Discernment, False Teachers

Andy Stanley

If you are considering commenting or sending me an e-mail objecting to the fact that I warn against certain teachers, please click here and read this article first. Your objection is most likely answered here. I won’t be publishing comments or answering emails that are answered by this article.

This article is kept continuously updated as needed.

This article is what I call a “clearinghouse article”. It is a collection of articles written by others on the teacher, ministry, or unbiblical trend named below. Either I have not had the time to write a full blown article on it myself, or I felt that the articles listed did a fine job of explaining the biblical issues and there was no need to reinvent the wheel.

Disclaimer: I did not write the articles below, and I am not thoroughly familiar with all of the websites used in my clearinghouse articles. I do not endorse anything on these sites that deviates from Scripture or conflicts with my beliefs as outlined in the “Welcome” or “Statement of Faith” tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.

Here are the  biblical criteria I use when deciding whether or not to recommend a teacher, ministry, etc.:

Generally speaking, in order for me to recommend a teacher, speaker, or author, he or she has to meet three criteria:

a) A female teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly preach to or teach men in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12. A male teacher or pastor cannot allow women to carry out this violation of Scripture in his ministry. The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be living in any other sin (for example, cohabiting with her boyfriend or living as a homosexual).

b) The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be partnering with or frequently appearing with false teachers. This is a violation of Scripture.

c) The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be teaching false doctrine.

I recommend against any teacher or ministry who violates one or more of these biblical tenets.

I am not very familiar with most of the teachers I’m asked about (there are so many out there!) and have not had the opportunity to examine their writings or hear them speak, so most of the “quick checking” I do involves items a and b (although in order to partner with false teachers (b) it is reasonable to assume their doctrine is acceptable to the false teacher and that they are not teaching anything that would conflict with the false teacher’s doctrine). Partnering with false teachers and women preaching to men are each sufficient biblical reasons not to follow a pastor, teacher, or author, or use his/her materials.

Just to be clear, “not recommended” is a spectrum. On one end of this spectrum are people like Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth and Kay Arthur. These are people I would not label as false teachers because their doctrine is generally sound, but because of some red flags I’m seeing with them, you won’t find me proactively endorsing them or suggesting them as a good resource, either. There are better people you could be listening to. On the other end of the spectrum are people like Joyce Meyer and Rachel Held Evans- complete heretics whose teachings, if believed, might lead you to an eternity in Hell. Most of the teachers I review fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum (leaning toward the latter).

If you’d like to check out some pastors and teachers I heartily recommend, click the Recommended Bible Teachers tab at the top of this page.

Andy Stanley
Not Recommended

Primary issues with Andy Stanley (and his “church,” North Point): False doctrine, twists and mishandles Scripture, allows women to preach

From my article 6 Reasons You Need to Stay Hitched to the Old Testament:

…The apostles cut out the requirement for circumcision to make things easier for Gentiles who wanted to come to Christ, he reasons, so the 21st century church should basically divorce itself from the Old Testament to make it easier for lost people who have a problem with certain Old Testament passages to come to Christ.

There’s only about a million problems with this line of thinking, and, honestly, the more I investigate what Stanley said and his subsequent explanations of why he said it and what he meant, the angrier it makes me. That a man with a master’s degree from a decent seminary, who’s a pastor of several churches, a best-selling “Christian” author, and a leadership and church growth guru to thousands of pastors across the globe should say, or even believe, such things is reprehensible…. 

Theological Issues

The Dangerous False Teaching of Andy Stanley by Chris King

Andy Stanley — We Can’t Arrive at the Empty Tomb without a Bible by Josh Buice

Andy Stanley’s Problem with the Bible by Josh Buice

Andy Stanley’s Troubling New Sermon by Alexander Griswold

Women preaching the Sunday sermon at North Point

Sarah Anderson   Annie Downs   Danielle Strickland   Jen McMillan


When Gracie Met Truthy (audio of sermon citing homosexual couple at North Point)

Andy Stanley Sermon Illustration on Homosexuality Prompts Backlash at Christianity Today

Andy Stanley’s stance on homosexuality questioned at Baptist Press

Andy Stanley: Churches Should Be ‘Safest Place on the Planet’ for Gay Youth at The Christian Post

Secular music in the worship service

Love The Way You Turn Me On (Love Saves the Day)

We Are the Champions (Christmas Parody) (Queen)

Free Bird (Lynyrd Skynyrd)

Fight Song (Rachel Platten)

Renegade (Styx)

Life Is a Highway and Sweet Home Alabama (Tom Cochrane / Lynyrd Skynyrd)

Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns ‘n’ Roses)

90’s boy band mashup

“Don’t use the Bible/say, ‘the Bible says…’ in evangelism”

“The Bible Says So” Is Enough: A Response to Andy Stanley by Gabriel Hughes

Andy Stanley’s Statements about the Bible are not Cutting Edge—They’re Old Liberalism by David Prince

For the Bible Tells Me So: Biblical Authority Denied … Again by Albert Mohler

3 Nagging Problems with Andy Stanley’s Approach to the Bible by Jared Wilson

“Church for the unchurched” ecclesiology

Andy Stanley’s Business Model Sermon by Josh Buice

“Verse by verse preaching is ‘cheating’/not how you grow people”

Andy Stanley on Communication (Part 2) with Ed Stetzer

Andy Stanley: Expositors are cheaters at No Compromise Radio

“If you don’t go to a large church, you’re stinkin’ selfish and don’t care about your kids”

Big churches are better, megachurch pastor says; attending small church is ‘selfish’ at AL

Andy Stanley Apologizes for Saying People Who Go to Small Churches ‘Are So Stinkin’ Selfish’ at The Christian Post

Marcion heresy / “Unhitching from the Old Testament”

Christians Must ‘Unhitch’ Old Testament From Their Faith, Says Andy Stanley at The Christian Post

Getting ‘Unhitched’ from the Old Testament? Andy Stanley Aims at Heresy by Albert Mohler

Aftermath: Andy Stanley Unhitched by Gabriel Hughes

Andy Stanley Says We Need to “Unhitch” the Old Testament from Our Faith at Answers in Genesis

Book Reviews:

We Have No Divided God: A Review of “Irresistible” by Andy Stanley by Owen Strachan

Collections of Articles/Episodes

The Andy Stanley Cornucopia of False Teaching, Fast Talking & Postmodern Ambiguity at Messed Up Church

Andy Stanley at Messed Up Church

Andy Stanley at Apprising

Andy Stanley at Berean Research

Andy Stanley at Fighting for the Faith