Christian Twitter is in an uproar over comments that Atlanta-area pastor Andy Stanley made about gay people, comments that follow recently renewed controversy regarding Stanley‘s views the phrase, “the Bible says.” The latest outcry pertains to the pastor’s remarks on the faith of gay people who are willing to be part of a church community.
“A gay person who still wants to attend church after the way the church has treated the gay community, I’m telling you they have more faith than I do,” said Stanley in a clip of him speaking. “They have more faith than a lot of you.”
Stanley is the pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. Adam Page, pastor of Amelia Baptist Church in Fernandina Beach, Florida, posted the clip of Stanley speaking, saying that it was from North Point’s Drive Conference in 2022.
“What on earth,” said Page. “Let this be a lesson. Much evil can be done against you, others and your church under the banner of evangelism.”
What on earth… let this be a lesson. Much evil can be done against you, others and your church under the banner of evangelism. pic.twitter.com/EArWfpTc7r
— pagemasta (@AdamPage85) January 23, 2023
Andy Stanley: ‘We Have Some Things To Learn’
The clip, which is about two minutes long and has been posted without context, begins in the middle of a sentence with Andy Stanley expressing that gay people are more enthusiastic and committed to serving at church than straight people are.
The pastor emphasizes that gay people attend church knowing it is likely they will not be accepted. “Have you ever done that as a straight person?” asked Stanley. “Where do you go that you’re not sure you’re going to be accepted, and you go over and over and over and over? Only your in-laws’ house,” he joked.
Stanley praised gay men and women who trust in Jesus and still have a desire to participate in the community of the church. “I know 1 Corinthians 6 and I know Leviticus and I know Romans 1,” he said. “It’s so interesting to talk about all that stuff, but just, oh my goodness, a gay man or woman who wants to worship their Heavenly Father, who did not answer the cry of their heart when they were 12 and 13 and 14 and 15—God said, ‘No,’ and they still love God—we have some things to learn from a group of men and women who love Jesus that much and who want to worship with us.”
Stanley said he is aware of the “clobber passages,” but that the church needs to “figure this out. And you know what? I think you are.”
“I’m not sure what kind of ‘faith’ he’s boasting that ‘gays have more’ of, but it’s obviously not the faith that leads to repentance (Acts 3:19), which is why the church exists—to call unbelievers and believers alike—to repent of their sin, not to continue in it (Romans 6:1-2),” said Darrell B. Harrison, Director of Digital Platforms at John MacArthur’s Grace To You ministry.