Russell Moore disappointed after Eugene Peterson embraces gay marriage

Russell Moore, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, said he was disappointed after pastor and author Eugene Peterson expressed his agreement with same-sex marriage during an interview with Jonathan Merritt.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Theology147)Dr. Russell Moore preaching in chapel at SBTS. 9 October 2011.

In a column on The Gospel Coalition on July 13, Moore slammed "The Message" translator Eugene Peterson's apparent willingness to reject the Bible's teaching on marriage as a union exclusively between a man and a woman. The Baptist leader maintained that the book author was wrong about same-sex marriage, and that his view could have a huge impact on other people's eternal lives.

Although Moore did not call for a boycott on Peterson's books, he urged people to use both "skepticism and discernment" when reading all the other books except for the Bible. Moore appreciated Peterson's moral standards in his life, but the Baptist leader also said he would not give the author's books to a new Christian, let alone have him speak at his church or event so as not to cause confusion on the call to repentance.

Moore has been outspoken about his opposition to same-sex marriage and other LGBT agenda. In an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" in April, he said the push for gay rights was dangerous because it marginalized religious freedom in America, The Christian Post reported.

"We need to be the kind of society that protects conscience, that protects the right of people to live out the deepest convictions that they have," Moore told CBS. "And so the idea that if we don't like speech, we shut it down, and if we don't like religions, we shut them out, is not one that we should pursue in American life."

Meanwhile, Christianity Today has published a retraction in which Peterson affirmed his Biblical stance on marriage. The pastor said he only said yes to gay marriage at the moment because he was "put on spot." However, he expressed a desire to retract his statement after a period of reflection and prayer.