A clip of Stanley is making the rounds and causing a stir again. The oft-theologically wayward Atlanta megachurch pastor is apparently quite impressed with unrepentant homosexuals who come to church. In a video clip from a conference he spoke at last summer, Stanley leans into an old trope – that the church has mistreated homosexuals. It seems he is in awe of any gay man or woman who would still darken the door:
Stanley: "A gay person who still wants to attend church after the way the church has treated the gay community …. I'm telling you, they have more faith than I do …. We have some things to learn from a group of men and women who love Jesus that much and who want to worship with us."
And regarding some of the passages in the Bible that condemn homosexuality:
Stanley: "I know 1 Corinthians 6 and I know Leviticus and I know Romans 1, which are so interesting to talk about and all that stuff …. And I know the verses; I know the clobber passages, right? We've got to figure this out."
Christian apologist, author, and educator Dr. Alex McFarland acknowledges Stanley is "an American religious pop star" – then adds: "He is not, however, a New Testament pastor."
According to McFarland, a real New Testament pastor doesn't claim ignorance about the difficult passages in scripture, but instead embraces them – and yes, sinners may be offended by that.
"If telling the truth of repentance and obedience toward the Savior – if that's attacking people, then so be it," McFarland tells AFN.
And as far as churches mistreating the LGBTQ community, McFarland says every evangelical church he's been to is preaching the truth in love. "The most loving thing we can do is tell people the truth," he argues. "And what truth could be more urgent and relevant than the truth of where we stand with a holy God?"
Recently on his show on American Family Radio, Pastor Jeff Schreve previewed what Pastor Andy Stanley said at the conference:
"The subject of homosexuality came up, and over the next hour and a half Andy shared overtly heretical views that clearly contradict what the Word of God says. He said – quote: 'We need to make room for gay men who choose to be married to each other in our churches because that's as close as they can get to a New Testament framework of marriage. I believe in gay people. Some people are gay. They can't change. I know I shouldn't let experience dictate my theology, but I have. Maybe I'm wrong.'"
Schreve explained that, as stated by the Apostle Paul, God will be unsparing with ministers who preach a different gospel:
"[If] Andy Stanley … and others like him … are telling you that you in sexual sin don't need to repent and turn to Christ, [that] you don't need to leave the pigsty and come to Christ, they're telling you a lie. They're distorting the gospel. And as Paul says in Galatians 1, Let him be anathema. Let him be eternally condemned."
1/27/23 - Updated to include comments from Dr. Jeff Schreve.