Imagine, if you will, trying to be cool in 2023 by deconstructing the Bible and affirming the gays.
Stanley's North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., is hosting the Unconditional Conference, a two-day event Sept. 28-29 "for parents of LGBTQ+ children and for ministry leaders looking to discover ways to support parents and LGBTQ+ children in their churches," its website says. Stanley is one of the speakers.
"You will be equipped, refreshed, and inspired as you hear from leading communicators on topics that speak to your heart, soul, and mind," the website says. "We deeply desire this time will bring about healing and restoration. No matter what theological stance you hold, we invite you to listen, reflect, and learn as we approach this topic from the quieter middle space."
This "middle space" is the space where they pretend to be tolerant of anyone until they get power and put the flag of their rainbow cult behind your pulpit.
Also, there is no such thing as a "LGBTQ+ child."
There is God's design and rebellion against that design. To "affirm" anyone, especially a child, in that rebellion against God comes with eternal consequences.
The issue with Stanley is so grave that Al Mohler fired shots this week as well.
In truth, there is no "middle space" on these issues, and it is no longer plausible to claim that such middle space exists.
Good to hear you say it, Dr. Mohler. I will note, however, that you capitulated to the language of the woke:
...a conference designed to help parents of LGBTQ+ children and ministry leaders work through these issues in clearly Biblical terms would be a welcome development.
Never, ever do that. Never use their terms. Never go full Orwell.
Mohler lays out more about the conference:
Scheduled speakers for the event include two men who are married to other men, at least according to current civil law. Biographical background on speakers Justin Lee and Brian Nietzel indicates that both men are in what are now described as "same-sex marriages." Lee is well known as a platform speaker who argues for the legitimacy of "monogamous same-sex relationships." Nietzel presents seminars on "restoring LGBTQ+ faith." Just to be clear: This is not "the quieter middle space."
Another major speaker is David Gushee, a prominent intellectual who has been honest about his own change of mind on the moral status of LGBTQ+ behaviors and relationships. In the "definitive edition" of his book Changing Our Mind, subtitled as a "Landmark Call for Inclusion of LGBT Christians," he traces his own pilgrimage to eager LGBTQ+ advocacy. In the book, Gushee states that he will "grant the historical claim that the Church has believed that same-sex acts and relationships are always wrong." But the book traces his change, over time, to a position in which he clearly asserts that the Christian church has been historically wrong on this issue. In his book and in other presentations, Gushee is clear about his position, his reasoning, his reading of the Bible, and his conclusions.
I've seen this trajectory countless times in churches across the Western world over the last two decades.
First, the pastor begins to question certain biblical commands or prescriptions regarding God's design and law. The first steps usually involve allowing women to preach as authoritative teachers over the congregation in violation of 1 Timothy 2, downplaying the Old Testament and the law in favor of just "being like Jesus," and watering down worship that uses Bethel Music choruses about your heart beating faster when boyfriend Jesus "enters the room."
Second, the pastor begins to deconstruct Christianity. There were a lot of old, white men involved in that, after all. What naturally follows is a deconstruction of the Bible and an attempt to harmonize it with other religions - what usually happens is a deep-dive into New Age mysticism because these church pastors are not educated nor intelligent enough to look beyond the immediate culture that is influencing them.
Over a few years, the church then begins to affirm everything woke Western culture affirms: Gay marriage, transgenderism, sexual debaucheries of all kinds, racial Marxism, leftist ideas about "social" justice, vaguely pseudobiblical screeds on the "marginalized" and the "oppressor," and climate pledges.
At that point, the church is completely worthless. Jesus doesn't need to save anyone if His kingdom looks exactly like Hollywood and Wall Street. If a church is professing the same thing that BlackRock's ESG portfolio professes, who needs said church?
Mohler sees the trend in Stanley.
Andy Stanley, one of the most influential pastors in the United States, has been moving in this direction for years, often by suggestion and assertion but clouded by confusion and the deliberate avoidance of clarity.
If you doubt the repeated trend I just laid out, consider this. Here is an article from 2018:
Earlier this year we were here:
And now an LGBT group is hosting a conference at Stanley's church where he will be a speaker.
Prove me wrong, friends.
Mohler's final thought:
He has been working in this direction for years now. Sadly, it looks like the train is about to leave the station.
When Rob Bell left his church in 2011, renounced Christ, and wrote a book on the "Zim Zum of Love," it was big. There was serious social credit to be had by jumping off the Jesus train first.
But now it's old hat. Everyone is doing this. Andy Stanley is about to become another footnote in history in danger of the fires of hell. Woe to him!
I'll leave you with this comic drawn by a friend of mine named Adam Ford as encouragement for those of you who haven't forgotten Christ:
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