A story up at CBN News, Megachurch Pastor in Hot Water Again: ‘Christians Are Not Required to Obey Any of the Commandments’ from the OT Pastor Andy Stanley has caused quite a firestorm over some of his views.
From the story at CBN News:
In the commentary, Stanley is making an attempt to get Christians to think about living under the new covenant that Jesus created through his death and resurrection. He points to what Jesus said in John 13:34: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
But then he takes it much further than that saying, “The Ten Commandments are from the old covenant.” He makes the argument that Christians are wrong when they try to defend Ten Commandments monuments “in a public space or on government property,” saying Jesus only gave us one commandment.
Then he appears to reject the laws of the Old Testament which laid the foundation for the new covenant.
Here are Pastor Stanley’s exact words which have sparked a new controversy:
“Participants in the new covenant (that’s Christians) are not required to obey any of the commandments found in the first part of their Bibles. Participants in the new covenant are expected to obey the single command Jesus issued as part of his new covenant: as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
When you read the entire article with the links to several other stories about Pastor Stanley’s views, and then get a little more context into who he is trying to reach and the message he is trying to share, I somewhat understand what he is trying to do.
Understand, but very much disagree.
The two scripture references below are the red-letter words of Jesus himself. His points are this:
- He did not come to abolish the law
- He came to fulfill the law
- We are to love God
- We are to love our fellow man
Matthew 5:17-19 (NIV)
The Fulfillment of the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 22: 34-40 (NIV)
The Greatest Commandment
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Now let’s look at the Ten Commandments for a moment. If you don’t know them already, you can find them here at Biblegateway.com or look up Exodus 20.
The first four commandments talk about our love for and relationship with God. The next six commandments talk about how we need to love our fellow man and things that we should and should not do in order to accomplish that.
I would consider myself a New Testament Christian and I believe there are many things in the Old Testament that do not apply in today’s world (which I believe is really what Pastor Stanley is trying to get across).
However, to say things that would indicate that we don’t need to follow the Ten Commandments is a fundamentally flawed way of thinking.