An evangelical Christian megachurch located in the suburbs of Atlanta is home to the latest Biblical interpretation controversy. The Senior Pastor of North Point Community Church, Andy Stanley finished up a three-part sermon series called “Aftermath” where he concluded that Christians should detach their faith from the Old Testament.
Stanley’s argument was based on Acts 15, the chapter in the Bible that tells of the early churches debate over whether they needed to follow Jewish laws. Stanley notes that some believers today start their faith journey wanting to follow the Law of God, but soon come to find that they can’t and must depend on the grace of God.
"Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures,” said Stanley.
His reasoning behind this was that the early church wanted to be more inclusive of gentiles.
“Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well. Jesus’ new covenant, His covenant with the nations, His covenant with you, His covenant with us, can stand on its own two nail-scarred resurrection feet. It does not need propping up by the Jewish scriptures,” Stanley said.
“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.”
Giving that Jesus directly quoted Old Testament some 45-times, it’s hard to see what Andy Stanley means by calling a vital part of the Holy Bible a “house of Old Testament cards” that will come tumbling down.
But Jesus said “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). He quoted from the Scriptures (the only ones they had back then).
Our faith should be solely in Jesus Christ, yes. But, there are various places in the New Testament where Jesus himself clearly references scriptures in the Old Testament; therefore we should never discount the value of any of Gods word. Would Stanley have us toss out the Ten commandments as well? If he keeps going along this road, eventually he will. One more thought, friends.
I wonder if Andy Stanley still likes Malachi 3:10?