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, but soon come to find that they can’t and must depend on the grace of God.
“[First century] Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures,” said Stanley.
The pastors 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.”
Our faith should be solely in Jesus Christ, 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 throw out the ten commandments as well?
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39 [no second NT ref])
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5, cf. Leviticus 19:18)
Jesus showed us that the Old Testament holds prophecy.
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?'” (Matthew 21:42, cf. Mark 12:10, 11, Luke 20:17)
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. (Psalm 118:22, 23)
Jesus expanded already powerful scriptures from the Old Testament.
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:13, cf. Matthew 12:7)
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6)
Given that Jesus directly quoted Old Testament, it’s hard to see what Stanley means by calling a vital part of the Holy Bible a “house of Old Testament cards” that will come tumbling down.
In Matthew 5:18 Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Andy Stanley. “Aftermath, Part 3: Not Difficult // Andy Stanley.” YouTube. . (2018): . . http://bit.ly/2Ifa7vF