A day after claming that he supports gay marriages, author, Bible-translator and pastor, Eugene Peterson, has made a retraction. Now, the evangelical author upholds the traditional stance that gay marriages are against the will of God.
Peterson explains: "Recently a reporter asked me whether my personal opinions about homosexuality and same-sex marriage have changed over the years. 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."
In his retraction, the 84-year-old said that in nearly three decades as a pastor and in the years since, "I've never performed a same-sex wedding. I've never been asked and, frankly, I hope I never am asked.
"This reporter, however, asked a hypothetical question: if I were pastoring today and if a gay couple were Christians of good faith and if they asked me to perform their wedding ceremony-if, if, if. Pastors don't have the luxury of indulging in hypotheticals," said Peterson. "And to be honest, no is not a word I typically use."
Peterson went on to state that because of the biblical view of marriage, he would not marry a same-sex couple: "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. 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."
Peterson is probably best known for The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Although The Message has received criticism from some bible scholars, many people read Peterson's paraphrased Bible because they find it accessible. The stated goal of The Message was to make the original meaning more understandable and accessible to the modern reader.