Steven Furtick’s Assault On Biblical Discernment.

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.”  -Acts 20:28-30

Steven Furtick is the lead pastor and popular personality of Elevation Church located in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have been aware of Steven Furtick for some time now and have observed a number of the ways in which he is attempting to change how we think and how we handle the word of God in churches across America. He has a sizeable following on social media and is influential enough that people within local churches in California are talking about him and praising his teachings. However, in the age of social media, I do not doubt that his reach goes much further than the sunny shores of Southern California. He was first brought to my attention over a video initially published by Elevation Church, where Furtick is spraying his congregation with water guns in a bizarre twist on sermon analogy.

Steven Furtick was born and raised in South Carolina. At the age of 16 he claims to have been converted after reading Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. Shortly after, Furtick claimed to know that he was called by God to pastor a church in a major city. He obtained a Bachelor’s in Communications from North Greenville University and a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He then went on to serve as a music director for a church in Shelby, North Carolina, before finally achieving his dream and starting Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2006.

Aside from the obvious propensity to entertain congregations rather than exposit the word of God, Steven Furtick has been involved with several other troubling practices. Furtick’s church was discovered to have been staging “spontaneous baptisms,” where volunteers are placed throughout the auditorium so that they appear to be new converts desiring to be baptized following altar calls. This is done in order to create hype, and emotionally influence other individuals in attendance to receive the call to baptism as well. Furtick also claims that having doubt in your faith is healthy and produces growth. He has taught that the lack of success and blessing in a person’s life is directly related to the amount of faith that you have. He announced to his entire congregation that the 16,000 square foot, 1.6 million dollar home where he resides is a gift from God, and Furtick has even gone to the extreme of insinuating that God did in fact sin by breaking the law of love when Jesus died on the cross.

Furtick is also known to associate and preach alongside known prosperity gospel heretics Joel Olsteen, Craig Groeschel, Perry Noble, and T.D. Jakes.

While this man is evidently wrong in the way that he often interprets Scripture, the practices in which he chooses to engage, and the complete lack of reverence for the one, true, and holy God, what really caught my attention was a video that I came across this morning. He challenged those who do not accept his way of thinking, his way of preaching, and the way in which he conducts himself. I took that challenge personally and decided to look into his claim that the criticism brought against him is unsubstantiated. The lack of humility evidenced through this man’s actions is quite honestly concerning for someone who claims to be a herald of the truth. But even more shocking than that are the demands which Steven Furtick makes in this video addressed to his “haters”:

“Hey haters, I hate to break this to you, but your day is done… Fall back! It’s a new day! Cause we’re not looking for approval from you who give no respect… Are you going to criticize or create?…  Embrace a new way to change the world!… A new light has dawned to still the tongue of the cynic and pierce the heart of the skeptic. This generation is waiting to restore the hope of a nation.”

“But You are the same, and Your years have no end.”  -Psalm 102:27

“For I the LORD do not change;”  -Malachi 3:6

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  -Hebrews 13:8

This short video, in my opinion, is one of the most blatant evidences for the true condition of his heart. He openly rejects any criticism of himself or the organization which he runs, instead condemning those who strive to stand for truth as being unloving and judgemental. Furtick presents to his critics the ultimatum: Are you going to criticize or create? What should we be creating? What new light is this that has dawned in our age?  Where do we find support for this in Scripture? Are we to believe that no longer is it the inerrant word of God which convicts men’s hearts, but rather this new light which stills the tongue of the cynic and pierces the heart of the skeptic?

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  -Romans 10:17

Steven Furtick has won many followers through his charisma, ability to entertain, and willingness to spurn the Church in regards to the way in which it has worshiped our creator for centuries. By all appearances he seems to believe that no longer is any of that necessary or beneficial, no longer is Scripture the primary source that we should look to for guidelines as to how the Church is to be run or how our lives are to look as followers of Christ, and no longer will he tolerate biblical criticism in any form. This is nowhere within the realm of sound doctrine and and his claims are biblically unfounded. This is not the behavior of a man who desires to lead the people under his charge into a high view of God, submitting the entirety of their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

-Brian

13 thoughts on “Steven Furtick’s Assault On Biblical Discernment.

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  1. I am amazed how you cannot see yourself “handling the word of truth”- CEO
    In I Cor. 11:18-19
    Where it states there are some in the collective body of Christ that have factions and divisions among you to see who has God’s approval. When the body of Christ, pecks at one another with a religious spirit over semantics, you are not creating family/love. You are creating divisions. The Bible says that the outside world will know that we, believers, are Christians by our love for one another.

    All he said was a metaphor that In the image of sinful man Jesus came. It is as if I said to you, you eat like a horse. This sentence does not mean you are a horse. In fact, Jesus’s highest calling to which no one could thwart Him was to take on the sin of the world.
    We know He was sinless. Fully God and fully man.

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  2. My goodness. Furtick’s eyes say it all in that video. He looked like a man possessed. He looked absolutely evil. Pray for those under his influence to be plucked out and saved from further spiritual abuse. I’m grieved over his influence in churches around the country. Contrary to his challenge, I’m emboldened to continue to preach Christ crucified and true repentance. I’ll continue to pray for Furtick’s repentance.

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  3. This is so untrue! I watch Steven Furtick on tv every single Day. He is telling us to follow Gods Word exaxtly as it says. This is Just an attack from saten on him. To try to make him look bad .. Not gonna work because true christians know THE truth. He is sm awesome preacher/teacher. Its very sad to see such an article.

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    1. Titus 1:9 instructs us to call out false teachers. Furtick’s consistent mishandling of God’s Word clearly falls into the definition of false teacher and disqualifies him for ministry unless he repents.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a bunch of malarkey Actually listen to Furtick’s sermons and then post proof of him teaching something false without twisting his words or even making stuff up. Saying that Jesus came in the “form of a man or sinful man” is not saying that Jesus sinned. Nor is saying that God broke the “law of love” (your words, not Furticks…what is that anyway?) in the sense that He turned His back on his own son which was the context. Furtick never said God “sinned” which makes the you a liar and an “accuser of the brethren.”

    You criticize spontaneous baptisms immediately after salvation? Give me a break. Ever actually read the New Testament? You make a further claim of volunteer planting with zero proof to back it up. That is called a “gossip.”

    Don’t like Furtick using a squirt gun during an illustration? Yea, the Pharisees and Sadducees also were critical of Jesus. Imagine spitting on someone’s eyes or on the ground and wiping mud on someone’s eyes.

    His “1.6 million dollar home” would be a studio apartment in New York City. You don’t know what he does with his home or the resources God has entrusted to him.

    And, there is absolutely nothing wrong with one generic video to rebut arrogant ignorant people who are overly critical. Perhaps you took the “spoken word” personally because it describes you.

    I am all for calling out false teachers (ie. “Jannes and Jambres”) to protect God’s people but Furtick is not one of them. How about listening to his sermons of which are all online and look at the fruit of the Elevation Church and the thousands of people who volunteer in them continuing the work of the Jesus!

    False teachers don’t preach Jesus and they don’t preach on turning from sin and obeying God. Furtick and Geoschel DO so to compare them with seeker sensitive and/or prosperity preachers who don’t preach the whole Word of God gets my blood boiling.

    You who claim to be discerning lacks discernment!

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    1. Hi Tim,

      Thanks for your comment, and I appreciate you keeping me accountable in my claims as well. I don’t know everything, and my first impressions on things are not always right. My only base for truth is found in Scripture and I strive to evaluate all things against the unchanging word of God.

      As to your concerns, Furtick does appear to make several references into the ability of God to change, or to break a law. This is at best confusing, and at worst very misleading and even blasphemous.

      As for the baptisms. No I do not criticize spontaneous baptism of those who have truly been saved. We see an example of immediate submission to the act of baptism in Acts 8 with Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch who was immediately baptized after belief in Christ. This gives us a model in Scripture for an immediate act of obedience to Scripture through baptism after regeneration. However we see just prior to that account in chapter 8, Simon the magician who professed faith and was baptized after following Phillip, and was subsequently rebuked by Peter and John because his “heart was not right before God” (Acts 8:21). What Furtick was caught doing, was placing staff (who had apparently already been baptized) throughout his congregation, so that when a call for baptism was given from the pulpit they would get up and appear to be new converts who were coming to be baptized. Here are just a couple of the first articles that appear online when you google the incident.

      https://churchwatchcentral.com/2017/05/02/revisited-furticks-fake-baptism-scandal/

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/megachurch-pastor-steven-furticks-spontaneous-baptisms-not-so-spontaneous/2014/02/24/0de57822-9d9f-11e3-878c-65222df220eb_story.html?utm_term=.451aee9cb771

      The squirt gun incident is just one example of the ways Furtick chooses to carry himself as a self proclaimed herald of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When the attention often times is on himself rather than on the glorification of the most high God, there is need for concern and discernment.

      If you could show me a studio apartment anywhere in the U.S. worth 1.6 million I would be highly impressed. The point I was making by bringing that fact up is that Furtick fits the behavioral trend of prosperity preachers who are very obviously in it for the money and are fooling a lot of people in the process.

      The video is a need for concern because it is biblically unfounded. He is attempting to deflect biblical criticism away from himself. It’s concerning because it shows a lack of humility, and his willingness to rebel against accountability.

      Lastly, If I am shown through Scripture that I am wrong in any of these assumptions then I will back off of these claims. My loyalty is to Christ, and to Scripture, and not to men who claim Christianity without proof. False teachers absolutely do preach Jesus and do preach a turning away from sin. The Catholic Church is a prime example of that. To preach any gospel aside from the gospel given to us in Scripture is a false gospel. If there is any departure whatsoever from a saving gospel, it is a gospel that damns souls.

      “But test everything; hold fast what is good.” -1 Thessalonians 5:21

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  5. Get over yourself, John I married a man that changed into the exact type of person Steven Furticks described and those type of people are narcissists and they believe they have control of their own life, are never wrong, and are mental/psychological abusers that do not believe there is anyone higher than them or ultimately in control! Open your eyes and get the devil off your back bc you seem to be the one that needs to be saved from yourself! I think you felt called out because you seem to be a narcissist that also can’t fave the truth, you say spiritual abuse, well I say you are not God and therefore you need to repent of judging a man that just because he obviously doesn’t preach and teach the word of God ” the way YOU THINK IT HAS TO BE TAUGHT”, you have no right to judge. Have youdven tried taking your head out of your rear to see how this new generation of ” I do as I please when I please and gow i please” kids that dont believe in God, they need an approach as Steven Furtick is presenting the love of God and sinning and repenting, change is necessary when general up ns are changing for the worse day to day, as long as he stays true to the word of God which HE IS

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