Pastor Andy Stanley, son of Dr. Charles Stanley, recently completed at series of sermons where he critiqued what he called the “temple model”. The “temple model” as he described it includes:
“sacred places that housed sacred texts that were interpreted by sacred men who used those texts to control superstitious people”.
Stanley then continued by contrasting the “temple model” which is in his estimation self-centered and bound to rule keeping (the dreaded Law of Moses in Christian thought) and Jesus’ new model of others-centeredness and freedom from rules because they are all observed by loving others.
In an admirable goal of seeking to stress concern for love for neighbor, Stanley unfortunately used Judaism, Torah and the Temple as the foes to be conquered in the process to get to his created Jesus model of love of neighbor as all that matters.
Stanley showed either his ignorance of Second Temple Judaism or had just bought into Christian anti-Judaism and anti-Law theology and used it in his sermon series.
He shows the incorrect view that before Jesus came that Jewish life was lived in self-centered rule keeping in hopes of earning God’s favor. He also is incorrect that the Temple was also a place of self-centered rituals. He also in the above quote also makes a disparaging comment of the Jewish People of the Second Temple period being superstitious people under the control of sacred men (the Rabbis) and their sacred texts (the Torah). Finally, he erred by somehow seeing no room for love of neighbor in Judaism and Jewish life before the coming of Jesus to bring the new way of love, though the command to love one’s neighbor is contained in the Torah (Lev. 19:18). It would seem that some of the Law keepers who were trying to earn God’s favor by following rules would have done the above rule too…
More can be said on Andy Stanley and his “temple model” series but I will end for now.
If you want to watch the sermons they are available at:
Below are articles with quotes from the talks:
Insightful blog post by my friend, Rabbi Derek Leman:
Andy Stanley: Jesus Wants Us to Tear Down the Temple Model