Favourite Share

The Message Bible author retracts same-sex marriage statement

Fri 14 Jul 2017
By Eno Adeogun

The author of "The Message" translation of the bible has retracted his statement that he would perform a same-sex marriage if asked.

Presbyterian pastor Eugene Peterson's comments about homosexuality was revealed in an interview with Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service on Wednesday.

Speaking about how Christians view same-sex relationships and marriages, the retired pastor said: "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".

When asked if he would officiate a same-sex wedding, he replied "yes".

However, following the publication of the interview, the 84 year old released a statement to "clarify" his opinion on same-sex marriages.

He said: "I presume I was asked this question because of my former career as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), which recently affirmed homosexuality and began allowing its clergy to perform same-sex weddings.

"Having retired from the pastorate more than 25 years ago, I acknowledged to the reporter that I "haven't had a lot of experience with it."

"To clarify, I affirm a biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman. I affirm a biblical view of everything."

LifeWay which is America's largest Christian retail chain had indicated on that it may stop selling The Message bible and the pastor's other books if they confirmed Peterson "does not hold to a biblical view of marriage".

This led to some speculation that his u-turn was made to stop his books from being withdrawn from Lifeway.

Premier's Sam Hailes - who interviewed him a few weeks ago - said he "strongly disagrees" with that viewpoint.

During News Hour Hailes said: "Eugene Peterson is a man who has spent years teaching that you should deny yourself and follow Christ - that you shouldn't go after celebrity and fame - that you should tithe and give your money.

"He's actually said he gives his money away anyway - the profits from book sales - he doesn't actually hold onto it, he passes it onto others.

"I think we should trust Eugene Peterson that for whatever reasons he's misspoke and he now is confirming he holds what he describes as a traditional biblical view on the subject of same-sex relationships."

Peterson ended his statement saying: "I regret the confusion and bombast that this interview has fostered. It has never been my intention to participate in the kind of lightless heat that such abstract, hypothetical comments and conversations generate.

"This is why, as I mentioned during this interview, I so prefer letters and will concentrate in this final season on personal correspondence over public statements."

In the interview series with Merritt, Peterson revealed that he will no longer be writing, teaching, or speaking publicly.

Listen to Premiers Sam Hailes speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun:

comments powered by Disqus
Daily news direct to your inbox
Your News Feed

Stay informed and inform others with up to the minute news from a Christian perspective. 

Daily News email

RSS feeds

News Widgets

You may also like...

Sam Hailes meets the 84 year old contemplative pastor and translator... More

Liam Neeson, Stephen Fry and Graham Norton have called for the... More

The first same-sex church wedding in the UK has taken place in... More

Can Christians agree to disagree on homosexuality? “No” says... More