During a sermon on Sunday (Oct. 1), Andy Stanley told the congregation at North Point Community Church that he doesn’t “subscribe” to the “version of biblical Christianity” held by Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler.
In his message, Stanley said that he was “so disappointed” in the broader evangelical community for its critical response to the “Unconditional Conference,” which was hosted at North Point Community Church this past Thursday and Friday (Sept. 28-29).
Referring to Mohler, Stanley said, “A prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention published this article—some of you have seen this—’The Train Is Leaving the Station: Andy Stanley’s Departure From Biblical Christianity.’”
Mohler’s article focused on the Unconditional Conference, which featured Stanley speaking alongside gay affirming leaders, including gay married men Justin Lee and Brian Nietzel—something Mohler said declares a position that is not “consistent with biblical Christianity. This is the side that I believe is not only incompatible with biblical Christianity but cannot coexist in one space with biblical Christianity.”
Stanley admitted that Mohler’s article was the reason he was taking a break from his normally scheduled sermon series. “I have never taken a whole Sunday to respond to criticism from outside our organization,” Stanley said. “In fact, I don’t even respond publicly to criticism that comes from outside of our organization,” because that is what “I’ve taught you for years: [if] you’re doing a great work, don’t come down like Nehemiah.”
“But because of [Mohler’s] influence and how widely his article has circulated in Christendom, and in light of the confusion that this article and others just like it have created for people in our church, our network of churches,” said Stanley, he decided to address it.
Stanley went on to explain why North Point Community Church’s leadership chose not livestream this service. “I’ve made it a habit to never say anything out there that I haven’t said in here first,” Stanley told the congregation. “I wanted you to hear it from me first.”
Speaking to the article in question, Stanley said that Mohler “is actually accusing me of departing from his version of biblical Christianity.”
“I want to go on record and say I have never subscribed to his version of biblical Christianity to begin with, so I’m not leaving anything,” Stanley stated.