North Point Community Church “impastor” Andy Stanley continued his wretched job of being seen as the elder statesman of evangelicalism, with his new declaration that he was “embarrassed” at how Churches were battling governments for the right to have their church service.
Stanley, a true wolf if we ever saw one who is ever-content to juggle the heads of sheep in order to entertain the goats, made the comments during the Exponential’s Future of the Church conference on March 4, where he lamented the “spitting match” between pastors and local health officials. He further declared that the practice of meeting in a church for worship and hearing the preaching of God’s word is just a “model” that can be tweaked or even removed if needed, all in an act of excruciating arrogance that would make even James White’s cheeks flush red in disbelief at the smug pomposity.
Stanely has been on a roll since the pandemic hit, telling members that the “Foundation of our Faith is not the Whole Bible,” that the Lord does not require them to meet for church, that George Floyd was “This Generation’s Samson,” and to “Sleep late and skip church” during Father’s Day.
This infantile outburst from a chronic rabble-rouser is particularly galling, given that he couldn’t exegete his way out of a crib to save his life and the rest of his clueless congregants. Stanley famously shut down the 40,000-member multi-campus church back almost a year ago, and it still isn’t open, with all adult services still being live-streamed.
Yet speaking to the crowd, Stanley regaled them with his expertise in all things not biblical by stating that so many churches had the “exact wrong” approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in their eagerness to resume their services.
The thing that has been concerning to me about the local church is how quickly so many local churches felt like, ‘We’ve got to get back in our building, shoulder to shoulder, doing what we’ve always done.’
It was the exact wrong response to COVID because we had an opportunity…of a lifetime to do new things, try new things, experiment with new things because we couldn’t do the old things. And instead of focusing on what we can’t do, we should have been 100 percent…focused on what we can do.
The three-fold son of hell (he passed two-fold a long time ago) continued to explain that he was embarrassed by churches who pushed back against the governments in a bid to stay open, suggesting they had “abandoned the mission for the sake of the model” while also “abandoning the New Testament mandate:”
I thought, ‘Wait a minute. We’re the Body of Christ. We’re not in it to win it.’ As you’re in it to win it, you’ve abandoned our New Testament mandate. We’re in it to serve, and there is more need than there’s ever been…
I know it sounds like I’m bragging, but I’m so proud of our staff and our churches and the adults in our church who put up with me saying, ‘No, we’re not going to meet. I know the church down the street’s meeting…but we are intentionally re-deploying and refocusing our attention at this time because this is a unique opportunity, and it’s going to come to an end, but we need to take full advantage of the opportunity.’
Stanley declared that the mission of the church was to “inspire people to follow Jesus,” and that gathering in a church for worship and listening to a sermon is simply a “model” that may be modified or abandoned at will. He explained “you marry the mission, you date the model,” and that he was embarrassed for anyone who did otherwise, especially if it involved coming into conflict with the powers looking to crush the Christians.
You inspire people to follow Jesus — that’s our mission. You date the model: Shoulder to shoulder in a building, singing songs and worshiping and listening to sermons. I know I’m going to get in trouble for saying this — all that is, is a model.
During this season, you abandon the model for the sake of the mission. But the local churches that abandoned the mission for the sake of the model and rushed back into the model…I feel like we, in some cases, missed an extraordinary opportunity, especially the churches that got in a spitting match…with local and state governments. That was just embarrassing to me as a Christian.
We can only hope by then that while Northpoint remains closed, most of the congregants come under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and leave to find biblical churches led by pastors who don’t have their smarminess dialed to 10 and their deviltry cranked to 11. This way, when they finally do reopen, they’ll find their attendance at least cut in half, the consequences of their sin and disobedience on full display for the world to see.