Dove Award wininng Gungor is known for soaring worship tunes such as "Beautiful Things" and "Dry Bones." Further, Michael Gungor grew up as the son of a pastor in Wisconsin. However, there were a number of incidents that have caused fans and critics to be concerned over whether or not Michael Gungor has drifted away from the orthodoxy of the Christian faith.
The first of these incidents involves his latest release "I Am Mountan." On one of the songs "Yesternite," Gungor mentions about "the gods." Here are the lyrics: "Yesternite the gods they disappeared from sight / the angels flapped their wings and took their songs to flight / the shadows lift their hands and praise the light." Gungor later explains on the band's blog that he uses "gods" as a general mythological construct to represent the stories that "we thought were true, but no longer are. Stories that we lived by, defined ourselves with, but can no longer believe in."
Second, on the band's blog, "What do we Believe?," the author claims he or she no longer believes in the historicity of Adam and Even and the Flood. Here the author chafes that a close friend no longer considers him a Christian: "Why? Not because my life looks like Jesus or doesn't look like Jesus. But because of my lack of ability to nail down all the words and concepts of what I exactly BELIEVE." Then he nails down exactly what he doesn't believe-in Adam and Eve or the Flood. He has "no more ability to believe in these things then I do to believe in Santa Claus."
Third, in working with Pastor Rob Bell-author of Love Wins-and various poets, Gungor creates ambient music to accompany spoken word poems on religious themes. On the second EP God Our Mother, Gungor views God also as mother: "To know only God the Father would be like only knowing daytime, and never knowing night."
Gungor said the controversy has ballooned in recent weeks, even to the point when a Baptist Church canceled a Gungor concert.
"I tried to ignore it," Gungor said, "but I keep getting texts and tweets... so I thought to myself, 'Hey, what if I weighed in on the conversation about what I think about things?'"
The result of that question was a nearly 2,000-word blog post on the band's website where Gungor said that although he doesn't agree with the literal interpretation of Genesis, it doesn't mean he isn't a Christian. Gungor plainly stated that while he believes in God, that Jesus is the Son of God, that "Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," science and rational thought keeps him from believing the creation and flood accounts.
And, he says, he isn't alone. "[F]rom what I know of Christians, A LOT of us don't take these things literally," he wrote. "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.' That's crazy!"
Gungor said that although he disagrees with those who do make that interpretation, he is OK with the difference of opinion. "I'm for you. I really am. And I'm with you," he said, adding that the divergent viewpoint shouldn't be met with such contention. "You can still love God and love people and read those early Genesis stories as myth with some important things to teach us," he continued. "Not all of you will be ready to do that, and that's perfectly okay," although he warned that making literalism an all or nothing choice will "rob a lot of people of some of the richness that the Bible offers, and will "create a lot more jaded, cynical people that are completely anti-religion out there."