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To Hitch or Un-hitch?

May 23, 2018

   Recently there has been quite the stir in Christian circles about something a pastor said. You can view his entire sermon if you Click Here, and I encourage you to watch that before you continue reading. 

 

   Out of that entire sermon from Acts 15, the main thing folks have a problem with is the statement that says, "Christians should un-hitch their faith from the Old Testament." While I understand the phrasing is odd, I also completely understand that from Acts 15 the early apostles and disciples were teaching just that. The Christian faith certainly fulfills the OT Law and Prophets, but I also believe the New Testament is sufficient to bring a person to salvation.

 

   There are many scholars smarter than me saying that Stanley has thrown away the Old Testament or discarded its truthfulness. I did not get that impression from his sermon at all, and instead I found it refreshing to hear someone say that God's Word (both Old and New Testament) is infallible and God-breathed. Stanley is not arguing a theological point about the veracity or usefulness of the Old Testament. 

 

   There are two problems with the overreaction of some folks to Stanley's sermon: 1) they did not listen to the whole thing and hear "un-hitch" in context, and 2) the phrase "un-hitch from the Old Testament" is a phrase that sounds controversial. The explanation  gives you clues to what he's trying to say, but just hearing that phrase said that way without the rest of the sermon as context provides ammo for critics.

 

   There are two warnings about this situation that I'd like to offer: 1) Don't believe every headline about every church or church pastor, and 2) Don't assume before you consume! Too many of the articles I have read this week about this statement make it clear that the author never watched the entire sermon, and Stanley has had to clarify several times for those who have not seen it or heard it. (**Some have said he is "backtracking" but he is not! He is clarifying what he said before!)

 

   There are two blessings that come from this week's "discussion" about this sermon: 1) People are talking about the infallible Word of God! 2) We are reminded that "context is king" for all situations. Have you ever been taken out of context? Has someone misquoted you? Wouldn't you hate for something you said to be distorted and twisted? Let's be sure we are careful about how we characterize another person, and let's make sure we don't jump to conclusions before the entire truth comes out!

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