November 19th, 2012
11:44 AM ET

Two preaching giants and the 'betrayal' that tore them apart

By John Blake, CNN

Alpharetta, Georgia (CNN) - Andy Stanley walked into his pastor's office, filled with dread.

The minister sat in a massive chair behind an enormous desk. He spread his arms across the desk as if he were bracing for battle. His secretary scurried out of the office when she saw Andy coming.

The pastor had baptized Andy when he was 6, and groomed him to be his successor. But a private trauma had gone public. And Andy felt compelled to speak.

The minister stared in silence as Andy gave him the news. The "unspoken dream" both men shared was over.

After Andy finished, the pastor looked at him as tears welled up.

"Andy," he said, "you have joined my enemies, and I'm your father."

Read the full story on Charles and Andy Stanley
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Georgia • Leaders • Pastors

soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. DWN

    The whole notion of Christian Leaders is fairly pointless. A good church is a bible up church and not a personality driven church. I don't expect to know anything about religion and maybe it would be best if they did not propagandize one way or another. They are supposed to be a hard news organization. If miracles start happening of biblical proportion I might tune in.

    November 23, 2012 at 10:51 am |
    • DWN

      Can't edit, rats! I don't expect CNN to know anything about religion! Its nonsense for people to expect a news organization to have a clue. To trust its judgment is to trust the world. Christ's kingdom is not of this world.

      November 23, 2012 at 10:53 am |
  2. John Diomitron

    Matthew 10:38 (NIV) – "Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me." John 8:12 (NIV) – "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” " 1 John 2:15 (NIV) – "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them."

    Those who walk closest to the Son lose much of the things of this world but in turn gain the things of the Father which are more precious than all the treasures of the earth.

    Hey Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son. Here is one for you:
    1.John 8:44 (NIV) – "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

    My Father sent me to battle your father, and I look forward to it! Your father's wicked rule on this fallen world is about to be taken away.


    November 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  3. splassher6

    CNN's continued war on religion....

    November 22, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • midwest rail

      Just because you repeat it several times doesnt make it any less delusional.

      November 22, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Leif

      Religion should be thankful that CNN is even interested. Some might argue that this is a glorified astrology column.

      November 25, 2012 at 5:17 am |
  4. Lucille

    When I read this story, I almost cried. It was so touching and compelling. The thing that struck me was how long it took to mend the relationship. Anna Stanley was married to a good man. But I understand not being first place in a person's heart. Outside interests can be devastating. That is one reason God said: "...Let him that stole, steal no more: but rather let him labor working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth..."

    November 22, 2012 at 6:25 am |
  5. lol??

    So son, you want to be a preacher and pastor? Mighty big world out there. Plenty of lost people. Now GIT! "Rom 15:20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation:" Less heartache that way.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  6. lol??

    "....................The pastor had baptized Andy when he was 6,................." Hope it didn't have anything to do with water. Paul was happy about being away from that water business.

    November 21, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  7. Steve

    All I can think about with these self righteous people and their money and real estate is that if they put their money where their mouth is an live as their God would have them there wouldn't be any hungry or homeless people in this country.

    What a colossal waste of time, energy and money! Remember Robert Schuler and the Crystal Cathedral? Gone! In shambles. Broke!

    November 20, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  8. frespech

    For unless you see signs you will not believe, for you there will be no more signs save the sign of Jonah. Faith is the ingredient for believers and that is the bottom line.

    November 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  9. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    I hear tarts are in this year for Turkey Day

    November 20, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  10. 200 TON HAMMER


    November 20, 2012 at 4:27 am |
    • OxyFlush! ®

      We can help you lose that extra 50 tons, Hammer!

      November 20, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    November 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • hal 9001

      I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. Using my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE), the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".

      I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book can help you:

      I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...

      November 19, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • HeavenSense

      Hi Prayerbot,

      November 20, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "John 3:16" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert" is the degenerate.

      This troll is not a christian

      November 20, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs.

      November 20, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • zometimer

      Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      November 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Science

      Hey you know Bing it !..............chad too above

      http://www.cnn.Way to funny dot/fred/captain ass hat as soon as the DNA deal was posted ..............prayer bot shows up.

      So bite the bullet chad and take the test you might learn something.

      See previous page fred/dot


      June 22, 2013 at 10:08 am |
  12. John Stefanyszyn

    The Christ of Charles Stanley is not the same as the Christ of Andy Stanley.
    But there is one way of life which is the same that both embrace and confess...the way of freedom & equality of self-rights.

    Charles Stanley preached Christ within the context of freedom of rights

    November 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  13. Name*Michael Miles

    GOD is wonderful HE works everything out in HIS timing. I love the preaching of both Charles & Andy.

    November 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Answer


      November 19, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Everyone can be right when it comes to interpreting fiction.

      November 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Name*Michael Miles

      I'll pray for you.someday you will stand in front of GOD.

      November 20, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  14. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    Two preaching giants???????????? Neve rheard of these guys.....lol lol lol Can someone pass the salt?

    November 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Akira

      I know, right?

      November 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  15. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm honey baked ham!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  16. truth4lifetoo

    God didn't promise any of us a rose garden and none of us are prefect. What a wonderful example of father/son willing to work through their struggles and keeping the love of God in their lives. Neither walked away from their faith. I liked the counselor's advice to Andy "When the heavenly father gives up on His relationship with you." This was the advice of when Andy could walk away from his relationship with his father. As one that has had problems in my family, it is seeking God's Word and dealing with the relationship instead of giving up that we have grown. Sorry to hear the comments of people that haven't experienced that grace.

    November 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      Neither had any faith any way. Neither walked away from their money. Playing the role brings home the bacon.

      November 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Akira

      You don't find it a tad bit odd that their "struggles" began *because* of God?

      Apple Bush:
      Both seem to be rolling in pork.

      November 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      I smell bacon!
      Bacon bacon bacon
      Only one thing smells like bacon and that's bacon!

      November 19, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Akira

      Bacon wrapped in bacon! Yum!

      November 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  17. Reality

    For the Stanleys' eyes only:

    We feel your pain and we have come to save you:

    JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")

    Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694.

    Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Many contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say?

    November 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
  18. Chad

    Wonderful story in many respects, the two most compelling to me:
    1. God uses broken people
    2. Charles and Andy havent given up on their relationship, wonderful to see them committed to it.

    November 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      God does not reveal Himself because he is afraid too.

      November 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      I agree with you on one point. They should be committed.

      November 19, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Akira


      November 19, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Answer

      The only broken people are the ones who accept the religious dogma.

      November 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Chad

      What does it say about atheists that virtually the only religion they feel compelled to criticize is Judeo/Christian?

      just a thought.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Chard. That's not a thought. It's just a brain-fart. Typical of you.

      November 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Akira

      Um, Chad, this blog usually only talks about the Judeo/Christian belief system, that's prolly why...

      November 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • sam stone

      Chad....a thought? Congratulations on finally having one.

      If you remember back to the stories on the American Atheists billboards, you would know that they picked on Judaism and Islam, too.

      Of course, it would not feed your persecution complex.

      Also, Chad, other religious people are not attempting to use our secular laws to deny other their civil rights

      November 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  19. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    Yams have got to be the most disgusting thing to eat.

    November 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • OTOH

      Yams (like many vegetables) are a wonderful vehicle for butter and salt!
      (and sugar too, if you candy them!)

      November 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  20. Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

    So which is it.....pumpkin pie, apple or chocolate....what is the fan favorite?

    November 19, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Akira

      French Silk, for me at least...
      It's a good thing reading these blogs contain no calories, because I would weigh 9000 pounds...

      November 19, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Corner Cafe

      Try our new Yum Yum Yaza Pie

      Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie

      Oreo crust and a cream cheese/peanut butter/whipped cream mousse filling. We toss in some chocolate chips and chopped peanuts and the top is drizzled with semisweet chocolate and peanut butter.

      Got a moe-ism for sweets? You’re welcome.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Akira

      I rest my case.

      November 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Honey Badger Dont Care

      I prefer hair pie myself. Yum!

      November 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Apple Bush

      HBDC, I am ashamed of you. You know as well as I do everyone shaves now.

      November 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Akira

      Via 1975?

      November 19, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.