By Derek Paul, Op-ed contributor – CP VOICES
Pastor Andy Stanley speaks during Catalyst Atlanta at the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Georgia, on Oct. 6, 2016. | Catalyst
A couple of days ago, I noticed ministry friends of mine sharing videos of a well-known pastoral voice, Senior Pastor Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church located in Alpharetta, Georgia. After looking around for the video myself, I discovered the video was an excerpt from the Drive Conference at North Point in 2022.
Many people are familiar with this pastor in Georgia. Some of his statements diminishing the authority of Scripture, and his callous jest at Christians who think it more authoritative, led those in the Church to surmise that his issues with biblical authority indicate a much more corrosive theological viewpoint that has not yet been made public.
Then, on January 23rd, a short video dropped on Twitter. In the video, Stanley laid out a general example demonstrating the lack of eagerness of straight Christians to serve in his churches when comparing them to the eagerness of the gay men and women he knows, who would serve. This setup statement has no way of being validated and yet appeared to be a two-fold manipulation technique.
First, it incentivized his congregation to serve, but also to view homosexuals as a more virtuous community by comparison. It appeared as if Stanley was edifying the gay community and promoting the culture to his congregation while degrading his own church for the moment, a persuasive deconstruction tactic, making it easier for them to adopt his subsequent statements.
The video went on a path of pandering to the gay community and their allies in an unscripted rant against the Church. Stanley concluded that gay men and women have more faith than he has and “more than a lot of you.” It even belittled the Word of God itself by calling scriptures referencing homosexuality “clobber passages.” His indictment seemed to be: Straight Christians and God’s Word don’t measure up here; the gay people I know are better.
Such was the theological views that were similar to those views espoused by fallen Exodus leader Alan Chambers and McKrae Game of Hope For Wholeness, which survived past him in another form. Additionally, what message does this send to those struggling with sexual confusion at North Point Church? By Stanley’s most recent comments, it seems that they should expect further promotion of slippery, watered-down theology, and they can also expect that anyone adhering to the biblical-historic view on sexual ethics will be castigated as unwelcoming bigots.
Over the last few years, congregations in the West have awoken, surprised by their pastor’s deconstructed theology. Bewildered by their pastor’s unforeseen animus toward the majority group, matched with an unsurpassed bias for one or two “ostracized groups” of the pastor’s choosing, they are left with a trail of spiritual casualties in their wake.
But there is good news: Jesus has an answer for us and did not leave us unequipped for this moment. Scripture reminds us:
“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11).
This is not some antiquated Scripture removed from contemporary Christian life; this passage is alive and well in the Church. But it is suppressed through the self-righteous deconstruction and faithlessness of some leaders.
Meanwhile, those who have found freedom in Jesus Christ from LGBTQ and victory over their previous identity and lifestyle, have become all too familiar with the internal persecution from legacy lukewarm Christianity spouted by the present-day false teachers, false prophets, and, may I say, wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing-pastors. Thankfully, not all Christian leaders or churchgoers are this way — there are still many worthy shepherds and sheep in God’s flock.
The Bride of Christ has been given a scriptural key to the prison door of LGBTQ socio-political correctness. Overcomers exist within the Church body in all locales. The Andy Stanleys may have forgotten or suppressed the testimony of these faithful believers, in favor of their ostracized group, but God’s sanctifying workmanship has never stopped advancing.
As an Overcomer myself, I ask that born-again Christians would quit choosing to stand idly by or even promote homosexuality and cross-identification because your Savior has and is fulfilling His promises in Scripture in the lives of real people. It is abusive to teach a lesser Gospel to LGBTQ-identified people. Instead, love your true spiritual brothers and sisters since that is the evidence that you are the actual Church (John 13:35), and have faith that God has the intention and power to set people free from all sexual immorality and expression, not just your choice sins.
If you are interested in learning more about this transformative process that Christ has offered to those who used to go by LGBTQ labels and who lived LGBTQ lifestyles, please visit our ministry websites at: TMAcorp.org, Voiceofthevoiceless.info, or IdentifyMinistries.org.
There is an authentic Christian community, more resilient than ever, and waiting for all those impacted by this issue to ally with Christ and reap the rewards of transformation together.
Derek Paul is the Network Director for the Transformation Ministries Alliance, a board member of Voice of the Voiceless, and an executive pastor of Identify Ministries.