Andy Stanley Was Wrong to Call Obama “Pastor in Chief”!

Andy Stanley is pastor of a megachurch in Atlanta and is considered a leader in Evangelicalism, often speaking at Willow Creek Community Church functions and other interdenominational gatherings. His father is Charles Stanley, a famous Southern Baptist megapastor in the same city. Andy grew up in his daddy’s church but drifted away from his daddy’s Baptist roots. Baptists might humorously say that when his daddy baptized him, he did not hold him down long enough or deep enough!

In 2010, a survey of U.S. pastors found Stanley to be the 10th most influential living preacher. In January of 2009, he was one of the speakers at the National Prayer Service following Obama’s first Inauguration. In January of this year, he spoke at the pre-inauguration service attended by Obama, Biden, the cabinet and some members of congress and all their family members.

During his 12-minute message Andy called Obama the “Pastor-in-Chief” for speaking to each family individually following the Sandy Hook murder spree. I think Andy was wrong, maybe sincere, but wrong in both accepting the invitation and praising Obama as “Pastor-in-Chief.” This was an Episcopal service which also had two rabbis attending. He did not “ring the bell” as preachers say.

He said that he purposely chose to speak from the New Testament and not succumb to the temptation of “staying away from Jesus.” For that he is to be commended; however, he chose to speak on Christ washing the Disciples’ feet in John 13. He then said that Jesus was saying, “This is what you’re supposed to do for each other.” Good point; however, the leaders he spoke too had not professed to being born again Christians! There was no proper application to them.

Mark Galli, editor of Christianity Today, asked Stanley if he was not endorsing Obama’s views by preaching at that service. Andy said that if Christ had been fearful of guilt by association, He would not have come to earth. He added, “So I do not make decisions based on guilt by association. I grew up in a culture that was all about that.” Like many New Evangelicals, Andy took the opportunity to take a swat at his Fundamentalist background. However, he is wrong. The Fundamentalist culture is not “all about that.” Committed Christians are concerned about associations as well as actions and affirmations.

Furthermore, he is wrong about guilt by association. If you wallow with dogs, you will get up with fleas–scratching. Solomon warned in Proverbs 2:20, “That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.” We are not to shun evil men but never give them any support in their evil words, works, or ways. Solomon should have heeded his own warning.

Andy said he would refuse to pray at a bill signing that was contrary to biblical principles but not for something as general as the Inauguration. He added, “I have people in my congregation who have far more disturbing views than he does. I preach to them every week!” Andy is a better thinker than that. He knows there is a massive difference in his giving his stamp of approval at the political event and his preaching to people who have walked into his church!

Stanley makes the same mistake other religious leaders make. Our major responsibility is not to reach people with the message of Christ, as important as that is, but we are to do right in all matters, even if we reach no one. Serving Christ is not about crowds, cash, or converts. It is about obedience–doing right even when no one understands or tries to understand.

I wonder if Andy would have spoken or prayed at the wedding of King Herod whose daddy was the infamous Baby Butcher of Bethlehem. There was a “little” problem in that Herod had divorced his wife and taken his half-brother’s former wife. What a mess. But it was a big chance to reach people for Christ. However, I’m sure John the Baptist was absent that day. In fact, he would not have been invited since everyone knew he taught the truth.

No doubt, many preachers would have numbed their consciences and been thrilled to “give the invocation” for the occasion. Mark 6:20 reveals, “For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.” It is obvious that King Herod had some connections with John, even doing “many things” and was pleased to hear him preach. But like many men, he did not listen and obey the message he heard.

Herod had taken his brother’s wife and was living in adultery. John, not interested in climbing the clergy ladder, told him it was sinful. Not a good career move. At Herod’s birthday party (no Baptist preachers were there; although John was nearby–in prison), Salome did her lewd, seductive dance and Herod promised her anything she wanted. Having been prompted by her wicked mother, she asked for John’s head. She got it. And John got his ticket stamped for Heaven. Herod chose to decapitate John rather than displease his wife.

No, Andy Stanley and similar preachers are not in the mold of Elijah, Ezekiel, or John. Those prophets were addicted to truth, and did not try to walk a tightrope between right and wrong. They could not be bought. They were able to say “no’ to evil and “yes” to God. No doubt they would have challenged modern politicians by name to forsake wickedness, adultery, perversion, and lying.

Most preachers today don’t say yes or no, thereby not making anyone angry. They have developed a new word that means anything to everyone: Yo.

Posted in: Christianity

Leave a Comment (6) ↓


  1. Name January 29, 2013

    What is CTSnews? Do you have reporters in the field? No? You are just commenting on the news, right? Please change your name, you don’t want to be liars, do you? You are not a news organization, are you?

    Perhaps I am wrong. Tell me who your reporters are. How much do they get paid?

    • Don Boys February 1, 2013

      What a jerk! You nor anyone else will tell me what the name of my organization will be. I have used CST or Common Sense for Today for more than 30 years. Go to for plenty of information about our work. We have one reporter (me) “in the field” which is the world. Your non-thinking is obvious when you suggest we are liars because we are not comparable with the radio, television networks and newspapers. I have written 14 books, hundreds of columns, published in some in the largest newspapers, appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs, and debated many jerks like you in universities in NY, IN, ND, and other states. And have been victorious every time. That was every time. Not because I am so brilliant but because I am sharp enough to take the “right” side of the issues. You choose the issue and take me on!

  2. Mittens January 29, 2013

    Let’s face it Donnie, when you strip away everything else, your problem with Obama is simple: he’s black.

    • Don Boys February 1, 2013

      You have a judgmental call that is without any foundation. I am opposed to Obama for some reasons I was opposed to Bush. He doesn’t keep his word, even liberals know that and are dissatisfied. He is an opportunist and will do or say anything to promote his leftist, collectivist agenda. He has decided to support same sex marriage and promote perversion around the world with tax dollars; he will not protect aborted babies who manage to live; he uses tax dollars to kill innocent unborn babies; he is destroying healthcare; he is destroying our economy with taxes and regulations; he thinks he is king who can remove or nullify the first and second amendments. He either does not know or care about the Islamic influence in America. He sends billions to our enemies including jet fighters. Obviously, you are uninformed or unconcerned and are living in a cave. In fact, you sound like you are a racist. It is easier to accuse me of racism rather than answer my challenges. And to accurate, Obama is not black. He is as much white as black. Live with it.

  3. karen February 17, 2013

    Hi, I’m a Christian and I’ve been seeking real truth in the news for quite some time. Especially, with all of the end time prophesy unfolding right before our very eyes, I do agree with much of what you say. The only thing I find I disagree with you on is although I don’t like Obama and everything you’ve described of him above, I agree with. However, I don’t fault Andy Stanley for preaching or speaking at the Inauguration ceremony because, like the Pharasees accused Jesus of living among “whore mongers” and “tax collectors” you are accusing Andy of the same thing. I agree that he shouldn’t refer to Obama as “Pastor in Chief” as he doesn’t live like a Christian and he certainly is a hypocrite, but I don’t think there is anything wrong with a man, who is a man of God, to speak in front of many non-believers. If Jesus treated non-believers this way, we wouldn’t have Christianity!! You can disagree with me all you want, but I think that type of thinking is what makes many non-believers want nothing to do with Christianity. Maybe you’ll say that I’m misinterpreting what you’re saying and maybe I am, but if I’m not, I don’t agree with you on this matter. I do appreciate your news blog and I have to admit, I do agree with you on many issues, but not this. Thanks and God bless :)

    • Don Boys February 18, 2013

      Thanks for writing. Please note that you agreed with me about Andy calling Obama “Pastor in Chief.” I don’t even fault him with speaking there. What I don’t agree with is him not being an outspoken prophet and making Obama uncomfortable with the Gospel truth. Remember that a Christian physician did the job that Andy should have done. Preachers don’t have to always make people angry but can you imagine any Peter, Paul, or John having such an opportunity and being so benign? I’m convinced that preachers and laymen and fearful of being ridiculed and “put down” for their faith. We are to uphold the bloody banner of Calvary and when we do so we will not be accepted by the average person.


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