North Point Community Church Senior Pastor Andy Stanley has stated that Christians need to "unhitch" the Old Testament from their faith.
In the final part of a recent sermon series, Stanley explained that while he believes that the Old Testament is "divinely inspired," it should not be "the go-to source regarding any behavior in the church."
To justify this, Stanley preached [in April 2018] about Acts 15, which described how the early church decided that Gentile converts did not need to strictly observe Jewish law to become Christians. "[First century] Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures," said Stanley.
Stanley argued that it had to be done for the same reason the church in Acts 15 did so, which was so that "we must not make it difficult for those Gentiles who are turning to God." For Stanley, the difficulty lay with the Old Testament and his concern that many Christians are turning away from the faith because of certain passages in the Hebrew Bible…."The Bible did not create Christianity. The resurrection of Jesus created and launched Christianity. Your whole house of Old Testament cards can come tumbling down. The question is did Jesus rise from the dead? And the eyewitnesses said he did."
Stanley acknowledged that his comments may be considered "a little disturbing" to some, but then added that for many it is "liberating."
Stanley's sermon was the third part of a series titled "Aftermath," in which the pastor was trying to appeal to individuals who left Christianity over what they were taught the Bible said about certain things.
"If you were raised on a version of Christianity that relied on the Bible as the foundation of faith, a version that was eventually dismantled by academia or the realities of life, maybe it's time for you to change your mind about Jesus," stated North Point Community Church.
"[Jesus] prayed for our oneness, that we'd be on the same page,"…."This is mission critical. If they are not one, we will not win ... unity is mission critical and disunity disrupts the mission."
"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?"
(Grygboski, “Christians Must 'Unhitch' Old Testament From Their Faith, Says Andy Stanley,” ChristianPost Online, 5/9/18).
[TBC: Stanley is “trying to appeal to individuals who left Christianity over what “...the Bible said about certain things.” Stanley’s surrender to “academia or the realities of life” may well include the Genesis account of creation, moral standards for humanity, and the distinctions between true believers, worldly philosophies and false religions.]