Defending Andy Stanley

Since I had Andy on the broadcast last month I’ve had several listeners send me messages with an implied expectation that it’s now my ethical responsibility to defend every controversial thing he has said. Is that fair?

Double Standard?

Should John MacArthur, who has interviewed with people like Ben Shapiro and RC Sproul Jr., or should John Piper, who has interviewed Rick Warren and Mark Driscoll, also be required to be an apologist for everything these men have taught, done or said? Obviously not. That is clearly an unrealistic burden and a double standard on the part of some who are attempting to discredit my soteriological views because they happened to be shared by Andy. However, that is not the only type of inquiry I have received…

That is a Fair Question

To be fair, some view my interview with Andy over one particular subject we agree upon as a tacit endorsement of Andy’s ministry as a whole, and thus are simply curious about my views of some of his controversial comments. I can understand that and would like to give a few thoughts for consideration about some of the most recent criticisms.

For instance, in the context of a series about Judaizes attempting to put the heavy yoke of the Jewish law onto Gentile believers, Andy said, “Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish Scriptures.” And in another message, concerning the Ten Commandments, Stanley remarked, “You are not accountable to the Ten Commandments, we’re done with that. God has done something new.”

Unhitch?

With regard to the “unhitch” comment, I have said that I felt Andy’s interview with Dr. Michael Brown cleared up his meaning sufficiently. So, why is it that so many people continue to comment as if this hasn’t been clarified? Probably because they heard about it second hand from a biased source seeking to marginalize and discredit Andy rather than understand and engage him objectively. They likely haven’t actually listened to all the context and follow up conversations but have simply accepted second hand comments as factual.

Let’s just face it, in our fast paced social media driven culture we are not known for patience and care in gathering all the facts before passing judgment on others. We can and should do better.

For those who have jumped on the “Andy is a heretic” bandwagon, I would like to ask how would you like all your comments to be picked apart without regard to any context or follow-up clarifications? Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you! Please stop being ungracious, unforgiving and downright mean-spirited against a brother and minister who is doing some wonderful work to reach the world with the gospel.

If you have taken the time to listen to Andy’s sermons and clarifications and still find yourself disagreeing with his position, fine. No one pastor or scholar is going to agree with any other on every point. But can’t we disagree without being overly disagreeable? Can we discuss it objectively without casting each other out of the kingdom or making his comments sound far worse than what he clearly intended? Let’s act like mature believers and disagree respectfully.

Not Accountable to the 10 Commandments?

Do you think believers are going to be judged by whether or not we keep the Ten Commandments? I sure hope we aren’t, don’t you?  I’m not exactly sure what is controversial about Andy’s comment on this point? He just said believers in Christ aren’t held to account for breaking the 10 commandments. Jesus Himself said something quite similar,

“The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken” (John 12:45-49).

What is Jesus saying? He is saying that we are not going to be held to account for how well we keep the law (with would include the 10 Commandments), but will be held accountable for what we do with the truth of Christ, His gospel. Paul put it like this,

“What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works” (Rom 9:30-32).

In other words, the Jews pursued righteousness by keeping the commandments (the Old) and did not attain it, but the Gentiles pursued righteousness by trusting in the truth of Christ (the New) and they have attained it. That means they were held to account for their faith, not their pursuit of the law. This is what Andy seems to be saying to me, am I wrong? Believers are not judged based on our adherence to the commandments, but rely instead on the grace of the New Covenant.

Believers who have been shown unconditional love and grace will desire to give, serve and follow God’s guidelines freely (without compulsion). But, by God’s grace we will not be held accountable for all the times we fail and break His commands. That is why we rejoice and celebrate His grace with such earnest. We all know that without it we would be doomed. What is the controversy exactly, I could have missed something?

Maybe some people took Andy to mean that the OT (and the Ten Commandments) has no value for us today? But, we know that was not Andy’s intention because he already told us it wasn’t <HERE>. Why not take him at his word and show a little grace toward a brother? Even in the context of his series he comments on this point if people will take the time to actually listen and stop being so quick to judge. I encourage you to go listen to Andy’s actual messages in context and, if necessary, his follow up comments, before you pass judgment.

Beware of the Leaven

Please hear me…the world knows us by how we treat each other and quite frankly I’m embarrassed to be associated with some who are calling themselves Christians while ungraciously raking other believers over the coals for relatively easy to clarify misunderstandings.

[NOTE: I’m not rebuking those asking honest questions and expressing a genuine desire to better understand. I am specifically addressing the “heresy police” sitting at the “children’s table” who clearly have no problem casting Andy out of the kingdom while throwing food at those sitting at the “adult table.”]

Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” He could have said, “By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you hold to all the same doctrinal distinctives,” but He didn’t. He pointed to the fruit of love for each other not perfect doctrinal fidelity.  Why? I think it is because graced people are gracious people. Loved people are loving people. Forgiven people are forgiving of other people. People who’ve been shown patience from above are patient with others doctrinal differences.

In contrast, misery loves company–miserable people wish to make others miserable so they don’t suffer alone. Hurting people hurt people. People who feel like they are under judgement tend to judge others harshly. People who don’t feel unconditionally loved certainly don’t know how to love others unconditionally. And those who have never experience God’s forgiveness really do not know how to forgive others.

The leaven of the Pharisees is alive and well my brothers and sisters. Be aware of it. Of course, we must continue to speak truth in love and press a brother if they make doctrinal errors, but only do so if you know the full context! And if you feel you must enter the discussion do so prayerfully while practicing the principle of charity (believe the best about a person’s intention unless conclusively proven otherwise). I pray you all will read this with the spirit it is intended.

The Fine Print

At the bottom of instructions, documents and products you’ll often find the “fine print” meant to protect people from frivolously law suits, etc. Well, here is my fine print regarding Andy… I do not know everything Andy believes on every topic, nor have I listened to all his sermons or read all of his books, so there very well could be some things he has said or will say that I won’t agree with, but isn’t that true of everyone?

Being a Christian (a mature adult one) means learning to disagree with each other graciously. Can we learn to do that better together?

 

ADDED NOTE (1/14/19): Dr. Michael Brown shows us a good example of how a mature Christian brother might take issue with Pastor Andy’s statements:

17 thoughts on “Defending Andy Stanley

  1. Leighton, I have to say I would love to hear you interview John MacArthur or John Piper regarding the doctrines of Grace.

    But regarding the Ten Commandments….
    As you know, every one of the Ten Commandments are repeated in various commands throughout the New Testament, except for the command regarding the Sabbath. And of course we know that they are all summarized by the command to love God and love others. And the scripture clearly says that we are going to be judged for the life we have lived, though it will not be a judgment for sin and punishment, but a review and and awesome time of accountability, as well as criteria for rewards or loss of them for eternity.

    So in one sense I think and he’s talked about not being accountable for the Ten Commandments is accidentally deceptive. We don’t gain our salvation by keeping the Ten Commandments but the demands of the New Testament Commandments are every bit as difficult as the Ten Commandments themselves, apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. But the great difference is that the law of sin and death has been superseded by the law of the Spirit in us and so we don’t serve under condemnation and “oldness of the letter”, but by newness of the Spirit . The Ten Commandments are in fact an easy guide to the essence of who God is and what he called us to. In a sense they are interchangeable with the two great commandments of Jesus. They inform our hearts about what the Spirit’s intentions are for our life.

    1. You said we don’t gain our salvation by keeping the Ten Commandments but the demands of the NT commands are just a difficult… so are you saying believers will be judged based on the NT commands (ie we will be held to account for our failures to keep the commands)? If so, are you speaking only of rewards in heaven, and not salvation itself? And what do you believe is the motive for following those commands? Law/obligation, or freely…not because we have to, but because we want to for all He has done for us?

      1. I’m thinking you have to already know what I’m about to say… Saved by faith apart from any works of the Law. But “we must all stand before the Judgment seat of Christ to receive recompense for the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad”. The motivation is a) Gratitude for salvation. b) The new nature in Union with the Holy Spirit, inside me. c) The joy that comes from walking in the Spirit and getting to know God better and better. d) Reaping rewards now and in eternity (the primary reward being more of God himself!) We have the Law written on our hearts and “his commands are not burdensome” to us.

      2. Leighton, this is a long response to your request for me to watch your podcast on acts 28. I did, and it was a good exercise for me to further clarify what you believe and what I believe. Here is what I wrote. It’s long, but there is a lot of important detail here. I pray that I didn’t waste my time and that you will read it:

        Leighton, I listened to the podcast! It is well-constructed. A couple of thoughts on it. First, I think trying to limit being “dead” in our trespasses and sins to what the father said about the prodigal son is weak. In that father’s MIND the son was as good as dead. Gone….. in Genesis 2 God told Adam and Eve that the day they ate of that tree, they would die. And they did. To try and say that that death was even close to what the father of the prodigal was saying about his son is, I think, huge overreach. To say that “if dead is dead, you’d be a corpse” …is bad biblical logic.  Its SPIRITUAL death. Dead spirit. You are using passages that were never meant to be applied to the kind of ontological description of man you are discussing. And here is the really big deal that I have mentioned numerous times now: 

        You are trying to wrestle with the interplay of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility but not really dealing with it. You START from two main philosophical premises and then try to build a case around it. The first premise is that it is unfair and therefore unacceptable that the biblical God ordained that certain people will never be rescued by him. The other premise is that the kind of sovereignty Calvinists describe is simply uncomfortably impossible to coexist with man’s responsibility. Those are PHILOSOPHICAL rather than biblical statements, and so you start from there and you start taking scriptures to match your philosophical discomfort. 

        The passage beginning in Jeremiah 13:23 was never meant to pertain to the theological descriptions about the ultimate depravity of man. By the way, of course a man dead in his sin who is in hostile rebellion against God. (Romans 8:5ff says that is true of everyone who is in the flesh whether they have continually resisted or not!) Of course that person can confess their sin, the whole point is no one will, without God intervening in their life and God does intervene in the lives of people, in the lives of the elect whom he has given to the Son. That is our only hope and fortunately it is a wonderful hope for multitudes from all nations, that will be in the Church forever.

        I believe your definition of moral ability is a philosophically interesting one, it’s just not biblical. Sinful mankind is free to make all kinds of choices, but even the best of them come from sinful hearts that are serving themselves and they therefore are the “none good, no not one.” They are enslaved to make sinful choices even in what appears to be a good moral choice.
        Interestingly, God said Adam and Eve would die, Satan said No you won’t, and you are saying No they didn’t!

        I’m wondering if I’m hearing you trying to make a point that since Adam and Eve had free will before they died through sin, that mankind today is also mutable and also have free will!? That would be a glaring error and evidence of the foundation of bad theology here. Mankind after the fall is galaxies away from Adam and Eve before the fall. This is how serious the death that God warned about is!
        And, Wow, in your attempt to give some examples of people who had mutable hearts, starting with your illustration of Jesus bringing a child up on his lap and saying we must become like little children…. NO ONE will humble themself  to the point  of true repentance from their proud, self-centered ways, JUST AS  no one will keep the Law  that Jesus elevates in The Sermon on the Mount  to the point where they can be saved, yet Jesus declares it in a way that sounds like they CAN! 

        Seriously, Leighton, there is nothing new here. All of your argument is simply counteracted by the biblical truth that God sovereignly works to draw people to himself but he does not do that for everybody. He does it for the elect. Many are called but few are chosen. 

        AND again, what you’re objecting to is sort of like objecting to the fact that Jesus raised the bar on what the Law really is, not so his hearers could get saved by becoming more determined to keep the law, but he raised the bar in a way that SOUNDED like he was inviting them to do righteous things and be saved, and yet he knew that they could never do that and that it would point to their need for the Savior.

        Similarly, in your discussion of Cornelius, all you are doing is describing things from the street level human perspective and failing to realize that no one–Jesus said NO ONE–can come to him unless the Father draws them. Why doesn’t the Father draw everyone? Why did the Father not even guarantee that everyone would get to hear a missionary tell them the gospel? Is that fair? They will be in hell because they are without excuse due to General Revelation and they have all sinned and violated that law. Is that fair? They will be in hell, though probably not nearly as severe a hell as others who rejected the gospel. (I believe it is just, and true, but you still have fairness issues.) 

        Again, with the illustration of the tax collector that says “God be merciful to me”, Jesus is not trying to explain the mysteries of God’s Sovereign work here. He is raising the bar just like he did when he said not only adultery must be avoided, but even looking on a woman. He wasn’t saying that that would bring salvation for people. He was describing how desperately far away from salvation we are! Yet you could actually say, How dare Jesus say things that sound like, “If I can just do this then I will be righteous”, when he knows I can’t obey those Beatitudes in my own condition!?  Jesus was making one point, he was not describing all of soteriology!

        And when you point out that in Acts 28 Paul tried to persuade them and you say “Why would Paul try to persuade them if they are going to be effectually called?” THAT question again is not looking at the whole picture. It is honestly like the hyper calvinist (and there are not really many of these) who says, Well, if the elect are the elect, then I don’t need to evangelize! They make the same error you do, which is to ignore the fact that not only has God commanded us to evangelize and to give a reason for the hope that is in us, but that behind God’s hidden mysterious sovereign election, is the day-to-day of man living out what God has ordained. You simply are not COMFORTABLE with that tension.

        Again, when you discuss Acts 28 and talk about, “some would believe and some would not…” you are just talking about a passage that is not intended to touch on God’s sovereign election at all!  

        It is kind of LIKE someone who is opposed to the doctrine of eternal security and points out verses in Scripture that are looking at salvation and perseverance from the human perspective and were never intended to be at the level of certain grand doctrinal statements in Scripture that clearly proclaim that those who are truly saved will never lose their salvation. It is a similar kind of misuse of passages in an historical book that is not PRIMARILY a doctrinal book. It’s like someone clinging to the verse that says “those that persevere to the end will be saved”, and saying, SEE! You CAN lose your salvation and the new birth does not guarantee you will be in heaven, because you may not persevere! That statement by Jesus on those persevering to the end was never intended to discuss eternal security! 

        >>>THAT, my friend, is much of what you are doing.

        So, this could be the most important statement here: IN ALL HONESTY, what you do in so many places in that podcast and others, is kind of like looking at the story of the Ethiopian eunuch and saying that since Philip did not say anything about God’s sovereignty and election and irresistible call, then obviously Calvinism is bogus because it’s never mentioned in those few descriptive verses in Acts, I know that sounds like an extreme comparison, but it is MUCH closer to the truth about what you are doing than you may realize.

        It was a very well-thought-out and valiant attempt to rearrange centuries-old arguments, but it simply didn’t present anything new nor does it destroy the reformed interpretations of the relevant passages.

        And then the simple reality is you don’t like the idea that no one in a Romans 8’s hostile, sinful state would ever turn to God until he opened their eyes to the glory of Christ. You don’t like that notion and therefore you are attempting to philosophically show that it can’t be true.

        To simplify it, I would say that you are just uncomfortable with the picture of the gate into heaven saying whosoever will on one side and on the other side chosen before the foundation of the world. You’re just not willing to live with the tension of those two biblical truths because it doesn’t seem to you that God would be fair if he chose some and left others in their sin.
        Leighton, there is nothing new here at all.

        And Leighton I hope you KNOW that most all good calvinist leaders are not busy talking about Calvinism. They are busy making disciples and building the Church and teaching people how to worship God and enjoy him forever. So you should be comfortable that we are busy getting the Great Commission done. And again, it is why the man who did more for church evangelism than any man in human history, D James Kennedy, who authored Evangelism Explosion, he was a calvinist. And why the man who might be the greatest evangelist of all time, George Whitefield, was a calvinist, and why the man who might be the greatest pastor of all time and might be one of the greatest evangelizing pastors of all time, Charles Spurgeon, was a calvinist. And why many of the men who saw the need to form a new Baptist movement–the Southern Baptist Convention, were also calvinist. So rest comfortably that we are not sitting around talking about Calvinism and debating what so many great  men have discovered through the scriptures. We, like you in your position of leadership in Texas, are busy reaching the world and doing a very good job of it, just like many of our arminian friends.  (And we could all do a lot better!)

        Thanks for your humble spirit and hard work. I pray that you will stay open to these doctrines of Grace as I seek to do the same about objections to them.

        God bless!

      3. Thanks Scott…wow that was long. I’m going to break this into the most significant parts:

        1) Dead: I listed several passages where the idiom of “deadness” is clearly taken to mean “separated due to rebellion” and NOT “morally incapacitated to respond positively” and you’ve not provided one text to suggest otherwise. You’ve just asserted/assumed your interpretation without any biblical precedent.

        2) Unfair: While I do believe condemning people for things they have no control over before the foundation of the earth is unfair, that is not the basis of my arguments. I present biblical reasons for my position and you seemed to gloss past those on the basis of an assumption that my only argument is an emotional one.

        2) Philosophical discomfort: While I’m not comfortable with theistic determinism you have no basis to dismiss my biblical arguments as being contrived only to deal with that discomfort. You can’t read my mind and you can’t dismiss the biblical arguments on what you suspect my motive is…

        3) You wrote, “Of course that person can confess their sin, the whole point is no one will, without God intervening in their life…” First, God does intervene. He sent the Christ, the apostles, the gospel, the Holy Spirit down like fire, the scriptures, etc, but you just don’t believe that’s enough grace to sufficiently permit the lost to respond willingly. One must be irresistibly graced by some kind of supernatural inner working. Where is that established biblically? You can’t just assume it. Second, if a person isn’t elect they are born morally unable to desire to repent in faith even when faced with God’s own appeals to do so, and this is beyond their control. They had nothing to do with it. Its imputed because of something someone else did long before they were born. I find no biblical justification for holding a person responsible who is born unable to respond. I find just the opposite in fact (as established in the podcast and unaddressed).

        I think that’s sufficient for now… God Bless.

  2. This . . .

    “In contrast, misery loves company–miserable people wish to make others miserable so they don’t suffer alone. Hurting people hurt people. People who feel like they are under judgement tend to judge others harshly. People who don’t feel unconditionally loved certainly don’t know how to love others unconditionally. And those who have never experience God’s forgiveness really do not know how to forgive others.”

    — “Yes, Amen!”

  3. I really appreciate this & yes all of this is true! It’s hard when those who call themselves believers attack without all the facts… I know calvinism even just typing it is difficult for me & I know God has spoken through you to help me be more gracious to my sister who can’t see the redundancy of satan on calvinism😔 but I’ll absolutely continue to love her & to speak truth when led.. I know I’m not alone in what the Holy Spirit has led me into… I’m soooooo grateful!!! Thank you for loving the Lord & trusting Him

  4. 1 Corinthians 9:21 NKJV — to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law;

    Matthew 28:20 NKJV — “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

    John 15:10 NKJV — “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

    My thinking is that Andy Stanley is an evangelist… and evangelists sometimes sound and act too tolerant of sin in the sinner as they try to win them… Congregations led by evangelists watch as their leaders even invite those who have not yet made a public profession of dedication to Christ to serve the ministry testimony in public ways.

    Andy’s favorite verse seems to be his own take on Acts 15:19 NIV — “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” He drops the “Gentiles” and replaces it with “people”. That ignores the covenant issues… including that the gospel is trusting Jesus to take away sins … not just guilt.

    That spin is what may encourage methodology of not rightly displaying a hatred of sin in one’s preaching while still displaying love for the sinner.

  5. Hi brother Leighton, a few weeks ago I shared a concern on the Soteriology 101 Facebook page regarding Andy Stanley’s seeming endorsement of homosexuality. My comment was deleted with no reply. I’m wondering if you saw it? I provided two links there at that time, one to his entire sermon titled “When Gracie Met Truthie,” and the other to a shorter clip that only has the section that’s in question from that sermon (it’s an illustration Stanley used of a situation involving a homosexual couple). Here are the links again:

    Entire sermon video preached in 2012 (42:26 min.) (illustration starts at the 24:30 mark)

    Shorter video clip (11:01 min.)

    From what I understand, Stanley has not clarified where he stands on this issue. I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts. Thanks.

  6. Regarding the Ten Commandments, I’d encourage everyone to look into New Covenant Theology (NCT). NCT is a theological framework that combines aspects of both Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism and seems to land in a middle place, though agreeing more with, and leaning more toward Covenant Theology. It seems to me that Andy Stanley may very well hold to NCT, hence his comments about the 10 Commandments. Although I hold to NCT, I’d be much more careful in how I’d express that view. We believe that the Ten Commandments contain 9 moral laws (not the Sabbath law) which are also applicable and binding on believers today (not to earn salvation but to obey God). We believe that the Ten Commandments were a summation of the entire Old Covenant Mosaic Law, which Law was abrogated with the establishment of the New Covenant. Hebrews 8:13 says, “In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

    One key passage regarding the “technical” abrogation of the Ten Commandments is 2 Corinthians 3:7-11
    “7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.”

    That passage seems to teach that the Ten Commandments “technically passed away” with the coming of the New Covenant in Christ. I say “technically” because in a sense 9 of the 10 are still in force in the New Covenant. I know this can get confusing to some. The entire Mosaic Law (of which the Ten Commandments were a summation) was abrogated, hence the Ten Commandments were also “technically” abrogated along with the entire Mosaic Law as a whole legal system. Hope that makes some sense.

    I find that this view provides a robust answer to the question regarding Sabbath keeping. Many Sabbatarians says the Sabbath is still in force because it’s part of the Ten Commandments.

    1. Oracio Sandoval,

      What day did Abraham go to church? How come God never told him to stop having sex with his sister? Any time that someone discusses the Ten Commandments, they always leave out the part that Abraham didn’t have ANY of the Ten Commandments. God never gave Abraham two tablets of stone, having Abraham passing it down from generation to generation.

      The Law of Moses, not the Law of Abraham.

      By the way, having sex with your sister is indeed a sin. And yet, God tells him that he’s gonna give him a son with his sister. INBRED!

      Isn’t that frowned upon these days?

      Ed Chapman

  7. Thank you Leighton for speaking truth I tried to listen to the clip when Gracie met Truthy, but then someone else’s voice cut in way too distracting…I did like the clip you posted about Andy, sadly at first what I heard seemed off, but I kept listening, because I respect you and his father… it was probably just his preaching style🤔 ugh😕… Then before the end of the podcast I knew I had hastily almost passed judgment😔 I know in my own life God has been allowing me to see that attacking those I don’t agree with isn’t the answer and He absolutely has used some of your podcasts to help me. My sister and her husband are calvinists & I still have a hard time even typing the word calvinism let alone saying it…it truly doesn’t bring comfort and perfect love, but rather discord. My son before his death implied he wasn’t chosen, but almost in the same breath felt he was closer to God when he was younger… so as to have lost his salvation, so of course these theological titles stir up things that aren’t peaceable in my mind.. I didn’t even know the Lord until both of my kids were both teenagers and I’m no theologian however as you stated in a podcast here I stand I can do no other (something like that) I’m just grateful to know I’m not alone!!! how??? Can this systematic not cause a prideful favoritism mind set??? James 2:1 NASB — My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism.

    Me personally I would question God’s perfect love daily & I would much rather have died in my son’s place than to ever see him suffer He allowed this I know that, but He didn’t meticulously control my son’s actions and make him take his own life😥😢

    James 3:17 ESV — But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

    1 John 4:18 NASB — There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

    Romans 10:17 NASB — So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

    Galatians 3:2 NASB — This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

    John 16:13 NASB — “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

    Proverbs 22:12 NASB — The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.

    Proverbs 23:12 NASB — Apply your heart to discipline And your ears to words of knowledge.

    Ecclesiastes 1:18 NASB — Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

    Ecclesiastes 7:12 NASB — For wisdom is protection just as money is protection, But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.

    Romans 3:20 NASB — because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

    Romans 10:2 NASB — For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.

    Romans 15:14 NASB — And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.

    Colossians 2:2 NASB — that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

    1 Timothy 2:4 NASB — who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    Why not cling to what He says not man or former theologians? He alone is the vine!!!

    Thank you again Leighton for your honesty in being a former calvinist only confirms to me what God has placed on my heart, but at times I’ve allowed the giant of this systematic to bring doubt, so I appreciate your podcast!

  8. Thank you for the link Oracio I did indeed listen & hmm I did hear the odd comment at 24 minutes of him saying; “we’re are conflicted like Jesus and trying to figure this out🤔(something like that) “. But I don’t know if he’s condoning a gay lifestyle, but rather condemning those who know the Lord for exclusivity and forgetting they’ve been saved by grace. And the mom’s orginal bitterness would end up hurting her daughter in the end. I have first hand experience with this, because my exhusband who grew up in a Catholic church was the 1st person who ever said to me what would Jesus do? but I see now it was a set of rules and hoops to jump through not about a relationship with Jesus. His hatred toward me has absolutley affected my kids and he believes he had no sin in the marriage🤨. Odd coming from someone who tried to burden me with rules.. I have prayed for my ex & I’d love for him to come to a saving faith, but 11 years later at our daughter’s wedding he still couldn’t even look at me. I find his anger soooooo sad😕 honestly I don’t know Andy’s heart in this message he’s not my spiritual leader, but I do agree with you we absolutley need to line up everything with Gods Word and respect those who do lead us.

    Thank you for the link..

  9. Dr. Flowers,
    Hearty agreement with your statements:
    “we are not known for patience and care in gathering all the facts before passing judgment on others.”

    “how would you like all your comments to be picked apart without regard to any context or follow-up clarifications? Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you!
    =================

    Very good points and word of correction to all the self-appointed heresy hunters out there who operate more like harsh prosecutors than righteous judges. Due process is thrown out the window as the Grand Sages and Correctors of the Brethren unfairly misjudge ministers on the flimsiest of evidence (ignoring Matt 7:1).

    In contrast, It is a godly evaluator who operates in grace, giving benefit of the doubt to others point of view. Yet so many professed Christians go from disagreement to demonization in 10 YouTube seconds based only on 10- word summary quotes.

    Lets face it, there are too few evaluators who operate in disciplined and fairly-weighted processes that charitably and accurately assess others points of view. (Prov 11:1). Worse yet, many publish heresy-hunting websites that harm and slander pastors with the result of their immature and sloppy analysis.

    They often give themselves names like “Berean…”, Apostasy…”, while pronouncing kangaroo-court, trumped-up “Heretic” accusation and false judgment on pastors, and anyone who even talks to them.

    Being familiar with many ministry streams, I posit that these watchdog sites are likely wrong as much as they are right, as the due process us so obviously lacking.

    The tongue: who can tame it? (James 3). Its often best to shut that trap than bring harm on a brother.

    Prof. Flowers, Thank you for your godly and humble attitude and just approach to others who disagree with you. You are truly operating a Center of Excellence in showing how Christians are to approach each other in love, goodwill and equity, allowing the “other side” to fully explain themselves.

    You have set a great example of showing us how to agree to disagree robustly, without harm and hate, and with respect.

    How we need this in the Body Christ today.

    How far the church is from realizing John 13:35:
    By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Leave a Reply