Responding to some members who accused him of “bowing to Caesar,” Pastor Andy Stanley of Atlanta’s North Point Community Church explained why his church decided to suspend services until 2021. The decision, he said, is not “left-wing, Marxist agenda,” but based on what’s central to the Christian faith.
In a video message, Stanley said the megachurch’s decision is based on the true stance of the Christian faith.
“We did not suspend services because of government pressure; there was none,” he emphasized. “We’re not afraid, we’re not bowing to social, cultural or political pressure.”
There’s a storm of confusion right now due to three things, the leader of the multi-campus church pointed out.
One, everything is politicized, he said. There are no neutral topics right now — from school reopenings to masks and the virus; everything is politicized and no one is neutral, he explained.
Two, he said, cancel culture is prevalent. “If you say something I don’t like … or agree with, I’d discount everything you’ve ever said and everything you’ve ever accomplished in your life,” he noted.
Stanley told church members he’s been at the receiving end of the cancel culture.
“I’ve gotten quite a few voicemails, emails and actual letters to my home from longtime church attenders who are leaving or who’re telling me they are leaving our churches because of our decision to suspend services for the remainder of this year,” he said.
Some have said he’s “bowed to Caesar” and adopted a “left-wing, Marxist agenda,” and therefore they’re leaving the church.
Stanley added that he’s been calling almost everyone who’s responded in such a way and whose numbers he could find. He said when he convinces them that it’s wise to suspend services, they acknowledge how much the church means to them and their children.
Every such conversation ends on a friendly note, the pastor said, adding that he hopes they don’t actually leave the church.
Three, there’s a version of Christianity that “I’ve worked very, very hard to help avoid.” And that’s “culture-war Christianity.”
“This is the version of Christianity consumed with winning,” he explained. “It’s a version that sees itself perpetually under attack and consequently feels the need to attack back. It requires an enemy for sustainability.”
He said he knows this version well because he grew up with this version.
It is a “perversion of our faith,” he stressed, adding that it also “sets the church up to be a tool of politicians rather than the conscience of the nation.” This type of Christianity is more concerned about winning than loving.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Anugrah Kumar