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Andy Stanley -- When Biblical Inerrancy Doesn't Matter Is It Any Wonder That Doctrine Becomes Irrelevant?

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It is difficult to tell at this point if Stanley is being disingenuous or flat out deceitful. This is of course the problem todays pastors run into when they proof text; that is use the Bible to defend their pre-decided positions. Let us deal with this from a standpoint of being disingenuous. There are countless times during His ministry that Jesus prayed for the disciples, yet Andy chooses this one because he thinks he can wrest it out of context enough to prove his "doctrine doesn't matter" theology. Now it is true that this is considered the high priestly prayer from Jesus and He covers quite a large amount of ground. Not just the verse fragments Stanley is alluding to. In fact, let us just go up a couple of verses to discover that God did in fact pray for doctrine to be grounded in His followers:

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. -- John 17: 15-19 (ESV)

Not only does God pray for doctrine to be grounded in His followers but that through His Word alone may they be separated from the world. Sanctify means to set apart. Now Andy doesn't really preach sanctification anymore because his church is too busy playing footsie with the world and unifying with anyone who spells Jesus correctly. Jesus does not pray that His disciples be theologically accurate? He prays that they be sanctified from evil and this world through His Word! Through doctrine! The "being one" is entirely about being unified in faith and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

4) Stanley went on to say that Jesus prayed for our oneness, that we'd be on the same page," According to Stanley, "This is mission critical. If they are not one, we will not win ... unity is mission critical and disunity disrupts the mission."

Yes but what is that page! If Andy had bothered to read the entire prayer he would have seen that the page we all need to be on is called correct doctrine. As for this mission critical blather we are again left to ask -- what is the mission? For centuries it has been to present the Gospel to the lost knowing only God can draw the unsaved. The purpose driven church taught Andy Stanley that the unsaved are merely unchurched and this switched the focus from their salvation to their church attendance. Rick Warren, the purpose driven father, has spent a great deal of time, energy and resources into outreach to the Catholic Church and those of Muslim faith. Not to share the Gospel but to share the stage. To sing Kumbaya, achieve mission critical and forge the way towards the one world religion. Romans 16:17 makes it abundantly clear that the Gospel is mission critical and false doctrine is what disrupts the mission.

5) Stanley spoke of how he came to believe that believing in Jesus Christ was more important than theological arguments like how communion should be served or if babies should be baptized. "Will we prioritize our oneness over our doctrinal peculiarities? Our baptism, our communion, our style of worship, our preaching?" he posed. "Will we prioritize our oneness over our politics? Will we continue to allow the kingdom of the world to divide the Kingdom of God that is in this world because of politics?"

Now Stanley goes full board to try and muddy the waters by introducing smaller doctrinal matters and pretending that this is what people are disagreeing about. He lists four things, so let's go through them to see his duplicity. First up is baptism. Now the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding infant baptism are pure fantasy regarding the removal of original sin but I have never seen any discernment ministry hang their hat on this issue. What Stanley is trying to do is present red herring arguments that make him sound reasonable but in the end they are strawman arguments because no one is making them. The same if not more goes for communion. Again, the Catholic beliefs of transubstantiation of the Eucharist are not grounded in Scripture but no one is suggesting on this element alone we should walk away from each other. These first two were nothing more than smoke screens to try and lump the second two matters with inconsequential subjects.

Let us start with worship. The issue is not style. This is a direct response from Stanley to the criticism he has faced for turning worship into a secular concert experience. There was one Sunday last year where his worship team did nothing but boy band songs from the 1990s. In another week he had them do a Beatles medley. Now I like Hey Jude as much as the next guy but not only is this an affront to God; it should be anathema to the church that considers itself His body. Let us not lose sight that this is worshipping Almighty God. What we sing becomes our theology. Consider we have an entire generation of churched people convinced they are friends of God even though they are probably not saved to begin with. We should not be unifying with people who think so little of God that you cannot tell the difference between when they are worshipping or doing karaoke.

The larger point is the final one. Preaching is not a "doctrinal peculiarity." If you preach that God wants us rich beyond our dreams of avarice then you are not my brother. If you preach that we are little gods and that we have the power of creation in our own words then you are not my brother. If you fake signs and wonders, falsify healings, or fleece the flock of God for a living then you are not my brother. If you, like Andy Stanley, teach that the inerrancy of the Bible is passe' then you are not my brother. Why? Because you are not doing the will of my Father. If you sugar up, water down, or purpose drive the gospel of Jesus Christ then you are not my brother. Why? Because only the true Gospel has the power of God to save people. I weep when I think how many will stand on the last day and say "Lord Lord" because of these hustlers and charlatans. Preaching is not a doctrinal peculiarity Andy. It is the difference between heaven and hell for millions.

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)

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