The “unhitch the Old Testament” Megachurch pastor, Andy Stanley, is making headlines once again this week for a widely-condemned comment he made about the Ten Commandments. In a column published by Relevant Magazine, the pastor of over 30,000+ Christians at North Point Community Church said that the “Big Ten” are the “Old Covenant” and “no longer apply” to believers today.
He went on to say that Christians should quit erecting Ten Commandments monuments and instead dedicate monuments to the “Sermon on the Mount.” While there is absolutely nothing wrong with praising our Lord’s powerful teachings of the Beatitudes, Stanley is definitely wrong for saying that we should “throw out” God’s Top 10 Moral Laws.
What pastor or priest in their right mind would say such a thing? It comes off as heretical to me. Stanley went on to say, “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?”
So, “You shall have no other gods before Me, saith the LORD,” doesn’t apply to us believers today? We are all of a sudden free and clear, in the year 2019, to use the LORD’s Name in vain? Didn’t God say that He would “not hold them guiltless that take His Name in vain?” Should we believe the words of the LORD, or the words of Andy Stanley? I personally will continue to believe God.
Stanley continued, “Participants in the New Covenant (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 I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
While that is one of the greatest Commandments that Jesus gave, Stanley doesn’t think that we need to follow ANY other commands of the Holy Bible – not from God in the Old Testament, nor from our Lord in the New. This is why I call men like Stanley “false prophets.”
He is trying to appease the sinful world by only preaching “peace and love,” while refusing to address the plague of sin in our society today. Also, where did Stanley get his Theological degree? Clown College?
He says that Christians are only expected to obey that ONE singular command of Jesus about loving one another, but Jesus said there was a Commandment more important than that one! Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and GREAT commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
If we don’t love our Creator, how can we ever love our neighbors? Stanley, and many other “New Testament-only” Christians believe that we should “unhitch” the Old Testament from our Faith. That is a nice way of saying, put the “old” words of the Holy Spirit out to pasture; all of the words that came before Jesus, which actually foretold His Coming as well as the future, and which teach us right from wrong.
Stanley doesn’t think that any of that matters today. Just “loving others.” In that case, what separates Christianity from all of the other religions of the world? How is it any different from Buddhism or peacenik hippies preaching “peace, love, and rock n’ roll”? Jesus Christ would be placed on the same level as Gandhi or John Lennon, according to the view of Andy Stanley.
But Jesus was different, because while He taught love as a central message, He taught the forgiveness of sins through belief in HIM. What did Jesus say about all of the people who choose not to believe in Him? What about all of the wicked sinners who refuse to accept God’s plan of salvation, and don’t seek His forgiveness?
Did Jesus say that they were all going to Heaven because “it’s all about groovy love, man.” No. He didn’t. What He did for us at Calvary was the ultimate act of true love. If someone rejects His Sacrifice, then they reject His love; and there is a place set aside for people like that – Hell.
Doesn’t Stanley know that Jesus preached on Hell more than anyone else in the Holy Bible? Because He did. You’d never learn that fact in Stanley’s Church. Also, Jesus recited the “Old Testament” numerous times throughout the Gospels. If the “Old” doesn’t matter anymore to God in the “New Testament,” then why did Jesus refer to it so much?
Stanley may be right in a way, though the way he worded it is completely wrong, when he implies that we aren’t “bound” to the Laws of the Old Testament. It’s true that we are not “required” to keep each and every Commandment of YHWH God every day – or else go to Hell.
Jesus came and died for us so that when we broke one or all of them, all that you and I have to do is repent and ask God to cleanse us of all our sins in His Holy Blood. Even though we are not bound to the “Old” Laws anymore, that does not mean that the LORD does not expect us to strive to keep them to the best of our abilities.
When we keep His Commandments, it makes the world a better, safer, and more peaceful place to live – for us and for everyone around us. The only reason that so many have a problem with God’s Commandments these days is because they are prone to sin since birth. We all are.
In this world, which Jesus said is under the influence of Satan, we are more inclined to do evil than good. And the modern-day definition of “good” is not always the Biblical definition of good. As those who truly know the Holy Bible, can see firsthand in our generation how good is being called evil and what God dubs evil is being called good.
Jesus told us to strive to be perfect, as our Father in Heaven is perfect, and told us how we could do that – “KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS” (Matthew 19:17). The Father’s Grace, given to us through Jesus, is not a license for us to break His Laws at will, but rather it is our “get out of Hell free” card.
When we fail to keep His commands, we plead the Blood of Jesus before Him with a repentant heart – and He is faithful and just to forgive us. God did not sacrifice His Only Begotten Son so that we can freely live sinful lives. Jesus came to save sinners – He didn’t die to MAKE MORE.
The Commandments, of both the Old and New Testaments are God’s blueprint for living a lifestyle that is pleasing to Him. How could anyone not want to do their utmost best to please our Creator, the Only One in the Universe Who can ever bless or curse?
His Laws are referred to in His Word as our “Schoolteacher,” and as a “mirror” in which we observe how dirty we are in this sinful flesh. Through knowledge of His Law, we see how much we are in desperate need of His forgiveness and mercy – daily.
Most all Biblical scholars and theologians agree that the first four Commandments are meant to bring you into a closer relationship with God. They also agree that the latter six are meant to bring you into a closer relationship with your fellow man.
Honestly, how any human being – believer or not – could have any problem whatsoever with any of the Ten Commandments is beyond me. Jesus taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to do unto others as we would want done unto us. Keeping the Commandments is the best way that we can do that.
Think about it… who would ever want to be dishonoured by their children? Who would want to be murdered? Who would want to be cheated on by a partner? Who would want to be stolen from? Who would want lies to be spread about them? Who would want a neighbor constantly seeking to take your belongings? The answer to all of these questions is: NO ONE.
So, by following Jesus’ commands to “love your neighbor as yourself” and to treat them as you would want to be treated, you would in turn be KEEPING the Ten Commandments. Many so-called believers, like Stanley, would point to Colossians 2:14, which says –
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.”
Indeed our Lord nailed the Laws that we break daily to His Cross, and the reason He did so was not that the Law would be thrown out. Rather, that we lawbreakers may find refuge under God’s Grace – through Him. Listen to what Jesus, Himself, said about “Old Testament Laws” in Matthew 5:15-19 –
“Do not think that I Am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets: I Am NOT come to destroy, but to fulfill. For truly I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in NO WAY pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least Commandments, and shall TEACH men to do so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall DO and teach the Commandments, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”
So, Jesus advocated KEEPING God’s Commandments. Every time that He forgave a sinner, He always commanded them to go and “SIN NO MORE.” What is sin? Sin is breaking the Commandments of God. Jesus said, in essence, DON’T DO THAT!
Yet, someone like Andy Stanley, who is shepherding tens of thousands of God’s children today, is teaching to “forget” about those Laws. He implies that they’re “meaningless” today. Well, after all that I’ve written in this article, can you see why I believe that Jesus would most certainly disagree?
“You shall keep therefore His Statutes, and His Commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days upon the earth, which The LORD your God gives you, for ever.” – Deuteronomy 4:40
“Thus saith the LORD; O that there were such a heart in them, that they would FEAR ME, and keep all My Commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children FOREVER!” – Deuteronomy 5:29
“There will be a blessing, if you OBEY the Commandments of The LORD your God. And a curse, if you will NOT OBEY the Commandments of The LORD your God…” – Deuteronomy 11:28
“JESUS said, If you love Me, KEEP My Commandments.” – John 14:15
“And hereby we do know that we KNOW God, if we KEEP His Commandments. He that says, I know God, and does NOT keep His Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is NOT in him.” – 1st John 2:3-4
“And the dragon (Satan) was wroth with the Woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her Seed, them which KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” – Revelation 12:17