views and thoughts on topics, especially ones pertaining to christianity – with an emphasis on how most christians either ignore or discriminate against unmarried christians – and how christians have turned marriage and parenting into IDOLS and how there is no true support for sexual purity, virginity, or celibacy among christians – this is a blog for me to vent; I seldom permit dissenting views. I don't debate dissenters ————-
Preacher Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries Has Died at Age 90
I used to watch Stanley’s “In Touch” program quite often in my 20s and even into my 30s.
I occasionally disagreed with his position on a topic here or there, but it’s sad to hear he passed.
He was notorious for once having said (in the 1980s I think?) that divorced people can never serve as pastors and should step down when they get a divorce, but after he and his wife divorced (they never came out and said why the two divorced, Stanley just said it was over his behavior due to things he picked up in childhood), he then refused to step down as pastor himself.
So, dude preached against divorced men holding office of pastor, but when he later divorced, he refused to step down as pastor.
It’s really strange that he’s gone now. He was one of those guys you’d always see on Christian stations.
ATLANTA – Dr. Charles Frazier Stanley, the senior pastor at First Baptist Church Atlanta and the founder of In Touch Ministries has died.
FOX 5’s Buck Lanford has confirmed First Baptist Atlanta Senior Pastor Anthony Georgia that the influential Atlanta faith leader passed away peacefully at his home Tuesday morning.
For more than five decades, the pastor, broadcaster, and author served on the staff of First Baptist Atlanta. He was named Senior Pastor in 1971, becoming the 16th pastor at the historic church that was founded in 1848. Under Stanley’s leadership, the church saw unprecedented growth.
In 1997, FBA moved from its Midtown Atlanta location on Peachtree Street to the former Avon property in Dunwoody to accommodate its diverse membership of more than 15,000 from all over the metro area.
Stanley, who was born in Dry Fork, Virginia in 1932 would become a pioneer in religious broadcasting. He founded In Touch Ministries in 1977 to in his words, “Get the truth of the Gospel to as many people as possible”.
Charles Stanley Kind of Blows it on Suicide Sermon – and Anxiety
(Edited to add: I was writing this blog page as I was watching the sermon on television)
(Another edit:, dated Jan 2015: There is another edit below where I briefly discuss Stanley’s awful sermon about Anxiety.)
Edit 2. // Dec 27, 2014.
Tonight, Charles Stanley’s show is re-running an older sermon on suicide. It might be the same one I critique below, and it’s called “The Impact of Suicide on Believers.”
Stanley’s show aired a few snippets from the episode before the sermon itself airs in full, and it sounds rather victim-blaming.
Stanley tells people on this episode that if they take their own life, they “short circuit” God’s plan for their life, and they may therefore not get whatever rewards in the afterlife that God had intended for them.
Listen, someone whose depression is at such a low point they are contemplating suicide are in such emotional pain, the are not going to care AT ALL about heavenly rewards, or if they are disappointing God. Stanley just doesn’t get it.
Stanley’s sermon on TV tonight is about suicide. You can probably find video of this sermon on You Tube (aired August 3, 2013, “In Touch” program – if it’s not on You Tube now, wait a few weeks, you can probably find it later; EDIT, Sept 2013: I think I have found the episode, I have embedded it below, please scroll down to view that video). I am blogging this as I am watching the show.
Stanley said suicide is ingratitude towards God and it is usurping God’s authority in the person’s life – both interpretations sound pretty insensitive to me.
But then, Stanley has been an insensitive butthead towards Christians who suffer from anxiety, too, so I guess I should not be surprised his views on suicide are similarly insensitive.
Stanley is saying God permits times of pain and loneliness in your life to teach you lessons. A person who is suicidal is not going to find that a reason to go on, but to end things quicker.
Oh no. Stanley is quoting one of my most disliked Bible verses: Romans 8:28. One of the most over-used Bible verses parroted at hurting Christians. It has become an empty cliche’.
Stanley says taking your life is an expression of selfishness.
News flash: when someone is in such deep pain they are toying with killing themselves, they don’t much frame it in terms of “how is my death going to affect person A, B, C,” which is in part what Stanley means by it “being selfish.”
Oh please. Stanley just said if you are a Christian and kill yourself, this hurts your testimony to Non Christians because they will think, “If Jesus could not help you, what makes you think he could help me?”
That is insensitive of Stanley. He’s showing more concern for regular people than the person watching his show who may be suicidal right now.
Stanley said, “without Jesus as your Savior, you’re not going to make it.” I’m not sure what he meant by that; if he meant is in regards to suicide: he is wrong.
Even Christians commit suicide. I had a Christian friend who committed suicide several years ago. “Knowing Jesus” is not a guarantee that a person can, or will, be able to resist suicide.
Jesus does not magically heal or help every single person with a problem. Prayers go unanswered. It’s wrong to shame Christians out of suicide by telling them, “Think about what kind of witness you’re giving to Non Christians with that.”
I think Stanley is at the end of the sermon and will be answering viewer e-mails in a minute.
All in all, that was a downer sermon. I can’t imagine many suicidal Christians finding solace or hope in it.
I can only assume Stanley gave this sermon because Rick Warren’s son killed himself a few months ago, and the SBC has been putting pressure on SBs to speak out about mental health.
Southern Baptists SUCK at stuff like this. SBs totally SUCK at offering comfort and hope to people. Their standard, automatic response is to condemn, judge and be legalistic. The less SBs say about suicide and other sensitive topics the better, since they are usually incapable of showing compassion.
—–Edit 4, Jan 3, 2015.—–
Tonight, TBN is re-airing a Charles Stanley sermon about anxiety. I don’t wish to spend very long on this.
Stanley’s sermon on anxiety is just as insensitive and victim-blaming as his one on depression and suicide. (By the way, it’s quite common for people who have depression to also have anxiety.)
One thing he said is that “anxiety is a choice.” No, it’s not – not for all people in all situations. Some people who have anxiety have it due to biological reasons, not due to “choice” or a lack of faith in Jesus.
Some people, both Christian and Non, have to take medication to cope with anxiety. To shame people for having anxiety or attribute it to lack of faith is very insensitive and is not helpful, nor is it even always accurate.
If you are a Christian struggling with depression or anxiety, please seek professional, medical help – do not be guilt tripped or shamed out of seeing a secular pyschologist, or a psychiatrist or from taking anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medications by Charles Stanley or any other preacher, church, denomination or well-meaning Christian lay person!
You are no more a spiritual failure for taking doctor prescribed medications for anxiety or depression than you are when you take Tylenol for a headache, Visine eye drops for itchy eyes, or Pepto Bismol for an upset stomach.
You deserve to be treated with compassion for your struggle with anxiety, not condemned over it or told you’re not trusting God hard enough or whatever. Part of that compassion means acknowledging that faith alone cannot always conquer conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc, and sometimes these things need medications or therapy.
VIDEO: In Touch episode where Charles Stanley discusses suicide:
I found parts of this sermon insensitive, and it does not truly understand the emotional pain people with depression and suicidal ideation are in.
Stanley attempts to shame or guilt those with suicidal ideation into staying alive. That is not compassionate and completely misunderstands how depressed people think.
(Edit 2. The original video about suicide was removed from You Tube. I am not sure if this one I replaced it with is the same exact one; he has given two or three sermons about suicide before. I assume this is the same one, but it might not be. Should this video be pulled, simply go to You Tube and type in “Charles Stanley suicide” and you should be able to find another copy):
(Edit 3, July 2014. Good gravy. This is the second or third Charles Stanley video on sucide that has been removed due to “copyright violation.” Does Stanley’s church run around ordering people to yank his videos? Let me see if I can find another copy – again, I am not sure if this is the same exact sermon I was reviewing above, because he has done two or three sermons on suicide, if I am not mistaken):
From The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Or visit their page if you are having thoughts of suicide:
Confusing or Downer Messages from Charles Stanley (TV Baptist Preacher) Why I no longer watch In Touch that often
Charles Stanley certainly sends mixed messages. In a broadcast tonight, he said God wants believers to “prosper,” but on previous episodes, Stanley has mentioned God doesn’t care if followers are “happy.” I see the two as being similar; to be prosperous is to be happy. Maybe the concepts are not alike 100% of the time, but they are a little synonymous.
The entire message of his sermon tonight was something like, “The Courage to Obey.”
On Stanley’s weekly TV show, he frequently repeats a line he heard from his grandpa or someone when he was a kid, which was: “Obey God, and leave all the consequences to him.”
Not only am I becoming more agnostic as time goes by, but I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t stomach watching Christian TV shows I used to rather enjoy, including Stanley’s “In Touch” program.
I’ve noticed Stanley has the extremely annoying habit of blaming hurting people for their problems in life (when they write him on his TV show with questions about problems they are having), in addition to his preoccupation with having people “obey” God.
Atlanta Baptist Church Missing Person Project Missing the Unmarried
Hats off to these guys – preacher Charles Stanley’s Baptist church in Atlanta – for at least attempting to de-focus on the usual evangelical, fundamentalist, and Baptist favored demographic of “young married couples with kids.”
This Stanley led Atlanta church is focusing on widows, “the needy” (their phrase), prisoners, and one or two other, usually- neglected- by- Christian groups. That is all fine and dandy, but I see no acknowledgement of un-married people in the list of people they hope to cater to.
Almost half the adult American population is single. A lot of Christians are in that figure, too. Where are the programs and appeals to unmarried adults in this “Missing Person” ministry by Baptist Church of Atlanta? Here is a link to their ministry:
See the bottom of that page for the categories of people they are hoping to serve and reach – it includes “The Disabled,” “The Widows,” “The Orphans,” etc, but no mention of never-married adults past 30.
In last night’s broadcast of Stanley’s “In Touch” program, where he talked about people’s desire to be loved, he got on to this spiel about people who are still single, who would like to be married.
Stanley said it’s far better to be single than to be married to the wrong person. This is a common saying spouted off at discontent, unhappy singles, and does nothing to cheer us up.
I was engaged several years to an idiot, so I know that “being with the wrong person” can be worse than being single. But I do not appreciate my desire to still be married brushed off as though it’s unrealistic, stupid, or immature, and that is what that bit of common wisdom does.
Charles Stanley’s Ministry Launches ‘Missing Persons Project’ to Regain ‘Forgotten Members’
This is all fine and dandy, but why is this church in Atlanta not including older singles, childless (or child free), and former members who are disgruntled and disillusioned by church life in its concerns?
How about making more of an effort of allowing women (both married and single) to contribute in more meaningful ways in church life, instead of permitting that hideous, sexist “submission” doctrine and similar ones, to keep women from leading, teaching, and putting their skills and gifts to use within church?
If churches keep telling women, “Sorry, we will not allow you to lead, teach, or serve in a meaningful fashion and/or in an area that interests YOU, and we will continue to severely limit what roles you can fill in church,” they will continue to lose female members.
Even with titles such as “Missing” and “Forgotten,” older single Christians still can’t win; they get left off the list of consideration. How can Christians be so lovey-compassionate about some groups and continue to totally overlook and neglect (Link): one of the most neglected groups in Christianity?
One of the few positive things I can say about this Atlanta church’s new outreach effort is I am glad they are not focusing on how to draw teen-agers and 20-somethings into their church, but appear to be interested in ADULTS (e.g., widows, and prisoners – most of whom I’m going to assume are over 30 years old).
The teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley, pastor of First Baptist Church of Atlanta, has launched a “Missing Persons Project” campaign to encourage local faith communities to “recognize and receive [their] forgotten members,” those who might be considered social outcasts or even marginalized by their churches.
“Today, the Body of Christ is missing many of its members. Too often we’re guilty of assigning greater value to one part than the others,” says Stanley in an introductory video on In Touch Ministries’ website.
… The “Missing Persons Project” website has as five target groups: the Disabled, Widows & Orphans, Prisoners, the Needy and the Searchers.
Currently live on In Touch Ministries’ website are stories from families with a member living with a disability. “People with disabilities are made in God’s image, yet churches are often slow to welcome them. What we don’t realize is that their absence from our congregations weakens the body of Christ,” reads the featured, titled “The Disabled Body of Christ.” The feature also includes a call to action for readers who want to interact with others who are disabled as well as their families. The suggestions include things as simple as smiling and maintaining eye contact when interacting with disabled persons, while it also warns against offering words of pity to parents with disabled children.
I don’t have any answers for these topics I’m raising; I’m only ranting about a couple of topics that have been annoying me the last few years.
I was watching Hal Lindsey’s Bible prophecy show this evening. I usually like this guy’s teachings (or used to; over the years, I’ve lost some interest in Bible prophecy. One can only stand hearing oh- so- many “the world is ending soon!” type lectures and attempts to figure out who the Anti Christ is before it all gets a little old).
Lindsey was explaining today why sometimes a Christian’s prayers may go unanswered – and I’ve also seen pastor Charles Stanley, other Christian television personalities, and Christians online say the same thing – that is, if your prayers are going unanswered, it could be because you have “unconfessed sin” in your life (they also dole out other possible reasons).
This is a variation of a troubling, annoying, infuriating theme I see among Christians from time to time, from preachers and from Christian family, friends, and acquaintances.