. But on further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that,” he wrote.
“That’s not something I would do out of respect to the congregation, the larger church body, and the historic biblical Christian view and teaching on marriage. That said, I would still love such a couple as their pastor. They’d be welcome at my table, along with everybody else.”
He reiterated that “When I told this reporter that there are gay and lesbian people who ‘seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do,’ I meant it. But then again, the goodness of a spiritual life is functionally irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
We are saved by faith through grace that operates independent of our resolve or our good behavior.”
Peterson says he regrets the controversy that his interview engendered. As he stated in the interview, Peterson is retiring from public life as a Christian writer and speaker. He says he hopes to “restrict his communication to personal correspondence,” according to Christianity Today.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: July 13, 2017