North Point Community Church ‘impastor’ Andy Stanley continued his wretched job of unhitching the church from all the scriptures by claiming that appealing to pagans who want to “restart their faith” with the authority of scripture is not a good tactic, and that saying “the Bible says” is “not an adequate starting point or returning point for many adults.”
You’ll recall that Stanley previously said that it doesn’t matter if the bible is true, so long as it’s ‘mostly reliable, and that the “foundation of our faith is not the whole bible. In 2018, he got shellacked from all sides for saying that Christians needed to unhitch themselves from the Old Testament and in a recent sermon, told Christians not to follow Jesus through the Old Testament, but only through the Gospels. A few weeks ago, he said there’s no ‘Clear Divine Standard’ of God revealed to mankind, and then documented him explaining that pastors should preach in a way that gives pagans permission not to believe.
In a newly unearthed clip from his 2015 sermon series Starting Point, we read:
In fact, adults often need a brand new starting point for faith. So, what we’re going to do in this series, what we’re going to do for the next few weeks is, we’re going to hit the restart button. We’re going to hit the restart button, and ask the question: “What if we didn’t know anything, where would we start? What if we never heard any of those stories, where would we start? What if we never read the Bible, where would we start? What if we’d never gone to church, where would we start? Where would we start if we were starting all over as adults as it relates to faith and specifically as it relates to the Christian faith.
…We’re going to have to approach this a little bit differently than perhaps you approached it as a child. Because starting off with faith as a child is very different than starting off with faith as an adult.
Now, a part of the problem, part of the problem in Christianity is that when we grew up, we were taught the Bible. And that in and of itself is not a problem, but in some ways, the way we were taught the Bible is problematic. Because if you grew up in a home like I did, or a culture like I did, or a Christian tradition like I did, I heard that this was the word of God, and I’ve always believed that. I’ve heard that it was infallible and I’ve always believed that. I heard that it was inerrant, there were no mistakes, and I believe that. I heard that it was all inspired from Genesis to Maps.
…And you know, Adam and Eve and Jesus and Noah and Moses and Jesus is coming back. It’s all equal. It’s all on equal terms. But unfortunately, because the Bible was presented to us as a book, which it is not, because it was all presented us to us one holistic thing, which it is not, because we never even understood where this came from, it was a house of cards.
So all someone had to do was come along and pull away a couple of the pieces, a couple of the foundational pieces, and suddenly the whole thing comes tumbling down. And so we went off to college and we discover that even though it was sacred it wasn’t scientific. And even though, you know, it was something to appreciate it wasn’t necessarily something that was factual. And even though there were stories in here that were inspirational, they weren’t necessarily true.
…And then you went into an environment that didn’t respect it. And suddenly along with your childhood faith, that starting point that seemed so relevant way back then suddenly it all went away.
Here’s where things get really wild.
See, here’s what I think. And here’s where we’re going for the next few weeks. And here’s where I’m going to challenge you a bit. And here’s where there may be some misunderstanding, and here’s where you may be tempted to send me an email. So just hang on. “The Bible says” in quotes, “the Bible says” is not an adequate starting point or returning point for many adults.
For many adults, it’s not enough for me to say to you. “Okay, now I’m going to restart your faith. Now, the Bible says”…..
You’re gonna go, “okay, I already did that. I already did “the Bible says,” I grew up with “the Bible says”, and I know what the Bible says, but let me tell you about my job. Let me tell you about my divorce. Let me tell you about my children. Let me tell you about my unanswered, prayer. Andy, if we’re going to try restart my faith by starting with ‘the Bible says, the Bible teaches’- Not interested.”
So what I’ve come to believe in, what we’ve come to believe in, a reason we’re doing this series, is that “the Bible says” for many adults, is not an adequate place to start.
Stanley ultimately argues that we should not start with the bible, but with the person and resurrection of Jesus, which is nonsensical given the only revelation we have about the person of Jesus is found….in the bible.
Stanely does not believe “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Instead, he believes them in a lot of ways to be a hindrance to someone coming to the faith, especially the Old Testament, and must be qualified, tolerated, and explained away.