Charles Stanley

General Teachings/Activities

-  Dr. Charles Stanley (born 1933) is the senior pastor (since 1971) of the 13,000-member First Baptist Church of Atlanta (FBCA) (Southern Baptist Convention). Stanley has twice been elected president of the SBC during his 30-year reign at First Baptist. He has degrees from the University of Richmond, Southwestern Theological Seminary, and Luther Rice Seminary. Stanley has authored more than 20 books.

He airs his sermon messages over nationwide radio and television via In Touch Ministries. In Touch was begun in 1974 on radio, went nationwide in 1977, and is now heard in every country in the world on more than 500 stations and in 14 languages, and has an annual budget of more than $40 million (derived primarily from product sales and donations). In the United States, In Touch airs on 478 radio stations; with 261 additional translators and satellites; two radio satellite networks; 143 television stations, with 265 low power stations; eight television satellite networks; and 18 cable access channels (1999 figures -- current numbers not available on In Touch  web site). In Touch operates offices in Moscow, England, Brazil, and the Philippines. Stanley also publishes a free monthly magazine titled In Touch (although removal for non-contributors is routine).

Stanley's wife of over 40 years, Anna J. Stanley, originally filed for divorce on 6/22/93 following their separation in the spring of 1992, but his attorney got her to amend the lawsuit to seek a legal separation instead ("separate maintenance"), while seeking reconciliation. She again filed for divorce on 3/20/95. Anna Stanley's divorce filing asked for a jury trial (originally to begin in the first half of 1996) and sought alimony division of assets and possession of their home. Stanley claimed his "childhood difficulties" caused the problems in his marriage.

Stanley stepped down from all administrative duties at First Baptist Church (FBCA) (effective 9/1/95) in an emotional 4-hour, 8/13/95 meeting, but retained preaching responsibilities. He said he would resign completely if the divorce became final. Stanley's son, Andy Stanley, resigned the pastorate (8/2/95) of FBCA's northside satellite congregation (estb. 1988) and has started a new church (incorporated as Northpoint Community Church: geared to people "who feel disenfranchised by traditional churches"; services began in late-1996). He thought his father should have stepped down as leader of FBC Atlanta. Several other FBC Atlanta senior staff people also resigned.

At a 10/95 Congregational meeting, about 86% of FBCA's 5,000 members present agreed with the deacon's 35-3 decision to retain Stanley as pastor. Stanley then claimed God told him, "You keep doing what I called you to do, where I called you to do it, until I tell you to do something else. If God wants me to move, He can move me instantly. ... I'm not going to step aside and step down in disobedience to God. ... If you want to move me out, you live by it." Stanley made it clear he was still the church's leader -- "Somebody has to give direction." (Reported in the 5/1/95 & 9/15/95 issues of the Calvary Contender and the 10/9/95, Christian News.)

In early-1996, Anna Stanley withdrew her nearly 3-year-old petition for divorce. She said: "I am pleased to announce that Charles and I are making progress toward reconciling our marriage differences. This past week I cancelled my petition for divorce ... Although we are not living together at this time, we are working toward that end ..." (3/26/96, Indiana Baptist). Mrs. Stanley moved back home shortly thereafter.

According to the May 23, 2000 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Anna Stanley filed a petition, as "A.J. Stanley" requesting divorce from "C.F. Stanley," on February 16, 2000, charging their marriage of 44 years was "irretrievably broken." An Atlanta judge signed the final divorce decree May 11, 2000, following the execution of a property agreement by the Stanleys on April 5th. Stanley has retained his position as pastor of FBCA.

-  Stanley was one of the original founders (along with Jerry Falwell and other neo-evangelicals) of the Moral Majority (now succeeded by the Liberty Federation), which is one of the classic examples of "the good cause syndrome" -- the persuasion that Christians can cross Scriptural lines of demarcation if the cause is good enough. (In actuality, the Moral Majority joined believer and unbeliever, Mormon and Methodist, Catholic and charismatic in an unholy union to save the country. But rather than the country being saved, the cause of Christ was damaged. The line of demarcation between the godly and the "do-gooder" was blurred beyond recognition.) (Reported in New Neutralism II, pp. 70-71.) [Stanley was also instrumental in the formation of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition.]

-  Stanley has also served on the board of the National Religious Broadcasters, one of the most compromising neo-evangelical organizations in Christendom today. But most damaging to Stanley's claim to the fundamentalist label is his affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention. There can be no genuine fundamentalists in the SBC. (Fundamentalism is the militant belief and proclamation of the totality of the doctrine of Christ, including Scriptural separation from those who reject it and from those who effectively deny the sufficiency of Christ.)

Stanley claims to believe in Biblical inerrancy, and at one time clearly recognized the apostasy of the SBC. Stanley instructed his church that the way to fight the apostasy was to starve it out by refusing to give to the SBC's Cooperative Program. But then in 1984, Stanley was elected to the presidency of the SBC. His statement at his first press conference was: "I think we have to learn to live together and love each other, whether we agree or not." Stanley announced to the Baptist Press Association on 9/17/84, that he had now challenged his church to more than double its Cooperative Program giving for the coming year and to "rethink" its entire missions program. Dr. Stanley chose to settle for parity instead of purity (New Neutralism II, pp. 70-71).

-  Stanley has endorsed the Life Application Bible (along with Billy Graham, Howard Hendricks, and D. James Kennedy), a study Bible with study notes in support of self-love and other humanistic concepts (e.g., study note to Rom. 12:3 -- "Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves ... the key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth -- our identity in Christ ..."; and Gen. 1:26 --  "Knowing that we are made in God's image, and thus share many of His characteristics, provides a solid basis for self-worth ... Because we bear God's image, we can feel positive about ourselves ... Knowing you are a person of worth helps you love God ..."). Stanley is quoted on the back cover saying, "The Life Application Bible is a concrete step toward allowing the Spirit to transform the reader into a modern-day living epistle."

-  Stanley has endorsed Rapha Hospital Treatment Centers of Houston, Texas (along with other so-called evangelicals as D. James Kennedy, Jerry Falwell, and Beverly LaHaye). Rapha is an organization that heavily promotes Alcoholics Anonymous, 12-Step codependency/recovery programs as a "Christian" methodology for the cure of "dysfunctional" relationships. Rapha specializes in the "treatment" of so-called codependent and/or addicted Christians by employing an amalgamation of Adlerean-Maslowian need psychology and the Bible. Rapha debuted in 1986 and claims to have treated over 30,000 psychiatric in-patients since then. Rapha also claims that over 3,500 churches in the U.S. are using its materials. Stanley is quoted as saying that, "I am grateful to God for all Rapha is doing to help hurting people. Those of us who are pastors are thankful for an organization like Rapha." (Must reading for anyone desiring a fuller understanding of the "codependent" heresy sweeping the church today would be 12 Steps to Destruction: Codependency/Recovery Heresies, by Martin and Deidre Bobgan, EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA, 1991, 247 pages.)

-  March, 1990: Stanley announced on his television show, an "Inspiration Cruise" where a guest speaker would be David Seamands, the "Church's" leading proponent of Healing of the Memories/Inner Healing (which uses one or more psychological and/or occultic techniques, such as regression, visualization, guided imagery, dream analysis, and the various Gestalt therapies consisting of primal scream, ventilation, role plays, etc.). (In Stanley's 9/91 In Touch magazine, he again announced a cruise with Seamands for March of 1992.) [In a message broadcast 10/23/98 titled "Self-Defense Against Satan's Relentless Assault," Stanley taught that visualization is not occultic, but quite normal; i.e., no different than picturing a banana split you're going to order after church. In that same light, Christians "need to visualize doing good, so that Satan's tape recording in your mind will not have harmful effects."]

-  Gary Smalley joined Stanley for In Touch Ministries ' March 4-8, 1991 "Bible Cruise." Smalley is the "Church's" leading proponent of Right-Brain/Left-Brain pseudoscience. (This right-brain/left-brain myth, which claims to describe personality types by brain hemisphere dominance, as well as give insights into male/female communication effectiveness, has been thoroughly discredited by secular neuroscientists, to say nothing of the fact that it has no support in Scripture -- for a more detailed analysis of Smalley's teachings, see pp. 211-223 of Prophets of PsychoHeresy II: Critiquing Dr. James C. Dobson (reissued as James Dobson's Gospel of Self-Esteem & Psychology, without the Smalley chapter), Martin and Deidre Bobgan, EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA, 1990, 310 pages; and "Gary Smalley: The Psychology of Matriarchy," Media Spotlight Special Report, Albert Dager, 1989, 4 pages.)

In addition, Gary Smalley's "Love Is A Decision" Seminar (Gary Smalley & John Trent) for those "desiring to strengthen their relationships" was held at Stanley's First Baptist Church 9/27/91-9/28/91. The Seminar was advertised as being endorsed by Dobson's Focus On The Family and cost $35 per person. Topics included: "The Incredible Worth of a Woman"; "Five Ways To Love and Network Your Kids"; and "How To Discover and Maximize Your Personality Strengths" (7/28/91, The Witness).

-  Stanley has also endorsed the NIV Men's Devotional Bible (Zondervan)"... you will find the daily sharpening you need from more than one hundred Christian men." These "Christian" men included Tom Landry, Larry Burkett, Bill Hybels, and Dave Dravecky. All three also taught on Stanley's 1994 January Cruise. Stanley also held a 1995 January Bible Study Cruise through Templeton Tours. Speakers were neo-evangelical psychologizer, female teacher Kay Arthur and former Southern Baptist Convention presidents Jerry Vines and Adrian Rogers. Stanley was also a featured speaker at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove, North Carolina, from 8/11/94-8/14/94, and every year since.

-  Promise Keepers is the gigantic new (1991) "men's movement" among professing evangelical Christians. Its roots are Catholic and charismatic to the core. PK's contradictory stand on homosexuality; its promotion of secular psychology; its unscriptural feminizing of men; its depiction of Jesus as a "phallic messiah" tempted to perform homosexual acts; and its ecumenical and unbiblical teachings should dissuade any true Christian from participating. Promise Keepers is proving to be one of the most ungodly and misleading movements in the annals of Christian history. Nevertheless, Stanley is a promoter of this ecumenical, charismatic, psychologized men's movement -- over 200 members from Stanley's First Baptist of Atlanta (FBCA) attended the Promise Keepers National Convention in Boulder, Colorado in 1994, and PK is listed as a "Support Group" ministry at FBCA.

-  October, 1989: Stanley broadcast a radio message in support of unconditional love and acceptance, giving as Scriptural support the Parable of the Lost Son (Lk. 15:11ff); Stanley stopped at v. 20, calling that verse proof of our unconditional acceptance by God, without our confession! (Verses 21ff. should be examined to see that acceptance only follows confession -- See Brownback, The Danger of Self-Love, pp. 109-116, and Bobgan, Prophets of PsychoHeresy II, pp. 91-96, (reissued as James Dobson's Gospel of Self-Esteem & Psychology) for proper, Biblical analyses of so-called unconditional love and acceptance.)

-  Stanley has fully endorsed the general teachings and counseling model of so-called Christian psychologist, Dr. Larry Crabb. [Crabb's model of counseling is primarily a psychological system of unconscious needs that supposedly motivates all behavior; this system has been derived from Freudian (the "unconscious") and humanistic (a "hierarchy of needs") psychology, with great emphasis on so-called emotional needs.]

-  Howard Hendricks is currently doing Teammates marriage seminars with Bruce and Donna Cook. The Cooks are not Biblically-based teachers, but are even more psychologically-oriented than Hendricks and Stanley. Bruce Cook is also President of Rapha Southeast, which a Teammates ' brochure describes as "a Christ-centered counseling ministry based in Atlanta." The 10-tape Teammates video series heavily promotes temperament surveys, personality testing, and "individual needs" analysis. Strangely, Teammates was endorsed by Charles Stanley (who at the time was unbiblically separated from his wife!): "Teammates is one of the very best tools we have to help marriage partners. Many couples continue to express the incredibly positive impact of this program in enriching their marriage. I heartily recommend Teammates." What incredible hypocrisy here! If Stanley's self-esteem therapy hasn't worked for his own marriage, why is he continuing to sell it to the world? (See below.)

-  Stanley's evangelism efforts have become quite ecumenical -- he endorsed Pat Robertson's initial efforts to form "a grass roots coalition of Evangelicals, conservative Catholics, and their allies ... to make government and the media responsible to our concerns. It's high time we realize strength that comes through unity." (Reported in the September 1990, Omega Letter.)

Robertson began this effort in 1989 with the formation of the Christian Coalition. In 1990, Robertson started the American Center For Law and Justice (ACLJ), a law group providing free legal counsel for Christians in battle with "anti-God, anti-family groups." Executive director of the ACLJ is former Ohio prosecutor Keith Fournier, a charismatic Catholic activist, former Dean of Evangelism and legal counsel at the Roman Catholic (Franciscan) University of Steubenville in Ohio, and author of the book Evangelical Catholics (which book is a plea for Protestants to join Catholics in a joint evangelization effort; i.e., an "evangelistic endeavor" that will "evangelize" the world by the year 2000). Fournier, speaking of Stanley and others in Evangelical Catholics: "I found not only a tremendous openness to my presence but also a growing respect for my church and a thawing in what had been hard ice in the past."

-  Dr. Bill Jackson, president of the Association of Fundamentalists Evangelizing Catholics (AFEC), prepared a 6/18/99 statement on "The Gospel of Jesus Christ -- An Evangelical Celebration" (EC) (see the 6/14/99 Christianity Today for the full text of the EC). This document has been endorsed by Charles Colson, Bill Bright, and J.I. Packer, all of whom also signed the controversial ECT documents of 1994 and 1997; as well as endorsed by R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur and D. James Kennedy, all of whom publicly [albeit weakly] challenged and criticized them for signing the ECT documents (see above). There are a number of helpful statements in this latest document which deal with areas which were not fully dealt with in the ECT documents (e.g., imputation is now dealt with favorably, but has been consistently opposed by Roman Catholic Councils and Catechisms). EC says, "We cannot embrace any form of doctrinal indifferentism by which God's truth is sacrificed for a false peace." But there is certainly no better example of "doctrinal indifferentism" than the ECT documents themselves (James 1:8)! Because ECT I stated that "Evangelicals and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ," in order to be relevant the new EC document should be submitted to the Roman Catholics who signed ECT I and II. It is difficult to see how a person could subscribe to both ECT and EC. The only logical conclusion is for all who signed EC to remove their names from ECT. It also appears that the so-called "evangelical" ECT endorsers have been "let off the hook" by former critics such as R.C. Sproul. We believe EC will be used to rehabilitate those who erred in 1994 and 1997, without their having to admit or ask forgiveness for their error. (Source: 7/15/99, Calvary Contender.) [Other "evangelical" endorsers of EC among the 15 members of the Drafting Committee and 114 members of the Endorsing Committee include John Ankerberg, Kay Arthur, Tony Evans, Jerry Falwell, Bill Hybels, David Jeremiah, D. James Kennedy, Max Lucado, Woodrow Kroll, Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Erwin Lutzer, Bill McCartney, Luis Palau, Pat Robertson, Ronald Sider, Charles Stanley, John Stott, Joseph Stowell, Chuck Swindoll, Bruce Wilkinson, and Ravi Zacharias; also endorsing EC were hyper-charismatics Jack Hayford and Steven Strang.] 

However ignorant Stanley and fellow endorsers may be of all this, his participation in EC makes him a party to its consequences. It is also important to note that the EC document (which is supposed to be a definitive and comprehensive statement of the true saving Gospel of Christ), never mentions repentance for salvation, and never mentions the total depravity of man (thereby leaning towards a decisional regeneration). Moreover, the EC promotes an ecumenical unity (via "trans-denominational cooperative enterprises") with all professing believers who attest to the EC's "essentials" of the faith. But this is not the unity of the faith taught in Ephesians. While we are instructed by Scripture to be of one mind, the evangelical today scoffs at the idea of true Biblical unity based on complete agreement with, and submission to, God's holy Word. The only use of the word "unity" in the New Testament is found in Ephesians chapter four. It is a "unity of the Spirit" (v. 3), not of men. It is a "unity of faith" (v. 13) based on sound doctrine for which believers are to contend, not water down nor reclassify into essentials and non-essentials (Jude 3). No real spiritual unity can exist apart from doctrinal unity, and we are to "mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17).

           -  In 1987, Bill Bright of the ecumenical Campus Crusade for Christ founded a "broad-based coalition of denominations and World Christian leaders" called New Life 2000. Billy Graham is the honorary chairman of an advisory board of 1000 leading "Christians." These so-called Christian leaders include James Dobson from Focus on the Family, James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, Charles Stanley , E.V. Hill, and Ted Engstrom (founder of World Vision and acting chairman of the committee). Jay Gary is an author, consultant, and partner with New Age occultist, Robert Muller. (Gary is directly promoting the philosophies of the World Parliament of Religions, the United Nations agenda for education via Robert Mueller's Global Core curriculum, and Global 2000, a plan whose goals include reduction of the world's population by the year 2000. In a best seller entitled Megatrends 2000, endorsed by Gary/Muller's newsletter as well as New Ager Marilyn Ferguson, the author devotes an entire chapter to religion, speaking favorably of New Age perspectives.) Jay Gary is also communications consultant with "New Life 2000," CCC's A.D. 2000 counterpart.

Stanley is also involved in another ecumenical evangelism organization -- the CoMission, a coalition of over 60 "evangelical" groups chaired by Bruce Wilkinson, the ecumenical head of Walk Thru The Bible Ministries and author of the name-it-and-claim-it best seller, The Prayer of Jabez.. Members besides Stanley's In Touch ministries include: Campus Crusade for Christ, Moody Bible Institute, Youth For Christ, Church of God, and Biola. The CoMission has the endorsement of the Russian Orthodox Church. (Reported in the 7/1/93, Calvary Contender.)

-  Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright fasted 40 days during the summer of 1994, during which he claims to have received a "prophecy from God" that a mighty revival is coming. He then issued a call for hundreds of liberals, charismatics, and new-evangelicals to gather in Orlando 12/5/94-12/7/94 to fast and pray for revival. An Invitation Committee made up of a hodgepodge of 72 liberals, new evangelicals, and charismatics was formed. Included were: Robert Schuller, Charles Colson, E.V. Hill, Jack Hayford, James Dobson, W.A. Criswell, Charles Stanley, Paul Crouch, Luis Palau, Bill Gothard, Pat Robertson, Kay Arthur, and Larry Burkett. CCC's Bill Bright cites "a great sense of urgency to link arms and unitedly call upon God for help in the spirit of King Jehoshaphat (2 Chr. 20)." This ecumenical "linking" is in the "spirit of Jehoshaphat" indeed, but the Jehoshaphat of 2 Chr. 18 (instead of 2 Chr. 20) where he "linked" with wicked King Ahab and incurred the wrath of God. (Reported in the 11/15/94, Calvary Contender.) [Another three-day "Fasting & Prayer" conference was held in 11/95 in Los Angeles; it attracted 3,500 "evangelicals" and charismatics. The Invitation/Host Committee for this event included most of those listed above, plus Dick Eastman, Chuck Smith, Bill McCartney (Promise Keepers), Tim and Beverly LaHaye, Shirley Dobson, Paul Cedar (E-Free), Ted Engstrom (World Vision), Joseph Stowell (Moody), and Joseph Aldrich (Multnomah). A third conference was held 11/14/96-11/16/96 in St. Louis. New additions to the Host Committee included Max Lucado, Henry Blackaby, Loren Cunningham (YWAM), Greg Laurie, Dennis Rainey, Randy Phillips (Promise Keepers), Josh McDowell, D. James Kennedy, Howard Hendricks, and Neil Anderson. (Conferences have been held every year now, but there is an uncertain future with Bill Bright's retirement (August, 2001) from Campus Crusade.)]

-  Stanley has also evidently jumped on the bandwagon of the charismatic spiritual warfare movement. The 1/9/93 Bulletin of Stanley's FBCA contained the following announcement: "Spiritual Warfare Conference -- Saturday and Sunday, January 15 and 16. Speakers: Dr. Mark I. Bubeck [former professor at Moody Bible Institute, author, and self-proclaimed "spiritual warfare counselor" (Center for Counseling, Sioux City, IA)], Dr. Victor M. Matthews [demon-deliverance teacher at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary], and Dr. C. Fred Dickason [Professor and Chairman of the Theology Department at Moody Bible Institute, where he has been teaching students "demon deliverance" since 1961]. [In a 2/94 letter to "Friends of IN TOUCH," Stanley writes: "When Satan puts an immoral thought in your mind, reject it. When he tempts you, thank God for His way of escape. When he oppresses your spirit or emotions, tell him to leave 'in Jesus' name.'"]

As a result of this conference, possibly thousands of Christians were subjected to the concentrated efforts of three leading veterans (40-plus years) of the warfare, demon-deliverance movement -- plus all their Satan-/demon-centered books. Some of the message titles were: "Interfacing Our Three Enemies," "Spiritual Warfare Counseling," "Practical Benefits of Spiritual Warfare," and "Helping People Grow Toward Freedom." These charismatic meetings, seminars, conferences, and books, are not Christ-centered, but rather Satan- and demon-centered.

-  The serious error of eradication of the believer's Adamic life and nature is causing harm throughout the Church. It is a product of Covenant theology, and is being spread by Charles Stanley. On a TV broadcast, Stanley said, 

"I no longer believe that the believer has two natures. All our struggles are spiritual in nature. Each one is a part of an ongoing struggle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.” 

The eradicationist, as seen above, dispenses with the sinful Adamic life and nature by relegating the first Adam to extinction. In order to account for sin in the life of the believer, the "flesh" becomes the source of indwelling evil. The flesh is described by such symptoms as: learned and developed pre-conversion habits, appetites, influences, tendencies, residual sin, and according to John  MacArthur, "vestiges of our sinful flesh," "graveclothes of our sinful flesh," and "residual fallenness," etc. 

Eradication instills in the believer a tendency to avoid responsibility for personal sins. Considering his old man eradicated, he is wont to shift the blame for his sin upon factors form his past -- old habits and tendencies, dysfunctional family conditions, etc. Many avoid responsibility for personal sin by blaming Satan. Heretofore it was, "The devil made me do it"; but now it is, "Satan did it." (Source: “Back to the Bible and One Naturism,” 11/96, paper by Miles Stanford.)

-  Stanley's religious roots are Pentecostal, and he has never forsaken them. A 9/96 Charisma article reveals that Stanley's Atlanta church attracts many charismatics who also watch his program on stations affiliated with Paul Crouch's TBN. Stanley says:

"I have no problem with the Pentecostal movement. I think they have put life back into the church, frankly. People ask me, 'Do you have charismatic people in your meetings?' Absolutely! Then they ask, 'Do you like that?' Absolutely! It makes for a good mixture. There needs to be life, joy, happiness and praising God, and I'm all for that."

Stanley thinks it's humorous that many charismatics believe he is one of them while some Baptists aren't too sure what he is. Stanley says, "None of that bothers me, I just love God. If somebody loves God, who cares what kind of title they have?" (Reported in part in the 9/15/96, Calvary Contender.)

-  On a recent radio broadcast, Stanley said that God will not send people to hell if they have never heard the gospel. Following is an extract:

 "… [W]ould God send somebody to hell because they did not receive Jesus whom they never heard about, never had the privilege of knowing about? And my answer is: No, he would not" (Stanley, In Touch Ministries, "Reconciling God's Love with His Justice," July 31, 2001). 

This is a great error. In Ephesians 2, God describes the condition of those who are outside of Christ. They are dead in trespasses and sins (v. 1), by nature the children of wrath (v. 3), having no hope, and without God in the world (v. 12). This is the unsaved man's condition regardless of whether or not he has heard the gospel. He is condemned already, and that is why it is so imperative that Christ's commission be obeyed and the gospel be preached to the ends of the earth. (Church News Notes, 8/3/01, David Cloud, FBIS)

-  In his 1994 book How To Listen To God, Stanley espouses the belief that God continues to speak to man today outside of His Word (i.e., special revelation) (pp. 15-16; 81-82), and that he has been specifically used by God as a conduit/channel for that special revelation to others! (pp. 15-16). Stanley even claims to have had a vision from God (p. 11), and that those who rely solely on Scripture are missing out on all that God has for them (p. 128). He even spends a whole chapter on "Identifying the Voice of God," which turns out to be nothing but a guessing game.

Stanley disagrees with his denomination's stand against women leading the church (6/28/00, Charlotte Observer). He said he was led to Christ by a fiery female pastor and, "There are some godly women. ..." "I would never say that a woman could not preach. ..." "You just can't draw the line and say, 'You can't do so-and-so.' You just can't put God in a box." As to this issue being divisive, he said sometimes our decisions "alienate people." But Jesus was "divisive" and his doctrines sometimes alienated people. (Source: 7/15/00, Calvary Contender.)

-  In 1992, Radio Bible Class's Discovery House Publishers published a revised edition of Oswald Chambers 1935 daily devotional classic My Utmost for His Highest. This revised edition is billed as "an updated edition in today's language." It was revised/edited by James Reimann, who has been a part of Charles Stanley's ministry "for over 20 years." Stanley says this about the revised edition in its Foreword:

"I am greatly encouraged to see these powerful daily devotions updated with more contemporary expressions. The purpose of this edition is to make it more readable and easily understood. Not a single truth has been altered even to the slightest degree . ..." (Emphasis added.)

One only need read the devotional for February 10th, "Is Your Ability To See God Blinded?" (in Chambers words, "Is Your Imagination of God Starved?"), to understand that truth has been altered by Mr. Reimann. In the text of the 2/10 devotional, in three instances where Chambers writes of "imagination," Reimann substitutes the word "visualize" or "visualization." Can Mr. Reimann possibly be unaware that in "today's language" visualization is an occult technique?! [In fact, visualization is the most powerful occult technique available -- visualizing an entity, even "God" or "Christ," puts one in touch with a masquerading demon (see Beyond Seduction, pp. 190-240).]

-  In an August, 1990, advertising flier sent to parents that home school their children, Stanley's In Touch Ministries offered to sell a Personality Profile test package (for $30.00) that promises to, "build your child's self-esteem, discover what motivates their actions, ... understand recurring patterns of behavior, provide appropriate discipline and instruction geared to their specific temperament, prepare your children to deal with peer pressure through a positive self-image, and make your job as a parent less frustrating and more rewarding." The test results are also promised to provide "a classical personality pattern(s)," for each child, such as achiever, perfectionist, persuader, etc., in order to describe the child's emotions, goals, strengths, weaknesses, group behavior, and value system, all in order to "transform" the parent's relationship with his child; i.e., "The Personality Profile will help your child prepare for future career decisions while building an environment where your child may avoid negative peer pressure and grow spiritually." (Emphasis added.)

Stanley's Personality Profile is merely another psychological testing/personality typing gimmick, of which all such tests have been proven in the past to have insufficient statistical validity or reliability, either in measuring personality traits or in using such traits to successfully motivate or modify behavior. (See PsychoHeresy, pp. 74-75, and Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing, both by Martin and Deidre Bobgan, EastGate Publishers, Santa Barbara, CA, for excellent analyses of the worthlessness of psychological and personality testing.)

-  Stanley's church teaches self-love/self-esteem to children in its beginners Sunday School classes and has held numerous seminars on "building your child's self-esteem." One publication states, "Try teaching pre-schoolers. Showing a toddler the wonders of nature or how wonderfully he/she is made and unconditionally loved happens to be a great training ground for sharing your faith" (7/28/91, The Witness). Stanley continues with this self-esteem theme: In a message broadcast 10/23/98 titled "Self-Defense Against Satan's Relentless Assault," Stanley taught that Satan's constant assault causes Christians to feel worthless and have their self-esteem crushed. This is bad, according to Stanley, since "Christ died for us because of our great value."

God died for us "because of our great value"?! This is a tragedy of immeasurable magnitude that we have people who claim to belong to the living God, and churches that claim to be Bible-believing churches, that are robbing God of that which belongs to Him and Him alone -- all the esteem, all the honor, is His for the work of salvation -- and directing it back to themselves. What blasphemy is being promoted from within the church today! -- that men like Charles Stanley can find a way to say, "You want to know how valuable I am? You want to know how much worth I have? You want to know what gives me self-esteem? God thought I was valuable enough to die for." That's blasphemy. That's robbing God of that which is His alone. God did not die for us because of our great worth, but because of our great sin! He died because of who He is, and in spite of what we are (cf. Rom. 5:8). He died to demonstrate His righteousness and His divine justice (Rom. 3:23-26). There is no mercy if it had to do with my worth. It is not of grace if it had to do with my value. Anyone who would try to divert some of that glory, honor, and esteem to man is robbing God of the worship due Him and Him alone.

-  Stanley's psychologizing is evident throughout the materials he sends to those on his mailing list. Just as an example, in the 1/93 In Touch magazine, Stanley speaks of reaching "emotional overload[s]" due to childhood problems. He teaches unconditional love for others (1/6), self-love for yourself (1/7), self-forgiveness necessary to truly enjoy the liberation that God's forgiveness brings (1/7), self-worth and self-esteem (1/8; 1/29), unconditional love and acceptance (1/8; 1/19), and intrinsic worth (1/11). In the 6/93 and 7/93 In Touch magazines, Stanley implies that man is generally born good, but becomes unlikable only "with time and abuse" (6/93); that man's greatest need is significance (6/17); that self-esteem and self-worth are necessary for good husband-wife relationships (6/17); and that it is important to instill feelings of worth in your child so that he may experience "healthy growth and stability" and not struggle "with the acceptance of God's love and grace" (7/20). Moreover, in the 9/93 In Touch magazine, Stanley quotes favorably from psychologist and mystic Richard Foster's book The Celebration of Discipline (9/22). (Foster is the head of Renovaré, an international ecumenical organization that espouses the use of guided imagery and visualization as means of obtaining "personal spiritual renewal.") In the 11/93 In Touch magazine, Stanley advertises for sale the books of psychologist James Dobson (When God Doesn't Make Sense) and ecumenical Catholic-sympathizer Charles Colson (The Body).

The 10/94 In Touch magazine featured a four-page article by Stanley titled, "When We Feel Inferior." Stanley claimed that: 

"... along with my stepfather's words that I was 'good for nothing and would never amount to anything,' only helped to reinforce my struggle with low self-esteem, an emotional conflict I would fight for years to come. Anytime we buy into feelings of inferiority, our minds become clouded with a sense of self-doubt and insecurity. But when God sees us, He sees tremendous potential. He loves us unconditionally and accepts us right where we are. ... When others do not approve, but criticize us, we feel a loss of worthiness and self-esteem. ... Each of us at some point in life struggles with feelings of inferiority. ... countless housewives struggle with depression and low self-esteem because they feel inferior to their friends who work in an office along with its perks. ... we can dare to disregard the idea that we are nobody. We no longer need to deceive ourselves about our true self-identity; we know we are somebody to God. ... God loves you ... no matter how rich or poor, you can step toward Him and tell Him: 'Lord, I need You. I feel so inferior, and it hurts so badly.' He will come to your aid and give you a place of rest, a sense of worthiness, and a vision of hope for the future. ... With God there is always hope. He sees your life and knows exactly what it takes to turn your thinking around. You are a person of worth, because God is worthy and He lives inside of you. This is where inferiority stops and courage and self-worth are born."

On the inside cover of the same issue of In Touch, Stanley says: 

"The struggle with inferiority can be all consuming. ... even affects the tenor of our fellowship with Christ. The less we think of ourselves, the more grueling our emotional journey through life. An unstable childhood deposited layers of inferiority in my thinking and behavior that discouraged me for many years. First, I realized that inferiority is just a feeling. ... What others say or do or how the past affects you may cause you to feel inferior; but from God's perspective of truth, you are fully adequate, competent, and worthy. He loves us unconditionally, ... Shifting your mental focus from feelings to the truth of Scripture is God's way to surmount the emotional gravity of inferiority. ... Believe what He declares true about you, and slowly you will find the feelings of inferiority diminish in intensity. ... The Lord has a very special plan for you because you are somebody very special to Him." 

Stanley also wants to be very special to his listeners and viewers. On a 6/23/91 In Touch radio broadcast, Stanley offered a packet of materials titled, "Meditations with Charles Stanley." Included with the kit of materials were "two black and white photos of Dr. Stanley to help you with your meditations."

More current, the First Baptist Church Atlanta website (as of 8/01) lists in detail a wide range of church-sponsored psychological ministries (dubbed "Support Groups"):

Substance Abuse
Sexual Abuse Survivors (for women)
Healing for Damaged Emotions
Sexual Addiction (for men)
Homosexual Recovery
Eating Disorders
Promise Keepers
HIV/Aids (those infected and those affected)
Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families

-  Stanley’s FBCA has scheduled a “Freedom in Christ” Seminar for 9/14-9/15 of 2001. The Seminar is being put on by Neil Anderson's psychological-/spiritual warfare-oriented Freedom in Christ Recovery Ministries. For $25/person, attendees will be taught "how to find freedom in your life from issues such as: Addiction & Codependency; Anger & Bitterness; Perfectionism & Workaholism; Low Self-esteem; Eating Disorders, Gambling, and Other Compulsive Behaviors; Depression & Irrational Fears; Sex Addiction & Pornography; Stress & Anxiety; [Demonic] Strongholds; Habitual Sins; Negative Thoughts; and Broken Relationships." Here are some other beauties as to why believers cannot find freedom in Christ (each a totally unbiblical concept -- see BDM reports on Neil Anderson for an critical analysis of his "ministry"): 

-  For more detailed information on Stanley's apparent love for "Christian" pop psychology and the psychological gospel, see the following tape message indices: (1) "Unmet Needs"--9/92 & 2/99; (2) "Childhood Memories"--2/91; (3) "Self-Rejection"--1/90.

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 8/2001