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Andy Stanley Isn’t the Problem, He’s Only a Massive Symptom

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The recent revelations about Andy Stanley’s gay-affirming theology come as no surprise to those who have watched the North Point pastor’s descent into heresy over the past decade. While not surprising, they do confirm unequivocally Stanley’s position and intent to affirm homosexuality in the Church. As reported extensively, Stanley’s “Embracing the Journey” conference provided a platform for speakers who actively promote acceptance and even celebration of homosexuality within the church, representing an unambiguous departure from historic orthodox Christian teaching on sexuality.

However, the bigger issue is not Stanley’s own drift—as we’ve been covering this for years at The Dissenter—but the fact that he represents just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to compromised doctrine and worldly accommodation amongst America’s evangelical megachurches. Stanley has clones planted throughout evangelicalism who are leading their congregations down the wide path of destruction.

Just look at First Baptist Church Orlando, for example. This church is a Southern Baptist megachurch that has been waving the theological rainbow flag for years, as we have reported extensively. The church came under scrutiny in 2016 for giving the pulpit to a group of homosexuals following the Pulse Nightclub shooting and has since only deepened its theological compromise. Just last year, both the associate pastor and lead pastor, David Uth, openly championed the church’s inclusivity of homosexuals and transgender people and even praised pro-abortion people, claiming all these people served the same God under the banner of their church identity. The Southern Baptist Convention has notably failed to hold them accountable. Where’s the leadership?

Far from being an isolated incident, this church’s approach serves as a glaring example of the broader issue facing modern evangelicalism—the prioritizing of the praise of men over biblical fidelity. With the SBC’s silence on such compromises, First Baptist Church Orlando continues its theological drift, aligning more with secular ideologies than the eternal truths of Scripture. This leaves us to question: where will the line be drawn, and who will have the courage to draw it?

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Over in California, Saddleback Church has been undergoing a transformation of its own, spearheaded by Andy Wood and formerly, Rick Warren. We previously exposed the church for one of its pastors participation in the pro-LGBTQ conference at North Point Church which took place last week. But it doesn’t end there—our investigations revealed that Saddleback hosts its own in-house pro-LGBTQ ministry named “Embracing the Journey,” identical to North Point’s program. This ministry was co-founded by Doug Habel and Shauna Habel Morgan, who are aligned with radical pro-LGBTQ organizations like Matthew Vines’ The Reformation Project. Shauna’s involvement even extends to the promotion of the movie “1946,” which falsely contends that the Scriptures do not condemn homosexuality, drawing a misleading parallel between the so-called “oppression” of LGBTQ individuals and historical misuses of Scripture to justify slavery.

This paints a troubling picture. Andy Wood, in assuming the mantle of leadership from Rick Warren, continues to push the church into dangerous territory, being more committed to popular social movements than to biblical teaching. The direction at Saddleback parallels the compromise we’re witnessing across the evangelical landscape—substituting the clear teachings of Scripture for worldly ideologies that inevitably lead to spiritual destruction.

From Bill Hybels to Steven Furtick to Craig Groeschel, the list goes on of celebrity pastors who have pursued growth and popularity over truth. They have given in to the zeitgeist, promoting homosexuality, gender confusion, Critical Race Theory, and other ideologies utterly incompatible with God’s Word. Stanley did not start this dumpster fire, but he poured gasoline on it through his own compromise.

Brothers and sisters, do not be deceived. The Evangelical Industrial Complex is compromised from top to bottom. Those who follow Christ must be willing to come out of this corrupt system and its purveyors of false doctrine like Stanley. We cannot flirt with teachings that tickle people’s ears but put their souls in peril.

The path is narrow. Progressive megachurches promising self-actualization rather than salvation lead only to destruction. Do not wait for heretics and false leaders like Stanley to correct course—they have already shown themselves “twice dead” with worldly accommodation and rejection of the sufficiency of Scripture.

The time has come to abandon the celebrity-driven, culture-chasing circus of modern evangelicalism. Return to the eternal truths of God’s Word and the genuine Gospel of Christ. Then and only then will the Church recover its power and purpose. Andy Stanley isn’t the problem, he’s just a huge symptom. Andy Stanley only has a platform because people give him one. The real problem is unbelief.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. —2 Timothy 4:3


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