Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Music, Theology, Faith, & Gungor

I find myself surprised when Christians get surprised when certain musical icons leave the faith. Recently there has been a large interest in a recent post by Michael Gungor, founder of the Christian band Gungor, that he is leaving some of the basic tenants of the faith, particularly those of the veracity of scriptures. In his blog "What Do We Believe?" Michael Gungor wrote about his doubts concerning the scriptures. He made lots of comments about the stories of the Old Testament and their truth. The funny part is that he chooses to reject the belief in a flood, creation, and similar events due to his ability to observe. I find this interesting because Mr. Gungor has no such ability to truly observe events pertaining to these events, just the same as everyone else born after their occurrence.

He further explained that to him everything is a belief, and all beliefs are built upon assumptions. However, this is only partly true, because the assumptions are built upon beliefs. Our worldview informs our presuppositions, and those presuppositions in turn inform our worldview. It's not quite as simple a system as what Mr. Gungor purports. What truly seems to be happening here is that Mr. Gungor attempted to walk people through a quick overview of metaphysics and existentialism.

He then wrote a quick treatise on behavioralism, where people are a product of their environment. That his faith is the result of assumptions that were fed to him from his parents or prior events in his life. So, he is choosing to rejecting certain "(un)beliefs" that have formed his worldview, but he is only exchanging them for another set of assumptions based heavily in secular humanism.

Now let me be completely clear. I am not attacking Mr. Gungor in the slightest. In fact, I have not necessarily written this post for him to read, but for those people who are either attacking him or curious about these events. He has simply opened the door to some subjects that I would like to address.

First, It is absolutely alright for a Christian to deal with some doubts. If this is what he is dealing with in his personal life, then he has every right to deal with these things however he wants. Doubts are a normal part of life for a believer. Even John the Baptist had doubts to the person of Jesus, a guy he grew up with and knew better than most other people. So, as Christians let's not roast a man for dealing with these questions. I had a time in college dealing with these questions, and I found truth and real logic that helped me to a much more firm foundation in Christ.

Second, Mr Gungor relayed a conversation he had with someone who stated that he was no longer to be considered a Christian because of the beliefs he has rejected. Gungor claims that this is due to his loss of unconscious assumptions from his past, but the truth of his statement is earlier in the sentence when his friend commented that it has nothing to do with how much like Jesus he is acting but about his beliefs. Let's be absolutely clear minded about this. What makes us a Christian is not our actions, or how much we act like Jesus. No, our actions are the proof of us being Christians (see James 2:14-18 and Romans 4). Our faith is our beliefs, and the only true source we have about Jesus is the Scriptures. This is not me being an old school fundamentalist, this is just good research and logic. If you want to know the most accurate details about events, you go to the record of eye-witnesses. If everyone were able to determine their own stories, accounts, and truths about Jesus, then all you end up with is relativism. Relativism is worthless, because no truth can be known. People may argue that relativism results in everything being true, but to make everything true, then everything must be false as well.

For Christians we only have one source of real truth, and that is the account of prophets and apostles recorded in the Scriptures. When we begin to diverge from that truth we then become dependent upon other lesser sources, lesser accounts, and ultimately our own whims. I do not trust in my own ability to determine truth, because I am prone to be wrong...just ask my wife. Mr. Gungor concluded that he judges peoples' faith according to their actions. However, I would argue that their actions are built upon their faith/beliefs.

And as a caveat, I would argue that Christian means belief in Jesus as according to the scriptures. Salvation is through Christ alone, not Christ and belief in the flood of Noah. When in glory, everything will become clear, but Jesus is always constant.

Third and last, I would like to use this to encourage Christians to know what you believe, to know good theology by reading the Scriptures, and evaluating what you listen to. I still listen to Gungor. I love his music, and his creative composition is beautiful. As a musician and guitarist, myself I really enjoy his music. However, I never get my theology from his music. Not because it is his music, but because I get my theology from Scriptures and no where else. I evaluate the music according to their truth. If people had been listening to his music and evaluating his lyrics, they would not have been surprised by this blog. This blog is a more transparent version of what is in his music.

When a person gets all bent out of shape because of events like this, we can understand two things about them: they do not evaluate the lyrics of the music they listen to, and they do not know the scriptures well. They are casual Christians, whose faith truly is built upon the assumptions of others as Mr. Gungor states, because they have never dived into the depths of God through the study of His Word.
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