Who Needs Andy Stanley’s Sermon?

My Tweet from this morning read: While pastors fume over @AndyStanley’s sermon, my college son chose to serve HS ministry this wkend instead of frat bid day. TY @NPInsideOut.

That’s the crux of it. I’d rather have a son with a heart for Jesus who’s willing to serve and give up a big event at his university than bicker over who’s “righter” than others over Scriptures. Doors opened to him in a way he was able to understand, and he did not have to take an ALL OR NOTHING pledge to participate. The people who are upset the most over our pastor’s delivery of his “Who Needs God” messages (or the words therein) are really preaching to the choir. Don’t try to right yourself by wronging one of the most dedicated men of God this world has ever seen. Don’t stand on the hill waving your flag higher than other flags waving for the same cause. Remember what team we’re on here, folks.

I’ve read some scathing responses by highly educated men up in arms this morning about this sermon series, picking words apart. Some of the remarks read like an old wife fighting with her husband, bringing up every last thing he ever did wrong and unleashing it when it had nothing to do with the current matter being discussed. Fibber Magee’s closet door opened, and all the mess came spilling out.

Does it really do the Kingdom any good when bickering amongst the faithful happens? Ever heard the story of the prodigal son…don’t focus on the prodigal but take a look at the brother. Remember how jealous he acted: “Hey, look at me. Look at how good I’ve been all this time. That’s not fair for you to give more attention to my brother.” Totally a different situation, but hopefully you will understand my point. But then, maybe not. You missed Andy’s point, and he’s a master storyteller.

img_0290Ironically, the same day Andy was delivering one of the sermons in this “Who Needs God” series, I was on stage in the UpStreet children’s ministry at his church telling over 400 children the story of Noah. Yes, Noah, you know, the ark, the flood, the animals…part of being faithful to God and letting him take care of the rest. Did Noah have all the answers or understand why? No, but he trusted that God did and obeyed. Do we have all the answers here on all these biblical questions? No, but we trust that God does. It’s called faith.

I’m no Bible scholar and don’t claim to be, but thanks to what we’ve learned at North Point Community Church over the last thirteen years, my family and I have personal relationships with Jesus Christ. My childhood faith has indeed grown up.

So if you’re still angry, riled, upset about what Pastor Stanley said to his congregation, maybe it’s time to let that go. Maybe that isn’t the battle you need to fight. If you’re already a believer, isn’t that the main thing anyway? Maybe Andy wasn’t talking to you. Maybe you’re not his audience.  As I recall, Jesus told us to go out into the nations and make disciples of the unbelievers, not go out and see who could be “righter” than the other guy. Who needs God? We all do. Go ye.