Have We Misjudged Andy Stanley? I Don't Think So.

Andy Stanley has made some contradictory statements. This post explains how to discern what he actually believes/teaches.

I want to add some additional insights to my devotion Why Christian Leaders Are Judged More Strictly which you can read here or watch on YouTube here

In my devotion, I specifically mentioned Andy Stanley's teachings. My reason for doing that was not simply to expose Stanley's errors but to help remnant believers identify the subtle way false teachings enter the church.

I'm writing now to clarify some additional details and to specifically talk about the use of “doublespeak” propaganda.

Listening to feedback from a Bible-believing Christian who attended Stanley's Unconditional Conference further confirmed my other research (source)

Stanley preached a sermon in response to criticism of his Unconditional Conference, stating that his church affirms the biblical model of male and female marriage. If we take that quote and a few other quotes out of context, we could describe Stanley's sermon as Bible-affirming. 

But those quotes change meaning when put in context: Stanley's Unconditional Conference featured gay-affirming speakers, thus validating their ministries. Two of the speakers were men married to men, and Stanley defended these men's lifestyle and message from his pulpit:

“This is why Justin and Brian were invited, the two married gay men at the center of all the controversy. And I’m sure that you’ve read all about that. And here’s the thing about Brian and Justin: their stories and their journeys of growing up in church and maintaining their faith in Christ and their commitment to follow Christ all through their high school and college and singles and all up to the time that they were married, their story is so powerful for parents of gay especially kids, that it’s a story gay parents and gay kids need to hear” (source).

Another speaker at Stanley's conference has written a book that was on sale at the conference. In his book, he claims that devout gay and lesbian Christians who marry are living out "the highest expression of Christian sexual ethics" (source). 

You cannot affirm the biblical model of marriage and affirm these speakers.

In his sermon, Stanley said some gay men he knows prayed for God to change their sexual orientation, and God didn't answer their prayer (source). 
Please think that through, dear Christians. Stanley is claiming that God is unwilling to help men deal with immoral desires. Imagine if someone said they asked God to help them overcome their desires to commit adultery or molest children, but God didn't answer their prayers. People have different weaknesses and temptations, but Scripture is clear on this point:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Stanley also claimed that many gay people marry for the right reasons. And he added, “We aren’t condoning sin. We are restoring relationships and we are literally saving lives.”
This is one of those statements that could be taken out of context to claim that Stanley still maintains that homosexuality is sinful. But when put into context, it's another example of confusing and contradictory doublespeak. 

In my research, I have not yet read anywhere that Stanley specifically identifies homosexuality as sinful. If someone reading this has a verified quote from Stanley in that regard, I would gladly research it, but it still would be doublespeak when combined with his defense of the Unconditional Conference.

Sometimes what a teacher doesn't say is as important as what he/she says.
Andy Stanley has made some contradictory statements. This post explains how to discern what he actually believes/teaches.
While Stanley's sermon included these vague statements that could be taken biblically, as a whole he affirmed the gay lifestyle.

Stanley made it clear that he feels people living gay lifestyles can be Christians, and some should be teaching in his church. 
Perhaps Stanley is genuinely confused, or perhaps he is purposely using doublespeak to bring false teaching into the Body of Christ. Either way, he needs our prayers.

We should welcome anyone into our churches so they can hear the Bible preached, but when someone persists in living an ungodly lifestyle, we don’t affirm them as fellow believers. We tell them what Scripture teaches and we lovingly warn them to get right with God so they can be saved.

Scripture condemns the homosexual lifestyle and tells us that “no one who lives in [Christ] keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him (1 John 3:6).

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6).

“Count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:11-18).

All Christians sin, but genuine believers refuse to continue in a sinful lifestyle. No one can know Christ and live a life of crime, and no one can know Christ and live a life of sexual sin.

“Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
A person cannot be a practicing homosexual and a Christian. See Don't Overlook Verse 11 for more on this.
For scriptural evidence of these truths, see What Scripture Says about Homosexuality. To better understand false teachings on LGBTQ lifestyles, see Responding to Gay Revisionist Theology.

To confirm my information about Stanley, I encourage you to read this three-page blog post at ChurchLeaders.com

Image of Andy Stanley used by permission: copyright info. Original photo with my text added.

Bible Love Notes

Andy Stanley has made some contradictory statements. This post explains how to discern what he actually believes/teaches.

1 comment:

  1. I used to love Andy Stanley's teachings. I've been so disappointed in his turn away from the truth of Scripture.