'Pastor Stanley's Words Are Dangerous': Messianic Believers Say 2nd Biggest US Church Should NOT Dit
Updated: Jan 17, 2019
CBNNews.com, John Waage, January 14, 2019
A trio of Messianic Jewish leaders in the Atlanta area is the latest to publicly sound alarms concerning the "replacement theology" teachings about Christians and the Old Testament by Andy Stanley, pastor of North Point, the nation's second largest church.
In his latest controversial comments about Christians moving away from the Ten Commandments, Stanley said, "The new covenant replaced the old one. The covenant established by Jesus retired the covenant God established with the nation of Israel."
Stanley sparked controversy last year when he preached a sermon series calling on Christians to "unhitch" their faith from the Old Testament. That sounded, to many believers, Jewish and Gentile, like a form of replacement theology—the idea that the Church has replaced biblical Israel and that God's promises to Israel as a nation and the Jews as a people are essentially over. At the time, Stanley said his words had been taken out of context.
Ryan Lambert, a Messianic Jewish teacher and outreach director for First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ) ministry based in Jerusalem and Atlanta, has attended seminars at North Point and respects its leadership. He made his concerns known to high-level staff members at the church. He said he was told that when Stanley's new book was published, many of the issues would be cleared up.
Last fall, Stanley released his book entitled, Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World. But after reading the book, Lambert wrote, "My concerns that had been raised during Pastor Andy's sermon series were not only confirmed but significantly increased."
Lambert and two colleagues at FFOZ, Toby Janicki and Damian Eisner, appeared in a video response to Irresistible called "Irreplaceable: the Answer to Andy Stanley's 'Irresistible' Replacement Theology."
Lambert cites a passage in Irresistible in which Stanley wrote, "(Paul) knew the legalism, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and exclusivity that characterized ancient Judaism would eventually seep into and erode the beauty, simplicity, and appeal of the ekklesia (church) of Jesus."