(EDIT 21/02/2015: Added new Andy Stanley’s sermon review which was published on FFtF on the 16/02/2015 .)
Chris Rosebrough has sounded the alarm for Christians to watch out for Andy Stanley’s latest dangerous teachings. It appears that these new teachings from Stanley will be steering the dangerous Seeker Sensitive “Church” movement into greater apostasy.
In reviewing Andy Stanley’s sermon (titled Brand: New), Chris exposed how Stanley downplayed the “sacred” in Christianity and that the bible supports the Seeker Sensitive church model. As Chris Rosebrough pointed out, nothing could have been further from the truth.
This sermon review is worth your while. Below the sermon review is a good article expressing and addressing the issues with Andy Stanley’s teaching.
From Fighting for the Faith,
FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Don’t Miss The Sermon Review!
Click Here to Download this episode
**Do Not Miss the Sermon Review, It’s THAT Important**
• 2015 Prophetic Stragglers Matt Sorger & Jim Bakker
• Cindy Jacobs and the Highway of Holiness?
• T.D. Jakes on Supply & Demand
• Sermon Review: Brand New by Andy Stanley
Source: Chris Rosebrough, Don’t Miss The Sermon Review!, Fighting for the Faith, http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2015/02/dont-miss-the-sermon-review.html, Published 12/02/2015. (Accessed 15/02/2015.)
Chris has also reviewed Stanley’s next sermon:
FEBRUARY 16, 2015
Andy Stanley’s Da Vinci Code Rewrite Of Church History
Click Here to Download this episode
• Andy Stanley’s Da Vinci Code Rewrite of Church History
Source: Chris Rosebrough, Andy Stanley’s Da Vinci Code Rewrite Of Church History, Fighting for the Faith, http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2015/02/andy-stanleys-da-vinci-code-rewrite-of-church-history.html, Published 16/02/2015. (Accessed 21/02/2015.)
Philip Lee writes,
What Andy Stanley is Teaching This Month and Why it Matters
I’ve listened to Andy Stanley’s most recent Sunday sermon three times now. I watched the 9:00 AM service live online. I listened to the download made available by North Point Community Church, which came from the second service and contains a few minor differences compared to the sermon I watched live. Finally, I listened to Chris Rosebrough’s review of the sermon in the February 16 edition of Fighting for the Faith.
Why? I think what’s happening at North Point this month is going to have long-lasting effects on American, and even global, Christianity.
Andy Stanley is easily one of the top five most influential pastors in America, and maybe top 2-3. It’s impossible to quantify such things of course, but it is easily seen if you pay attention to the broad landscape of American Evangelicalism. It’s no secret that pastors around the country duplicate Stanley’s sermons and series, and there have been documented cases of pastors plagiarizing Stanley word-for-word. Thousands and thousands of pastors around America and around the world look to Stanley as a leader and follow his teaching and methods.
Stanley is currently teaching a five week series titled Brand: New. Stanley’s assumption is that Christianity has been corrupted by “Temple Model” thinking since the days of Constantine. He defines the Temple Model as being controlled by sacred places, sacred texts, sacred men, and sincere followers.
His definition of the true Jesus religion comes from half a verse in Galatians. In the ESV, Galatians 5:6 in its entirety reads, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” In his sermon series, Stanley has repeatedly quoted the NIV’s translation of the second sentence of the verse which reads, “The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love.”
Stanley is attempting to build a doctrine of Christianity on half of one verse. And his version of Christianity is one in which it doesn’t matter what a person believes or does, as long as they love their neighbors.
In other words, Stanley is embracing theological liberalism. Actually it might be better to say he’s no longer hiding his theological liberalism.
Three years ago Al Mohler asked, following an Andy Stanley sermon, if the megachurch is the new liberalism. In that sermon, Stanley told the story of two men in his church involved in a homosexual relationship. One man was divorced, the other still married. Stanley told the congregation that the men were forbidden from serving in the church, not because they were in a homosexual relationship, but because one was still married and therefore committing adultery. Many people questioned at the time if Stanley was signaling his approval of gay Christianity – the idea that a person can be actively involved in a homosexual relationship and a Christian.
When I first read about what Stanley was teaching in the Brand: New series I thought he was going to come out as gay affirming. After listening to the first and third sermons in the series I’m not convinced he’s going to make that explicit at this time, but I do believe he is laying the groundwork to do this in the future. Based on comments made this past Sunday, it does seem likely that Stanley is going to endorse female leadership in the church in week five of the series.
All of this is significant because of Stanley’s influence.
If Stanley openly embraces liberalism in the name of bringing more people to Jesus, thousands of others will follow. It should be noted that liberals have been making the same argument for more than two centuries, and that every church that has embraced liberalism is now dead or dying, but the arguments keep being made and people keep buying into them.
Liberalism has always denied essential doctrines of the Christian faith in order to make the faith more palatable to unbelievers. The problem is that if people don’t believe in the God who has revealed in Himself in Scripture, if they don’t believe in the Jesus revealed in Scripture, they are not in Christ, no matter what they call themselves.
The seeker-sensitive movement, in which Stanley is a major player, seeks to make Christianity as accessible as possible to the largest number of people possible. Up to now, most seeker-sensitive churches have remained theologically sound on paper while functioning as liberal churches. They’ve managed to keep their feet in both worlds.
I think that’s about to change.
Stanley has been always been zeroed in on what’s happening in the culture. Twenty years ago when he started North Point in the heart of the Bible Belt, he could not have survived by openly embracing liberalism. The Bible Belt culture simply would not have tolerated a pastor who openly endorsed homosexual Christianity, female pastors, a denial of the Biblical account of creation, or any of the other hot-button issues of our day.
Things have changed. Even among professing Christians today, very few still hold to those positions. Stanley now sees that it is more costly to deny that a homosexual can be involved in homosexual sin and be a Christian than it is to embrace gay Christianity. Even in the Bible Belt, it will be more costly to deny evolution than embrace it.
So, he will say that it doesn’t matter what a person believes as long as they love.
It was very telling, and honestly shocking, that it in this past Sunday’s sermon he indicated that it didn’t matter that Arius believed Jesus wasn’t eternal. For 1700 years virtually every branch of religion that calls itself Christian; Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestantism has agreed that Arius was a heretic who was outside the Christian faith. Stanley said Sunday that it was no big deal. It doesn’t matter what a person believes, as long as they love.
The problem is that Jesus and the Apostles repeatedly warned against those who would proclaim a different gospel or a different Jesus. A Jesus who is not eternally God, as Arius taught, is most certainly a different Jesus than the one revealed in Scripture. The blood of a different Jesus can not atone for our sins.
I do believe that God’s grace is such that those who are unknowingly caught up in a false system can be saved in spite of what they’re being taught if they recognize their sinfulness and trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. But woe to those who preach a different gospel. It’s ironic that Stanley is using a verse from Galatians as the foundation for his series. In Galatians 1:6-9 Paul wrote:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
The immediate context of Paul’s letter to the Galatians was the Judaizers attempting to make circumcision a requirement for salvation. Stanley is clearly not doing that. But, in saying that the only thing that matters at the end of the day is how well we’ve loved our neighbors, he is coming dangerously close to preaching a different gospel and putting people back under the yoke of the Law, if he hasn’t crossed the line.
The summary of the Law and the Prophets, according to Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40, is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Loving your neighbor as you love yourself is Law, and the Law cannot save you unless you keep it perfectly from the day you’re born until the day you die. The problem? We’re all born dead in trespasses and sins and cannot keep the Law. We’re all guilty. So telling people it doesn’t matter what they believe as long as they love others is actually putting people back under the yoke of the Law.
Should we love God? Absolutely! Should we love our neighbors? Absolutely! But if we try to do so without being given new life by God’s grace through faith in the Jesus revealed to us in Scripture, we remain dead in our trespasses and sins and children of God’s wrath. There is no salvation without repentance and faith in the true Jesus.
I don’t yet know what Stanley is going to say in the final two sermons of this series. I think we all need to be paying attention though. Stanley’s influence is such that if he goes off the rails of orthodoxy and into apostasy, American Christianity as we know it will change forever. I don’t think I’m exaggerating.
Source: By Philip Lee, What Andy Stanley is Teaching This Month and Why it Matters, 24 Emmaus Rd, http://24emmausroad.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/what-andy-stanley-is-teaching-this.html, Published 17/02/2015. (Accessed 19/02/2015.)
Categories: North Point Community Church
Lots of scripture quoted and referenced throughout this series.
Why not wait to hear the entire series before writing such a critical article?
I have never once heard Andy mention it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you love. That’s not accurate. This man has lead thousands to Christ! He had always taught Jesus is the only way.
Krissi – thanks for your comment. This is not the first time Andy Stanley’s sermons have come under biblical scrutiny.
His trajectory has been ‘unusual’ for a while now.
“Andy Stanley is easily one of the top five most influential pastors in America, and maybe top 2-3. ” – says who? I’ve never listened to him. People listen to different people. I listen to John Piper, Paul Washer, McArthur.
Retha – It seems the article’s author gives you the answer in the complete paragraph.
“Andy Stanley is easily one of the top five most influential pastors in America, and maybe top 2-3. It’s impossible to quantify such things of course, but it is easily seen if you pay attention to the broad landscape of American Evangelicalism. It’s no secret that pastors around the country duplicate Stanley’s sermons and series, and there have been documented cases of pastors plagiarizing Stanley word-for-word. Thousands and thousands of pastors around America and around the world look to Stanley as a leader and follow his teaching and methods.”
Quite a sad statement, in fact.
Can you read? The article said it was impossible to quantify so its an opinion. But yes, Stanley is the pastor of the second largest church in America. His church has 40,000 members on 6 campuses. That’s influential whether you have heard of him or not. You think he’s not influential because you say so? He’s very influential, unfortunately he’s influencing in the wrong way by teaching unbiblical sermons.
Nothing unusual or unbibical being taught. Nothing “liberal” being taught either. I’ve attended Andy’s church For over a decade and have had the privilege of seeing hundreds of individuals lives transformed by salvation through Christ. The goal of this church and Andy’s messages have always been to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. He is clear about Jesus being the only way! All are welcome at his church and isn’t that how it should be? We are all sinners and fall short. However, this doesn’t mean he or his church condone the sin.
I feel confident that this current series will end with many accepting Christ as their savior. Isn’t that the ultimate goal?
I’m confused by this article because I don’t think it provides an accurate portrayal of this series or Andy Stanley’s teachings in general.
God Bless! 😊
Krissi – Once again thanks for commenting. Would love to hear your thoughts on this latest article:
Chris Rosebrough (who reviewed the sermon on “Fighting For The Faith”), has asked “if Stanley would be willing to interact with me directly. I am deeply concerned about the direction he’s heading.”
And further “the discussion needs to begin with objective historical and biblical sources that can substantiate his claims regarding the so-called “temple model”.”
He never compared Jewish law to pagan worship ever. I have more to say about this article but don’t have time now. Thanks for sharing this. I will read it more closely and respond.
I do think when you are a pastor of a “mega church” you are often stereotyped as being part of a church who waters down the gospel. I can tell you that’s not happening here.
Temple Model was described as the Old Law which is no longer completely applicable to Christianity. Salvation through grace and obeying Christ’s commandment to love God and love others was the emphasis of the message. All of what he said was backed with scripture.
Have you listened to this series?
1. Temple Model is old law. This is just about semantics. Old law/ rules no longer relevant due to salvation through grace by Jesus Christ. Andy mentioned as he has many times that we can never be good enough to earn salvation. Andy even wrote a book about this subject. I think its called How Good Is Good Enough.
2. He explained that when you sin against God you hurt other people. It’s not just about God wanting you in good standing with him alone but God wants you in good standing with others. That is biblical! I can’t quote the verse but it’s along the lines of wait to bring your sacrifice to me after making amends with your brother. Sin is never just about you and God. When David sinned against God, Batheshba and her husband were hurt and there were painful consequences. I’m just using that example because that’s the example the author gave. Sin hurts people and prevents us from being the example God wants us to be. That’s it. What he said was quite simple.
This sermon was not complicated, untruthful or dangerous in any way.
I look froward to the end of this series. I know many lives will be transformed and souls saved.
If this sermon was truthful then why did Andy Stanley blatantly lie and distort church history? Since when is it moral or ethical for a pastor to twist scriptures and the historical facts of Christianity to imply that the seeker sensitive model was what Jesus left behind? That’s a very Hitleresque technnique to pull on people. No one has the right to re-write history to redefine who we are now. That is quite the deviant ploy.
Oddly, knowing religious history was one of the litmus tests that proved ancient prophets. True prophets were able to accurately handle the accounts of Israel often starting with the patriarchs and ending with God leading them into the promised land. False prophets often failed their religious history exams.
The simple fact is, Andy Stanley is rewriting the scriptures just like the false prophets did to promote his lies.
Just like Brian Houston, Stanley is a modern-day Jeroboam. (Read 1 Kings 12:24-33.)
And on the topic of sin, the irony is that Stanley is sinning against God since he is lying about God and therefore hurting other people if they believe his distortions.
So Stanley isn’t being loving at all. And for you to say “Sin is never just about you and God” and use David and Bathsheba as proof of that – why did God demand the life of David for his sin? And why did the judgment fall on the Father’s son?
That type and shadow pointed to the death of God the Father pouring out his wrath and justice upon Christ so we may be spared for ALL our sins. To sin against man is to sin against God.
Please read your bible and prove yourself to be a disciple of Jesus Christ rather than a disciple of men. Fear God and avoid these crafty men.
Thank you for your response. I will take your advice and continue to read my bible and pray for guidance from The Holy Spirit as I do that.
We are all believers and absolutley need to be aware of false teachings. That can be done in a kind and respectful way. I was very interested and open to reading what was written on this website. I respect anyone seeking the truth.
However, you just lost me by calling a fellow believer Hitleresque.
God bless you and I pray that God uses you to do good work and lead others to him. I’m sure that’s where you heart is.
With the way much of the church is heading, do you mind if we recommend you research the German Church Movement or Positive Christianity? This was Nazi Germany’s attempt to change the face of Christianity.
“Nevertheless, efforts by the regime to impose a Nazified “positive Christianity” on a state controlled Protestant Reich Church essentially failed, and resulted in the formation of the dissident Confessing Church which saw great danger to Germany from the “new religion”.”
Many Christians are so ignorant of their bibles and their church history that they will tragically believe anything a “pastor” says.
I think you’ll understand why we used the term Hitleresque in that fashion.
Liberalism absolutely destroyed Christianity in Germany and yet we are seeing Liberalism rise up again through the Seeker Sensitive and Emergent church movements. And if you aren’t familiar with the ideas of liberalism, we would encourage you to look into it further.
Consider this valid observation by wikipedia:
“Steigmann-Gall traces the origins of Positive Christianity to Higher Criticism of the nineteenth century, with its emphasis on the distinction between the historical Jesus, and the divine Jesus of theology.”
Stanley is definitely pushing a modern day Jesus with his temple-model fallacy. We know where you are coming from because we understand the way a lot of people from the Seeker Sensitive movement think. However, Jesus was not anti-establishment. Nor were the apostles. Andy Stanley is pushing this new 21st century revolutionary Jesus that opposes the historical Jesus.
And if you want to know where Andy Stanley and these seeker sensitive pastors get their ideas from, research Peter Drucker.
I will check it out. Any reference to Hitler is obviously harsh and therefore leaves one confused and disturbed.
I also want you to know that I am not blindly following any man. I do not take what you say nor Andy Stanley as gospel. I take God’s word and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and help me to use discernment.
You insinuated that I was being a disciple of Man and that is not what’s going on here. That is an incredibly unsulting thing to say to a follower of Christ. Be careful with your worlds my friend, when using words like Hitleresque without reference will discredit you.
Lastly, I read my bible and have proven myself to be a disciple of Christ to Christ. Thanks is for the advice though. 😊
Our apologies if you thought that our comment “be a disciple of Jesus Christ rather than a disciple of men” was demeaning. That could have been worded better. That was meant to be an encouragement.
Sadly, many Christians come on hear not knowing much at all and defend what they do not know. We are very happy that you are one of those few Christians who test all things by comparing them to God’s Word. God bless you in your bible studies and church history research.
God bless you too, my friend.
We disagree about this particular pastor but I do appreciate your desire to seek the truth.
Another Churchwatcher here, Krissi, I posted the links to the sermon reviews and yes, I’ve heard all the sermons so far. The latest review is worth listening too and there’s a few emails after that section of the program that express the concerns of those who have heard too.
Personally, I’m so deeply troubled with his low view of scripture, it’s breaking my heart. To quote Rosebrough “he’s pouring acid on biblical Christianity, completing rewriting church history and nothing good can come of this.” Krissi, where do we go, if we can no longer appeal to the “sacred text (temple model)”?
I’m also posting another lecture, one that has impacted heavily on those who have allowed their hearts to ‘lead’, rather than God’s Word.
Krissi, is this an example of “sacred text (temple model)”? How do you examine Andy Stanley’s sermons?
Acts 17:10-12 “The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, EXAMING THE SCRIPTURES to see whether these things were so. 12Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.…”
I couldn’t open but will try again. I am afraid to respond because the last exchange was so exhausting. I am open to reading this but I am very cautious. The website lost some credibility with me after the last person I comminicated with called Andy Stanley an unloving, Hitleresque, sinner and liar. If someone is behaving or teaching something that is not biblically accurate, I believe it’s your responsibility to point that out but in a kind and respectful way. I have no desire to argue with a brother or sister in Christ nor do I need a stranger to tell me to please go read my bible. If someone speaks to a new Christian about their pastor in such a hateful manner, you will fail to accomplish what I think you are trying to do.
The animosity amongst Christians makes satan very happy and causes nonbelievers to run either away from church all together or straight to the local Unitarian church where everyone is kind to one another.
Thanks for responding Krissi. There are a few Churchwatchers moderating and we all come from different backgrounds. Among us are some Charismatics, some Pentecostals, some Reformed, some ex-WOF. All in some degree, impacted by their many years in the seeker-friendly, purpose-driven church models. We could all agree that leaving these churches was extremely painful, as the leading out was by the Holy Spirit and many of us lost close friends, community care and some, even family.
Many years ago, a dear Christian witnessed to me and I was deeply offended by their ‘confronting yet loving’ truths, but by the sovereign grace of God, I decided to be like the Bereans, and examine all that was put to me. I’m aware that in the past Andy Stanley was a faithful preacher and teacher of God’s Word, but as I’ve said elsewhere, his latest trajectory is very disturbing.
You listened to your friend and then followed the lead of the Holy Spirit. That’s what I will always do. You did the right thing.
As far as the pain of losing friends and family, I don’t understand that. I’ve had friends leave church over the years for various reasons. We are still all friends. Losing friends and family because you choose to leave a church sounds like you are leaving Scientology not a Christian church. If I left tomorrowm, I do not think I would lose one friend. Our friendships and love for our savior keep us united , regardless of the church we attend.
I attend a prayer group weekly with ladies in my neighborhood. We are all members or regular attenders of different Protestant churches. We share the same faith and desire to know Gods word more deeply regardless of our church affiliation.
It breaks my heart that anyone would lose a brother or sister in Christ as a friend because they chose to leave a church.
I would love to hear your thoughts on today’s message by Andy Stanley. My hope and expectation is that your thoughts can be shared in a kind, respectful and Christlike manner.
Yes I will be listening via podcast Krissi.
If I may put a question to you – if Andy Stanley endorses and approves gay marriage (which many godly men see to be his trajectory), will you want to continue to be part of his congregation?
I don’t think that will ever happen.
I don’t know how we got on that subject?
The answer is to your question is No.
I’m looking forward to hearing what you thought about todays sermon.
Krissi – my time was pretty much consumed by the recent 2015 Shepherds Conference “The Inerrancy Summit” (interesting subject given the controversy surrounding Andy Stanley).
Fortunately another concerned brother in Christ has “put to paper” his final thoughts on Andy Stanley’s final sermon on the series “Brand:New”.
In part – “It was interesting that Stanley brought up the Great Commission and the necessity of going and making disciples, but failed to mention that part of that same commission is teaching disciples to obey all that Jesus commanded. That means that we need to obey the New Testament imperatives, all of them, that Stanley thinks are only examples of how to love our neighbors. Jesus didn’t say to only love our neighbors through acts of service and kindness.”
Read more here: http://24emmausroad.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/final-thoughts-on-brand-new-series.html
I wish you could watch it also. You would be able to see multiple verses of scripture on the big screen for all to see, pretty much throughout the entire service. There’s always scripture on the big screens, it just seemed like even more quoted today. That was pleasing for me to see.
As someone who attended a similar church to yours, I saw scripture up on the screen twice every Sunday for decades. It was by the leading of the Holy Spirit that I began to compare what was being said from the pulpit with the actual context of the verses. And yes, it’s incredibly painful to admit that my own lack of biblical discernment allowed me to enjoy the ministry of a powerfully influential charismatic leader for such a long time.
You make a really good point! Just because scripture is quoted and put up on a screen doesn’t really mean anything if it’s twisted into something that God never intended it to be.
Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It sounds like you allowed the Holy Spirit to lead. You obviously made the right decision.
I mentioned previously that I do not take what any man says and allow that to be my gospel truth. I read Gods word and ask for discernment from The Holy Spirit. I found that when he speaks, I am unable to ignorehim, even if I want to.
I do not feel like I am part of any cult like church. I could leave tomorrow and my relationship with Jesus Christ would continue to grow. Church is not my faith and Andy is not my God. God is my God and if I feel the Holy Spirt leading me away from this church, I will run, not walk away.
I am not feeling that way at all! I am seeing lives transformed, families reunited and souls saved. I am feeling the Holy Spirit very present in this church.
I hate that church has caused others pain. Church should be a place where one finds healing and hope through Jesus Christ.
Krissi – I admire you for how you handled the above exchanges. I believe the love of Christ was shown through your gentleness and kindness(fruits of the spirit) with these people.
It makes me sad when followers of Jesus try to pick a fight with other followers.
Who is “picking a fight”, Brian?
Thank you, Brian. What an incredibly kind thing to say. I can think of no greater compliment than then one you just paid me.
Krissi – from Hillsong Churchwatch we have this comment…
Xaq Matthews – I wrote a response to the sermon series here: http://xaqmatthews.blogspot.com/2015/03/not-so-brand-new.html
Stanley clearly has a very misguided understanding of Christianity, and he made it incredibly clear over the last five weeks.
Your tone was very respectful and I appreciate you not comparing Andy Stanley to Hitler.
I think it’s obvious that inorder to love others as yourself you must first love God with all of your heart, soul and mind. It would be impossible to follow the latter command of loving others without loving God first. Loving others to that degree is unnatural and can only be accomplished supernaturally.
Your article was well written and you never made any ridiculous claims nor did you name call. Good job!
Krissi – did Andy Stanley ever fully explain this lecture to your satisfaction?
Dr. James White is asking the questions. http://www.aomin.org/
I agree with the gentleman in the video when he explained that he may be saying they did not have a complete canonized New Testament. The new churches Paul estsblished and those right after Christ’s death believed because they were filled with the Holy Spirit and knew what was being taught about Jesus to be true, regardless of having what we have today.
This topic was not a big part of this sermon.
Thanks for responding Krissi – “Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books”. Great interview attached here.
Unfortunately as Dr. White correctly points out “they all were told something that really doesn’t make any sense and that really misleads them and gives them really an idea that simply isn’t true and unfortunately this kind of thing is just all too common these days and we need to bring correction where we possibly can….”.
My question would be, why has Andy Stanley gone off on the trajectory he’s taking? John Macarthur (and Chris Rosebrough) warned the body of Christ for years about the “liberal” leanings of Rob Bell and Brian McLaren. And there’s something unusual going on with Andy Stanley, and sadly it’s starting to be obvious to many others.
I meant to say regardless of NOT having what we have today.
One thing I’ve realized throughout theses exchanges is that I am not capable of typing more than a few words with typos.
Also, what book is he referring to in the video? He called it Kruger’s book?
I read the attached interview. It was interesting and I mean that in a good way.
The only man I’m somewhat familiar with that you mentioned above is John MacArthur. Isn’t he the man who criticized Billy Graham’s teachings regarding salvation? I’ll google the other men.
I will also keep my eyes open for anything unusual going on at church. I’m not anticipating anything usual to occur, but you never know. Someone described Andy as a modern day Jerobaum so I will be looking out for golden calves too.
Krissi – you may be refering to this sermon attached (transcript provided), this all coming closely on the heels of Dr. Graham’s interview with Robert Schuller.
John Macarthur was one of many who expressed great concerns about these remarks, even his son Franklin Graham did some quick ‘damage control’ at the time.
No one really talked about loving your neighbor today. Today we talked about baptism. That’s in the Great Commision isn’t it?
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Is Andy Stanley About To Be Gay-Affirming?
“Back in 2012, I was pretty unfamiliar with pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. I was, however, familiar with his father, pastor Charles Stanley of FBC Atlanta. In fact, I had bought several of the elder Stanley’s books. Some minor disagreements aside, I have always viewed him as a faithful teacher & preacher. I would have expected the same from his son, but that was my mistake. So it took me by surprise when in April 2012, Andy Stanley delivered his “When Gracie Met Truthy” sermon. From The Christian Post:
While preaching on the tension between grace and truth (“the truth is ‘you’re a sinner,’ and the grace is ‘I don’t condemn you'”), Stanley told the story of a divorced couple who formerly attended North Point together. They separated after the woman’s husband began a same-sex relationship with another man, who was still married to a woman.
The man and his partner wanted to serve as volunteers at the church, but Stanley explained that the two men were committing adultery since one of them did not finalize his divorce yet and thus could not serve as volunteers.
The “messy” story, as Stanley described it, ends with the gay couple, the first man’s ex-wife and their child, as well as her new boyfriend and his child from another relationship, all coming together to worship together at a big service at North Point Church. The pastor refers to them as an example of a modern day family. Christians, he said, are called not only to hold on to the truth, but also to grace which includes forgiveness and love.
Which was followed by this analysis by Albert Mohler:
The most puzzling and shocking part of the message was the illustration and the account of the homosexual couple, however. The inescapable impression left by the account was that the sin of concern was adultery, but not homosexuality. Stanley clearly and repeatedly stressed the sin of adultery, but then left the reality of the homosexual relationship between the two men unaddressed as sin. To the contrary, he seemed to normalize their relationship. They would be allowed to serve on the host team if both were divorced. The moral status of their relationship seemed to be questioned only in terms of adultery, with no moral judgment on their homosexuality.
Dr. Mohler then went on to ask:
Does this signal the normalization of homosexuality at North Point Community Church? This hardly seems possible, but it appeared to be the implication of the message. Given the volatility of this issue, ambiguity will be replaced by clarity one way or the other, and likely sooner than later.
What hardly seemed possible in 2012 is now, it seems, likely. Last month, in January 2015, Andy Stanley gave an interview regarding his new book, The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating. When asked why he wrote the book without addressing the “LGBT community”, he said:
When I taught this content to our churches, I met with about 13 of our attenders who are apart of the LGBT community. I met with them to ask lots of questions, including their response to the series because I did not address the LGBT community directly. It was unanimous that they thought it was helpful and shared some of the stuff they learned.
So there are people attending North Point that identify as LGBT. The problem is that Stanley is not calling them to repentance. Instead, he seems to be very sensitive not to offend them. This is just a small step shy of “gay-affirming”.
Then on February 1, 2015, Stanley gave a sermon in which he declared that the church has become “unnecessarily resistible” to unbelievers. Take a look:
“The Church really should be … nothing more than a community of people who follow the teaching of a man sent from God to explain God and to clear the path to God. You don’t have to agree but you shouldn’t dislike it unless there’s more to it.”
“How is it there are things that people say about us (Christians), the reasons they don’t like us have nothing to do with the fact that Jesus is ultimately our ultimate authority?” Stanley asked. “How did we become so resistible? … (Jesus’) three top commandments [were] to love God, love one another, love your enemy. What is there to resist about that? There should be nothing resistible about the church except … our loyalty to Jesus Christ.”
There is just so much wrong with these statements. “You don’t have to agree”? On key doctrine, oh yes, we do. Philippians 2:2 tells us we are to be “of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.”
“How is it there are things that people say about us, the reasons they don’t like us have nothing to do with the fact that Jesus is ultimately our ultimate authority?” Could we have some specifics here? I’m not sure to what he’s referring, but all the reasons I ever see for unbelievers not liking Christians are indeed relating to the truth of Jesus and the bible. It’s those so-called Christians that never speak the truth of scripture and never call unbelievers to repentance that the world loves.
Stanley also stated:
“We are going to figure it out,” he told North Point attendees. “We are going to let go of the things that have been holding us back. We are going to do our best to re-embrace what Jesus had in mind when he said this is something new.”
“By God’s grace, perhaps in our generation, we will be used to strip away everything that makes the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ unnecessarily resistible.”
As I said, the primary thing that makes the church resistible is the truth of Christ. The necessity to turn from sin and turn to Christ in faith. The unregenerate love their sin and the only “church” they will attend is one which accepts, or even applauds, their lifestyle.
I will hold out hope that Stanley’s church is not going to become gay-affirming, but it certainly appears headed in that direction. Sadly, Andy Stanley’s North Point would not be the first gay-affirming evangelical megachurch in the country. It would be the third, following Seattle’s EastLake Community Church and GracePointe of the greater Nashville area.”
That sermon was 3 years ago. The topic of that sermon was Forgiveness. It’s time to move on. Why make predictions about something you think may happen based on an illustration used in a sermon 3 years ago?
Because three years later he’s introduced something “brand new”?
That series is over and that was never mentioned.
Churchwatchers, don’t miss the obvious. “Krissi” successfully defended her position with you in a graceful, loving, Christ-like way, even after you dropped no less than three pages of text and over ten web links on her, all while castigating NorthPoint’s ministry by comparative and speculative means. As a self-confessed active participant in Northpoint’s church, she handled your insecurities and she handily defended, not only Andy Stanley, but the context of his messages. She demonstrated 1 Peter 3:18, especially the first part. All of this from a “lay person.” That should give you gentlemen pause as to the spiritual level of commitment from someone who is involved and in that church as a lay person. I’m impressed. We need more congregants like Krissi. Great job, Krissi!
Thank you, Steve!!
I just want people to know that this is not a church full of uneducated, easily manipulated Christians who are blindly following the teachings of some gifted, charismatic teacher who only preaches about happy things that the masses want to hear. That is not happening!
Thanks for commenting Steve. I think Krissi would agree that apart from one comment she was treated with great respect, even though we disagree.
Sadly Andy Stanley seems to be “the gift that keeps on giving”. His most recent statements at a conference about gay youth for instance, why just gay youth, why not all youth?
“There is not consensus in this room when it comes to same-sex attraction. There is not consensus in this room when it comes to gay marriage,” said Stanley.
“We just can’t continue to look into the filter of our politics at our spirituality. Its got to be the other way around … and specifically when it comes to this issue.”
During his remarks, Stanley also introduced a plan for churches to “take a break” from the culture wars for a year and change the nation through internal example.
“If all the Christians for just one year … would quit looking at porn … would quit smoking weed, would quit having premarital sex, would quit committing adultery, would pay their taxes and every church just foster one kid; in one year our nation would feel different,” said Stanley.
“Because there are so many Christians. So basically, if we would just be better Christians, everything we would like to see changed for the most part would change.”
The words above remind me of Brian Maclaren with his ambiguous statements about gay marriage and representation of a kinder and gentler form of Christianity. Come forward a few years and he performs the “marriage” of his own gay son to his partner. So Andy says we should just quit sinning for just one year? What an odd statement. People are not gay. People are sinners. As if that would make a difference, as we are all inherently sinful and will remain so until Christ’s return.
Andy says there are leaders at that conference with different views on same-sex marriage. These different “views” revealing much about their pragmatism as evangelical leaders. There’s a deceptive unity at work here that appears to be trumping genuine biblical truth and genuine biblical love.
I’m wondering if Andy Stanley is a fan of Dr. David Gushee (http://www.reformationproject.org/gushee-endingcontempt)?
In closing I would agree that church should be a safe place for a gay person but that doesn’t mean they should be comfortable in their sin at church either. Being uncomfortable and convicted in your sin is actually part of the church being a safe place.
Are you aware that he just wrote a book for heterosexual youth called Love Sex and Dating? It’s a good read. Great advice for Christian parents teaching their children about the dangers and consequences of sexual sin.
All parents of teenagers were given a copy. I agree , Andy is a gift that keeps on giving.
Krissi – Yes of course I’m aware he’s written the book. It will be interesting to see the future direction of his ministry, as there are quite a few well known godly caring pastors who have concerns over his trajectory. I’m interested to know how you feel about the gay “christian” issue Krissi – do you see this becoming something we have to accept as Christians? That we have to accept the gay christian marriages, their taking of communion etc?
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just pick and choose what I want God to condone. Obviously we can’t do that. I have met some truly fantastic people who happen to be homosexual in my life. I love them and so does God. However, if scripture and the Holy Spirit tell me that the homosexual lifestyle is a sin, then I can’t accept or condone it. I do want any and everyone to come to my church and hear God’s word and know that they are loved and that God has a plan for their lives. I am a sinner myself so if I’m welcome at the church then they should be as well. Does this mean I accept the sin or I would be part of a congregation that does.? The answer is No.
I think it’s very important to pray for any ministry, especially one as influential as Andy Stanley’s.
The question Krissi needs to be asked is do you know and believe the gospel, repented of your sins and turned to Jesus for new life in Him?
We can answer your questions after you answer that.
The answer to your question is yes! I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my savior and read, study and follow scripture. I have a personal relationship with him, love him deeply and his spirit dwells within me.
Good question and always an important one to ask. 😊
I have repented of my sins but I like you and every other human are still sinners. I think I know where you are coming from. One cannot continue to live a life of sin without repentance and stay connected to God. Is that what you are saying?
Kristi, I’m doing research on mega- churches, and Mr Children’s pastor loves Andy Stanley’s teaching. My only concern with him is his stand on homosexuality. Can you show me where he stands on this very relevant issue. Thanks.
Hello- I can tell you that I don’t think any gay marriages will be performed at this church. I know I’ve heard churchwatchers express concerns about that. My husband and I recently considered volunteering for a ministry that provides respite to foster families. The information we read stated that N Pointe ministries defines marriage as stated in scripture as between a man and a woman. It clearly said that if you are a homosexual couple you cannot volunteer for this ministry.
I have also heard Andy state that sex outside of marriage is a sin.
That’s about all I know.
Good luck with your research. I know you can watch sermons and baptisms online.
Thanks so much, in my research I’ve seen so many conflicting things written about all the mega- church pastor’s, mostly negative. I will continue on my research, and will listen to Pastor Andy’s teaching. God bless you.
Rick- I totally think it just depends on the pastor and church.
If you are on FB, follow a FB page called North Point Online. I think you may enjoy watching baptisms and people sharing their testimonies.
Also, I encourage you to get your bible out and make sure the messages you hear from the many mega church pastors you research line up with scripture.
God Bless You!!
Thanks Krissi, yes I’m on F.B. and will do that. I live in Callahan Fl. right outside of Jacksonville. My wife and I intend to visit North Point in the near future. I noticed that a lot of Pastor Andy’s critic’s also attack his Dad as well as for being soft on homosexuality and preaching false doctrine. I checked into that and it’s just not true. I’m beginning to feel that some of these attacks are out of envy, which is sad. Thanks again for your time : Rick
Rick. – just out of interest, did you listen to the sermon review in the article? These reviews are done with great biblical integrity and discernment by Chris Rosebrough. All reviews found here:
And yes, the alarm bells are starting to go off in many other places.
I know this is off-topic but: Can you gossip and be a Christian? Can you divorce and be a Christian? Can you be fat and be a Christian? Can you be in debt and be a Christian? Can you lose your temper and be a Christian? Can you dislike someone and be a Christian? Can you curse and be a Christian? Can you be incarcerated and be a Christian? Can you cheat on your spouse and be a Christian? Can you have an abortion and be a Christian? Can you take a pen from the office supply closet and be a Christian? Can you pillage money from the church coffers and be a Christian? Can you be vain and be a Christian? Can you be rich and be a Christian? Can you not tithe and be a Christian? Can you not attend church and be a Christian? Can you watch R-rated movies and be a Christian? I am so tired of the fear and loathing of homosexuals on Christian media. Seems like we have grace for these and a thousand other sins but have closed arms toward homosexual brothers and sisters. And, yes, I believe you can be gay and Christian. Many a church would be dead right now were it not for their gay congregants. If they are unfit to serve, than every other person committing the sins described are unfit as well including me as an obese Christian. Thankfully my church has never told me I couldn’t serve because I am too fat. As for Andy Stanley, I am in the middle of his “Staying in Love” series now. I am listening again in preparation to share it with a non-Christian coworker who is having marital troubles. Maybe I shouldn’t and just let her marriage continue down it’s path to destruction. Better that than to expose her to apostasy. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)
Philip Lee writes “Stanley is attempting to build a doctrine of Christianity on half of one verse. And his version of Christianity is one in which it doesn’t matter what a person believes or does, as long as they love their neighbors.” This is just not true.
The love doctrine of faith is based on more than one verse in the Bible. If Mr. Lee needs the short version, I would suggest Mark 12:30-31. If Mr. Lee needs a refresher on Paul’s view of love, I would suggest 1st Corinthians Chapter 13. Paul does not take the word “love” lightly, neither does Andy Stanley. Paul is very clear that true love only comes through faith, which is the point of Galatians 5:6.
I will graciously accept the liberal and conservative division you are drawing. Liberal is Love. Conservative is Law. Pretty much describes why Jesus was crucified by the conservatives. I refer to the question asked to Krissi on April 24th.
“The question Krissi needs to be asked is do you know and believe the gospel, repented of your sins and turned to Jesus for new life in Him?” Where is the love? This is the conservative, sin, repent, guilt-ridden, law view of Christianity.
I would have asked “Krissi, do you believe God loves you and desires a personal, loving relationship with you? Are you ready to embrace God’s love and make it your own? Are you ready to be God’s ambassador on earth, loving God, living in a positive relationship with God. and always on the lookout for ways to serve others?” This is the liberal view. In the liberal view, the desire to not sin is a function of love and relationship.
I love your last paragraph Richie. The answer is YES.
The Jews thought this was liberal as well, as Paul goes on to explain to them that the freedom in Christ is not a license to sin. Learning how to walk in the Spirit, and not in the flesh, to have the desires of our heart’s changed, to love unconditionally the way we have been loved by God. Is the one thing will that will cause a much needed revival in our land.It’s up to you to read the whole text because there’s a whole list of desires of the flesh in Gal.5. But, Paul tells us walk by the spirit, and there is a whole list, and love is the key. Something that has been nonexistence in “the Bible Belt”, where many believers sit Sunday after Sunday and filled with hatred for people of color.And some who think they are serving God and country.Where is the love coming from, the news channels, hate filled radio programs that feed there itching ears, or politicians who promise them they will keep it that way. The Love of God is the only thing that will help create better homes,families, communities,cities,states, and a better nation. Remember the Spirit is “Holy” and he wants to teach us how to live “Holy” in Christ. There are nine attributes in Gal.5:22-26 which can not be lived out without the power of the Holy Spirit, of which Paul say’s “against such things there is no law”. This freedom is not to be taken lightly, in fact there is way too much hatred in this nation for so many to have known the love of God. God is no respecter of person’s, Love is the only thing we have in common. The world watches these United States to set the standard, to be the example of God’s love. God himself is also watching and waiting for us to respond to His love in a better way than we do.
You’ll find these same comments on this Topic and more in this sermon titled “Contemporary Churches”
Pastor you have a very serious problem, you are consumed with jealousy, focus on preaching the word and growing your church and winning souls to the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ!