Andy Stanley calls President "Pastor-in-Chief"… Is it a big deal?

andy stanleyLots of fury in the church leadership world.  First with Mark Driscoll’s (and other’s) comments on the inauguration… now with a comment that Andy Stanley made during a pre-inauguration service where he told the president that he should be called the “Pastor-in-Chief” for the way that he handled some of the tough events during his presidency.

According to the Christian Post, the services was ‘off the record’… no video… no cameras… no recording devices… just notes available to the press pool.

But it has outraged plenty a church leader.

How could “Andy” (we all call him Andy, right?) say something like this?

Well, I don’t know.  I’m not able to read the context or setting of what was said.  We’re just relying on press reports.

Is it possible that he was giving the president a compliment?  Is that not allowable?

Is it possible that many are reading into whatever Andy (there I go again) said as a blanket acceptance of his policies?

Is it possible that Andy did a much better job in that speaking role than you or I would have?

I’d say YES to all three of those statements.

So… I say… cut him some slack.

Read more here…

What say you?

Todd Subscribe to me on YouTube




  • Sam January 23, 2013 Reply

    How much does your employer get from Andy Stanley’s church?

    Full disclosure would be nice since you are a major apologist of the mega church celebrity pastors

    • Chris January 23, 2013 Reply

      Well, neither I nor my employer receive anything from Andy Stanley’s church. And the truth of the matter is, no one really knows what he said or what he was referring to. This whole thing is based on second-hand accounts and as such we have no legitimate data with which to make any kind of judgment.

      By the way, are you aware that most of the Mega-Church-Celebrity Pastors I’m guessing you have problems with were nobodies until they started their churches from nothing? Andy Stanley is a rare exception in that case. Rick Warren, Steve Furtick, Ed Young Jr and many of the others all planted churches in new areas and grew them into what they are today. Until our churches start reproducing like that we don’t have any room to start throwing stones.

    • Todd Rhoades January 23, 2013 Reply

      Sam, nearest I know… $0.

      How’s that for full disclosure, dude?



  • Rev. K. A. Christian January 24, 2013 Reply

    why is it we cut who we want to cut some slack??? Had John MacArthur said that you guys would be all over him… but Andy says it and its cut him some slack…

    • Chris January 24, 2013 Reply

      Personally, I would be giving anyone slack who was being judged viciously for something of which we have no actual evidence and no context. Can you please tell me what makes it acceptable for us to condemn anyone based on hearsay when Jesus refused to condemn the woman caught in the very act of adultery? Who are we? Christians or the main stream media?

    • Stephen Canfield January 24, 2013 Reply

      Because Andy is cool and John MacArthur is a huge dork.

      • frank February 1, 2013 Reply

        probably 134 of the seeker sensitive dork you are

  • Brad Raby January 24, 2013 Reply

    You can get the context from the last time Andy used the phrase. In a recent podcast he was referring to the night the president met with each of the 20 families (individually) whose kids were murdered at Sandy Hook. To which he said, “the President was the Pastor in Chief” at that moment.

    Good Grief.

    • Chris January 24, 2013 Reply

      With all due respect, that still doesn’t give us the actual context of the comment, only a reference point. If Andy was implying that the president is responsible for the spiritual growth of these people, for training and equipping them for ministry and for preaching the gospel, then the comments are completely ridiculous. But if, for instance, he was talking about walking with someone through a time of grief, helping to bring healing, and lending moral support through times of heartache (whether we think this particular president was actually successful at those things or not) then, yes, the president’s job at that particular moment was a lot like being a pastor and since he leads the entire nation the added phrase “in chief” is simply an indicator of that national position given to him by being president.

      Look, I am not a particularly huge Obama fan. I didn’t vote for him either time and believe he has done a number of things that are not only unconstitutional but illegal under existing law. With that being said, whether he did a good job or not, the phrase “Pastor in chief” is not only appropriate but accurate under certain circumstances simply because of the the functions he has to perform at particular times. .

      In any case, I find the constant game of gotcha against both politicians and pastors we don’t like appalling and completely in contrast to the kind of lives we are supposed to live as followers of Christ. There is a massive difference between speaking against sin and blasphemy and using any excuse you can find to condemn someone. Honestly, jumping on anyone’s case for making a comment like this seems more likely to come from a prejudged opinion of that person than from an actual, objective look at the circumstances based on the facts we have in our possession.

  • davepatchin January 24, 2013 Reply

    A few verses come to mind:
    Rom 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
    1Pe_2:17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.
    Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

    Seems like Andy was being wise, kind and honoring. When it comes to pastors and politics, people are way too uptight.

    • Carlos January 24, 2013 Reply

      Andy being wise? Does Andy know that Obama is for abortion, gay marriage, and simply taking our God out of the schools, cities and the whole country for all I know? I think he does know and despite of that, if he really made that comment, told that to the president then we as christians can judge that and be against it. All christians need to be discerning and that includes making a judgement about someones behavior or comment. To me it seems that this goes along with this rage of seeing Obama as messiah, check this video –>>

      • davepatchin January 24, 2013 Reply

        Carlos, I’m pretty sure Andy knows President Obama’s views on those issues, just as you and I do. Regardless, the verses where we are to honor the emperor, be kind, and outdo one another in showing honor, and to love all people still apply, to Andy, you and to me.

        This verse may help you some. Romans 13:1 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” I don’t think the “unless I don’t like his policies” exception appears in the passage.

        • Carlos January 24, 2013 Reply

          I agree with you that we have to obey the authorities but first is God. This particular passage refers to obeying the law and the people in authority, but we are to submit to the authorities until they lead us away from God and Gods laws. I think Andy Stanley should be first faithful to God and His principles outlined in the Bible and then any authority over us. There were many other ways he could have “honored” Obama, but calling him Pastor in Chief is just not right and it doesn’t have anything to do with submitting to the governing authorities. Did you watch the video?

          • davepatchin January 25, 2013

            You don’t have to agree with Andy’s words. That was not the issue. Your initial claim was that we are to judge Obama and/or Pastor Stanley rather than honor and love our neighbor and be kind. I am not an Obama fan, and voted against him twice.

            The video was entertaining though. Thanks for the chuckle.

  • ken January 24, 2013 Reply

    Maybe if more Christians encouraged President Obama when he does right (as in handling Newtown) rather than condemning him at every opportunity — maybe then we’d see godly responses in more areas of his policy. Christians lose the ability to persuade when they condemn.

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