To Obey or Not Obey the Ten Commandments (A Response to Andy Stanley)

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by S.E. Miller

Andy Stanley has been taking heat for saying,”The ten Commandments are under the Old Covenant and no longer applies to believers. He said, “Jesus gave us a new commandment and that is to love one another.”

Stanley said, “His heart is to reach those who have left the church.” He seeks to minister to those who are “Turned off by biblical arguments. But his method of preaching to draw others to the gospel contradicts New Testament preaching styles, especially Jesus.

Jesus preached truth whether it was well received or not. He nor Paul sought to woo listeners with enticing words to persuade people to believe the gospel. (1 Corinthians 2:1-4 and  Galatians 1:10)

Christ often said things that deeply offended listeners. He knew some would be offended when He said “If you don’t eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:53).  Many disciples stopped following him after that statement.

When He called the Pharisees hypocrites because they were following the teachings of men, instead of God’s testimony, the disciples kindly mentioned to Him, “You know you offended the Pharisees after they heard your saying.”

He didn’t say, “Oh, I better apologize.”  He said “Leave them alone they are blind guides leading the blind.” He did not go back to explain what He meant and appease them with kind words. He did not apologize to them. No, just let the “Blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”(Matthew 15:14)

Although his core group of disciples did not understand the statement or perhaps thought it was kind of weird, they continued to follow Him. Simply, because they believed He was God’s son and the only way to make into the Kingdom they sought. He had the words of  eternal life. (John 6:68)

When He fed 5000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread, the people loved Him and followed Him.  What did he say to the followers? “You are only following Me because of the food you ate.” (John 6:9-26)

I wonder if he says of Andy’s followers, “You are only following me because Andy said you don’t have to keep the Ten Commandments.”

Yes, Jesus did give us a New Commandment to love one another. But that does not mean the New Commandment voids the original Ten Commandments. Paul explains how to keep the New Commandment in Romans chapter 13.

It reads as follows:

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

For the commandments, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY,” “YOU SHALL NOT MURDER,” “YOU SHALL NOT STEAL,” “YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,” “YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. (Romans 12:8-9)

Paul listed five of the ten commandments, then said, “If there are any others, they are all summed up/kept by loving your neighbor as yourself.”

Two Warnings for Believers:

Paul warned believers not to be deceived by empty words because God’s wrath will come upon the children of disobedience.

Jesus said, “The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:29)

Paul gave another warning in the following verse. “We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ to receive what is due to us for the things we’ve  done in the body whether good or bad.”(2 Corinthians 5:10)

How to Avoid Deception:

Peter reminded us that false teachers will bring damnable heresies to believers. Many will follow their teachings because truth will be spoken evil of.(2 Peter 2:1-2)

If believers follow false teachers, they will be hurt by the second death which is eternal separation from God in the lake of fire.

To avoid deception and the second death, we must love truth, whether we like it or not or think it’s fair. We must stand firm and hold on to the truth/traditions we’ve been taught. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

Unfortunately, many will not hold on to truth but will perish because they take pleasure in unrighteousness.

If you love truth you will obtain the real purpose/goal of the Christian faith, the Salvation of your soul.(1 Peter 1:9)

The Love Walk:

Paul, the divinely appointed preacher of Grace encouraged followers to be imitators of God..

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Ephesians 5:1-5

To learn more about what God says about false prophets and teachers, please get a copy of my book The Pleasure Trap.


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