Is fellowship more important than Doctrine? What’s the deal with Andy Stanley?
The bible tells us not touch God’s anointed and to do no harm to his prophets. That’s why I am reluctant to write about or even publish this article.
I guess if you’re reading this it’s safe to say that it has been published on the SpeakLifeToday’s website.
There’s a question that I have been pondering in my heart and soul.
Would you like to know what that question is?
I assume you said yes … So here it is my friend.
When is it appropriate to speak out against God’s chosen or those that he has called to the ministry?
Before we get to the answer let me share something else with you… and it’s first in the form of a question.
Do you ever hear God talking to you?
The reason that I ask is that most people don’t believe God talks to them, or they don’t recognize His voice when he is.
Another thing also to remember is that those of us who believe that God talks to us are thought of to be crazy by some…yet not all though.
I hear from God often. But I like yourself don’t always recognize it’s him.
So don’t think that I someone that thinks he has this whole God thing figured out because I don’t.
For those of us who walk with God and will adhere to the truth understand that there are things about God that we can’t even imagine.
If you want to experience deep…God is deep.
And the bible tells us that we look through a glass darkly.
What does that mean– you say?
Well, it means that we don’t see everything as clearly as we ought, and I don’t think we ever will on this side of eternity.
What makes people say the things they say?
To hear some of the things that come out of the mouths of some folks is enough to make you cringe… Ugh!
I to have had my moments of ill speech.
Did you know that there are many verses of scripture in the word of God that tell us how we should talk?
I didn’t for a long time.
But God who is so rich in his grace and mercy opened my eyes to them in a marvelous way. I try to share what he has put in my heart concerning those verses as well.
Here’s what I have come to discover… Most people don’t take them as serious as God is about them.
Let’s take for instance the verse that tells us that “a man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth.” Proverbs 12:14
Mark 11:23 The Lord Jesus said that we will have what we say. I could give you a list of verses telling us to say the right things, Old and New Testament.
What will it take to get our mouths right with God?
It’s really a simple answer to the question of “what will it take to get our mouths right with God?”
Let me be the first to say that though the answer is simple… it’s not as simple to achieve.
Three things that can be done to get your mouth right with God.
1. Read and study the word of God day and night. Psalm 1
2. Commit the word of God to memory. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
3. Rinse and Repeat this all the days of your life.
This is the best way that I know of that will cause us to speak in agreement with God.
Jesus put it this way in John 15:7. If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you may ask what you will and it shall be done unto you.
That’s awesome. It’s also a promise of God as well.
Say What you will…
Say what you will huh?
Some seem to take this to mean that they can say what they will and it’s all good… It’s not all good.
So, why do people think that they can say anything and it’s supposed to be accepted?
Again before I give you my humble opinion on the matter, let me say something about God’s anointed.
God’s anointed has been entrusted to handle the word of God loving care.
The anointed will be held responsible for what he or she has spoken to the masses or to the people of God.
The anointed of God must remain humble and not get beside themselves and become prideful.
God’s anointed must always remember that the words that he speaks are being spoken to the people of God… They are not his people.
God’s anointed must preach and speak the truth in love.
These are only a few of the responsibilities of God’s anointed.
So, in my humble opinion as to ” what makes people say the things that they say?” Is that God’s anointed sometimes seem to forget all of the above?
And the question remains…
Is fellowship more important than doctrine?
Before I go on let me emphasize that all of have misspoken before and as the late R.C.Sproul said it best… “We all have holes in our theology.”
So, “what’s the deal with Andy Stanley?”
Did he really say that fellowship is more important than doctrine?
I have been a huge fan of his dad’s teachings. His dad is none other than Dr.Charles Stanley of First Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA.
You may also be familiar with In Touch Ministries led by him as well.
As long as I have been following, reading and listening to the teachings of Dr. Stanley… I have never heard him say anything that comes close to saying that “fellowship is more important than doctrine.”
That is to say– not without him explaining why he would say such a thing.
Now truth be told, Andy Stanley is a great teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ just as his father is… He is the senior pastor of the North Point Community Church in Atlanta, GA.
Andy Stanley did not say that church “fellowship was more important than doctrine” as I heard one Florida radio host put it. But what was said by brother Stanley was that “Church unity is more important than theological correctness.”
Where do you stand on this matter?
A lot of folks are up in arms about this statement… But, as for me…
I’m Standing with Andy Stanley
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about the encounter that our Lord Jesus had with the Samaritan women at the well. What that story teaches us among other things is that we must study to show ourselves approved unto God… 2nd Timothy 2:15.
We can not rely on or upon he said or she said when it comes to the issues of life, we must find out for ourselves.
So, why are so many people so up in arms about the what was said by Pastor A. Stanley? Well. I’m glad that you asked.
The reason is that they haven’t studied the matter for themselves and they don’t understand or care to understand the context in which the statement was made.
The reason that I stand with him in this matter is that I believe I understand where his heart is on the subject.
I’m not going to go into to much more detail about what he said but here’s one part of his teaching that really speaks to the heart of the matter… at least I think so.
This is what he said… “Will we prioritize our oneness over our doctrinal peculiarities? Our baptism, our communion, our style of worship, our preaching?”
Well, maybe two things that he said… Pastor Stanley argued that oneness in the faith was “more important than being theologically correct,” adding that he believed when Christians of various denominations get to Heaven “we will discover that when it comes to theology, we were all wrong about something.”
Is this not true? Of course, it is.
Can We Agree on This?
The Lord has set forth a unified mission for all believers and true followers of Jesus Christ.
The mission of God is that we come into the unity of the faith being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ and that we all should go and preach the Gospel to all nations… We are supposed to be making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and not disciples of ourselves.
Let us let that truth sink deep into our hearts and we should also be willing to dig a little deeper into the heart of what people are saying before we are willing to write them off as false prophets and heretics.
Here is something else that I found very interesting about the Stanley’s that many folks don’t know about them