Andy Stanley, the pastor of a prominent megachurch, has come under fire for a recent sermon illustration in which he referred to homosexuality as a sin but not adultery.
The sermon was delivered by Stanley on April 15 and had been debated on a few blogs in the following days.
On May 1, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. blogged about the sermon on his website, bringing it to a broader audience.
There can be little dispute about the story’s meaning because it was so expertly presented, and its message was so carefully crafted.
Does this mean that homosexuality is becoming more accepted at North Point Community Church? In his writings, Mohler discussed Stanley’s church, a nondenominational group that meets in Alpharetta, Georgia. Although it seems improbable, this appears to be the message’s connotation.
What Is Andy Stanley Current View On Homosexuality?
What current views does Andy Stanley hold on homosexuality and the church’s witness? We must pray that he will unambiguously affirm the clear teachings of the Bible.
He will do so because he loves sinners enough to tell them all the truth about our sins and God’s provision in Christ. He must also clarify the issues that were so graphically raised in his message.
“Biblical fidelity simply does not permit the normalization of homosexuality,” continued Mohler. We fervently hope everyone will feel welcome hearing the Gospel and joining us in mutual submission to Christ after responding in faith and repentance. But we cannot let anyone, including ourselves, come to Christ or the church on their terms.
In Stanley’s instance, the ex-wife eventually forgave her ex-husband and even organized gatherings for her, her kid, her ex-husband, and his partner.
The meetings continued after she started dating a man who had a daughter as well, and last year, all six of them went to North Point’s Christmas service together.
Other bloggers have also voiced concerns about Stanley’s message. Howell Scott, the senior pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Alamogordo, New Mexico, is one of them.
He noted in a blog entry on April 26 that while he has benefited from Stanley’s works, he has reservations about the illustrations.
Scott commented, “I am perplexed how Andy Stanley would respond to someone struggling with the sin of homosexuality after viewing this sermon.
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Stanley is an expert communicator, and I can’t help but believe that his example was intended to convey a specific viewpoint on how the church should use mercy and truth about homosexuality (although he went to great lengths to avoid mentioning homosexuality at all in his illustration).
“Grace and truth” abound in Jesus. We can afford to err on the side of grace when the problems are hazy. We cannot afford to compromise truth for grace when the issues are evident, and homosexuality is one of those issues.
According to Stanley, the contradiction between Jesus’ teachings on grace and truth was the subject of his sermon, “When Gracie Met Truthy.” The fifth sermon in a series on Andy Stanley Gay. what it means to be a “Christian,” was delivered.
Stanley, the son of Charles Stanley and a former speaker at the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference, gave a 10-minute tale of a couple who attended North Point to highlight this issue.
According to Stanley, the couple filed for divorce six months after the wife learned that her husband was seeing someone else.
However, the now ex-husband returned to North Point a few months later with his partner. The ex-wife was enraged by their union.
“She confronted him and said, “This is my church; you are to blame for this issue. You may visit any church in Atlanta, but this is the one I attend. I need a calm environment,” Stanley declared.
The LGBT couple did visit another church, Buckhead Church at North Point, which broadcasts Stanley’s sermons on a big screen.
Stanley said he learned of the gay couple’s attendance at Buckhead Church through a conversation with the woman.
He utilized stick figure visuals to emphasize his point. She informed him that the gay couple attended Buckhead and participated in one of the “guest services teams” at the church.
I responded to her by asking, “He’s still married, right?” Stanley recalled, referring to the ex-co-habitant. Husbands. She replied, “Yeah, the divorce took longer than they anticipated. It seems to be dragging on.'”
“OK, I know things have been awkward between us, but look — and I’m delighted you’re in church, that’s a good thing, and I’m glad you’re at one of our churches, that’s a beautiful thing — but your partner, he’s still married.
You see, this is just plain adultery. You’re having sex with the husband of someone else. So you can’t be on a guest services team, I replied.
The couple and Stanley soon spoke face to face. Additionally, Jeff Henderson, the campus director for Buckhead at the time, met with the couple.
Jeff informed me, “You’re married. Adultery is what this is. A guest services team is not open to you. They naturally departed the church.
If I were them and continued to view the world as I did at the time, I, too, would pass. Who wants to attend a church when everyone says, “Oh, please come assist us? Oh, you can’t help us, though.
The example is troubling, according to Mohler, because Stanley suggested that while homosexuality isn’t a sin and doesn’t prevent one from serving, adultery is.
The account created the unavoidable impression that adultery, rather than homosexuality, was the sin of concern, according to Mohler.
“Stanley constantly and emphatically emphasized the guilt of adultery but ignored the reality of the two men’s gay connection as a sin.
He appeared to normalize their connection, on the other hand. They might play for the host team if they were divorced.
Their relationship’s moral standing was questioned regarding adultery, with no honest assessment of their homosexuality.
Baptist Press requested an interview or response from Stanley through his assistant but was informed that the illustration should be understood in the series context.
Stanley mentioned that some LGBT people attend North Point and its campuses after leaving churches with a majority gay membership earlier in the same sermon.
Homosexual attendees, according to Stanley, have expressed the following to him: “I feel like all the churches that kind of pander to queer couples do affirm my gayness.
The Bible isn’t taught there. I also desired additional Bible instruction. So, Andy, I’ve visited your church, and to be completely honest, I find it a little unsettling.
I sometimes feel that I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I occasionally question my welcome in this place. But at these other churches, I don’t feel like I’m getting the complete story.
Clarity will replace ambiguity in this situation one way or another, and most likely sooner rather than later, according to Mohler.