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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials. She continues her freelance work as a writer and social media consultant.

Pastors: Ambiguity harms your sheep!

 

Last night Northpoint Community Church Pastor Andy Stanley tweeted this:

Does he not know how his glib attitude and non-answers deeply cuts the hearts of the Body of Christ?

This is what a friend of ours posted on our Facebook Page this morning:

See, Pastor Stanley, your ambiguity–in a sermon no less– over whether homosexuality is a sin is nothing to be laughing about or congratulating yourself on.

I’m glad you erased your tweet, but now you need to get in front of a microphone and explain to a waiting world what your position on biblical truth is. You should have been clear and swift when you started your sermon series weeks ago. Or when you were designing your image for your sermon illustration (how long ago was that, exactly?). You should have done it Sunday. Or Monday. Yes, your credibility is damaged now, but a swift and clear answer might be able to salvage it a little. There is Grace for that.

It is not too late.

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11 Responses to “Pastors: Ambiguity harms your sheep!”

  1. Terry #

    This is not the first false teaching that Andy Stanley has done, it is just the first time others have noticed. Thank you to Greg for pointing out the woman and the innocent daughter in this case. I am a woman much like her except my husband was adulterous, divorced me unbiblically and continued in adultery by dating women at Buckhead church. I met with Andy twice for a couple of hours each time, but he told me that I had to accept that he would not do church discipline on my MEMBER husband at Buckhead. On the Buckhead membership application it asks:
    Membership at Buckhead Church signifies a willingness to partner with us and be identified as a follower of Christ – death to your old life and having received a new life through Christ. Although everyone is a sinner, life in Christ should be seen in our daily life.

    Is your lifestyle reflective of your life in Christ?

    Yes No I would like to speak to someone
    I assume that my husband lied about this since he is deceived to believing that he is a Christian and recently told me that he knew he would go to heaven but that God would punish him for his sins there! Andy did remove him from the host team. But if you really examine Andy's teaching for years, the repentance word is almost never mentioned. He used to not even mention the sin word very much, but now it seems that he is using the grace of Jesus Christ as a license to sin as the Bible points out in Jude 4 and 2 Peter 2 and 3. In his Judgment Call message he preached on 1 Corinthians 5 and said that church discipline was not his job or the job of the family. My children all had asked Dad to repent and since he refused, they would not eat with him because they went to a Christian school and knew what God expected. Andy said it was the job of the small group leaders to "expel the man". Wrong. I did ask both of his two small group leaders (one was a Northpoint member) to do what Andy said, but they both refused. When i asked Andy if I could go to the elders about this need (in order to save my husband and restore my family plus OBEY God) he told me that no I couldn't because he is the final authority.

    Andy has preached two other times on 1 Corinthians 5 and most recently said that we do a poor job of discipline on Christians (those saying that they are Christians and living in sexual sin) and almost mocked God in saying that Paul said so that they would be turned over to Satan to bring about a change. But his focus of the message was on how Christians shouldn't treat unbelievers to our standards, That is totally true but to abdicate responsibility for obeying God prescription for any sexual sin that a "believer" is caught up in is very poor leadership. I also tried to point out other preachers who do preach church discipline such as Francis Chan, Matt Carter (Austin Stone Community Church), etc. Unfortunately, I know several other women who have sought Andy to do discipline, and he has refused them too. It seems that he loves those who are sinfully rebelling instead of those who are trying to live biblically. I asked the church how were they loving on me, but they had no answer.

    They do baptize people who are living in sin. My husband who unbiblically divorced me as a member of Buckhead Church and therefore should not date and remarry because that is additional adultery according to Matt. 5:32 got remarried Easter weekend without telling me or his children. He sent us an email that he had remarried. After doing some research I found her name and discovered the video of the her baptism the week before the wedding at Buckhead Church. I am sorry that she has never been married before and is now unbiblically remarried. This gets me to some more of Andy's false teaching. In the Shocking Statements of Jesus series, he preached on divorce and remarriage. First he gave the truth of what the Bible says. Then he said "this is what I think and tell my pastors"… if the people wanting to get remarried have waited two years from the divorce, then they can marry them if they want. So the adultery of divorcing your wife when she has not been unfaithful, and the adultery of remarriage which makes the person who marries you an adulteress is somehow magically not a sin if you wait two years? It seems clear that Andy is using grace as a license to sin.

    Additional false teaching has been presented on the parable of the talents(Matt 25) which starts off as the kingdom of God is like… and ends with the useless servant who buried his money and disappointed the master being "put into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth". As soon as Andy read it, he said to the audience "don't worry, this doesn't mean hell" and gave a face and gnashing of teeth explaination of what it really meant. I was disgusted. How are we to win people to Christ if we don't tell them the truth? Francis Chan's book Erasing Hell talks about this problem in churches today. Sadly many are going to being hearing Matthew 7:21-23 from Jesus–only those who obey the will of God will enter heaven, you can call me Lord, Lord, do lots of great works, but since you continued in disobedience/lawlessness/sin, "Go away, I never knew you".

    I had to remove my membership because I could not submit to his authority any more when he is getting so unbiblical. He preached on Acts, but refused to cover Acts 5 of how God handled the sin of lying. He doesn't preach on 1 John 3 or Hebrews and if you deliberately keep on sinning. It isn't truly loving people if you are not encouraging them to repent. It is telling them peace, peace when there is no peace. Charles Spurgeon and George Whitefield are still right. Whitefield's Method of Grace sermon which is online tells what true grace is to win people to Christ. Andy will be preaching scripture and stop short if there is something controversial. He doesn't preach on Psalm 15 of who will get into God's kingdom….
    Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
    Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
    2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
    speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
    3 Those who refuse to gossip
    or harm their neighbors
    or speak evil of their friends.
    4 Those who despise flagrant sinners,
    and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
    and keep their promises even when it hurts.
    He doesn't preach on anything to do with hell. I fear it seems that he may be growing to support universalism. He had William P. Young of The Shack come and speak at Buckhead Church one evening which is also false teaching as has been pointed out by Albert Mohler, Michael Youssef, Tim Challies and so on. He is a universalist. If you read 2 Peter 2 there are definitely red flags to be seen.He had Michele Obama come speak to the church which bothered a lot of folks because of the administration's position on abortion.

    I was a false coversion in a liberal Baptist church myself, and fortunately through this chaos, I came to my own repentance, surrender and receiving the Holy Spirit. I was baptized at Northpoint after my liberal Baptist church refused to baptize me (since I had been baptized at 12 though no real signs of conversion) and the pastor wrote me a note to leave the church. I have warned Andy over and over about producing false conversions, but he does not respond. I warned the Lead Pastor of the Northpoint campus about Andy's false teaching and he did not respond. The staff of pastors that also preach there are great. I have never heard a false teaching word from them, but Andy is totally in charge. Biblical illiteracy makes it very easy for these preachers. We are commanded to test what we hear against the Scriptures.Unfortunately cheap grace, easy believism and the watered-down gospel create believers who are not disciples. I was happy to hear Andy point out that a true Christian is a follower, but I don't know how many will get it when there is no call to holiness and godly living.

    Not long ago Andy mentioned with admiration Joel Osteen. He gave a personal story of Joel talking to Andy about having a preacher father. He mentioned that Joel is number 1 and that NP is number 3. He said he so admired Joel preaching the gospel in every message. I submit that most people with biblical discernment know that Joel preaches the prosperity gospel. Andy doesn't preach the prosperity gospel, but the easy believism gospel or antinomian gospel. For an explanation of these go to http://www.gotquestions.org/antinomianism.html http://www.gotquestions.org/easy-believism.html

    I really believe Andy wants to be a church for only unbelievers and those that are only desiring "milk". He thinks that there are enough churches out there for the meat eaters. The only problem is that he will be held responsible for those who listened to him and did not progress to the desire for meat because he rationalized sin, didn't call them to holy living and only gave the grace of God without warning of the wrath of God against sin. Ezekel 2 and 3 tell us that the messenger must deliver the message or he will be held accountable by God for those who die in their sins. If he delivers the message and they don't listen, they will die in their sins, but he will have saved himself.

    One more example, Andy preached on John 3 and being born again, but he left out John 3:36 And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” God in His marvelous grace gives us so many warnings because He is a just God. Fully grace, fully truth, fully justice, fully severe– Reading Knowing God by J. I. Packer takes the focus off of who we are and who He is. To God be the glory.

    May 10, 2012 at 7:09 AM Reply
  2. Mr Davis #

    Terry, I believe it is only a matter of time before there will be no more believers in these congregations following after mere men. They will either be driven out by the wicked who refuse to repent or they will physically die there being murdered. They who will do it will justify it with the law. Laws which are being put into place as we speak to bring all the world into subjection to ambiguity.

    We were not so called if Christ is in us. We are made salt and light and we are to carry such to the ends of the earth and praying that perhaps God may grant them repentance unto salvation.

    Wake up Church, Wake up our Love is coming. Wake up, Wake up, Christ Jesus our Love is coming. Wipe the sleep from your eyes, make yourself ready. He is coming.

    May 11, 2012 at 2:48 AM Reply
  3. Jeremy Harwell #

    Almost all of the critics of Andy Stanley STILL have not taken the time to LISTEN to the series, it is comedic how you all are proving his points. You would rather rush to judgement than to listen. Your cages are so rattled because your god is theology, and if your god is challenged (theology and right thinking) this threatens your entire world view as well as your view of God. If Jesus himself were to walk into most churches He would be asked to leave. These attitudes present on this website and many others are nothing more than than the religious attitudes of Jesus day. When he challenged the religious they crucified him. " If He knew what type of woman were touching him" etc.

    This is why the man made religious control and institutions are dying. If we were to LOVE, period, than the world would know that we are his disciples.

    May 14, 2012 at 7:05 PM Reply
    • There is a huge difference between elevating theology as god, and expecting pastors to rightly divide and preach His Word. There are those researchers who, after sensing those red flags that something isn't quite right, listened to all eight hours and reviewed the sermon series. People do not need to sit through 8 hours of sermon tapes to hear whether one pastor decides to stand for biblical Truth or not.

      May 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM Reply
      • Jeremy Harwell #

        He stood for truth by removing them! He called their sin Adultery. What part of not standing for "biblical truth" is that?

        By the way the bible never used the word "homo-sexuality" either.

        It is mis-leading and incorrect to categorize this post with "homosexual agenda" as if to say Andy has a homo-sexual agenda.

        May 15, 2012 at 5:01 AM Reply
  4. Mr Davis #

    Jeremy Harwell, your love would witness someone eating posion and encourage them to eat more. I would seek to take the tool away that they were using to shove that posion in their mouths, show them it is posion it just tastes like food and you would condemn me for it. So it is we find ourselves at the end of times where bad is good and good is bad and this because we fail to exercise discernment with the rule of God's word.

    You do rightly say Jesus would not be accepted in many so called Churches because not many would accept correction from the Lord and the Lord corrects those He loves. If we are not disciplined we are not His.

    He would say repent, they would say, "why should we? aren't you being a little harsh and offensive". He would say, "behold I stand at the door and knock" and you would say, "Sorry sir, I already have a guest and I don't have any time to get to you right now. Please leave."

    Your right he came to His own and they didn't accept Him but it was the Lord's doing. They were the Father's chosen instrument to bring about the death of His only begotten Son Jesus, the Christ.

    Perhaps the Lord has hardened your heart as well. For your sake, I hope it is not the case.

    Isaiah 66:4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.

    2 Thessalonians 2
    :7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work : only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed , whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish ; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

    11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    We are called to preach the whole counsel of God. We are called to Preach the God of the Bible not one of our own imagining. God is Love, because He is Love, He Is Just, Righteous, and Holy. We should not shrink back from exposing our depravity in the light of God's truth, for if we do the love of God doesn't abide in us.

    Oh, for your own sake go through 1 John see who's way you are walking in. Read James, read 2 Peter, Jude, 2 Timothy. Pray to God that he would show you who's you are.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:05 AM Reply
  5. Terry #

    Mr. Davis you are totally correct about what the Bible says is absolute truth. To the other comments, I have listened to the complete Christian series by Andy as well as listened to almost every single sermon since September 2005. I study the Bible every day, listen to other sermons often, and go to Bible Study Fellowship for the past 6 years which is just pure non-denominational study.

    Andy is a people pleaser. He wants a big following like his Dad had. He errs on the side of cheap grace, easy believism, man-centered gospel. He used to have visiting speakers like Afshin Zahat (not sure of the spelling) who did a message on Count the Cost of following Jesus coming from his Muslim faith and several messages from Voddie Baucham who is such a biblically solid apologist. He has a problem with telling people the truth and not having them leaving church feeling justified in their sin and good to go to heaven. He doesn't preach repentance, turning from sin and the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify us from the sin that we have repented from. When he shares the gospel it is a gospel without regeneration. Forgiveness without forsaking the sin. So he is preaching a false gospel.He also fosters presumptuous sin. Maybe he does this because the way is narrow and few will find it which doesn't make for big churches, big book sales, or big popularity. He tells them what their itching ears want to hear. I know that I am truly concerned about where these souls are going to end up. When I met with him the secod time asking for him to do church discipline on my adulterous husband who is a MEMBER of his church, I begged him to do things God's way (1 Cor 5–it says MUST three times). He said no and if he was wrong, he's been wrong many times before! I walked away being concerned for his soul since no real Christian is going to be so flippant about following God's Word. His recent tweets show his flippant attitude.

    May 18, 2012 at 4:10 AM Reply
  6. Mr Davis #

    Terry your breaking my heart. But this isn't about Andy or any other, I hope God will break the man you call husband and He will if your husband is the Lord's. Until then with fear and trembling with all gravity share the gospel with him, the whole of it hold nothing back out of fear but be fearless in the Lord, driven by fear of the Lord and a deep concern for your husbands soul. We are all of us fallen and unable to save ourselves so it is God who we must rely on. You will not convince your husband of his condition, that is the Lord's doing. Be patient trust God, trust in the sufficiency of Scripture and of the sufficiency of Jesus Christ who is mighty to save. Pray for wisdom and patience in this.

    Ask your husband to help you understand 1 John and perhaps the book of James give room for the Lord to work on him. Give room for your husbands leadership. Pray for him, Pray for him, Praise God for him. We all of us have commited adultry with God and God has rescued us out of it. So praise God, keep on repenting of any bitterness or resentment your feeling as well as any anger. Give room for the Lord to do His work you must learn to trust Him fully. Tests come for this very reason.

    Do we Love God for who He is or what He does and if He doesn't do what then?

    May 18, 2012 at 5:07 AM Reply
  7. Terry #

    Thank you for your kind words. I love the Lord even more than I love my children. He broke me and rescued me. Psalm 50:15 Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give Me glory. I prayed and prayed for God to save him. I didn't divorce him for his adultery becuase God told me not to. I was continuing to pray for his repentance, but now that God has allowed him to unbiblically remarry, I have little hope for his soul. But I know that I am walking with the Lord and my children are too, so we await the Lord's return and are ready to join Him in heaven whatever day he decides to take us. My 23 yr old daughter almost died last spring. We had complete peace that if God wanted her, she was ready to go. We used her days in the hospital to witness to anyone that came into her room. It was such a blessing that we got to hear others give their testimonies too. God is sovereign and my ex-husband may not be chosen, but we know that we have been set apart, born again and have the sustaining power of the Holy Spirit to walk with Him through the daily troubles. God bless you! Terry

    May 21, 2012 at 2:40 AM Reply
  8. January24 #

    Anyone need any additional proof that we are in the last days? Here is the "falling away" from Biblical teaching that the Bible warned us would come in the end times. Andy Stanley will have to answer to God for suggesting that adultery was the only sin committed by the homosexual man still married to his wife. To leave open the possibility that homosexual conduct might be acceptable if both of the homosexual partners were divorced is sticking a finger in God's eye — or trying to. So sad to see "Christian" pastors stray from the faith. How awful to be Andy Stanley, explaining his "position" to God.

    July 16, 2012 at 8:53 PM Reply

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