Mega-pastor Andy Stanley continues to sow confusion and worse in the church in America – and probably beyond.
I’ve written much about his disdain for and repudiation of the Hebrew Scriptures in general and the Ten Commandments specifically – like his statement that the latter do not apply to Christians and need not be observed.
Feel free to review my two most recent commentaries on the subject – “Plucking apart Andy Stanley’s Chick-fil-A theology” and “Mega-pastor to Christians: Ten Commandments don’t apply to you.”
While most of the comments and reaction I have received have been positive, a few demonstrate the confusion about the Christian obligation to turn away from sin – and how believers are to know sin when they see it.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about from a dear reader named Bob:
“I studied at a Bible Institute, great place, godly men and women that taught the subjects. I am not a scholar or pastor, just a Christian guy who loves the Lord! This latest controversy brought me back to some healthy discussions we had in class. I have heard some of Andy’s preaching, and I think Andy gives some practical life lessons that are backed by Scripture. However, this is very disturbing because the Ten Commandments can be found throughout the New Testament.
“Back to that class, one of the questions that came up was, if Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament, and we no longer have to live by the law, how can you say we have to remember and follow some of the Old Testament but not all? Our teacher told us that if Jesus discussed the subject in the New Testament then it carries over. So, one can only conclude since the Ten Commandments are woven into and referred to by Jesus in the New Testament they are very relevant! My question, and I know it is a simple way to look at it, but would you agree with my basic rule? It’s a rule I have used when witnessing. I understand that the Old Testament is important and should not be overlooked; I think sometimes Christians do not want to do the hard work or take the time, but you need to know what happened in the Old Testament to really appreciate Salvation!
“Thank you for taking the time to read and for your article, and keeping watch!”
Here’s my short and sweet response to Bob – just to get him thinking.
“Let me ask you a theoretical. If you killed someone and didn’t repent, what would happen to you?
“If you stole from someone and didn’t repent, would you enter the Kingdom?
“What do you mean by saying, in effect, ‘I don’t have to follow the law to be saved.’ Does that mean you are free to sin?”
Thankfully, Bob’s answer was clear:
“It is my understanding that an unrepentant heart and an unforgiving heart has no place in the Kingdom of God. No, I am not free to sin. I was raised in the Catholic Church. I accepted Jesus in high school. I learned early that I had to perform and do good for God’s acceptance. Early in my rebirth, Christian walk, I had to learn that I was loved unconditionally, but yet I was not free to sin. I also struggle with religion. I have left the last two churches my wife and I attended because they took a hard left in theology. When I started to hear sermons that used Harry Potter books as a basis it was time to GO! I am going to get and read your books.
“Regarding your last question, I don’t have to sacrifice animals because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and resurrection. My salvation doesn’t come through that system. It is through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Am I free to sin, no! Do I? Yes, I fall short, but I go to the cross for forgiveness.
“I appreciate you taking the time to respond and asking pointed questions!”
Bob gets it, but others I heard from don’t see the clear connection I try to draw between the very definition of sin, the transgression of the law (John 1:3-4), which we learn explicitly and completely in the Hebrew Scriptures, and how we respond to our own transgressions.
If we don’t repent, we die in our sins.
The problem with Andy Stanley is that he denies Christians’ need to obey the Ten Commandments. Yet the Ten Commandments are the most clearly enunciated and famous laws on the books. Not only are they given by God to Moses in Exodus, they are restated by Jesus in the New Testament as foundational.
There is clearly, then, only one thing that can save us if we ignore the Ten Commandments and do not obey them as Andy Stanley suggests – repentance!
Yet Andy Stanley is repeatedly telling believers and unbelievers alike publicly and unashamedly that Christians need not obey the Ten Commandments. He says they do not apply to them.
This is the most dangerous teaching I have seen by a respected and famous pastor in some time. Beware!
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