For a while now we have watched Andy Stanley deconstruct though I don’t think many people wanted to believe it. I can’t say that I know of him ever being biblically sound only because I have seen the complete lack of reverence to scripture as long as I have listened to him. There are many things that I have heard him teach. Some of which are….
- we need to unhitch from the Old Testament
- He says the Ten Commandments aren’t for us
- Promotes the Enneagram
- Central philosophy of ministry “excellence for its own sake”
- He teaches that verse by verse preaching is “cheating and easy and not helpful.”
- Seeker driven
- In a sermon he preached titled “when Gracie met truth” he described a couple that he had to step down from leadership. Two men were engaged in a homosexual relationship. He said he asked them to step down because one was married and harped on adultery but he said nothing about homosexuality. He even said that from his experience gay people are more faithful than straight people.
- He has taught “why not to use the term the Bible says.“
- He talked about small churches. “If you don’t go to a large church, you are so stinking selfish…. and don’t care about your kids.”
I have a problem with all of these things stated but what especially Irks me is his lack of reverence for scripture and truthfully, I think it explains the rest of what he says. If we don’t hold God’s word as authoritative and true, then we are going to fall in with what the world says is acceptable.
There is a 2015 bible study video that is really telling as to where he stands on God’s word. Yet people still continue to follow him or say that he meant something different.
He says and I quote
“And now here’s part of the problem. Part of the problem with christianity is that when we grew up we were taught the bible and that in and of itself is not a problem, but in some ways the way we are taught the bible is problematic because if you grew up in a home like I did or a culture like I did or a christian tradition like I did I heard that this was the word of God and I’ve always believed that. I’ve heard that it was infallible and I’ve always believed that. I heard that it was inerrant, there were no mistakes and I believed that. I heard that it was all inspired from Genesis to maps. That’s the way the pastor used to say it, one of the pacers that would come to our church. From Genesis to maps from the table of contents all the way to the maps at the end that the whole thing is inspired and as a child you say yes sir and yes ma’am and you know adam and eve and Jesus and Noah and Moses and Jesus coming back it;s all equal, it’s all in equal terms but unfortunately because the bible was presented to us as a book it is not, because it was all presented as one holistic thing which it is not, because we never even understood where this came from it was a house of cards. So all someone had to do was come along and pull away a couple of the pieces, a couple of the foundational pieces and suddenly the whole thing comes tumbling down. And so we went off to college and we discovered that even though it was sacred, it wasn’t scientific. And even though you know it was something to appreciate it wasn’t necessarily something that was factual and even though there were stories in here that were inspirational they weren’t necessarily true. And then we experienced life and there began to be more and more distance and more and more daylight between what we experienced and what we grew up believing. Even if you grew up in a home where this book the bible was so revered, perhaps you never saw anybody read it. A book that you never placed anything on on the coffee table but you never learned to read it yourself and you went to a church where somebody opened it up week after week and you knew that what why were saying was important but you didn’t really understand it and then you went into an environment that didn’t respect it and suddenly along with your childhood faith that started pointing that seem so relent way back then suddenly it all went away. Here’s what I think and here is where I am going for the next few weeks and here’s where I’m going to challenge you a bit and, here’s where there may be some misunderstanding, and here’s where you may be tempted to send me an email. So just hang on. The bible says in quotes “the bible says” is not an adequate starting point or returning point for many adults.For many adults its not enough for me to say to you okay now im going to restart your faith not the bible says your going to go okay i already did that i already did the bible says I grew up with the bible says and i know what the bible says, but let me tell you about my job, let me tell you about my divorce, let me tell you about my children, let me tell you about my unanswered prayer and if were going to try to restart my faith by starting with the bible says, the bible teaches im not interested.”
He goes on, this is literally the first six minutes of his twenty min video. All in all he has no respect for God’s word. This isn’t the first time he has disrespected scripture and pointed people away from it. Scripture is where we find the foundation of our faith. The gospel has the power unto salvation. When we point people away from scripture, when we degenerate it we are pointing people away from the only one that can save them. We cannot point to man, experience or feelings; we must point to the truth of God’s word.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The word of God is all inspired. It is all there to help us to know God and live a life worthy of being called his children. Jesus quoted scripture and pointed us to the old testament over and over again. We are told to hold fast to scripture, to treasure it in our hearts and to live by it. Yet over and over again Stanley points people away from scripture. He downplays it and acts like it is just another book with some good advice.
One question I have is where do you find who God is if you don’t value scripture as the authority to tell you truth? Why would anyone think that we could evaluate what to keep and what to get rid of based on experience or feelings? I know from experience that sometimes my experience is a bit skewed based on my feelings and that my feelings often lie to me. That is not how we evaluate truth.
Another point is where is absolute truth in this? Does it just waver as science ebbs and flows? Do we go with the culture and what they deem acceptable?
I know many who still listen to him which boggles my mind. I am not so proud as to think I could continually listen to false teachers and not adopt some of their false teaching. Solomon fell to idolatry in the end. How would I think I was wiser than he?
In a discussion with Jeff Durbin Andy Stanley tries to argue that we should not say the bible says but we should quote the people who wrote scripture which has no continuity. To say that you should not quote scripture but you should quote scripture is disingenuous. It points people away from the bible and to individuals which is exactly what has been prevented by the continuity of scripture.
It is not a “I follow Paul, I follow Timothy” kind of idea, it is a “God inspired all of this text and I ought to know and treasure it”. There is a progressive movement that tries to do this very thing. To take one part of scripture and pit it against others. There are people who only listen to red letters. There are ones who only listen to what Paul says or ones who say Paul wasn’t even a legit apostle and shouldnt be listened to. Satan wants to pit scripture against scripture and in doing so delegitimize it. Make it worthless and powerless. Changing who God is, who Jesus is, who the Holy Spirit is, the gospel and what truth is all at the same time.
“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” 2 Peter 1:19-21
In the same interview Jeff Durban says the only way we can get to who Jesus is “is by saying the bible says. The bible says that Jesus rose again from the dead” Andy Stanley interrupts him and says “no it actually doesn’t say that”. He goes on to adamantly say that the bible doesn’t say that Jesus rose from the Dead. It is mind blowing to me. He says John says that, Moses said that but the bible didn’t. How do you draw a disconnect from the books of the bible to the bible. It’s almost as if he doesn’t realize the way that the canon was decided. The fact that One person is a book quoted another as scripture over and over and that it in turn was already known as scripture before the bible was put together.
People didn’t just choose what books they wanted and disregard others because they didn’t like them. That again is a progressive argument that tries to invalidate the authority and validity of scripture.
““Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19
There is a more recent video where stanley says “according to Jesus, good people don’t go to heaven. According to Jesus it’s the very opposite of what most people who believe there is a heaven actually think and believe and the fact that Jesus didn’t believe that good people go to heaven that doesn’t necessarily make it true that just what he taught. that’s what he said and clearly it’s what he believed.”
Someone who says he is a christian should value God’s word and Jesus himself speaking with more reverence than this. He says the fact that Jesus thought, believed and taught that doesn’t necessarily make it true. So what Jesus taught could be not true? Like Jesus could be wrong?
This is someone who finds the bible a hindrance. He does not respect the word of God and the fruit of what he says is shown over and over again. The best teachers point you to Jesus. They point you to the bible so that you can know God, how you are to be saved and how to live a godly life. There are so many more horrendous quotes I could give but I hope that you get the picture.
“For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. For our exhortation does not come from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness— nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us. For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:1-13
People have bled and died for the bible. To speak it, to preach it, to share it so that others may know the truth that is contained within its pages. When people distort and attempt to discredit or shed doubt upon it you can see their true colors. There is a large group that is gaining momentum that pits the bible against itself. That tries to actively discredit it and tell people to question it and at the same time contorts it to look like what they are saying is true. We must speak out against this and stand firm in the truth. We should correct what is twisted so more can see the error of the theology being spread. The more people see the lies the less they are going to be able to be duped. In correcting the lies we spread the truth of God. I was called a “truth teller” by someone who was trying to insult me the other day and I rather like the name. We should all be truth tellers. Lie correctors. Lovers of God and not people who pander to man.
I am sorry to say but I truly believe that Andy Stanley is a wolf. He is teaching things contrary to sound doctrine. To say Jesus could get it wrong and that the bible isn’t supremely authoritative and true is the mark of a false teacher. That is the fruit we should see and in seeing it we ought to mark and avoid him. We should tell the people we love (which is everyone) that he should be avoided and why so that they don’t fall into a habit of questioning the truth of scripture, the authority and in the end walking away from God because he isn’t trustworthy.
I hope that this was helpful.
Until next time