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Charles Stanley was rated the third most influential Protestant pastor in America, behind Billy Graham and Charles Swindoll, in a 2010 survey by LifeWay Research. That's ahead of Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen, among many other prominent ...

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b k

December 08, 2012  12:50am

who are you to call dispensationalists passe?..please elaborate..what planet do you live on?... the letter from ephraim the syrian just recently discuovered proves that dispensationalist pre trib rapture is not recent, but was believed as far back at 4th century.. who are you trying to please with this ignorant comment? what is your glory derived to or from? a group of scholars? friends? or God? i wonder.....

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Claire Guest

December 07, 2012  8:03am

robert Boe, I did not say the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday (the first day of the week), and I especially appreciate (and agree with) your most recent post. The Sabbath was instituted as the last day of the week (Saturday on our calendar today), based on the Creation week when God Himself rested. The apostles discovered the empty tomb on the first day of the week (which the early church called "the Lord's Day"), which is called Sunday on our calendar. Since the early church met from house to house throughout the week, including the first and last day of the week, and since Christ Jesus appeared to the apostle John on the Lord's Day, I believe it is wise to refer to Romans 14 on this issue - as you did. YES, Christ Jesus instituted the New Covenant. He said the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

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robert Boe

December 06, 2012  11:03pm

THE SABBATH day of exodus 20 was only for the jewish people God took out of egypt . as exodus 20 itself says .. so christians then are free to worship any day and our true rest is in Jesus alone not some old testament sabbath day saturday MEANT FOR THE JEWS GOD TOOK OUT OF EGYPT....tHAT COULD ONLY POINT TO A REAL REST IN JESUS SOME DAY. Colossians 2:17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. Colossians 2:16 New International Version (NIV) Freedom From Human Rules 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

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robert Boe

December 06, 2012  10:46pm

To answer Claire Guest and H.D. Schmidt on their question about who changed the Sabbath OF EXODUS 20 to Sunday. the sabbath day of the old testament the dcaalogue is still saturday !!!! NO one changed it to sunday! Note that the Decalog, as here given, was intended for the children of Israel and applied its principles to the circumstances under under which they lived, with a form of government every detail of which was fixed by the Lord The Decalog. — V. l. And God spake all these words, saying, v.2. I am the Lord, thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. http://kretzmannproject.org/

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Glen Waugh

December 06, 2012  3:11pm

The title is confusing for Dr. Stanley does not lay claim to any truth that is not revealed by the Holy Spirit or anyway around Christ in order to have fellowship with the Father. Hummmm?

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Brent Vermillion

December 04, 2012  2:40am

Charles Stanley has been a great (not perfect) pastor who God has used to bless millions. His emphasis on relationship with God, the leading of the Holy Spirit and healthy teaching and preaching is something younger preachers need to get back to.

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Claire Guest

December 03, 2012  4:53pm

The Sabbath was instituted as the last day of the week (Saturday on our calendar today), based on the Creation week when God Himself rested. The apostles discovered the empty tomb on the first day of the week (which the early church called "the Lord's Day"), which is called Sunday on our calendar. Since the early church met from house to house throughout the week, including the first and last day of the week, and since Christ Jesus appeared to the apostle John on the Lord's Day, I believe it is wise to refer to Romans 14 on this issue. Peace and grace to all.

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editor UNITYINCHRIST.COM

December 03, 2012  3:14pm

To answer Claire Guest and H.D. Schmidt on their question about who changed the Sabbath to Sunday, I have written an article addressing that very question, taking from both the Gospel of Luke and the famous Sabbatarian theologian, the late Samuele Bacchiocchi's work. It can be found on my website in the Worldwide Church of God section under the title "Has the Sabbath Been Abrogated?" This is an age-old question that has been asked since the 300s AD onward to now, and is probably the greatest question lacking sound resolution. The article does it's best to lend it's 2-cents worth to the discussion. Enjoy...

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Claire Guest

December 03, 2012  10:03am

ITA, J. Chun. I thought the title was quite misleading, and also wonder why the subtitle says "had" instead of "has"?

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J. Chun

December 03, 2012  12:01am

Why the title The MYSTIC Baptist? Are you a mystic because you spend much time in prayer?

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Claire Guest

December 01, 2012  8:24pm

Dave B, I do think it noteworthy that Dr. Stanley did not initiate the divorce, did not want the divorce. We simply don't know what caused his marriage to end. I do not see any discrepancy between this and the fact that Bible-believing Christians (including Dr. Stanley) are opposed to the acceptance and normalization of homosexuality and abortion because their standard of truth is God's Word. It is a sad fact that morality in general came under heavy attack in the 1960s, "free love/sex" carried a much-higher price tag than people could foresee, and divorce became much more common as that whole mindset swept the nation. At the same time, though, there has always been a faithful remnant who live what they believe. As for Dr. Stanley, he did tender his resignation as pastor when his wife filed for divorce, but his church begged him to stay on. As for the church in general, it is never right to excuse one sin because another one exists. This is antithetical to God's plan and purpose

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M Adisu

December 01, 2012  8:16pm

"Charles Stanley was rated the third most influential Protestant pastor in America, behind Billy Graham and Charles Swindoll, in a 2010 survey by LifeWay Research. That's ahead of Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen, among many other prominent pastors." Interesting, interesting. So instead of few disciples arguing among themselves, it is now a random crowd cheering/ranking "the greatest."

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Dave B.

December 01, 2012  2:40pm

Charles Stanley is a respected Bible teacher; the man has a way with words! However, one cannot help but notice his unfortunate divorce. When the former Chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention is divorced, what kind of message does that send to the Church? Conservative Christians are dead set against homosexuality and abortion - because of Biblical prohibitions. But what about other Biblical prohibitions such as divorce, neglect of the poor, etc.? Appears to me as double standard! Dr. Stanley should have walked the high road to holiness by resigning as the Pastor of his church and In Touch Ministries... and then we'll know he'd walk the talk.

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Claire Guest

December 01, 2012  12:46pm

H. D. Schmidt, the NT indicates that the early church met on the first day of the week ("the Lord's day") to commemorate the Resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead. Jesus chose that day to appear to the apostle John when He gave him the great Revelation. The Sabbath was instituted as a day of rest from man's labor. If you contact Dr. Stanley about this issue, please let us know here what he said.

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H. D. Schmidt

December 01, 2012  11:27am

I would like to ask Pastor Stanley, for whom I have the greatest respect and admiration: Who changed the Seventh Day Sabbath to Sunday? Jesus did not change it! He went to the Church on the Sabbath as was his habit, right? He also said that not change is ever to happen nor made to the Commandments; I am paraphrasing!

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Claire Guest

December 01, 2012  10:35am

After reading this whole article, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, ITA with Charles Stanley about the primary importance of prayer, of staying in constant fellowship with the Lord. Personally, I don't like the word "mystic" because it often carries unScriptural connotations, but I realize he did not apply that word to himself here. On the other hand, speaking as a wife, it did strike me that he seems to cast all blame for the divorce on his wife, seems to say that he did all that he could by praying with her each night when he was home. His POV left me wishing we could hear her perspective on that (it seems I read somewhere that their son, Andy, has addressed this in his newest book). Charles Stanley is not my pastor, so this does not concern me personally, only as a fellow believer - I did pray for them in the mid-1990s when I heard that she had initiated divorce proceedings. In the end, God is the only Righteous Judge, and I am totally willing to leave all judgment to Him.

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Edwina Cowgill

December 01, 2012  6:24am

The Bible plainly states "judge not, lest ye be judged." No one, except Dr. Stanley, his former wife, and God knows what happened in the Stanley's marriage. No one has the right to judge either of the Stanley's. Having been in ministry when my husband chose to leave me and my two children, I know what it's like to be judged by "well-meaning Christian friends" and I know what it's like to be supported, loved, and prayed for. I'll take the latter choice any day. It is after all, what we, as Christians, are supposed to do--be the love of Jesus to everyone.

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Dee McDonald

November 30, 2012  7:01pm

I wish CT could interview everyone on here commenting about how disgraceful Stanley is. That way we could see just how great your free-from-sin life really is, and how different you are than Stanley. Of course he has made mistakes, but when was the memo given out from the Holy Spirit that gave us Christians the right to condemn other believer's sins as though their sins are greater than our own? (I'm not saying there isn't such thing as righteous judgement). I guess we're all just better than him, especially those on here that know him so well personally, or have the gift of being able to perfectly judge his heart. Some of you even have the ability to judge entire denominations.

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Rick Dalbey

November 30, 2012  6:42pm

I do not fault Charles for his wife leaving. Did anyone read the article on Charles and Andy on CNN? Mega-preacher wars. 30,000 people at Northpoint. When I see Charles I think old boy Southern Baptist, big money, professional preacher. Shiny leather shoes, tailored suit, white shirt, tie, soft clothes, walnut paneled study, someone at the peak of the “business” of Christianity. I think of thousands of people sitting in pews, pleasing sermons, choirs and choir robes. In short, everything that kept me from becoming a Christian till my early 20s when I ran into some people who were in love with Jesus, radically saved black pentecostals. The traditional church I grew up in, much like the Southern Baptists, had an appearance of godliness but denied the power. And by power I mean what Paul meant, healing the sick, casting out demons, miracles, signs and wonders. Not just good sermons and pleasant people.

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Heather Macarthur

November 30, 2012  3:17pm

I thought exactly the same thing Steve. It disturbed me and it certainly isn't gracious sounding for sure. He did say earlier... "After we were married, we knelt by the bed every single night that I was at home and prayed, because I believe it's like glue that keeps people together.". Maybe, just maybe, she needed a lot more than that. "Glue" isn't how I want to be in relationship with anyone.

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ANGIE FREEMAN

November 30, 2012  3:01pm

Wow .... people! Obviously, God has moved on from Rev. Stanley's divorce. I think we should, too. I love his example of constant prayer and dependence on God for guidance. His example of how God told him to view the attacks of those who wanted to toss him out as coming from God is so helpful. I've been in that place in my own career and did not handle it half as well as he did. This is a great example for me and encourages me.

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Steve Skeete

November 30, 2012  2:04pm

'Ultimately, my wife walked away from the marriage. I don't blame her. I don't have any bad feelings. That's the kind of relationship she came out of—her dad, whom she revered, was married four times'. That last sentence struck me as most uncharitable and very insensitive. I certainly did not expect such from a 'man of prayer' and 'the third most influential pastor in the USA'. I am sure Rev. Stanley has heard of 'no fault" divorce, but I wonder if he ever hear of 'no blame' divorce. I could have, and probably would have enjoyed this article were it not for the fact that it seems to me that Rev. Stanley blames his divorce on his wife, who had, it appears, much assistance from her father's four marriages. I could almost taste the bitterness in that statement, which leave me to question Rev. Stanley when he says he does not 'blame her' and has no 'bad feelings' towards her for 'walking away'. Poor Mrs. Stanley! Given her 'revered' father's poor example what else could the poor girl do?

PETE DAYTON

November 30, 2012  1:48pm

Thank you for this post - My wife is a reformed SBC'er, like Al Mohler, and I am totally reformed but we both very much enjoy Charles' clear teaching on how we are to live. One can only absorb so much theology without having to put it in place .

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Derek C

November 30, 2012  1:41pm

Sherwood, is your post consistent with your theology? You like people based on their marital status? What makes you think that Stanley is casual about his divorce? That is a rather harsh indictment. I admit that I don't know the man, but I've certainly never heard that he disregarded his wife or their marriage. He wasn't perfect, and his wife has her reasons for doing what she did, but to make such a statement is ungracious. I also don't know that SBC members are any different from another denomination or of Christians in general. Having received the cup of water you speak of, what prompts you to speak such ill?

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Bert Warden

November 30, 2012  1:25pm

Back before Stanley's wife left him, if I am correct, he had said that if she did divorce him he would resign from the ministry of First Baptist. She did divorce him but he did not keep his promise. Actually the church pled with him not to resign so he didn't. He broke his promise and I lost respect for him. Was I right in so doing?

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editor UNITYINCHRIST.COM

November 30, 2012  12:36pm

Ah, Sherwood, as the old Camel ad said, "Walk a mile in my shoes," I had a wife who walked out of the marriage (later learned she wasn't even a believer), forced a divorce on me. You are being a bit Pharisaic, I suspect. Jesus didn't put up with the Pharisees nor like the way they were, and I don't much either. Been in a lot of Pharisaic churches before, developed a huge dislike for them, for obvious Biblical reasons.

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Sherwood MacRae

November 30, 2012  12:12pm

I liked Charles Stanley - up until I heard of his divorce, as I had considered him to be the epitome of the ministries created by the Southern Baptist church. And it seems that the concerns I have held for SBC ministries have come to fruition in Charles Stanley's life. How casually he dismisses the fact that his wife divorced him. It seems to me that this example is but one among the many falalicies I have found among many SBC members. In short, they seem to be able to talk the walk, but living in the shadow of a risen Christ is a struggle that many keep hidden from their constituencies. The concept of the so-called "mega" church is little more than the Americanization of the gospels and I fear that eventually he will be counted among the casualties. Pity those who have heard what they proclaim mightily in their books and tapes, but have no sense of having received a a cup of water to ease their savaged souls.

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editor UNITYINCHRIST.COM

November 30, 2012  12:09pm

Wow! btw, in the prayer section of my site, I have one of Charles Stanley's sermons about prayer transcribed (by permission, of course), title, Pray the Bible Way. Just click on the Prayer section and click on the appropriate upper nav bar button. This sermon of his just gives the basics of prayer, sort of Prayer 101...enjoy :)

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melanie and al dillard

November 30, 2012  12:08pm

this was fabulous. how much we can learn from this strong Christian man. thank you for the article.

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