How else do you explain his latest comments during a recent worship service where he clearly INTRODUCED DOUBTS and QUESTIONED the the existence of God?
For all my Andy Stanley fans within the LCMS.
It boils my blood that *any* Christian so-called "pastor" would even imply such nonsense, and it's truly heartbreaking when you think about his enormous popularity and many followers across denominational lines.
As one person put it...
"If there is no God, and perhaps there's not," said Andy Stanley during an official Sunday worship service. Even in the overall context of what he's attempting to do, it's troubling that a Christian pastor would even say this during an official Sunday worship service.
Yes it is. Very troubling indeed. Yet, extremely faithful to his Degree in Post-Modern Wolfology.
Sadly, this is merely the latest in a long line of half-truths and lies that he has preached and taught over the years.
When are Lutherans going to say "enough is enough!" and stop doing Small Group Studies on his material?
This is why catechizing our members in "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) should not end with their Confirmation.
Sorry, there I go being "divisive" and "unloving" again. #DoctrineMatters
That's what I wrote on my Facebook page today in response to seeing this unbelievable story.
Here are the key comments from the writer who originally reported this for our benefit, which are spot on too...
"He’s approaching it as an informal discussion between him and unbelievers, but it is being done during official Sunday worship services. His end goal is to convince them of their need for God."
"Some may object and suggest he simply misspoke. He did not misspeak. What he said there is congruent with the rest of what he said. He left a lot of things open for possibility that a Christian pastor should not leave open. Here are further examples to prove he did not misspeak. 1. There may be no you, rather just biology. 2. The sense of no ought, and no value may be true. 3. Left open the possibility that something came from nothing, Complex life came from simple life, through the invisible force of natural selection. He said that may be true."
"If you listen to the entire sermon, I can guarantee you’ll hear more quotes from atheists than from scripture, and really, I’m pretty sure he didn’t quote any scripture, but maybe I missed one. Why during an official Sunday worship service is a Christian pastor quoting atheists more than scripture? (Probably no scripture at all.) Why is this Christian pastor even suggesting that perhaps there may not be a God?"
Others chimed in with some additional and appropriate observations to support the writer's assessment that this is spiritual (eternally?) dangerous and, sadly, nothing new.
"I affirm your every word. And I add Beth Moore, Sarah Young, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen and Rick Warren. Not only are people choosing to listen to and read materials from these noted false teachers, many Christian churches use their materials for Bible study groups and sermon topic series and sadly, this includes congregations in the LC-MS."
"My favorite is when he mocked Christians who highly value the Bible from the pulpit for an entire sermon. If that doesn't make Lutheran blood boil, I don't know what will."
"You'd be surprised how many otherwise sound theologians there are out there who would affirm philosophically it is possible God does not exist. Not that Andy Stanley is an otherwise sound theologian."
Unfortunately, we've been here before with guys like Carl Lentz and Steven Furtick to name a couple.
To reiterate, the words in the Holy Bible are pretty clear. And yet, as evidenced by the the types of comments that a piece like this will invariably draw, those "Christians" who want to object to the points and warnings I'm trying to make here today will do so by completely ignoring them.
Let that be all you need to know as you continue reading this heartfelt plea to BE VERY CAREFUL when it comes to accepting as "Biblical truth" anything and everything you hear (and read) being preached and taught by false teacher, Mr. Andy Stanley.
Matthew 7:15-17 (ESV) Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.
Matthew 24:24 (ESV) For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Mark 13:22 (ESV) For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
2 Peter 2:1 (ESV) But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
Acts 20:29-31 (ESV) I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.
Galatians 1:6-10 (ESV) 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. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 2:1-2 (ESV) Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in -- who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery -- to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.
2 Timothy 4:2-5 (ESV) preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Corinthians 11:4 (ESV) For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
2 Corinthians 11:12-15 (ESV) And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.
1 John 4:1 (ESV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Jude 1:3-4 (ESV) Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Like I said, God's Word is pretty clear to us. Crystal clear, in fact.
In other words, our desire to call attention to this today shouldn't be all that surprising to us...if we've been reading the New Testament.
Furthermore, our response to the things that were highlighted today shouldn't be all that surprising either...since they have their source in the very holy and divinely inspired Word of God.
See, this is what we must be on constant guard against. The Old Adam loves to have his ego stroked and his ears tickled (2 Timothy 4:3) so that he feels like he's somebody and knows better than God Himself.
It breaks my heart to think of the people deceived by this kind of teaching, which is Andy's brand of Post-Modern Christianity, and not Christ's, which transcends all cultures, times, and places.
My dear friends, this is what is masquerading as "Biblical truth" and "preaching" these days.
Our response? Any alteration, any distortion, any perverted version of Jesus Christ and/or His Word and His Gospel unto salvation is to be confronted by believers by speaking "the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15) in the hopes that we can help to "save others by snatching them out of the fire" and "to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh" (Jude 1:23).
My dear friends, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we must be more discerning! We must remember that there’s a reason why every Epistle in the New Testament issues a strong warning to us believers to be on guard against the reality of false teachers who are so dangerous and deceiving because they look and sound the part as though they were the real deal (2 Peter 2, for instance).
It’s why we read in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."
Scripture, Jesus, and the Christian Church are to have a unified position. We are to be unified in love and unified in truth (Ephesians 4:4-6).
Pastors need to fulfill the calling of their God-given ministries. Where the Bible is clear, they need to preach boldly, but lovingly. Where the Bible is silent, the need to preach humbly, but with continued reverence. But they should never shy away from preaching on certain passages and topics simply because they're deemed "controversial" or because some "survey" said people in their congregation and community won't like it.
For me, that’s my main concern with Andy Stanley based on his own words that are a matter of full public record now.
For someone like Him who claims to know that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind and that this is the one thing we all need to hear about (Christ crucified for our sins so that we may be forgiven and have eternal life), and yet, he refuses to give proclaim His name and His ministry of reconciliation to the sinner let alone God's very existence is downright despicable.
Dearly beloved, I'm sure Andy Stanley is a nice guy. He might even sincerely love our Lord and Savior. I have no idea. But just because men like him are sincere, flashy, gifted speakers doesn’t mean we should blindly accept, believe, and follow their every word.
Remember, the Bereans tested what the Apostle Paul himself taught them and they did so on a daily basis (Acts 17:11). That was the Apostle Paul for crying out loud! That's the Biblical approach we always need to take.
Why? Well, isn't it obvious by now? Sincerity and the ability to communicate effectively does not "automatically" equal Biblical truth or give you a free pass when it comes to preaching.
People must be preached the full weight of the Law followed by the full hope of the Gospel. They need to see their unrighteousness and need for forgiveness, mercy, and righteousness found only in the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His atoning sacrifice on their behalf on the cross at Calvary. They don't need a steady dose of doubts.
As always, please don't just take my word for any of this. Be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1) to see if what I'm simply relaying to you from His Word is true or not.
"Heresy can never be restrained with force. It must be grasped in another way. This is not the sort of battle that can be settled with thee sword. The weapon here to be used is God's Word. If that does not decide, the decision will not be effected by worldly force, though it should drench the whole world with blood. Heresy is a thing of the soul; no steel can cut it out, no waters can drown it."
-- Martin Luther
Now, please go warn a family member or friend about this wolf in sheep's clothing named Andy Stanley and pray that he repents of his false teachings and returns to "the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people" (Jude 1:3).
Of course, please pray for those sitting under his preaching and teaching too.
In a Lutheran layman's terms, Andy Stanley is just another wolf in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:15).
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!