Numerous controversies have cropped up regarding the Ten Commandments being displayed in public places in recent years. In December of 2018, an Ohio city relocated a Ten Commandments monument and nativity scene after a Wisconsin-based atheist organization complained. In October 2017, the United Sates Supreme Court ruled that a Ten Commandments monument located at a city hall building in Bloomfield, New Mexico was unconstitutional and had to be removed.
In the midst of these controversies, megachurch pastor Andy Stanley is offering an interesting perspective. The well-known author doesn’t think the Ten Commandments even apply to today’s Christians.
Stanley is advising Christians to quit creating monuments dedicated to the Ten Commandments. In a recent Relevant Magazine column, the megachurch pastor outlined his reasoning concerning his provocative claim that “the Ten Commandments are from the old covenant.”
“If we’re going to create a monument to stand as a testament to our faith, shouldn’t it at least be a monument of something that actually applies to us?” He asked in the column. “Participants in the new covenant (that’s Christians) are not required to obey any of the commandments found in the first part of their Bibles. Participants in the new covenant are expected to obey the single command Jesus issued as part of his new covenant: as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
To bolster his position, Stanley referenced the Sermon on the Mount from the book of Matthew in the Bible.
“But how many times have you seen Christians trying to post the text of the sermon on the mount in a public place? Or the all-encompassing commandment Jesus gave us?”
The megachurch pastor shared his belief that the crucial command to love God and others serves as “a replacement for everything in the existing list. Including the big ten.” He stated, “Just as his new covenant replaced the old covenant, Jesus’ new commandment replaced all the old commandments.”
The author revealed that he feels many places of worship have put too much emphasis on the old covenant. Stanley actually believes this practice has resulted in them committing evils. Stanley said that while “Jesus was foreshadowed in the old covenant, he did not come to extend it.” He followed this statement with another inquiry: “Dear Christian reader: Why? Why? Why would we even be tempted to reach back beyond the cross to borrow from a covenant that was temporary and inferior to the covenant established for us at Calvary?”
The megachurch pastor noted that Christians don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing which covenant they follow. He contended that when Jesus became a living sacrifice, numerous old rules, including the Ten Commandments, were rendered obsolete.
“The new covenant replaced the old one,” Stanley doubled down. “The covenant established by Jesus retired the covenant God established with the nation of Israel. This is why most Christians don’t mind a little bacon with their eggs…We need to stop mixing the old with the new. The church has a terrible habit of selectively rebranding aspects of the old covenant and smuggling them into the new.”
In Stanley’s latest book, “Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World,” the megachurch pastor wrote that he feels Christians have a legacy of “careless mixing and matching of old and new covenant values and imperatives make the current version of our faith unnecessarily resistible.” Last year, the popular author was criticized for saying Christians should cease being irrevocably attached to the Old Testament.
“[First century] Church leaders unhitched the church from the worldview, value system, and regulations of the Jewish scriptures,” Stanley preached. “Peter, James, Paul elected to unhitch the Christian faith from their Jewish scriptures, and my friends, we must as well.”
After his comments caused an uproar, the megachurch pastor later remarked, “Well, I never suggested we ‘un-hitch’ from a passage of Scripture or a specific biblical imperative. Again, I was teaching through Acts 15 where Peter, James, and Paul recommended the first-century church unhitch (my word, I’m open to an alternative) the law of Moses from the Gospel being preached to Gentiles in Antioch.”
~ 1776 Christian