Andy Stanley – Joel Osteen: Brothers in Heresy

From Pulpit and Pen:

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Editors Note. This article was originally written and posted at Jeff Maples Blog and is being reprinted here with permission.


Remember the old days where churches had steeples and stained glass windows? Remember when there were pews and a choir that sang edifying hymns to our Lord? Remember those days when people wore suits and ties and ladies wore dresses and heels trying to present their best to our God? Remember those days when children used to go to Sunday School classes and learn the Bible and families went to service and the pastor preached a sermon? “Well,” says Andy Stanley, “the greatest thing about all of this, is we don’t have to do that anymore,” he proclaims in his latest sermon series, “Brand New.”

Stanley is making it abundantly clear that he has no qualms about changes that are being made in today’s churches, and he’s proud of it.

“The things that are holding people back from coming to church are actually the things the church should be letting go of,” Stanley says. But what kind of things is he referring to? Could it be things like clear Biblical doctrine about salvation, sin, grace, etc? Could it be a pastoral teaching from the pulpit? Could it be edifying worship to our Lord and Savior? Just exactly what things is the church holding on to that’s “hindering growth,” according to Stanley?

He goes on to say that in his lifetime, he has never heard anyone say that the reason they don’t go to church is because they follow Jesus.

Seriously? Where has his head been? “The Church should be irresistible except for the fact that we love Jesus.” But according to Stanley, the Catholic church loves Jesus too. Does this also include Mormons? Jehovah’s Witnesses? Unrepentant sinners, like Matthew Vines, who think living in sin is fine with God?

He goes on to say, “even if you never come to the conclusion that Jesus is the Son of God, or that Jesus is your savior, if you follow his teachings you will have a better life.”

Stanley goes on to proclaim that Church has become resistible to people because of all of the baggage that comes along with it; baggage like clear doctrine, and traditional, edifying worship. By removing these things that are “holding the Church back” we can now make church attractive to people and give people a “better life.” Much like Joel Osteen, he isn’t concerned with the eternal salvation of people’s souls, rather he wants to give people “their best life now.” So let’s do away with doctrine that teaches people about sin and repentance and the merciful loving grace of God. Let’s not teach people about the consequences of sin (Hell), but let’s just teach people to come in and sing rock and roll music, follow some of the red-letter teachings of Jesus about loving one-another. Then people can walk out of here on Sunday mornings temporally fulfilled, have a better life, and perhaps the pockets of wolves like Andy Stanley will be lined with the dollar bills of these lost sheep and/or goats.

  • You can view the entire “sermon” at Northpoint’s site here.
  • You may also listen to Chris Rosebrough‘s review of two of the full sermons here and here.

[Contributed by Landon Chapman]

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9 thoughts on “Andy Stanley – Joel Osteen: Brothers in Heresy

  1. The reason people don’t go to church is because they’re in love with the world… I’ve heard every excuse there is (including the hypocrite one) but the bottom line is still the same..”I’d rather hang out with the world than with Jesus.” But trying to be “world relevant” is not the solution to bringing people out of the world. If we’re truly different from the world, distinct from the world, then we’ll have the solution, because we’re not a part of the problem. Be like Jesus in every way is the solution.

  2. This article clearly reflects statements that were not made by Andy Stanley, clear doctrine is taught in a practical and applicable manner. Just because preachers have abandoned the condemnation style of preaching for a style of “Emgage, Involve and Challenge” does not dismiss the GOSPEL of Leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus. Jesus did not come to condem but that thru Him the world might be saved.

    1. I do thank you for commenting but I have to say: you’re wrong. Andy doesn’t preach faithfully (expositionally), he is seeker sensitive, and dumbs down the truth of the gospel for the sake of being relevant and non offensive to the lost. He is not a faithful pastor. I listened to him a lot, I grew up 5 minutes from Northpoint, and again you’re wrong. The question really is: have you listened to him? Or have you read the bible??

      1. If that’s your measure, then Jesus was not a faithful preacher either. And I suppose by your measure, any children or teen ministry that is less than expositional (the only path to faithful preaching) is also close to heresy. Come on Adam–Thousands have come to the Lord through this humble teacher. His entry point is relevant topical teaching. Picture CS Lewis as your pastor and then you get Andy. I live in Alpharetta and his impact on the city has been wonderful. My view is that he’s trying to move towards the church pictured in Acts. You can live with that, can’t you?

  3. This article clearly reflects statements that were not made by Andy Stanley. Northpoint ministries clearly teaches biblical doctrine in a practical and applicable format. Just because the preaching style of condemnation has been replaced with a style that engages, involves and challenges does not negate the clear message of the Bible and it’s Doctrine. Jesus did not come into the world to condemn it but that by through him it might be saved. Listen to Andy Stanley’s teachings and the judge for yourselves this article clearly has an agenda.

    1. I do thank you for commenting but I have to say: you’re wrong. Andy doesn’t preach faithfully (expositionally), he is seeker sensitive, and dumbs down the truth of the gospel for the sake of being relevant and non offensive to the lost. He is not a faithful pastor. I listened to him a lot, I grew up 5 minutes from Northpoint, and again you’re wrong. The question really is: have you listened to him? Or have you read the bible??

  4. I was brought up Catholic but abandoned the church because I felt it was not for me, however I have never stopped believing in God. A friend recently introduced me to Andy and his your move series and yes, maybe it’s “dumbing it down” as the article says, but in a world where people believe less and less and feel like they don’t have time for God or reference religion to sex abusing priests, what’s so wrong with a pastor seeking another approach and actually explaining the bible in a way that more people will connect and relate to? I haven’t read the bible yet, but I am beginning to thanks to Andy. He makes it sound like a great recollection of events worth exploring and understanding to understand the teachings of God through Jesus!

  5. Oh and Adam, what exactly is the truth that he is leaving out? That if you sin you go to hell?
    Sure that’s part of the teaching but don’t you want to teach people how to be good and love one another first, before throwing out the judgements and the misery?

  6. Wow Adam, looks like you were the one who wasn’t listening. I’ve been going to Buckhead church for a little over a year now and what Andy does is encourage a much more personal relationship with Christ, unlike what “old school” pulpit banging churches of yore adhere to. The scare tactics of hell and give more money or else no longer work. Rather, Andy invites everyone to come to Starting Point so that they might be lead into a small group to be encouraged and grow deeper in their relationship with Christ. So unfortunately, it sounds like you came into this with an opinion and instead of really trying Andy’s brand of Christianity, you decided to form your own opinion before giving anything a try, which I’m sure has limited your faith’s ability to grow. I’d encourage you to come to Starting Point, join a small group. Who knows, you may find what Jesus really wants from your life.

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