The Ultra-Conservative Calvinist Complementary Crowd They’ve been looking for evidence to convict Andy Stanley of “liberalism” for years, and now they think they’ve found the smoking gun.
Except that their “evidence” would only hold up if the jury was made up of people who see the world exactly as they do. But yes, if Charles Stanley’s son is accused of seeing the world differently than Al Mohler, he is definitely guilty of the accusations against him.
Once again, the basic assumption is that Mohler & Co. have the only version of biblical truth and that all things must be measured against their standards. Yet what they are advocating is a theology of hatred, fear, and narrow-mindedness that would leave gay children committing suicide rather than being loved and understood by their families.
What is Andy Stanley’s great attack against the created order? His church agreed to be the site of a sold out conference to help parents of LGBTQ children learn to love their children while maintaining their Christian faith. Isn’t that horrible?
“Her church agreed to be the site of a sold-out conference to help parents of LGBTQ children learn to love their children while maintaining their Christian faith. Isn’t that horrible?
According to Mohler and his ilk, this is indeed awful because you cannot be “Christian” without looking down on the LGBTQ community. It is for them an article of faith.
Conference publicity announces an opportunity to find “a calmer middle space” on this volatile topic.
In an online opinion article Condemning the conference and Stanley, Mohler responded: “In truth, there is no ‘middle space’ on these issues, and it is no longer plausible to claim that such a middle space exists.
This conference, he asserts, “is designed as a platform to normalize the LGBTQ+ revolution.”
Mohler’s disdain for families with LGBTQ children shines through in this sentence: “The biographical backgrounds of speakers Justin Lee and Brian Nietzel indicate that both men belong to what is now described as “same-sex marriages”. » (Emphasis mine.)
They are not simply “described as” same-sex marriages; they are same-sex marriages – legally. The Church does not define what constitutes a legal marriage in the United States. But remember, these are the same people who want the Church to control the state anyway.
Mohler is not the only one to criticize the “Unconditional” conference. Just at the right time, Focus on family he is also outraged by the event and considers it unbiblical.
When I heard about this whole storm, I decided to address the source of the storm, which is neither Andy Stanley nor Al Mohler. The conference is designed and sponsored by Embracing the Journey, a ministry led by Greg and Lynn McDonald, who are friends of mine.
Caution here: saying that Greg and Lynn are my “friends” does not mean that they share all of my beliefs. I will claim the label “liberal” if I have to apply it, but that’s not it. They are, on the contrary, exactly what they presented at the conference: Christians who want to love Jesus and love their gay child at the same time. They are loyal, dedicated, loving, kind and exemplary people. These are not demons who want to destroy the Church.
“They are loyal, dedicated, loving, kind and exemplary people. These are not demons who want to destroy the Church.
Learn more about their ministry here. As I wrote in this 2020 interview: “They don’t care about labels like ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ because they are more interested in talking about ‘relationship.’
Here’s what you need to know regarding this conference which, according to Al Mohler, constitutes “a clear and tragic departure from biblical Christianity” and shows Andy Stanley’s evolution towards apostasy:
- Andy Stanley did not plan or promote the conference. This is the work of the McDonalds, who are faithful members of the North Point Church. They believe the idea came to them from the Lord.
- Andy Stanley did not request to speak at the conference. He was invited by McDonalds — after the event venue was booked. And what he was asked to talk about is not a subject likely to spark further controversy. His detractors should therefore wait and see before criticizing.
- North Point Church does not “sponsor” the event. The church is just the venue for the conference hosted by Embracing the Journey, which is solely responsible for paying the bills and providing warmth.
- The speakers represent nothing close to extreme LGBTQ rights advocacy. Each of them adheres to orthodox Christianity by any measure other than that of Mohler & Co.
- The goal of the conference, its reason for being, is to “support LGBTQ+ parents and children in their churches.”
- The conference is already full. More than 500 people participate.
And here is one last important fact: About half of the people registered to attend the conference work in ministry-related jobs somewhere. This shows us the urgency of finding a “quieter middle space” for pastors and ministry leaders to serve gay children. These are the very families who are most likely to bury their children because of suicide, the very families who are most likely to experience fractures, the very families who are most likely to drive their own children out of the family. church.
If Andy Stanley is an apostate for allowing Greg and Lynn McDonald to use his church property to love the parents of gay children and tell them about the love of Jesus, there is nothing left of the church to celebrate . It’s not a journey most of us want to take.
Mark Wingfield is executive director and publisher of Baptist News Global. He is the author of Why churches need to talk about sexuality And Honestly: Telling the Truth About the Bible and Ourselves.