Megachurch Pastor Andy Stanley doesn’t believe the Ten Commandments apply to modern-day Christians. The well-known author is urging Christians to stop creating monuments dedicated to the Ten Commandments, as they don’t apply to Christians anymore.
Over the past couple of years, Ten Commandment monuments have become the controversial subject of many free speech debates and lawsuits. Here are some recent cases, as reported by Faithwire:
In December, an Ohio city moved both a Ten Commandments monument as well as a Nativity scene after a Wisconsin-based atheist group contacted the city, claiming the monuments should not be on public property.
In October 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court forced a city hall building in Bloomfield, New Mexico, to remove their Ten Commandments monument, calling it unconstitutional.
In December 2017, an atheist group tried to force the small town of Somersworth, New Hampshire, to remove their Ten Commandments monument from their downtown area. Unlike many of these cases, the town ended up keeping the monument.
In a Relevant Magazine column posted Monday, Pastor Stanley explained his reasoning behind his controversial claim that “the Ten Commandments are from the old covenant.”
The pastor posed the following question: “[I]f we’re going to create a monument to stand as a testament to our faith, shouldn’t it at least be a monument of something that actually applies to us?”
“Participants in the new covenant (that’s Christians) are not required to obey any of the commandments found in the first part of their Bibles,” Stanley wrote. “Participants in the new covenant are expected to obey the single command Jesus issued as part of his new covenant: as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Stanley cited the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew, posing another question: “But how many times have you seen Christians trying to post the text of the sermon on the mount in a public place? Or the all-encompassing commandment Jesus gave us?”
Stanley argues that the single commandment, to love God and others, is “a replacement for everything in the existing list. Including the big ten.”
“Just as his new covenant replaced the old covenant, Jesus’ new commandment replaced all the old commandments,” Stanley contended.
The megachurch pastor added that unfortunately many churches have placed too much of an emphasis on the old covenant, causing them to commit evils. He argued that although “Jesus was foreshadowed in the old covenant, he did not come to extend it.”
He then posed another question: “Dear Christian reader: Why? Why? Why would we even be tempted to reach back beyond the cross to borrow from a covenant that was temporary and inferior to the covenant established for us at Calvary?”
Stanley also pointed out that you can’t pick and choose which covenant you follow as a Christian. He claimed that when Jesus was made the living sacrifice, many old rules went away, the Ten Commandments, among many others.
“The new covenant replaced the old one. The covenant established by Jesus retired the covenant God established with the nation of Israel. This is why most Christians don’t mind a little bacon with their eggs,” Stanley said.
“We need to stop mixing the old with the new,” he added. “The church has a terrible habit of selectively rebranding aspects of the old covenant and smuggling them into the new.”
In his most recent book, “Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World,” Stanley writes that he believes Christians have a past of “careless mixing and matching of old and new covenant values and imperatives make the current version of our faith unnecessarily resistible.”
Stanley also received a large amount of pushback from various Christian figures after some comments he made last year. In an interview with Michael Brown last July, Stanley emphasized that his initial comments were for people that typically do not believe in biblical arguments.
“I told my kids growing up if anyone ever asks you ‘do you believe Adam and Eve are real people?’ here is how you are to answer: do not say ‘yes because the Bible says Adam and Eve were real people,'” Stanley explained. “You say this: ‘I believe Adam and Eve were historical characters because Jesus did. And when somebody predicts their own death and resurrection and pulls it off, I go with whatever they say.'”
This wasn’t the first time Stanley gained attention from a controversial statement he made.
Earlier last year, Stanley also sparked criticism when he argued that Christians should stop being so attached to the Old Testament.
“[First century] Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures,” he preached. “Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well.”
Stanley later backtracked and corrected his comments:
“Well, I never suggested we ‘un-hitch’ from a passage of Scripture or a specific biblical imperative,” he said. “Again, I was teaching through Acts 15 where Peter, James and Paul recommended the first-century church unhitch (my word, I’m open to an alternative) the law of Moses from the Gospel being preached to Gentiles in Antioch.”