Michael Brown: Yes, Andy Stanley, Let’s Preach and Practice the Sermon on the Mount

Once again, Pastor Andy Stanley has sparked a major controversy in the Church by writing that, “The Ten Commandments are from the old covenant” and do not “apply” to Christians today. He therefore takes issue with Christians erecting monuments of the Ten Commandments and asks, “But how many times have you seen Christians trying to post the text of the sermon on the mount in a public place?”

To be sure, the Ten Commandments are a lot shorter than the Sermon on the Mount, so it’s a lot easier to erect a monument containing the text of the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:1-13) than it is to erect a monument containing three full chapters of the words of Jesus (see Matthew 5-7).

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But what about the larger point he is making?

First, I understand why there has been such outrage and why so many articles are accusing Pastor Stanley of heresy.

Second, I fundamentally reject Pastor Stanley’s assertion that, when Jesus issued the new commandment that we love one another as he loved us (John 13:34), that Jesus “issued his new commandment as a replacement for everything in the existing list. Including the big ten. Just as his new covenant replaced the old covenant, Jesus’ new commandment replaced all the old commandments.”

Third, last year, I took strong issue with Pastor Stanley’s statement that Christians should “unhitch” themselves from the Old Testament, leading to a productive interview with him on the Line of Fire radio show.

All that being said, Pastor Stanley is incredibly accessible (especially in light of the massive influence he wields), extremely gracious and humble, and quite willing to interact. I promised him that I would read his Irresistible book before making more detailed comments, and I have already sent him this article before posting.

For the moment, then, I want to emphasize a point of strong agreement between us: The Sermon on the Mount applies to Christians! Let us teach it and preach it and live it with renewed vigor.

Sadly, there are pastors and leaders who tell us that the Sermon on the Mount does not apply to Christians today. They make the very dangerous and totally wrong claim that all of the teachings of Jesus before the cross apply only to Jesus’ Jewish audience at that time. God forbid!

These words of Jesus are for us, his disciples (see Matthew 5:1-16). They are spirit and they are life (John 6:63). They are to remain in our hearts (John 15:7). They are essential for being disciples and making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). They will outlast the heavens and the earth (Matthew 24:35).

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Brown

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