According to the Christian Post, over 7000 leaders have gathered at Catalyst Atlanta with Andy Stanley. That’s 7000 leaders who have bowed their knees to the spirit of oneness, a false spirit masquerading as the Holy Spirit. Stanley paraphrased the prayer of Jesus in this way:”Father, I pray that they will all be in oneness just like We are in oneness. I pray that they will be in unity together, just like We are in unity together.”
The article in the Post then quotes Stanley as saying: “Your theological peculiarities, the way you slice and dice, how seriously and non-seriously you take Old Testament and New Testament, there is so many opportunities for us to divide up in our tribes and Jesus told us this at the end of His ministry. He said, ‘God, if there is one thing that You and I know they got to get right, it is unity around the one thing they have that they can agree on — that I am the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ This is such a big deal to Jesus.” (It’s apparent that the unity Stanley is promoting includes being joined with a Benedictine monk because Fr. Edwin Leahy was a speaker on the main stage. I guess he no longer cares about those who died in the flames to oppose the false teachings of Catholicism.)
It was also reported in the Christian Post that Stanley “emphasized that ‘unity around who is Jesus is preeminent’ and all the other theological differences are just ‘detail.'”
As a lover of history, I have a great concern with Andy Stanley and his willingness to gather the church around the unifying statement “I am the Christ, the Son of the living God,” while neglecting other theological differences.
I often debate atheists. One of the main arguments skeptics use against Christians is the history of the church. I noticed in my study of history that it is often the neglect or rejection of just ONE scripture, a little “detail,” as Stanley would characterize it, that caused the church to fall away for that generation, and many people to suffer.
It was this falling away from a “detail” that allowed Christians to justify slavery, colonization, and Nazism. For example, one scripture, Acts 17:26, was rejected by Enlightenment thinkers such as Jefferson, Hume, and Voltaire, in order to justify “polygenism.” Acts 17:26 says that God “hath made of one blood all nations.” Polygenism was the idea that the races have different origins (or parents), as opposed to monogenism, which argues the human race had a single origin (such as Adam). Polygenism was promoted by “Christians” such as Louis Aggasiz, George Gliddon, and Josiah Nott. They argued that Act 17:26 could be dismissed because the apostle Paul only knew of the races around the Mediterranean Sea.
Those who opposed polygenism (also known as “scientific racism”) were members of the evangelical church. Frederick Douglass opposed scientific racism on scriptural grounds in his speech, “The Claims of the Negro Ethnologically Considered.” The Ethnological Society of London formed for the express purpose of battling scientific racism. Their motto was “ab uno sanguire,” (from one blood). I could offer much more evidence of the stand the faithful church took based on ONE scripture, but the point I’m trying to make is that theological “details” can be very important.
Because of Darwinism, polygenism would become outdated and a new form of racism would begin. This would become known as social Darwinism, the belief that the darker races were sub-human, like a lower form of animal. This allowed them to be abused by lighter-skinned people who were more evolved.
Instead of believing the Bible’s teaching on creationism, many in the church went along with Darwinism and, as a result, promoted Anglo-Saxon superiority. “Christian” authors such as William Graham Sumner, Josiah Strong, and Henry H. Johnston argued that the darker races needed to be civilized (usually by giving them European clothing and putting them to work for people like Cecil Rhodes).
Battling against social Darwinism were the evangelical missionaries. (These were different from traders, Catholic missionaries, or liberal Protestants/social Darwinists.) Evangelicals such as William Knibb of Jamaica and John Mackenzie of Botswana, fought on behalf of the darker races against those who would abuse them for the sake of monetary gain.
William Howitt, author of the book “Colonisation and Christianity,” lamented the position of natives, saying that social Darwinism/scientific racism hindered evangelism since those who came in the name of Christ before them had taken their lands, kidnapped them, and burned down their dwellings. The polygenists and social Darwinists, in the name of God, rejected tiny “details” in the scriptures, yet when these “details” were neglected, it caused massive human suffering.
The historical critics, who originated at Tubingen University in Germany, and argued that known science and archaeology could take precedence over the truth of the scriptures, also caused massive human suffering. Because “Christians” questioned the veracity of the scriptures, after reading David Strauss’ book entitled, “The Life of Jesus Critically Examined,” Marx would reject Christianity, and Hitler would write “My Struggle,” partly as an homage to social Darwinism. Both men would try to set up their heavens on earth, and millions would suffer and die as a result of rejecting a theological “detail.”
The worst part of the historical record is that because much of it was done by “Christians” who only disagreed with the scriptures on a couple of “details,” God’s name would be attached to their sins. Unfortunately, because of them, skeptics can now point to the failures of the church and mock Christianity, causing many to reject Jesus.
When Andy Stanley questions the truth of the Bible, as he has in the past, and so flippantly dismisses the theological “details” of the scriptures in exchange for a simple, core, theological statement which will overlook false doctrine, he shows that he has no understanding of history and no true love for people. We have to love ALL of the truth, because when we don’t, we don’t truly love humanity.
I pray that there are at least 7000 souls who have NOT bowed their knees to the Zeitgeist–the spirit of the age called “oneness.” We cannot give in to the Utopian dream of those who would compromise the truth to bring about heaven on earth…and we must remember that Jesus also said in John 17, “sanctify them [set them apart] by the truth. Your Word is truth.” ( John 17:17)