Christians should quit erecting Ten Commandments displays and should instead consider making monuments dedicated to the Sermon on the Mount, popular pastor Andy Stanley said.
In a column published by Relevant Magazine, the North Point Community Church pastor argued that the Ten Commandments are “the old covenant” and no longer apply to believers.
“[I]f 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 posed.
“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,” wrote Stanley. “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.”
This new commandment is “a replacement for everything in the existing list. Including the big ten,” he maintained. “Just as his new covenant replaced the old covenant, Jesus’ new commandment replaced all the old commandments.”
Stanley went on to say that he believed so much of the evils committed by churches over history were connected to them trying to mix aspects of the old covenant with Christianity and that although “Jesus was foreshadowed in the old covenant, he did not come to extend it.”
“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?” Stanley continued.
“The author of Hebrews says it best. Jesus was the ‘guarantor of a better covenant’ (Hebrews 7:22). Later he writes, ‘the new covenant is established on better promises.’ Besides, you weren’t included in the old covenant to begin with! So why are we fighting to build monuments to it?”
Stanley’s comments echo the arguments he made in his recent book, Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World, which was released last September.
In the book, Stanley spoke about “old covenant leftovers,” stating that he believed Christians had “an uncomfortable history and habit of selectively rebranding aspects of God’s covenant with Israel and smuggling them into the ekklesia of Jesus.”
Stanley wrote that while the covenant God made with ancient Israel was “divinely ordained,” it was also “temporary,” adding, “Careless mixing and matching of old and new covenant values and imperatives make the current version of our faith unnecessarily resistible.”
Last year, Stanley garnered controversy when he argued in an April sermon that Christians should “unhitch” themselves from the Old Testament.
To justify this, Stanley cited Acts 15, which described how early church leaders decided that Gentile converts did not need to strictly observe Jewish law to become Christians.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski