Gungor called to apologize by Ham
PETERSBURG, Ky. (BP) -- Dove-Award winning artist Michael Gungor needs to apologize for his blogposts criticizing theologians for believing in the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis and its account of Noah's Ark, creationist Ken Ham told Baptist Press.
Gungor's recent statements are particularly damaging because they may mislead youth and discourage them from accepting the Gospel of salvation, said Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky.
"Jesus referred to Noah's day and Noah as a real person. So then he's calling Jesus a liar, because if Genesis is not true, if it's just a myth, if it's not true, then Jesus is a liar, because Jesus quoted about the flood," Ham said, "and Peter is a liar, and Paul is a liar, because they all quoted Genesis."
Gungor, leader of the Christian band Gungor, lost a September booking at a Baptist church after news spread of his February blogpost claiming Genesis is not factual. Gungor wrote follow-up posts August 6 and 8 titled "I'm With You," calling "crazy" any educated theologian who believes Genesis is literal. Gungor's blogposts are at http://gungormusic.com/category/blog/.
"All this to say, when I say to the fundamentalist, 'I'm with you,' I am not being flip or sarcastic," Gungor wrote in a blog post. "I am saying this because I used to stand as a fundamentalist myself and felt threatened by anything more complex than a simple reading of the biblical text.
"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,'" he wrote. "That's crazy! So why does this happen? Why do some fundamentalists create this dichotomy where you must either BELIEVE THE BIBLE (meaning that you take everything literally no matter what science says) or say that it's a lie?"
Ham said Gungor should be called to account for his statements.
"This blog is not a respectable discussion," Ham told Baptist Press.
"... He needs to be told that he needs to apologize for the tone of the article and the way he attacked Christians who believe God's word in Genesis and believe in Noah's flood. He needs to apologize for that and he needs to write in a respectable way."
Even as Gungor continues to claim Christianity, Ham said, the singer's statements are damaging to the growth of God's Kingdom.
"If you're using man's ideas to reinterpret Genesis, you're undermining the word from which the Gospel comes. That is the big issue; it's an issue of authority," Ham said. "My great concern is him really influencing those young people that look up to him and that come to hear their music. ... I'm not saying he's not a Christian, by the way. That's important to understand. If he professes Christ as Savior, just because he believes what he believes and writes the way he writes, I'm not saying he's not a Christian.
"But ... he can be a great stumbling block to others becoming Christians, because the more he mocks the Bible like this, and the more he tells people you can take man's word and use it in judgment over God's Word, a lot of those young people eventually don't even listen to the Gospel because they think the whole Bible can't be true," Ham said. "And that's my concern...."
Ham extended to Gungor an invitation, via Baptist Press, to visit the Creation Museum and interview theologians and scientists on staff there.
"I'd like to invite Mr. and Mrs. Gungor to come to the Creation Museum. We'll give them free passes to come to the museum," Ham told Baptist Press. "I'd even be willing to, if they get themselves here, we'll put them up in a hotel for the night and they can go through the museum and have access to any of our Ph.D. scientists they want and our theological experts to be able to discuss these issues."
Answers in Genesis is constructing a life-size replica of Noah's Ark, set to open in 2016.
"If anyone in the world has done the research on Noah's Ark and how many animals were actually needed in the ark, and what the Bible actually says about the flood, and done research on geology, we have here at Answers in Genesis, in getting ready for this," Ham said. "It will be one of the biggest evangelistic outreaches in the world when this is open in 2016....
"It would seem from looking at Gungor's blog, he's never read any of our material. A number of things he says in there are just ridiculous. Claiming that Noah had to take all the millions of species on the ark is just ridiculous. If he had done any research at all, he'd know those statements are ... not true."
Diana Chandler is Baptist Press' general assignment writer/editor. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).