On Facebook, a fellow pastor pointed out the what celebrity pastor Andy Stanley was teaching about the Old Testament was “really wrong.” Of course, this brought out all kinds of comments from the enemies of truth implying how unloving, mean, and wicked the pastor was for doing so. Given Andy Stanley’s track record, of winking approval at homosexual couples in his congregation, and declaring that we need to un-hitch ourselves from the part of the Bible that Jesus, Peter, and Paul all preached from, every orthodox pastor in America should be warning their flocks against Andy Stanley.
This is, the pastor’s job to do so.
For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict (Titus 1:7-9).
Pastor’s don’t have the freedom to keep their mouths shut when it comes to other pastors declaring falsehoods. We have a responsibility to teach sound doctrine and warn the flock against savage wolves.
Now some might try to argue that Andy Stanley isn’t a savage wolf. They might say he is a very nice guy, and a good moral man. Most savage wolves are very nice guys. They are the type of people that you would want as neighbors because they are so nice and well meaning. But the message they preach is a different gospel, and has eternal ramifications. In other words, they may say nice things, but at the heart of their message is humanism, and moralism., which are both contrary to the gospel of Christ. This is why it’s important that they are called out.
Remember that Peter was confronted publicly by Paul for his public sin. So confronting Stanley publicly is completely appropriate because what Stanley said was public. If Stanley is saying that we don’t need portions of the Bible, he is not holding to orthodox Christianity. Remember that the Apostle Paul labored to declare the full-counsel of God to those in Ephesus (Acts 20:27). What was he preaching from? Not the New Testament, but the Old Testament.
Paul also wrote in Romans 3 that the Old Testament, which he calls the Law and the Prophets, also testified of the same righteousness that Paul declares to us that comes from Christ, apart from the Law. So you can see how important the Old Testament is. It undergirds the gospel.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets (Romans 3:21).
This is the same Old Testament that Stanley is decreeing we no longer need. What hubris. But not only that, what a lack of understanding We can never understand the fullness of Christ, and all that He accomplished without the Old Testament.
In fact, the very first conflict recorded in Genesis results because Satan declares, “Indeed, has God said…” This is the same thing Andy Stanley is doing. He is taking all that the Law and Prophets declares to us about God and saying we don’t need it.
Given that, we should rejoice that there are pastors willing to stand up and declare his statements as wrong. We should run Stanley out of the ministry, but given that he is in the Southern Baptist Convention, where church discipline is almost non-existent, nothing will happen to Stanley, and he will lead his thousands, nay, his 10,000s down the wide road of destruction.