Andy Stanley, Gone Astray.
Is Andy Stanley becoming a New Age leader?
Andy Stanley, pastor of Northpoint Church the 3rd most influential church in America is under spiritual pressure to lead the flock in the wrong direction! Many other influential leaders have already fallen into New Age doctrines.
This article is not meant to be an attack or a smear campaign against Andy Stanley, it is meant to be a warning and a call to pray for his protection because of the very real presence of seducing spirits who subtly attempt to steer us all away from Jesus Christ and to have us bring weak philosophies, anecdotes and false gospel to those we desire to witness to.
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Andy Stanley's "a new you resolution"
Reviewing Andy Stanley's 2010 Message
For Northpoint Church video link "a new you resolution"
Andy starts off his message talking about New Year's resolutions and goals. Sadly, none of the "high level" goals he mentions include being more like Christ. Andy then highlights worldly entertainers, athletes, politicians and their success, talking about them as if they were supernatural, and I quote "think about the politicians,the entertainers and the athletes that dwarf us mere mortals in terms of talent, their power, their money,and the things that they possess, the people they get to hang-out with ". He goes on to describe these idols as "people who have made it" as if these secular stars are something to model ourselves after.
The picture Andy is painting is an unfortunate contradiction with the following bible verse Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (riches or treasure). You see, the love of power and success and money is contrary to God's plan. What Andy does highlight is that the people that become involved with extraordinary success, power or money are many times ruined in some way because of their lack of character to handle it. This is why it is important to have Christ's character first, because with His character you can handle whatever comes your way. His plan for you may not include power, and money but if it does His character will help you to use them for the benefit of others and not ourselves alone.
To model ourselves after Christ is easier than we think. It's just like the Old Hymn: He is the potter I am the clay mold me an make me after thy will, while I am waiting, yielded and still. It sounds more like an operation than a personal performance doesn't it? You don't have to get good to get God. He is the one that performs not you. He performs an internal make-over with the added benefit of you never needing an external one!
It is not about self-focus, self-direction and self-effort instead it is about Christ and the path He has selected for us. Psalms 37:23 A righteous man's steps are ordered of the Lord . There's no need to plan who you want to be, if you surrender to Him, God will birth in you who He wants you to be which is more like Jesus. This is the New Birth (Born Again) process.
Discernment for Christians - Don't be led astray
Mormon Leadership Principles For Christians?
Discernment - Spiritual
Andy's source of guidance for this message comes partially from LDS Preacher Stephen Covey's book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, which Andy said he devoured. For those of you who don't know, Stephen Covey is a devout Mormon. In my experience, Mormon's are interested in being successful in what I would describe as worldly measures (financial, higher education, positions of power) which as you can see has consistently been Andy's focus throughout the message. See the pictures of Stephen Covey as featured in Success Magazine! Evangelical writer Bill Gordon, suggests that Mormon theology and cultural practices undergird Covey's writing for a general audience. In addition to The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, Covey has also written several devotional works for Latter-day Saints or Mormon readers. After studying these books Bill Gordon reports "Covey's beliefs about salvation are also uniquely Mormon. He warns his readers against seeking "any kind of 'special' relationship" with Jesus Christ. [Divine Center, pp. 67-68.]" So it is under Stephen Covey's non-Christian beliefs and seductive reasoning that Andy plots his own direction after "weeks of thinking and thinking and thinking". The obvious danger here is when our walk with God becomes12 inches to high (the distance between our heart and our mind). If we really listen, our hearts are crying out something quite different and is more likely revealed through prayer than thinking and thinking and thinking.
If we are not following Christ we are following the blind
When we get lost in fear.
For some reason, Andy follows the Mormon author's mind bending philosophy instead of the solid biblical doctrine of salvation and transformation. We are all at risk of following blindly, we have all at one time or another followed the blind or suffered from deception and Andy is no exception. He continues, describing that personal failure is a bigger problem to him than sin. In essence, his personal success is more important than what God thinks about sin. I don't think preacher Stanley knew it but this accidental confession is an example of how our own fears - in this case the fear of failure and the desire of our flesh to be righteous, pridefully rises up and says no to God's love (most likely because we believe through past abuse that we are not worthy of it). The path I see away from this display of our flesh's prideful rebellion is to realize that we are not righteous (not one of us) then humble ourselves and receive the love of God that we so desperately need. When we do this, receive God's love that is, it casts out the fear and we are no longer controlled by fear but motivated by love. 1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love
Is Hard-wiring Your Conscious Mind a Good Idea?
I believe that Andy was mistaken in his belief about hard-wiring his conscious mind, and that given the chance to review this he would likely not recommend it. What I felt was being presented is dangerous personality and behavior modification not genuine Christian transformation! Satan wants you, Andy and everybody else off track. He wants you to live in your head and not in your heart preferring that you use visualization, behavior modification, a hardwired sub-conscience and New Age psychobabble. What thwarts the Devil's work is when you connect with your heart, and receive God's love because that is what breaks the Devil's ability to enslave and manipulate you with the puppet strings of fear. If you look into your own past you will see this to be true because when you were no longer afraid of your obstacle you confronted it and grew beyond the fear held boundaries of the old you!
Not A Self Directed But A Christ Directed Life
Say a prayer for Christian Stanley
Here are my final thoughts with some important scriptures on the topic. Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
It is my personal belief in regards to this message that Andy Stanley missed an opportunity to preach the simplicity that is in Christ - the simplicity that Andy himself taught about in the Salvation message "It's No Mistake", preached in 2006. A simple gospel and plan of salvation that explains about a Christ directed life not a self-directed one. Not about our thoughts but about His thoughts. Not about our plans but about His plans. Reinforcement that who we should be is more like Jesus not a more self-pleasing, people pleasing, visualized version of ourselves.
Remember that the path away from fear and enslavement is through God's perfect love. Receive it. He loves you!
The Wayward Church Will Soon Be Ashamed - Carter Conlon
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