Wednesday, July 12, 2017


HYPOCRITE: NOW Critical of Mega-Churches Who Have Used His Adulterated, Mangled "Message Bible"?


Eugene Peterson: Donald Trump is 'The Enemy' Who Has 'No Morals or Integrity'


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
Retired Presbyterian Pastor Eugene Peterson issued a stinging criticism of Donald Trump, saying the U.S. President is "the enemy" who has "no morals" and "no integrity".
The scholar and author of popular book The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language, was recently asked by Jonathan Merritt of Religion News Service to share his thoughts on Trump and the "political mood animating our world."
Peterson, 84, did not mince words in his response.
"I think we're in a bad situation. I really do," he said. "Donald Trump is the enemy as far as I'm concerned. He has no morals. He has no integrity."
He added, "But I have good friends who think he's wonderful. But I think they put up with it less and less. People are getting pretty tired of him, I think. Some of us were tired of him before he was elected. I think we can put up with it, though. I don't think it's the end of the road."
During the presidential election, Trump garnered major endorsements within the evangelical community, including Paula White, a televangelist and pastor of mega-church New Destiny Christian Center in Florida, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., and Robert Jeffress, the pastor First Baptist Church-Dallas. Overall, white evangelical voters voted in high numbers for Trump, with 81 percent, according to exit poll results
However, other evangelical leaders, like Desiring God author John Piper, Russell Moore, who presides over the political arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, and evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem actively spoke out against Trump's campaign, policies, and tactics.
Peterson, who pastored Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air for twenty-nine years, said he believes there's a "whole part" of the Christian church that "operates out of fear."
"It's a negative kind of gospel, which I think is quite contrary to the Gospel that Jesus brought to us," he said. "I'm not happy with that. As with Trump, I think we can survive that too. Overall, I'm optimistic. That's the short answer."
Earlier this year, Peterson teamed up with U2 frontman Bono and retired Presbyterian to release a documentary about the book of Psalms and is currently finishing his final book, "As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God."
In his interview with RNS, Peterson shared his thoughts on homosexuality, telling the outlet that if he were stll pastoring, he would perform a same-sex wedding if asked. Merritt notes that in "The Message," Peterson doesn't use the word "homosexual" and "homosexuality" in key texts. 
The popular author also said he doesn't believe pastors today are "doing their job", as many churches are more concerned with increasing the number of attendees than ministering to individuals.
"I think the thing that's most disturbing is the megachurch because megachurches are not churches," he said. "My feeling is that when you're a pastor, you know the people's names. When 5,000 people come into the church, you don't know anybody's name. I don't think you can be a pastor with just a bunch of anonymous people out there. In the megachurch, well, there's no relationship with anybody. I think the nature of the church is relational. If you don't know these people that you're praying with and talking with and listening to, what do you have? I feel pretty strongly about that."
He added that overall he isn't "disheartened" by the state of the church, but is "upset by the fad-ism of the megachurch."
"I just don't think they're churches," he said. "They're entertainment places." 
Here’s what Eugene Peterson says of U2 in the foreword to the spiritually silly book Get Up Off Your Knees, Preaching the U2 Catalog:
Is U2 a prophetic voice? I rather think so. And many of my friends think so. If they do not explicitly proclaim the Kingdom, they certainly prepare the way for that proclamation in much the same way that John the Baptist prepared the way for the kerygma of Jesus…Amos crafted poems, Jeremiah wept sermons, Isaiah alternately rebuked and comforted, Ezekiel did street theater. U2 writes songs and goes on tour, singing them.
 The Rock Group U2 
 "“Bono played a far more significant role on the formative years on those who became emergent than anyone else, from a human standpoint. Bono, in the 1980s, was, if not worshipped, then absolutely adored by millions of Christian youth who were hanging on his every word. They saw his cool kind of Christianity. He helped lead people into what eventually became the emerging church. Bono has led people into a version of Christianity that is so slippery, so undefinable, so liberal, yet he is considered the main icon of the emerging church” (Joseph Schimmel, The Submerging Church, DVD, 2012)."
"Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, says U2 has a prophetic voice to the world and says Bono is a prophet like John the Baptist (foreword to Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog)."
"In fact, U2 is not a church and rather is destitute of spiritual truth when judged biblically. That U2 is wildly popular with contemporary Christians is a fulfillment of the apostasy described in 2 Timothy: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)."
"There is no evidence in U2’s lives, music, or performances that they honor the Word of God."
"Though he speaks positively of Romanism, Bono has nothing good to say about “fundamentalism,” falsely claiming that it is a denial that God is love (Bono on Bono, p. 167) and calling it vile names (p. 147)."
"Bill Flanagan, a U2 friend who has traveled extensively with the group, in his authorized biography describes them as heavy drinkers and constant visitors to bars, brothels, and nightclubs."
"For their Vertigo Tour in 2005, U2 promoted “Coexist” as an icon for world peace. Bono wore a “coexist” headband that featured the cross of Christianity, the crescent moon of Islam, and the star of David of Judaism: and he led the crowds in shouting, “Jesus, Jew, Muhammad, it's true; all sons of Abraham.”"

 Bono & Eugene Peterson | THE PSALMS
 Published on Apr 26, 2016
This short film documents the friendship between Bono (of the band U2) and Eugene Peterson (author of contemporary-language Bible translation The Message) revolving around their common interest in the Psalms. Based on interviews conducted by Fuller Seminary faculty member David Taylor and produced in association with Fourth Line Films, the film highlights in particular a conversation on the Psalms that took place between Bono, Peterson, and Taylor at Peterson’s Montana home.

The film is featured exclusively through FULLER studio, a site offering resources—videos, podcasts, reflections, stories—for all who seek deeply formed spiritual lives. Explore these resources, on the Psalms and a myriad of other topics, at

© Fuller Theological Seminary / Fuller Studio

a Fourth Line Films production, in association with Fuller's Brehm Center Texas and W. David O. Taylor

[Video message, 2002] Mr. Peterson, Eugene, my name is Bono. I'm the singer with the group U2 and wanted to video message you my thanks and our thanks from the band for this remarkable work you've done. There's been some great translations, very literary translations, but no translation that I've read that speaks to me in my own language, so I want to thank you for that. Take a rest now, won't you? Bye.

Eugene Peterson:
I’d never heard of Bono before. Then one of my students showed up in class with a copy of the Rolling Stones—Rolling Stones?—and in it there was an interview with Bono in which he talked about me and The Message. He used some slangy language about who I was, and I said, "Who's Bono?" They were dumbfounded I'd never heard of Bono, but that's not the circle I really travel in very much. That's how I first heard about him.

Then people started bringing me his music, and I listened to his music, and I thought, "I like this guy." After a while I started feeling quite pleased that he knew me.

[Interview at Point Loma Nazarene University, 2007:]
Dean Nelson:
Yes, but the rest of the story is that he invited you to come and hang with them for a while. You turned him down.

Eugene Peterson:
I was pushing a deadline on The Message. I was finishing up the Old Testament at the time, and I really couldn't do it.

Dean Nelson:
You may be the only person alive who would turn down the opportunity just to make a deadline. I mean, come on. It's Bono, for crying out loud!

Eugene Peterson:
Dean, he was Isaiah.

Dean Nelson:

Jan Peterson:
The Old Testament is a long, long book, much longer than the New Testament, and it did take a long time and a lot of devotion on both of our parts to have that happen.

I have to say, in the last years, Eugene's writing has kept me as sane as this is, if you call it sane, which you probably won't. Run With the Horses, that's a powerful manual for me, and it includes a lot of incendiary ideas. I hadn't really thought of Jeremiah as a performance artist. Why do we need art? Why do we need the lyric poetry of the Psalms? Why do we need them? Because the only way we can approach God is if we're honest through metaphor, through symbol. Art becomes essential, not decorative. I learned about art, I learned about the Prophets, I learned about Jeremiah with that book, and that really changed me.

Eugene Peterson:
Then several years later...This was about 4 years ago, 4 or 5 years ago...Bono would like Jan and me to come to Dallas for a concert. We went to the concert. He was very sensitive to us. We were really well cared for, had really good seats. I'd never seen a mash pit before. That was my introduction to the mash pit. Is it a pit?

(Voice off camera):
It's a mosh pit.

Eugene Peterson:
Mosh pit. Okay. You can see how uneducated I am in this world.

We had a 3-hour lunch. We just had a lovely conversation. It was very personal, relational. He didn't put me on any kind of a pedestal, and I didn't him, so we were very natural with each other. Through that 3-hour conversation, I was just really taken by the simplicity of his life, of who he was, who he is. There was no pretension to him. At that point I just felt like he was a companion in the faith.

[About U2’s song “40,” based on Psalm 40:]
I think it's one of his best ones. He sings it a lot. I mean, he does this a lot. It's one of the songs that reaches into the hurt and disappointment and difficulty of being a human being. It acknowledges that in language that is immediately recognizable. There's something that reaches into the heart of a person and the stuff we all feel but many of us don't talk about.

[Quoting from The Message’s translation of Psalm 40:]
I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked. Finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch. He pulled me from deep mud, stood me up on a solid rock to make sure that I wouldn't slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song...