The need for preachers and leaders to stand strong on biblical truth and proclaim it fearlessly has always been great, but certainly so today. We have far too much compromise, equivocation, men-pleasing, and seeking to have feet in both camps. The need of the hour is what we find Joshua saying elsewhere: “choose today whom you will serve” (Josh. 24:15, NLT). Mealy-mouthed pastors who want to please everyone will never be pleasing to God.
Yes, this is a strange title, but wait: there is a connection between the Atlanta pastor and the two Old Testament champions of the faith. Indeed, this article is all about faith: real faith versus false faith. Biblical faith is never divorced from obedience to God and his word. Fake faith is all about ‘if it feels right, do it,’ and anything goes.
Let me explain. I have written before about Andy Stanley, the preacher son of another well-known preacher, Charles Stanley. I have already penned three articles about the son over the past five years, given what worrying things he has said that are at odds with biblical Christianity.
For example, he has basically embraced the heresy of Marcionism, in which he dismisses the Old Testament as irrelevant for the believer today. Back in 2018, he said that Christians need to “unhitch” themselves from the OT.
I also penned a piece on why the OT is indispensable to the Christian, and to ignore it or to reject it is to reject God himself.
So what is Andy up to now? Well, he has been quite weak on homosexuality, for a while causing many Christian leaders to be further concerned about him and his wishy-washy positions. Now he has come out and said homosexuals in churches have more faith than straights do.
Um, biblical faith is ALWAYS tied in with obedience. Just as one can never say a Christian living in adultery is faith-filled or faithful, so too here. A ‘homosexual Christian’ is a contradiction in terms – full stop. Living in known sin and being a faithful Christian is an oxymoron.
But some might argue that Stanley should be taken to task privately for all this. However, the old principle holds here: ‘Private sin, private rebuke; public sin, public rebuke’. When you proclaim heterodox views from the pulpit, then they need to be called out. Another American pastor – and an ex-homosexual – Daren Mehl said this on social media:
When someone as big as Stanley openly rebukes the Bible, it is Stanley who is openly in error and STANLEY who OPENLY needs to be corrected so ALL can hear. Andy got this far into heresy because he left the truth a while ago. He started to miss the discernment on lgbtq a while ago. His current public error is fruit of a seed from a while ago. I would place my bets he’s selfishly ambitious and looking for a “middle ground” or “third way” so he can play both sides without having to offend anyone with the truth.
Indeed this seems to be a long-standing habit of Stanley. He seems to want to straddle the fence and he seems to delight in being deliberately vague and unclear on these sorts of issues. In a recent article, Denny Burke warned that this recurring ambiguity of Stanley is just far too problematic:
Stanley’s message comes across as a straightforwardly affirming position on homosexuality in the church. He valorizes the faith of homosexuals as head-and-shoulders above the faith of straight Christians. He says, “the men and women I know who are gay, their faith and their confidence in God dwarfs mine. And so not only is there room, there’s plenty of room” for them in the church. He brushes aside what the Bible says about homosexuality as “clobber” verses, as if those texts somehow harm gay sinners.