Is Charles Stanley arminian or reformed?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by Javilo, Jan 21, 2009.

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  1. Javilo

    Javilo Puritan Board Freshman

    I ask this because I enjoy listening to his radio program everyday but
    not sure about his theology other than he is baptist. Is he reformed
    or arminian in his beliefs? Does anyone on PB find his program useful and
    if not what is wrong with his teachings?
  2. caoclan

    caoclan Puritan Board Freshman

    Arminian... he was involved with the John 3:16 Conference, which was specifically against Reformation Theology.
  3. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    The other morning I heard him explaining that we must tithe so God will bless us and if we don't, bad things will start happening in our lives. So give to get something seemed to be the message. He seems to be a case of when higher-life teaching attacks!
  4. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    Charles Stanley is directly in the line of Lewis Sperry Chafer's brand of Dispensationalism. He is Keswick with easy believism thrown in there, so he believes in eternal security without perseverance.
  5. bened

    bened Puritan Board Freshman

    Typical southern baptist theology is to hold to perseverance of the saints and total depravity (though missing what that means) with varying shades of assent to unconditional election.

    Majority of southern baptists would not hold to limited atonement or irresistible grace.

    Though I've never heard Stanley identify his theology along tulip lines, the above scenario is what I'd guess to be pretty close to what he professes.

    But make no mistake, he ain't reformed.
  6. Contra Marcion

    Contra Marcion Puritan Board Freshman

    Let's not forget - and I want to really walk on eggshells here - that in my very limited understanding, Dr. Stanley is no longer the "husband of one wife", having gotten a divorce in 2000. The man had once stated that, should he and Anna ever get divorced, he would resign. When that day actually happened, however, he refused to do so.

    A word of extreme caution here - I don't know all the circumstances. Dr. Stanley could be completely innocent in all of this, and guilty of nothing except going back on his word to resign. I know of no details whatsoever that would cause me to doubt his sincerity or his love for Christ. His marriage, however, is less than an ideal example for his flock to follow.
  7. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    The only thing I recall about this is that his son, Andy, publicly stated that his father should step down.
  8. jogri17

    jogri17 Puritan Board Junior

    I prefer to not judge the man given He is clearly a capable expositor of the Bible. I know many reformed people here in Québec who are greatly blessed by his messages. He may be arminian but he is a sound evangelical. I will pick a charles stanley over a joyce myers or benny hinn any day.
  9. Contra Marcion

    Contra Marcion Puritan Board Freshman

    I would pick Spongebob Squarepants over Joyce Meyer or Benny Hinn!
  10. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Though not as glaring, I would toss him in with the same bunch...
  11. Contra Marcion

    Contra Marcion Puritan Board Freshman

    Pastor Greco,

    Here's where I first read about what Stanley said (admittedly second hand):

    Baptist Press
    Wednesday, May 31, 2000
    ATLANTA – Charles Stanley and his wife, Anna, have divorced. According to an official of First Baptist Church, Atlanta, Stanley will remain as senior pastor.

    Stanley, 67, told the congregation in a service May 21. Following his report, Gerald Spicer, church administrator, told the congregation Stanley would remain as senior pastor. The congregation rose in applause.

    According to the May 23 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Anna Stanley filed a petition as "A.J. Stanley" requesting a divorce from "C.F. Stanley" on Feb. 16 charging their marriage of 44 years was "irretrievably broken." An Atlanta judge signed the final decree May 11 following the execution of a property agreement by the Stanleys April 5.

    The Stanley's troubled marriage was made public in the 1990s and caused some struggles in the church because of an unwritten policy that First Baptist not allow divorced men to serve as ministers or deacons.

    Stanley told the congregation in 1995, "If my wife divorces me, I would resign immediately."

    "We hate it that things like this happen, but our church is moving right along," said the vice chairman of the church's deacons, Jerry Beal, according to the Atlanta newspaper. "He is our pastor, and he will remain our pastor."

    Pastor of the Atlanta church since 1972, Stanley is a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and his In Touch television ministry is seen and heard around the world.

    According to the Atlanta newspaper, SBC President Paige Patterson said he is "deeply sympathetic with the sorrow I know all of the Stanley family must feel over this. It ought to be a wakeup call for America that if something like this can happen to the Stanley family, it shows how much society has lost its bearings."
  12. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor

    As would I. His approach to sanctification and spirtual gifts is awful.
  13. Zenas

    Zenas Snow Miser

    I mean like yeah. When people as perfect as they are have that happen, I know losers like me are doomed. I'll never be able to try as hard as them. Good thing I've got Jesus.

    Edit: How is it society's fault he and his wife didn't keep their marriage covenant?
  14. Theoretical

    Theoretical Puritan Board Professor

  15. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    he's also recently been pushing the "God has a wonderful plan for your life" junk as of late.
  16. Quickened

    Quickened Puritan Board Senior

    I know there are people out there that are "blessed" by Rick warren's messages or even Bentley.

    I'm not sure how any arminian teaching could be viewed as sound.

  17. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Want to talk about how "America has lost its bearing"? Continue blaming Divorce on "America" and not calling out those who divorce unrighteously for the sins they have committed.
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    My father-in-law has been a very active member at FBC for more than 20 years. I attend almost every time I am in Atlanta, and I have heard dozens of his sermons.

    He is not only Arminian, he is anti-reformed.
  19. Rangerus

    Rangerus Puritan Board Junior

    I agree with this assessment. The few times I've heard him speak (on tv) he was preaching the basic Southern Baptist beliefs.
    In my humble opinion he is much much closer to Reformed than Armenian, but like bened stated, not accepting "limited atonement"
  20. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    You poor soul, I don't know how you bear up! He comes on right after R.C. Sproul, and I make it a point to either change the station or turn off the radio.
  21. john_Mark

    john_Mark Puritan Board Freshman

    Stanley, as I understand him, is of the Arminian position though I don't know if he would claim that or not. I live blogged Stanley at the John 3:16 Conference. He really didn't say anything against Calvinists. He really just talked about how God has blessed his ministry throughout the years with some very poor theology, in my opinion, that bordered on prosperity.

    The reason his son Andy left to his father's church was because of the divorce if I recall Andy's message correctly. I heard Andy say it from the pulpit and this is one of the reasons why Andy took the stand to not over-commit his time to the church. He said he say what working 70+ (something like that) hours a week did to his parents' marriage.

    I believe Stanley is of the free grace, non-lordship camp. On page 29 of Eternal Security he's quoted saying:

    Based on what Stanley said he would do upon divorce, his son's admissions and other issues surrounding Stanley I do not believe he should be in the pulpit. Regardless, I would not call him an expositor either.
  22. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    Meg, you only know the half...:lol:
  23. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    When I was pastoring an AG church Stanley was often brought up by the WoF folks as an example of how efficacious the WoF doctrine was; that it was not just a Pentecostal doctrine and worked whether it was taught in its fullness or not.
  24. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    Isn't Stanley more of a semi-pelagian than an arminian?
  25. Glenn Ferrell

    Glenn Ferrell Puritan Board Junior

    Aside from Stanley’s theology, let me comment on this statement regarding his divorce.

    1) Dr. Stanley can not be accused of being the husband of more than one wife as he has never remarried.

    2) SBC practice is inconsistent and unbiblical on this for two reasons- a) they most often refuse to ordain or install officers who have been divorced, without regard to cause of the divorce or whether the person has remarried; and b) they do not acknowledge (as the WCF XXIV does) there are biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage.

    3) The Atlanta congregation seems to have made an exception for Dr. Stanley because of his prominence.

    4) He would not be bound to his previous statement if he was promising something unbiblical.

    5) If Stanley’s divorce could be regarded as biblically justified (and his wife is the one who refused reconciliation and pursued the divorce), the congregation goes beyond their biblical authority in requiring what amounts to a vow of future celibacy to continue in ministry as their pastor.

    6) To my knowledge, this was never handled by a church court, as might happen in a Presbyterian situation; so we can not judge whether Mrs. Stanley had biblical grounds to seek a divorce.

    7) I thank God for WCF XXIV and a system of ascending courts in Presbyterian polity.
  26. A5pointer

    A5pointer Puritan Board Sophomore

    Don't take this personal but he is not cabable. His interpretation grid is full of theraputic deism. It is not Gospel centered but centered on individual experience much focusing on discerning hearing God's voice in everyday life. I have listened to dozens of his messages. You should too to get a more informed opinion. Many years ago before having been exposed to more I was a big fan of his radio program. But now when I listen to him I am left very dissapointed.
  27. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

  28. Clay7926

    Clay7926 Puritan Board Sophomore

    THAT's the main thing that has saddened me over the years. Growing up, InTouch would come on the radio right before Sunday School/Morning Service, and my Mom and I would listen to it on the radio. Now whenever I listen, it sounds like everything else out there. What happened to the Charles Stanley I grew up with?
  29. Matthias

    Matthias Puritan Board Junior

    I agree
  30. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    I would go to Mass before I would go to Benny Hinn.
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