Home Christian News Preston Sprinkle Shares What He Appreciates About Andy Stanley’s Message and What...

Preston Sprinkle Shares What He Appreciates About Andy Stanley’s Message and What Concerns Him

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Screengrab from YouTube / @PrestonSprinkleRaw

Dr. Preston Sprinkle, who has a ministry geared toward helping churches address questions on sexuality and gender, has joined the ranks of those responding to the recent controversy surrounding Pastor Andy Stanley and North Point Community Church. 

Sprinkle, who serves as the president of The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender, said on Friday, Oct. 6, that he deeply appreciates what Stanley is attempting to do to serve the parents of LGBTQ+ children. But Sprinkle also observed that when Stanley attempted to take a position in favor of traditional marriage in his sermon last Sunday, the pastor demonstrated a “classic affirming line of reasoning.”

Preston Sprinkle: Stanley Demonstrates an Anemic Theology of Singleness

On Sunday, Oct. 1, author and pastor Andy Stanley used his preaching time to address controversy generated by the “Unconditional Conference,” an event his Atlanta-area church hosted on Sept. 28-29. The conference aimed to provide pastoral care to the parents of LGBTQ+ children and featured a number of affirming speakers, including two men who are married to other men. Dr. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, criticized the conference as not “consistent with biblical Christianity.”

During his Oct. 1 message, Stanley referenced Mohler’s comments and said that Mohler’s “version of biblical Christianity…is the problem.” Mohler soon published a response to Stanley’s message, stating that it failed to mention “repentance from sin” and that Stanley was not presenting “the gospel as preached by the Apostles and held fast by the faithful Church.”

A variety of other ministry leaders have since published responses to Andy Stanley’s sermon, including Sam Allberry, who is a celibate, same-sex attracted pastor, and Biola professor Sean McDowell and Stand to Reason speaker Alan Shlemon.

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In a bonus episode on his podcast, “Theology in the Raw,” Preston Sprinkle said he has “been hesitant about responding” to the controversy “for many reasons” but has been hearing from pastors saying the situation is impacting their congregations.

“The fact is North Point and Andy, they are playing some discipleship role in the lives of many people outside of their church and outside of the state,” said Sprinkle. “That’s just the fact of the matter.” Sprinkle said he knows little about Stanley but that he has agreed with the pastor at times while also wishing at times Stanley would be clearer about his positions. 

Sprinkle went on to expound on what he sees as the positives and negatives of Stanley’s Sunday message. As far as what Sprinkle appreciated about it, the ministry leader said he agreed with about 90% of Stanley’s message and that he “was ‘amen-ing’ almost everything Andy was saying.”

“He was opening our evangelical eyes to some of the spiritual realities of LGBTQ people being raised in the church,” Sprinkle said, which is “what I’ve been trying to do for almost the same amount of time” (about 10 years).