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ANDY STANLEY, PLEASE CLARIFY — AND PLEASE BE BIBLICAL!

02 May

Andy Stanley, the Megachurch, and Homosexuality

by  on MAY 1, 2012 in CHRISTIANITYTHEOLOGY/BIBLE

Albert Mohler has a must-read article today that I can only describe as shocking. It’s a long one, but at the heart of it is a sermon recently delivered by megachurch pastor Andy Stanley. You can listen to the sermon below or download ithere. The relevant portion begins at the 23:00 minute mark. In the video version, it starts at 24:30.

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In the sermon, Stanley told the story of a husband who left his wife for another man. At the end of the story, the wife, her new boyfriend, their children, and the new homosexual couple all end up attending a Christmas service together. Stanley looks at them sitting together and celebrates them as a “microcosm of the church.”

Mohler comments:

The most puzzling and shocking part of the message was the illustration and the account of the homosexual couple, however. The inescapable impression left by the account was that the sin of concern was adultery, but not homosexuality. Stanley clearly and repeatedly stressed the sin of adultery, but then left the reality of the homosexual relationship between the two men unaddressed as sin. To the contrary, he seemed to normalize their relationship. They would be allowed to serve on the host team if both were divorced. The moral status of their relationship seemed to be questioned only in terms of adultery, with no moral judgment on their homosexuality.

Was this intended as a salvo of sorts? The story was so well told and the message so well constructed that there can be little doubt of its meaning. Does this signal the normalization of homosexuality at North Point Community Church? This hardly seems possible, but it appeared to be the implication of the message. Given the volatility of this issue, ambiguity will be replaced by clarity one way or the other, and likely sooner than later…

What does Andy Stanley now believe about homosexuality and the church’s witness? We must pray that he will clarify the issues so graphically raised in his message, and that he will do so in a way the unambiguously affirms the Bible’s clear teachings — and that he will do so precisely because he loves sinners enough to tell them the truth — all the truth — about both our sin and God’s provision in Christ. Biblical faithfulness simply does not allow for the normalization of homosexuality. We desperately want all persons to feel welcome to hear the Gospel and, responding in faith and repentance, to join with us in mutual obedience to Christ. But we cannot allow anyone, ourselves included, to come to Christ — or to church — on our own terms.

I’ve just finished listening to the story, and it is ambiguous at best. At worst, it’s a complete capitulation to the spirit of the age. I hope that Andy Stanley will come forward and offer a clarification that affirms the Bible’s teaching on human sexuality. Read the rest here.

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10 responses to “ANDY STANLEY, PLEASE CLARIFY — AND PLEASE BE BIBLICAL!

  1. dafoolchillypop

    May 3, 2012 at 1:26 am

    this is intense and complex…i have a headache now and will have to get back to you…

     
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    May 3, 2012 at 3:11 am

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  3. dafoolchillypop

    May 3, 2012 at 4:49 am

    OK…so the obvious conclusion is that Andy Stanley feels that not only is it OK for a gay couple to be a gay couple, but it is also OK for them to serve, in some capacity, at North Point. It was, at very least, surprising to hear Andy point to the fact that the couple were engaged in adultery, which would preclude them from service (as opposed to both adultery and homosexuality precluding them from the same). I hope to here some clarification/explanation/confirmation from him on this matter…

    I can’t help but think that we are dangerously close to becoming Pharisees here…no, I do not think there is any doubt homosexuality is a sin. The Bible is clear on this. However, if we make a list of all of the sins which are explicitly/implicitly singled out in scripture, suddenly we are faced with the prospect of no one “qualifying” to serve. I understand the concept of a “lifestyle”, but are we not (as believers) all participating in a lifestyle of sinning and repenting on a daily basis, or am I the only one? Are we not all engaged in a lifelong battle against sin? Does sin always take us by surprise? Not hardly…much of my daily struggle is fighting the same old battles, very little surprise there. Does that not qualify as a lifestyle, and thus preclude me from serving?

    I am convinced that anyone, having a sound foundational knowledge of the Bible, could not argue (in an intellectually honest manor) the certainty of homosexuality being a sin. That being said, I am not of the persuasion that “lifestyle” dictates the capacity within which we are “qualified” to serve. It is very easy to demonize a homosexual, a philanderer, or an alcoholic. What about the more sinister, less obvious “lifestyles”?

    What say you…?

     
  4. Anonymous

    May 4, 2012 at 6:55 am

    In the past few years some denominations have cheerfully allowed homosexuals to enter their midst with an almost glare of “show biz”. In the present day when all tthe world is likened to the days of Jerimiah it is easy to allow open homosexuals in with the hope of changing them and leading them to a saving grace. But, they aren’t looking for this. Like a Trogan Horse they want to be in the leadership. We have seen this in many places now and there must be an end to it. As an elder, I cannot allow them to enjoy communion with the local saints or take part in any pupit activities. Calll me an unyeilding f ool, please.
    Stan Baldwin

     
    • dafoolchillypop

      May 4, 2012 at 7:44 am

      The pulpit is most certainly not the place for a homosexual, at least not in my church. However, the front door may well be a suitable place for them to become active within the church. To claim that all “homosexuals” seeking to become active members of a church body are acting “covertly” is a bit of a stretch. We should be mindful of ulterior motives, but not at the expense of losing the opportunity to lead nonbelievers (regardless of sexual orientation) to Christ. Again, I would stress the fact that we should be mindful of the capacity within which those with obvious “lifestyles” are serving within the church, yet, at the same time, being mindful of the fact that those with less obvious “lifestyles” are already serving, without being questioned or held accountable…which begs the question, do we know our brothers and sisters in the local body well enough to hold them accountable. Alas, the proverbial can of worms…

      As far as the Lord’s supper is concerned, I am always very hesitant to proclaim to someone else their “ineligibility” to participate. Each of us are individually accountable to the Lord for our actions, at the communion table and elsewhere. Refusing a believer the right to participate in the breaking of bread is an incredibly serious matter. Can a homosexual be a believer? I would say yes. Should we refuse an admitted homosexual the right to partake in the breaking of bread within our church? I am not so sure…what of the obese gluttons, the addicts, the foul mouths, the selfish, the proud…are these different “categories” of sin? Are these not “lifestyles”…?

      I am not decided on these issues…which is why I am engaged in this discussion…thanks for reading and responding.

       
      • Savannahmike

        May 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm

        The issue is not that homosexuality is an unfairly targeted sin when it comes to who should be allowed to serve as a greeter, the issue is about the actual definition of sin. Letting a homosexual couple serve in that capacity is basically the church saying that you too can follow Christ and choose to be gay. It would be no different than a guy with bloodshot eyes, a Bob Marley shirt, and a lit joint being the greeter. I love Marley, and I love the pothead, but it’d be wrong to make the guy a greeter because it gives the message that you too can follow Christ and do any sin you want. What about a pedophile with a Nambla shirt? Christians are correctly curious about where Stanley is going with this because he’s hinting about being one of the churches that are stating that homosexuality is not a sin. People deserve to know, and it has huge ramifications if you logically follow where the trail would lead. Like it or not, this issue is one that is polarizing our institutions and we need to be both loving and uncompromising.

         
  5. dafoolchillypop

    May 29, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Homosexuality is not a sin? That’s not where I am heading. I can’t believe that would be the conclusion drawn from what I have posted here. So we should all go out and buy tshirts which list the sins we commit on a daily basis and wear those tshirts when we attend church (epsecially on days when we are greeters)…? Or is it only the “really bad sins” which require t-shirts? I do agree with your statement that this issue is polarizing…

     
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