Eugene Peterson’s error isn’t about gay weddings

Stop the presses: Another progressive Christian pastor is “gay affirming.”

Well, it’s not exactly surprising that “The Message” author and retired pastor Eugene Peterson would announce that he has changed his mind on homosexual marriage and would perform a “gay wedding” in his own church.

The real news is that this really isn’t about same sex marriages, or even homosexuality. The error is much bigger than that.

First, the hullabaloo: Folks are talking about a Religion News Service article penned by progressive Jonathan Merritt, in which Peterson states:

“I wouldn’t have said this 20 years ago, but now I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do. I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over. People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church. So we’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. I don’t think it’s something that you can parade, but it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.”

Merritt then asks a follow-up question:

“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?”

To which Peterson replied: “Yes.”

Merritt notes that in The Message, a paraphrase based on God’s Word, Peterson left out any reference to homosexuality. In fact, The Message, which has been quoted from in many pulpits and popular books by celebrity pastors, changes many verses.

One only needs to compare the Lord’s Prayer, or Pslam 1 to see the glaring differences.

Reaction has been swift. Those who rightly handle God’s Word correctly call Peterson on the carpet:

…While Post-modern Christians are turning cartwheels:

So that’s the news.  I have posted a number of warnings about Eugene Peterson as well as The Message, which you can see by clicking the links. You’ll also want to read our White Paper on Progressive Christianity, as well as the Homosexual Agenda.

What is this really about?

I said before that this really isn’t about homosexuality or weddings.  It’s also really not about Eugene Peterson, at least as far as the Bride of Christ is concerned.  You see, what Peterson and other Postmoderns have always done is slyly hiss, “Has God really said?”  The error Postmodernity comes down to the authority of Scripture, as opposed to New Apostolic Reformation or other apostate movements where the sufficiency of Scripture is questioned/ignored. NAR adds to Scripture, Postmodernism subtracts from the truth of historical biblical Christianity/doctrine.

Next week I am participating in a Pirate Gang Roundtable over at Pirate Christian Radio’s Fighting for the Faith on the topic of Postmodern thinking. Chris Rosebrough, Steve Kozar and Matthew Garnett, a former Evangelical pastor who was Emergent before Emergent was cool. We picked this topic last month, and it could not have come at a better time. I will post the podcast here as soon as we’re done, or you can catch it live on Pirate Christian Radio on Wednesday, July 19 at 5 p.m. Central.


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32 Responses to Eugene Peterson’s error isn’t about gay weddings

  1. Linda Slager says:

    The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 1 Timothy 4:1


  2. Beverley says:

    Thank you for this post, Amy and exposing the “real error”.
    Looking forward to the podcast on July 19th.


  3. Joel says:

    One has to wonder how many people have, or will become gay that wouldn’t have without endorsements by celebrity “Christians”. Now that it is okay, according to these supposed spiritual giants, more of the naïve will entertain the gay possibility in their life choices to the point that they become fully corrupted, and unfortunately serious damaged. And to encourage their deviant path, this life style is not only condoned, but is celebrated and put on a pedestal, even in (formerly) “evangelical ” churches. The rate of gay corruption appears to be exponential and is taking down those you never would have expected. Summary: these celebrity Christians are not only tolerating gayness, but are helping swell the numbers of the deceived; probably big time. Why doesn’t that enter the mind of Eugene Peterson. Satan and his angels must be trilled (temporarily though).


    • Maggie says:

      If a gay person is convicted of their sin and wants to turn away from that lifestyle, that person will feel invalidated by the church which says there is nothing wrong with that lifestyle.


  4. Manny1962 says:

    Remember friends, there is a Great Apostasy raging, Revelation says when it’s fulfilled, the man of sin will come forth!

    2 Thessalonians 2:3-2:4

    3Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness (the son of destruction) is revealed. 4He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.…

    Also, many scholars believe there’s a good chance that the antichrist will be a homosexual.

    Daniel 11:37

    37″He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.

    Given today’s climate in Churchianity, I can see how possible and likely this is. There are so many apostates behind pulpits!


  5. John Campbell says:

    This is a perfect example of the Camel sneaking into the tent unnoticed. The road to hell may be paved with good intentions but compromise is it’s sidekick. I think that it was twice that God said you are either for me or against me. Not much grey area there. Never thought I’d see the great apostasy in my lifetime.


  6. Bob Schoenle says:

    This is simply the further fulfillment of Bible prophecy [falling away] prior to the Rapture (2:1-3). Professing Christians who are the ‘foolish virgins’ described in Mt. 25:1-13 are going to be quite shocked when they are left behind after the Rapture. We are not able to do so, but God is able to discern between the wheat and the tares (Mt. 13:24-30). The day after the Rapture everyone left on earth will then be able to do so too! Maranatha!


  7. Manny1962 says:

    John, it is amazing and jaw-slacking how fast eschatological events have coalesced! What we are seeing is just the surface, if you follow politics (specially foreign politics) and economics, it becomes so clear where we stand. The Chinese (one if the Kings of the East) have actually built a railroad to Persia (Iran), logistically speaking, railroad is the best conveyance for moving large armies and war equipment. If you look at a map from Tehran to the plain of Meggido is a hop and a skip! They plan on moving their railways all over the Middle East! Remember, the bible says 200 million men from the East will gather at Meggido!

    First freight train from China arrives in Iran in ‘Silk Road’ :.


    • lyn says:

      Indeed Manny, have you seen this?

      Satan is uniting many dead religions/denominations under one umbrella….he is building his ‘one world’ church at lightening speed.


      • Manny1962 says:

        Wow Lyn! It is moving fast! As they say “all roads lead to Rome!”

        “The World Methodist Council formally endorsed the Catholic-Lutheran accord, known as the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, in 2006. The Anglican Communion is expected to do the same later this year”

        I keep warning people, get out of Rome………get out of Churchianity! And remember we have American Churchianity (Warren, etc) beating a path to Rome! How can’t anyone not see what is occurring?!!! I guess “eyes to see with, ears to hear with.”


      • lyn says:

        Yes, American ‘churchianity’ is deadly, and very subtle. There are a few solid, biblically sound gatherings, but they are few and far between. I haven’t found any in my area within a hundred mile radius, and I’ve been looking for about ten years…..


      • Manny1962 says:

        Hi Lyn please check this out

        I have a comment awaiting moderation


      • Manny1962 says:

        Please, anyone following trends look at link above. Scary and creepy, but it might wake some up to how close things are.


      • Manny1962 says:

        Check this out guys, how deep are we getting? Anyone think we are not going cashless?

        Visa to Help U.S. Small Businesses Go Cashless
        SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul. 12, 2017– Today Visa (NYSE:V) announced it is launching a major effort to encourage businesses to go cashless. Aiming to create a culture where cash is no longer king, the program will give merchants increased ability to accept all forms of global digital payments. Visa will be encouraging and helping merchants go cashless by using innovation to their advantage in order to stay competitively connected to their customers.

        To encourage businesses to go cashless, Visa is announcing The Visa Cashless Challenge, with a call to action for small business restaurants, cafés or food truck owners to describe what cashless means for them, their employees and customers. Visa will be awarding up to $500,000 to 50 eligible US-based small business food service owners who commit to joining the 100% cashless quest.

        “At Visa, we believe you can be everywhere you want to be, and that it should be easy to pay and be paid in more ways than ever – whether it’s a phone, card, wearable or other device,” said Jack Forestell, head of global merchant solutions, Visa Inc. “With 70% of the world, or more than 5 billion people, connected via mobile device by 20201, we have an incredible opportunity to educate merchants and consumers alike on the effectiveness of going cashless.”

        Benefits of Going Cashless

        Visa has recognized the net benefits for merchants when they reduce dependency on cash transaction. Visa recently conducted a study that found that if businesses in 100 cities transitioned from cash to digital, their cities stand to experience net benefits of $312 billion per year. According to this study, in New York City alone, businesses could generate an additional $6.8 billion in revenue and save more than 186 million hours in labor, by making greater use of digital payments. This amounts to more than $5 billion annual costs savings for businesses in New York. The complete results with the benefits of going cashless for businesses will be included in the “Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments” report that will be released by Visa later this year.

        Cashless in Action

        To showcase the benefits of going cashless, Visa will tap into its sponsorship as the official payment partner of Formula E to offer cashless, digital payment acceptance at the first-ever Formula E race in Brooklyn, the New York City ePrix.

        “To Visa, a cashless culture means convenience, security and ease of use. That translates to freedom for consumers and merchants alike,” said Forestell. “The Formula E race is the ideal backdrop because just as Formula E is bringing the future to racing, Visa is bringing the future to payments.”

        In addition, local New York City restaurants, including 2nd City, Fish Cheeks, and Mulberry and Vine are offering their customers cashless experiences during the race weekend. These participating venues are bringing to life paperless, seamless and enhanced payment experiences for their customers over the weekend.

        About Visa

        Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit and @VisaNews.

        1 Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2015-2020

        View source version on

        Source: Visa Inc.


      • Darrel says:

        Thanks for the link, Lyn, disgusting as it is to read these things, it’s good to know what the enemies of Christ are up to.
        A quote from the article says: “By faith alone, in Christ’s saving work, and not because of any saving merit on our part…” This the capitulating (traitors to Christ) “reformed” types say as they hold hands with the delegates of the antichrist himself.


      • lyn says:

        Exactly Darrel. They like to use subtlety to disguise their ecumenism. But deep down they are unregenerate and adhere to an accursed gospel based on works. Satan has used deception since the garden to lead millions down the broad road; they do not love the truth so God turns them over to strong delusion.


      • Manny1962 says:

        Churchianity is a career for these folks! It’s a business! That’s why the Vatican is it’s own kingdom, they have their own bank (full of controversies) their own police, army, their own “government,” printing press, money……this is what the NAR would love to have! Their own “kingdom” here on Earth! At the end of the day, American Churchianity will become Roman, wait and see!


    • Manny1962 says:

      John, read Revelation in light of what’s happening in the Middle East now, along with China, Persia (Iran), Russia and Israel.

      “Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

      And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

      Qin Yong, deputy chairman of the China-Arab Exchange Association, announced that Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an industrial park in Syria for 150 Chinese companies.

      Nothing would make more sense. Before the tragic Syrian proxy war, Syrian merchants were already incredibly active in the small-goods Silk Road between Yiwu and the Levant. The Chinese don’t forget that Syria controlled overland access to both Europe and Africa in ancient Silk Road times when, after the desert crossing via Palmyra, goods reached the Mediterranean on their way to Rome. After the demise of Palmyra, a secondary road followed the Euphrates upstream and then through Aleppo and Antioch.

      Beijing always plans years ahead. And the government in Damascus is implicated at the highest levels. So, it’s not an accident that Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha had to come up with the clincher: China, Russia and Iran will have priority over anyone else for all infrastructure investment and reconstruction projects when the war is over.

      The New Silk Roads, or One Belt, One Road Initiative (Obor), will inevitably feature a Syrian hub – complete with the requisite legal support for Chinese companies involved in investment, construction and banking via a special commission created by the Syrian embassy, the China-Arab Exchange Association and the Beijing-based Shijing law firm.

      Get me on that Shanghai-Latakia cargo

      Few remember that before the war China had already invested tens of billions of US dollars in Syria’s oil and gas industry. Naturally the priority for Damascus, once the war is over, will be massive reconstruction of widely destroyed infrastructure. China could be part of that via the AIIB. Then comes investment in agriculture, industry and connectivity – transportation corridors in the Levant and connecting Syria to Iraq and Iran (other two Obor hubs).

      What matters most of all is that Beijing has already taken the crucial step of being directly involved in the final settlement of the Syrian war – geopolitically and geo-economically. Beijing has had a special representative for Syria since last year – and has already been providing humanitarian aid.”

      The scenario foretold in Revelation which says the Kings of the East will move toward the Middle East is being prepared and actually has begun. I posted a link from a Visa press release, they’re pushing very hard for a cashless system.


  8. Cece says:

    Just watched again, A Man for all Seasons . . .1966. Based on the true story of Sir Thomas More, and his stand against King Henry VIII’s divorce and remarriage. The central theme of this movie is one’s conscience before God in a world that does what is expedient and convenient. In the movie, just before Sir Thomas is executed, he says: ” Man may change laws; that does not mean God has changed His mind.


  9. Dori Price says:

    Thank you Amy. The mention of The Message Bible takes me back to a time when I was forming my biblical worldview as a young Christian. My pastor at the time used The Message often. I looked up to her. I don’t recall being taught discernment or how to rightly handle God’s Word. I blindly trusted the teaching from the pulpit. I experienced a long and difficult time of “chasing” God but never understood that works didn’t save me.

    Thanks to Pirate Christian Radio and the work that you do, Amy, I fully understand the doctrine of Salvation. Amen & Amen.

    Further, your article exposing Eugene Peterson and other so called Christian leaders, who divert from sound biblical doctrine, are important and your work is much appreciated.


  10. Manny1962 says:

    Lyn, Darrel…….. Do you guys remember this? :

    “Evangelicals and Catholics Together is a 1994 ecumenical document signed by leading Evangelical and Roman Catholic scholars in the United States. The co-signers of the document were Charles Colson and Richard John Neuhaus, representing each side of the discussions.[1] It was part of a larger ecumenical rapprochement in the United States that had begun in the 1970s with Catholic-Evangelical collaboration during the Gerald R. Ford Administration and in later para-church organizations such as Moral Majority founded by Rev. Jerry Fawell at the urging of Francis Schaeffer and his son Frank Schaeffer during the Jimmy Carter administration.[2]

    The statement is written as a testimony that spells out the need for Protestants and Catholics to deliver a common witness to the modern world at the eve of the third millennium.[3] It draws heavily from the theology of the New Testament and the Trinitarian doctrine of the Nicean creed. It does not mention any specific points of theology, and instead seeks to encourage what is known as spiritual ecumenism and day-to-day ecumenism. The document was signed at a time when Protestants and Catholics were still fighting each other in Northern Ireland, long after the ecumenical movement had begun.[4]

    Evangelical signatories

    Charles Colson, Prison Fellowship and Southern Baptist Convention affiliated
    Dr. Kent Hill Eastern Nazarene College
    Dr. Richard Land, Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
    Dr. Larry Lewis, Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
    Dr. Jesse Mirand, Assemblies of God
    Mr. Brian O’Connell, World Evangelical Fellowship[6]
    Mr. Herbert Schlossberg, Director of the Fieldstead Foundation and co-author of Turning Point: A Christian Worldview Declaration’ with Marvin Olasky[7]
    Dr. John White, Geneva College and the National Association of Evangelicals.
    J. I. Packer, a British-born Canadian Christian theologian in the low church Anglican and Reformed traditions.

    Roman Catholic signatories

    Fr. Juan Diaz-Vilar, Society of Jesus and Catholic Hispanic Ministries
    Fr. Avery Dulles, Society of Jesus and Fordham University
    Bishop Francis George, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Diocese of Yakima (Washington)
    Msgr. William Murphy, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Boston
    Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, former Lutheran minister and Institute on Religion and Democracy
    Archbishop Francis Stafford, Archdiocese of Denver
    George Weigel, Ethics and Public Policy Center

    Endorsed By

    Evangelical Protestants
    Dr. William Abraham, Perkins School of Theology
    Dr. Elizabeth Achtemeier Union Theological Seminary (Virginia)
    Mr. William Bentley Ball, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ
    Bishop William Frey, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry
    Os Guinness, Trinity Forum
    Richard Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary
    Mark Noll, Wheaton College
    Dr. Thomas C. Oden, Drew University
    Dr. James J. I. Packer, Regent College (British Columbia)
    Pat Robertson, Regent University and the 700 Club
    Dr. John Rodgers, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry
    Roman Catholics Edit
    Professor Robert Destro, Catholic University of America
    Fr. Augustine DiNoia, Dominican Order and Dominican House of Studies
    Fr. Joseph P. Fitzpatrick, Society of Jesus and Fordham University
    Mr. Keith Fournier, American Center for Law and Justice (founded by Pat Robertson)
    Mary Ann Glendon, professor at Harvard Law School
    Dr. James Hitchcock, St. Louis University
    Peter Kreeft, professor at Boston College
    Fr. Matthew Lamb, Boston College
    Ralph Martin, Renewal Ministries
    Michael Novak, Institute on Religion and Democracy and Resident Scholar of the American Enterprise Institute for Social Policy Research
    Cardinal John O’Connor, Archdiocese of New York
    Bishop Carlos A. Sevilla, Society of Jesus and prelate, Archiocese of San Francisco

    We must never forget, and there are many here that weren’t born when this took place,it’s been kept very quiet, it’s out there, but you rarely hear of this.


    • Darrel says:

      Most definitely! There is also an ETC II from 1997 which is hard to find info on, but it was available a year ago. There is another called the Manhattan Declaration signed by many an “evangelical” type and it is just as insidious as both of the ECT’s. Info on it is becoming scarce also with site that named many a popular preacher as having a hand in the writing of the document, but did not sign it. Names like John MacArthur, RC Sproul. James Kennedy, and others my memory can’t recall at present. The MD was signed by nearly every prominent SBC mogul at the time with many still “serving” (read lying) today. Daniel Akin, Al Mohler, Russell Moore, Richard Land. Others include Leith Anderson, Kay Arthur, Chuck Colson—surprise, surprise—Dobson & Daly of focus on the family, Ligon Duncan, Michael Easley, Jonathan Falwell, Tim Keller, Erwin Lutzer, JI Packer, Chuck Swindoll, Joni Eareckson Tada, Michael Youssef, & Ravi Zacharias. None of these names comes as a surprise, the surprise is that the list is not longer when it comes to “evangelicals” of our day (read traitors).


    • lyn says:

      Yes indeed Manny; like Darrel stated, the ‘big names’ affiliated with the MD…it’s just another indication of the sign of the times which we are in. Keeping our eyes on Christ is crucial now and even more so in the very near future..


  11. SusanJ says:

    Not defending Eugene Peterson and not a fan of The Message – but it seems he has backtracked. Explanation can be found on Washington Post.


    • He backtracked after Lifeway stated that they weren’t going to sell any of his trash books. It is all about the ca$h no matter how he spins it. His explanation for why he was pro gay marriage was strong, clear and passionate. His change of tune?…not $o much.


  12. Manny1962 says:

    Amy, my sincerest apologies for my off topic posts! I know I went off the reservation and I’m sorry for that! In my defense, I thought they were terribly important in light of all the things we are beginning to see coalesce….. An Apostasy that is rapidly gaining speed, Visa pushing for and rewarding merchants who stop accepting cash, China’s ever prophetic road into Persia and now to Syria, truly anyone can see the implications! But again, my deepest apologies for not following protocol.


  13. Jim Fletcher says:

    What people are missing here, even apparently Albert Mohler, is that SBC royalty bloodline Jonathan Merritt is driving this engine. Mohler wrote about Peterson. He wants to advance what he’d call LGBT agendas, and so he is. Whether Peterson was a willing accomplice in this exercise in knocking down the walls of evangelical orthodoxy or not, the real story here is Merritt and by extension, why his father does not publicly speak out against his son’s progressive agenda. Yes, that’s his son; I get it. The more important issue is, why are SBC leaders sitting mute while Merritt the Younger continues his attacks against orthodoxy? Will Mohler invite Merritt the Elder on his program and ask about these things? I know the answer to that question.


  14. Manny1962 says:

    All the old mainline denominations have fallen by the wayside, the SBC is compromised to the hilt, my advice to fellow Christians in “church crisis mode” is this: “find yourself three or more like minded followers of Christ, meet on Sunday at home and fellowship with and worship God together.” The Apostasy is unfurling before our eyes, it’s out in the open. Yes the SBC is not what it once was, but then again neither is “Christianity,” it’s been Churchianity for a very long time!


  15. Lupe Torres says:

    What is curious to me is how Christians continue to use the word “gay” to refer to homosexuals.

    Homosexual or pervert applies but Christians continue to fall into the PC trap laid by Satan and his demons.

    The argument I always get is “enjoin them in love”.

    I do. But I will not refer to their lifestyle as gay. It is a distortion of a beautiful word.

    Their lifestyle is perverted and has the highest rate of partner abuse and they encourage pedophilia.

    I think Christians should remember Jesus’ words: Let your yes be yes and your no be no. (ie call a spade a spade).


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