Megachurch Pastor Andy Stanley claimed in a recent article that the Ten Commandments don’t apply to Christians, a statement that will come as news to the conservative evangelicals who not only insist it be followed but demand that state capitols and public schools post the Decalogue so everyone can see it.
The North Point Community Church pastor said this in RELEVANT magazine:
The Ten Commandments are from the old covenant.
Jesus issued his new commandment as 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.
The church has a terrible habit of selectively rebranding aspects of the old covenant and smuggling them into the new.
So why are we fighting to build monuments to it?
None of this is new analysis. Stanley himself said it all in a sermon last year and fellow Christians lashed out all the same. Their basic argument is that, sure, we’re bound by the New Testament, but it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the Ten Commandments so we should still take them seriously.
But while we’re discussing the topic, Stanley’s logic is the very reason Leviticus shouldn’t be cited as a reason for why homosexuality is wrong. Yet he still believes homosexuality is a sin (even if he tries to avoid the subject).
Christians need to make up their minds about the Old Testament already: Either it’s relevant or not. In my tradition, there’s a difference made between “moral law” and “cultural law.” The moral ones, which are found in both the Old and New Testament, are still applicable (which is too bad for Stanley, since values like “Thou shall not covet” and “Love the Lord your God above all else” are echoed by Jesus). But the cultural laws, such as prohibitions against wearing mixed fabrics, can be left in the past.
That said, it would be nice if people like Stanley were more vocal whenever legislators attempted to put Ten Commandments monuments on public property. It’s not like he’s ever stopped those monuments from going up.
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