An illustration by North Point Senior Pastor Andy Stanley in his April 15 sermon has been raising questions on where the megachurch pastor stands on homosexuality.
"His message was troubling," said Dennis Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College. "It was ambiguous at best. It was a total capitulation to the spirit of the age at worst."
Stanley's message was from the book of John, and he spoke about how messy and seemingly inconsistent Jesus' love was. "At times [Jesus] seems to be forgiving, and at other times he seems to be holding everybody accountable," Stanley said in the sermon. "At times he points out sin and at times it's like he ignores sin altogether."
That tension can be seen at North Point after sermons on remarriage after divorce, which people hate to hear but are glad they did, he said. It also exists for gay members, who have left predominantly gay churches for North Point because they want more Bible teaching, but are nervous about how welcome they'll be, he said.
In trying to love like Jesus does, the church can also seem inconsistent and leave people wondering what they're really about, Stanley said.
The illustration that drew attention came toward the end of the message, when Stanley offered a real-life example. A family at North Point fell apart when the husband left his wife for another man, he said. The gay couple began to attend North Point together, but the estranged wife asked them to leave since she wanted a drama-free space to worship.
The couple then headed to another North Point campus and became involved in leadership there. But when Stanley found out, he asked them to step down since the partner was still married to his wife.
"This is just good old fashioned adultery," Stanley told the ...