Megachurch pastor Andy Stanley's recent message in which he urged Christians to "unhitch" their faith from the Old Testament continues to draw flak, with some calling it heresy.
Both Kevin DeYoung of Christ Covenant Church and Wesley Hill of Trinity School for Ministry are calling Stanley out for what they contend is heretical teaching — namely, Marcionism — that stems from the early church days.
"[Mo]st of the 39-minute talk can really only be described as an elaborate and educated flirtation with the old Christian heresy of Marcionism—the belief that the Old Testament is not authoritative in matters of Christian doctrine and morals," Hill stated, referring to Stanley's sermon from April.
DeYoung, a Reformed pastor in North Carolina, called Marcionism "the evergreen heresy" that still resonates with people today largely because it cuts out "a God full of wrath and justice" and leaves "a God of goodness and nothing else."
Stanley, who leads North Point Community Church in Georgia, preached a sermon series called "Aftermath" last month. The series was aimed at appealing to individuals who left Christianity over something they disagreed with or didn't like in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament.
In the final part of the three-part series, he said that while he believes the Old Testament is "divinely inspired," that is not the basis of Christianity. And just as "Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish Scriptures, ... we must as well," he told his congregation.
Stanley called the Old Testament "the back story for the main story" and while it's important, it's also "violent," "disturbing," and "offends all of our modern senses." More