Those who have heard Andy Stanley in the past, who are truly born again, Bible-believing Christians, know this guy does not study God’s Word nor is he anything but a reprobate, apostate false teacher. In the latest evidence of his heresy, and yes, this is what the Church has declared the Bible teaches about heretics, Stanley claims that the Ten Commandments don’t apply to Christians.
Stanley recently wrote an article at Relevant Magazine titled, “Why Do Christians Want to Post the 10 Commandments and Not the Sermon on the Mount?”
Ironic, isn’t it, that a magazine called “Relevant” would actually be so irrelevant? But I digress.
Stanley tries to quote Christ’s words from John 13:34 out of context in asking why Christians don’t quote this commandment?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Stanley seems to have fallen for the antinomian doctrine of “New Covenant Theology,” which my own pastor has dismantled with the Scripture in his book “
Stanley claims that this “doesn’t have the same ring to it,” but goes on to state, “…if we’re going to create a monument to stand as a testament to our faith, shouldn’t it at least be a monument of something that actually applies to us?”
OK, stop right there. Did Stanley forget that all of Scripture applies to us? The apostle Paul wrote:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. -1 Timothy 3:16-17
Paul was specifically referencing the Old Testament.
Additionally, Stanley seems to think the Sermon on the Mount is mutually exclusive to the law of God, the 10 Commandment, but he couldn’t be further from the truth. The Church has always held that Jesus was merely restoring the law before His hearers. While many had gotten involved with Talmudic writings, the oral tradition and false teachers, Jesus brought them right back to the law of God. In fact, it was Jesus who pointed out that all the commandments hang on two: Love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40).
This is not hard to understand. It’s the same thing that was spoken of in Deuteronomy 6. There we read:
Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. -Deuteronomy 6:1-3
Furthermore, this is reiterated time and again in the New Testament. One passage that stands out to me that even people of Dispensational theology, who often reject the law is for Christians, is from the Book of Revelation:
Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. -Revelation 12:17
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. – Revelation 14:12
Jesus Himself blasted people like Andy Stanley when He declared:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” -Matthew 5:17
The apostle Paul, who spoke often of the grace of God, writes to those in the New Covenant:
What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. 9 I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. -Romans 7: 7-12, 21-25
If Stanley chucks the law, then he has no basis for calling sinners to repentance, because sin is transgressing God’s law (1 John 3:4).
Now, let’s think about what Stanley wrote with regards to Jesus’ commandment. Jesus was teaching them to love each other the way He loved them, in spite of their sin. However, how do we know what real love is? Apparently, Stanley can’t differentiate between real, biblical love and perversions of it like sodomy since he failed to rebuke leaders who were open sodomites in his church.
However, when we look to the law of God we see that love doesn’t murder, doesn’t steal, doesn’t commit adultery, doesn’t covet someone’s else’s possessions or spouse and doesn’t bear false witness against their neighbor. When it comes to God, we show our love by not having other gods before Him, not making graven images, not taking His name in vain and remembering to keep one day in seven holy unto Him.
For Stanley, the 10 commandments are “Old Covenant.”
“The Ten Commandments played a significant role in God’s creation of the nation of Israel. It gave them moral guidelines and helped separate this new nation from their neighbors. This was part of the formal agreement (or covenant) God created with his people, but Jesus’ death and resurrection signaled the end of that covenant and all the rules and regulations associated with it.”
I won’t argue that was part of it, but Stanley, like most non-covenantal theologians, think there are two completely distinct and separate covenants going on without realizing that they are in one over encompassing covenant between God the Father and God the Son that was fulfilled in Christ. That fulfilling does no then dismiss the validity of the law.
Stanley does declare that Christ’s new command was not “an additional commandment to the existing list of commands,” and I agree.
Leading Protestants such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Huldrych Zwingli rejected the idea Jesus had added to the law or done away with it. Rather they argued that Jesus only illustrated the true law that had always existed, but had been badly understood by the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders.
However, he then erred by saying,
“Jesus issued his new commandment as a replacement for everything in the existing list. Including the big ten. Just as his new covenant replaced the old covenant, Jesus’ new commandment replaced all the old commandments.
Participants in the new covenant (that’s Christians) are not required to obey any of the commandments found in the first part of their Bibles. Participants in the new covenant are expected to obey the single command Jesus issued as part of his new covenant: as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
No, not really. In fact, as I demonstrated above, you cannot actually love someone unless you are obeying the law, and we do that by grace through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, who was sent to us for that very purpose and to lead us into the truth.
“The new covenant replaced the old one,” said Stanley. ‘The covenant established by Jesus retired the covenant God established with the nation of Israel.”
Actually, it didn’t replace it, it was the fulfillment of it. Does Stanley not read his Bible? Jesus said,
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. -Luke 24:44-48
This is what he fails to understand. He also gets the Church and Israel wrong. A lot of people do this. The term “Church” is the Greek word “Ekklesia.” It simply means “assembly,” and was used in the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, to refer to the people of God in Israel. Most don’t even get the fact that Stephen, when appearing before the Sanhedrin in Acts 7 said the “Ekklesia,” the Church, existed in the Old Testament.
“This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us.” -Acts 7:38
That term “congregation” is often translated “Church” all throughout the New Testament, and was translated as “Church” in the King James.
So, because Stanley doesn’t understand covenant theology, he has a wrong understanding about the Church, Israel, God, Christ, the law, love and a host of other doctrines.
He is right in that we don’t have to sacrifice animals and that other portions of the ceremonies are fulfilled in Christ, but he makes a terrible attempt to try and justify his point by proclaiming that because Christians in times past preached the law and the Gospel, that some would go and do things unlawfully.
Well, I have a simple question for people like Andy Stanley and those who agree with his antinomianism:
Since Stanley wants to do away with the law, why is there a need for a Savior from sin, which is violation of the law?
What Gospel can he bring to sinners, transgressors of God’s law, when the law is not applicable?
Does he preach repentance from sin, which is transgression of the law, since he says the law does not apply?
How does he handle the fact that John states that though Christians don’t practice sin, when they do find themselves committing sin, they confess their sin and Christ cleanses them from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)?
Does Stanley ever discipline sinning members, those violating the law of God, in his congregation according to Christ’s own words in Matthew 18:15-20? I would imagine not after allowing open, unrepentant sodomites to serve in his church.
Stanely goes on to state:
While Jesus was foreshadowed in the old covenant, he did not come to extend it. He came to fulfill it, put a bow on it, and establish something entirely new. The “new” Jesus unleashed made the faith of first-century believers formidable. Their apologetic was irrefutable. Their courage, unquestionable. And the results were remarkable.
Dear Christian reader: Why? Why? Why would we even be tempted to reach back beyond the cross to borrow from a covenant that was temporary and inferior to the covenant established for us at Calvary?
The author of Hebrews says it best. Jesus was the “guarantor of a better covenant” (Hebrews 7:22). Later he writes, “the new covenant is established on better promises.”
Besides, you weren’t included in the old covenant to begin with!
So why are we fighting to build monuments to it?
Yes, Jesus did bring about a better covenant, no doubt, but Stanley must address how one loves, and the only way one can see how love is defined is to look to the law of God, which was perfectly obeyed by the Lord Jesus Christ. If Jesus sought to obey His Father, and the servant is not above his master, how can Stanley tell people that the law is not applicable today?
Stanley’s comment that “you weren’t included in the old covenant to begin with” is an incredibly stupid and ignorant comment considering Paul’s argument in Galatians. We fall under the curse of sin, which is under all covenants, because we violate God’s law. This is the only reason we need a Savior from sin, which is the Lord Jesus Christ, who died in the place of sinners who justly deserved death, but to whom God granted life.
I’m not surprised that he has such bad theology. His father didn’t have great theology either, but it certainly was never this bad.
Stanley’s message seeks to massage the sinner into a slumber and complacency in his sin with a feel good, sentimentality that Jesus loves them despite them being unrepentant of sin.
He has no way to identify sin because he has done away with the law, and therefore, he has no reason or basis to preach the Gospel that saves from sin.
Someone really should be looking to defrock this guy and remove him for his false teachings that are leading sinners to Hell.